I used to joke with my friend Cindy about how Jon only wears blue and that I was always trying to introduce more color into his wardrobe. When he started wearing colorful socks a few years ago it seemed a breakthrough.
And it was. It was the first step in a long process of Jon getting interested in what he’s wearing. I think it has a lot to do with his body image. Before he was trying to disappear in his blue jeans uniform. Now he’s embracing the color he’s come to love in the things around him.
I’m also thinking about how he would always buy me colorful hats, boots, leggings, and socks. But I think what he really wanted was to be wearing them himself.
People who suffer childhood abuse often become disconnected from their bodies as a way of coping with the abuse. I saw this disconnect in Jon when we were just friends. He always talked about not wanting to be touched. But if that were true, I never would have married him.
After we got together, I saw it was just a stance, a belief he had made up about himself. I’m not a therapist, but I’d guess he was trying to protect himself emotionally.
In the past years, I feel like I could actually see Jon becoming more and more in touch with his body.
I think it’s partly because of the way he chose to deal with the medical conditions he has. Every year he’s taking better and better care of himself. Not that it’s been a straight line, but it has been an upward progression.
And, of course, it’s not all physical. There’s the emotional part too. I can see him accept and love himself more all the time too.
Jon is an artist no matter how much he tries to deny it to me. And he likes to be surrounded by beauty. His photography has taught him that. So it’s only natural that the next part of his healing process would be about how he feels and looks in his clothes.
You can’t see it in this picture, but Jon’s shirt actually has a pattern on it. And if you look closely you can see a hint of his florescent orange suspenders between his green and blue patterned overshirt.
And the hat, we’ll he’s been wearing colorful hats for a couple of years, but this one came from an old neighbor, John, who now lives in Texas and loves to knit hats. There were two in the bag he sent to us and Jon grabbed the magenta and purple one without a second thought.
I have to say, I love my newly colorful and healthy man. With all the sleep he’s getting since being diagnosed with sleep apnea, he’s a little brighter in spirit too.
Last night I was mopping the kitchen floor to Paul Simon’s 1990 album Rhythm of the Saints when Jon waltzed in. Soon I was dancing with Jon instead of the mop. The colorful wool braid, on top of his hat, bopping up and down, keeping time with the music.