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29 March 2013 @ 02:31 am
Eviction notice  
So, awhile ago, I posted about how I wanted to spend more effort looking pretty and wearing things that were flattering and made me feel good about myself... However, I had a lot of internal misgivings and weird tension over this and I couldn't quite put my finger on it until this last week. I was chalking it up to not being really comfortable with the idea that my self-worth was based on my appearance or that appearances somehow trumped my other skills in making me feel confident... Nope. While those ideas certainly play a part, it suddenly came to me: at the heart of it - it's a daddy issue.

My father spent a huge portion of my childhood berating and belittling me about my appearance. I was too fat, too sloppy, too boring too messy, whatever. I was never going to be desirable as a friend or a partner or an employee if I didn't put some effort into looking society-approved pretty. "Goddamnit, have some PRIDE in your APPEARANCE" was an insistent refrain of my childhood.

However, I was an obstinate child. I was proud of my intelligence, not my appearance. I wanted to be valued for who I was and the skills I had, not for being decorative. So I acted out. I wore the boy's jeans and the oversized T-shirts, the shapeless sweaters and the combat boots. Anything that made my dad recoil at how ugly, unflattering, and/or frumpy it was - that was the outfit for me! Yard sales and thrift shops were goldmines for the sorts of things he wouldn't let my mom buy for me. But somewhere along the line, it became unintentional, just a habit, and while I did wear some flattering things, I always felt a weird, inscrutable guilt for taking the time to look nice.

But, you know, my dad is not around so much these days. I'm not hurting him to wear those frumpy things and I am denying myself the enjoyment of pretty things. Once I came to this realization, it was so freeing, I felt positively giddy for an hour and change. Since then, I have been gleefully enjoying my cute trousers, my kickass heels, my pretty shiny jewelry bits - all with simple personal enjoyment and free of conflict or guilt. Even better, the certainty that he doesn't deserve the real estate in my head and I can, even after all this time, evict him and his poisonous ideas, has brought me an almost smug contentment.

Out. Out he goes. And on go the heels!
Current Mood: happyhappy
akitromakitrom on March 29th, 2013 12:31 pm (UTC)
Yay, you.
I'm proud of my friends.
eithni: darkladyeithni on April 3rd, 2013 04:28 am (UTC)
Re: Yay, you.
Thanks! :)
Aaron (Rusty) Lloydrustmon on March 29th, 2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
:) :) :)
EllieSam: Don't hate meelliesam on March 29th, 2013 05:00 pm (UTC)
Yay! Whatever makes YOU feel awesome, go for it! Because whether it's square jeans and big t-shirts or a cute dress and heels - YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, BABY!

Edited at 2013-03-29 05:02 pm (UTC)
eithni: darkladyeithni on April 3rd, 2013 04:29 am (UTC)
:) Thanks! It's just nice to wear things I think make me look pretty without the layers of conflict and guilt about it!
DameJ: Moaidamej on March 29th, 2013 11:26 pm (UTC)
Congratulations. I still haven't managed to stop craving my father's approval, even as I've come to understand that he has an aversion to praising his children almost like the traditional Chinese superstition about attracting the jealous ire of the gods.
eithni: darkladyeithni on April 3rd, 2013 04:31 am (UTC)
I still have some need for external approval - else I would not do a public blog - but no, not so much from my dad. It would be nice, sometimes, but I'm largely over it. Take comfort in the fact that your friends all know you're awesome, even if your dad remains in the dark!
Kharm: parenthoodkhar_ghatten on March 30th, 2013 12:52 am (UTC)

I had a similar parenting experience with my mother, and I've come to realize my mother-issues are going to have to get addressed before I can feasibly consider having children. But there are plans in the works. :)
eithni: darkladyeithni on April 3rd, 2013 04:32 am (UTC)
Best of luck!
Albredaalbreda on March 30th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
Yay! I had a similar thing going on for pretty much ever, but I also didn't have a body that looked ok in most 'nice' clothing, either, so now that I do, I have fortunately also developed a paradigm that works with it: I want to look as kick-ass on the outside as I feel on the inside! >:)
eithni: darkladyeithni on April 3rd, 2013 04:33 am (UTC)
I'm still a little on the pudgy side, but whatever... Own it, baby, and rock it. :)
world_rim_walkeworld_rim_walke on April 1st, 2013 12:51 am (UTC)
This is heart-warming.
eithni: darkladyeithni on April 3rd, 2013 04:33 am (UTC)
:) Thanks!