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Tertia. . .what an entry.What you see in the mirror does not mean others see that too,you will be magnifying every imperfection? Obviously theres no way you can stop the aging process,well only if you die and that would terrify you more to think of your babies without their lovely mother than any age lines would.Its not only the young that are beautiful Tertia. . I see older people looking fabulous . . .you still love your Mum too even though she will have aged. . you still need and love her.
Sooooo glad you got off the drugs,the only high you need are your lovely children.They will not even notice your lines ,they only feel their Mummys love.Hey. . .what about the lady here in the uk having a baby at 62!!!

What a brave post! I can relate to a lot of it. I am 6'0 tall and hated myself all through adolescence. I was also overweight. So, I lost 100lbs before I turned 16 and became anorexic. Later in my 20's, I became alcoholic. It took a long time to get through all of that. Then, at age 31, my body failed my triplet babies. Then, the next year, it failed my twin babies. I finally have my healthy son and have only scratched the surface of reconciling all of the past. I think aging would bother me if I wasn't married to someone much older than myself. Now, as I age, I think "oh, people won't notice our age difference so much!" I wish you peace in this poignant journey we have with our bodies.

Hugs, Tertia. I used to be the same way. Fortunately instead of Botox, I spent thousands of dollars on therapy, which is a permanent way to make peace with your body, at least it worked out that way for me. Not trying to be snarky -- I had never considered plastic surgery, probably because I didn't think it was a solution since I am very overweight.

I used to have the waves of disgust and self-loathing thing too. I guess what I do now that is different is that I mostly focus on areas of my body that I like (my hair, my eyes), instead of specifically looking for flaws and scrutinizing them. I also realized that with any person, no matter how attractive, there are areas that are not so attractive if you zero in on them, but the whole package can be really attractive -- the few flaws just don't attract notice. I think my husband is overall attractive, but if I obsessed over his back hair or the random pimple, I would probably be a little turned off. So I just don't pay attention to those things.

Also, I truly believe that beauty has a lot to do with things like having a bright smile, making eye contact with people and looking self-confident.

Tertia, you've been so brave with this brutally honest post. That honesty and your desire not to pass on your body image issues to your kids is the first step in the right direction.

Having read your blog for almost a year now, I always think of you as a strong, smart, beautiful, confident woman. I hope you can see yourself that way too (and sometimes it seems that you do). I think most (if not all) of us have some body image issues. At least you are examining and dealing with yours. That's a great thing!

You are a gorgeous, divine and caring woman and mother.

I couldn't stop smoking either - until the day I found out I was pregnant. It was no problem to quit then. Amazing, isn't it?

You're a beautiful writer.

My mother always tells me that the lines on our faces create the map of our experiences, showing the road to wisdom and a kinder heart. I think about this when I look at elderly people. Every few years I look at back at how little I knew and how much further I've come. How much more must these older men and women must know about the ways of life and the human heart, how much larger their capacity to love and feel sympathy must be. This makes me feel infinitely better when I look in the mirror and see my own elderly years approaching all too quickly. When you are gone someday, your children will look back on your soft and wrinkly skin with love and tenderness as it is the map to your heart. Enjoy the benefits of age!

This is such a brave post, in so many ways. I have hated my body in lots of different ways,and the only thing that saves me (over and over)is remembering and experiencing that my body, no matter how it looks, responds. It responsds to sunlight on my skin, my husbands touch, the pleasure of good food (and the displeasure of bad food).
Body self love is such an important journey, I wish you a safe journey.

I am only just now starting to have a better relationship with my body now that I"m exercising. Focusing on what I can do instead of what I look like is making a big difference mentally for me. I wonder if this is what men feel like? Thinking about how powerful their bodies are instead of what they look like?

That must have been so hard to write, Tertia.

The way I look at aging is this. It was great being thin and line-free when I was young. But with youth came stupidity. Too many boys, wasted opportunities. You had the thin body and no wrinkles Tertia - but your brain wasn't as smart, mature and developed as it is now. You did drugs, you starved yourself. You did things you'd never do now. The lines we wear represent the strength and wisdom within. Strength and wisdom we have earned.

I still loathe my body sometimes. But I am yearning less for what used to be. Keep healthy, keep fit, and make the most of what you have. You are beautiful and loved by many. Your kids don't see your imperfections. You are perfect to them!

Thanks for writing this and being so honest. It must have been a hard thing to put out there. Your kids really do think your beautiful, and will for quite some time! I (try to) see the lines and gray hairs and c-section scar evidence of a life lived. I certainly would not want to be the person (inside) that I was at 20...so a few changes on the outside is part of the (hopefully) wisdom attained on the inside. Easier to say now, sitting at the computer, than looking in the mirror first thing in the morning!

Thanks, Tertia.

Everyone says my daughter looks just like me. And every single day, I say a prayer that she won't.

Brave entry. You are not alone.

thank you fo your honesty. tht must have been hard to write and acknowledge in the light of day.

you are beautiful to your chilren. you are beautiful to us.

funny isnt it how a hundred people can tell you your beautiful yet one glance in a mirror can reduce us to despair, about the small lines on your face all I can say is what my mum said to me when I bitched about mine, you earnt each and every one of them through tears laughter and living, they honour your past and it's a mistake to try to erase that.

You are beautiful, those little lines tell the world your beauty is more than skin deep.

Thank you....

I was part of the cool drug crowd too...I loved E! and Special K...then it tore my friendships apart.

It is funny that you should write/post this today as I just finished writing up something similar and posting it on my blog minutes prior to reading yours. I guess the self love, body image thing will be a life long struggle with it easier sometimes than others. Thanks for your honesty and putting yourself out there day after day. I found your blog in June 2004 after I m/c and you are really the only blog I keep up with on a regular basis, including my own. I think I have only commented one other time, but I have shared your joys and sorrows with you over these last few years, quietly through the computer. I admire your ability to work full time, have young twins, write a book, have a good relationship with your husband and keep it all together. Thanks again for being you and brave enough to let others come along for the ride.

I have known many "old" women who were beautiful. They had lined faces, soft skin, and white or salt and pepper hair, but lively, bright eyes and infectious smiles. It is delightful to look at someone who is full of life and zest for living, no matter what the age.

Aw Tertia! You know how you will think your kids are gorgeous/beautiful no matter what? Well I kinda think that its also the same in reverse... My mum is getting old but I still think she is the most beautiful woman EVER. The thing is, while your body has let you down in so many ways, you have two beautiful little children now. So your body is really somthing to be proud of. Embrace your body... You truly are beautiful. I wish I could convey my point more clearly... Dont concentrate so much on the way your body has let you down, concentrate on what it has given you... You can walk and run and dance! A lot of people dont have that. You have made babies! Many women battle infertility without coming through with a child. Think about how smart you are. That is still a part of your body. Remember, every woman has insecurities about their bodies, most just dont have the courage to speak about them. You are v v brave. Thank you so much for letting us get to know you better!

Very brave. I am glad you realize how important it is for you to change this behavior. The long terms effects on your children, especially your daughter, have the potential to be very damaging. My sister only realized this when we found out her 10 year old daughter was skipping lunch at school, and weighing herself multiple times during the day...it was already a huge problem. It is a LEARNED problem.

May we all soon believe that we are fearfully & wonderfully made, by God, who did not make any mistakes. He is the ultimate designer. His work is flawless.

I respect you for knowing how big a problem this is, and for addressing it so openly.

Brave post, dear Tertia. Makes me want to hug you. Your experiences will one day help your children make the right choices, I hope. And Marko is a great guy.

I look at the pictures of your beloved mother holding your children and see a beautiful woman, her face full of life, warmth, experience, wisdom, love. Can't you reconcile yourself to becoming more and more like your mother at this wonderful stage of life? When personal charisma no longer depends on youthfulness? At a young age, many people can look good. After 40, your life shows through. You are a good, caring, clever, honest person. I can't believe you have anything to be afraid of.

and I say that, a 42year old struggling herself with the signs of aging. But I mean it.

By the way: I discovered an ingenious facial training called Cantienica. If there are books by Benita Cantieni available in English, try to get them. It did really great things to my face, in a very gentle and empowering way - no crude grimacing but tiny muscle movements of the face.

You ARE brave...and you are lucky.

Perhaps sometime soon you might realize that your outside is just the same as your inside, lovely.

I'm addicted to babies: They are so squishy and fuzzy.
T, Neen has given birth, and is fine. Jonah Liam is also fine. Have a great one.
*I was a problem drinker, and I also did some baaaad drugs, but now I am merely addicted to bad movies and nicotine gum...

Amazing post. I have a similarly bad relationship with my body and am trying to accept things as they are, but it's very hard.

Tertia, this was a very honest post and I thank you for putting it out there. It really resonates with me. I have always had the same kind of ambivalence about my body, although for me it started in childhood. I am also an addictive personality, although thankfully I escaped getting into illegal drugs - I more or less kept my addictions to alcohol (just as harmful as illegal drugs, of course) and incredible amounts of cigarettes (2 packs per day for many years). Quitting alcohol turned out to be easy - my DH also drank too much when I met him but when we got together we both stopped, got off the hamster wheel of the bar scene. Cigarettes were much much harder but I have been a non-smoker for four years and three months now and I thank God whenever I remember how awful it was to be a slave to those horrible things. I thought I loved my body when I was a skinny, attractive smoker in tight pants. But really it was like a costume I put on to get attention and acceptance, and as soon as I found those unconditionally (through my husband) I didn't need the costume and the destructive lifestyle that had allowed me to be thin fell away. I am only 30 so I don't really think about aging yet, but I do think about my body a lot - it is saggy and flabby and not well-cared-for at all. (Now, instead of cigarettes and alcohol, I am addicted to junk food.) I have felt similarly to what you describe, I have regretted that I don't look like what I feel my daughter's mother should look like - I have actually felt sad that my daughter has to have this ugly lump for a mother. But writing it out shows that feeling as the absurdity it is. My daughter does not see an ugly lump, and Adam and Kate do not see lines on your face. They see the most beautiful mother in the world when they look at you, and that's what my daughter sees when she looks at me. Look into their eyes - they are not disappointed - they are delighted to look at you. You represent golden, unconditional love for them, and that is what true beauty is for a child. Our fixations on the body are our own, not our children's. Remembering that has helped me try to be a little more accepting of my body, and mindful of complaining about myself in front of my daughter - I would never ever want her to think that it is OK to feel this way, even if it (sadly) is all too common. In our culture it is hard to escape the feeling that one is not good enough in some way, but it is my hope that the unconditional love we offer our children will be a buffer between them and the unforgiving world.

You command such respect, Tertia. How profoundly lucky your Kate and Adam are to have a mother - and Marko a wife - capable of shining such a searing light onto her own shadows. I think it's already huge that you acknowledge them - write about them! - and I think that the act of telling someone else about your demons in itself starts to weaken their hold over you. My darkest secrets are the ones I daren't tell people - even, no, especially people who love me, for fear they will think that I am stupid/mean/pathetic.

You are lovely to look at. What magazine ideal of what age are you comparing yourself to? Age, lines and lack of tautness are going to catch up with all of us in the end... better to have spent the intervening years living to the full rather than fighting a losing battle.

My turn: my husband and I had sex last night for the first time after the birth of our darling and very long awaited child (now 8 weeks old). I came, he didn't. He said he was too tired. I am devastated because I think it means that my vagina has become very stretched and that makes me feel awful.

Long pause while I wait to see if telling you has made me feel better....

Wow, T, once again you have shown your raw self to us Internets. Hugs to you for being so incredibly brave and open about yourself.

I think you'd be amazed at how many of us feel like you do. I'm heavier than I'd like to be, shorter than I'd like to be, bigger chested than I'd like to be, fatter legs than I'd like - the list goes on.

But, like you, for my kids I will do anything. My boys will grow up to love their inside self as well as others'. I want to erase the vain-ness of me off of them.

Thank you for your honesty and bravery.

Dear Tertia

Firstly, congratulations on the quitting smoking. That is an AMAZING achievement, smoking is so bloody addictive, and its so great for your own health and also your lovely babies.

Secondly, I know just what you mean about the body thing. I wonder if there is a woman alive who doesn't feel this way about her body at least some of the time. And the whole environment in which we see these perfect bodies presented as if that's how we should all be it just so fucking bad for loving our own bodies.

There have been a couple of things that have helped me, though, and (without wishing to give ass-vice), I thought I'd share them in case you want to try them and they help:

(1) I saw this exercise in a book. I looked in the mirror naked every day, and very purposefullly. And looked at myself. And I really looked at myself, trying not to put a mental 'model' body between me and the mirror to compare myself to. And saying aloud some descriptors that were either neutral or positive that were not about fat and old, ie things like "My body curves here and here", "my eyes are blue - I look happy", "my body is strong and beautiful". And took some time to think about the things my body had done for me: "Thank you for bringing my beautiful baby in to the world".

It was hard at first, but I noticed the pay off in general self-acceptance after a week or so, and I have gone back to doing it when I notice the general body hatred returning.

(2) Doing some exercise in which I saw other women naked in the change rooms, in my case swimming. Exercise tends to make you feel good about your body, anyway. You feel how strong you are, what your body can do, the blood pumping though your body as you work. You get a bit of a high from the effort. And I saw how a range of women really looked. I saw women who had supposedly "perfect"and "model" figures in real life. I saw how they really look, bits of cellulite, signs of ageing, wobbly bits. The fact is, we get a lot of exposure to female bodies that have been airbrushed and carefully lit. It made it feel real what I knew intellectually: that the bodies we have in our heads are really artificial, and the things we call imperfections in our own, real bodies are just normal. There was nothing at all wrong with their bodies. And there was nothing wrong with mine.


This is what I do. Ask yourself 2 questions...

1) Would you want to be the person you were at say 20 if you could? Would you go back if you had the chance, go back to the perfect skin and body?. I doubt it. You'd have to live through all those crap years (drugs, IF, loss) to get to where you are now which is pretty ideal. A husband who loves you, 2 gorgeous kids, a great job, a book deal. You can have one or the other - perfect skin, or near perfect life.

2) Does my body let me enjoy life and do the things I want to do? That is, does my body look after my children, make love to my husband, write amazingly well? Does it let me enjoy life, does it carry me to see my friends, does it hug and laugh and create? Yep, it does. So your body's doing a pretty good job, even if it's got a few kilometres on the odometer ;)

You're amazing Tertia, what a brave post. Funny, I never imagined you in the rave scene. You always seemed pretty straight to me ;) Anal, even ;) I think you're wonderful for doing this.

Whoa! I also did a lot of drugs when I was younger so I know what of you speak but the thing that floors me is that you were more worried about coke than ecstasy. E is one of the most dangerous drugs out there. Kids die from it all the time because they get dehydrated. It also causes brain damage. You are so lucky you met Marko.

The other thing that jumped out at me is that you admit you are an addictive type and yet you drink wine every day. I come from a long line of alcoholics and I married an alcoholic and would strongly suggest you keep a very, very close eye on the circumstances surrounding your consumption. If you ever find that drinking interferes in ANY way with your life you need to stop cold. Really. By interfere I mean makes it hard for you parent, makes you short tempered with the kids, makes you want to be irrepsonsible in any way, makes it hard for you to get up and take care of your kids, makes you feel guilty about anything. The addictive powers of alcohol make coke look like nothing. The definition of addiction is when you consume an addictive substance in spite of repeated negative consequences. It doesn't matter if you don't get totally smashed every time. What matters is if drinking become more important than other things in your life. I have no idea how that is for you I'm just saying that addictive people drink every day need to pay attention.

As for the aging - it beats the hell out of the alternative which is dying. Our culture makes us feel like crap about having lines and getting soft and all we can do is refuse to get sucked in to that. I agree it is not easy.

Hi Tertia,

Been following your story for quite awhile. Have a son just a little older than Adam and Kate.

Not that my opinion means anything, but I think that you are beautiful. It's too bad that our self images couldn't be as wonderful as the way others see us.

Very brave post. I have the highest respect for you.

I have spent my entire professional career working in nursing homes with the elderly. To be totally honest as a 22 year old student I thought I would be repulsed by aging and the changes to the human body. Instead I have learned to see great beauty.

I look at my short, fat, ridiculously young-for-my-age (and that's not a good thing when you're in an authority role) looking body, and I am glad, because when I think of the changes aging will bring, and as I see those changes start, I see my chances to shape how people will irrevocably see my past. When I see a woman with deep laugh lines I KNOW she smiled a lot. The same is true for frown lines, although I think those can develop more spontaneously based on knowing people. The things that once were perkier no longer are, but when it comes down to those you love, the truth is that what a couple I once recommended one half remove their wedding band due to injury to the hand that might necessitate cutting it off later said. Often in that situation people are teary or need time to think. This couple looked at each other and then said "we don't need that thing to know we love each other". Love just isn't visual, at least not in terms of aging.

Loved your post. I could have written it except that I hated my body for being fat. Got anorexic and loved myself - almost to death.

Did all the drugs and am dying for a cigarette now. But my twins (3 weeks younger than yours) haven't been sleeping well with their molar teething, so I might need to run up and I don't want to stink for them.

I love you, love what and how your write, can't wait for your book, and admire your honesty.

I tell my husband that I stopped doing drugs when I met him because I didn't need to be anesthetized any more. Contrast this to the guy before him, who had regular drug testing and couldn't be around me smoking pot. I chose the pot over him ...

You are beautiful to all of us.

Wow Tertia, I just love you for your bravery. The stuff you're talking about -it's so painful to admit just to ourselves, and here you are sharing it so widely. You're so brave and I admire that.

I really believe that the approach you're taking is exactly what will allow you to be freed from the pain you find in your aging body. Facing our fears and struggles is exactly what allows us to let them go.

Regarding the kids, no doubt you are, as we all are, unconsciously influencing your children all the time. It's good to try to be the best person you can be, but I believe the most important thing is to be aware that we have that influence on our children and accept from them their reaction to their world. I'm not sure this is quite making sense, but what I mean is kids aren't damaged by our attitudes as much as by our refusing to accept their reactions to them. Anyway if that doesn't mean anything from you, just ignore it.

I have struggled to accept my overweight body since childhood (when I wasn't even overweight!), so I know the pain you're speaking of. Thank you for being so honest - it's nice not to feel so alone with these feelings, in our world of perfect bodies and endless dieting.

xoxo Amanda Lynn

To "Ouch": You'll get back to normal (if that even was the problem) very quickly by doing kegels. Do 20 elevator kegels every time you sit down to feed the baby and you'll be able to crack walnuts down there in a matter of weeks.

Hey Tertia; stop being so hard on yourself!!! Life has been hard enough on you!! I know where you are coming from as I look in the mirror and see a haggard old lady looking back; I am sure this is not how I really look but it is how I feel inside. I guess being so damn tired all the time doesn't help. Also you are so strong to have stopped smoking; I gave up when I was pregnant then started up again when Jake was one; as I had to do controlled crying and it stressed me out so much. That was almost one year ago; it was a bad move. I drink far too much also as I find mothering very hard even though I adore my darling boy. My husband and I are always at loggerheads and it is all too hard sometimes. I know I have to make more effort and am trying right now to give up both the fags and the grog. Anyhow I think you are one of the most intelligent people I know; you are well read, well spoken and very funny to boot! I also think you are very attractive. So please don't put yourself down anymore!! hugs

"Yet, for my children, I can, and will, do anything."

You said it girl, and there is no doubt that you will.

Thank you again for such a brutally honest post. i can relate on many levels. Since becoming pregnant 2 years ago, I have been all too aware of my own issues that I must deal with and correct, to a degree anyway, in order to teach my son better. Never want to be a "do as I say, not as I do" parent. Must say, I was glad to have a boy as I felt less pressure related to the whole body image thing.

Wow- you are really amazing. I am so impressed with your honesty and your ability to lay it all out there.
I wish you luck as you try to find ways to make peace with your body and with the aging process. I agree with the above poster re: would you trade the body you have now for your 20 year old body if it meant you'd have to go through it all again? You are in a really great place in your life both personally and professionally (sounds like you like your job plus you've got this book coming out). So if that's what being a 30-something is all about, then I guess the price we pay is these somewhat beleaugured bodies. Good luck in your journey to make peace with yourself. It is a hard road.

Why do us women have such self loathing for our bodies? I wish I knew how to fix mine. My husband is constantly telling me how beautiful and pretty I am and I wish I could believe him. Today he asked me what I would rather have - a body that he loved ( a little bit rounder), or a body that everybody else loved and wanted (meaning stick thin), but not one that he liked. I didn't know how to answer.

Man, raves were fun. I kind of miss them.


I envy your self confidence, and your ability to have what appears to be a very balanced life full of love. I do know what you go through sometimes, feel obsessed with being a certain way, or wishing you looked different. To all of us who get a peek inside your life every day you are very beautiful and inspiring. Try to enjoy every moment, soak up the rays of contentment. Life is so short. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts, it takes a lot of courage.


at 26 im reading this, and thinking ***HOLY FUCK*** this is my life. the overfunctioning, the drugs (ooooh the drugs....) the drinking, the boys gone through like water, and that intense disregard for your body when young, and now wishing i had taken better care of it. truly.

T, yours is a normal and completely feeling. it always amazes me that the most beautiful people in the world can loathe their bodies.

T. all i can say is turn that around. next time you look in the mirror and go "UGH YOU FAILED ME" think, consciously, to thank your body instead for the very very good times. for standing up to all your use of it. and congratulate it on a job well done because it's done some flipping amazing things.

mwah mwah chick.

Tertia, you know I love ya, always have always will.

Read this of my calender this morning: "I try not to look to much into the future or to far back into the past, but I always look up"

"To have a best friend, is one of the biggest joys this world offers us, but to be a best friend is one of the hardest"

Dont forget, you get mesured by not only your looks, but by kindness, givingness, good heartness and most of all unselfishness, you have all of the above and more!

Love ya always, me

(P.S. Hope spelling is ok, translation issues you know!)

Oh but what a hell ride it was! ;) Ja, ja I know it's not pc to say it was fun but it was dammit! Thank God (and I truly mean that) we both got out of it alive and (fairly) unscathed. Imagine how much worse we'd look if we were still doing that - MUTTON! Eeeww. You are beautiful my friend, inside and out. Love you!

Tertia, you are truly an amazing woman!!!I have never met anyone with as much courage as you have shown by writing that post!
And by the way, you are totally G&D, I am only 24 and don't look half as good as you!!! Remember that those lines on your face show a whole world of experience, something that you will need in the future to guide your children through many similar things. You will be able to say, "I did that and it created a whole lot of problems". Just think how valuable your lessons will be to them, knowing that you are not just saying things for the hell of it, but have been there too!!!

Posts like this make me wish I was better at putting my thoughts and feelings into words. But since I suck at it, bare with me while I try to express what I think about this:

I totally can relate to the whole body letting you down thing. I HATED my body during the Infertilty period. No matter what I did, it wouldn't do its job. Then it failed my second baby. If I could have stepped out of my body and into someone elses, I would have. I was so pissed at my failure of a reproductive system I wanted to scream. Now, as we approach J's 3rd birthday, I am feeling much better about myself. Yes I'm older (40 this year! Yikes!) and fatter, but I am finally reasonably comfortable in my skin. I would still like to be thinner and wrinkle free, but I'm ok how I am. The occasional Grandma remarks that are made when I'm out with my kids do sting, but I'm getting better at shrugging them off.

From someone on the outside looking in on your life, you are what I wanted to be when I grew up. You are tall and thin and pretty, with gorgeous hair. You have a good, solid career, a wonderful husband, a beautiful home and car. You have it all. So many people from all over the world adore you. You must be doing something right.

You are beautiful T. Inside and out.

What a touching post. Like others, I can relate in many ways. I wish I could say something that could convince you of your beauty.

A Japanese woman once said to me, with a really knowing smile, "A woman's time is from 30 onwards." I've never forgotten that.

Yes, in our twenties we all had firm, unlined bodies. I could diet for a week and lose all I needed to. But I was neurotic and worried so much about everything. I've been more than glad to kiss that goodbye and go with the greater acceptance of greater years. I think that we're given greater wisdom to make up for what we may lose physically. I wouldn't want to be 20 again, I was such an idiot. Young-looking yes, but a fool.

Not much I can/will say other than that's very raw, Tertia, and I'm amazed you can not only write about it when you know others will read it, but I'm amazed you can face it within yourself. I'm a big fan of burying my head in the sand when it comes to psychological hot spots in my own head - I'm afraid of the raw part. (My one experience with exploring the raw stuff was so bad, with such a bad therapist, that I have turned away from that forever, and am totally turned off to ever going to a therapist again.)

*hugs* You will always be G&D, no matter what the mirror tells you. Those grays? Just the angel showing through.


Have you read any Anne Lamott? She's a wonderful writer, and an incredible person. I just finished her latest book of essays, Plan B, and your post reminded me of her struggle to love her body. She speaks of her thighs as "My Aunties" and tries hard to give them the love and respect to such venerab;e personages deserve - it's very sweet.

I think you're a lovely person, in more ways than the obvious, and above all, incredibly brave and honest. True authenticity is so hard to find, and yet it seems to come so naturally for you. Your children couldn't ask for better.

I am one of the women that told you that I loved my body and its aging… but I think I should expand on that considering your post.

In my more tender moments, when I look at the bulge where my once famous flat stomach used to be I see how my little boy brought me that, that it is a scar of sort of the trials we went through in order for him to be a part of my life, it is a reminder of how precious his life is to me… but in my not so tender moments, when I am ready to self judge and I see that little droopy belly and all the other physically obvious changes that pregnancy added to my being… I am horrified, I feel ugly, I miss the slender legs and the flat belly, the skinnier hips and the thinner body… A part of me thinks that those are still in there… though I am becoming less sure as time passes that I will be able to reverse more of the effects of pregnancy and long strict bed rest…

But then my little one runs into the bathroom or starts talking loudly and I can hear him and I ask myself, is this physical appearance of aging all that important to him? Will he see me as I see my mother as a beautiful glorious woman, whom others stupidly call “tired looking” (she is a mother, a single mother… of course she looks tired… those that say that are true assholes)… I hope so, I hope he sees that I adore him and having him in my life… and in the end, that is what is most important… isn’t it?

Bravo, thank you for being so brave as to write this!

This was a really great entry, I love you for posting it.

I did E a total of three times in my twenties, and Oh my God, what a fun drug. What an amazingly awesome drug. Those three occasions were some of the most enjoyable times I've ever had. Sigh. If only it were safe, legal, and non-addictive.

Anyway -- about the ageing -- (*assvice alert*) don't be so hard on yourself!

I figure, ageing is something we all have to adjust to. Some of us adjust by becoming wise & philosophical. Others of us (me) go for botox, restylane, microdermabrasion, and fotofacials.

I figure, hey, whatever gets me thru the night, you know? I'm not hurting anyone, I'm a little more at peace with my face, so who cares?

I should add that I'm a card-carrying feminist. Inconsistent? Uh, yeah.

Oh my. I share your feelings about my aging body. I just hate it. But, as with you, I don't want to pass that on to my daughter, who will also age someday if she's blessed enough to live a long life. I wish I lived in a culture that equated age with wisdom, rather than uselessness. Very sad.

Oh Tertia, you are gorgeous and divine! I too am struggling with aging but I realized that right at this moment is the youngest I will ever be for the rest of my life. Like you and like many others, I have a history of not respecting my body but my habits have improved. I also have a history of smoking and "high class" drug use. For the most part, I don't regret it. Hopefully I did not do any permanent damage. To be honest, some of the most interesting people I know have "explored their minds" through drug use. Be grateful that you knew when to stop. I am sure that your children look at you and see lots of smiles and love. I can't believe they are wishing you'd do anymore botox.

Great post.

I had a few years when I was okay with my body. Now - the aging starts! Eeeek!

I find it harder to deal with than fat thighs. In my head, I'm screaming "no, not yet, I need another ten years of looking good!"

Tertia, honey, you can't possibly have children and not look at your body or your face and think "what the hell happened to me?" Its natural and mothers everywhere ask themselves the question. The answer is you've had children and take care of them 24 hours a day. I wish I had an easy solution for feeling good about that, but I don't, because I don't either, but I try to focus on the good things in life. Nice husbands(most of the time),beautiful kids, good wine, all of that stuff you know, if you had to trade it for a twenty year old's behind I'll bet you wouldnt in a second. Relax. All that body image crap can't be good for your face! :)

I'm glad you have Marko, Kate and Adam. You clearly love them enough to change for them, even if you don't love yourself enough. (And please don't think that I'm disparaging you...for me personally, it is easier to love other people than it is to love myself. In fact, as my daughter gets older and is able to absorb and process more, I have made a conscious choice to be more careful and deliberate about not talking about myself in a negative light in front of her.)

Tertia, My situation and life has not been exactly the same as yours but I can totally relate to your uneasiness over aging and the all that implies. I am feeling the same.

Hugs to you!!

I think we all have a love/ hate with our bodies over time. Thats normal. I did the whole drug thing too havent been able to post about it quite yet though. I gave up smoking when I found out I was preg and your right for her it was simple. 15 years of smoking quit in 1 week. Your kids think you are the most beautiful person on the planet I am sure of that. Personally, I could never tell the difference in someone who had botox and someone who didnt. Excellent post I am so glad you shared it with me. But I have to say that heroin bit made me laugh hard. Been there and thought that too but they are all the same. Actually we all know E is one of the worst ones as far as damage to the mind..heroin may just be worse on the body.

Thank you so much for sharing that. You are so hard on yourself, but I think the fact that you can be so open and honest about the parts of yourself that you don't especially like just shows that your overall self-esteem is very good.

You confront these issues head on, and what a gift it is to be able to do that - a gift for yourself and for your children. Your babes are very fortunate to have such an honest, wise, and G&D mother.

Once when I was little and my mother was singing to me, I told her that she had the most beautiful voice and should be on TV. And she laughed. Because she couldn't carry a tune to save her life. But to her little one, she sang like an angel- because she's my mom. I bet your kids will never see a wrinkle on you- you're a wonderful person and a wonderful mother.

All my poor husband keeps hearing me say the last year is "I want plastic surgery". I am not aging gracefully nor am I accepting it well at all. I don't like that people guess me in my late 30's, that just doesn't seem right! I'm probably little older than most readers here but I grew up during the sex, drug & rock & roll era so we did lots of that (E wasn't around then or raves) but many of us aren't proud of certain things in life however it all makes us who we are today. No matter what Tertia you are an incredible wife, mother and friend. You are so beautiful inside and out and that is what keeps all of us coming back here because we respect you, admire you and your courage and love you. When you look in the mirror all you should see reflecting back is beauty.

That is a very brave post... I hope one day soon you LOVE the skin you are in... just as much as all of us love you.

I was commiserating with my 40 yrs+ mom friends about our bump bulges and wrinkles when one friend who has struggled with her weight (and her self image) all her life said that after having children she had made some peace with her body. She said "a body that can make a baby, push it out and feed it is a good body".


There is so much here I can relate to. You are so terrific to lay it out there. Thanks for doing that and thanks for oyur emails back to me about the clinic. I appreciate it.


You know what? That was an amazingly powerful post, and I can only imagine the strength it took to actually post it. I hope you do find a way to love the skin you're in. We do.


I know this is a few days late... I wanted to leave a note but I'm horribly shy and had to think about exactly how I wanted to word this. I just wanted to say, wow. I love reading your blog but I usually can't identify with what you're going through. I don't have children, don't want them right now, am not married, live in the US... Up until now I was reading your story as a story... But with this post, I finally felt that 'click'.

I discovered the rave scene pretty late in life as well. I had always been so self-conscious all through school, always the good girl because I was so afraid of disappointing people or having people make fun of me. When I discovered the scene, and specifically E, my whole world was turned upside down. I thought E couldn't hurt me, it wasn't a BAD drug like meth or heroin. Just a few pills a month and life seemed so much more bearable. Using socially loosened me up; I made so many friends in such a short time. E is good for that at least. I finally found acceptance and love in a group of drug-and-music addicted kids. P.L.U.R., baby.

It took the kindness and strength of my then-boyfriend to pry me away from the scene. I never noticed how much it ruled my life - I still managed to keep a job, a house, a car, a boyfriend... But underneath it all I was just waiting for the next party.

I've been clean for about four years now and it's been the hardest thing I've ever done. Even now I think, "If I could just have one more pill, one more hit, life would be so much easier..." but if I have one, I'll have another and another and be right back in the same place.

Thank you so much for sharing your life and your heart. It's hard to love your body after going through so much hell, I know it. I'm not as elequent as you so I'll leave it at that I guess. I'm just glad someone else out there is brave enough to turn her heart inside out and show us what's inside. That way we can all learn and grow together...


I have the total opposite wish: the wish to look older. I'm finally getting that wish because people are no longer amazed when I tell them my age. The problem is I thought that if I were older people would respect me, just for my age. It turns out that's not what happens. I wonder if you have an expectation about age, that being older means something like being invisible or something. Because our expectations don't always bear out.

I loved this post so much that I had to comment and tell you so immediately, even though there is a carrot stuck in my keyboard and typing this possibly might send it down to the place of no return.

Thanks for sharing your heart. This was very impacting.

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