Counting my Flaws

When writing the stories for his most famous hero, James Bond, Ian Fleming always made sure the women were not perfect. They had buck teeth, wore glass or were very short; anything that made them less than ideal. Why? Because Fleming understood that complete perfection is not sexy and it’s not interesting.

I certainly hope so, because I am anything but perfect.

I am one of those incredibly self-critical women who always thinks she looks a mess. Even when I was modeling in my early twenties I was constantly aware of how imperfect I was. It makes me sad to think that I couldn’t even enjoy the body I had then. Oh, what I could do with it now!

I’m better about self-esteem now that I’m in my forties, but I haven’t mastered that demon yet. I admit it, I still count my flaws.

My body has ten of them. Three really bother me, two piss me off and the rest are quite silly.

I’m most uncomfortable with the two scars that crisscross my lower abdomen. They hurt sometimes and they make my belly to look lopsided. On top of that, the incisions severed the muscle so no matter how much I workout, that area remains soft.

I’ve thought about talking to a plastic surgeon and getting that area nipped and tucked, but that would mean surgery #3 in that already incredibly scarred part of my body.

Yes, they’re ugly, but most of all I hate those scars because they are constant reminders of my failure to be a mother. Though I always wanted children, I couldn’t have any. The first surgery was to remove cysts to see if that would help me get pregnant. The second surgery was a partial hysterectomy when I knew that losing another baby would kill me.

I didn’t find out until my fourth miscarriage that I had a rare blood disease that carried a 98% miscarriage rate.

For years, I did everything to have a baby: hormones, pills, shots, meditation, prayer. I tried in vitro, adoption, surrogacy. Everything failed. I failed at one of the most basic things a woman was meant to do: motherhood.

That, you see, is my greatest wound and my biggest flaw. And those damn scars remind me of it every day.

I’ll never forget the day I had the courage to show James my scars. He said they were beautiful because they testified to the strong woman I am, to the survivor I am.

Now I have a new scar. The one he left in my heart. And I’m afraid there’s no way to fix that one.


Featured Painting: Odalisque by Mariano Fortuny (1862)