The Metamorphosis of Me

Written by: Ginger Hartman (@MamaofMs) who blogs at Mama of Ms – Unapologetically Me

Let us set the scene of my youth. The year is 1989.  The free wheeling days of stirrup pants, slouch socks, BUM equipment and Kelly Bundy blonde (Google Married with Children…I’ll wait). I was in the sixth grade and realizing that I was just never going to ‘fit’, literally, in to most fashions.  I was 5 ft 6 and decidedly pear shaped with ample thighs.  I had breasts and I was taller than all the boys.  Add to this the fact that I am named Ginger and you have yourself a recipe for bullying and generalized mortification.  I was called a Nazi because I could speak German, a whale because I was fat and a slut because of my name. I kicked the boy who was as relentless as a pit bull on steak, and I got in trouble.  Oh, I can remember feeling so, so angry, hurt and helpless. I HATED my name, HATED the fact that couldn’t fit in to Guess jeans. In short, I HATED being me.  The fat, German girl with the funny name who played soccer instead of feminizing myself as other girls were starting to do.

I only fit in to men’s jeans and started to feel protected in mannish clothing.  I hid my breasts and curves underneath grungy men’s clothing.  If I wasn’t dressed as a woman, then surely I couldn’t be criticized as a poor example of one.  This led to a series of unfulfilling to downright verbally abusive relationships. I didn’t feel I deserved this atrocious treatment but I failed to realize that I was owed respect and love. It all came down to a phone call to my dad, shaking from the side effects of my new antidepressants, and bawling uncontrollably on the floor of my apartment.  I admitted to my dad that my fiancé had a porn addiction by which he chose pornography over me and frequently let me know that good girlfriends acted like porn stars in bed if they were worth anything at all.  He humiliated me for his own enjoyment without a thought to my own.  My dad, a ‘silent water runs deep’ type, just listened and when I was done and almost gagging from the sadness he said, “This is not your fault. You deserve better. You sound like you already made up your mind.”  He was right.  I had decided I’d had enough and I needed to #stopselfhate and stop letting people control how I feel about myself.

The next years were a process of immense growth.  It was hard to undo my core beliefs about myself.  My mom featured hugely as my role model.  She is 5ft tall (5ft 1 inch if you ask her) and round as an apple. She battled her weight her whole life but she had reached a peace with her body.  She is funny, strong, outspoken and honest and back then, in my time of deep self-hatred, I needed an example of #selflove at any size and she never failed me.

The transformation continued as I met my amazing husband who doesn’t care how much I weigh. He walks the walk too because my weight has ranged so low that my cheekbones protruded and my skin yellowed and went up dangerously high while pregnant with our first son.  He has never failed to love me and treat me as a beautiful prize.  To him I am always sexy.  At first I wondered at his tolerance of my giggly thighs and bum, my stretch marked belly and less than Hollywood breasts. Slowly, oh so slowly I began to KNOW that this is what I deserve!  I am a woman and however I look doesn’t change my value, my worth.

For me, birthing and parenting my three boys has completed my journey.  My children have taught me that I am good. In fact, I am fabulous.  The birth of my first son triggered a severe form of a digestive disorder called Irritable Bowel Syndrome (sexy name, I know you’re jealous) and Fibromyalgia.  Everyday I wake up in moderate pain and often raise my kids ‘through the bathroom door’ so to speak.  I used to lament and ask why me? and started to hate my body all over again, feeling betrayed.  But now I see that these illnesses just are. I’m okay with their reality as much as I accept the fact that I will never please my mother-in-law (can I get an Amen?).  These health issues don’t devalue me even when friends stopped inviting me out because they can’t handle the inconvenience of me.  I have learned that some people suck.  Those people don’t deserve my attention and only limit my #selflove with their critical eyes and misguided healing theories.  I have learned to let them float through my vision like an eyelash, uncomfortable and sometimes incredibly annoying but absolutely irrelevant to my greater happiness.

As I celebrated my 33rd birthday this year, I reflected on the years gone by. I am grateful for EVERY single year and ALL of my experiences.  The fires of the bad times have branded the strong minded confident #selflove-ing woman in pain and perseverance.  The cool waters of the good times have soothed the hurt and allow me to revel in and celebrate how fabulous being alive and living in truth really are.  I am imperfect, I have stretch marks, and I am an amazing mom with a heart for helping others.  I am deserving of love in all its wonderful forms.

Thank you so much Ginger for writing this truly inspiring, vulnerable post!!!

Want to write a Self Love Letter during the April Challenge?

Read here and let me know!


6 Responses to The Metamorphosis of Me
  1. David
    April 6, 2011 | 2:22 pm

    Dear Ginger,

    Thank you for your story – at once heartbreaking and uplifting. It’s amazing who God chooses to speak to us when we become ready to change. And of all people, it was your Mom and Dad!

    I admire the work you did to make yourself available for joy and then finding it in your marriage and children – not to mention a radically different and honest view of yourself.

    Your story strengthens the recovery of all of us. Thank you for the courage and generosity to share it.

    • Ginger
      April 6, 2011 | 5:01 pm

      David,

      Thank you so much for your kind kind words. I was a little freaked to put this out in the open but upon further consideration I saw that it MIGHT help someone. If my post blesses one person then any minor discomfort has been worth it. Thank you for making me smile (and almost cry) 😉

  2. […] http://www.voiceinrecovery.com/blog/2011/04/06/the-metamorphosis-of-me/ Related Posts:Dream a little dream with me.Mama’s Answers: Out with the TideMama’s Answers: Miss Kriss the pukeless parent This entry was posted in All Posts, Confidence. Bookmark the permalink. ← Mama’s Answers: Miss Kriss the pukeless parent blog comments powered by Disqus /* […]

  3. Kasia
    April 7, 2011 | 9:58 pm

    Ginger, I LOVE the way you write! We’ve been friends and not friends for over half our life now and I have such tremendous respect for you and everything you have succeeded in. And I will always credit you with bringing me together with my tall, dark and handsome German guy. Cheers to you and can’t wait to read more.

  4. Leanne Harvey
    April 11, 2011 | 5:51 am

    Beautifully written, my friend, you are a champion for all us pear-shaped girls 🙂

  5. Donna McEwen
    May 8, 2012 | 9:36 am

    You are a mom of three and you are or will become an inspiration to all of them. We who are viewing this site do so to obtain clarity of vision and happiness in oneself. Your story has helped me to see that I am in control of my thoughts, my life. So, thank you to a real champion!

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