05 July 2010

The Break Up

Today I am breaking up with my body image disorder (aka BID).
We have been together since I was eight years old. At the time, I didn't know that it was an inappropriate relationship. I was young and just did whatever it said, wanting so much to be liked. We continued on and off into my teens, 20s and 30s. Because there was so much going on during those years, I never considered the possibility of a long term relationship. But as I crested my 40s I realized that it has been the only relationship that has lasted. It's been there for me no matter what, through thick and thin (literally and figuratively.)
Now though, as I head towards 50 I want a life of my own-whatever that may be. I'm telling BID that our relationship is standing in the way of my happiness. It's not that there weren't good times, but the bad have always out-weighed the good and we really have to stop.
I know that it will be hard. Waking up alone in the morning, without BID's seductive commentary will seem like a wasteland. But I know that the void it will create in my brain can be filled with compassion in action and generosity towards others. I have so many plans and ideas, I just can't justify the energy to keep the relationship going. I want to enjoy food, not give in to what I now realize is the self-centered guilty pleasure of obsession. I want to enjoy a glass of wine or a cigarette for what they are, not for what they are covering up.
I know that I will slip. BID will entice me when I am weak. But just as I would tell any of my girlfriends if they gave in to the temptations of a controlling and abusive relationship, it does not mean we are back together.
Wish me luck.

35 comments:

Herbatka said...

Good luck - it won't be an easy split up, but I'm sure you can do it.

PS: "Enjoying cigarettes for what they are"? I mean, really? ;-)

Foodycat said...

Good luck!

How does this happen? When I look at your body I am filled with awe and admiration for its beauty and power and the extraordinary control you have over it. Your flutters amaze me! And yet your head has told your body that it isn't awesome and beautiful? That is a tragedy. As with any abusive relationship, it is always wonderful when you hear about someone finding the strength to get out!

kathleenCrowleyCostumeCouture said...

That was so well said! Thank you! Im breaking up TODAY!!!!!!
XXX

Pica Maloria said...

Luck and love kicking that ol' ball and chain to the curb.

Ottavina said...

I understand totally. Good luck!

wildflowr said...

I am going on an airplane tomorrow... can't find a good book... wishing yours was in print already! ;)

wildflowr said...

Through thick and thin (literally & figuratively) that's classic!
*sigh*

Nancy Young said...

What form has your BID taken? "I'm fat"? "I'm flat-chested"?
What startles me is that you have posted this after more than two decades of ATS. How has your BID survived the woman-celebrating, anti-Hugh Hefner marvel that is American Tribal Style belly dance?
I'm 60 years old, 25 pounds overweight, flat-chested, wide-hipped, etc., etc. Yet I feel the beauty of my womanhood more deeply now than I ever have, thanks in large part to ATS. This is not just PC claptrap. With this dance, we make art out of who we are, here, now.
For Pete's sake, woman, don't you know yet how gloriously, uniquely beautiful you are?

Carolena Nericcio said...

BID tells me I am fat. 36 years of standing in front of a mirror/audience saying "look at my belly" will eventually take it's toll.

E. A. Wachs said...

Hope all goes well. Bright Blessings :)

Cybelle said...

Good luck!

I have been trying to break up with my own BID for many years. Discovering this artform that is belly dance is a huge step. Now it's to climb over the other walls.

You always inspire me, so hopefully this will be the nudge I need. :)

Ziva said...

I feel like I want to make a similar comment on heaps of your blog entries: you are so inspiring!

In Aotearoa/New Zealand we say "kia kaha", it encompasses "be strong" and "good luck".

Leslie said...

Oh Miss C... I am sending you a huge amount of love and good energy. You will beat this, even if it creeps back in here and there... you will beat it and become stronger than it. I know it.

oxox

zilly girl said...

When I attended my first belly dance class, I was covered neck to knees in uninteresting work out wear. Little by little I wore less, added more colors, more jewelry, and started exposing more of my inner and outer self. That last layer of fabric seems to be the most difficult to strip away--the fabric of society--trying to tell us that we are too fat or too old or too something. I salute your courage!

Carolena Nericcio said...

Zilly Girl,
For me it was the opposite. I started dancing when I was 14, with a child body/mind. I wasn't aware of what I was displaying. But as I've grown with the dance, I am very conscious of the viewing of my adult body. As I said in an earlier post, 36 years of staring at my exposed belly in the mirror has really put me on edge.
Now, for everyone;
I think this topic is deeper than this blog needs to get, so I've decided to create a new blog, just for this topic. Look for it in a couple of days and please continue the discussion. As much as I procrastinate about writing "The Whole Book", this chapter is ready to fly off my fingertips. It won't be for the faint of heart, but if it resonates for you, I think we will build a thoughtful chapter.

Elizabeth said...

Carolena! Congratulations! You are beautiful I love you just the way you are! It is so difficult to see ourselves as beautiful in this crazy youth oriented culture we live in and I applaud you for breaking up with the negativity! xoxo

paula grace said...

I have struggled all my life with self image. As a teen I was flat chested and skinny as a rail. Now that I am older I am having to watch my diet and exercise to maintain the weight I have been gaining. I have a horrible fear of having a huge belly like my grandmother. But I finally realized that I was really having trouble with my internal image. I had carried so much anger from my childhood that I started living those fears. Those images I carried were projections from the people that were around me. I was carrying their fears and their judgements as my own. I was even angry at being a woman. It was belly dancing that showed me the strength and power that a woman has through her softness and gentleness and grace. I am getting more comfortable now with the woman that I am. I now feel the beauty and flow of graceful energy that the music fills in me when I dance through the remainder of this life. I am creating the woman that I was meant to be. I am thankful for what belly dancing has done for me. For now I know ... I AM BEAUTIFUL.

Cybelle said...

Looking forward to the new blog, Carolena :)

Callisto said...

Oh wow. I really want to read that book.

And adding to previous comments, I don't think I've ever seen anyone so profoundly mesmerizing as you.

zina.dance said...

I love this blog; BID is a hard habit to break. BTW, when I saw you in person I was totally amazed at how tiny you are!

zina.dance said...

I'm sure you will triumph over this adversary!

Christy said...

I've read this three times in a row, and it strikes me that the crisis of self-confidence caused by BIDs exists in the hearts of all women to some degree. The irony is that we are social creatures and must learn from society in order to live within it, but taking the judgments or ideals of others is like taking that contract too far. And because body image expectations can be so prevalent and unconsiously transmitted, it's difficult to first identify that 'BID' in your life and second, to realize and cherish your own beauty. Like imagining replacing your BID with an ideal partner?

Thank you for sharing your path-- I hope this support makes it easier to travel.

Katherine said...

I know what it feels like to break up with yourself. it is hard to realize that you can keep you from your dreams. divorcing myself is causing healing in many areas of my life, my marriage, my heart, and self esteem. if am to understand that I am beautifully and fearfully made by my creator and to see my self through my husband's, my dogs', and cats'.eyes then who am I to think I am anything less them I am meant to be.

just call me marie

Katherine said...

just call me marie

if i learn how to love myself with my Creator's help and understand that I am beautiful through his eyes then I will when the war with myself. I have recently gotten a divorce with the evil twin I call me. Now I can heal, my heart will heal, my marriage, and my body (we are what we think), then I can be everything I am meant to be.

DragonFly24 said...

I, too, struggle daily with a very critical voice. It's hard not to listen. She has my best interests at heart and she's such a drama queen. (I get your comment about enjoying cigarettes. It's how I quit, ironically.) I really resonate with what you are saying here. Christy's comments also ring pure.

May you find peace and quiet and joy and boisterousness in your new space.

Namaste.

nierika78 said...

Paula Grace, that was so beautiful! It really resonates with my own story and what bellydance did for me and my body image/womanhood.

Joanna Ashleigh said...

If you're interested I nominated your blog. If not just ignore or delete. Blessings, Joanna

http://joannaashleigh.blogspot.com/2010/09/versatile-blogger.html

Carolena Nericcio said...

Thanks Joanna! I enjoyed your blog as well.

Stefanie said...

Hello Carolena, like Joanna, I also nominated your blog. You are truly a fascinating woman and I hope you know how much we all appreciate you :)
Take care,
Stefanie.

Carolena Nericcio said...

Thanks Stephanie, it means a lot.

Margaret said...

Never fails to amaze me how our culture fills our heads full of garbage. After 36 years of putting all that focus on your belly, I'm kind of shocked you aren't saying, "Isn't it fabulous?"

Carolena Nericcio said...

Margaret,
I know. This is what I'm working through. *I* know that my belly *is* fabulous, but BID is a running commentary. It's like 'hearing voices' and is quite maddening at times.
I need your support, please wish me luck

Elizabeth said...

Isn't it funny how what we see is so often times not how other perceive us. Good luck in your journey.
Beth

Laura said...

The Dancing Goddess is always with you bestowing her blessings!

Love to you!

Francesca said...

Over a year since it's origninal posting, but it seems like Kismet to me as the discussion of plastic surgery reared its head again in my life. I am new to belly dance and just saw you a month ago in Oakland; never seeing anything more beautiful in my life.
Smoke your cigarette and drink you wine as I do to practice my body wave. Thank you.