I ran inside to get a drink of water. My friends mom was chatting with her neighbor at the kitchen table. They didn’t see me as I entered the house.
“Who is the homely girl over,” she says.
“That’s my daughter’s friend,” she answers. “She’s sweet, but, yeah…”
What? I was the only one visiting. My heart starting beating fast. They are talking about me. Is it that noticeable? My mother told me I was beautiful. She lied. Here is the truth. Here it is. I knew it. 8 years old and as homely as they come.
Yep. That was the start. Before that I really thought/knew I was beautiful. I could do anything. I was gonna take over the world!
Of course, it wasn’t the last time. That’s just one of the words that form the brigade of self-hate that I’ve secretly battled for years. The rest are equally strong:
I hate these words. Hate them so much, yet hide behind them. They are what keeps me from doing things that are scary. They whisper at me when I look in the mirror. They yell at me when I think of doing something brave.
Despite their power, other words have crept in.
They have been whispering at me for awhile. They often sound like my mother. I see her eyes. The pain that the other words inflict on her. She has tried so hard to protect me from those HATEFUL words. As I dream of protecting and sheltering my daughter. She would gladly KILL those words for me, as I would for my girl. But, only I can kill them. Only I can fully replace them.
And it’s happening. Those other words are losing power. They are whispering so quietly that I can barely hear them.
So when this beautiful picture of me arrived by the very talented Lisa Smiley, I opened it and closed my eyes. I counted to ten. Then I looked.
I tried to look as my mother sees me (the daughter she loves more than life itself). As my children see me (their everything). As my husband sees me (his one and only love). As my friends see me (someone they love and trust). I can finally see it. It’s been there all along. Time I start believing.
I almost didn’t post this blog. But then I read a much more elegant and complete explanation of how I feel.
This has been a heavy week for me. I didn’t know that being part of Listen To Your Mother would provoke all this growth. Geesh.
Thanks for reading and going on this journey with me. And thanks for the love. I promise to write about rainbows, fairies or my beautiful children again soon!
I love you more than words can say… I love you more than life itself…. You are the person that makes me smile, laugh, love so hard. I remember the first day we met you are the most beautiful women I know! mom
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This made me cry Bridgette. You are beautiful. You are one of the most kind and caring people I know. You are an amazing mother and who I truly admire and respect. You have a heart of gold. This is a beautiful picture that reflects you both inside and out. 🙂
A beautiful post from a beautiful woman.
I am so proud of you, Bridgette… watching you as you go through the Listen to Your Mother experience makes my heart so full.
I am so very happy that you’re beginning to see yourself the way the rest of us see you. xo
I’ve watched Sarah’s slideshow about five times so far, and each time I’m struck by how much the camera loves you. There is nothing plain about that soul of yours and it shines through all the artificial pressures of this world.
So I’ve sworn off FB for the month and only logged on to send a message to someone. But your gorgeous picture caught my eye. I mean that, Bridgette. I don’t suppose I ever told you that I think you have really great cheekbones, a great nose, a great smile, etc. Didn’t think it mattered because we’re friends, and who cares right? So anyhow, I read your piece because the tiny bit which shows on FB was there teasing. I have a great story to tell you about “beauty” sometime. In the meantime, glad you are stepping out and doing all this “growing” business! Beauty is nice; it really is–and you have it too. But more to the point, you are such a good friend–I am glad to count you as one. And your family is so lucky to have you too. Cheers!
Oh my goodness, such a sweet sweet smile. This is beautiful, Bridgette. And so are YOU!!!
You take my breath away, Bridgette. Your heart and your face. I love you, sis.
You, my Dear are a Goddess. On your worse hair day, you were a Goddess. If you live to be 102 and everything has surrendered to gravity, you will still be a Goddess. You were born a Goddess and a Goddess you shall be til you leave this plane. Shine on.
Bridgette you are a beautiful and kind and loving and an amazingly talented writer. I am in tears again!