Sunday, September 9, 2007

Comments on Size - A Painful Memory

Children commenting on size...I think I've blocked a lot of these incidents from my mind. Like the time when my son's father and I were buying a home together and his daughter, who was 4 at the time, was with us and the realtor as we were reviewing the inspection papers. I was maybe 30 to 40 lbs. overweight at the time. I don't remember why she said it, but the 4 year old said something very fresh to me about being so fat...and her dad's reaction to it (he went way overboard on reprimanding her) almost mortified me more because I would rather have ignored it. It didn't help that he didn't even want to have a physical relationship with me at that point because he was turned off by the weight I had gained. I can only imagine how much I disgusted him in the years that followed when we were no longer together and my weight continued to rise to its all-time high of 254, which at not quite 5'2" is getting up there. And then there are the pictures that my own son, who I know adores me, has drawn of us together, he is tiny and slim and I am very, very round. He's told me (without meaning harm, just stating fact) that I am fat and we've had many discussions about how it makes people feel to focus on any one aspect of their bodies that they may not feel so good about. I will never forget one time we were watching a show (I was, he happened to be next to me) on weight loss surgery. One of the women there was very, very large and my son was laughing. He was 5 at the time. I asked him what he thought was so funny, and he started telling me how it's funny that she is so fat. We had a very serious discussion that night about people and their appearance and their feelings. He's little, and he hates it when people refer to him as peanut, or call him small, and so I made sure he understood that it really is no different for someone who is big and heavy...sensitivity training starts so early...and so does the prejudice.

The only other stories I have about being heavy are really from issues with my family (mom mostly) regarding my weight. Her obsession with my weight started when I was pretty young and she made other people obsess about it until I was humiliated. I remember shopping for clothing with her when I was probably 9 or 10, and having been an early bloomer, I had hips and breasts already and clothing in the juniors (or misses?) section didn't fit me like she thought it should. So she yelled at me in the store, in front of everyone, telling me that these clothes SHOULD fit me, and that she was putting me on a diet when we got home. She was angry and I was mortified and ashamed. There was a lot of ridicule from her about my size growing up and even as an adult, though she became more subtle in her undermining.

No comments: