Imago Feminae: Image of Woman


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Chloe's Voice

1) I was brought up Church of Christ but when I married at age 18 I converted to Baptist. Although the religions are not very different from each other, Church of Christ believes you can fall from grace while Baptist believes once saved always saved. Growing up you were to not wear a bikini because it showed too much body, so I rebelled and always bought the skimpiest one piece I could find. I was brought up that you went to church Sunday morning and night, Wednsday night and anything in between. Yet at home behind closed doors, the Christian life was not performed. I was molested by a family member at an age I cannot remember and for how long I don't remember. I was told all the time by my step father that you could see through my shirt or down my shirt, you could see up my skirt when I sat down. My half brother and step father would call me names and say I looked like a whore or slut. Therefore starting a very confusing image I had of my body. I tried to kill myself at age 11. No one knew, I was very clever at hiding it. So at age 13 I started dating a guy who was 19. Sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll were all I knew other than I started getting the crap beat out of me by someone other than a family member. I always wanted to be in Playboy, because that made me think everyone in the world would stop and gasp and say "Oh she is the most beautiful, perfect creature I have ever seen"! At this time in my life my half brother's friends would make me perform oral sex to them making me be subserviant. It led on even into my first marriage that lasted almost 10 years. I married 2 days after I turned 18. I had to be where he said when he said. I could have no car, I could go nowhere unless he was there, once again taking the wife's role of being subserviant as the Bible said to do. I had to perform sexual acts because he said I had to. In other words, I went through spousal rape. He said he didn't beat me because he never hit me closed fist. It was always a slap that was such a blow that it would knock my earrings out of my ears. We had a child and when that child was 18 months old, we separated and on his weekend to bring her back he didn't. Instead he used her as a hold over me and I didn't see her for 3 months not even knowing where she was. As a Mother whose only joy in life was her children I had to bend again to the man in order to get my baby back. Yes, I believe in God's word and I believe what is written, but I also think there are men out there who take it to the extreme.

2) Eating Disorders: I have had them all. First I was anorexic, never eating at all, because once again that husband of mine said you are too fat and your breasts are to large. Come on, I weighed only 101 at the time!! Then I went to eating and purging. I would take laxatives one after the other and now at age 35 almost 36 I have a severe bowel problem. I have a lazy bowel due to all the laxitives taken when not needed. Then I would do the trick of sticking my finger down my throat. In between this time I had another baby. My children are only 2 1/2 years apart. I wanted to leave, but the fear of another kidnapping made me stay. So binging and purging was the name of the game. When my second husband who is the love of my life as well as my children's, found me beside the house purging, he said what are you doing? I said "Oh my stomach just didn't agree with the pizza we ate, he grabbed my hand and saw on my fingers where I had made myself purge. He swore me to promise never to do that again. After that any Sally show or Montel show , Night Line, etc. came on about bulimics and anorexia, he made me sit down and watch what I was doing to my body. Thank God he cared, but it was so bad that if we went out to eat and I would excuse myself to the ladies room, when I got back he looked at my fingers. Now I just binge and do not purge. I weigh more now than I did both times I was pregnant. I am trying to work on this, but it is like a merry go round from hell that I can't stop and get off. I have fat in places I never knew could exist. It is comforting anyway to know that my husband loves me know matter what. He loved my children enough that when their sperm donor father(that's what we like to refer him as) gave his rights for children, never to be a father no more, my husband stepped in and adopted my children and gave them his name and new birth certificates with him as their biological father. It was very hard for us to get used to someone who was so gentle and kind and not so Hitler like and demanding.

3) I view my body through the Bible as a rebel so to speak. Our bodies are the temple of the Lord and we are not to harm it in any way. Well, by having eating disorders and trying suicidal attempts like I have, I feel like I haven't treated his temple very well. I have tatoos and naval piercings, that some view as a sin. In stead of loving the body God gave me, I am always wanting to make changes to it, like the eating disorders and tatooings. My tatooings are not demonic with devils or portraits of our good Lord and Savior in a nasty way. Sometimes I am so scared that because of all the things I have done in my life have been so bad that he will not let me fly up to heaven but to fall to the pits of hell.

Chloe, 35 years old