Yesterday and today have both been good (I think) and hard. I have been trying to be present with and aware of my inner child. It has brought a LOT of body memories and a lot of sadness and fear but some humor too. I have been going through boxes of things from my mom's house bit by bit, and it has brought up a mixed bag of emotions but mostly sadness. I was looking through a stack of pictures, and when I got to my mom and dad's wedding book, I realized how beautiful my mother was. She was classically beautiful. Tall, thin, with thick, dark, straight, lustrous hair. My first thought was, "Mom was so beautiful." My second thought was, "That was always an area that I disappointed her in." I felt so sad and angry. I had to put the book down and walk away. I went into another room.
I didn't have my mom's build. My brother did. I had my dad's. So, I was stockier than my mom. My healthy size is an 8. At my skinniest, I could sometimes fit into a size 6. When my mom and I would go shopping, she would always bring me a size smaller to try on. Never comment on why. Just bring me a size smaller. It didn't matter what size I was at the time either. That was always the pattern. The only time I would see her eyes light up with interest when she engaged with me was when we were talking about me losing weight.
No matter what, I couldn't physically be her standard of beauty. I tried until graduate school. The only thing my mom ever mailed to me during that time was a scale. She was so frugal, but she spent the postage to send me a dirty scale from home. It probably would have cost less to buy a new one. Something snapped in me when I opened that box. I was so angry. I started gaining weight and have not been able to get back to a healthy weight since.
I also noticed in the pictures that she had the cutest clothes and knew how to do her hair and makeup. She never taught me how. She worked so much and had stopped wearing makeup or doing her hair by the time I came along. I wish that were something we could have shared. Something that she had taught me. Passed onto me. A legacy of her time and attention. She did shop for me after my dad passed, and he wasn't putting us in debt anymore. She would shop the sales. I didn't appreciate it at the time, but I do now. I feel loved when I look back at those memories. She spent her time, attention, and resources on me. I wish I knew then what I know now and could have thanked her more. I wonder if she was crushed that I didn't respond with enthusiasm? It's so interesting that I can feel visceral pain for someone else's emotions, but I struggle to feel pain for my own. Ok, that is enough for now. I'm starting to feel flooded. Thank you to anyone reading this. I needed my story to be heard, I guess. #CPTSD #Grief #innerchild