I’m sitting at work and chatting to my colleague (who is also a friend outside of work), and we are talking about her teenage daughter and the struggles she is experiencing at the moment. Some just being normal teenage issues and others are much more than that.
Unexpectedly this is when I start to get emotional because it all comes back to me. My tears start to flow as does all my emotions. (I start to apologise to her, silly me crying at work)
But have I just had a break thru moment….Has something that I have had little understanding over the years finally come clearer? Has the fog lifted?
For the last 9 years of living with my infertility I have had this internal feeling that it is an emotional fear that is stopping me falling pregnant, not a physical one. And I have always believed once I got a better understanding of what that emotional fear was maybe it might release me.
I can still see myself as that teenager. The chubby one. Always the “bigger one” of my circle of friends. The one who the teased about their weight.
All I ever wanted was to fit in and be like everyone else. I wanted to be noticed and liked by the cute boy in class, just like any other girl. BUT I wasn’t.
One particular popular boy had a nickname for me which he took the pleasure of calling me in front of his friends for a laugh. He called me “Porky Pig”. As a vulnerable girl this broke my heart. I used to go to sleep at night and hope/wish/dream that when I woke up I would have a new slimmer body. It never happened.
My weight issues started when I was about 10 years old. I was not an obese kid but just probably 5-10kgs overweight. I just didn’t fall into the normal size 10/12 range, more like a 14/16. I think a lot of it is genetics (as it seems to run in the family) but also as kids we were left to own devices to sort out our own breakfast and school lunches, as both our parents were either busy or worked, so it really was up to me on what and when I ate. Also as a teenager of course you love to sleep. So on a school morning you would leave it to the last minute to get out of bed and skip breakfast and only eat an apple on the way to school and nothing for the rest of the day. But when I got home I would eat crap food because I was hungry. I was a baker too, so it wasn’t uncommon for me to get home and bake a cake or cookies etc, but then my 3 siblings & I would eat the entire lot in one sitting. So from an early age I never was educated about having a balanced diet, which looking back I believe lead to me having bad eating habits. However I was a sporty kid and played netball, so at least I was getting exercise.
It wasn’t until I was 24 and planning on getting married (every girl wants to look good on their wedding day), that I actually started to follow a healthy eating & exercise plan. I lost 17kgs over a 6 months period. This was the first time in my life I felt slim. I grew in confidence and I learnt about healthy eating. It was such an empowering feeling to look good in beautiful clothes and receive lovely compliments about how good I looked. It was the first time in my life I actually felt attractive.
Since then I have continue to work hard to maintain my weight in a healthy weight range, it will an ongoing processes for the rest of my life.
So based on my past I think I scared. I’m scared of being that vulnerable, unhappy teenager living with a body I don’t like. Being judged and ridiculed again because of my size.
The funny thing is that I not scared on actually putting on weight during pregnancy because I believe pregnant woman are beautiful but it’s the aftermath of what the pregnancy leaves on the body that scares me. Well this is what I think my unconscious mind has being living in fear of over the last 9 years.
I look at my mum and younger sister (who has since just had her 3rd child) and they are the living evidence of what I fear. We all have very fair skin, with no elasticity, once stretched there is no bouncing back, believe me. Both of them have countless stretch marks over their stomachs and both have found it extremely hard to shift the extra weight in this area also, and they haven’t done so to this day. My sister jokes that her stomach looks like 100’s of train tracks. The skin is so stretched that you could do 1000 sit ups a day and there is no way you would get rid of all the excess skin. Even when my sister has not been pregnant she has been asked “when are you due?”. Because we are all prone to carrying any excess weigh in our stomachs (thanks genetics!!), it looks like you are 4 months pregnant even though you are not.
I suppose the thing is I have worked so hard to get to a place where I finally feel comfortable in my own skin and it is definitely ongoing process and my weight is something I will continue to battle the rest of my life. I know once I do have baby that the battle is going to be bigger than it has ever been and it is also going to be a new battle as the body would have gone through irreversible changes.
I know this sounds swallow, selfish or even vain but unless you have been bullied, teased, ridiculed or hurt because of something you despise within your own self, you won’t understand the scars it leaves, and you just don’t want to go back to that place again. I know I have been fearful of something but until know I haven’t been very successful in discovering what has been driving that fear. I now believe it may have been my unconscious mind trying to protect me from experiencing the same pain & disappointments I experienced in my teenage years.
I’m praying now I have a better understanding about what I have been unconsciously fearing, which is any first step to recover. I hope through rational thoughts I may be able to recapture my life and deal with this fear head on.