Letters to my body

by MB

Dear body,

I hate the way you speak for me without uttering a word, the things you say from the very fact that you take up space in the world.  I hate you for becoming a woman when you should have still been a girl. Most days I still hate you for being a woman; your very existence provokes constant resentment. I hate how much I cringe when I look at pictures of us back then - how ashamed I am of my inability to control you.

I hate you for the way people looked at us when we were younger, breast buds advancing through tanner stages before most girls even knew those defining characteristics.  I hated the purple speedos we wore in Mexico - the way the elastic dug into the skin on your back - and how we had to pretend no one else could see us.

I hate you for the curiosity you instilled in me about my own body - how I hoarded books on development and adolescence. I am not sure I can forgive you for all of the time I spent trying to prove to myself that I was normal -  that there was nothing wrong with me -  and I hate you for robbing me of that time.

Speaking of time - can you imagine what I might have done with all of the time I  would have had had I not ruminated over the imperfectjons of your flesh, counting the ways in which you were broken?

It's been almost 20 years, yet my heart still sinks when I see a young girl in the stages of early development - paralyzed by my own empathy.

I think it's your fault that I've never been normal about dating or men, fearful of my own desire for sex and love. I hate the way your stomach looks when you're in bed with G, wishing your hipbones took up more space in your body. I hate the part of you that convinced me to fuck a married man because I feared intimacy was too dangerous.  I hated how much I enjoyed fucking him - in his car, on his desk, on my bed at 2pm when we should have been at work. I hate how you let him rub his hands over your ribs as he told me he liked his women "skinny and a little naughty." I will never forgive you for being so selfish, and for perpetuating my fear that sex is wrong and men cannot be trusted. 

I hate you for silencing me when I most needed my voice - for knowing what I needed to say but denying me the courage to speak. 

Body, I hate you for the time you robbed me of. For the days and months and years I spent as an alien in my own skin, convinced the problem with you was my fault.  I hate that you're so good at keeping secrets.

I hate the way you've made me fear words like:

  • puberty
  • development
  • hormones
  • period
  • "becoming a woman"

I hate how needy you are and how you refuse to go away.