Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Shield

I hold on to my fat to keep people at a distance.
Fat has always been my thing.  I'm sure many people out there will say that it's my personality, my sense of humor, or some talent that makes me unique, and that may be true.  But to me, all of these things came out of my fat.
I have to have a good personality, a can-do attitude, and strong resolve; I've developed them all to compensate for my size.  Even as a kid, I knew that people wouldn't take a second look at me if I didn't have a positive quality to offer.  I didn't want to be on the bottom because of my weight, so I made sure that it couldn't keep me down.  I strived to be the best at everything - grades, school organizations, singing...even spelling.  As nerdy as it is, I even wanted to be good at spelling.
It worked.  I got a scholarship to college by writing an essay and ponying up the personality at the interview.  I was the most active student in my college major program.  I got involved in a sorority so I could have a normal college girl experience in spite of my size. 
My fat put me out there.  My personality got me through.
My dark sense of humor comes from the fat, right out of the unfairness of having to sit on the periphery.  Yeah, even though I was "out there" I was still on the margin.  I got to see my peers navigate their relationships, got to give them advice because I was an onlooker.  I got to see the strong friendships form in my social groups, but I was never in one.  I still don't think I've ever had a best friend in that sense. 
I was close with Sara in high school, but it seemed like she was closer to Nicole, closer to her boyfriend Wilson.  I was always a third wheel.  My cousin Dusty had his friend Nick.  Rita had her friends; I felt like an annoying hanger-on.  In college I had Kelley, and we were very close, but a strange schism happened my senior year that makes me question our friendship.  There was Matt and Justin, and while they were there for me through the roughest, there were times that their behavior toward me bordered on the cruel.  I was always outside.
Now as an adult, I have many acquaintances, some close friends, but I still feel cheated out of some grand human relationship.  I should have formed a bond with someone in my past, but it never happened.
But out here on the periphery, I can point and laugh.  I can see others screw up and find humor in it, in the simple life lessons of failure.  I can take notes so I don't make the same mistakes.  I can guard myself against the needless scrapes and bruises of stumbling through love.  When it happens to me, it will be forever.
When it happens.  That's the thing - it's always a when, never a will.  I make damn sure of that.  I plan my life around things that will happen when I'm good enough, when I get my life together, when I reach a certain weight, when I'm thin enough.  If I really want these things, why am I not gunning for them now?
Because it's easy.  It's easy to say I shouldn't do something because I'm fat.  It's easy to blame people for not liking me because I'm fat.  My relationships with friends and lovers all end because I'm fat.  Even my parents - there's something in me that says my mom is unhinged because I'm fat, because she feels like she failed at me, at everything.  That in spite of every success of mine, my parents won't really be proud of me until I'm not fat.
It's so stupid, but it's how I feel.  It's so much easier to assign reasons to people instead of myself.  I stay fat so that I can have this excuse, so that I can give a reason why nobody likes me or should like me.  I'm sick of it.  I'm sick of living like this, and I want out of the only lasting relationship I've ever had:  the one with my body.
I'm 27 years old, and I've only lived in the future.  I haven't lived my past; I've guest-starred.
So there's that,


Kathy Campbell said...

Hey Laura-Amanda gave me your blog! You are GREAT! Still at DONA! Take care, I love reading your blog!

manda said...

Mom's unhinged because she's like a 24 pack crayon box missing 23 crayons--not because of you.

Hang in there...