Further to my last post about the double-mindedness of eating disorders...
Something that bothers me exceedingly at times is the fact that, as much as my husband expresses his love and desire for me on a daily basis in a multitude of ways, I don't always, or even often, or even really, believe in it.
You wouldn't know this about me just by looking; in fact, I'm not sure that my husband even knows it, because I have good enough manners not to reject anything he says or tell him that I don't believe him. I smile and say thank you and I love you too.
But, oh, there's always a little catch of protest inside me.
I suppose if I were a different kind of person, I would blame him for this, as though there was something extra he could be doing to prove that he loves me. There are people of both sexes whose self esteem, like mine, is so low they can't believe in others' love for them, and some of those people play their partners like fiddles, because there's just nothing another person can do to prove to someone that they are loveable when they deeply believe that they aren't. Really, both of us are lucky that I'm not one of those people, that somewhere I learned how to accept a compliment without outward protest, so that we don't have to wrangle over some imagined failure of his to bolster up my self esteem. And I'm glad of that, because there's no way in which he fails. He is frankly amazing at expressing his feelings for me, in all kinds of ways. All the failure here is mine, because part of me just looks askance at all of it, and then wonders what kind of person actually feels these things for me – for me, for heaven's sake.
There's just something in my brain that doesn't quite cope with it when he says certain things to me. I pretend I do, but there's a little tripwire in there that just doesn't believe a word of it. It's bizarre, because I completely believe in his sincerity, I just think he's, well, wrong. Isn't that stupid? I believe that my husband's love and desire for me, physically and mentally, is wrong, because I don't believe that I am loveable or desirable.
The notion of people being attracted to me has always been shocking to me, if not downright unbelievable, and there has always been something just a little…intolerable about it. There are certain looks I've caught in people's eyes at times, including my husband's, that I just can't bear. I have this immediate reaction of shying away, because how can I bear being the object of that feeling which I don't feel I deserve, because – and really only because – I'm so fat?
It's just sick, this whole thing, which I suppose is why it's a disease. It's sick that I think my husband is wrong to adore me. It's sick that I think anyone would be wrong to have feelings for me. It's sick that, if I'm not careful, I judge my husband, and anyone else who has ever told me that they cared for me in this way, as being lesser because of their feelings for me.
All that being said, I'm incredibly grateful that I have been so lucky, that I, almost accidentally, slid in to a relationship with an amazingly generous and loving man who never gives me reason to doubt him.
I just wish that my confidence in myself was sufficient that when he says how much he loves me, I had no reaction but joy and the return of love.