I had a bit of an awakening this week when Amy asked What do you hide behind? I thought that was easy. I stay fat because… And then I stopped because I couldn’t answer the question. I didn’t know why. So I asked Drazil to add the question to her BYOC. I hoped some of you would come up with my answer. Sort of like writing an essay—gather all the research, quotes, passages and then somehow massage them together in my own words. Please forgive any plagiarism from other posts or comments. But I did finally come up with an answer.
And here it is. I use my fat to protect me and cushion my hurt. And what is it that is really hiding inside of me. I am a kind person and want to be needed, perhaps so I am liked. Since I couldn’t find my own words, I am using this comment from someone which perfectly describes me “Helping others has always been my shield. I guess if I prove to them I’m needed, they won’t notice I’m fat”. I am also torn and become angry when someone else gets the praise and acknowledgement for something I have done (mostly at work). But I figure, I’m fat so I don’t deserve the recognition. I laugh it off and say it doesn’t matter. I now think it does.
I liked Roo’s take on revealing ourselves—pealing the onion. It is always sad when I read how some of you survived physical, sexual and emotional abuse. I applaud your courage to move forward and enjoy this life since it is the only life we have. I’m just discovering that I can’t let the past pull me down for the future. My childhood was fairly uneventful, no abuse, no hidden secrets. In my family I was the funny one. I had lots of friends and would talk to almost anyone with ease. But I was fat. As an adult, I took on the role of fix-it girl, the superwoman who would put all things right with my family and my life. Hey, I was going to cure MS! I thought I was needed. I wanted everyone to be happy and it so royally backfired on me that I was on anti-depressants for 15 years. I stopped trying to fix things. My family kept stuff from me and left me out of decisions. I felt pretty worthless, unneeded and very unhappy. I ate. And ate. And ate. It numbed the pain and hurt. All I wanted was to help and all I got was crap.
I left this comment on Roo’s blog: “I dread losing my sense of humour and not being fun anymore. Maybe that is something we fight too—being fun and happy go lucky is something that the people we meet are afraid of and they send out negative vibes that make us think something is wrong with us. When in actuality, there is nothing wrong with acting crazy sometimes and it is their insecurities that try to bring us down. We'll show them that we can be a great group of people whether we are skinny or not.”
I am working on keeping my sense of humour and trying not to let people close to me bring me down. I have mentioned to a few people that I seldom see the toxic people in my life. I put them in an imaginary box and put it on a shelf. I’m a work-in-progress but as the weight comes off, I gain my confidence back. This quote from Lynda matches me to a tee:
“If you met me in real life, you'd meet someone with a lot of confidence. You'd meet someone who doesn't take any B.S. You'd meet someone who is not afraid to tell the truth, even if it's unpopular (or gets her in trouble at work). You'd meet someone who is tough and can take anything. But, I'm also very sensitive. I CARE what people think of me. I want people to like me and will cry if I think I've hurt someone's feelings. I'm not at all confident. And, I still worry about things that I said to people 15+ years ago. I pretend to be tough, but I'm not”.
I realize now that by blogging, I am discovering a me that would have taken many months or years of counselling. I once went to a psychiatrist and talked about all these “perceived problems” in my life and his response was that I had a severe form of PMS and he could cure me with a few vitamins. The PMS got better but mentally it didn’t help. I figured he was a professional and maybe I really didn’t have any deep underlying problems. He also put me on an anti-depressant and within 3 months I had gained back the 30 pounds I had spent years trying to lose! I see now that there were things I had to face. Blogging and your support has been much more effective and quicker and it has saved me a bundle. But please don’t send me any invoices for services rendered—I’m not paying. Maybe a drink when I get to Chicago.
There is a lot of excitement about the Chicago weekend. I can’t wait to meet everyone but there’s that little nagging fear in me that others too have mentioned. I worry that I will arrive at the hotel and be all alone because no one told me the trip was off. I worry that no one will like me. I worry that my roommate will take one look at me and ask for a private room. I worry that if there is a game I will be picked last. I worry that you will think I am old and doddery .
If that were to happen, I will smile, put on a brave face and say, “that’s ok”, because that is what I always say when people are mean to me. And then I will go and eat. And eat. And eat. But I know all of you are different because some of you feel the same as me. I know there will be lots of friends to meet in person, no one will be left out, my roommate will love me, no one will be picked last and just to confirm I am not doddery. We will all enjoy each other just as we do in our blogs. And there will be no un-Following a blog.
But if we have a game where teams have to be picked, I volunteer to be the last pick, because that is where I have always been and I don’t mind anymore.