It Was A Dream; [She] Was a Dream
It was a dream. She was a dream. My ideal woman.
We were lying in bed, I don’t know whose bed. I don’t know where we were.
But we were there, talking, sharing, gossiping. But there was something about it that became charged. Or was that in my imagination? Then so sweetly she laid her head on my shoulder, tender, like people do. You know, sweet, a gesture. It was a dream. She was a dream.
And then she was undressed. And maybe I was too.
But it was her body I wanted. My ideal warm, soft, open, beautiful, creamy, voluptuous. Not bones and angles.
And that tuft of hair on her mound of Venus that surrounded her lips and teased itself into a perfect curl with the perfect color. She was my ideal.
Then I saw my body, scarred — from the cesarean, fat, lined, wrinkled. It was mine. I heard a woman in the background say, Roberta’s breasts are too large. And it’s just not pretty.
You see, the people in my dreams talk, and they are not always kind.
And I awoke with the beauty of that other woman still so profound and the shame of my own body, no longer beautiful.
Beauty and shame, a woman’s cross to bear. My cross. My perfect woman inside, I can never live up to. In the mirror, I see and judge myself invalid.
It’s an old conversation but one I don’t seem to outgrow. It’s not OK to look like I look. It’s not OK.
My strength, my courage, what I create, what I am capable of: it’s meaningless compared to what I look like.
It’s an old conversation, but I can’t shake it.
When I was in the hospital, sick with an eating disorder, when I saw women who were barely bones, I couldn’t tell that anything was wrong with them. I thought anorexia was a good look.
Now I dream of a more voluptuous woman. That’s progress. Right?
But there is still that other part that screams, that disguises itself in a dream.
What you do doesn’t matter, it’s all about looking good! The physical; but physically I’m ill. I’m sick, cuckoo. I wasn’t cured.
Bulimia doesn’t go away, it just quiets down for a while. I haven‘t won. I wasn’t able to muscle through long enough.
I’m full of shame, relapse and disgust. An old conversation that still has power.
How can I be so weak?