"Body shame is not reserved for our weight or shape." BRB p. 441
As children, many of us were cruelly mocked by our families for how we looked. Fodder for jokes were our facial features, body parts, voice, hair, nails, ears, teeth, ethnicity and more.
In order to survive, many of us acted as though this didn't bother us. But secretly we hung our heads in shame. To find a way to fit in, we ate differently, wore bangs, covered our ears, washed our faces relentlessly, and wore clothing to cover up the parts they laughed at. But it usually didn't work - shame and abandonment were the bookends for each day. We lost everything when they abandoned us, because it taught us to abandon ourselves. Our bodies were just another part of ourselves that didn't belong to us.
During the recovery process, we begin to see brief glimpses of our True Selves at meetings as we hear ourselves in others' stories. We finally start to feel acceptance, one hug at a time. Reading the ACA literature confirms that we aren't crazy. Our childhoods may have been stolen, but we survived, somehow. It is with that survivor strength that we doggedly work our program. Gradually, as we look at ourselves, we start to do the most important thing imaginable: we accept our own appearance.
On this day I will look at my whole self in the mirror, smile, and say, "I love every part of you. I am proud of how hard you are working to break the cycle of shame."
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of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families
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