So I found this thing, this letter I wrote to myself in my journal just about a year ago, March 2012. Early in that month I had an episode of Bell's Palsy and was still dealing with a droopy face, pain, and all kinds of trouble with simple stupid things like eating and talking.
This one is kind of special. It isn't really about being fat. It's actually about just being. Maybe even about just being enough.
Can you imagine the things I've been saying to myself? Freak, gimp, ugly, monstrous? The self-hate and self-pity are pretty much back full force. I have let the pity party go on for a couple of days now, but I think I'm getting tired of it.
But those thoughts stick with me. I went to bed and had a good long cry. I just let myself feel my feelings(!). Pity, yes, but also anger, and fear, and sadness, and shame. I have depleted myself; I am sick, as sick as I've ever been, broken and stressed out and just finished. I make myself smaller to make other people feel bigger. I have spent my whole life chipping off pieces of myself to shape into something acceptable to someone else. I don't think that there are many more pieces left. I'm a shell. I am afraid that I am too sick to ever get well again.
I am sad for the little girl inside who is so lost and alone among these little statues of me that I keep creating. I'm ashamed that I found her too unworthy to just let her be.
So I'm angry. I'm angry at me for doing this to myself, angry at everyone else for letting me do it. I'm angry that people need me to be something for them. I'm angry that they need me to be "less than." I'm angry that different people need me to be different things; I'm angry that the same people sometimes need me to be conflicting things. I can't be pretty, and perfect, and normal and also broken enough to not be scary.
Because I would be scary. I AM scary, if I were to let these people see all of me at once. A lot of it is luck or hard work, but I'm actually kind of awesome. I'm smart, I'm talented, I'm nice, I have a great life, a great partner, a great job. I have enough. I have the things I need to get by and I have a few really great people who I have chosen to be in my life. I'm stronger than I let on and I'm better at a lot of things than I seem to be. But I compartmentalize those things because I want everyone to feel bigger than me. All of me at once is too much.
Yes, I am big. I am huge. I am more than meets the eye. I have hated this body for so long, not realizing how it has served me, protected me, and even housed all those beautiful little statues that I trade in and out as needed: Perfect Daughter, Perfect Sister, Perfect Wife, Perfect Diet Girl. I am just as big as I've needed to be to hold all those pieces of all that amazing stuff that is me. I have earned every fat cell, every wrinkle, every grey hair, every scab, every scar, every damage, every bit of broken heart. I have done all of this to myself in order to survive. I am a museum of wonderful and horrible things.
I can no longer be everything to everyone, but I am everything I need to be and that's going to have to be enough for all of them. Because I'm done tearing myself down and building smaller, more acceptable versions of myself. Any future building to be done will be done in order to support me, sustain me, and heal me.