Recently I attended a presentation, and something was said that really struck a chord for me, it was the idea that many people around the world believe that abuse is in no way acceptable, but put up four walls around them and it’s perfectly fine to yell, hit, scream and do things they would NEVER do in public, because – well, the walls make ‘all the difference’.
Before you start thinking that this is a story about domestic abuse, or even a confession – it isn’t, but that cannot be completely dismissed, as I certainly have been the perpetrator of abuse, but in what is seen so ‘normal’ as society that you wouldn’t actually believe it is called that.
My four walls are slightly different to the ones talked about in the presentation – the threshold for my abuse is not a house, or any building for that matter – it is my body. Self-abuse, self-loathing and personal hatred are common within my walls, and the thing that makes it sinister is that no one ever knows the level of abuse that goes on between me, my body and I.
Until now I always thought that:
· Inside these walls I can call myself every name in the book and it will have no affect on me or others
· Inside these walls raising my voice and yelling is fine
· Inside these walls having arguments and fights for hours and hours is acceptable
· Inside these walls I can criticize everything I do and say
· Inside these walls I can treat myself differently to others
As you can probably imagine, this way of life has had quite a devastating affect on my body. Self-care hasn’t been a part of my life for a long, long time – and the way I move day to day is quite harsh and inconsiderate of myself. I bang into a lot of things, am always hitting the edges of tables and am constantly overriding the pain this causes me. There are a lot of much smaller ways in which I do this too, be it going to bed late even after a 10-12 hour day, overeating and rushing to and from places.
Thing is – I know a way to live that is the opposite, one that honours my body (and the fact I’m a woman!), and doesn’t leave me hating myself and body or in pain… But I don’t choose to live that way. Why? In my mind, ‘I’m not worth it’. It’s a cycle – make very uncaring choices, get angry at the way my body looks and feels (I’m not overweight or anything – yet I still convince myself I’m fat), self-loathe, feel bad so want to make better choices, but question my worth because of how awfully I’ve treated myself previously.
In other words – I make things very hard for myself.
Although, after attending this presentation, I was inspired to change, or at least give it a try. All the things people have taught me about looking after myself I am working on putting into action. My steps forward from here, is to start thinking that:
· Inside these walls there will be NO yelling, screaming, arguments or petty criticism
· Inside these walls I am 100% accountable for any names or offensive language I use towards myself
· Inside these walls is a beautiful young woman who does not deserve abuse from anyone
· Inside these walls is no different to outside these walls
… And really, there is no such thing as ‘these walls’. I should be the exact same gorgeous, funny and joyful young woman that I know myself to be with EVERYONE, in EVERY situation and EVERY moment. That would make a huge change in my life, and I intend on following through with it!
All of the blogs on From Our Eyes have been written by young people. They are about the kind of issues and problems teenagers face on a constant basis, as well as worldwide epidemics that not only youth, but EVERYONE experiences day to day.