Parental Wounds Are Deep
Seven years in, I’m getting a little tired of the baby weight.
I don’t miss strangers telling me that I looked like whoever one of the contestants was on America’s Next Top Model. I don’t miss being just above sample size. I don’t miss feeling underweight, or dressing to hide my body. I don’t miss feeling like a bunch of gnarly twigs too strong for their bark.
I’m just tired of carrying extra weight.
Let’s not get profound here: I’m talking about physical weight. Fat. I’ve always been muscular and athletic. During pregnancy, I liked finally carrying around an extra 30 pounds for the first time since my late-adolescence. I’ve enjoyed it ever since, but lately, something has stirred in me telling me I need to move more. Burn off more energy. Attack life with greater physicality and vigour.
When I was 17, my mom uttered these fatal words: “You don’t want to get too big.”
That was her gentle way of saying “you, my daughter, are fat.” There must have been countless comments throughout my childhood, and this was the last one before I moved out on my own. She was a reformed anorexic and bulimic. She, like my estranged father, could not seem to resist making fun of every stranger they deemed overweight.
“What a pig” on the street.
“That is a choice” in the park.
“Moo.” My dad, especially, was a real jerk about it.
Yeah, they could be real douchebags when it came to people’s appearances. The Me of today – the somewhat enlightened version of my miraculously tolerant self – wonders what in their own childhoods brought them such shame around body fat.
I’m just tired.
Tired of my parents’ bullshit following me around. Tired of not getting enough sleep. Tired of being tired of being the tolerant one in my family. The only one who doesn’t give a racoon’s ass about what people look like, or sound like, or where they were born, or how unusual their lifestyles are. Tired of walking away instead of arguing with racists and trans/homophobes and fat-phobic family members who have proven they will not change.
Tired of watching them get fat, or starve themselves.
I’m never tired of walking, chasing my kid around with a smile on my face, or playing my drums.
I’m never tired of creating and wearing cool clothes.
I’m never tired of looking in the mirror.
When I gaze at myself after looking at beautiful actors or musicians or models, I see another beautiful person. I never feel old, or ugly, or shitty, or fat.
It took decades to get to this point of truly loving myself. The dream, realized!
I never tire of this. I do not tire of constantly working at becoming a better person.
Becoming who I was before I learned that people could be wounded severely enough to hate the way our bodies look. Becoming that little girl again who sang like the world was listening into a plastic hairbrush, wearing doll jewelry and knowing that she looked like a million bucks.
Maybe we did just get profound here, after all.
You are amazing and beautiful and I love the way you see life. Sometimes our bodies tell us it is time for change… winter is over, spring has sprung and there will be a fresh invigorating feel in your step!! ❤️❤️ We are always forever evolving.