Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Yep, She's Still There.

If you know me, if you know anything about me from what you've read here, or if you know about me personally in life, you know who I'm talking about.

Who's still there?

The fat girl. The little fat girl that's always been there inside my mind, ever since middle school (because my shorts didn't start getting bigger until about 6th grade, and then after 7th they disappeared forever), cowering in the corner of the "fat room" in my personality ... where she's been pushed in, locked in, and trapped for so long. I only ever let her out so that other people can berate her, so that they can rip on her and tell her how awful she is, how ugly she is, and how disgusting she will always be.

Or worse ... so that I can do that to her. After all, no one better to tear someone apart than their own self, right? Because no one knows my weaknesses like I do.

Inside of my mind there is the room where the fat girl is trapped, and it's a room full of little boxes. In each box is a memory ... a little fat memory box, if you will. Each of them are stuffed far too full with the little memory trapped inside, because even the fat memories are too fat and they are ugly.

I wasn't a fat child. I was thin, really, and pretty cute if I say so myself. But then came the first love, the first heartbreak, and the knowledge that I'd brought it on myself. I broke up with him ... and for the stupidest reason. Looking back, it didn't even make sense, maybe I was afraid because he and I had been together for so long (6 months is a long time for a 6th grader who's best friend isn't speaking to them because of the boy) ... and maybe I just missed my friend. In the end, I still think about him a lot, and I have wondered often in my life whether he and I would have ended up together if not for that choice that was regretted as soon as it was made.

He was angry ... he was so angry, and so hurt. I don't know if I was his first heartbreak, but I know for a fact that I broke his heart. It's been maybe ten years, and I've talked to him recently, during which he mentioned the way things ended up before. I didn't have the guts to ask him what he was thinking since I've already built a life and a family that I am happy with ... and he didn't say, but I gave my heartfelt apology for hurting him and we haven't talked much since.

I think "fat" first came from him, actually, from his anger, from his hurt, and maybe even back then he knew that my weight was something of an issue for me. By that time I'd spent a lot of time with my father's ex-wife, and she was so gung-ho about keeping everyone skinny (except herself I guess, she was always a little ... "chubby") that my father often referred to her as the "food police". So maybe "fat" really came from her, I don't know. I don't remember her ever saying anything like that to me directly, though I do know it was said ... and trust me, I have eyewitnesses.

But the first time it was really said to me, thrown at me? That was Brian, the first love boy. And I know it was anger, hurt, whatever, because really, back then I wasn't that big yet. After that? I don't know what happened, but I got huge. I know that some of it also was just from not being allowed to go out and be active like the other kids around me were. I couldn't go for walks around the block, I wasn't allowed to ride around with Jessica when she got her first car, and my cousin and I actually had to beg to be allowed to walk to school.

By the time I was in 8th grade, I knew I was a lot bigger than the girls my age, I'd passed most of them up, heard the scathing comments of the skinny girls, and noticed that my friends and I didn't couldn't share clothes back and forth.

When I was in high school, my grandfather died and finally there was an end to nicknames like "thunder thighs," and "ham hock", and my grandmother moved herself and my cousins to TN from FL where we grew up. That helped some because I was out from under her thumb and her comments.

The move was hard though, for me and my closest cousin. We both had hips, we both were fairly curvy, but I had the ghetto booty long before it was in style, not to mention the belly that came most likely from forced inability to move around. My cousin was a little more lucky, as she had less of the belly, less of the booty, and more of the BIG ENORMOUS BOOBS! Add to that her confidence and her "can't touch me, I'm tough" attitude, and she was sort of ... well, sorta hot. She got to hang out with the preps, and the cute guys that were the preps. Not me. But school isn't that bad, you can just pass off things that school kids say as just them being big old sucky jerks from suckville.

Home is a different story. My uncle and his family had come down to help with the packing when my grandmother was moving, and I'll never forget my cousin and I crying in our room because we'd overheard our aunt talking to our grandmother and my mother about us being fat. Too fat. We'd be so pretty ... come on, you know the line ... if only we could lose some weight.

But these were family! They were the people who should have been the ones to accept us no matter what, right? Because blood runs thicker? Apparently not fat blood. It doesn't run at all, it just sits there, a big fat blobby mess that would maybe run if only it weren't TOO thick.

That was right about the time Sugar Ray was out (and you're old like me if you know who they are), and they had that song "Fly".

We heard that song on the radio that day, and to cheer ourselves up, we rewrote the lyrics. I'll never give the entirety of that humiliating song, but for anyone too lazy to click the link, the actual chorus goes like this: "I just wanna fly/put your arms around me baby/put your arms around me baby" and you repeat, obviously, because it's a nineties song.

Our version? "I'm too fat to fly/can't put your arms around me babe/can't put your arms around me babe/'cause I'm too fat to fly."

Wow. Looking back at that, I almost want to call them all up just to give them hell for putting us through that. For teaching me how to do that to myself. Just now I had to look up the actual lyrics because all I could remember were the fat ones. Because somehow the fat lyric became the real one for me. In fact, when I'm listening to some 90's stuff on XM ... if they play that song, I can still sing the fat version, word for word without a struggle. Because the fat girl's still in my mind, and that song is on repeat in the fat room.

Thanks, family.

Sure, I remember little things like the neighborhood kids, and little stupid comments about "Free Willy" ... and no thank you, I DID NOT eat him. But really, the things that stuck the most are just like Weetabix from Elastic Waist said; it's the scars you get from your own family that run so deep even Mederma can't fix 'em.