Perspective

I’ve always been one of those people for whom face-to-face verbal exchanges are nothing short of excruciatingly painful.  Plainly put:  I hate to talk.  Nuance, undercurrent, irony and body language are lost on me and I’m left with a vague sense of unease…much like a rider who’s left standing at the stop in an unsavory part of town watching the safe haven of the bus as it rumbles down the road.  Things are, to my way of thinking, so much better in print.  Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that and fortunately, I’m smart enough to appreciate that fact.

I’m a ‘muller’, a think it out to its conclusion type of person.  Not to be confused with a mullet, that awful hairstyle made famous by Billy Ray Cyrus, bless his hick heart.  My Dad recently referenced a childhood habit of mine where I’d chew the same mouthful of food for what seemed like an eternity.  To him, this only made the morsel bigger.  For me, it was a matter of making it smaller and easier to tolerate on the way down.

You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to.  Each of us is our own microcosm of idiosyncrasies.  It’s what makes us interesting…or irritating…or intolerable.

I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about WHY I’m overweight.  It would be simple (and as it turns out, wrong) to say it’s too much food and not enough exercise.  It’s far harder to type it out and say it’s because I allowed it to happen.  I couldn’t stop the unkind words that pelted me day in and day out for four hellish years.  I hated getting up in the morning, knowing the snide comments that were in store and dreading if I ever got caught alone.  I remember my parents showing up on campus in an attempt to fix things…my Dad’s frustration and anger and my Mom’s upset.  Did it help?  Not particularly, but it somehow made the whole experience ‘okay’ because they’d made a stand on my behalf and it gave me just a teensy bit of confidence to make a stand for myself.  At the end of those four years, I was outta there, through, never to return.  And I haven’t gone back, not once, not even to drive past. 

Not physically anyway.

Mentally, I packed it all up and made a decision to carry it forward into what is now my present life.  I didn’t even have the mental foresight to pack it in wheeled suitcases, for Pete’s sake!  Oh no, no,no…not me.  I found the sturdiest, stoutest set of mental luggage possible, the kind that bangs into your ankles with every step.  In-de-struc-tible.

I’ve carried it with me for twenty-two years and used it to build a wall around myself where no one gets in unless I let them.  Like the Great Wall of China, only shorter and squishier.  Somehow, by making myself bigger physically, I thought I’d insulate my feelings, but of course that doesn’t fly now does it?  But, as it turns out, I’m a fairly funny fat girl. 

I hate her.  I hate that I let it go on this long.  I hate that as smart as I am, I’ve repeatedly and with exceptional enthusiasm, made stupid choices because it hurt too much to give a good long hard look at what was really bothering me.  It’s not the unkind words or food that’s made me this way.  It’s me.

Dear Hubby, after almost twenty years together, has learned with a fair degree of accuracy, how to read my moods and can gauge his response accordingly.  Am I sporting that bug-eyed, teeth-bared look?  Then it’s time for him to give the wide-eyed holy shit look and slowly back out of the room.  More often than not, it’s a pat here, a forehead kiss there, a hug while I snivel and an occasional “Did I do it?” thrown in for good measure.  I’ve married myself a good man, y’all.  He knows when I say “I’m working something out” to just let it be.  It’s not something he can or should fix even though it goes against every male instinct to fix the problem and move on to something more interesting.  Like NASCAR or nooky.

I’ve been giving myself some swift kicks and decided while I can’t change Then, I can change Now.  It’s sufficient for me to say I am enough.  Whether someone else believes I am or not, isn’t my concern.

I.
Am.
Enough.

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7 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. Bullying has a terrible impact that seems so hard to overcome, I hope you are able to walk away from that nasty baggage you've carried so long. The love you have for your family shines through on your blog and you seem smart, funny and absolutely deserving of every happiness!

  2. It took an amazing amount of courage to share this post. I don't even know you, but I am right here with you. Cheering you on and feeling your pain. There are as many reasons for being overweight and there are overweight people. I am one of those people. Its a struggle every single day. Hang in there! You are MORE than enough. You are AMAZING!

  3. Since I don't know you in person I haven't formed any opinions about how you look other than the pictures you have shared. I never saw a "fat girl". There is far more to you than a label someone else gave you. I am glad you are shaking it.My son told some of his high school classmates (while still there), "I really don't give a damn what you think. I am here for four short years and then I will live the rest of my life without ever having to deal with you again." He was right. Which is why I don't have a problem with "ignore" on Facebook. I often think, "You treated me like I was dog shit in hs and now you want to 'be my friend'? Screw that!"Don't you wish life had an ignore button?Put that baggage in a storage unit and stop paying rent on it. Let them auction it off to some fool that thinks they need it. YOU do not!

  4. I absolutely agree with all the comments above! You are an awesome person and an amazing quilter! I also was bullied back in school and it is absolutely right to say that you dont have to deal with anyones crap anymore…YOU GO GIRL!!

  5. Reading your post today was like seeing a mirror of myself. Even your kind hubby acts the same as my equally awesome one. ;)I lived through 10 years of hell in school and "Murphy" has sadly always been my stalker. I have sent him (Murphy) packing and I am really trying hard every day to recover and enjoy the life I have so I recognize most in your post. I think you are awesome for sharing and you are so brave to do it too. Sadly I'm not as brave so I'll sign this as anonymous but I hope you understand and forgive me for doing that.YOU are awesome dont ever forget that!Hugs, from someone far away with similar experiences.

  6. I'm thinking since you're a 'no-reply' blogger you didn't get my reply back…yep, not the sharpest tool in the shed now am I?I get the keeping silent thing because speaking out even years later is REALLY hard and doing so at the time goes against what most of us are taught that as women we're not to make waves because getting in someone's face is waaay wrong.My own daughter got her first taste of this this past school year and my solution to 'just be the same sweet girl you are' really isn't a good answer. What I'd really like to do is get up in some kid's face and scream 'til I'm spitting to STOP BEING SUCH A LITTLE SHIT! Very mature of me, I know. I don't know how to explain to her the fine line between taking the high road/turning the other cheek and making an adult aware of the problem without being labelled a 'tattler'. Unfortunately, our kids are taught not to 'tattle' so they suffer in silence and seethe. Some wind up like me and some wind up like Columbine. I don't know what the answer is.Thanks for your encouragement and I sent it back your way doubled. I have to tell myself every single day 'I am enough' and so are you.Hugs, girl!

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