Saturday, 1 June 2013

You Don't See What I See

Yesterday was a beautiful day and as it's half term SD is around this week which means that we are lucky enough to be able to take full advantage of any good weather that comes our way.

We spent the afternoon at West Bay just a short drive along the coast into Dorset it forms a part of the Jurassic coast.

It's a lovely place with a harbour a beach, stunning cliffs and clear blue sea. It also boast some of the best coffee and homemade lemon drizzle cake I've ever tasted.

We got home last night tired and contented and started to look through the photos we'd taken.

SD, as I've mentioned before, tends to take lots of me mostly because I really dislike 90% of any photos with me in them.

SD is convinced that I don't see what other people see.  He will tell me I look beautiful when all I see is that I'm frowning or my hair looks a mess or I imagine the beginnings of cellulite on my thighs ....

I tend to think he's either humouring me or he needs his eyes tested ;-)

But there is a serious side to this.  I know it's not just me.  Almost every other woman I know feels pretty much the same.

In many ways I'm far less self conscious than I used to be.  Last year I wore a bikini for the first time in many years and this year, like last, I'm living in shorts and vest tops.  A large part of that is my choosing to believe that maybe SD is right but then I see the photos and the self doubt returns.

When I saw this photo I thought:

I don't look feminine
You know what I see?

Broad shoulders.

I'm not even sure I HAVE broad shoulders but that's the first thing I thought and no matter how much SD tells me he likes this photo that's still what I see.

Occasionally I DO like a photo, I quite like this one:

SD must have snapped it while I was watching the children playing in the sea.  Funnily enough he skipped over this one and it's not one of his favourites.

I've come a long way in the last couple of years and SD has been an integral part of that.  I've stabilised my weight and I've largely put behind me the battle I had with BDD but I STILL have this aversion to photos of myself.

My FB friends would be forgiven for thinking the opposite, for thinking I had slightly narcissistic tendencies given the regularity with which I change my profile photo.  What they probably don't realise is that its born from dissatisfaction and that fact that I will find fault with almost any picture of myself and that's what leads me to change it.  I'm hoping that one day I'll actually be happy with what I see.

Today I'm happy with this one:

but who knows how long that will last ;-)

Strangely enough, I'm happy with the face that confronts me in the mirror.  Aside from the odd wrinkle and grey hair these days I like what I see.  This aversion is purely reserved for photos, it's odd ....

If you've read some of my past posts you will know that despite the fact that I don't like photos of myself I often take selfies (usually silly ones)and I'm always happy for SD to snap me.  It's all part of the process you see.  I don't shy away from the things that scare me anymore because when I do that they tend to turn in on me so I confront my fears these days in the hope that one day they wont have the power to hurt me and I'm getting there.

I'm not just talking about photos.  Facing my fears is bloody hard, sharing them even harder, keeping them to myself, the hardest thing of all ...

The truth is, I probably have unrealistic expectations - I probably still expect to see my 20 year old self in photos because that what I see in my head and I'm now more than 2 decades older than the person I was then.

In almost every other area of my life I'm happy.  I have a huge amount to be happy about.  This isn't particularly important.  It doesn't impinge on every day life.  It's faintly ridiculous given the very real problems many other people face.

I'm not sure why I'm blogging about it other than the fact that it's been playing on my mind for the last 24 hours and writing it out seems to be the only way to get it out of my head so forgive me for talking out loud and ...  as you were ;-)


joeh said...

SD has better taste in photos than you do. The second photo looks like someone cut the cheese!

Feisty Cat said...

You are lovely! And I see that we share the same need to wear sunglasses. I even wear them in the grocery store. Sometimes with a baseball cap. It makes me look like I am a celebrity. Or maybe I just imagine that part.

Sarah said...

Lol Joe - is that an Americanism or is it that it looks like the cord from my top is about to cut my head off? Damn, now I've found a reason to dislike that photo ... ;-)

Thank you FC and yes, I'm blind as a bat as soon as the sun comes out and I can't see a thing without my sunnies on - SD told me I looked like a celeb the other day - I was concentrating on something and he said I looked just like Chubby Brown when I frowned :-)

K Ville said...

I think you look young and fit. I don't think others look as closely as we look at ourselves. But really you are going to have to come to terms with yourself, if you did have the start of cellulite what are you gong to do, lock yourself in a room ?! Bodies are normal, unless you are watching that really gross program and then that is NOT normal but I'm guessing you don't have an ulcerous arse (the last one I nauseated through) ....I'm rambling aren't I, hey WTF....it's what I do that and keep my stretch mak collection around midriff - it's a work of art!

K Ville said...

Ps had a lovely man friend between marriages that loved to kiss every cellulite dimple and stretch mark he said they were a sign of a woman. Yes he was just confidence boosting me so he got a shag, but it worked and he really left me in a much better state of mind about myself. it is something that has stayed with me.

K Ville said...

Pps just looked up 'cut the cheese' and he is right!

Sarah said...

Lol K you are absolutely right - cellulite is going to catch up with me at some point. Actually, I'm ok with that kind of (although I'll keep it at bay for as long as possible), it's just the photos that bother me, in reality I'm reasonably at ease with the way I look possibly because I don't have an ulcerous arse - Yep, I'm pretty sure that helps lots! ;-).

SD is constantly telling me he loves my body and it's hard not to respond to such genuine appreciation - I really don't know why I'm so self critical of my photos.

Ha ha, just googled 'cut the cheese' (most unlike me not to have before) and yep, looking at it again I think Joe DOES have a point - I'm wondering now why I liked it in the first place :-)