The Thorn I Can’t Bare

Recently I put a plea out on Facebook, looking for help.

“I am on a mission and I need someone’s help. I’m looking for a program that teaches how to have a positive body image to teen girls.

I don’t have one myself, so there is no possible way that I can teach this to my daughter.

So I need help. Anyone know of a program, or have any suggestions?”

I think some people may not have understood what I’m looking for.

I’m not looking for leadership skills, or self-worth seminars.

I’m looking for something where my daughter can learn to look in a mirror, and be happy with what she sees.

Yes, I absolutely believe the best thing for her, is to work on this myself. I completely agree.  But the fact of the matter is, I’ve struggled with this since I was in the fourth grade. I haven’t figured it out yet and in the mean time, I’m teaching my daughter what I don’t want her to learn. I don’t know how not to do that, and I don’t want to do that.

I have more confidence in myself now, than I have ever had my entire life. But all I have to do, is look in a mirror, or even worse, see a picture of myself, and I become nothing.

What’s worse than nothing? I become that. It hurts.

I have been in verbally and emotionally abusive relationships, but no one has beat me up more than myself.

It does not matter if I lose weight. In fact, it makes it worse. When I do, and I always do, I start to taunt myself.

– You think you look good, don’t you. Well just wait. Wait a year, maybe two, then let’s see how good you look. Why are you doing this to yourself? You’re a fat girl. You’ll always be a fat girl.

What the hell is wrong with being a fat girl?

Why can’t I be happy with being myself, the shape I am now?

I understand the health risks that come with obesity, really I do. But I can also assure you when I look at a picture of myself, I’m not thinking, “Oh my, you look like a diabetic.”

That’s not what fills my head with dread.

– You’re gross. You’re disgusting. Have you no self-control? How lazy you’ve become.

I stand here and tell my daughter she’s beautiful and she’s not fat. She’s 11. Of course she’s not fat.

But then what? What do I tell her if a day does come that she does start to gain weight?

– You’re not fat. You’re beautiful. I’m not, but you are.

Here I am losing weight, gaining weight, eating, not eating. Crying, not crying.

I don’t want to teach her that, consciously or unconsciously.

God, help me!

Surely, there has got to be an answer out there somewhere.

I’m wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

Beautiful is fleeting. (Proverbs 31:30)

I can totally understand and appreciate that God’s grace is enough. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I have accepted that this is the thorn that is meant to bring me to my knees before God until the day I die. I’m okay with that.

But not for my daughter.

I can’t pass this on to her. Not this.

I am so intentional about teaching her many things, but this I can’t control.

So I’m here, on my knees asking,

God, save my daughter from this. The pain is too great for me. I don’t think I can bare it.