Lately my hormones are all over the place. In my late 40’s, I know it’s normal, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it. I griped some to my husband about it one day recently, which I almost never do. Usually I try to hide any physical or mental problems from him. He’s got enough to deal with plus although I’ve improved, I’m still not overly comfortable admitting when I feel under the weather.
Anyway, after listening to me gripe, he said, “Can I ask you something? Why do you hate your body so much?” I was surprised by the question & immediately thought of many things. My looks have always been the main thing my mother & ex husband insulted about me, so I’ve always felt ugly thanks to their cruel words & wished I looked differently. I have pain from arthritis, & now out of whack hormones. I’ve also gotten taller & just bigger from the birth control I’ve been on for years. Then there are the symptoms I developed after Carbon Monoxide poisoning in 2015. It seemed at the moment like I had plenty of things to hate about my body.
Then, later on that afternoon, I wasn’t even thinking about this conversation when suddenly it popped into my mind out of the blue & I realized something… I blame my body for the actions of other people, as well as hating it for doing normal things! How ridiculous is that?!
All of this has caused me a great deal of shame over my life. Thanks to the constant criticism of how I look, I’ve always been very ashamed of my looks & felt incredibly ugly & disgusting. I’ve been ashamed of getting arthritis when I was only 31 years old because it’s abnormal. Truth be told, it’s probably a direct result of living with narcissistic abuse since it often causes inflammatory disorders. The symptoms from the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning & crazy hormones? Both are very normal & nothing to be ashamed of.
After some prayer, I think all of my faulty thinking stems from being raised the way I was. My mother criticized everything about my looks my entire life, I assume because I look like my father’s mother & not her side of the family. No doubt that was a disappointment to her. In fact, she probably felt betrayed by that as most narcissists would. As a result, I grew up hating everything about my looks, & not believing anyone who said I was pretty. My ex husband later reinforced this in me by being so critical.
Then there was sickness. Anytime I was sick or injured as a child was nothing but an inconvenience to my mother. She obviously resented taking care of me. As an adult, she didn’t believe me when something was wrong unless it was very obvious (the flu, a broken toe that was black & blue, etc). This taught me that I was wrong to be sick or injured. I’ve actually felt like my body has betrayed me by being sick or injured when nothing could be further from the truth. It also had me not believing my own symptoms, thinking I must be faking them or at least exaggerating things.
When I realized all of this, I thought there may be others who are going through the same thing, so I figured I should share it.
If you feel the same way, then know you’re not alone. We can change this dysfunctional thinking.
Start by praying about it. Ask God to show you the truth & ask Him for help healing from it.
I believe that it’s important to get to the root of problems if you wish to heal completely, so to do that, I ask God what is the root of this issue? Sometimes, He’ll bring a specific memory to my mind. Other times, several memories come to mind.
Once you see the root cause of your false belief, aside from asking God for more help, also look at the situation objectively. When you look at it as an outsider rather than a victim, you can see just how evil your abuser is & how wrong the things they taught you were.
Also, look at yourself objectively not through the eyes of someone trained to self hate through narcissistic abuse. Psalm 139:14 says that we are fearfully & wonderfully made. Rather than hating your body, consider that verse. God made you the way you are for a reason, & it is a good reason! Consider the good things about your body- how you look & the things you can do. Just because someone told you that you’re ugly or didn’t care when you were sick or injured doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. What it does mean is that the person who said such things to you has some serious problems!