I’m so sorry. I’m sorry that someone, anyone, made you feel less than powerful, less than beautiful, and less than exactly who you need to be. I know what it’s like to feel powerless, to feel unseen, to feel like if you’re perfect enough then you’ll finally be seen by the person who matters most. I know that feeling of disappointment in yourself when even your screaming cries can’t make him stay. I know that feeling of powerlessness when someone you trust grabs you and uses your body. I know what it’s like to feel like you’ll never feel powerful again, to feel like even your own body will always partly belong to someone else. I’m so sorry if anyone in your life ever made you feel that way too.
I want you to feel happy. I think you want to feel happy too, and I think there was a time when that desire was a strong, bold part of you. There was a world you loved and couldn’t wait to explore more of… which world was it for you? Theater? Chemistry? Engineering? Music? Literature? Social Activism? Something completely different? What was it?
Whatever it is, that’s going to save you. I know because it saved me. I hated myself and my body and I felt so overwhelmed and confused I didn’t know what to do and I felt like I had no clue what I cared about anymore. I was completely lost. I wrote a lot. I tried to remember who I was before the body hatred and constant thoughts of food. I remembered I was a feminist. I remembered how angry I felt when I saw my dad grab my mom. I remember how angry I got when I saw negative portrayals of women in movies, TV, on billboards, anywhere. I remembered how much a part of me that was.
Feminism became the lifesaver I held onto, the reminder that I am a whole person. You are a whole person too. As I held on tighter and stayed on, I saw how strong I really was. I was actually building a part of myself that was really me! My inner feminist and the negative thoughts about my body and food fought a lot. There often wasn’t a clear winner. That’s okay, I was still becoming me.
As my inner feminist got stronger, I could build other parts of myself too. I discovered that I liked bouldering (indoor rock climbing on shorter walls, without harnesses), and editing videos, and writing! I liked interviewing people, especially other women. I pursued all those things, played around with them, began building my life.
For a really long time I thought I would never feel anything as strongly as my desire to lose weight. Nothing would ever feel as satisfying as an empty stomach. But I found so many things that feel so much better. I found satisfaction with no emptiness, just genuine happiness. I found me. I found my life. I hope you find all those things too.