Matching Eyes

I’ve been grieving. I’ve been caught in this cyclical grieving process for a while. That’s not an easy thing to admit, because I want so badly to let this go. I know others believe I should be able to. But here I am, grieving.

About four years or so ago, when I consciously began this journey of knowing myself and healing, one of the first feelings to really hit me when I felt the changes taking hold in my life, was grief. Feeling just how happy and freeing it was to be vulnerable and face the hurt and truths within, made it glaringly apparent how much I wished I’d done the work sooner. I lost a lot of time. And even though I know I needed to travel this path as I’ve traveled it in order to reach this exact place and be able to move forward, that didn’t erase the regret and the guilt. The anger. The sadness. I couldn’t simply cast those feelings aside and pretend they didn’t exist. I had to move through a grieving process to reach acceptance, although I still from time to time feel the pangs of regret, and probably always will to an extent.

Part of that acceptance was realizing that my life felt like it was never mine. I was never free of my past; I’d never allowed myself to feel the hurt and heal, and all the choices I’d made along the way were a byproduct of the process I needed to go through in order to face it. And now that I am consciously living in a way that cultivates that healing and freedom, my insides feel freer than I ever imagined they could. I accept, I understand.

Except, I have this tangible reminder living on my outside. I carry it’s weight, both literally and figuratively, every minute of every day. It greets me in the morning, sabotages my self esteem in dressing rooms, pulls at my focus in the bedroom, distorts the look of every single piece of clothing I wear, moves with every stride and motion I make, and even impacts my relationships. 

Always, it’s there, on my upper arms, my lower belly, my hips/butt, and my thighs. It’s there, in my mind, tugging just as tangibly as gravity pulls it toward the earth. The skin and distorted distribution of fat cells that inhabits my body is my constant reminder. 

It took me several years, but I lost 80 pounds of emotional and physical weight and I’ve kept it off. But it left its mark behind in saggy, jiggly lumps and flaps all over my body. And no matter how hard I try to focus on how I feel and not how I look, there it is, mocking me. 

Sometimes I can go stretches of time feeling so good about what I’ve done to make myself healthy, feeling proud and feeling good about how I look, both inside and out. The way my husband looks at me and the wonderful things he says (and does, ahum) to me matter more to me than he’ll ever know. Knowing he loves everything about me has helped me to heal tremendously. But I still have this bit I can’t seem to accept and it all seems to revolve around the way my body looks, even after losing the weight. 

Recently, M expressed some of his deepest desires to me. To know that my husband leads us with every ounce of his being invested, and the fact that he trusts me enough to be so vulnerable brings me such joy, I can’t describe it. I’m so excited he’s reached this place of acceptance for himself to move forward in pursuing these desires. And I want nothing more than to be an active participant in them. I need to be. 

Much of what M desires revolves around voyeurism and exhibitionism. It involves being free to express our desires amongst like minded people without shame. He asked for those things, but I want those things, too. I have a need to express myself freely just as much as he does. 

The thing is, this issue I have with my body is THE ONLY HURDLE I HAVE. All the other things like shyness and small talk and even nakedness, wouldn’t be an issue IF MY BODY DIDN’T LOOK LIKE THIS. When we talk about these desires, which is all the time, I picture these things playing out in my mind as we speak or as he describes them, and I feel this exhilaration and freeness I’ve never felt in my life. And then later, it hits me like a ton of bricks….I realize I’d be participating in these things with THIS BODY. Suddenly, these amazing things I can’t wait to make real feel like pure fantasy, because in real life, this body and how I feel about it doesn’t match THAT FEELING I had in my mind. And the gap seems insurmountable. 

Last weekend, we eased in by attending a rope group, which was fantastic. It was non-threatening, beautiful, informative, and fun. I wore yoga capris and a tight fitting, sleeveless top, but I remained clothed. Others did not. The thing is…I want to feel free enough to enjoy it like that. I want that so badly. I don’t want to lose any more time living a life I haven’t grabbed by the horns and hung on to. I want my life to be mine, today, and not one lived with one foot in the past or one in which regret and shame and grief hold me back.

In 6 days, we are attending our first small munch and in 8 days we are going to our first play party. When I go, I’ll be wearing, in my standards, at least, revealing clothing. We may engage in play of some kind, it all depends. M has no expectation that I push myself into going or into participating if I’m too uncomfortable to do so. He understands if I’m not ready. But if I don’t go now, I’ll never be ready. I’ll keep telling myself things like, I’ll be ready when I lose 10 more pounds, or if I can get my arms to be firmer, and so on. I will always find some physical goal I haven’t quite reached. I’ll only be good enough if I this, or when I that. I trust M to be aware of and make concessions for my major insecurities, and I know I need to go.

But in order to decide to go, I’ve had to understand that since I lost the weight, I’ve been happy and proud, but I’ve also been processing a great deal of grief, and I keep winding back and around and around. I haven’t been able to get past it. Most recently, I’ve been angry. Really fucking angry. I’ve been sad. Really fucking sad. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself, because life isn’t fucking fair and I worked so fucking hard to be left with THIS. THIS BODY. And I’m not unrealistic, I don’t imagine perfection! I imagine the body of a 45 year old woman (today is my birthday!) who’s had two kids and had jobs that have demanded things from her body, of evidence of stress and weather and sports injuries and lots of laughter. One with lines and droops and stretch marks and imperfections. Just not THIS

I know this will be a battle for the rest of my life, with many ups and downs. What I wish for is the freedom of allowing myself to feel good, in this skin, for the freedom to see my outside through different eyes, and for those eyes to match the freedom and happiness I feel on the inside. This seems to be my biggest hurdle. 

I hope that the feeling of being on the arm of my amazing husband as I go to this party and we feel this freedom together will encourage my eyes to continue to fill the gap. I hope I can learn to focus on what this body can do and feel and not the physical imperfection. 

Wish me luck. 

– Art work by Kim Roberti

53 thoughts on “Matching Eyes

  1. You’re amazing. And brave and wonderful and inspiring. I hope you have a whole lot of fun when you go, (btw, what is a small munch?) and I hope you can relax and be in the moment with your husband and enjoy yourself. And then when you get back, you can share the juicy details. LOL. 😀

    • Wow, thank you Vic. I’m humbled. A munch is social gathering of kinky people, in a public place. Ours is at a restaurant on Thursday. I will do my best to relax and enjoy myself. M helped me order several ‘sexy’ things to try on and choose from so I can be comfortably confident. No doubt I’ll share along the way! Lol. A sincere thank you, Vic. 💜

      • You are so welcome and I can’t believe I didn’t wish you a happy birthday! That’s the first thing I wanted to do!! 🙈 So Happy Birthday a day late. I hope you had a wonderful celebration. 😊💐

      • No worries! Thank you, I got a birthday spanking, lol. We are heading out to lunch today and there’s a surprise! I have no idea what it is. Have a lovely weekend, Vic!

  2. i’m right there with you and struggling with the body issues as both voyeur and exhibitionist, Kay. But we need to celebrate our authenticity and not compare ourselves to the airbrushed nude 20 somethings of tumblr. Self love is hard, but we are all worthy of it. Speaking of celebrating, happy birthday! 💜

    • Thank you so much for sharing and for the heartfelt, encouraging words LO. I appreciate them so much. And thank you for the birthday wishes!💜

  3. Precious little sister of mine, you know how I feel about this and you’ve seen it reflected in my eyes, face-to-face. You are a beautiful, vivacious and yes, sexy woman.

    You are beautiful, Birthday Girl

  4. First of all, Happy Birthday and secondly, this is one of the most honest posts I’ve ever read. Thank you for sharing this and I hope your grieving will soon turn to acceptance and then joy.

      • Absolutely! I could not find the quote. It will reveal itself randomly and I’ll post it to you…
        I can so relate to what you’re saying. Right after I commented I went into a clothing outlet store. Though I’ve removed >50 lbs, I still dread buying clothes. While I want to look nice, I don’t seem to be challenged by “knowing” how to clothe my body. When I go into a store, I swear I feel “phantom fat” on my frame. I still don’t seem to embrace the body I have, tho I am MUCH happier than I’ve ever been with my body (even when younger and thinner). So now my question for me is: where do I still not love me? For how i see my body is merely a reflection of how I see myself.
        May we both discover a new element of peace within ourselves today. ❤️
        And Kay, to reply to your appreciation: it’s truly my pleasure to be of service 😘

      • No worries! I’m challenged as well; I don’t know how to clothe my body and find things that both match my personality and look like they belong on me. I think I feel the same phantom fat, but honestly, I just have a body that redistributed in unexpected ways and I was also left with so much lumpy and saggy skin. Of course I feel better and am happier with who I am than I ever have been. I do love me, though self love will be an ongoing struggle, I know. I’ve asked myself that question over and over, Tiffany. What if it’s truly just the skin? What if I’m not telling myself I don’t measure up to some ideal, and that this skin is just ‘not me’?
        Those aren’t fair questions to ask you….I was just offering a peak into my thinking processes. I wish for you that peace, so very much. It’s my pleasure as well, Tiffany. It’s why I’m here.

      • I keep hearing “Love the skin you’re in.” Perhaps we both need to spend time on a burn unit 🙂
        I went into meditation after another incident triggered me. When I tapped into gratitude for showing me where I feel broken, I was able to bathe myself in Love. Yes, there is still more to be loved. And yet this piece by piece approach is helping me and healing me. 🙂
        May we all find peace today in our skin. 😘

      • Kay, something more just occurred to me and I understand this for you…as I have done this to myself as well (still do). Compassion and empathy for self can help in so many ways. You have learned each lesson when the time was right, when you were ready and not a moment sooner. When you can forgive yourself “for taking too long” to start your journey, I believe you will find a great sense of relief and will free yourself to enjoy each moment even more. Namaste (the Light in me honors and sees the Light in you). 😘❤️

      • And that may well be exactly true! I keep thinking I’ve tackled it for the most part but this keeps staring me in the face. It may well be the piece I hang on to! Thank you, Tiffany, for coming back to share that with me. 💜 Namaste. 😘

      • I find that the bigger boulders are tackled by chipping away at them, removing them stone by stone. Honestly, tho, I also find that the same things I “struggled” with 20 years ago are the same threads I work on now, just a different aspect…and at a greater depth. I’m mentally working on a post for that… much love to you! ❤️T

      • Yes!! Me too! I sometimes get all excited that I think I’ve chipped away one of the last big stones….and there in front of me is another. And another. Lol. But that’s okay! I’m still chipping! And I feel like I’m ready for this one to make some movement. I can’t wait to read!💜

  5. Happy Birthday Kay. You are an amazing and open woman. I think you have what it takes to carry you where ever you want to go. Love yourself, because you are truly lovable! ❤

  6. I agree with what so many others have said. This is such an honest post and I have so much admiration for you in tackling your demons and pushing your boundaries. I know how hard it can be to fight a negative body image but I am sure that you are genuinely beautiful. I hope that your various events go well and that this is another step forward in your journey to move forward from your grief. Happy Birthday x

    • Thank you so much, Missy. I very much appreciate your well wishes and your kind comments. I hope so, and I think it will be another step. 💜

  7. Well, I cried! I relate to much of these feelings – the body issues and the desire to do the things and being comfortable. But I don’t delve into that now. I’m glad you posted this, and I hope you (all of us) find a way to get where you want to be.
    Really, I want to say..

    • I’m sorry! I appreciate you sharing that and I’m happy my words resonated, although I’m also sorry they did. I hope so too! I’m trying, I really am. I hope for all of us. And thank you for the birthday wishes.💜

  8. Catching up today, my friend. Such lovely and supportive comments above! I’ll add my wishes that you are able to grieve and get past it. I’m usually not one for quoting Oprah or handing out a whole lot of ‘power of positive thinking’ stuff because mostly I think it’s crap! 😜 However, Oprah said regarding her weight struggles that she’s come to view her body positively because of its amazing function if not it’s form. This female bodies that bear babies, feed them, shed the lining of our wombs every month for 40 + years. That’s pretty freaking amazing. And in its amazing-ness there is a beauty of its own. And yet we women all struggle with this as we age. Which is why this such a wonderful, honest and relatable post. Thank you, Kay. Oh and this: Your husband obviously appreciates that beautiful body of yours. 😘💕😘

    • Hi, Meg! That are, and I’m so grateful.

      Haha! Me too, because we each reach the places we need to reach in our own time and not on the timelines others think we should! But that is absolutely what I’m trying to do….to see that I do have beauty on the outside, but more importantly, feeling gratitude and love for what this body can do! Especially NOW! Thank you. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. I appreciate it more than I could possibly say.

      And yes he does! I’m grateful every day. 😜💜

  9. I’m so deeply saddened, Kay, that you feel as you do. I’ve enjoyed your writing very much and perhaps IRL were we to live near each other we could be friends. I’m very much older than you – I am 58 and so often wish my husband and I had found this crazy and wonderful, alive and meaningful lifestyle 25 years ago! Many of my friends and acquaintances tell me I don’t look anywhere near my age, but after 3 back surgeries and breast cancer, I feel it some days. I have always had body image issues. So I empathize with you. A few years ago I managed to lose over 70 pounds and kept it off for quite awhile, but sadly it has just crept back on, miserable pound by miserable pound. I have always been a large breasted woman and that is a hindrance – BUT – enough about me.

    I wonder, did you notice at the rope event you went to, or (if you have been to a munch before) were there other, heavier or out-of-shape women, ladies who perhaps had some flab or saggy droopy body parts? I ask, because surely you are not the only submissive who does not have a perfect body? And surely there are some Dominants or Tops who aren’t in the best shape either?

    Have you thought that if your Dominant/Master is pleased with you the way you are, and happy with your body, then YOU should be happy too? If he was not happy with you then that would be a different story. You have worked very hard to achieve what you have. I am a person of faith and it’s my belief that we are here on earth to be happy. Don’t waste any more precious time on anger, sadness, grief, mourning, or unhappiness at lack of perfection. It would be the same if you had a disability. You couldn’t help nor change the fact of the disability – it would be part of who you are. Your body and its lines and texture are YOU. It’s a reminder of who you once were and who you have become. Glory in the wonder of your new self, and you and your Sir enjoy the pleasure of your bodies! (At least, this is how I see it. Now if you have any ideas how I can get my old, fat out of shape body into condition, please let me know!)

    I hope you do dare to wear something quite revealing, and have a fantastic, fun time. I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing about it later.

    xx rebelliousangel

    • RA, it makes me so happy to know you and your husband have found that which makes you feel alive! You are a courageous, vivacious survivor, and I feel the same, that perhaps we’d be friends. You used the word miserable….I’m so sorry it feels that way! And that you can empathize with the body image issues.

      Yes, it was actually liberating to see other woman who were not perfect and were free in their skin. Also Doms and men who were of all shapes and sizes. I think that will continue to be helpful!
      Yes!! I am reminded every day and think about that every single day, the fact that M loves me and my body and is even proud! And I know I should be happy too. I do, I know this on an academic level. Even an emotional one, but I believe this self sabotage is so engrained, it will be something I must constantly ship away at until I’m bigger than it is. And I also think that losing 10-15 more pounds would help too, as my self sabotage hasn’t helped me to do that. I will do my very best to LET GO and just have fun Saturday.

      I’m happy to share what has worked for me to lose weight and keep it off. Feel free to email me at any time!

      Please know how much I appreciate you taking the time to read and leave such a heartfelt comment and for sharing about yourself. It means so much to me! 💜

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