On nudity. On feeling safe in this body. Or not.

I was decluttering my online space about a month ago, clearing out old emails, terminating subscriptions, and unfollowing accounts I no longer resonate with. In doing so, I was called to revisit artist’s profiles I had thoroughly enjoyed following over the years but whose content was no longer showing up in my feed. There is one in particular that stopped me in my tracks and compelled me to spend quite a bit of time catching up with recent posts. It is an account ran by New York based photographer Brooke DiDonato who would capture her subjects in mundane settings distorted by rather unexpected visual anomalies. Her images stage pastel colored scenes of every day life, in and around houses, frozen in visibly outdated but strangely pristine suburban mid century domestic settings. Although they may appear soothing at first glance, the viewer is quickly overwhelmed by a strange feeling of dread and gloom as faceless bodies find themselves partially swallowed by their environment. What I personally find most unsettling is this false perception of being introduced to an environment which seems anything but hostile upon first impressions. A hint of surrealism subtly permeates her work, suggesting feelings of isolation, suffocation, and internal struggles. Sitting on my living room sofa, staring at these images, something clicked. On a visceral level, I could so strongly relate to these images. I closed my eyes and visions of me penetrating these frames immediately came to mind. I was now part of the composition, quietly picking a spot to wait for life to happen - silent inertia. I could vividly picture myself scanning the room to pick up on details and objects of interests, taking in the space and getting a feel for its energy. I couldn’t hear a thing but I could see it all; from the texture of the wallpaper to the rug density. My imagination would automatically fill the gaps for areas of the space that were not shown in the photographs. Quickly thereafter, I got up, got undressed, dusted an old wig, put it on, and set up my cellphone to snap a few photos. I didn’t think much about the nudity aspect of it all. I did not wrestle with the idea of sharing these images until after the fact. Appearing entirely naked just lined up perfectly with the motives behind my instinctive desire to emulate these images; clothes didn’t belong in there. I was doing this for me. It was allowing me to say things I felt I had not been able to clearly communicate through my paintings. After a first round of shots were taken, I moved to another area and attempted something different. I kept on going until I ran out of conceptual frames of reference for the day. I then retreated back to the living room sofa to sit with an array of unpleasant feelings that had resurfaced to greet me. Effacement is the feeling I was most trying to communicate. Being made to feel invisible. Being equated to an old piece of furniture one lays across or an object one sets aside when no longer interested in interacting with it. Effacement is the feeling that developed over time in my marriage and it felt worse than exchange of physical blows. We had vowed to love and support each other for the rest of our lives and yet, just a year into it, we were quickly spiraling out of oneness. I was dying a slow death.

Nudity is an interesting one for me. As a young girl, like most girls my age, I possessed a degree of awkwardness about my naked body. My approach towards showing skin was rather conflicted. As I grew a bit older, I would consistently engage in acts of negotiation with myself and the world around me. If I were to show legs, everything at the top had to be covered. If I were to sport a revealing neckline or have my arms on display, everything at the bottom had to be covered. To me, it was the way to strike the “proper” balance and avoid putting myself out there. I was programmed not to take too much space and avoid eccentricity. Perhaps that is logical to some, but is it really? I felt quite insecure about my developing body and would dread scenarios in which I had to change in communal settings, in front of others. As an adolescent, I started feeling a bit more free around others, but strictly around female energy I was well acquainted with. It’s not until moving away for college and having an apartment to myself that things shifted. All of a sudden I was living all alone and could do as I please. I gained a sense of knowing about myself by entering into a whole new type of relationship with my body. The prospect of stripping off in public was still daunting, but I was more and more called to do so in private. Many of us tend not to look at our bodies as a whole. Instead, we nit pick, focusing on the bits we dislike. Early in my twenties, I got into the habit of being nude when I was home alone. The moment I’d get home, clothes would immediately come off. I was always hypersensitive to pressure, tightness and fabric materiality. I was most comfortable without articles of clothing rubbing against my skin. As I came to share space with female roommates or romantic partners, the habit persisted. I’d try and tame it but it just felt natural. Ultimately, I’d either consciously give in or forget to check myself altogether. During the better part of my marriage, we were also sharing our space with third parties. Except for short periods of time here and there, our housemates would rarely be home and the additional presence was generally feminine. Nudity became an ordinary thing. I’d tackle small renovation projects fully or partially dressed. I’d cook, I’d garden, I’d paint sections of the house, make art and go about my business without much clothes on. I felt perfectly safe and at ease in that state. When physical altercations started to occur between my partner & I, embracing nudity became a rather perilous move. I often thought that it would work as a deterrent. It never did. The morning I felt half my front tooth being crushed onto the wood floors of our bedroom, we had been arguing about inappropriate conversation with some third party and I was being gaslit into not pressing the issue any further than my partner was willing to take - accountability was never his friend. We were fighting in the bathroom and things escalated very quickly. I got out of the shower and reached for the door, attempting to get out. My partner followed me, trying to restrain me, not allowing me to leave his sight. I was fighting tooth and nails to loosen his grip and get away. Having been in a devastatingly abusive and emotionally damaging relationship prior to meeting him, flight had been wired as my response to increasing palpable tensions. Being touched or restrained was a potent trigger for me and my partner had been made aware; in such scenarios, I felt the urge to momentarily go my own separate way and cool off. The best course of action for me was to walk away, get some air, and gather my thoughts. I hastily came out of the shower but didn’t make it far past the closet doors. As I was pushing him away to free my movements, I was slammed to the ground, face down. Parts of his body landed on top of mine. My right front tooth cracked in half on impact. I froze, looked up and stopped screaming. I was speechless. He, too, was speechless. He had let got of me and had gotten back up, standing above me, not exactly sure what to do or say. I recall him mumbling things like “Oh my God, I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I didn’t… I’m sorry! I didn’t meant to… Are you okay?” I was naked, wet, disoriented. I was still on the floor, rewinding the scene in my head. I thought I had caught another one of those strange smiles in the midst of him attempting to verbalize a proper apology, a grin of satisfaction, but I couldn’t be too sure. I didn’t know what to think. My mind went blank in that moment. He apologized profusely but, oddly enough, didn’t attempt to hold me and soothe me. I had been forced to physically surrender and sustained a bodily injury because of it. Still, he didn’t think to hold me. In hindsight, as disturbing as it may sound, at that moment I wish he had - I wish he had done something, anything, to genuinely demonstrate that he cared. It took my tooth cracking in half for my partner to give me the space I was demanding and now that he had gotten away from me I wanted him close. How deleterious and paradoxical is that… I was severely hurt and severely trauma bonded and therefore severely confused. I abandoned my idea of leaving the house to go for a walk. Where was I going to go? I was both angered and saddened, thinking only of ways to make sense of this harrowing moment and fix it. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. He insisted that it was an accident, that I had slipped, and that we’d take care of it. Nothing of the sort would happen again. It was an accident. It was an accident. It was an accident. I eventually agreed, it was an accident. We were in a tug of war. There was water involved. Things had happened fast. I had slipped up. Unfortunately for me, I fell flat, landed on my face and fractured my tooth. He didn’t mean to hurt me. He apologized. It was an accident. I had slipped. He pulled up his phone and started browsing for local dentists. I kept replaying the scene in my head, over and over again. Okay… I had slipped. He apologized. He didn’t mean it. He didn’t do it. I was wet coming out of the shower and the floor was slippery. He apologized. On his phone, he looked for solutions. He was determined to fix it. It wouldn’t happen again. Right? He had apologized. It was an accident. Well, if he didn’t cause this - who did? Did I? Did I really slip? Did I slip and fall hard enough to be missing half my tooth moments after? Accountability mattered a great deal to me - it always has. With plausible deniability coming into play, I couldn’t seem to perceive him as a perpetrator with malicious intents. Still, I couldn’t say why, but I was angry. Deep down, I knew I had not slipped. I had been smashed to the ground. Had I slipped on my own accord, it is highly unlikely I would have fractured my tooth the way I did. The more I replayed the incident in my head and the more uneasy I felt about it. Truth is that my head came close to hitting the 90 degree edge of the wall in which the closet was built; a slightly different angle and just about an inch or two closer to that wall could have resulted in a far more terrifying outcome. I made that remark years later, after a series of other physical altercations took place, but it did nothing to shelter us from reckless and particularly harmful behaviors. In this case, the following morning, things between us got heated again. What had happened to me the day before had not been satisfactorily and responsibly addressed. Moreover, the argument which had set the whole thing into motion had been dismissed entirely so once again, we argues about it and, once again, things escalated. We were in the living room this time. As usual, I was partially nude. The lack of sincerity and manipulative ploys were filling me up with rage as we started bickering about what he was adamantly refusing to take responsibility for. He had been secretive, inappropriate, disrespectful of me and quite deceitful but, in my partner’s eyes, I was the problem. Adding insult to injury, all of a sudden, in the heat of the moment, he looked me in the eye and declared that I had fractured my own tooth. Profanities ensued. A physical fight followed. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, figuratively banging my head against a brick wall. I couldn’t get through to him. It was a vain attempt. He got close to me and covered both my mouth and nose, ordering me to shut the hell up. I lost it. My airflow was being obstructed, and his hand was forcefully rubbing my lips against my teeth. Causing mouth sores was frequent, you see. It was a signature move on his part during fights. They weren’t visible but for days on end they caused pain each time I smiled or chewed. It was a quick jolt to set me straight, subconsciously encouraging me to comply. These fights didn’t have to be about anything of importance either. Some of these triggers were so incredible futile that it really didn’t matter what was at stake - if anything at all. Rationality was out of the window. Facts would be altered. l and words would systematically be twisted. Erratic responses would generally lead to contradictory statements and obvious discrepancies but I would be made to question my sanity if I were to point it out. More importantly, I’d be punished, one way or another. New narrative would be created out of thin air. All of the time. What happened to me personally, or things I had witnessed with my own eyes would be deconstructed and reframed to for whatever story line my partner was inclined to uphold in any given moment. It really bothered me. I couldn’t take it. My partner was forcefully restraining me, refusing to let go. He had to assert dominance over me even if he had to hurt me in the process; I was not to question him or demand a sincere apology. I was not to ask for explanations of any kind. I was not to expect a conversation aiming to shed light on trust being broken and lines being crossed. I was not to bring it up again. That’s essentially what he wanted from me but there was no way in hell I was going to run with that. Well, moment later, all hell did break loose and we were both running - running for cover. As he was restraining me, I tried wiggling my way out but he was much stronger than me. I’ve got some fight but I’m not superwoman either. My partner could pin me down if he wanted to. Physically, I was no match for him. He knew it. I knew it. I resorted to scratching him so he would let go. He did but the fighting intensified. He was chasing after me as I exited the living space. Reaching for the small set of stairs that led to our bedroom, he got a hold of me once again. More fighting. More screaming. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Out of nowhere, we heard loud bangs at the front door. Much too loud to be neighbors. We looked at each other and immediately ceased to fire. Within a fraction of seconds, it hit us both: a police squad was at our door. We now had bigger fish to fry and only a few seconds longer to think on how to respond to the situation at hand. I had been fighting for two days with my partner, I was in my home, partially nude, with half my front tooth missing, and the police was commanding us to immediately answer the door. Stuck in a loop. Terrified.

#NPDAwareness #CoDependency #AbandonmentWound #TraumaBond #Memories #Mirroring #Projecting #BlameShifting #ShapeShifting #NarcissisticRage #CovertThreats #Paranoia #Intimidation #Manipulation #Triangulation #Delusion #Performative #Predatory #MeansToAnEnd #FalseSelf #MaskOn #MaskOff #ConArtist #TaintedLove #LethalPoison #ChooseYourself #HealYourself #WalkAway #NoContact #SpeakUp #KeepingTabs #DisappearTheProblem #DangerousGames #SafetyFirst #ChessNotChecker #NotMyChoice #ReturnToSender #LifeIsArt #ArtIsLife #DivineFeminine #WoundedWarrior #ArtistInLearning #StudentOfLife #AllIsWell #CoCreation #QuantumLeap #SpiritualGuidance #InnerCompass #IntuitiveKnowledge #SelfEngineering #CosmicRays #LightBody #PsychicGifts #PowerToTheGodWithin #ThankYouMorePlease #NewBeginnings #PhoenixRising #FallNineTimes #GetUpTenTimes #HighPriestess #ManifestingGenerator #SigmaFemale #HeyokaEmpath #WholeWoman #NaturalBornHealer #SelfLove #SelfCare #SelfRespect #SelfKnowledge #SelfAcceptance #HealingJourney #INFJ

On diet.

I need to watch myself. Lately I’ve been indulging way too much when it comes to food, more especially carbs and sweet. When not feeling emotionally fulfilled and / or supported, I tend to compensate with food, exercising poor self control. It delights me. It soothes my soul. Deriving pleasure from taste provides instant gratification - a drug, for sure. A large chunk of the global population is addicted to food in one way or another. Many are unaware of the dysfunctional nature of their relationship with nutrition, or the root cause of such dysfunction whilst food constitutes, in fact, our primary source of addiction. I used to frequently binge. Eat until it hurts was a satisfactory outcome and, so long as it tasted good - not even great, it didn’t matter what it was or how it could affect my system. Of course I see parallels here with other areas of my life. I’d have to be blind if I didn’t. I used to have a strange and clearly dysfunctional relationship with proper nutrition and wellness in general. My approach was to kick a problem down the road until I could no longer ignore it, resulting in utter and complete misattunement to my own body, my physical needs and overall health.
Nothing really prepared me for these changes in the nervous and metabolic system either. I would hear about it from the older generations but it didn’t quite register that it would apply to me, so soon. When you’re young you feel as though you’ll be young forever and ever. As you reach 28 - 29 years old, it starts to sink in that change is coming. The body is less lenient and forgiving when it comes to processing food. At least, that was the case for me. By age 30, the body had taken a proper beating and starts setting things straight with or without your participation, violently protesting any form of self harm. My relationship with myself, my body and eating habits has drastically evolved. I’d say, for the better. I no longer find pleasure in swallowing unreasonable quantities of food that overwhelm my system and make me feel uneasy. I can’t afford to. It’s simply not worth it to me. However, something else has changed. I used to not be fond of sugary treats and wouldn’t even touch my birthday cakes. For two decades, the dessert section was the least tantalizing part of the menu but there has been a complete reassessment of my palette. I now crave sugar and I crave often. I’ve been eating my heart out since early this Spring, stuffing my belly with sweets and carbs. I’m starting to feel the effect of semi reckless behaviors. At first I was simply on track to reach my normal / ideal weight after melting down to skin and bones over the winter. Let’s just say that I’ve gone beyond my targeted weight, which I am pleased with. It has gone in all of the right places but I feel we’ve reached the threshold of pleasure vs pain as it’s now affecting my skin and energy level. My digestive system isn’t reacting strongly just yet but it feels slowed down and overloaded. Perhaps it’s a good time for me to do a juice cleanse or a fast. By the way, I’m writing all of this after filling my Amazon cart with beloved brookies, blueberries muffins, assorted danishes and orange cranberry scones. If you could take a bite out of these scones you’d understand my predicament. Now the good news is that I didn’t (yet) place the order. I told myself I’d lay off of the sugar but, as you know, sugar is an addiction and I’m officially hooked. Let’s see if I can demonstrate some level of discipline after I smoke this medicinal - because when it hits, you know it hits… The last time I had scones in this house I swallowed the entire box in two days. Perhaps what I need to so is quit smoking as well - right? But then again, what am I to do with creeping anxiety and sleep deprivation? At least, with medicinal, it’s guaranteed that I eat well, sleep well, relax and create - which is exactly what I need at this time. What am I supposed to do; live with this overactive brain and the not so pleasant memories it holds 24 /7 without getting blazed? Hah… Well, that’s where meditation comes into play, I suppose. It always boils down to it, doesn’t it? Why fix what’s not broken - meditation is the cornerstone of balance, wellness and mindfulness. See, in truth I’ve got all the answers to my existential problems. So it’s decided: less weed, less sugar, more meditation, more movement. I can do that!

Update: I purchased only the box of orange cranberries scones but it’s practically impossible to stay away from it! My housemate V doesn’t like sweet so I guess I’m stuck with the task of eating them all… Hey, I’m only human! I toned it down a notch, that’s progress - nah?

#JournalEntry #EmotionalEater #SugarAddiction #GoodFood #SelfControl


Having recently emerged from a complete psychological rebirth, it is baffling to me just how much of my initial programming I’ve surrendered and unlearned. My relationship with my body has completely transformed over time. It doesn’t matter for a second what the outward perception is of it; what other’s think or might think. I no longer give as much weight to other people’s comfortability level. My body is my sacred temple and entirely mine to play with. It is the vessel that allows the godly spirit which resides within me to have this wonderful human experience but it isn’t who I am. It was only borrowed for this lifetime. In my view, there’s no righteousness in either flaunting it or covering it up. Any such scenario is just fine. It’s my body. I can do whatever I want with it. Tribal people get on well interacting partially nude. To appear uncovered does not have to trigger sexual thoughts as there is no inherent sexual dimension to being naked; we just make it so. To me, it feels rather natural. This body has gotten me through a lot. I don’t particularly aim to show this body - I simply love the fuck out of it. I feel very much alive in this body. I admire its resilience and I finally, truly, feel comfortable in this skin of mine. I’m not exempt from insecurities. I have my fair share of them. I’m also well aware of them. Nowadays, my insecurities just don’t affect me in the same way they used to. I coexist with them. I am accepting of them. I strongly feel genuine confidence is built through self acceptance. Moving is a preferred healing tool I spontaneously and regularly reach for. I show up exactly how I show up; I don’t overthink spontaneity. Freedom is an act, not a state. I can’t remember who said this - perhaps the late John Lewis? When I move my body intuitively, I feel liberated. That is to say that I don’t refrain from sharing candid moments because my butt cheeks peeking out. That, to me, is but a visual representation of what freedom looks like, to me, when I’m in a safe space. I may not always feel safe in the world, but after being chronically ill for years and experiencing a difficult recovery, I finally feel safe again in this body. For a while there, I was completely disconnected from my body and greatly suffered from it. Quite frankly, I no longer enjoyed being “trapped” in it. I felt it no longer answered to me. Reattunement required steady care and patience - most of all, understanding. Along the way I had to learn and fully integrate the notion that I am not this body. I am the eternal Spirit which has taken possession of this body. It’s just flesh and bones. It’s skin. It’s density. It’s holly peaks and valleys and I see no reason to hide them. In fact, I see no use in trying one way or another. If it shows it shows, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. I just don’t think about it that much and can no longer care about what other people may or may not think of the sight of a naked body. I want to be very clear about the fact that my social media posts and just about everything that I do these days is radical self acceptance and unmasking. It’s never about “trying” to be weird or seeking attention. Whether the entire world sees it, a room full of people, or no one at all, it’s all the same to me. I see myself. In being my most authentic self, I am giving someone else permission to explore themselves and their surroundings in similar ways. It’s about acceptance myself exactly as I am I love, unapologetically. It’s about being proud of who I am. It’s about no longer feeling a need to hide my true self in order to feel safe. It’s about letting go entirely. Uniformity leads to demise. I am unique and so are you. Be yourself. Own your quirks and unsettling beauty. I love the skin I’m in and celebrating it is reinvigorating to me. All of it - creation. All of it - art. All of it - natural. As I carry seeking ways to emancipate myself, it’s not just my mind that is being set free, it’a also my body and the way that I interact with it. Get used to seeing that ass mane. That’s all I’m saying.

#SkinAndBones #NotForSale #FreeTheBooty #InsideAndOut #FreeYourself #LoveYourself #SeekYourself #LearnYourself #UnderstandYourself #HonorYourself #BeYourself #NoFilter #NoInhibition #NoFear  #FeelingFree #FeelingPeachy #DivineFeminine #SigmaFemale #ParadigmShift #Magnetic #Feral #Receptive #Infinite #Stellar #Unique #Bold #Grateful

Using Format