My earliest encounter with shame, stems back to when I was a chubby 11 year old, being meaured for a dress. My family lived in a village in Alberta that had limited access to nice girls clothing, especially anything that was appropriate for my growing, 120 lb. body. So when the unfortunate time came that I needed a new sunday dress (and a full slip to cover my new bra....yuck), my mom decided to take me to a seamstress instead of SEARS. 

enter mortification.....

In my memory, i'm standing in a room by a window, looking out over some trees, wearing only my underwear. I'm painstakingly trying to focus on what I see outside as opposed to the tape measure being wrapped around my bulging stomach. In agony I pray for the cold hands to stop touching me...and for the chance to grab my shirt and cover up my exposed skin. I hate that I'm being looked at so intensely, and that my chubbiness is on display. I hate that my MOM is smaller than I am, and that my chest is seems gigantic compared to hers. I am ashamed of myself. I hate myself.

The self hatred never left. It took up residence in my heart. Through the years the compounding shame of my body morphed into a destructive eating disorder. Into my adulthood I felt the need to silence the desperation and voices of distain by punishing myself...forcing myself to follow an impossible regime. I felt that I had no other choice. I was in over my head and didn't know how to stop. Being thin had become more important to me than life itself.

Now, what seems like a lifetime later, I'm still not completely comfortable in my own skin. I still struggle with a deep desire to have a slimmer body. I still feel a little cheated that I didn't inherit my mothers slim figure. I still cringe when my body measurements are taken (but really, WHO enjoys that?).

Yet with all of the lingering insecurity...I'm not that 11 year old girl anymore.... and I'm no longer living with an eating disorder. Over time (through prayer, therapy and supportive parents), I relinquished control to the One who had it all along. I've stopped trying to win a hopeless battle. "Perfection has a price, and I cannot afford to live that life." (jj heller).

Where did it leave me?

Shame would want me to tuck that part my life away in the farthest recesses of my mind.  Closed and sealed for all eternity...pretend it never happened. Truth be told, it's not an easy or exciting subject to brooch, for its drenched in pain and regret. BUT I am NOT ashamed of that struggle, and things cannot be left unsaid. I'd rather like to think I'm kicking shame in the pants by examining it for all its deception, in the light, safety, and hope of day.  

cutting....bullemia....anorexia.....self loathing

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." Psalm 40:2

Thank you Jesus.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing Christine. This is a battle for so many of us...myself included...acceptance of who I am right now. I always cry at that verse - thanks for posting it. Praise God - He is the lifter of our heads.

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