Monday, August 3, 2015

Owning Our Agency

I'm someone who fears people. I fear their judgment. I fear being belittled, because it was so much a daily part of my life for a long time. I fear making a fool of myself. Most of all, I fear that allowing myself to feel, beyond what others perceive as requiring their permission, will lead to a crippling spiral of humiliation.

To understand it more fully, I probably ought to explain that I lived with a full spectrum of cruelties, from small jabs to public excoriation. Not that others don't, and not to downplay others' experiences, but when you're fat, there are "special rules" that apply. I was a child model for a photography studio for a brief window of time before I began putting on weight and simultaneously losing everyone's approval. I was a smart, precocious child, often socially inept (especially with children my age), and when I became physically unattractive due to my weight gain, I went from being perceived as cute to being perceived as an annoying, ugly pain in the ass.

As I got older, it got worse. Fat, brainy, socially awkward, and cursed by the Marks of the Beast that no adolescent wants- acne, glasses, and braces- I acted out, but I turned inward. I suspected that all positive attention that I was paid would be twisted into a cruel joke later on...and often, I was right, if I was naive enough to fall for it. I absorbed the Burden of Fat: because my body carried it, it was meant to muffle any emotions I might have and sublimate the pain and humiliation heaped on me, a favorite sport of both adults and children, with the extra rule that the object of their ridicule is not allowed to fight back, because then they "just can't take a joke".

The one thing I don't want to be is noticed, or be open to being emotionally flayed. I still spend so much time hiding that the idea that I've trod where I'm not wanted is nauseating...but, as I had it thrown up to me, I forced my way back into Hopkins' life, and it's not like I hadn't made myself a little ill thinking that before my face was shoved into that metaphorical pile of shit. It was during an argument and it was a gambit by the speaker to drag me down and beat me into submission. All it's done is force me through a tour de force of some of the worst feelings of misery and alienation I've ever experienced in my life. I'm so depressed that I can barely walk five feet today.

So, congratulations, if you think that's the foundation of a good relationship, it's not. It only makes me want to go over in a corner and stay there until I die from the sheer horror of being me.

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