Maybe this is some kind of commentary on how girls are taught to be ashamed of their bodies, or heck, maybe not just girls but EVERYBODY. Whatever it implies, for better or worse, I can remember the first time I blamed my body for ruining my life. I was 15 years old and dating my first love – LAUGH ALL YOU WANT, I had our future kids’ names picked out. I’ve mostly forgotten all my ex boyfriends, but this one was special. This one was magic. And this one stung when it ended, and even as a happily married and well-adjusted person, looking back on it still stings. He broke up with me out of the blue, and my little teenage heart was reeling from the blow. What had I done to screw this up? Obviously it was me, I knew I was the problem. But what? Where did I go wrong? Did I talk about geeky things too much? Did I just LOVE HIM too much?? After many sleepless nights and over-dramatic drawings, I realized what had destroyed my chances of ever finding happiness – my stomach.
(photo by RocktheNations on Deviantart.com)
Yes. My tummy came between me and true love. Oh, it wasn’t too big or anything, I was a skinny, fit little thing that exercised every day as captain of the colorguard. No. The problem with my tummy was that it was LOUD. See, we shared one class together in our whole schedule, and it was right after lunch. Even though I’d JUST eaten, my tummy would grumble after lunch, probably louder than it did before lunch. And I can vividly remember one time that we were talking together in class and it was quite and GRUMBLEGRUMBLEGRUMBLE. And he gave me this look. And I think I actually shrunk I was so embarrassed. He didn’t say anything and worse, I didn’t say anything. And looking back, I knew that was the moment he began to devise how he would cut ties with me and my freak-monster-stomach. Of course I now know there were other reasons. We stayed friends and I later learned that he was just going through a lot of stress and he’s even said that breaking up with me for that was a mistake. But it’s not like I’ve been brave enough to out and ask “No really though – was it because my tummy grumbled too loud?” So you know. I still have my doubts and crippling insecurities about the whole ordeal. I am happy to say that while my stomach has gone on to develop IBS and of course become the source of hospitalizing chronic pain, it has at least had the decency to learn to be quiet after lunch. I think it’s safe to say that this is the heart of my happy marriage today. Love, respect, and a quiet tummy. Do you remember the first time your body embarrassed you? Did it ruin your life? Have you been able to overcome it? Is this shame induced by our society, or is it normal to blame your uncontrollable body for your rejections, failings, and shortcomings? Let me know in the comments!