Posts Tagged ‘Loneliness’

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

There we were, nowhere and everywhere. Literally nowhere, not that there was enough light to see the endless fields and trees and nothingness. We bumped along in a vacuum of darkness, cut loose and lost as we discussed our lives and explored any road we came across.

Our parents had fundamentally wronged us and abused us.

The continued to do so.

Our brothers were useless.

We were mentally fucked up.

We had no way to fix that.

Nobody would ever choose us first.

There was a rustling in the trunk.

Something was in there with us.

A murderer.

Oh. Shit. Here he comes.

Flashlight disproves murderer theory.

Culprit is crinkly wrapper on water bottle.

I love my sister.

Somewhere on our traditional, late-night drive, I glanced up at my right. In the window, my sister and I were reflected in the stars we had spent so much time admiring. Our little, trembling family of two had somehow become infinite.

They’re not coming. Really, they’re not.

You probably hid in the bathroom so the other parents wouldn’t insist on waiting with you after the birthday party. You sat on the grungy toilet and held up your feet whenever you heard a sudden sound, careful not to touch the nasty stall. You listened to the endless chatter and friendly goodbyes until, finally, the coast was clear.

Then you waited.

And you’re still waiting. But, Mommy is never going to put you first. So get used to being forgotten. Get used to hiding from the other parents. Get used to walking home. Grow up, because in the end the only person there for you is yourself.

You remind me of myself at your age. I wish I could save you, but I can’t. Even if I called CPS and you moved in with the Brady Bunch, you would still struggle with the ultimate question: Why didn’t Mommy love me the way I am?

So grow up and love yourself.

I can’t save you or Emily. Her mom is sick too. Bipolar Disorder. I see myself in her too. If I had escaped at her age, I wouldn’t have fallen so far.

Emily is a good kid, a coworker of mine. She doesn’t deserve to be mind fucked. Neither do you. At sixteen, she can apply for emancipation now. I’ll support her as much as I can, but in the end it comes down to how much she wants it. It would break my heart if she wound up trapped in her mind the way I am now. God knows her dad isn’t a lick of help.

That reminds me, your daddy won’t save you either. He will always choose your mom or himself.

Please Emily, save yourself. I love you, just the way you are.

Please, just stop waiting.

A Fantastically Brilliant Read

Okay. I lied.

Hazel Lancaster from The Fault in Our Stars did not say these words in relation to mental illness related memory loss. In my opinion though, she summed up my feelings more succinctly than I ever did in my last post.

“The pleasure of remembering had been taken away from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we’d done were less real and important than they had been hours before.” – John Greene in his novel The Fault in Our Stars

Today, my bipolar mother bawled when she asked why I had glass in my foot during my senior prom last year. I gave her the honest answer: her irrational anger resulted in a broken mirror and there was no time to remove it while taking care of her.

I wonder though, was this the right thing to do? In my hand, I often have the power to give my mother a better ‘truth’, to instill a pleasant memory where she wont agonize over pain she has caused me and the monster she often becomes. She has a clean slate and I have to fill it. Somehow, though, I always give her the honest, non-embellished breakdown as it happened (in a softened and vague manner). I don’t like lies. I don’t like manipulation.

But is this the RIGHT thing to do? Under the assumption that lying is wrong, we have to define the truth. Is it still the truth if her side of the story and her experiences don’t exist? Is it the truth if all she gets to know is how we saw the events? She does not have the chance to know her own pain and torment in that moment. For, even when she is aggressively turning us into victims, her very being is constantly at war with itself. So is it fair to hand her newfound guilt and pain in my blunt and plain chronology of events?

I can’t give her her truth. I cannot tell her the full truth of those times. They don’t exist. So is it a form of lying to omit all that and give her my half of the truth?

These memories only exist in my head. The other person who I shared them with doesn’t remember. It’s as if they didn’t happen. No matter what I cannot give her a real memory, so isn’t it better to give her a more pleasant memory no matter how lonely it is for me?

My father sacrificed his children.

There is no doubt that my siblings and I are all pretty fucked up. My mother is the reason.

There is also no doubt that my father constantly chose the welfare of my mother over ours. Because placating her always held a life or death significance; the slightest misstep sent her careening towards another suicide attempt while the kids always lived to see another day.

In effect, my father stood by as she emotionally tore us apart, siding with her in almost every argument He constantly told us to just go along with her. He told us to just sit through it. He told us to not get mad at her.

A young child sat, small and scared, cornered in her closet, listening to the person she loved the most scream horrible things to her. The child was fat, even though you could count her ribs. The child’s curly hair was atrocious she’d never be liked. The child was such a horrible person that her mother claimed to want to kill herself rather than be her parent. The child was uncoordinated – she should just give up already on her passion of volleyball! The child was useless, stupid, and a waste of space. The child’s naturally friendly demeanor and kind outreach to others was embarrassing and socially unacceptable. The child was obviously plotting against the mother, trying to make her life miserable. The child was a lazy piece of shit. Despite the fact that the child had countless friends, her mother considered her a socially awkward failure; in reality the child just feared displaying her social life in front of her mother: another vulnerability to be used as ammo. The mother tore apart her child’s character on a daily basis.

The child sat in silence, no emotion passed her face. No tear escaped her impassive front. She tried to erase any feelings from her mind as well. Quite simply, she was not allowed to have feelings, for having feelings meant killing her mother. Having feelings meant causing problems for the family. The young girl never once complained and almost never mentioned it to her father, even when things got physical. It would only cause him stress and produce no results. It was the responsibility of the young girl as a mentally sound member of the family to control her mind where her mother could not, to sacrifice herself.

By the time I was eleven years old, my mother had convinced me that the world would be better if I was dead.

And through it all the father either was not present or only chose to stop the proceedings when they threatened to get violent. Sometimes when he could really see how much pain his kids were in, he would step up and send them upstairs, taking the anger himself. I always understood why he made the choices he did. I never once blamed him even though it often made me sad. I even relied on his prioritization of my mother above us. It meant that even though I generally chose to protect my sister, I didn’t have to worry about my mom dying because when things were that serious he would usually be there to take care of her. It knocked a burden off of my shoulders and in a way, I think we both viewed this unspoken division of responsibility as teamwork. I understood that his choices were life or death for my mother. I understood that without us, she would probably kill herself within a few days and if she managed to live, she would never find people to love or anybody who loved her. She was, quite simply, too bat-shit crazy and would be doomed to live out the rest of her life without the basic human need of affection and interaction. Sad and forever alone.

When I was seventeen, I finally found a choice of my father’s that I didn’t understand. I was a senior in high school, looking at colleges and dreading the day I might leave my sister with nobody there to help her, take care of her, and protect her. I presented many ideas to my father on alternate living situations for my sister. He shot down every single one of them, and although he pointed out valid flaws, they were something to work with. He gave me vague agreements when I declared the current situation intolerable. Though I gave him plenty of time, he never contributed a single idea. When I confronted him about this, the man showed his true colors.

“I know things aren’t great here but she is only fifteen and still needs her parents.”

With this, he showed his fear to change the status quo. His inability to take action. His self-delusion that we really were a happy family. He showed that he was too worn down to save us, much less himself. He was pitiful. And he proved me wrong. I had always thought that if I ever actually asked him for help, or anything really, he would be there for me since I had always been there for him, never once complaining. His own children were crying out for a safe living environment and he wouldn’t even step up to the plate. Isn’t that a basic human right? One that he deprived his kids of, for he was the only one with the power to provide it. My sister didn’t need a mother who would verbally abuse her on a daily basis and a father that would allow it to happen. To my sister, I represented her mother figure and her best friend. Our ‘parents’ were never such.

I love my father with all my heart. In this morally gray life we live, I can’t tell you the difference between right and wrong. Is the life of the mother more important than the mental health of her spawn?

I think one of the loneliest parts about having a bipolar parent is when they forget all the things they do to you.

Mom used to corner me in the closet, tear me apart verbally and occasionally get physical. Even though it always devastated me, in the morning she wouldn’t even remember a single moment of it.

I

have

never

felt

so

alone.

At least when someone at school got in a fight with me or insulted me, I wasn’t alone in the experience. They may remember a different side of the event. They may hate me for what happened. They definitely have a different perception of it. But at least what happened exists in them as well as me.

But Mom always forgot so my memories seemed false, like a dream. I’d feel like I’m not allowed to feel sad over something that seemingly didn’t happen. I’d feel almost at fault for not forgetting too, or for holding things against her that didn’t exist to her. But if I forget then they never were. The responsibility for remembering the true extent of our relationship and all the feelings that come with it rests solely on my shoulders. When making new memories with her, the old memories made them contain different meanings. So even the memories we both remembered became lonely because my experiences and thoughts would be so vastly different from hers.

Imagine if your best friend or your family couldn’t remember half of your experiences together. The ones that were heart wrenching or the ones that were good. Imagine if half of your life with them existed only in your head. Wouldn’t you feel alone too?

These thoughts were brought up by this girl I am distant friends with. At a party last night, she got completely wasted, walked up to me in the crowd and slapped me across the face with everything she had. I ended up literally carrying her home and watching over her as she puked her guts out for three hours, rambling on about her deepest secrets. This morning she didn’t remember any of it. She didn’t even remember seeing me last night.