And then a step to the right

first photo
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.

While we're on the subject of body image and just plain ole Trista craziness, I thought I'd share these picture. This here is one of the first pictures Kristin took of me. I'm standing off the side of the road out by my parents' house. It was January. We'd been dating a couple of weeks. I can't remember if this is the evening I introduced her to them, or if this is the evening that I kinda snuck her in and out real quick-like. (I was living with them at the time)

Anyway, she said she wanted to take a picture of me, so I, trying to hide my craziness and seem all, like, accepting of myself and shit, you know, and easy going and stuff, said "sure! that sounds okey dokey!" And I stood there in the cold and let her take pictures of me.

And then... and then a few days later I saw the pictures tucked in the mirror frame of her dresser. And I was so upset. SO upset. Because I had seen pictures of her most recent girlfriend. NAKED pictures of her most recent girlfriend. And that girl was everything that I was not. Short. Perky. Cute hair. Thin. She was sprite-like and lovely. And I was sure that if Kristin just randomly showed her friends my picture without them getting to meet me first they would express shock and incredulity that Kristin would be with someone like me when she HAD been with someone like her.

Of course I never told Kristin this. I never let her know how upset at the picture I was. Because the only thing I had going for me was that I was nice and easy-going and low maintenance and if I went all freaky on her ass over a picture and sweet gesture (because, really, it was a sweet gesture that she wanted to look at my picture every day while getting dressed and undressed) then she would realize that I was none of those things but, in fact, a big faker. And then she would dump me. And if she was going to dump me, then I would rather she dump me for being ugly and fat. That way my self-hatred would be fed and the world would right itself again on its axis.

She didn't dump me. In fact we went on a lovely trip to Taos together. And in Taos we took this picture of ourselves. And I hated it, too. Oh, I love her in it. But couldn't look at it because I couldn't stand to look at myself.
cute couple (click on it if you want to see it bigger). Now when I look at this picture I think I'm pretty cute. I think I look mischievous and fun. I think I look like someone you would want to know. Maybe even someone kissable. I feel compassion for this girl who can't love herself. And I feel compassion for the woman standing next to her who DOES love her, DOES think she's kissable, DOES want to know her and who will have her love tested, over and over, because of her girlfriend's poor self-esteem. Who will be kept at arms length for years because her girlfriend is afraid to have anyone really look at her.

I wish I could look at current pictures with the same compassion. I think I'm getting closer.

Finally, one of only two pictures of myself from that time that I liked. girl with camera The other picture is a picture of my shadow, which is fitting, because that's all I would let myself be.

This Timewarp Tuesday brought to you by, um, Thursday.

Posted by Trista @ 10:15 AM

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I know you didn't post this to get this kind of a response, but I have to say that, although I haven't seen that many pictures of you really, from what I've seen you are pretty darned cute.

Not as cute as that daughter of yours, though. *grin*

Posted by Blogger Anne @ 5:59 PM #

Are you finding that you're making friends with your digital camera? Cause I just loved that photo of you in the bath and I think the whole self-portrait thing is fantastic and have gotten quite into it lately. The fact that you can delete any pics you don't like and never have to see them again can really take away that camera shyness. I reckon the best way to get over body phobias is to run around naked as much as possible!

Posted by Blogger mermaidgrrrl @ 7:50 PM #

I hear you, Trista. I look at pictures of myself from childhood, when I thought I was enormous and horrible to look at and unloveable...and really, I was just cute. and my heart breaks for that little girl.

Posted by Blogger Lo @ 10:14 AM #
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