Sunday, October 20, 2013

Strength in Silliness: trespassers will be electrocuted

Shirt: thrift; Jeans: Reitmans; Boots: Jessica
I don't actually think that this photo of me is wildly flattering, but I like the sentiment is conveys: a brutalized woman finding ways to claim her strength.

As those of you who regularly read Sublime Mercies now know, my disability and chronic pain are the result of horrendous sexual abuse in my childhood. For someone like me, there is empowering symbolism photographing myself standing, spread legged, over a sign that says, "KEEP OUT!"

Entering is a privilege and honour bestowed only by me.

Anyone violating that edict will be electrocuted.

Wouldn't it be nice if I'd had such powers as a child?

There was a time when I could feel tough by exercising a great deal. There was a time when I could have assumed this tough pose and you would have seen real muscle -- beautiful, strong, cut definition in my whole body. 

But the disability ended those days for me. It's pretty hard to feel strong when I can't even walk any distance without pain. It's hard to feel buff when I can see cellulite in my arms.

So I'm working to find new ways to feel both strong and beautiful.

There is beauty in my new curves and in the softness of my body as it is now. Occasionally, I can see it. Luckily for me, Beau can always see it, and he tells me about it all the time, especially when I'm wearing anything a little tight.

Bless his being man enough to like a woman of substance. I am that, and not just in body either. My personality is not what one would call that of a wilting violet. Strength need not only be in the body; it can be in the spirit, heart, and mind too.

Doesn't Beau look good in this blue plaid shirt? We found it for him at Value Village the other day. It's very soft and cuddly too.

Oh, and do notice those mountains in the background. I love them so very much.

Beau is a very handsome man but it's damned hard to get him to pose. When it comes to taking himself seriously enough to pose, he's as bad as his nine year old son.

Why look handsome when you can look silly instead? Duh!

Beau's helped me learn how fun it is to be silly and childlike. I didn't have the luxury of ever really being a child. Learning how to be playful with Beau is more healing than I would have imagined.

A gal with a past like mine needs a little playfulness in her life...

... as she works hard to find new ways to feel tough in the face of her own brutal reality.

(I'm linking this up to Visible Mondays at Not Dead Yet. See you there.)



  1. You go girl! You have prevailed and are stronger. Kudos for opening up and sharing that horrible pain you experienced.

    Popped by from Vis Monday

    1. Thanks. I tell myself that the shame belongs with the abusers, not me, so being open about it is okay. Some days I'm not so sure. Others, like when survivors thank me for what I'm doing, I know I'm doing the right thing.

  2. I'm so happy to see you like this! Grrrl power rules! Stand tall, chickie - you've earned it ;-)


    1. Thanks girlfriend. Of course, with us, standing tall is something of a metaphor, but, metaphorically, I'm all for it.

  3. You are quite right in that it would be wonderful to be able to empower our most helpless little ones. Keep carrying the torch.
    When my huz Dan is asked to pose, he automatically gives me his version of Zoolander's Blue Steel look ... the Hazel Glare. One eyebrow raised, one lowered menacingly, serious mouth. I dutifully photgraph it, then when he's got it out of his system, I can sometimes get the real guy to show his face.
    Maybe not your most elaborate look, but sweetly assertive!