I have to say that I loved reading the design team blog today. Jamie Harder did a layout and talked about her daughter and the frustrations at not being "perfect" at new things. It really spoke to me. I think all of us have our own unique challenges. As a young girl, I dealt with a father that was not a cheerleader in my world. He was not a normal father in any sense to me growing up. I never could figure out why he could not love and accept me. His remarks were often so cruel and probably was the biggest reason why I have struggled with my weight (always striving to be perfect)...from his comments. I have to say that I am 1,000% not blaming him for this, because NOW I see I have overcame so much from NOT letting his hurtful words ALWAYS stay with me. It did take me years to get over and accepting that he could not treat me and love me like a "normal" father. I don't know why I have never spoken about this before. It used to embarrass me. How could a father not love his own daughter? Well, I am here to tell you that I grew up with this. NOTHING could be perfect enough in his eyes.
So I started at the age of FIVE trying to be "perfect." I would not ever speak back to him. I would keep my room spotless. Yes, I knew if I did not- he would come into my room and DUMP every single thing from my dressers and create a HUGE mess for me to clean up. I would be crying and not understand why if I had left ONE thing out that he would then create a mess that took me hours to clean. It was a very abusive mental cycle. I guess you could say I was "lucky" that he never beat me. He beat my mother instead. Yes, it was a daily scary warzone in my family. I will tell you that I relied on prayer my entire life to give me peace. I was so confused.
When I was about ten years old (I was VERY slim!!!) my dad decided to not call me Teresa anymore. He called me OX... yes, like the animal. He said I was BIG and that he had a new name for me. I was CRUSHED. Who wants to have a nickname like this? A small girl who wants to be loved and wants her dad to accept her. So he called me this name ongoing from this point. I remember my mom, tried to make me feel better. She told me he called me OX because I was such a strong girl. So with this information, I thought... I need to lose weight. If I was skinnier then HE would love me. I remember I was 95 lbs at this time. Yes, 95 lbs.
This started a very vicious mental cycle for me. In my mind- I struggled with weight because of this. My mother decided a couple of years later, that she would put me in a "beauty pagent." I did not want to do it. My mother told me that I was beautiful, but due to my dad was always telling me "not to gain weight." She was a Southern mother and she was direct in her thoughts. She just wanted me to loss 5 lbs before the pagent and I would be "PERFECT." I did not want to do the pagent. Hello, getting in front of hundreds of people in the center of our BIG MALL and wearing a bathing suit. What had I got myself into???? My dad told me I did not have a chance because I was "too big" - I was 110 lbs at this time. All I could think about was the jiggle and wiggle of wearing a bathing suit and HEELS at the same time and walking the T.
I will tell you... I am NOT a pagent girl. I did the pageant and a miracle happened. Holy COW... I was crowned the winner. Imagine my surprise. I was really in SHOCK. Right then, I was given a modeling contract and several people wanted to sponsor me. They thought I was "PERFECT." This was a MAJOR changing point in my life. My father and mother decided to divorce that same SUMMER and I was somewhat free from the daily "emotional crap" that he always told me.
I did not want to do another pageant. I did not want to be critiqued and judged any more. Everyone- especially my mother thought I was crazy. I had learned a big lesson. I was going to work on loving myself as I am. It gave me a big boost in self worth when I needed it most. My world- my HOME...my peace was better after my dad left. The scars were still there. I am a direct result of my past. I still have to battle certain issues because of my past. Don't we all? I choose to listen to God's voice. I know I am HIS child. I know that HE loves me. Even when my own earthly dad could not. It's okay... as I have aged I have become a stronger me due to my experiences. I am a passionate mother. My husband says I am a mother bear and protector. I NEVER want my children to be harmed inside OUR HOME. I can control that. I know that the world is hard, mean and unkind at times, but I can have a home where they feel OVER THE MOON loved and wanted. Yes, wanted. I want them to never doubt the simple but profound truth that they are loved.
This layout from Jamie Harder is what had me feeling like I should SHARE what I went through. I want my kids to know WHY I love them so much and why I think they are PERFECT just the way they are. Thank you Jamie for inspiring me...
"In my world lately, we are dealing with my sweet girl's frustrations when she is not immediately successful at something she is new to. She is a bit of a "perfectionist" and I am trying to get her to understand that "perfection" is not the goal. I want her to know that she should feel safe to try new things and know that with hard work and practice she can do anything! I want her to know that she is not "perfect" but that she will always be "perfect" to me!
Now I typically have a very clean style but I wanted for the theme of this page to show some "imperfection" if you will. So I cut out a flower from the Spring Fling collection and I crumpled it up into a ball. And that felt good. But I didn't stop there. Nope..I got out my sandpaper and I scratched it all up. There. Perfectly imperfect.
I challenged myself on this layout to use bits and pieces I had and I ended up mixing three collections on this layout; Spring Fling, Fabrications and Everyday Poetry. So let your imaginations run wild and see what you create!- Jamie Harder"
Now I give you a challenge... go find those special people in your life... CHILDREN, HUSBAND, MOM, DAD, FRIEND, SISTER, BROTHER and tell them today how much you love them. Let them know how much they mean to you and you love them just as they are!!!! Have a great day.