This post won’t be up very long. It’s very indulgent and self pitying, and I never normally write like this. If I do press publish I’ll go back and forwards in my mind wondering whether to press the delete key – and in the end, that emotion will probably win out.
But more than anything, I’d love to feature on my own blog. And occasionally I do. Maybe once every two months, or on a special occasion – but the truth is, there aren’t any photos of me to feature. It makes me sad, it makes me feel ugly. But it’s not just the photos I cringe at that bring on those feelings, more lately it’s the lack of them.
Every sleeping and waking minute, I’m with my children, yet when they look back in years to come, they won’t know that. They will have no idea what I looked like smiling at them, holding them, ruffling their hair. They won’t see my pride, my joy, or the way they lift me up and make me feel worthwhile. They won’t know what I was doing in their lives – or if I was in them…
…and it’s my own fault. I’ve trapped myself.
It all started after we were married and I miscarried. I ate for comfort and the person I was when I got married disappeared – I think I ate her. Maybe twice. I shied away from the camera and took photos galore of Jensen, Gav, and the huskies.
Sooner or later, no one took photos of me. And now there are next to none. And I feel that somehow, if I ask for a photo of me [with one of the boys, it would never be just me], I’m narcissistic. Somehow I feel others will judge me for thinking I’m worthy of being on film. Being behind the lens is safe.
Initially I gave excuses. Yet, I know it’s not because I’m too busy, or even because I have no make up and I’m still in my pyjamas. It’s not because someone else doesn’t know how to use my camera [although that’s true, but it has an automatic setting], it’s for one reason alone. I hate the way I look, very often. Every inch of me.
Last night as I snapped away in the forest for a post, and as I watched my husband feature in my photos for some very beautiful shoes, it hurt. I feel like a no one inside. Not valued, not cherished, not special. And I know that there are no memories of me saved for my boys from most of the outings we’ve taken together, and I can’t go back. I don’t want photos of me plastered over every inch of my social media – I just wish there was a little bit of me – and maybe a little bit of me that loved that little bit, too – or felt like I was worth something to someone.
So where am I heading? Apparently we are supposed to love ourselves before anyone else can love us – and so this morning I posted a photo of myself on our Instagram. No make up, at the end of the day with a mom-knot in my hair, sat in the mud, shooting photos with Baby Hero. I’ve looked at that shot over 20 times and hovered over the delete option for the duration. I’ll probably take that down too – but I’m hanging in there at the moment. I need to learn to love my wobbly, post-baby body and 30-something face. Then maybe, just maybe, I’ll be back in the frame.