Saturday, 22 December 2012

Reclaiming My Skin

Day 135
230 Days Remaining

Boy, did I have a great shower the other day.  I felt so fresh and clean and happy...I used the last of this wonderful bath product I got when my sister and I went to Chemainus - it's called Body Gelato and it smells like vanilla heaven and makes the skin SO super silky - and was reveling in how soft my skin was feeling.  I actually sat there after drying myself and stroked my arms and legs.

While I was feeling the heavenly softness that was my skin (I'm not exaggerating; that stuff really works) I was shocked when I suddenly realized that one of the first thoughts to cross my mind was "I should let Fig feel how soft my arm is".  A very close second (after I envisioned marching out of the bathroom clad only in a towel and demanding that Fig stroke me from elbow to wrist) was "That would be inappropriate, but I sure wish that I had someone to appreciate how soft my skin is right now".

Wow.  Have I learned nothing?

This is what I realized as I sat on the edge of my bathtub absentmindedly caressing my arms: I give too much of myself, too soon.  I always have.  I always do.  And while in some cases it is good - when I am at work, for example, and am able to care openly and easily; or when someone needs a listening ear, I am always there - in a lot of cases, it can be a bad thing.  I give too much emotionally; I give too much information; I give too much of myself physically.  I allow people to take what they need from me because I feel if they need it and it's in me to give, I should.  I worry that I will hurt their feelings if I say no.  I worry that they won't want to be my friend or be in my life anymore if I don't make them happy in certain situations.  My entire existence sometimes smacks of insecurity, and despite the fact that I have grown a lot, those little shaky growing stalks of self-esteem are weak and tender...and I've allowed them to be trampled a few times (sometimes by others, but mostly by myself).  I also give people more than they are able to handle sometimes, simply because I feel that I must share, share, share.
As ironic as it is that I am writing this in a blog for all the world to see, I have got to learn to hold back something of myself.  I think in some ways I do that a lot more now than I used to, but there is still something in me that feels I need to blurt everything out in order to be completely honest.  That's not true.  You don't need to know everything about me, do you?  Sometimes it's too much.

Why do I share so much of myself in this blog?  In part, it's therapeutic for me.  And I have had a great response to my blog; people have been really pleased to hear what I have to say, and I have had people ask questions for clarification on certain things.  I feel encouraged that in some ways I am encouraging others, because I doubt I am the only person in the world who has gone through and is going through things like this.  For the people who are important in my life, it's a way for them to get to know me better without endless coffee klatches.  For myself, it's a way to express how I'm feeling and a way to see things that I may not have seen prior to getting them written down.  I am a visual person, so once I see those words on the screen, I am able to more easily digest their meaning.  If a thought is flitting through my head, I need to pin it down.

I don't really feel that sharing of this sort is the worst thing I can do; people can choose to read it, or not.  Believe it or not, there are many things that I have not shared in this blog, and there are things that I absolutely refuse to share, and have since the beginning (for instance, anything to do with my marriage or my children's dad, I will not talk about: I want them to be able to read this blog eventually. if they so desire, and I respect their privacy and their feelings about their father).  But the need to physically and emotionally share myself with people is where I get in trouble.

Things with Fig would not have gotten to where they went if I didn't feel this constant need to have male attention in my life.  If I hadn't wanted to keep from hurting him by rejecting his advance (very subtle and gentle - with much room to take it or leave it - as it may have been).  If I hadn't ignored that little voice in my head that said "this [kiss] is not yours to give to him".  I want to save my kisses, my skin, my body, my feelings, my adoration and love, for the man who is to be my husband.  As much as kissing Fig made me feel as though I was cheating on myself (simply by the fact that I am on a dating hiatus), it also made me feel as though I had stolen something from a man I may not even have met yet.

So, is it time to reclaim my skin?  Why do I get up in the morning and spend time washing and scrubbing and shaving and exfoliating in the first place; is it so I feel fresh and clean in case anybody important smells me?  Is it so that my skin will be soft in case anyone touches me?  Why do I put on makeup and get dressed neatly; is it in hopes that someone will be impressed or tell me I'm pretty or want to be around me more?  I'd like to think that the reason I try to look nice and smell nice is for myself, but I do know that a huge part of me is still hoping that someone important will notice me and like me.

I'm going to try to remember that not everything needs to be shared.  Vital information, certainly.  Personal tidbits, at appropriate times.  Emotions, definitely, with people I have had the time to grow close to and who are willing to take on my feelings.  But my body?  My heart?  No...those need to be kept in reserve.  They do not belong to just any old Joe on the street.  Please keep reminding me of that whenever you see me teetering close to making yet another mistake. 


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