#bodiesBattle Scars

5 comments | January 31st, 2012


(submitted by Katie,  Chestist.  Originally posted 3.16.11, and again today))

I was standing in my parents’ kitchen the last time I was home, when my mother touched my arm. “Katie, you look so good, but I’m worried about you.  Are you eating?”

I assured her that I do in fact eat— some days quite heartily.  It seemed to be a satisfactory answer, so we stood in silence and she hugged me.

As she pulled away I lifted up my shirt to expose my recently-thinner mid section.

“Look at these fucking stretch marks, Mom.”

I pointed to the array of faded or still slightly pink lines.  They crisscross my stomach and hips, some on the front and side of my torso.

“I look disgusting.  This is not how a 22-year-old’s body should look.”

I’m sure my mother could hear my voice waver.

“I don’t know what to tell you, Katie.  They’re just battle scars.”

I’ve been thinking about this since it happened.  In the past two years I have lost approximately 60 pounds, and it has not been easy.

Stretch marks (or any other thing I dislike about myself) do not affect my self worth, and they do not ...


4 comments | January 20th, 2012

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 10.17.50 AM

We first published this back in the early days of OOC, and just bumped into it again.  We thought it merited another passwith you, our new and larger audience, because so much of who we are today and how we feel about us, has to do with how our parents (often times our moms) helped us to feel...or not.

Sooooooo, did your mother teach you well, or were hers lessons you'd just as soon forget?  What?  Why?  Did your mom help instill self-resepct and self-confidence or self-loathing?  Was she happy with who she was?  How do you think that affects how you feel about you - now?  Moms.  Let's share.

Kiss The Girls and Make Them Cry

2 comments | December 30th, 2011

question mark

(story submitted by Jeanne, a Chesist)

Does this happen in anyone else's family?

I am now a grown woman with three grown children. I had four brothers and a sister and they all have families.

On Christmas, the extended family (my FOO- family of origin) gets together. When there have been young girls there (like me and my sister - more than 50 years ago; my nieces - 20 years ago; and now grand nieces), the "adults" in the room think it is appropriate to ask the young girls (and they don't do this to the young boys) to give them a hug or a kiss, or blow them kisses.

My great niece, a three-year-old, did not want to kiss or hug my brother and then he did what my FOO has done over the years, he mocked sadness to try to manipulate her. Yesterday, it struck me as a power play and, quite frankly, sick.

It brought back memories for me. I remembered being a young girl and having these requests made of me and knowing I didn't want to do it but then having my mother, father and everyone ...

Happy HatingIn A Hospital Room

5 comments | November 30th, 2011

chestist black scratch

(story submitted Anonymously, by a 25 yo Chestist) I am sitting in a hospital room with my husband right now. This is day 10. He fell two stories, through the glass pool house roof at his step-mother's house. He wound up with a burst vertebrae. Yesterday was the last of two surgeries he had to have to prevent paralyzation(a miracle it didn't happen btw)and rebuild that part of his spine.

I have barely cried this whole time and have not let him see me do it once so as not to stress him out.

Tonight I wound up sitting on the bathroom floor in his room balling my eyes out for over an hour while he was knocked out from pain killers. The thing that set me off was the nurse telling me there were not any blankets left when I am literally shaking here. {end story}.

The tragedy of falling through a glass pool-house makes this story unusual.  The experience of watching a loved-one struggle is far less unusual, and there are few things that can hate on your happy like it.  Have you ever ...

#lifestagesPerfection Not Required

16 comments | November 22nd, 2011

chestist soup

(story by Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda) I know that holiday mishaps are the things family memories are often made of. Heck, you see it in the movies, read about it in books, and everyone's got a story or two about the time so-and-so passed out cold in a plateful of mashed potatoes or some relative took a wrong turn and by the time they showed up, the turkey was a charred hunk of sawdust. Holiday disasters are pretty much the reason they invented the phrase, "Someday we'll look back and laugh." But my family never seemed to look back on holiday mishaps fondly, growing up. We most often traveled over winter break to see relatives, which meant spending a lot of time in airports on some of the busiest travel days of the year, and for Thanksgiving we usually stayed at home and had a traditional dinner, just the four of us. Only, instead of dinner being cozy, it was usually incredibly stressful. My mother---who is probably reading this right now, and is poised to be embarrassed by something I ...

#lifestagesGET MAD

55 comments | November 15th, 2011

green eyed

(story by Mir from Woulda Coulda Shoulda)

So I told you a while ago that I took my daughter to see The Vagina Monologues, and even though it was slightly uncomfortable, I thought it was important. When we saw it back in February, I was totally gung-ho about auditioning for the show for next year, but life tends to get in the way, you know? Auditions are coming up soon. I'd thought (more than once) that I really just don't have time to take this on, right now.

But I have a daughter. I have a teenage daughter and she adores me one minute and hates me the next. She's looking to me for guidance and pushing me away, and despite how busy I've been, and how I keep thinking that maybe next year I'll be less busy, a nagging thought in the back of my head has said "Do it now."

Maybe it's related, maybe it's not, but yesterday my daughter was subjected to sexual harassment at school. Yesterday my 13-year-old was SEXUALLY HARASSED at her MIDDLE SCHOOL. Take a moment with that, if you ...

Happy HatingThat Was MY Thing.

9 comments | May 22nd, 2011


(submitted by OOC reader Sara)

This reader's story is really intense on a Iot of levels.  We're all in this together, so please let her know if you can relate:.."I am so angry at my little sister for cutting herself. I spent five years telling her not to, telling her from long and painful experience that she didn't know what she was getting herself into, that it could become an addiction like mine. But the secret I keep is that I'm even more angry at her for copying me. That was MY thing. I never, ever, ever did it for attention, but eventually people did know, and then my stupid little sister copied me. I'm ashamed of how I feel, but I can't stop feeling it."

Pretty intense, right?  What parts of her story can you connect to, or not?  Any advice or words you can share?  We'd love to hear them.