Notes to Self

June 22, 2012

Eyes, Fragile

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

I can’t remember where I found this statement, but it gave me goose bumps and a chill up my spine.

In high school I seemed to attract older, skeevy men. The guy from the recycling plant (which I walked past every morning on the way to school) who ended up following me and my friends around for several years. The weird freaks walking around in the middle of the day that insisted on walking me home… And my father commented to me about this ‘attraction’ I possess as if it were my fault. And I believed him that it was. Something inherent that was wrong with me.

In later years I noticed that I could be one of eight people in an elevator and the weird person would talk to ME. And it’s not like I solicited the conversation. I figured maybe I had a kind face/eyes that made people comfortable around me.

I now think otherwise.

This makes me sad. Sad about all that has happened to me in my life. How little I loved (love) and respected (respect) myself and how little I felt (feel) loved and respected by my parents.

As a mother, I worry about my daughter and all the creepy men out there. Of course I think she is an incredibly beautiful little girl and is sure to be a drop dead gorgeous young woman.

However, the above statement gives my fear pause as I realize that if I can keep her from being damaged, then maybe I can keep her from being a victim.

My gut feeling is that Self-esteem is fragile. But that, I believe, is because I always had so little of it and whenever I would venture out of my comfort zone (and inevitability felt shot down or like I didn’t belong) I felt that I ended up lower than when I began.

But maybe self-esteem is not so fragile if it is developed early enough and has a strong enough foundation.

Maybe little girls can grow up to doubt themselves only rarely and believe in themselves unconditionally.

Maybe mirrors are not enemies and buying a new pair of jeans is not a journey into all that is wrong with me and my life.

Maybe those of us without the well-established self-respect can still impart this in our children.

Maybe we can learn from our children and use our most primitive desire for their well-being as a stepping stone for healing ourselves.

Maybe we can become un-Damaged.

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