My Incredible Hooters

6:11 AM Edit This 22 Comments »
I think it's a sick twist of the universe that every time I don't have to get up early, I wake up at the crack of dawn with thoughts and ideas reeling that do not allow me to stay in bed. Really. Every time. I suffer from all three kinds of insomnia. Can't get to sleep, can't stay asleep and wake up early. That's why I take drugs. Lots of them. It's also one of the reasons I became an alcoholic, but that's beside the point this morning.

I work for a plastic surgeon. He specializes in repairing birth defects, but that does not mean we don't do boobs. For someone who was (and still can be) horribly shy about my body, the fact that women (and their boyfriends/husbands) come in twice a week, stare at my rack and say things like, "Did you have it done? What size are you? I want mine to look like yours." was uncomfortable to say the least. Horrifying was more like it. Admittedly, I have a nice set of tatas. But to have strangers scrutinize them on a twice-weekly basis was a little much. I'm used to it anymore. Strange, isn't it? How we get used to such things and take them as par for the course.

And is that so wrong? Is it wrong to assume that people are not going to apprise my body and make a judgment? Part of my job (as the resident would be therapist - really - it's part of the reason he hired me - my education in counseling) is to weed out the people who have deluded ideas about plastic surgery. The good doctor will not do surgery on people who have unreasonable expectations about what fixing their body will do for them. Did you know that if you have a breast augmentation, you are 25 percent more likely to commit suicide after the fact? You are. And it's because of those unreasonable expectations. If I look like this, then I'll get that. If I'm more perfect, then I'll meet the perfect man, he will fall in love with me and all will be utopia. And when it doesn't happen? The end of the world seems nigh. Don't kid yourself. These women are everywhere and I get to meet them on a daily basis.

Working there has given me a healthy appreciation for my own body and for my more sane moments. I remember asking my therapist - shortly out of treatment- how a woman "like me" could have succumbed to a life of alcoholism and abuse. That presupposes that I had something unique going on because I had such an extensive education and was fairly attractive. She tried over and over to explain to me that alcoholism is no respecter of looks, race, economic status or education. But I held onto this idea that as a "smart" woman, I "should have been" more aware and headed it all off at the pass.

Well. I didn't. And asking why is a lesson in futility. Doing something about it is my job today. And that includes figuring out what it means to be okay with my body and it's attractiveness in a way that feels comfortable. I have quite a few men in my life today that respect me for a lot more than what I can do in bed. They taught me how to respect myself by not allowing me to manipulate them into seeing me as an object. Because being an object used to work for me in my sickness. It's what I learned from the Dead Guy. That I was just a bit player in his world and that my body existed to please him when the spirit moved him. But the men I know today? They do not allow me to see myself that way. And they will take me to task for any thought, words or behavior that cast me in that light.

Instead, they encourage me to be the intelligent woman that I am. To be thoughtful, to chase my academic dreams, to allow people to tell me that I'm pretty (and say "Thank you." instead of, "Are you kidding me?") and to stop using my body as a weapon against myself. My body is no longer someone else's to use for their sick and deluded purposes. Unlearning all that is a process. I'm well on my way and I do enjoy what that means. I'm more confident because my weapons today are indeed my intellect and my calm. It is the panacea to my crazy if I choose to use it. That doesn't mean I'm not also learning to enjoy my body. Because I am. It's all part of learning to see myself as a whole. Not as the sum of my parts. And I like that. I like it alot.

22 comments:

*Akilah Sakai* said...

Well-said.

Having that intellect and calm as your weapons today makes you a special kid of "superhero" in your own right. You've learned some beautiful lessons. Surely this post can be extremely helpful to someone out there. You never know!

Daisee579 said...

What an interesting post! I think there are a lot of us out there with deluded thoughts - I often think if I could just get skinny again my hub would love me forever and ever and I would be popular and have a sucessful career. That's not going to happen only IF I lose weight - it might happen anyway. But that's hard to remember. Kudos for you for working so hard to stay out of the bad thoughts and doing so much to improve your journey in life :)

f.B said...

This was great. I think learning to take compliments is one of the hardest things ever.

Kristen said...

I try so hard to tell my daughter that she's Smart and Funny and Creative more than I tell her she's Beautiful. I just want so much for her to value herself for her inner qualities and to see the outside as just an expression of them instead of her most important attribute.

So many of us are so hung up on the outside that the inside is just a big ol' mess.

It's very sad, and I hope I can spare my daughter some of that pain.

Jeff D'Antonio said...

I've always said that "unlearning" is much, much harder than "learning". To unlearn your negative self image, you had to first build a new positive one, and then learn to live within it. It's a difficult mental shift, that unlearning process; it's an emotional struggle. I've been there.

You are well on your way to finding out who you truly are.

Jeff

SoMi's Nilsa said...

You are accomplishing what so many never do. Acceptance. It's huge. And you're pretty inspiring for really understanding what it's all about.

saratogajean said...

You rock. And I hate waking up early, too.

Malaise Inc said...

I think the title is false advertising.

And I am not sure who I should be more disappointed in: you for not posting a picture or me for expecting one.

On a serious note, I had the same expectations discussion with my wife this week. Strange synchronicity.

Jeff D'Antonio said...

Oh, and another thing I meant to add to my comment above:

Any woman who thinks getting a boob job will help her to land the perfect guy is sadly mistaken. Because you see, the perfect guy (if there were such a creature) doesn't care about the size or shape of your boobs. He cares about you. Having perfect boobs will help you land a guy who cares about perfect boobs. You don't want that guy.

And besides, I'll take a small real pair over a big fake pair anytime. I've never been able to figure out why so many women think they need big boobs to be attractive. Who the hell told them that??

Anyway, I hope that's what you tell those women who come into your office with those goofy expectations.

Jeff

Sweetly Single said...

I did some training in an office like that and I put a stop to it when a patient asked to touch mine

I feel for you.... not feel you... just feel for you

LiLu said...

"I think it's a sick twist of the universe that every time I don't have to get up early, I wake up at the crack of dawn with thoughts and ideas reeling that do not allow me to stay in bed. Really. Every time. I suffer from all three kinds of insomnia. Can't get to sleep, can't stay asleep and wake up early. That's why I take drugs. Lots of them."

Um. I could have written that. Word for word.

You're scarin me, lady. We are one and the same.

GreenCanary said...

Do your boobs tend to collect things? Like M&M's and popcorn? Because mine sure do. They're like packrats. Gluttonous packrats.

BrianAlt said...

Would it be wrong to ask, "how big are they?"

Awesome respecting what you don't do in bed. Also awesome to enjoy what happens between the sheets. ;-)

Twinkie said...

My dream is to someday be able to afford nice hooters and have somebody tell me, "I want mine like yours."

Also, not to take away from these men in your life, but I think a lot of it has to do with you and who you allow in your life NOW as opposed to THEN.

Great job!

buffalodick said...

I hate being catagorized. All of us are individuals, unique in subtle and obvious ways. We can be lumped into groups that are fairly apparent, but no one is text book this or textbook that. I am a huge believer in "Everybody gets a different deal"- play the cards you're dealt. No one would have plastic surgery if no one said mean things about your looks.. it plants seeds of discontent, that will never stop growing...

Jen said...

I loved this post, it made think about the ways I use my body/looks to get things from men, and it made me ponder what this does to me as a person. Suddenly, I have a lot to think about. Thanks!

JoLee said...

Woman, I admire you.... boobies and all!

justjp said...

I am with you on the sleep thing, big time! And the tata's, be proud babe, be very proud.

O'Mama said...

This is a great post, full of wonderful reflection that we all can learn from. Sounds like the sum of your parts have come a long way - fantastic!

I've a 14 year old blessed with a lovely body who is getting far more attention for her boobs than I am comfortable with. She and I have had the cleavage conversation, but since low-cut shirts are too often the norm, it's ongoing. On the flip side, I think she is very comfortable with her body, which is great. The trick is to get her to be as comfortable with the inside bits. I am going to save this post to share with her in a year or two when other conversations will begin.

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jasmine nile said...

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