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Why I'm glad my mom's a nudist
« on: June 29, 2015, 05:13:42 am »
The doorbell rang and my first thought was “Oh, shit.”

I was visiting my mom for a week in Florida and I was the only one home at the time. Answer it, or not? Answer it or not? Answer it, or not? I knew pretending to not be home was a ninny thing to do.

My trepidation wasn’t because I’m afraid of answering doors or due to a fear of strangers; it was caused by the fact that my mom lives in a nudist community and I could be opening the door to just about anything.

Nudist communities are not what they look like in the movies. It isn’t like the scene in the movie Fur, where Nicole Kidman arrives and is instructed to remove all of her clothing before entering a nudist compound. Any of the nudist places I’ve been to are clothing optional, and you’d better believe that yours truly opts to remain clothed when I visit!

What I find interesting is that the thing that makes the neighborhood my mom lives in unlike any other typical American neighborhood isn’t the exposed butts and boobs and penises. Well, at least it isn’t only that. This place is different because my mom’s neighbors actually know each other, by name. They know each others life stories better than any other neighborhood that I’ve experienced, even here on the docks where we can get pretty close knit and protective of each other.

The doorbell rang a second time. Stop being a weenie and go answer the door, I scolded myself. My mom had thrown a little party at her house the day before where I met most of her neighbors. They were all nice people (and yes, they were all clothed for the event). It seemed likely that the doorbell ringer would be a somewhat familiar face and, even if this person were unclothed, it wouldn’t be as awkward as if I’d never met him or her before.

Mom and I, one visit to Florida.
I put on my big girl panties (hehe, you see what I did there?) and went to the door. Since I’d hesitated so long, the woman pushing a stroller and the man beside her were already moving on down the street. I breathed a sweet sigh of relief: they were clothed. I recognized the woman from the previous day’s event and called out to her by name.

No sooner had she and her husband turned back toward me than I saw the rest of the family–a boy and a girl whose ages I knew to be around 10 to 12 years old. The boy was the younger of the two, and was naked except for flip flops. The girl was wearing flip flops and a skirt.

I hadn’t mentally prepared myself for this.

“Oh, hi Mandy. We’re just out delivering Christmas cards. We put one under the door for your mom and R.” (R is my mom’s live-in partner–or boyfriend, if you will.)

“Oh, thanks. I’ll make sure they get it.”

And with that, the boy–who I’d never seen before that morning–started running straight at me. I wasn’t sure what was happening. I may have panicked just a little. Then I realized that he wasn’t actually running to me, he was running past me, back to the door, to pick up the card that he had apparently just placed there.

Then he jaunted back toward me. Oh, God. We’re interacting. My head raced.

“Merry Christmas,” he said as he smiled and handed the card to me.

And I realized how ridiculous I was being. He’s a child, and this is his world. This community is his home and he feels safe here. He’s comfortable being nude, and he’s probably more comfortable with his body than I’ve ever been. His slightly older sister also seemed perfectly at ease, even poised, for a child her age. She had an air of an adolescent girl unaffected by body-shaming in a body-shaming world.

“Thank you,” I told the boy. Then waved to the whole family and smiled, “Merry Christmas.”

When I went back inside, I felt like I understood something that I hadn’t before. This was the least judgmental place I’d ever been in my life. It was also extremely safe. Any resident is thoroughly vetted before being allowed to move into this community. The community as a whole understands the vulnerability that goes with nudity and takes it very seriously. Because of that, residents can be themselves within the gates. Of course it’s not utopia. Like any other neighborhood with a neighborhood association, there is sometimes drama and bits of politics, but I’ve never heard of a neighborhood association that was free from that.

Most important to me, I can see how this attitude has trickled down into my mom’s thought processes. My mom buried my brother when she was 41 years old and my dad when she was 50. After all that, “Life is short” is an easy motto to adopt.

Because life is short, my mom lives the way she wants with very little concern for what others think about it. This is different from not caring if it’s hurtful to others. She lives in a nudist community because she wants to. It’s as simple as that. When I asked her if she’d mind if I wrote about it, she just shrugged and said, “Sure, why not?” She could say that so nonchalantly because she doesn’t keep her nudist lifestyle a secret. It is who she is. Take it or leave it.

When it comes to me, she sincerely wishes me happiness and health. If I was in an unhealthy marriage, she’d far prefer that I leave it than stay for the sake of what it looks like for her daughter to be twice-divorced. When I told her I was going to start this blog, she was fully and instantly on board. If it pissed some people off, who cares. If some people might not believe me, who cares. If it embarrasses some people, so be it. None of that is my–or her–problem. It’s about my healing and I deserve health.

Dad, Mom, and I at our home in Wisconsin
Last December, I was working hard on getting over my self-judgement and she offered encouragement for me working in that direction, overtly, and through how she spoke about other people. This made me realize something else. I have been around judgmental people in the past who didn’t necessarily judge me (at least not to my face), but the words they said about others made me feel self-conscious. It increased my anxiety and made me feel like I needed to be way more perfect than I could ever be.

I know my mom does not expect perfection out of me and that she loves me for who I am.

The hardest part of the conversation I had with her before posting my first post here was telling her my whole story. Some parts of it she knew, but some she did not. I didn’t want her blindsided by my trauma, and so we had a very open dialog about it ahead of time. I would only hope every abuse survivor would be met with such support.

Since much of this blog is about sexual abuse, I imagine the the concept of nudist communities that include children might be hard for some survivors to swallow. Trust me, I get that. Here’s the thing: I’m not a parent and I try really hard to not judge any parent’s method of raising kids (aside from abuse being unacceptable, of course). I was definitely uncomfortable when I opened the door and saw naked or nearly naked kids on the street, but that was my issue, not theirs. From what I’ve experienced while visiting that community, those kids are being raised in a loving and accepting environment. That’s something I’m getting a taste of much later in life, but I’m grateful for it. And I’m grateful for my mom’s attitude of not giving a shit. It allows her, and by association, me, to live the lives we want. That’s pretty cool.

Love you, Mom!

Offline nzmj

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Re: Why I'm glad my mom's a nudist
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2015, 06:06:16 am »
Interesting article/blog… I like the following part especially:

"I was definitely uncomfortable when I opened the door and saw naked or nearly naked kids on the street, but that was my issue, not theirs"

That is so true! For non-nude people of all ages seeing other nude people of any age… the issue lies with those people.  If their minds are dirty or prudish for some reason, it is exactly their issue - not the nude person's :)

Offline DrgHybrid

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Re: Why I'm glad my mom's a nudist
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2015, 06:38:20 am »
She's a very talent artist for writing, I have to say. She put so much thought into her little story that the feels just couldn't help themselves, heh.
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Offline Delta

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Re: Why I'm glad my mom's a nudist
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2015, 11:28:21 am »
She strikes me as a strong person. This world needs more people like her.
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Offline lord_george

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Re: Why I'm glad my mom's a nudist
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2015, 07:20:18 pm »
Awesome! Thanks for sharing!


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Re: Why I'm glad my mom's a nudist
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2015, 10:06:40 pm »
Very cool story and perspective.

Offline Bobbert

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Re: Why I'm glad my mom's a nudist
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2015, 10:29:23 pm »

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Re: Why I'm glad my mom's a nudist
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2015, 02:58:53 am »
thanks for sharing well worth a read
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