Tuesday, February 07, 2006

SPT {All of Me-1}

Our bodies are incredible messengers. I only wish I practiced listening to mine more often so that I could better interpret its tightness, its strains, its aches, its sniffles. My body has carried a lot of my pain. My body has endured a lot of the blame. Instead of feeling, I have feed. Instead of expressing, I have stuffed. I have used food to deal with the traumas of my life and my body has withstood the neglect and abuse. There have been times in the past when someone stronger and more powerful has robbed me of the ability to control my own body. There was the time I found myself in the swimming pool, frozen in fear, an unfamiliar boy's hands in my bathing suit. There was the time, when I was 17, that my boyfriend penned me down and let his little brother feel me. There were the male "friends" who held me down and used a black magic market to write obscene remarks about me all over my face and arms. There was the boyfriend who couldn't understand that his idea of fun was too rough for my liking. There was the ex-husband who sat on top of me then spit in my face, just because he could. There were all the times I didn't know how to say no. And with each experience I became a little more disconnected, I felt a little more helpless and powerless, I became a little more confused about what it meant to be a woman, and I sensed a lot more loathing for my body. It was easy to use food and weight as a protective shield against unwanted advances. To be beautiful, to be a woman, began to be so easily connected to being taken advantage of.

For some twisted reason I learned to blame myself, my body, instead of the men. On the path to reclaiming my body as my own I have had to remember each and every insult, each and every injury. And I've blamed my body--for being too thin, too sexy, too weak, too fat, too ugly. But no longer. Now I cry. Now I scream. Now I pull away. Now I hold myself in the dark and know I am safe. Now I choose to see my body as a tangible expression of my spirit--my round belly, my soft thighs, my full breasts all represent a spirit that longs for wholeness, fullness.

Last night, as I lay in the dark silence, I took a courageous step forward. I dared to have a conversation with my belly. I dared to ask my belly what she wanted me to know. Then, I lay in the perfect stillness listening for its answer. "I've carried your grief all your life." How does one respond to that kind of revelation? You let the tears dance down your cheeks. You wrap yourself in the long awaited forgiveness. You cradle the softness of your belly, treating it a little more gently, a little more respectfully, because you recognize it for what it is--a lifetime of stories. And you choose to love.

Our amazing bodies. Sometimes we sell them short.


Blogger Misty Mawn said...

Your honesty is haunting! I don't know how you do it...you are like a waterfall on a perfect summers day falling so gracefully over the edge hitting bottom and keep on flowing so beautifully and full of grace!

I feel so sad thinking of you having to go through all of these horrible things...I send healing warm hugs to you!

4:56 PM  
Blogger lovegreendog said...

this post is beautiful and brave.thank you so much.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous beansprout said...

Absolutely courageous and beautiful. And I can so relate to the denial of wanting to own my woman's body. I've starved. I've stuffed. I've cut. I've loathed. All because somewhere I know that the body can handle the pain much easier than the heart can. Remarkable. Thanks so much for sharing. Sending truck loads (mac not tonka) of healing energy to you and all of us that need to embrace of beauty and fullness.

6:04 PM  
Blogger *aimee* said...

Thank you for sharing your horrific truth and in doing so, strengthening the body of another soul. I weep for the devastating abuse your body has endured and cheer on its [your] ability reclaim your value and beauty. May God bless you and the affect your reality will have on those who read it.

6:12 PM  
Blogger ESB said...

omg--intense, and brave. i am so very sorry you had to experience all of those horrible things....it sounds like you're much more well-armed now, though.

6:21 PM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

Wow Michelle. It's amazing to read these stories of women today in these SPT's and see them for the side that we don't always see. Even though this theme is very hard, I'm loving it.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Michelle Fry said...

You have been through a lot and I admire how you always push towards loving yourself more. That's what it's all about.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

Wonderful post.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Alexandra S said...

I am so moved by what you have shared, and know that you will never again go through that type of abuse because weaving throughout this post is also such quiet strength and knowledge that none of those actions of others were justified and never could be. My heart sank reading what you have endured and it reminded me too that too many of us are such survivors. 1 in 4? Thank you dearly for having the courage to share here tonight.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Deb R said...

Oh my, Michelle, you went ahead and jumped in the deep end right from week one with this theme and created a post that's haunting. I'm proud of you! {{{Michelle}}}

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:37 PM  
Blogger tara dawn said...

I admire the courage and strength of your words. As women, I think many of us are taught that we ARE our bodies. The pain or grief connected with them becomes an integral piece of ourselves. They serve as our protection, our vulnerability, and our comfort if we let them.
I cannot express to you how much I respect you for the willingness to bare your naked soul through your writing. Despite all of our body issues, it is often far more difficult to bare our naked souls than to bare our naked bodies.
Our bodies are amazing...thank you for this reminder. You have encouraged me to explore my own body-mind-soul connection a little deeper.
Sending my love,

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Kitty Kitty Peacock said...

I've lived so much of your experience. God bless you. You're right, often times, we do sell our bodies short.

9:02 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

oh michelle. i am crying...this is beautiful. thank you for being brave and sharing all of this. you are amazing my friend, amazing. thank you for this inspiration to honor my own body.

9:34 PM  
Blogger --erica said...

such incredible honesty.
thank you.

10:31 PM  
Blogger telfair said...

Michelle, this is a tremendous post -- so powerful, and yet so full of dignity, and wisdom, and understanding.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

How lucky we are to have you sharing your story with us. Your naked truth gives a shortcut to those who think there is no hope and live in denial of their beauty!
Blessed are you to be the one to raise a boy...how different he will be compared to the shameful men who have abused you. Your son will have the gift of your love to give and only tender kisses to write on others bodies!

10:52 PM  
Blogger justine said...

Michelle, your words go right to the core. I am so glad I found your blog, I think you are fantastic : )

12:52 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...


so many truths
and moments we all recognize...


2:54 AM  
Anonymous Tickled Pink said...

As Oprah says, the truth will set you free. I am moved by your honesty and bravery.

3:48 AM  
Blogger mayseek life said...

i truely appreciate your energy and the voice that emerges from all your experiences...

5:19 AM  
Blogger bella said...

I am so sorry for all of the hurt you have endured in your life. you're doing an amazing job healing yourself. We all know it doesn't happen overnight, but, keep writing... that seems to be a good source of release for you. You are a very strong and beautiful woman and I'm so glad to have come in contact with you. You're words and your truth are inspiring.

5:20 AM  
Blogger kelly said...

amen sista! i think my belly would tell me the same thing!
what an amazingly honest witness.

you are such a blessing

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

Beautiful words. Brave words.

Words of truth I have yet to embrace.

6:14 AM  
Blogger Josephine said...

This writing is so eloquent and honest that I am in disbelief!

Your self-expression is stunning, but what is even more beautiful is the person - the woman - that you reveal.

You are the kind of generous that changes lives.

Thank you, Michelle ~ Josephine

7:52 AM  
Blogger Frankie said...

And the tears fall as your words reflect so much of me. You are so brave and honest and beautiful, Michelle. Sometimes when I'm feeling sad or afraid or full of self doubt, I think of you and am constantly reminded of your unrelentless ability to be YOU and to love YOU for all that you are. You inspire me. You give me hope. You make those uneasy days bearable. Thank you so, so, so much dear friend, for all that you've given me. You are truly a gift.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Yolie said...

you are brave and beautiful and I am lucky to get to come here and read your words and peek into a sweet and well lived life.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Refreshing truth, so many of us woman are afraid to say outloud some of our hurts. Thanks for always being real and encouraging us to do the same.

9:10 AM  
Blogger megg said...

What can I say that hasn't been said by so many women already. It breaks my heart that you have had to feel like this and that so many of us can relate. What have we all done to deserve feeling THIS disconnected and painful? I am so proud of you and thankful to you for voicing what you did here. You are an amazing woman.

9:43 AM  
Blogger LiteraryGirl said...

Really like this post...made me think about our bodies and all the stories they tell about our lives...

10:31 AM  
Blogger Living Part Deux said...

It is one thing to face your own truth; it is another whole enormous sacrifice to lay yourself open before the world and share your pain. But the acknowledgement of your pain can bring such freedom to so many. You are an amazing woman. I grieve for what you have endured, and I honor you for who you have become. I'm blessed to know you.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

"Now I choose to see my body as a tangible expression of my spirit--my round belly, my stoft thighs, my full breasts all represent a spirit that longs for wholeness, fullness."

and to "...recognize it for what it is--a lifetime of stories."

THANK YOU for those words.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Dina said...

Beautiful, cathartic...thank you.

11:38 AM  
Blogger christina said...

This post was amazingly brave--you've taken so many steps forward, even just in the writing of it--and have allowed others to also. You are beautiful.

11:57 AM  
Blogger brandie said...

such a wonderfully brave post...thank you so much for sharing your story! found myself nodding a lot! what we do to our bodies!

4:28 PM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

You have called so many of us to nod, to affirm, to witness, to share here. Thank you for your courage, for your opening the story to us, for your trust, and for your inspiration in choosing to listen and respond to your body's messages.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Yummyteece said...

tears running down my cheeks now. Thank you for your beautiful beautiful honesty. WOW.... so raw and powerful.

5:13 PM  
Blogger dani said...

What can I say after reading this? What can I do to show you how much I'm in awe?

I am far less eloquent than you my dear so all I want to say right now is:

You're a real life heroine!!!!!

8:14 PM  
Blogger madness rivera said...

Gorgeous, Michelle.

It's so hard to pick our own selves up, flip the power, wrestle out from under that which oppresses us. I know how hard it is, and in a circle of support -- your bloggirlfriends, your family, your son, your man -- we share our strength, and help pick each other up. Wonderful and empowering entry.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Dominique said...

Michelle - you are so beautiful and brave. I so relate to this and the wisdom you end with is so, so healing.

9:22 AM  
Blogger AscenderRisesAbove said...

Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous nikol said...

I hear your 'NO'!!! no more... not in my body, i'm not taking your shit in, not carrying your sins around any more... i love your body and your life and your spirit and your passion adn your healing and your NO!!!

Beautiful, Beautiful woman, i am honored to call you friend....

4:20 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

This is so moving, thank you, thank you, thank you a hundred times.


10:18 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

brave and honest and gorgeous, michelle. thank you so very much for sharing this.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

i wish we could time-travel, and go back and kick the asses of the people that hurt you. all of us "bloggirlfriends" as madness so eloquently put it.
it angers me that you had to go through these experiences.
i am glad you are embracing your wonderfulness now...glad you are nurturing yourself.
you deserve it.
i visualize such strength in you from reading your posts. you are an amazing woman.
thank you for inspiring goodness and rockin'-out'ness!

4:03 PM  
Blogger yaya said...

Did you see the episode of Oprah where the visiting psychologist said it ws time for girls/women to stop men treating their bodies like trashcans?? This is so it. Let's start a revolution - no more boys trash in or out or around my body - you are an incredibly brave woman. Thank you....

5:13 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

thank you for sharing. you have touched me.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Boy, can I relate to this post...not because our bodies are so similar, but because of the feelings you've expressed here so courageously. Within the last hour I was sitting in bed in my sweats thinking how absolutely out of touch with my body I've been these past few months. Those five years in the tropics when I lived in tank tops and shorts and flip-flops and bikinis and bare feet...and strolled barefoot in sand and surf and swam in the warm bay and slept in the nude under a ceiling fan...they seem like a whole lifetime ago. My first winter back Stateside has me bundled and layered and detached from my physical self...like my body is just something to cart around my head...where I seem to be spending all of my time. Jeez...maybe I need to explore this...

8:08 PM  

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