My mind protects me by blocking out the painful memories, but my body remembers everything.
I know that the abuse has affected the way I carry myself and my attitude towards my body.
The abuse is stored in every cell.
There is tightness and rigidity, there is a lack of spontaneity and even a sense of distrust, disconnection and fear towards my own body.
This body that has endured so much. I have always been very hard on this body of mine. I didn’t like mirrors especially if there were others around. When alone, I would stare in disappointment at the ugly girl I saw looking back at me. Is that really me?
In my mind’s eye I have always been unattractive and have carried around a distorted image of myself. The self-hatred as a result of the abuse has been directed at my body.
When I was at university, I didn’t eat very well and exercised excessively in an attempt to get my body in shape. I would also go through periods of starving myself and then binge eating to try and fix my body. In my fantasies I imagined a me with a different face and body.
I feel very sad now because my body needs ME the most, she (I will call her that) needs rest from the battle that has been her existence. She needs good food and sleep and massages and gentle tender care. I love this body of mine with all the scars and cellulite and bulges and unique proportions.
This body of mine carried me through it all and helped me to survive. This body of mine is beautiful and deserves warm hugs and love and respect.
There is nothing I need to change about her. None of it was her fault. When you are tickled you laugh and so I responded to the abuse. It was a natural reaction. I lost my innocence and learnt to sexualise play. My delicate small frame was used for the pleasure of the man who was supposed to protect me. My boundaries were violated.
I love this body that saved me and I want to reconnect with her and be in touch with her. I want to cry a river for all her pain and loss and helplessness.
I will not abandon her.