(Thank you to my friends Homer and Anumita who thought I should absolutely write about this. Here it is)
An ex-boyfriend once commented on how fat and unattractive I was. Luckily for me, he is the only boyfriend to have ever said something so nasty and insensitive, but I am pretty certain that he is not the only person out there who has treated his partner badly. There are all forms of abuse and this is definitely one form. I would say that I am a fairly confident person and I do not usually take peoples' snide remarks to heart. But I want to know from other women (if they are willing to disclose, of course), have they experienced more hurt when the insults have come from someone who they have dated/ been with?
This wasn't all. My writing was torn down and I was called names. Toxic relationships are awful and the worst part is not being able to get out of them. Mine lasted for almost one and a half years and once I was out of it, I could feel the breeze on my face, stare at the blue sky and appreciate all the things I used to appreciate. I didn't know that this could suck the life out of me. I am prone to depression in any case (and I don't mean it in a casual sense. I have had problems with it before) and this did not make things better for me.
I Know I felt terrible about my body and myself and in trying to deal with it, I did two things. a. I wrote detailed letters to my best friend who handled me with kid gloves at the time and b. I took pictures of myself every single day. On some days, I looked nice, some days I thought I looked not so nice, but I made peace with who I was. And who I am. And what I looked like.This idea wasn't entirely original. My aunt once told me that one of the Gender Studies majors at one of the universities she teaches in once did a project on girls' bodies where she asked individuals to take pictures of themselves for a period of three months and submit them anonymously. The idea behind the project was to ensure that all sorts of bodies, shapes and sizes are appreciated.
However, I did deal with it and I have lots and lots of pictures of myself ( I hate taking pictures but I took one picture everyday for the entire year) and if anyone wants me to put them up, I will.