This was another of our fears: that Life wouldn’t turn out to be like Literature. (or People Magazine)

Julian Barnes-Sense of an Ending

REFLECTIONS

No doubt, I am more comfortable being zaftig

Last week’s post…debunking the myth of thin…created such anxiety that I did something I have not done in years. I bought a People Magazine and 2 of my favourite chocolate bars…simultaneously..never a good sign. In my attempt to dislodge the internalized belief that being thin solves all problems, I fell back into the illusory comfort of old habits. I found myself at the checkout stand, transfixed by air-brushed faces and bodies, fantasizing about movie sets, kisses from handsome leading men and living the ‘perfect’ life as a thin person…this soothing Utopian reverie begged to be continued, so I grabbed Jennifer Lopez’s latest cover spread, and plunked it down, right on top of my kale and swiss chard. Upon noticing an unacceptable gap in my grocery items, I asked the man behind me to ‘hang on’ while I frenziedly raced down the aisles on a quest for Green and Black’s 100 gram Almond Bars. Spiritual quest long forgotten, I was headed into regression…Thin IS in…stop trying to burst my long held belief system Between2Marys…

Sneaking my cache of mind numbing, soul destroying items past my nephew, and into my bedroom/writer’s haven/den of iniquity, turned me into James Bond. Crouched low, items tucked under my arm, I slunk out of the kitchen, swivelling my neck quickly to the left and then to the right being certain the coast was clear. Once a clear path was ascertained, I skulked down the hall and quietly shut my door. Chocolate and wine on my bedside table… JLo smiling up at me… I was set. I sighed with the knowledge that the next hour would be full of the magic of escapism at its finest.

Post Escapism Reckonings

Fresh off my sugar high and a little bit tipsy, but fully informed on JLo, I wondered why  I was afraid to debunk the ‘thin is power’ myth. Perhaps it was the rising fear I felt, knowing I would have to weather the discomfort of the void that is always created between letting go of a decades held cultural ‘truism’ and the formation of a new belief system…one that arises from within me, the newly awakening zaftig woman! Just like the anxiety that engulfs one’s stomach, when stepping from a train, over the emptiness of the dark rails beneath the platform, to solid, new ground, we all fear this gap. What if I loose my step and slip into the void, never to see the light of day!(translation: end up in an all white padded room receiving shock therapy)

The Void between the Known and Unknown

The Void between the Known and Unknown

 I’ve been here before. Most recently in letting go of my marriage. I felt intense fear when I walked away. What I had was not fulfilling, but it was better than absolute nothing…my fear of being alone was so palpable that I vacillated on making the decision for years. Personal growth never stops, and facing the void between the old and the new is still scary, but I have done this enough times now to have absolute faith that there ALWAYS is a safe platform on which to land. 

Confessions of a Nag Hag 

I wanted to believe that in being thin I would be in control. Controlling my body guaranteed control of my life. In being thin, the epitome of society’s muse, I would be so alluring to men, that I would be in control in the relationship, ensuring I would not be hurt. I think people attempt control of everyone and everything, not out of evil, but due to fear…fear of the unexpected…the unknown. In the rigidity that ensues from attempts at control, I assumed I would avoid being hurt, disappointed or betrayed. Intellectually I know this is not true…control of anything and anyone is an illusion…I can work towards fulfilling an intention, but outcome is determined by a myriad of variables. Trying to control people, including a man who may find me attractive, would be against his natural need to be self-determining, thus creating a dispirited man who responds by:

a)working very long hours

b)never loading the dishwasher adhering to the prescribed(by me)protocol

c)developing intermittent hearing loss ie. whenever I speak

d)surreptitiously glancing at EVERY attractive female…an action known to be my achilles heel

My Theory on Creating a Nag Hag

1.Obsessively, I attempt to elicit attention from my husband, by trying to be what I THINK he desires in a woman. I compulsively ask him how he is feeling…meaning how is he feeling about ME. Under my intense scrutiny of his every movement and emotion, he withdraws in near imperceptible increments(hoping I won’t notice and ‘start up’ my tirade) until our communication is reduced to 4 word texts.

2.His perceptible withdrawal makes me even more bitter and indignant. After all I’ve given him, contorting my mind, body and soul in an effort to please him…he has the nerve to withdraw…making me even more angry, yet determined to try harder to please him.    TaDAH!!  The Uber Nag Hag is born!

My NagHag antics and his withdrawal left us both dispirited. Not only did my body and personality contortions fail to elicit the desired attention from my husband, in the process of being someone externally defined, I undermined my self-confidence, my self-direction, and my self-determination. I will never feel fulfilled until I have the courage to give voice to my own desires, and then allow a man to choose to fulfill them.

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 30 OF 52

CHANGING FROM NAGHAG TO SELF-DETERMINING

I have had fun writing this week’s post. I feel clearer on my part in the dissolution of my marriage. It is so easy to blame the person who ‘acts out’, who breaks the marriage vows, as my husband did, but a marriage is a dynamic, and true healing, for both of us, can only occur when I recognize and acknowledge the part I played. So for Week 30 of 52, I will continue to give voice to my desires, having faith that in this world of abundance, I will find fulfillment!

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