I am not beautiful. Or desirable.

I don’t have long flowing hair.

I have fat.

I have no light in my eyes.

I have grey creeping in.

I have two children I am raising as a single mom.

I cry. A lot.

I sleep. Too much.

I forget things.

I get confused.

I am opinionated.

I am strong willed.

I cuss.

I like to drink.

I like to debate.

I have high expectations.

I demand to be treated equally and fairly.

I demand to be wanted and desired.

I am not sexy.

I am not brilliant.

I am not perfect.

I am not many things.

And yet Jim loved me unconditionally. He thought I was the perfect woman to be the mother of his children. He wanted to grow old with me. He wanted to watch sunsets and visit new places and cherish family time together.

Now I recognize all of my weaknesses.

Not because I am worried about someone else wanting me but because only now am I able to fully comprehend the extent of how lucky I was to have a wonderful man like Jim who accepted me and desired me just as I am.

I was good.

I was fine.

I felt supported and cherished.

I had his back and he had mine.

I was able to be me.

I was able to have do-overs.

I was able to fail and fall and he helped me back up.

I was loved. Unconditionally.

I didn’t have to worry about changing or being anything other than who I was.

And that worked.

For us. It worked.

And I am no longer that woman. I am no longer compliant. Or beautiful. Or sexy. Or desirable. Or witty. Or capable.

I am hardened. And tired. And bitter.

There is no longer a shimmer of wonder in my eyes.

I have seen the light and it has left me acrimonious.

It has left me cold. And indifferent.

Who am I to care any longer? Jim is gone and why should I care if I am found interesting?

I have always known I am not. But Jim made me so.

And now I must face the ultimate truth of the original premise which he transformed the moment we met.

He altered my persona.

In these days after his loss, I must accept the original me as me, the person I have become over the years, and recognize the need for new growth, new change and new alteration of the original species.

So far it has eluded my view and my capabilities.

I don’t know if I will ever live up to the person Jim always thought I was.

Or the person he made me feel I was.

Am I still?

10 thoughts on “I am not beautiful

  • Christiane

    I feel your unspeakable pain. Please be gentle and loving to yourself as you grieve. You will never recover from this loss, but please trust that the pain will, in time, mitigate. I myself am still learning, albeit slowly, that nothing outside of me can ever fix me, make me whole. Not a partner, not a substance, not what others perceive me to be can I hold to. What helps me in the moment is to breathe, sit with the pain, yearning, and grief, and be there for myself. Love, Christiane

  • Betsy

    Boy, can I relate. Since my husband died nearly a year ago, I have done nothing but inventory my own imperfections. All the ways I was less-than. All the ways I failed him as a mate.

    And yet, as you say, he installed me on a pedestal. Many people at his funeral told me how he always spoke so glowingly, and with such pride, of me. How he told near-strangers about his wonderful wife and how much he loved her.

    Like you, I am left puzzled how anyone could unconditionally love such imperfection. Eventually maybe I’ll understand.

  • Bakhus

    You are Here Karen and doing the best you can, Our little imperfections are what make us all so perfect.

  • Frances

    Oh my goodness! I was sitting here thinking @ 8:30 about going to bed, feeling what s the use, just go to bed & read til I fall asleep. Then Someone told me to click to facebook & there I saw your thoughts…………my thoughts too! My Tom passed away in June of this year; sometimes I don t feel I can go another day without him, his love & caring ways. You summed it up for me perfectly………..thank you! Tomorrow is another day! Praying for God s blessings for both of us.

  • Marge

    All of you are wonderful , beautiful people in your heart to have a love one with alzheimers you are saints. Husband died 9 weeks ago. Remember the good times. Keep me going. god bless. Marge

  • Tina Sands

    Why do we flagetate ourselves on our losses. We had wonderful lives together, yet we struggle with the pain of losing them. For those who are currently living the ambiguous loss, I can’t imagine how life will be without him when the time comes.

  • Pat Farnham

    Karen, You are all those things and still are because he loved you. I lost my husband of 57 yrs in May to the terrible disease which is Alzheimer’s. His worst yrs were the last two and then he passed at Journey Care hospice peacefully the day after his birthday.

  • Ann

    Karen, the thing I’ve always appreciated about your writing is the way you convey such raw emotion and vulnerability, and you certainly do that with this moving piece. You have been through so much, and you’re one of the most courageous, strong, and beautiful women I know…. Life is about continual growth, and although you may not always see it, you’ve grown immeasurably through this experience and you continue to inspire me and so many others. Sending you love and admiration across the miles!

  • Denise

    Karen,
    You’re hurting so deeply and your writing reflects your writing reflects that so honesty. You have been so good at conveying that throughout this journey with Jim. I can just imagine how comforting it has been to others that have gone through what you’ve experienced and hopefully you’ve found some solace in the act of writing all your thoughts and feelings. I pray and hope that as time goes gone you fine peace and healing. I know it will take because of the special, wonderful relationship that you and Jim had. Bless you Karen and the children!

  • Lee Ann Gerleman

    I had thought a year or so ago that you would have problems with what you feel about yourself versus what Jim felt about you. The beauty , honesty, caring, humor, etc. isn’t what Jim said about you or gave to you, he appreciated it. But it was all within you all the time. He didn’t make you smart or pretty or funny, you did. He merely enjoyed and appreciated. You should give yourself a few pats on the back, and realize that all of that great stuff that Jim loved about you, is still inside you all this time. So give yourself a break.

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