Sunday, August 9, 2009

My life: Too much information...

This is probably more than I would usually tell, but here goes...

I think the media warp our self-images, but I gotta give some of the credit to the moms out there. My mom, who I love dearly now and forever, was a decisive factor in my view. Even now, at a neat size 8, she thinks she is too "fat" because she can't fit into her size 4's and 6's.

I was a classic stereotype-- no makeup, dressed in jeans and t-shirts (and pullovers) for comfort, always with my nose in a book, and (*gasp*) was even in the orchestra as a violinist. I had even been accused of being a lesbian in front of my whole year class in middle school, right smack dab in the middle of the cafeteria, because of the way I dressed. I learned what it meant to have to develop “tough skin” due to those comments. I didn’t have a clear idea if I was or not, but they way people said it, it was given as an insult. I wasn’t asked out to date but once in middle school, and when I did I thought it was a mean joke. I was angry, so I laughed in his face, told him "yeah, right, so you can pull a 'Carrie' on me, I don't think so" and ran away. I felt bad about it afterwards when I heard that he had meant it.

I have been mostly "overweight" since middle school (in elementary school they just called me "chubby"), and high school was the worst. I never felt like I fit in to any group: not quite "dorky enough" for the smart kids, not quite "shy enough" for the wallflowers, and certainly not "beautiful enough" for the popular crowd. I was a 20-22 jeans at my biggest then: a bit shy, mostly an emotional-eater, and drawn to books about science fictions or mystery. THAT was my true pleasure, to get lost in a good book, more than chocolate (well, mostly more... unless it was a REALLY bad day.)

My first year of high school, I tried weight-loss pills (speed), and lost a bunch really quick; I was ecstatic until I almost overdosed when I couldn't control it. After that, my mom tried to make sure that she watched me like a hawk. I think she meant well, but I had to eat while she was still self-conscience about her own weight. So while I had to eat the burger- cheese, bun and all- when she was eyeing me, she pecked at her food (usually a plain salad) like a bird. My home life was so messed up.

I didn't date anyone serious until my junior year of high school, and he didn't even go to the same school in the same county (and considering where I lived, that was a feat, since the high schools were pretty far apart.) We dated, separated, reconciled, and have been together ever since. We married 11 years ago and have been through a whole helluva lot together. I love him dearly: he is truly my best friend, lover, and partner-for-life. We had an eye-opening experience recently where I finally got his attention back… but that’s another story. Let’s get back to this one for now.

It wasn't until I turned 22 that I finally lost some healthy weight. I felt great even though, at a 10-12, I still didn't consider myself skinny; just healthy. I ate better, danced a lot, and was going to college for a degree. I had friends, hung out at their houses, just chilled and had fun.
Then I was pregnant. Now, I know that having a child changes people, but there are good changes and bad changes. I had a child, and I emotionally just lost it. I gained all the weight back and then some, lost interest in eating well, and stopped going to school to stay home with the little one. I became severely depressed, lost my job. I tried several times to get back into the workforce, but nothing seemed to stick.

The depression and lack of funds caused me to lose my house, my dog, and my "friends", which was exasperated by losing not only a best friend but also my little brother within one year. I learned to love my daughter fiercely, but often lost myself in that love to ignore the fact that I didn’t care for myself. It finally struck home about a year ago: I hated myself. Not only that, but I hated all that I had become. It wasn’t enough that my husband loved me, my daughter called me the “Best Mommy in the Whole World”… because if I didn’t care for me, it didn’t register. So, I snapped out of it.
I realized that in not wanting to worry about my self-image, I was just going to make my daughter feel bad about herself. Ironic. I love my daughter but I will make her feel bad about having a few pounds. Duh! What an idiot. I couldn’t get over how I felt about that. I cried to hard my throat felt like it was going to fall off or explode, it was that painful.
This story to be continued…