Welcome to After Silence - A message board and chat room for rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse survivors.
|Welcome to After Silence, a message board and chat room designed to help survivors communicate in the recovery of rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, and all types of sexual violence.
After Silence has over 30 different forums, ranging from topics created to discuss specific areas of healing and recovery from rape and sexual violence, as well as forums open to general discussions and lighter topics. Because we value the privacy of our members, most of our forums are private, which means that ONLY REGISTERED members have access to them. Please register for a free account to gain full access to the After Silence Online Support Group.
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us at email@example.com
Loving Our Bodies, Loving Ourselves
Posted 02 October 2005 - 06:27 PM
I felt the need to start this thread because I have horrible self-image. I suffer from an eating disorder and my mother's body issues have influenced this heavily. Being of average build, and also being a ballet dancer, my body has been under constant scrutiny. I want more than anything to love my body. I want to feel comfortable in a bathing suit and more importantly I want to feel comfortable enough around my husband to be naked and allow him to touch me without feeling horribly self conscious. I generally don't feel attractive at all and I want to feel beautiful.
I started this thread to share our positive ideas about how to love our bodies and love ourselves. Part of this was inspired by my friend, Michelle (violets8) who has always given me and the members here great advice about how to love yourself, I am inspired by her.
Some things I have tried:
~ Looking at myself in the mirror naked and finding at least one good thing about it
~ Reminding myself that my body is amazing, it has done so much for me and healed me when I needed it
~ Treating myself to healthy comforting things such as massage, a relaxing facial mask, or just a cup of green tea
~ Putting a nice lotion all over the body after a shower, unbelieveable how luxurious this feels - makes you feel lovely!
What are yours?
Posted 03 October 2005 - 03:45 AM
I have recently made the decision to love myself more...
I know I have huge issues around this, and so I've decided to work 'from the outside in'. It was all triggered on my return from France and the thought that I didn't want to let my tan fade! So I decided that no matter what, I would use body lotion every day. And you know what I realised? I have so many unused bottles of body lotion and oils, some of which were presents and are of very good quality, but I just hadn't been using them. I guess it's so easy to think "I'll use that on a special occasion". Yet in truth, every day should be a special occasion. And it feels great! My skin is looking better than it has in years, and yesterday a guy I met was absolutely astounded when I told him my age. The best bit though, is when I rub body lotion into my old SI scars. Nurturing that part of me - the part that was so hurt and sore - is an unbelievable feeling.
I've also been trying to exercise more. I run around a lot as it is, am out with my boys all the time, and of course have my yoga. But I've added some jogging into the mix. This often seems like such a chore, but I'm reminded of when I gave up smoking - telling myself that I was giving myself something, rather than taking something away. Eventually I would like to run the London Marathon, and to do it for a survivor charity. That would be such an empowering way to feel good about myself!
Additionally, I think something is shifting within me. I've noticed it more and more the closer I get to thirty (only three months away now!) It's a sense of being much more settled with myself, and is hard to describe. I'm pretty tall - 5'10", and for years it slayed me that I would hear shorter people talk about their weight, and know that I was heavier than them. But I'm getting to the point now where I recognise that for me, their weight would be unhealthy. I am within the BMI 'normal' zone, and while I could do with losing a few pounds (15-20 maximum), I am not going to kill myself to get there.
Before I went away to France I bought myself a cheap and cheeky little black sundress to throw over my tankini. It's the kind of thing I would usually steer clear of, as it has fine spaghetti straps and is relatively short. But you know, I wore that sundress more than anything while I was away, and I'm still wearing it over jeans now that I'm back. And you know, I actually felt sexy in it.
Anyway, I have rambled on quite long enough! Which is all a bit cheeky as right now I am sitting in my baggy old (albeit Egyptian Cotton ) PJs!
P.S. Nicole, Green Tea is the absolute best 'feel good about yourself' hit, isn't it?!
Posted 03 October 2005 - 08:23 AM
One of the things that I do do for myself is long bubble baths. When I am feeling particularly sad or anxious, a bubble bath really helps me. It gives me time alone to think and to clear my head. And this is a shameless plug, too, for Lindy's soaps, her oatmeal soap and orange creamsicle soap is something I've been treating myself to, lately. The oatmeal soap makes my skin incredibly soft.
Other things I do for myself (sometimes) is going for a walk or a jog. Being outside and breathing the fresh air is always uplifting to me. I find a strange comfort in the rhythmic sound of my own footsteps when I'm jogging, and breathing in time to them and counting.
Also I find lighting candles and listening to music very soothing as well. I don't do that as often as I want to, but it is soothing to me.
Something else that I do, that maybe isn't altogether healthy, is I change my sheets every day. I love the smell of clean sheets and it is just very comforting to me to know that they are clean and that my bed is clean when I climb into it at night. It's probably a little on the obsessive-compulsive side, but it comforts me.
Great idea for a thread. I look forward to reading everyone else's ideas.
Edited by August, 03 October 2005 - 08:26 AM.
Posted 03 October 2005 - 09:48 AM
Posted 03 October 2005 - 10:24 AM
I go for a run! I never in all my wildest dreams think I would enjoy running. I used to hate in high school when I had to do it for sports. But over the last 3-4 years it has helped me to burn off negative energy that builds during the day and allows me to clear my head. It also has helped me to keep in fairly decent shape, which I think is very important for my body.
I get lost in a good book! Sometimes reading a good fictional book allows me to escape the chaos of my own world and enter somewhere else.
Getting a massage. I don't think I need to explain that as it totally speaks for itself if you have ever had one. I only wish I could afford one weekly!
I take some "me" time.
Excellent thread, Nicole!
Edited by Iron Butterfly, 03 October 2005 - 10:25 AM.
Posted 04 October 2005 - 03:05 AM
Self-esteem/image has been an absolute killer for me in the past. I was heavily involved in sport as a child, dancing, track and field, basketball etc but because i suffered CSA i was always forced to look negatively at my body, because of the man who abused it, and who deliberately picked me because i was smaller than everyone else. What that caused me to do was drop out of physical activity as I progressed thru teenage years, and become largely in active and as a result, overweight. In my mind, i was making myself bigger (it only turns out that i was gaining weight, not muscle or height) and stronger to fight him off, or gaining enough weight to be "unnattractive" to any man who may have wanted to hurt me. I am only just losing the weight i gained now, and due to working out, i've gained a fair chunk of muscle. I guess what i'm trying to say is that, i have poor self- image, or i have had but i'm working on it.
Another thing I am just wanting to think about (although slightly ot) is how much of our body image, as women, is governed by what we see, hear, read , purchase. the media is the most powerful way of making women feel sh*thouse about themselves, the beauty industry thrives on poor self esteem and sees consumption of certain "beauty" products as a way of rectifying supposed "flaws" in our appearance. It may not apply to every single woman, but i know many women feel inadequate due to what they read and see on tv. and it's about time we began to reject those images.
that turned slightly ranty, but it is linked up with self image and self esteem in several ways.
Posted 04 October 2005 - 03:34 AM
I've started to give myself regular breast checks. This is something I hated the thought of a year ago. I couldn't bear to touch them. But now it is so good to know that I am looking after myself that way.
P.S. And I'm with you on the lipgloss Nicole
Posted 04 October 2005 - 07:01 AM
Oh yes! I couldn't agree with you more. When I was younger I used to read fashion magazines like Cosmo and such. Now I refuse and I purchased a copy of SELF magazine at the airport on my trip home from SOAR SPA. Of course much of that was because there will be an article in SELF about SOAR SPA, but I wanted to see what the magazine was like. It is a much nicer magazine than those trashy rags like Cosmo. I think a real magazine like SELF is a healthy alternative to traditional magazines if you are one inclined to read magazines. I don't much have time.
I also throw out Victoria's Secret catalogs and stick with Newport News. The models are still skinny, but at least they are not marketing their catalogs towards men like VS.
Posted 04 October 2005 - 02:35 PM
Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:27 PM
I love high count cotton sheets
a nice glass of wine
I get a massage every other Friday it is a hour of pure heaven
I touch myself alot....I mean I pet myself...I rub my shoulders and neck I massage my hands and feet ect.
painting my fingernails and toenails..........Michelle
Posted 05 October 2005 - 10:11 AM
Posted 12 October 2005 - 12:23 PM
Comfort clothes are fab! They just make your body happy!
Another plug for Lindy's soaps, because this thread inspired me to buy the oatmeal. Because it was a special soap and not just a bar of Dial or something, I really took my time and lathered up and let the oatmeal gently exfoliate. It was lovely, and I felt better all night after that shower
Posted 22 November 2005 - 03:44 PM
Thank you for bringing this up. I too have a very poor self image of myself. As I'm sure you clearly saw in both our trips together. I cried histerically when I thought you didn't like my ideas and all the while I'm thinking "Oh God I'm so ugly, that's making it worse!" It's like emotionally and physically they go hand in hand.
I found that by telling myself each day that I am a good person and that I am smart and bright even if it's just saying it in my head helps me accept who I am on the outside more. I didn't used to love my body in fact I was constantly finding something wrong with myself. Once I began loving the person inside I began to love the person who exsisted on the outside. I think that's how I got through some of the poor self image.
I still struggle a lot with my image, whether it's how I am on the inside or the outside, I may always struggle I don't know. But I know now I will never ignore my inner voice when she tells me I'm phenominal just the way I am ;)
Posted 16 January 2007 - 11:31 AM
Here is one thing I have been doing a lot lately that I really enjoy and makes me feel happy and healthy - going for walks! Of course I live in the Caribbean, so I realize not everyone can walk this time ofyear outdoors without freezing, but I live close to a few little grocery stores, so if I need coffee or something, I walk instead of driving. The fresh air feels great, and of course the view of the water I have is amazing! Makes me feel good to be alive.