“The Body Keeps The Score”

This is an open letter from me to you, and I hope you read every word. What I have to say is important.

We have a marriage like Alec and Kim, or Sean and Madonna- we love each other but we also love to hate each other. We carry on with our tempestuous relationship because we have no other choice. We’re stuck together.

Yes, body, I’m talking to you. Sometimes your heaviness leaves quietly, without me having put forth a declaration that things will be different this time. Other times, the weight of you is a mental and physical sandbag on my waist, pushing me down. You bring tears of anger and frustration to my eyes when you do this. I question why you don’t do this to seemingly everyone else.

I try to tell myself that you don’t define me, that you don’t make me who I am, and that you’re simply a vessel to my mind and heart and my essence, which is what REALLY makes me who I am. When I do this, you are in the back of my head, telling me negative things. I hear the faintest whisper from you, and it pulls me into a place where I detest you. I sometimes find pleasure in punishing you.

Other times you’re loud, and obviously there, all of you, taking up much more room than I want you to. You make me defenseless, and I have abused you. Sometimes I think you deserve it.

Maybe I will get to a place one day where I unconditionally give you the agape love that you deserve. You’ve done many wonderful things for me, but you’ve also disappointed me. This is life- yin and yang.

Since we are together for life, I’m now trying to take care of you. I’m mindful of the anxieties around what size you make me. I’m trying to include you in pictures. I’m trying to show my daughter that I am comfortable with you.

Until we get there, body, know I’m trying. Know some days will be easier than others. Please realize that cycles and habits are hard to break. I will try not to judge you as much as I do now. I will not to starve you one week and then push you physically the following week.

Deep down I do love you, even though most days I don’t like you. But we will never be unraveled, and I promise that for the duration we are intertwined, I’ll appreciate the roots you’ve given me to someday grow into my own graceful tree of acceptance.

The title of my essay is from the title of this book, by Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD

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