I wish everyone had the ability to look their body shamers in the eye. Unfortunately, so many of us are left feeling the weight of the words spoken by ghosts. We cannot react, because it provokes them. We cannot respond, because it only gives them more material to work with. This leaves us primed to never find closure.
So many of us are left feeling the weight of other people’s words, knowing that someone out there can take our biggest challenge and use to sabotage our progress. That’s what my saboteur did to me, anyway. They knew everything I was insecure of, and everything I have worked towards. They knew every negative self-talk tape I’ve been trying to erase in my head for over a year.
I would love to say that those tapes are still erased and buried. Alas, they just now have a new voice to them. It’s the voice of someone from the outside reinforcing the all the topics I worry about. My weight. My dancing (And how it makes me visible for everyone to see.) My marriage.
I hope the following words will carrying more weight, since they come from someone going through it. It’s not okay for anyone to tell you that what a body shamer (or any kind of shamer) says is not important, or that it’s not worth your time. It’s not okay for someone to minimize the struggle and the hurt.
As someone who has to stare in the mirror and overcome, not only my own negative self-talk, but now the written words of others, I want you to know that feeling the shame they wanted to inflict is normal.
This doesn’t mean our saboteurs are right. It doesn’t make their actions anything but more despicable. But, acknowledging and owning your emotions will make it easier to work through them. It is an uphill battle. I believe you should get back up, move forward, and not allow the hurtful words of small minds keep you from living a rebelliously radical life.
Coming from experience, I can tell you fighting against your feelings of hurt and shame only make the walk up the hill harder. Acknowledge it, then it it go.
My best piece of advice, and what I am working on at this very moment, is to put a moment of love and support in the world every time I feel my experience causing me pain. I not ready project love and support to the anonymous people at the center of the hate cloud, but I can project love elsewhere. To my husband. To my son. To my friends. And, even to those in the same situation.
You are not alone. You are loved. This will pass.