I can’t tell you the first time I looked in the mirror and hated myself. I can’t tell you if there was a time when I didn’t do that. A morning ritual of pulling my shirt up around my chest and pulling worn-in boxers down below the hip bones I wish I could see and staring at the rise and fall of my skin over my bones and thinking such perverse self-deprecating thoughts that I would never dream of saying those things to anyone else. Wash, rinse, and repeat again come bedtime. I was drowning in self-hatred and I was okay with it.
My own thoughts about my very own body are projected on to him, and I am constantly aware that he might one day turn around to me and say: ‘Look, you’re fat and you’re ugly, and I can do so much better than you.’ For the first five months I was almost waiting for it.