Posts Tagged ‘Maturity’

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

Advertisements

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.

Photo Dec 20, 10 51 12 PM

I hate Christmas. I hate all holidays and I always dread their approach. Each winter, I stand in a field facing down an approaching army with nothing but the clothes on my back. Each winter, I lose this battle. Christmas will never be something to look forward to.

This year for instance, my mother called me and told me not to bother coming home. She screamed at me for a ridiculously long time about how I’m an awful person for not cutting off contact with my older brother. Because that is obviously something any reasonable parent should demand from their children – Don’t talk to your brother who you love or else you have no home.

Though the conversation over text was extremely calm compared to the phone calls I think it demonstrates her delusional self rather well. She is well spoken and very intelligent with strong, though twisted, logic skills. However, she is very… Bipolar. To her, I am only ever as good as what I can give her and what expectations I can meet. That is not a real mother.

Photo Dec 11, 8 13 21 PM

Photo Dec 11, 8 13 31 PM

Photo Dec 11, 8 13 37 PM

Photo Dec 11, 8 13 46 PM

So she called me and disowned me…again. Unlike the past however I was not in an area I knew well. After being kicked out of my dorm for the next month, I didn’t want to curl up in a playground tunnel again because I didn’t feel safe. How about a kip in the woods? Well, I didn’t know where the drug dealing spots were. So I spent the day at a Barnes and Nobles waiting to hear back from my brother. I was there for 11 hours.

I read a book. Built a lego home.

Photo Dec 14, 12 09 06 PM

Talked to a handsome man who asked me out on the town with his friends. I declined, then regretted it due to extreme boredom. Eventually the store closed and I curled up and went to sleep in my car. I had an offer for somewhere to crash about two hours away but staying with that person would have included a whole host of social problems that I didn’t have the energy for. I’d prefer a playground tunnel.  About midnight my brother called me and told me his new address, telling me to come on over.

Somewhere in between, I mentioned my location to my best friend, H. She almost cried when I told her why I was lounging around in a book store. I didn’t mind, personally. The book store had controlled air temperature, free entertainment, clean restroom facilities and a small Starbucks. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why she was upset. I actually considered myself lucky right then.

Her pain was for the unconditional love I will never have. Her pain was for my constant rejection by the person who is supposed to accept me.

But, I accepted this fate a long time ago. And to be honest, if I were given the chance to change my life in any way… I wouldn’t. It would mean sacrificing all the small moments that mean so much to me… that my current happiness is based on. Those are my life. Changing the bad would mean changing the good and changing who I am. I happen to love my life, thank you very much.

I’d be lying if I told you I never got jealous of people with normal parents. I often sit there and dream of what life would be like if my mom were happy for me, proud of me, there for me. But she never has been and never will be. I dream of a world where my mother wasn’t too ashamed of me to attend my high school graduation. A world where she was actually proud of my good school ranking. I dream of a world where my mom was sitting there after my first day of my first job asking excitedly how it went…not attacking me for going in the first place. I dream of a world where I am loved.

So, yes. I do have pangs of jealousy when I see pictures on Facebook or Instagram of my friends getting care packages, cute text messages, or going home and being hugged because they were sorely missed. It’s all the little signs they over look… all those small indications of love that they are so used to, that they don’t have to earn… those are why I am jealous. So, sue me!

Elle is sad.

Elle is incredibly homesick and I meant to cheer her up with a visit. I call her every day, but she is still lonely and struggling and I was more than ready to drive the eighteen hours each way if it meant seeing a smile on her gorgeous face. However, my colorado trip was cancelled because my dad called me last minute and told me I had to come home to take care of my mom and sister and wolf. He forgot he was going out of town that weekend.

This has been a recurring theme throughout my life: cancel on friends and be unreliable to them because I have to take care of my family. Sometimes, it can drive me crazy to be forced to let down others to be home when needed. It can be frustrating to have a mentally unstable parent, but I love her.

Sometimes priorities suck.

My mom sobbed uncontrollably in my arms when I went home for the weekend. This is normal.

My mom started a food fight at the dinner table. This is normal.

My mom threw a tantrum because her favorite show wasn’t on. This is normal.

Or at least all this is normal for me. I read somewhere that children of bipolar parents often find themselves in the role of parent. It’s backwards and unfair, but just a fact of life. By the time I was nine, I was well used to comforting my crying mother and curbing the effects of her temper tantrums. I tucked her in to bed each night. I made her lunch every afternoon when I got home from school, otherwise she wouldn’t feed herself. I prevented her suicide countless times. I read her books when she was sad. I brushed her hair free of tangles every day. I raised my mother, my sister, and myself. My mother hasn’t been a parent for as long as I can remember.

If I put it this way, people understand to an extent. They understand that I never had a wiser adult to go to when I had a problem. People might get that when I had my first car crash I handled it on my own, as terrified as I was, because if I had called my mother, she would have made a scene in front of the police officers and I wasn’t old enough to bail her out of jail. They might know that I lacked guidance I needed. People can more easily comprehend neglect to a child than they can see the good that came out of it. When I explain how I grew up, I immediately see pity spring to people’s eyes.

I hate pity. I don’t pity myself so why should I take your damn pity? Concern and care is different; those I will gratefully accept.

There were good things about growing up the way I did. Yes, it wasn’t much of a childhood. Yes, it was emotionally traumatizing and scarring. Yes, it was HARD. But I found happiness.

Some days, my mother was my best friend. She movie hopped with me. We had food fights at the table. She put on crazy accents and threw water at me out of nowhere, claiming I had something in my eye. She would just get in the car with me and go, not knowing where we’d end up. We’d have pillow fights and movie marathons. We’d make mud pies and bake colorful cakes. We gushed about gorgeous movie stars and argued over which characters would win in a fight. We’d lie in the grass and find shapes in the clouds. She was spontaneous and fun.

Even in these positive situations I was still my mother’s mother. It always felt like I was humoring a willful child. I had to keep a constant eye on her emotions and behavior to make sure she didn’t get out of hand. Things often tipped in an instant from fun to fury; my mother was only pleasant to be around when she was in a partially manic state, but this all too easily slipped into a full on manic episode.

Even though sometimes the bad overshadows the good, one fact remains:

My mother is my beloved daughter.