Healing from Abuse

Steffi was in her late forties, a successful woman in her field, not excessively overweight, but weighing enough to make her feel uncomfortable about herself.

 

The amazing thing about her was that she had very low self-esteem in spite of her success in career. She was blushing a lot, her voice and hands trembled when she had to make public speeches and she felt very uncomfortable when people acknowledged her accomplishments. She liked to be invisible.

Yet, you could tell that she loved her job because, in those moments of work, she was confident and unstoppable.

 

She didn’t have a relationship and wanted to get in shape and go out on dates.

Her journey was shocking:

 

When she was 13, she had a crush on a boy in school, who was 16 at the time. He was a handsome bad-ass, as she described. He smoked, rode his father’s motorbike when he could and had lots of friends. The girls went crazy about him.

 

He noticed her unveiled infatuation and started teasing her. Her father who was a very strict man forbade her to meet the guy.

One afternoon when her father wasn’t around she sneaked out and met the boy near the school. They smoked and he started kissing her. When things got too far she got scared but he didn’t stop.
Only then did she realize that his friends were watching them all the time. It was a dare.

He was very dominant and demonstrated his control over her. She froze, she was too embarrassed to resist. Everyone thought it was consent.

 

The word spread in the neighborhood, and Steffi’s family found out. Instead of supporting her all she got was blame and further humiliation.

 

That’s when she started gaining weight. Her body started to store fat to hide her, as she said, from the peering eyes. She took it on like a coat.

She was subconsciously making herself unattractive to avoid humiliation. She was ashamed so she wanted to become unnoticeable. She suppressed the woman in her.

 

As the first step toward healing, she stopped blaming herself. She realized that she internalized the blaming game that her family played. Her parents were scared of the opinion of the community and their own helplessness so they poured their shame on her. The hardest challenge was to forgive them for letting her down when she needed them most.

 

She finally connected to the victim, the 13-year old scared and ostracized girl within her. She accepted the girl, learned to support and love her. She used to hate her for not resisting more, but finally understood the girl’s stupor and helplessness.

She was able to forgive the boy. She realized that he was scared, as well, of the opinion of his peers. He was aggressive and dominant because of his deeply rooted fears.

 

For the first time in her life, she opened up about her issue and her initial embarrassment soon turned into empowerment. She no longer needed her weight to protect her.

 

Finally, she was ready to accept the woman in her and be attractive. She was ready to accept a loving and supportive relationship in her life that she deserved.

 

Another amazing story about how the mind and body use weight to protect us.