My partner and I were out to breakfast the other day and we were commenting on the fact that it seemed like there were so many more curvy women on TV lately. He then professed his love for curvy women and provided an accolade to his newest love interest: “Like Andrea, she’s fucking gorgeous. I love her curves”. He then looked at me and said “you’re pretty cute yourself”.
Because he’s a perceptive partner, he noticed I got quiet and probed: “Are you ok? Would you prefer I just don’t talk about my other attractions in front of you?”
I snarkily said “Yeah maybe, or maybe I’d like to know that my partner thinks I’m ‘fucking gorgeous’ sometimes too”.
I could tell he was frustrated. This is an ongoing conflict in our relationship. He feels he tells me all of th time that he loves me and thinks I’m beautiful and feels that I only focus on when he doesn’t. Appearing defeated and irritated, he said “Well I don’t think of you that way. Those aren’t the words that come to mind”.
Woah. Punch me in my gut why dontcha?
I felt the woosh of anger and shame and self-hate rush throughout my whole body. I’ve learned that when I have a “shame attack” like that, I come out swinging. So I lashed out, pushed him away, blamed him for my pain, for not thinking of me in that way. He attempted to defend his opinion and told me I need to love myself more if I want to be seen that way blah blah blah. I didn’t hear any of it.
He took me home, then left and I just wept for like ever. I had all kinds of thoughts ranging from believing he was right, that I wasn’t gorgeous to packing up my shit and leaving him. Maybe he was right, maybe that word is reserved for certain kinds of women and I just simply wasn’t that kind.
I started picking apart the woman he mentioned that he believed was gorgeous, meticulously comparing myself to her. Every physical feature, intelligence measures, achievements, etc. I even thought about making a list justifying my self worth. When the absurdity of that activity hit me, I felt even worse.
So then I turned to picking him apart. He doesn’t value me, he takes me for granted, he doesn’t really see me. Fuck him. I’ll go find a partner who will always think I’m gorgeous. Fuck NRE (New Relationship Energy) and how it makes everyone seem so much better than the old hag that’s not going anywhere. Fuck poly.
I don’t know how but suddenly, it hit me. I was so hurt because I chose to believe it. I was the one who didn’t see my own beauty and needed it externally validated. If I wasn’t seeing it, how could I possibly expect to emanate that beauty so that people around me could perceive it?
So I did the only thing that’s been working lately to get me reconnected to my inner self, my source of power. I cried. I journaled. I accepted all of my negative thoughts. I chose to see this as an opportunity to grow my internal resources. I was grateful for the chance to practice treating myself so well. I took good care of myself all afternoon. I was so fucking nice and supportive to myself like I would do for a friend in pain.
And it felt amazing. More incredible than any compliment anyone could give me.
By the end of the night, I didn’t have to convince myself, I just knew-I am FUCKING GORGEOUS!!!!