Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hello, my name is Hot Mess.

I sat my grandpa (mom's dad, where I get all of my smart ass ways and half of my Dutch heritage) down at the table. He was walking with crutches at this point because his balance was failing and he was having a lot of trouble walking. It was Thanksgiving and I somehow made it to the big table with the grownups. I guess enough of the family was missing that a spot opened up. I got him settled, helped him dish up, and got him everything he needed. As I reached over and fixed his suspenders that had gotten twisted he said, "Kelly, you're going to make some man very happy one day." I loved my grandpa dearly and valued his opinion greatly. He wasn't a man of many words, so when he spoke it resonated (often times because it was full of snark and old men with Dutch accents and all that sass are comedy). My smile had barely had time to form before it was wiped away. My dad was sitting on the other side of him and he said, "Who? Her?" It was his tone. It was his look. It was almost like disgust. It was him saying, "Please. She's never going to get a man. Who would be interested in a girl that big?" I knew he felt that way. He would always talk about some guy he'd come across that would be perfect for my sister, but he never suggested anyone for me because no one would want me, naturally. This was the first time he came out and actually said something that proved my suspicions. I was a teenager. I've never forgotten it.

My dad made me run up and down the stairs at the house until he said stop and sometimes run around in circles around the boat in the shop. He didn't care that I couldn't breathe. He didn't care that running around a boat in a fairly tight circle can make you dizzy. I was fat and it needed to change. So was he, but that apparently didn't need to change because instead of changing the way the family ate, he singled me out and embarrassed me often. During some of my dad's pep talks I was told that I was a worthless piece of shit and that I'd never amount to anything. I was a teenager. I've never forgotten it.

I've had artistic talent since I was little. I used to draw all the time. Every time I brought something to my dad he picked it apart. No compliments, just put downs. This could be better, the proportion is off on this, the shading is wrong on that. Because of this, I've never thought I was good enough. It never mattered that everyone else loved it and envied the talent. Because of this I stopped drawing. Because of this I threw away everything I had ever drawn. The only things I've kept (aside from things I've drawn recently for school) are two drawings that he couldn't find anything wrong with. Two drawings that must have been good enough. I hate that I let him take that away from me. I hate that I don't have confidence in my ability. I hate that because I stopped drawing I can't draw from my head anymore and have to see a picture of something to be able to draw it. I buy sketchbooks all the time because I love them. I open them and stare at the perfect white paper and ache for that girl to come back. The one that drew because she loved it and wasn't anxious because she wasn't good enough. I probably have about a dozen sketchbooks; they are all empty. I've been told that my dad brags about me to other people about my talent or my grades or the like. The only thing he's ever truly shown support in was my writing. He's always told me I should write a book. Beyond that, nothing I've done has ever been good enough as far as I can tell.

There are statistics out there that give numbers on how many compliments it takes to undo one single put down...especially when that put down comes from a parent or loved one. I wholeheartedly support this statistic, whatever it may be. It's been instilled in me since an early age that nothing I do will ever be good enough. I once wrote a letter to my brother that said something to the extent of, "You turned our childhood into anger, I turned our childhood into 350+ pounds." This was the first time I placed blame for my weight on anyone but me. I had always rejected the theory that "our parents are to blame" because I was now an adult and I should be able to change. I am an adult, but there are issues I've left unaddressed my entire life because I am a peacekeeper. I don't like ripples and I like to let bad things sink as quickly as possible. I've avoided addressing very many of the issues with my father in this blog because people I know, people that know my dad, read this. This blog is supposed to be honest. It's supposed to be about my weight and the things that positively or negatively affect my ability to lose it. My dad is a large part of this battle for me and I'm no longer choosing to sweep it under the rug. Until I can afford therapy (which I am now looking into), this is the only outlet I have.

For now I am choosing not to let my dad know that I'm trying to get focused on losing this weight again. I haven't told my parents that I rejoined the gym. I haven't made any comments on meals that have been made. I just stay in my room. I've lived back here for almost 2 years now and anytime I try to get focused again he has plenty of things to say about it. He points out everything that I shouldn't eat all while eating it himself. He complains if he cooks something and I don't want to eat it all while telling me that I need to lose weight. This makes me want to eat. This makes me want to binge. I become a little girl again and the only way that I can get back at my father is to do the one thing that bothers him most...get fatter.

Some therapist is going to have a field day with me. More to come.

1 comment:

Fat Daddy said...

Gut wrenching...What is the point in tearing apart a teenagers esteem? Your weight loss is not about him though...but about you.

You can do this.