Posts Tagged ‘College’

My weight has haunted me my entire life. It stalked me through seemingly harmless comments made by friends and family. I don’t want to hear comments on my body from the gorgeous, slender girls and women who all men want. Stop throwing your insecurities on me. Just keep it to yourself and stop comparing us. Unhappiness is born out of comparisons of things you can’t change. I can’t change the way I was born, so please stop making me feel bad for what I can’t control. Don’t watch me eat with your criticizing eyes. Don’t look surprised by the fact that I love food. Why shouldn’t I?

My weight hid behind the corner, a constant guilty feeling for not being as healthy as I should. I played sports for most of my youth and high school years, and maintained a fairly muscular physique. But, whenever I failed to be active, my weight flopped right back to where it was. As a child, my family doctor once criticized my mother for allowing my weight to get to that gross point. If that doesn’t make you feel unhealthy, then what does? I may not remember that day, but my mother took offense and I lived that moment through her memories more times than I care to count. Really, Mom. Please stop already! It’s been twelve years.

My weight breaks relationships. People reject me due to my weight, even if they aren’t aware. Sometimes, friends refused to even hug me. In the nightclubs, every guy immediately looked past me toward my more attractive companions. Attractive friends are usually useful, but sometimes you just want to be the one people notice first. The one he sees across the room and appreciates, anxiously deciding whether or not to down some liquid courage, grab a wingman and find a way into her conversation. Or maybe I could be the one he never got the courage to talk to. At least my friends have to deal with all the creeps that come with their delicious appearance instead of me.

If you live in American or some western cultures, I’m willing to bet that you identified with most of this, nodding along when a moment in my life struck a chord. The culture nowadays makes every woman feel fat and useless. It is almost an expectation that you degrade yourself as being overweight. Frankly, I can’t stand it when people obsess over their bodies. If you want to be healthier, then do it. But don’t stress out your body by trying to be more fashionable. Someone healthy and comfortable in their own shoes is far more pleasant to be around than someone who hates themselves publicly. The people who hate themselves publicly also make the people around them feel more self conscious. It’s an epidemic that has taken over how we think and how we live. It’s not okay. If you were still on the same page as me, you probably assumed the societal norm.

I struggle with being too skinny, not too fat.

If I forget to pay close attention or have stress on my plate, my size 2 jeans fall off my bony rear. I don’t even have to unbutton them some days and as I type this, I just accidentally flung my once-tight ring across the room because even my fingers are becoming skeleton like. At 5’10” I should not be able to fit in a zero. Clarification: I don’t consider myself unattractive. I like my body. I like myself. I just want to be healthy and strong. My goals are modest ones.

Comments from people around me still hurt my self confidence. I usually felt comfortable in my own shoes and eager to live my life and love myself. But, friends and family constantly compared themselves to me, making me think about my image critically. They all harbored hostility towards the fact that I am thin, shoving the blame for their problems on my shoulders. My body became a burden, hurting those around me by existing and the negative feelings constantly surrounding me wore me out. I couldn’t go shopping with people. I wore baggier clothing.

They all accused me of wasting myself by not being a model. I don’t want to be a model. Never have. I don’t want to be in an industry that makes me feel insecure to the point of trying to be unhealthy.

My family is the worst when it comes to harboring hostility for my body type. My mother is notorious for her self degrading comments and my sister has picked up the same habit. I want my sister to love her gorgeous body, but she won’t listen to a word I say because I have what she wants. If I compliment her, she is hostile. All she knows how to do is be resentful of what I was born with. I will not be attacked for something I cannot control. I’m done with that attitude, but I also won’t tolerate her talk of skipping meals. The girl is one of the most popular in her high school and she attracts all the boys like flies. She is slender and gorgeous and I can’t forgive society for doing this to my baby.

Many times, people refuse to hug me or cuddle with me because my hipbone stabs them or because I’m just plain uncomfortable. I envy curves, even the subtle ones, that make a woman look womanly. In the nightclubs, my curvy but slender friends are always noticed first. They don’t notice.

It wasn’t always that way. Way back when, people recognized being skinny as unfashionable and unhealthy. Obesity may have been unattractive as well, but at least they saw two ends of the spectrum.

But there is no place in society for people who don’t feel fat. Even super skinny models admit to feeling fat. Society only accepts complaints about being fat. There is a spectrum with many varieties, but it is only allowed to move one direction. Skinny people are, honestly, not allowed to discuss their bodies at all. It is a taboo that will earn you an onslaught of indignant replies. Anorexia would be more accepted for someone of my stature than an overactive metabolism because at least the anorexic person was traveling the right direction down the scale according to societal norms.

I am not allowed to mention the fact that I am struggling with my weight.  I am not allowed to verbally acknowledge that I am unhealthy. All I want is to be healthy and in shape. I want to enjoy my food, without anybody making me feel bad for eating. I want to be able to discuss my health concerns with my loved ones without being told to shut up. I want people never to attack me out of their own insecurities. I did nothing wrong. Society conditioned me to be silent, because I wanted to be healthy.

I won’t be silent any longer.

Edited 12/17

She really does. That woman understands how life works. The world is just a bunch of little moments clumsily sewn together to make you you and me me. The important things don’t come out of nowhere or happen all at once, we’re just determined not to see the little things that build up to it.

Here is my interpretation to Jodi Picoult and her writing. Somehow she manages to take all the little moments in life and build a picture of how life flows and changes. I don’t do that. I just string together a few moments.

The moment I realized that I needed help and was too chickenshit to ask for it:

Stranded, stuck, trapped.

No money, no ID, no car, no way home.

This weekend, my purse and keys disappeared in Dallas. I live in Austin. This made for a bit of a problem since I had no way to pay for food, no way to move my car, and I lived halfway across the state.

People weren’t very willing to perform services for me such as towing my car or programming new keys for it since I didn’t have a valid ID. All I had on me was my phone and sketchy worn out student ID.

I called my dad. He told me what to do. I did it.

I got a tow. I got new keys made. I’m a big girl and although seriously inconvenient this is a physical problem I can tackle.

I called him again at some point during the process. I wanted to tell him. I wanted him to help me with the real problem. I wanted to fix more than just my car trouble.

He answered cheerfully, just getting out of a movie with the rest of my family. The timing sucked. The rest of my family could hear.

My mom called back a few minutes after. Dad had told her I sounded down and she told me this was a problem we could handle. Tears welled up and I left awkward pauses before each choked out answer, somehow keeping the tears out of my voice.

I ended the call without saying a thing that I wanted to.

I didn’t admit I’m not perfect.

I didn’t tell them “I’m not okay.”

I didn’t ask for help finding a good psychiatrist.

I surfed the web and tried to forget that I was broken. Because right about then I realized this wasn’t temporary or going anywhere. I also realized I couldn’t break the mold of being the ‘okay’ family member even if it was a lie.

So I did nothing.

Which was everything.

The moment I realized that other people find me attractive:

I have already learned to find myself attractive in an out-of-the-blue, poolside moment this summer, but only this weekend did I realize anything more than that.

I went to a get together for my friend’s business fraternity at a fancy bar in Dallas. A cute tall guy talked to me. I’m talking like at least six-five. He towered over me and I loved the feeling.

We flirted and became facebook friends before the night was through. He told me he would be in Austin soon and that he really wanted to see me then. I said sure. I mean I’d been talking about finding a fuck buddy anyways, having only ever slept with my best friend in awkward short visits. Why not? He seemed chill.

At a stereotypical frat party the next night, I had one fratty guy practically humping my leg while a second more reasonable one (who wasn’t trying to twerk on my crotch while I was cornered into the counter) asked me out on a date for later in the weekend and proceeded to text-flirt with me all night.

The next day I flung my car into a parking spot in a fancy parking garage, knowing full-well that it was reserved for some higher up in that company. I looked how I felt: hair frizzy, baggy t-shirt, and dark circles under my eyes. Just that morning, I had my car towed and had expensive work done on it just to realize it was all for nothing. Parking laws be damned.

The parking attendant asked me to move. I gave him a smile and moved it to an equally illegal spot, daring him to protest. I walked across the street and gathered my purse from the evil restaurant. I came back and strode to my car, more than happy to leave. The parking attendant stood in front of my car and literally stopped me so that he could get my number.

Maybe it’s my personality. Maybe it’s my looks. Maybe it’s their extreme desperation. Either way, guys actually do find me attractive.

Holidays can be nice.

Today, my roommate came home with a pumpkin in tow as well as potato-man-esque body parts to decorate said pumpkin. We decorated it and I loved it. He now stares at all of our neighbors from our porch.

I got this happy-anticipating feeling in my stomach and wondered if holidays could be fun.

I was so used to them being tragically sad family events.

I was used to dreading them.

What if I didn’t go home?

Someday would I roast pumpkin seeds for my kids and decorate pumpkins?

I got drunk last Friday:

My grandpa died and I had to watch it. I had to put aside my feelings again.

They cannot exist.

Instead I immediately got drunk when I arrived back on campus. It distracted me long enough to put a lock on any feelings I might have.

Realize this is the makings of alcoholism. Realize this could be the slippery slope that destroyed the lives of many in my extended family. Feel helpless to change anything. Do nothing.

 

 

 

I’m stuck right now in a way I never have been before.

I’m in college.

I’m in college over three hours away.

I’m in college over three hours away from my mentally unstable and verbally abusive mother.

I should be free now. This should be when I discover who I am and test my limits with my newfound freedom.

 

But it’s a little hard to feel free when you’re chained to a house three hours away. In going to college I left behind my sister, my other half, my best friend, my baby. Despite my best efforts, I did not manage to find a better home for her before she found a boyfriend. Can y’all honestly think of any sixteen year old girl who would leave her first serious boyfriend?

So here I am, driving home every weekend to protect her and love her and agonizing over what I can’t protect her from every weekday. Though I get a fair amount still, I am not the one being verbally abused on a daily basis and it kills me. I am not the one who has to wonder if its safe to go to sleep. I am not the one who has to look our tormentor in the eye every day and say, “I love you.”

No, this is only my life on the weekends. Thankfully the weekends seem to be when our mother explodes more lately. Or the holidays.

But in being gone every weekend I havent been able to live the college life. I am strung out and tired all the time. Trying to cram a social life and schoolwork into the week is exhausting. I havent been able to join any clubs or hold on to a job.

One more year.

One more year till she is in college.

One more year till she is in college and I am free.

I can’t wait.