Finding Innocence

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Summer 2009 – 13 years old

As requested by a very important person in my life.

When I was a little girl, I did not understand why people would stop eating food or carbs in order to lose some weight, because honestly, what does that do for a person except make them look a different type of way? And to little Michelle, looking the way that you were naturally meant to look meant individuality and uniqueness. Everyone was born different and everyone was meant to be different, whether it be in shape or size. What really mattered to me as a child (a great thank you to disney influences), was a person’s character. What did it matter how much you weighed if you were a beautiful person inside? As a child, I clearly remember telling myself that I didn’t care how I looked or how fat I got because I knew who I was as a person and that gave me all the strength to love being myself in my own skin. Although I was never really fat, I was ridiculed by certain people for how skinny I was. I was underweight for a long time in elementary school and middle school… but I couldn’t do much about that. With all of my innocence, even with all of the pushback I received for being “too skinny,” I continued to love myself and be okay with myself because I knew myself as a person and the way I looked didn’t matter to me. I knew what I liked, the person I wanted to be, and the people I wanted to be friends with. And knowing myself and my values, that was all I needed.

Only did everything change mid-way through high school. This was due to multiple influences of media, other girls at school who were much taller or skinnier or prettier… and it was almost like it was all set up for me to compare myself. I was losing the innocence of my untouched, natural mind. In high school, I admit that I did have issues with my body and eating habits. I would scroll down blogs of really fit, skinny girls, then skip meals and spend time at the gym for 2-3 hours a day, 6 days a week. I restricted myself to a lot of different foods and would feel guilty for snacking. Nobody should ever feel guilty for eating food. I even spent a stupid amount of money on a “detox” tea that merely contained lots of laxatives. I’ve been to therapy sessions for this matter and cut ties with people who triggered insecurities about my weight. I lost who I was. I succumbed to the values of the mass and let myself stray from the innocence of know what really mattered most in life. Only up until a year ago was when I decided that I needed to stop battling with myself. I am on my own side and before I expect anybody else to love me, I need to learn how to love my own self. There was one point that I thought to myself that once you have an eating disorder, it never really goes away because in the back of your head, you’ll always be thinking about the numbers and the carbs and that fat intake and it’s going to taunt you. However, with enough time and enough good influences I have found in my life, I have let myself forgive and forget. It’s been an uphill battle, but I am slowly rekindling my untouched, innocent 13 year old mind.

Right now at this point, I’ve overcome the negative relationship I had with food. As ironic as it sounds though, I have lost my values as a person (something that my 13 year old self never questioned), meaning I don’t really know what I truly like and dislike (is it really what I like… or is it what I think is cool to like?) or how I should or shouldn’t act (should I be a nice girl or act like a boss ass bitch who doesn’t take shit from anyone????) I don’t know where to draw lines between people I should hang out with because I genuinely like them or because I know that they like me a lot, so I should like them back??? These are all things my old, innocent mind would have never questioned. I know these are very small and trivial things to think about and they should be obvious, but I just can’t seem to figure out what I want and what I should do… I’m working on it and trying to go back and find my innocent mind, the mind that was unscathed by the rally of people using “fat” as a synonym to “ugly,” and the voices that would tell me that if I were fat, nobody would love me. I must find that innocent mind that told me that being a good person was all I needed to do in order to love and accept myself, and I am constantly reminding myself that to remember these things everyday.

Either way, I am currently figuring it all out as I go along, and a lot more with the help of my boyfriend and best friends, I am slowly but surely finding the true values that are deeply hidden within the innocence of my 13 year old self.

*After rereading this for the first time hours after publishing it, I realized I made a ton of typos.. but that was because I felt a bit uncomfortable with the personal material I posted on here which is why I chose not to proofread it and just make the decision to publish it. So bear with me and my many typos here. Thank you.

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