Change (The Fattest Girl in the Room)

23 04 2013

Is it money in my pocket that jingles when I walk? or those coins that litter the bottom of my purse weighing it down. Or is it the change in the ashtray- in the cup on the counter at the convenience store, “Take a penny,” it invites.

Or is change intangible, like the seasons, coming and going through the years, like the sun rising and setting, reliable and faithful.

Or is it something unexpected. Happening when you aren’t looking, fast and terrible, or slow and good, fast and good, slow and terrible. Change like the wrinkles in your aging skin. Change like the world and it’s ever present threats of war and terror. Change like the rapid growth of a child. Change like a new job. Change like your dreams as you grow.

I don’t like change. I like stability. When my moods change it’s not good. When things in the house change, it’s not good. I don’t adjust well. I need sameness. I could eat the same thing every day and be fine. I could wear the same thing and I do the same thing every day. I need things to remain the way they are. I am scared of change. Why? I don’t know. Is it the challenge? I’m afraid of trying to adapt. I’ve been walking such a fine balance, I’ve been able to function. I can get up every day. I can get a shower, go downstairs and at least pretend to be normal. I pick my kids up from school when they need me. I take them to the doctor. I even make my own doctor’s appts. But one slight change, I don’t think I can adapt. I am a wall, an immovable force that cannot change. I hold up this house, if I move, the house, I, will fall. Don’t make me change.

But what happens when I change. My body. I am tired of it. Trying to drag it around. I’m like a walrus on the rocks, rolling around, not walking so much as waddling. I am so sick of this body. I am so sick of the words that hurt me. So what happens when the fat girl stops being the fattest girl in the room? How do I stop being her?  I’ve only ever known her. How do I come to terms with not being her? How do I reconcile who I see in the mirror with who I am in my mind? Who I’ve been told I am my whole life? “You need to lose weight.” “He broke up with you because you’re too fat.” “No American man will marry you, you’re too fat.” “You will go on a diet before your sister’s wedding, right?” “I’ll pay you to lose weight.” “I’ll buy you the loveseat to your sofa if you lose the weight before your wedding.” That swirls through my mind. Constantly. How do I shut that up? Yeah, those were people that supposedly loved me. So I can only imagine what you would think of me if you saw me. If those are their thoughts about me. How much worse would a stranger think of me. What would they say if they could. So……

Change. I don’t know if I like it. I actually feel vulnerable. Without my fat to protect me. It keeps people at bay. No one wants to be friends with the fattest girl in the room. Or, they do because she makes them look so good. Or they pity her. But the truth is, I don’t want you to be my friend. I’ve learned friends hurt. People hurt. They don’t change. Can I let go of my position of being the fattest girl in the room, my safety net, my invisibility cloak to not be the fattest girl in the room? I’m scared. While nothing else has driven me to therapy lately, I think it’s time to go. I don’t know who I am if I’m not the fattest girl in the room. I’m scared to find out. What if I don’t like who I am? What if someone wants to be my friend again? What if they hurt me? Can I do that all over again? What if I am seen? What if I am noticed? How do people hide in this world when they don’t have a coat of fat to make them unappealing? How do they keep safe from people? From looks? Because right now, I can say you don’t like me because I’m fat. But when it’s gone, why? What reason will it be that you don’t like me? And I don’t think I’m strong enough to stand against that shame again. Last time nearly broke me. Don’t see me. Let me be hidden always. Don’t notice me. I’m still the fattest girl in the room.

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