OK, my initiative is Saying What Can’t Be Said. So even though the following seems true for me at this moment, I am 1000% sure I shouldn’t write it.
I’m afraid of the comment/criticisms I will get. So I will say them to get them out of the way:
- Well if it bothers you, why don’t you do something about it?
- It’s your own fault. No one else has done this to you.
- You’re right. You’re an old ugly fat loser (FOUL)
- Save your breath, there’s nothing you will ever do about this. You’ve been talking about it for 40 plus years.
- It’s true. So what. Get over it.
- And the best: This too will pass – this was an actual comment on my newly initiated instagram. It sounds like this person didn’t know I was being funny. Her comment stuck in my craw. “You just doesn’t understand/fuck you” is what I wanted to say. Instead I said “thank you, it’s great to hear from you.” Am I phony or what? Am I still not speaking up? I’d say a GIANT YES.
But that’s not what this is about. Or is it? We shall see.
My preamble done, this is what I want to talk about:
I looked in the mirror this morning and didn’t like what I saw. It’s all in my mind, I told myself, don’t get crazy.
But then, this afternoon, I got into my bathing suit so I could sit outside on my deck. Again, I caught my reflection in the mirror. OMG, I thought. I am totally unequivocably disgusting. Totally gross. Shouldn’t live. How did this happen? How did I kid myself all this time? Last week I was in my bathing suit in public. How could I have done that? I was thinking I didn’t look so bad. Even my daughter said I looked good and she doesn’t lie. Was I just kidding myself? Why wasn’t I harpooned?
I wanted to throw up. I went outside. (No one was outside to see me.)
I closed my eyes. I wanted to get to the bottom of this.
When I was born, there was no such thing as a disgusting body. When did I learn that fat was disgusting?
An image appeared in my mind – at my parents annual dental fourth of July party when we were little. There was a little boy running. It wasn’t even me. His belly fat folded over on itself. I think he was chasing the big kids and they were ignoring him.
I think I made a decision about fat. If you have enough fat that it folds over itself, you are disgusting and people will run from you. No one wants you around. You might as well die. You shouldn’t exist.
That’s it. So when I saw the fat fold on my back, I put that one on myself. I’m disgusting, no one can want me, and I might as well die. It’s real loathing for me. Since I gained my last 5 pounds I’ve noticed it. And I’ve hated it.
I got smart, though. I bought dresses and shirts that are loose around my back and belly. So no one knows. I could pretend that I wasn’t TOTALLY gross as long as no one could see. But I knew. I knew I was hiding it. And it’s been a private shame that I got good at hiding. And now I’m going public. So I can have some freedom. And I don’t think I should say this, that’s why I am. To maybe free someone else.
Now that I’ve shared this awful secret, I can create something new. What can it be?
I have heard lately on my podcasts that we are NOT our bodies. We are souls inhabiting a body.
So if I am not my body, I am perfect as I am. I am merely borrowing this shell for this lifetime.
What do I get by hiding, suffering and being ashamed?
I get to be right that there is something wrong with me and I am unlovable.
I had to take a break after seeing that. And I just put shorts on which cover up the rolls so I feel better.
Oops, that’s not the point. I am creating freedom here. I get to be right and the cost is that I stay separate from people and don’t get to create a life I love.
Can I accept other people who have fat rolls? Sure.
Can I accept that fat rolls have no inherent meaning. That I’ve collapsed fat with disgust, shame, and not being ok or accepted?
Can I give up my story about it? That my parents didn’t love me when I was fat? That I had to earn their love and a bicycle in third grade by losing ten pounds? That I am unworthy as I am? Can I actually give this up?
Or do I want to hang on to it? So I can suffer.
Hold on…….I need to have a good little cry right now. To think what I have been doing to myself all these years, thinking that fat REALLY is disgusting and worthy of self-hatred. I distinguished it in my book, but obviously have held onto it anyway.
No wonder I’ve been happy to stay on my own. I’m safe here. No one can see it and know how shameful I am for these five pounds. It has been real for me, despite how I pretended to be happy and wonderful and great.
I know this is a long blog, but I needed to work through this. I have 7-8 followers. I don’t know why the number is sometimes 7 and sometimes 8, but I thank you all for reading my stuff. I hope it makes a difference for you. It certainly makes a difference for me to be able to “say what I definitely don’t think I should say.”
Thank you for accompanying me on my journey to freedom and beyond.
What I am creating is freedom – no matter what I see in the mirror. And even though I can see I’m not quite free yet, I am at least aware. And that is the first step.
One step at a time.
One thought on “Don’t Think I Should Say This”
Thank you Hillary for your honesty. I have been ashamed of my body image all of my life & now I feel a freedom around that conversion. You have created an opening for me to love myself that was not available to me before. I see that I have a conversation about my body (and many other aspects of myself) that I created in the past because of some past experiences. I’ve been living like it’s the truth, “I’m fat with giggle arms & I’m ugly”. Now I’m going to say something different & create a new conversation. “I am beautiful from the inside out”. By the way, I don’t see you as fat, I see you as an attractive, petite & powerful woman. I would love to look like you.