Author Topic: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image  (Read 2871 times)

Carey

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I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« on: August 19, 2015, 09:45:39 AM »
I've wanted to write about this for awhile, but I never can find the words. I find myself with a lull at work here today and I'm staring at my picture of Chad on my desk and the cloudy rainy day outside and I feel ...... despair.  I've never had much self confidence about my looks.  Now I know years and years ago I actually was pretty, even thin.  Didn't think so then, but wow what I know now I'd give anything to go back to looking like that.  I married Chad when I was 24. I had already had one child, and thought I was ginormous (HA!) but he loved me.  We had two children by the time I was 26.  Then for 13 years I worked a VERY sedentary job as an at home medical transcriptionist. He was an alcoholic, I was a foodaholic.  It was my coping I guess, who knows but I gained a LOT of weight. But he still loved me, still said I was pretty. In the time since he got laid off and I lost insurance, I've had several dental emergencies I just couldn't do anything about.  I've lost two teeth ... thankfully not in the front but one is still somewhat noticeable and can't afford to do anything about it right now.  A few others are in bad shape and I worry.   My health for sure isn't great right now and I worry that it's just all toooo much ... literally ... for any man to ever want me. I've had a couple dating experiences on the websites and they have been terrible.   

Let me preface this to say I am NOT prejudice in any way but I have a lot of black men propositioning me on the websites, talking about my "booty" and "juicy curves" ... very sexist very almost pornographic messages.  And when I say a lot I mean really a lot.   The few guys I actually talked to for awhile ; the one I actually thought had potential was a pathological liar about the craziest stuff. There's been many a thread here about the oddities of online dating, so that's not what this post is about.  I just fear that I'm ugly and no one is going to want me like Chad did and I will never have anyone again. 

My best friend is a man. I am very close with him, his wife and their girls. I spend a LOT of time with them and really if I keep going the way I am, there's no room in my life right now for anyone but them and my own children. I almost wonder if I did that to myself on purpose, but now when I think about going out with a man, I'd rather be with John.  He tells me I'm pretty, He tells me that the right man will "appreciate" my body type because there are men out there like himself who do.  Maybe so ... but I haven't run into him yet.  I feel fat and ugly and unlovable. 

Honestly, yes Chad loved me and thought I was pretty, but there were times he wanted to open our marriage to other people, or he would want me to tell him stories of made up things so he could get excited about sex with me ... there've just been a lot of things in my life that have not helped my self esteem and I feel vulnerable. Like if I trust a man, it's just because he wants sex and when he gets it he will leave.  Or that the only men who could ever be interested in me are sexist jerks. 

I realize there are things I can do to improve the situation, like lose weight.  I lost some when Chad died, but then when I started hanging out with John and his family I put it back on because I was happier.  I still have a sedentary job and my back/knees make it so hard to exercise.  And somehow food still is a coping mechanism for me. I can't afford therapy or counseling for that.  I've colored my hair and wear more makeup and I try to dress better ... but I just really really hate my self image.  Has anyone here ever had a similar problem at all? Any suggestions?
I can't look at the stars they make me wonder where you are. 
Stars.... up on heaven's boulevard
And if I know you at all
I know you've gone too far
 So I .... I can't look at the stars --Grace Potter

Missmybecky

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2015, 10:41:57 AM »
Keep you chin up, it will happen some day. I don't really know what to say because I am a guy and it is very different for women and I get that. But keep in mind that men in general find women attractive when they have self confidence, at least I do. I get very little attention online and more more attention in person, do not let online interaction or lack thereof get to you, brush it off and let it go.  Please know that you are fine the way you are in the right persons eyes and take comfort in that!

sunshinedaydreamz

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2015, 03:12:43 PM »
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« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 02:20:35 AM by sunshinedaydreamz »

mawidow

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2015, 04:26:13 PM »
Carey, your post is really touching and resonant to me. I was absolutely petrified and insecure about anyone finding me attractive - I never expected to be out there in the dating pool again. The thought of having to take my clothes off in front of a new man made me absolutely want to barf. I also eat for emotional reasons.

I hear that it is a shaky time and that food is a comfort. But I was struck by what I didn't hear in your post:
what is it you would be looking for in someone else? what is your preferred future? what is it that you like about yourself? You deserve to be with someone whose qualities YOU like, not just hope that he likes you.

Not many of us are swimsuit models, but there is so much more to us than just body type. There are many lovely qualities that come through in your posts - you are eloquent, sensitive, empathic, supportive. Anyone would be lucky to have a partner like that. I know that sounds pollyanna-ish, but it's true.

And there is online/free support for food stuff, from OA to Radiant Recovery to Food Addicts Recovery to TOPS to Sparkpeople...

Sending much support.

widowat33

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2015, 04:33:53 PM »
I have always struggled with low self esteem.
Being with my dh helped, he made me feel beautiful, but at the back of my mind there was still those thoughts of not being thin enough, not being pretty enough, etc..
When he passed away I was right back where I started, hating myself and having those same thoughts of never being able to find someone again. It has been a long process, but I'm finally starting to like myself again. The things I say to myself are things I would never say to someone else, so I am learning to be kinder to myself.
As far as ever attracting someone again, I'm not at the point where I want to, yet. But thinking about it why would I want to be with someone who cannot see the beauty inside? Someone who is so shallow that they would pass me by because I'm not model gorgeous.
I wish I could help you with your self esteem, but I can't. All I can tell you, is sometimes you have to love yourself, flaws and all, before you can expect anyone else to. "If you can't love me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." This is my motto.
If you have the chance watch the dove clip on YouTube..I forget what it's called but it's the one where the sketch artist draws the women based on their own description and then again based on other peoples description of them. It's truly beautiful and makes you realize that we are our own worst enemies!
Wishing you peace

Jen

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2015, 09:36:09 AM »
((((((((AMY)))))))))

I have these same worries... on top of that, I beat myself up because I feel guilty for having them! I mean, why should I be worried about finding someone else? I have kids to take care of, a home, a job... plenty to deal with. I don't need anyone or anything. Why am I even thinking about it??

Because I'm lonely. Because I have a metric ton of love to give, and I work better as half of a pair. Because I need someone to love me who doesn't have to, if that makes sense.

I've been a big girl my whole life. I chucked the dieting mentality years ago-- read Geneen Roth and Overcoming Overeating and spent a lot of time trying to like me for who I am. My xh undermined me terribly; when we got divorced, I was completely convinced that I was the ugliest, neediest, most pathetic excuse for a human alive-- total waste of oxygen. Jim undid so much of that damage-- he adored me, told me endlessly that I was beautiful and sexy... and I even started to believe him. I gained so much self-confidence in the years we were together-- and then he died. :-\

I lost a lot of weight after that, mainly because I quit eating and started walking a lot. Not because I was concerned for my health, but because I couldn't sit still-- couldn't read a book or watch a TV show, couldn't make my brain shut up, and it got me through the hours when I had to be conscious. Now I'm the smallest I've been since college-- and that's not particularly small, btw, but it is for me-- and for the first time in my life, I look in the mirror and like what I see. I've always hated buying clothes, but lately I've started to enjoy shopping for myself-- I've bought pretty things (not just Lane Bryant!) and darn it, I look cute as hell some days.

But it doesn't matter, because I still don't believe anyone will ever want me. It's so unfair... it seems like a such a shame, because the relatively healthy part of me thinks I have so much to offer someone. I'm smart, kind, and unfailingly loyal. But who would look twice at a forty-something wid with three kids?

I honestly don't know what to do. I'm not going to sign up on match or eharmony... I'm too scared of people to feel comfortable with that. Basically, unless fate intervenes, I'm screwed-- or rather, I'm not, and never will be, because I don't believe in fate anymore. Mostly I just believe I'll be alone and celibate for 40 years. I wish I could learn to be okay with that.

As hard as it is for me to believe there could be anyone out there for me, I have no trouble at all envisioning you with a wonderful new guy. You're one of the sweetest people I know, I'm positive that shines through. I know how low self-esteem and lack of confidence can smack you down... I wish I had a fix. Just know I'm pulling for you, and I'm positive it will happen for you.

((((Hugs)))) Sorry this is so long, thanks for letting me vent.
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton

Carey

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2015, 12:46:35 PM »
Jen ... you have no idea the smile I have on my face right now and I sure do need it today.  I really do try to be a nice person, good friend, generous, you know all the things daddy said I should.  My best friend tries, bless his heart, all the time to encourage me and tell me that not everyone sees me the way I do.  I think the teeth worry me more than the weight sometimes. I just feel like when Chad died everything spiraled out of control and I've been running around putting out fires, and paid very little attention to myself.  I may never know what it feels like to get out of Lane Bryant clothes, but I would like to lose SOME.  To quit emotional eating. 

As far as online dating, at my age and with a job and kids and where I live, there's really no other way to meet people.  It's not a large metropolitan area, it's very rural and everyone knows everyone and you marry the people you go to church with, or so it would seem.  There's no "hangouts" and even if there were I don't see me sitting at a bar waiting for someone to talk to me. I met Chad on the phone for crying out loud, lol. I haven't had to actively look for someone ..... well, ever.  I just know I don't want to be alone, and Chad had actually told me before that if he died before me he didn't care if I was 80 I needed to "get me a man". I know he was being silly, but I really don't think he wants me to be by myself.  The kids are  23 (already on his own), 18 and 16.

I am adopting 4 cats from one of my patients that's moving out of state so there's my old cat lady starter kit right there ... I got that going for me. lol

p.s.  Jen, you're beautiful.
I can't look at the stars they make me wonder where you are. 
Stars.... up on heaven's boulevard
And if I know you at all
I know you've gone too far
 So I .... I can't look at the stars --Grace Potter

Jen

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2015, 02:16:02 PM »
(((((((HUGE HUGS))))))))

Aww... now you made me cry. :) I'm right there with you as a crazy cat lady... even though we lost two this week, we still have six!  :o

As far as emotional eating-- done that my whole life. It was actually encouraged at my house. Celebrating? Eat. Trying to comfort yourself? Eat. I used to call it "giving myself a hug from the inside." And it worked. For a long time, it worked. Until it didn't work anymore. I don't know what changed, it just ceased to be a thing. I'm not patting myself on the back for that, and I sure as hell don't look cross-eyed at anyone for whom it does work. Whatever gets you through the night, you know? To be honest, I sort of miss the days when a brownie (or a pan of them) could fix what was wrong with me.

I do think that reading up on the Health at Every Size approach (HAES) helped me get past my weight-related self-hate. (I still have lingering self-hate, but it's not because of my weight.) Even though it's never been the sort that Hollywood would approve, my body has done everything I've ever asked of it. It's ridden horses and climbed mountains and carried three ginormous babies (one 9 1/2 pounder, two 10 1/2 pounders!). It's recovered from major surgery twice, and still allowed me a beautiful homebirth with number three. It's been all over the world, and it's given me some truly spectacular pleasures along the way. I have to give it some credit-- it's taken all the abuse I've dished out, and it's still ticking. Yay me. ;)

I know Jim wanted me to be happy. Then he died, which put a serious crimp in my ability to ever find happiness again! I'd like to think it's possible... but I think a lot of extraordinary circumstances would have to coincide for it to happen. Then again, that pretty well describes most relationships, doesn't it?

I don't have the first clue about how to meet people, other than the online option. I'm not going to go hang out at bars either! I wish Mr Right would just ring the freaking doorbell, already! But clearly, that's not going to happen. So... I don't know. Maybe I'll get brave one of these days. I've never had to actively look for anyone either-- I've loved precisely three men in my life, and each one of them sort of... fell into my lap. I'm not optimistic that the fourth time is the charm, but who knows?

((((((more hugs)))))))

As I said, I'm much more positive about your odds. :)  I'm rooting for you. And you're gorgeous. <3
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton

DansSoulmate

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2015, 05:06:11 PM »
Hi, I just wanted to share something dan's mom used to always say...there isn't a pot so crooked you can't find a top for it.  So i believe there's hope for everyone  :D. In terms of alternatives to online dating, I'd say joining a meet up group, is a good way to expand your circle of friends.  Take care!

BrokenHeart2

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2015, 02:16:24 AM »
Hey JJ your statement of ' I have a metric ton of love to give' was a wonderful statement of who you are. What a great way to put it!  I feel that way too!
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.

Helen

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2015, 08:20:20 AM »

This resonates with me too. I met Graham when I was 19 and we got married and had kids very quickly, I had never been on a date before becoming a widow.

Three years in I have dated quite a few guys and had a couple of longer relationships but nothing that was going to last, I hate the thought that I will never meet anyone and that part of my life is done. My itches need scratched! It appears to be a buyers market for men and those my age seem to be looking for someone much younger, but really this can't be the whole truth, somewhere out there is someone for all of us!

Part of my thinks I was lucky to find someone so wonderful the 1st time around but another part of me wants so much more. Honestly, I think us widows will make damn good spouses the 2nd time, we are going to be so grateful, so keen to enjoy each day and not take anything for granted and want so much sex. I will not be at all possessive, needy, can tackle so many of the jobs around the house on my own and have worked hard to develop my own pursuits so he can have 'cave time' unbothered by me.

People should be queuing up to marry us. It should be a thing. Someone make it a thing!


DansSoulmate

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2015, 08:41:06 AM »
Indeed Helen people should be actively seeking us out  ;D.  We do have so much to offer and should never forget that, ya know.  Have a great day, everyone.

Jen

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2015, 11:07:21 AM »


People should be queuing up to marry us. It should be a thing. Someone make it a thing!

Totally, completely agree!! People should be breaking our doors down! How can we market ourselves to show off all the perks of getting one of us? We know what real love is, we will go the extra mile to cultivate it, and we will never take it for granted!
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton

Virgo

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Re: I worry I will never find someone else/bad self image
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2015, 03:12:11 PM »
It would be nice if it worked that way. Just have Mr.Right delivered to my front door. I'm not really worried about attracting someone, but I want to attract the right someone for me. I'm not really looking forward to dating either. I met my husband when I was 16. We got married when we were 19. I went on just a few dates before we met. Most of what I've read here doesn't make dating sound appealing at all. My friends tell me I'm overthinking it. I should just go out and have a good time. I suppose they're right.
Jen

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss