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disfigured body, Disfigured, How a Disfigured Mind destroyed my life

How my Disfigured Mind Caused a Disfigured Body

by Deborah Cruz

Disfigured~ to impair (as in beauty) by deep and persistent injuries (real or imagined).

Recently, I watched a movie on Netflix called Disfigured. Disfigured was about two women, one who was severely overweight and the other anorexic. Disfigured began with a group of overweight women sitting in a circle at a meeting for a group for “fat acceptance”. This blew my mind.

What comes first the disfigured mind or the disfigured Body

As many of you are aware I have a history with eating disorders and it’s always been a battle for me to accept the skin I am in. I’m not sure that I’ve ever truly been comfortable in my own skin, it’s been more a range of tolerance. There have been times when I could tolerate the body that I live in more than others but I’ve never looked in the mirror and thought, this is good; I am happy with what I see. When I heard this group of women talking about acceptance, it was a foreign concept to me. In fact, it was so foreign that it was unbelievable.

READ ALSO: To the Bone

I would love to believe that there are women out there who are overweight and are happy. Women who accept and embrace their curves. God, I hope there are. I hope there are actually women in the world who are comfortable in their own skin and love their bodies, every single inch of it.  I’m not one of them. I will probably never be one of them just because my way of looking at my body has been fucked up for so long and I have an actual diagnosis ( Body Dysmorphic Disorder) that prevents me from seeing myself as I really am. I feel disfigured at my core. I wish that I could just stop being the way I am. I’ve tried but something always creeps back in and plants a seed of doubt. Watching Disfigured was very uncomfortable for me. It’s hard to explain to you unless you’ve spent your life struggling to achieve an unattainable goal and I am sure some of you have. I feel like I have to creep up on happiness because if it sees me coming it darts off in the opposite direction. It’s a moving target like a toddler being chased in the road.

A disfigured mind can destroy your life.

What transpired next was even more unbelievable to me, or believable or just too fucking relate-able. At this ” fat acceptance” group a recovering anorexic woman walked in and wanted to join the group. I completely understood this. While, I am nowhere near my former bulimic/anorexic self I remember well the feeling of making the choice to recover and having to face the feelings of shame, guilt, anxiety and disgust every single day that you eat normally. When you go from starving yourself, to eating anything at all, it is very uncomfortable. You feel like you are losing control and you feel shame that you can’t control yourself and you feel fat. Yes, fat. Even if you are bone-thin and to everyone else, you look like you need to gain weight. When you are in that part of recovery…you truly do need to learn fat acceptance.

Disfigured Soul

Of course, the anorexic walked in the room and the women who were moments earlier preaching acceptance just as quickly threw her out. She was reaching out for help and they wouldn’t help her because she was too thin. I guess acceptance is a one-way street. They wanted acceptance but only for themselves and only on their terms. This pissed me off. I have been on both sides of this spectrum and both are equally as hard, as dangerous, unhealthy and both leave you feeling ugly and disfigured.Unwanted.Unworthy of happiness. Both make you feel like you are weak. Both fill you with shame and cause your quality of life to suffer. The two main characters became an unlikey pair trying to help the other find acceptance of herself through accepting one another,even though they were one another’s biggest fear. They had everything in common even though their respective situations would lead you to believe otherwise. They both were uncomfortable in the skin they were in.

READ ALSO: A Day in the Life of a Girl with Eating Disorders

The identification with both characters had a very profound effect on me. It’s so hard to look at yourself when you are ashamed of what you see in the mirror, too fat or too skinny. It’s not physical at all, it’s all that your perception is of yourself. It’s hard to accept responsibility for making the choices that make you feel so worthless. Unhappiness with what I see in the mirror comes from putting conditions on my own happiness and hiding behind self-imposed superficial limitations. The reason that I can’t be happy with my body is that I am hanging the success of my entire life on what I look like. How ridiculous is that? How has it taken me all this time to finally see what the obstacle truly is? It’s me. I need to get out of my own way.

I need to accept that I deserve all the happiness that the world has to offer. Not when I get the perfect body, the perfect life or only when what I see reflected back to me is acceptable by my impossible standards. I am good enough now! Right now. I have not thrown up or restricted my calories to dangerous levels in about 12 years but I’ve also not allowed myself to fully enjoy my journey. I have to learn to love and accept myself with the unconditional love that I have for others.

What stops you from reaching your bliss? Do you make your happiness conditional based on money? weight? your partner? your house? degrees of success? your child?  Why do we have to wait for tomorrow to enjoy our today? We have been misguided. We are not disfigured. This is the almost story of how a disfigured mind destroyed my life.

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Bella 2011/12/28 - 3:31 pm

Great Post! I’m learning to be more comfortable in my own skin. I think my personality “flaws” (if that’s the word I’m looking for) are what hold me back. I kick myself constantly for not being a better mother, wife, person, friend or sister.

Thanks for sharing!

Truthful Mommy 2011/12/28 - 4:38 pm

I think you too are holding yourself to really high standards and not allowing yourself to feel like you deserve happiness. You deserve all things good. I know sometimes its hard to love ourselves for who we are now but we can;t keep waiting for happiness to come only when we do better. Why can;t right now be better?
Thanks for sharing. We are always our own worst critic. right?

lceel 2011/12/28 - 3:35 pm

I wish I could help you see yourself as others do. From here – from this distance – you are amazing.

Truthful Mommy 2011/12/28 - 4:39 pm

You almost made me cry with that one:) You are so sweet to say so and even more so to think so. I want to see myself that way. I am working on it. Thank you so much for your kind words.

susan 2011/12/29 - 2:36 am

yes we DO hang our happiness on all these conditions…if only i was thinner…richer…curvier…more confident…lived somewhere else…
Where does true acceptance lie? In being content with what we have, or iis it bigger than that? n simply accepting that some things may be attainable and some aren”t , we can at least be on the way…I have spent many years starving myself…or eating too much…and it is about power and control.
for me, the key is knowing that i can control my life in ways other than with my wieght…that is…I AM in control, and I need to remind myself of that daily…I do control my happiness…and that can be via external things…eg food, money whatever…or by looking inwards, reminding myself every day of what really matters, and keeping my eyes and thoughts fixed on those and not my waistline. It’s a process (which isn’t happening today as I just ate half a block of chocolate…) but I work on it a little bit each day…

Cindi 2011/12/29 - 8:53 am

Somtimes it’s someone around us who point out and remind us how disfigured we are so we begin to see ourselves as they do. Praying I can someday look through that mirror differently.

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