There have been many times that I have stood in front of a mirror I have at my house and seen myself in a diaper. I shame and berate myself for what I am. What kind of a person am I?! For more than thirty years I would do that to myself with no positive outcome on the other side of the one-sided conversation. It has only been in the last few years that I have begun to even allow the conversation that there is an acceptable person underneath the diaper and other layers.
I still very much struggle with this, but perhaps am gaining insight into some part of myself that I have historically considered unacceptable. Some history and childhood precedent would likely help shine a light on why I am the way that I am.
I would definitely consider myself a black sheep or square peg/round hole situation in my family. We do not share many common interests, and that made childhood more difficult. I know that most/all kids tend to enjoy video games and computers to some extent, but I was drawn to them. They spoke to me and connected with me in a way that allowed me to express myself creatively and professionally.
I brought the internet into my home as a kid through a job that I had. We would not have had dial-up if I would not have either provided it or paid for it. This was similar to my cell phone. Granted I was probably one of three kids that had a cellular phone, and today there might be three kids that do not have a mobile device with them at all times. I began building computers and growing that knowledge in my spare time as well as with any classes in school that I could grab onto. I am very thankful for the mentors that I had in both Middle School and High School that provided me opportunities to learn and grow (even if they were self-paced and trial and error situations).
While technology was completely shut out of my life it was definitely not looked at in the same light as other things. I am partially thankful for this because I bought and paid for everything that I built and taught myself. It was my first realization that it could be something that I was passionate about and also good at. If I wanted a CD burner, cell phone, or new keyboard I was paying for it. (Wow things have changed! Thinking about the cell phones I was purchasing, and the level of technology I was building during that time. My first cell phone held 25 numbers in it! There were no games, SMS, or customizable ringtones back then on my Nokia 252)
What does any of this have to do with diapers or self acceptance?
I have always felt that I shouldn’t be doing those things. Even today I will not allow myself to play video games because of all the reasons that my mind will echo from other voices in the past. Work takes priority, and I will push myself to burn out instead of making time for something that I want to enjoy. In a very real way I’m learning that I do not even accept that I like silly t-shirts, video games, and the fun part of my younger self that was slowly but surely discouraged and somewhat extinguished.
Just like I do not allow myself to play video games and express myself I find that I also withhold diapers from myself. I have continued the words ingrained in me so much that I am not allowing things that might actually help me into my life.
I will fight putting on a diaper while knowing at the same time that there can, and most often, is a positive outcome of taping up. It will still almost surprise me when I feel peace and calm after putting a diaper on.
Why cannot allow myself to be anything I like to be?
That becomes the question I need to continue to chip away at. I know that I am the only one who can effect change in my life and ultimately responsible for my happiness. It is up to me, and me alone, to allow myself or restrict myself from these things. This is not to say that I should indulge in everything without restraint. My waistline and weight would show that I could do with a little less intake and more cardiovascular output.
Each day, each decision, and each diaper I must make the conscious effort to allow myself to be a better version of myself. The pandemic and other external factors in my life have made some of that harder, but I am trying to get a better grip on things. Most days I feel like I am doing a more positive job than negative, but then I will slip into a rut and destroy the progress that I had begun. I need to be more consistent in my efforts.
I hope that you allow yourself to be you. Find the good things that make you a better person, and nurture them. Don’t keep yourself from being happy. No one, especially yourself, should be keeping you from experiencing happiness and joy.