Today I realised that I need to invest in my wardrobe. I need to give myself permission to buy those things that I really want, not the stuff I find on an impulse. I need to genuinely embrace myself as I am right now and I need to – once and for all – put down that thought that once I’m thin again I’ll spend the money on myself, that once I’m prettier I’ll be worth the nice clothes. I have to accept that I’m not 18 anymore – and never will be again.
How hard can that be?
Accept that I’m not worth less as a person because I’m fat and not sample size or look like a mannequin. Because I’m beautiful the way I am right now (geez, it’s hard to even write these words). I am beautiful as I am right now. I am worthy as I am right now. I am not less deserving because I’m fat. Being fat doesn’t make me stupid, slow or negligent. It simply means that I’ve been through some shit and I look like it. I bear the scars of it.
This deeply rooted gut reaction I have whenever I see a picture or reflection of myself to gag is fake. It’s a legacy of growing up with an emotionally unavailable family, emotionally struggling family, and friends who were just looking for a dupe to work out their own shit out on.
But I’m worth so much more than that. I am worthy. I am beautiful. Even more: I’m normal.
And I don’t have to change. I can be successful as I am today. Right now. I can be my own brand of different and yet be no less than anyone else. But I need to give myself permission to do so. I’ve been hurt in the past for being different. The other day I was pondering an odd thing; what were some of the reasons I was bullied? As stated by the ones who bullied me.
That I liked to spend time alone drawing rather than play with other kids. That I didn’t wear make-up in 5th grade. They said I was odd, that my hair was wrong, they pinned me up against the wall and grabbed me by the jaw to turn my head from side to side and told me to just look at how nondescript I looked, how boring my profile was. I was quiet and my scrunchies were wrong (twas the 90s). I preferred cargo pants (to carry drawing pens around in) rather than skinny jeans like the other girls. First my hair was too long, then it was too short when I cut it off. I had bangs and that was childish.
As I sat there listing all these things that the bullies told me were wrong about me, I was shocked into a contemplative silence. Not that I ever thought bullying made sense but thinking back on all the reasons they gave me for why I was chosen as their target… I didn’t see at the time how ridiculous it was. Neither did I have anyone to share it with, someone who’d understand.
A part of the bullying was the isolation, I had the same bullies for a long time. And eventually I even became “friends” with them, though it always rang hollow to me and I probably just did it because I’d rather put up with that than actually be bullied. But how horrible was that, befriending your tormentors? Without any kind of genuine recognition on their part as to what their actions had done to me. Rather allowing a familiarity because you’re using it as a shield to protect yourself.
Is it any wonder then that I have challenged with believing in myself? Because I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop, for someone to turn around and tell me my success, my acceptance is all a joke. Har har, now mosey on. How can I trust that life will carry me? That what I create for myself is built on a solid foundation, not a betrayal of trust?
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