Titty Talk Take 6: Dear Body

9/3/2001

Dear Body,

I felt fat for the first time today. My pinky toes look like little sausages. I don’t want to look like the Sausage Girl at school. I want to look like the White girls in my class, I think boys will like me then. I usually avoid the sun and always stand in the shade so I don’t get darker, but I still look Black. Paler, thin, no arm hair, no stretchies on my arms and no sausage fingers/toes. Then I’ll be pretty and William will like me back. My mom says I shouldn’t gain any more weight so as I grow taller I’ll be thin for once.

Maybe the weight will make my boobies shrink again. I didn’t have to wear a bra last year and now I’m a C cup and don’t understand why. I don’t understand why Mom says I’m looking for attention. Or that you need to change.

Do you want to change?

Love, me.

9/3/2018

Dear Body,

I’ve wanted to talk to you for years, but had no idea what to say.

I often pause and think about what we used to look like, and used to be capable of. From when our frame was smaller, before having an eating disorder and life just seemed so much… easier. Everyone treated and approached us differently- bus drivers, doctors, friends, family, people in line for takeout, random dudes on the streets. With the external validation, it was easier to hide my mental health and focus solely on outside presentation. Our presentation and performance used to be top notch and I’ve let that go. It feels like I’m slacking in the way I present you to the world, in how I protect you from the judgmental and harsh eyes of outsiders.

I also think about what we used to look like, because people assume it’s a woman’s body not an agender/ trans nonbinary body. The catcalls confirm that. So do the expectations that you will be of service to them and their pleasure. At the same time, it makes me think you’re protecting me by having folks assume we’re woman. I can only imagine what the physical attacks would look like if I looked more “nonbinary” or “androgynous.” It’s a mindfuck sometimes holding both of those things.

I also want to apologize. For the times I didn’t hold you with care, which seem to be more and more often. The only daily mantra I can manage to repeat is how ugly we’ve become, how the number on the scale inches up. Mayhaps you’re sending me a message? The random back cramps and knees creaking when I stand up. Do I need to change the physical person in order to change the mental? I thought that mental came first, but sometimes I wonder if you’re trying to tell me otherwise. Or maybe at the same time, though that feels daunting?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

7/30/2019

Dear Body,

I want to apologize for how I talk about you. You’re always around and here I am talking shit. Attacking you. I thought if I attacked you first, it would sting a little less when someone else did, but I’ve learned and am still learning that’s not the case. I’m attacking you every time I pinch my thighs or arm fat, every time I repeat what La Maldita used to say about my “hamhock thighs,” every time I lift a breast up and wonder how much more beautiful I would be if they were perkier and not as heavy. I would ponder this as if it’s an absolute, already deciding that would make me prettier. Looking at my hair as depression swallowed me, wondering why our type 4B/C isn’t a looser curl and easier to detangle and manage. I could barely manage to stand up, much less shower or comb through a mane of knots. I frequently label you as unpretty- automatically- and expect you to hold that without further conversation.

I’ve been shaming you. Shaming you for not looking and moving differently. For being in pain when trying to squat or walk upstairs or even just existing. I’ve been shaming you for not being the same vessel for outside validation that you were at 20 and 21, for not allowing me to feel beautiful without work or interrogation of our memories to figure out how soon after birth I started feeling ugly.

2/15/2020

Dear Body,

Shame is still on my mind. How deeply did I scar you? How much of a lasting impression has this left- shame based on outside expectations that I internalized. I’ve tried to isolate you because of that shame- hide you away and point and jab you into oblivion. Which is impossible- we are literally always together and by trying to isolate you, I was really just isolating me.

I’m not sure what to do. Is there one solution, can I even salvage our relationship? Sure as hell hope so, because we have another 40- 50ish years left together. And that’s a long time to be at war with you. That kinda gives me hope- that there is so much time to make it right but worried about how much time that also gives me to phuck it up again.

What do you need for this relationship to feel like a 2-way and healthy street? You continuing to support me and me supporting and uplifting you? Short, daily bursts of physical exertion (10 min dance party on the reg??)? Water and sunlight? I’ve heard you’re like a plant in that way. Affirmations?

Dear body– what is your love language?

3/31/2020

Dear Body,

What language do you speak? I don’t understand it. We need a translator.

I’ve yelled at you in my mother tongue of shame and guilt, but that form of communication didn’t help. Maybe you need me to speak the language of gratitude. I can try that again today, telling you you’re not a burden. That even when you need to ask for help, you’re not weak. You deserve the care you give to other people.

1/1/2021

Dear Body,

Our body was never really our own. It was something to be viewed. I want to think more about my relationship to you, opposed to something that is just there for consumption. Reflect on the micro-moments and the joy we experienced together. Joy from little things like walking at dusk during the late summer.

I had forgotten for so long that we were in a relationship with each other. I was searching for my soul mate in the arms of repairable men, but you’re my real soul mate. You’ve been living, grieving, and changing with me.

Thank you for your patience. This relationship has been so fragmented, and I was concerned more with how you’re perceived and not how you feel.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

9/11/2021

Dear Body,

Congrats to you on your strength. Your strength in helping me survive today, every day I felt like I couldn’t. Making my brain be a little nicer. Congrats on your tenderness, despite my aggression. You somehow bounce back every time I re-set. I think you’re able to bounce back because you don’t listen to me? You don’t listen to my whispers that we shouldn’t be alive, that we’re unworthy of moving through time and space.

You didn’t listen when I repeatedly inundated you with thoughts about needing to get back to our “before” picture. Different doesn’t have to mean bad. How we show up now is def different, but you knew we were still valid.

You’ve been my hype-person, asking if I’m looking for love or solutions, lifting us up in goodness and care. I just wasn’t ready to receive that communication.

How did you know to focus on the abundance of our being?

Love, me.

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