My eyes are blue, like my bruises

I hate the way I look, always have. When starting a new course or job and during the induction days they do that ‘let’s get to know each other’ stuff and one of the questions is always tell us what you like/dislike about yourself. I could go on and on for hours about what I dislike but like……. I like the colour of my eyes. That’s all.

Growing up I was always made to feel inferior, less, wrong, outcast. In School I was always one of the odd kids that didn’t fit the tough criteria to be in the ‘popular girls’, the ‘super intelligent kids’ or the ‘sports superstars’.  I was pretty good at some sports back then but because I didn’t have the right look, I was overlooked most of the time. I also came from a poor family so I was not allowed to socialise with the rich kids. They stuck together, so the poor council estate kids did the same. Boundaries and walls is what I remember most from my younger days – not thin enough, not tall enough, not good enough, not rich enough, not popular enough….. Even as a child the pressure was there to be thin, have perfect hair and millions of friends and that would make you popular (except looking back, I’m sure those popular kids had a rough time too keeping up appearances to please others). My body is far from perfect. It’s been battered and bruised and carried two babies and been through surgery. Stretch marks and scars are what I have going for me now.


I carried two BIG babies. Healthy babies, but big babies. No amount of stretch marks cream can fix the marks they left. I wouldn’t want to either. As much as I despise the red jagged lines on my stomach, they remind me of my two precious humans and that after two horrendous deliveries (one almost costing me life) we all made it, we survived.

I had surgery to remove my gallbladder so I have 4 scars in different areas of my upper body. Ugly yes but I’m no longer in daily pain and dosed up on pain relief to get me through the day.

I spent many years riding (and falling off) horses. I competed in show jumping (locally, no fame here) and I loved my horses although I was often trodden on, kicked, bitten, bucked off, head butted…… Every bruise and broken toe was worth it, they were some of the happiest days of my life. There was also a broken heart on numerous occasions as I had to say goodbye to the horses we lost through old age and illness. A sketch of my two biggest loves hang on my wall behind me as I write this. I still think of you both Starlight & Sundance. You both scarred my heart forever. My body went through so much physically and emotionally.

I’ve been bruised numerous times by an angry, frustrated Eliza in full on melt down. Totally unable to control herself her feet have left numerous bruises on my legs and face before. Back in the days where regression stole her speech. Spoken language that was not to return for 3 years. I’ve never blamed her for any of it, she was unable to control what she was doing. In an odd way, I was glad she felt able to do it to me so she had that release. As much as my legs suffered, I’m know she was suffering much more at the time it was happening.

Now I’m in my 40’s I care less about what the world thinks of me. I also care less about whether I like myself or not. I realised long ago that society would decide whether I fit the bill in certain areas or not regardless of what I do, look like or feel. It’s a strange, and often cruel, world we live in. Body shaming seems to be the ‘norm’ now. I’ll raise my kids to be themselves, whatever makes them happy. I’ll try my best to just be me, although it may take a while as the real me seems to have gotten lost somewhere in the last 15 years. It took me a while to realise that it’s no good pretending to be someone or something you are not, just to fit in. It’s much better to just be you and find the friends that love you for who and what you are. Those friends will love you even when you don’t love yourself sometimes.



This was written for ‘Finish the sentence Friday’ hosted by Finding Ninee and Sporadically Yours and the prompt was ‘When it comes to this body…’


Author: Julie Clarke

Mum to 2 children - Eliza diagnosed ASD at age 3. Younger Sibling, Noah. I run a Facebook page called 'Living with Blooming Autism'.

7 thoughts on “My eyes are blue, like my bruises”

  1. I am definitely with you and trying my best to teach my own daughters to be just be themselves. And at 40+ now, I am also finally a bit more comfortable in my own body now, too. So could most definitely relate to what you wrote on here about my own body image now, as well as for my own girls, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the pictures you used to illustrate the post. They “fit in” perfectly. I hope you’ll share a picture and story in an upcoming FTSF of Starlight and Sundance. Of what you wrote here, your mention of them made the biggest impression.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can identify with this post.
    Perhaps not as much emphasis on appearance when young, (given my gender), yet it all mattered. In that horribly logic-supported way, those of us who are ‘Outsiders’ find ample evidence for our status. Perhaps the cruelest part of growing up, a child does not yet have the standing to challenge labels and opinion. Still being children we lacked the experience with the world to make the distinction between ‘different’ and ‘unattractive’. Yet we learned and we adapted (as best we could, given our circumstances and natural talents).
    Surely one of the great natural tragedies of life is that we (all) have to grow up and endure something that, were we not who we were, might have been un-nescessary. I would not now trade any of those experiences in, but I can’t help, when seeing a young(er) version of myself, from wanting to say “Hey! This doesn’t matter. You are an Outsider but that is not a bad thing….everyone else around you do not have some secret of life that you didn’t learn when young.”
    nicely though-provoking post (the best kind, lol)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s amazing to me how hard we are on ourselves, especially when we’re so young. I see Tucker being hard on himself and my biggest goal is to continue to help him feel good about who he is (every homework I hear “I’m dumb” and it breaks my heart. I see him struggling to fit in at school too. I think you’re amazing by the way, and I think you look lovely. But it doesn’t matter what I think! It matters what you think. Here’s to us getting comfortable in our bodies more and more as we age. xoox

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When reading some of the remarks in a high school reunion booklet, I was very surprised to read how one girl that seemed to have it all, felt just as insecure of many of the rest of us did during those years. As it turned out, we were really more alike that than we thought.
    Finding oneself and becoming comfortable with that person often takes a heap o’ living.
    I’m looking forward to reading your next post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As hard as I work to teach self-love to my daughters, I found myself in a group discussion on body image in tears over the idea that I had to announce OUT LOUD something I liked about the way my body looks. I had no way out — we weren’t allowed to talk about what we liked that our body could DO, or what we liked about our clothing or anything. It had to be just about whoever I was with no trappings of the wider world. I stared at the floor for a while and tried to think of what I might like that wouldn’t sound dumb. If I said I liked X, and no one else thought that was likable, would I sound ridiculous? Finally, I mumbled something about my shoulders in the shirt I was wearing. I have no solutions for this problem. I just keep faking it and hoping something will stick. Hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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