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Finding Your Voice: Moving

As a little child I was overweight.

Messy Marvin

In high school, I was anorexic. Being overweight almost allows me to become invisible. I love the way invisibility feels. When I am thin, I am so much more self-conscious about my body.


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Protective weight is not something that is unique to my story — so many of us cope this way. The problem is, it damages our physical health as well as our self-esteem. Along with this comes body dysmorphia, which is another whole layer of struggle. When I imagine what I look like, I get one image. When I look at myself in the mirror, I get another, different image. This disconnect makes it difficult to manage my weight, and even harder to love the skin I live in every day. Family fractures: Included in the collateral damage of my early childhood sexual abuse was my relationship with my mother.

I was just three years old when I told her that a neighbor was touching me inappropriately.

Introduction

She welcomed the man who molested me into our home for more than a decade after the day I told her about the abuse. She was afraid my father would end up in prison if he found out, so we kept the terrible secret from him for years. When I began the messy work of trying to make sense of what happened to me and why, I chose to forgive my abuser. I realized that he was probably also abused as a child, and was perpetuating a cycle that he unwillingly became a part of.

Knowing that he hurt me from his own pain, or a sickness inside him, made it easier to let go of the animosity and hatred in my heart for him. Forgiving my mother has been an entirely different story. I never understood why my mother did not protect me from the men who hurt me. Now, I can see that she had challenges of her own to deal with. I understand this now. How could I ever love myself? Fear of men: There have been several men who have abused me sexually, physically and emotionally throughout my life. This has left me with a mistrust of men in general.

I shy away from conflict with men, I am on high alert in crowds, and avoid being alone with strangers in elevators and other spaces where no one could hear me scream. I check my backseat before getting in my car. Autonomy: As ridiculous as this sounds today, it took decades for me to realize that I could say no to unwanted advances from men. If I had known years before, I likely would have made some very different choices with my body.

I felt dirty, used, broken and ruined. We are never born with an inherent flaw that makes us worthy of abuse. For me, it was a vicious cycle of feeling like I was abused because I deserved it, and feeling worthless because of the abuse, and feeling like I deserved the abuse because I was worthless, and around and around.

And, my worth cannot be diminished by the actions of another person. Though I still struggle with all of these things, just knowing why they are part of me has helped me so much. I know that none of us survive sexual abuse unscathed. The damage is so complex and so insidious it can really slip off our radar if we let it.

But, when we see our pain manifesting in things like addiction, anxiety and eating disorders, we can choose to acknowledge that these things in our present day life likely have roots in our childhood trauma. Forgiving ourselves, letting go of the shame, guilt and self-loathing that come with being a victim in this way can feel impossible. And truly, it might be impossible if we avoid our truth, or try to power through it alone.

But, with the help of some wonderful friends and a trusted professional or two, we can do damn near anything. We can even heal and live happy, normal productive lives no matter how damaged we thought we might be. Take it seriously. Do something — anything — to make sure they get the help they need to cope. Make sure you participate as part of the solution, no matter how difficult it might be for you to do so. This is your chance to be a hero, to literally save a life. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels.

The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles. It doesn't matter if you're sprinting for an Olympic medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies.

If you never confront pain, you're missing the essence of the sport. Without pain, there's no adversity. Without adversity, no challenge. Without challenge, no improvement. No improvement, no sense of accomplishment and no deep-down joy. Might as well be playing Tiddly-Winks. I'm alive.

I'm looking. I'm looking around.

Has grief made you lose your mind?

I'm feeling good. I'm so happy. I've got so many gold medals and ribbons and stuff, and that doesn't count.


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What counts is getting out there and doing the best I can do and show people what they can do. It never forgives weakness and extracts an unfair tribute of suffering. The most important factor you can keep in your own hands is yourself. I always placed the greatest emphasis on that.

Jane Kelly, The Anchorage Daily News in July "The wonderful things in life are the things you do, not the things you have" -- Reinhold Messner, alpinest "It's always further than it looks. It's always taller than it looks. It's always harder than it looks. Now I have only good days or great days. They are far superior and always have been. Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater.

Messy Marvin - AbeBooks - Kaye Wright:

I you give her sperm she will give you a baby. If you give her a house, she will give you a home. If you give her groceries, she will give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she will give you her heart. She multiples and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit! I have children. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything. Several new science papers suggest that getting away is an essential habit of effective thinking. When we escape from the place we spend most of our time, the mind is suddenly made aware of all those errant ideas we'd previously suppressed.

We start thinking about obscure possibilitiebsthat never would have occurred to us if we'd stayed home. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom" " Who steals my purse, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; 'twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands: but he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed.

To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action. The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember'd.

He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:' Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars. And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day. Familiar in his mouth as household words Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester, Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.

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This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remember'd; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition: And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Thou art the ruins of the noblest man That ever lived in the tide of times. Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!