You are selfish

So human

So painfully human

You believe there is actually something special about you

Maybe even important

 

Yet you also know that no one is important

We all matter

We all have meaning

But none of us are important

 

Yet here you are

Thinking – once again – that you

You

Are an exception to the rule

That you matter in a more profound way

As though you could make a difference

As though your genuineness could take you anywhere

As though your smile and friendly demeanor

Was enough

As though your attentiveness to every other person

How their day is going

If they’re feeling okay

If they have someone they love

If they’ve just lost them

If they’re eating okay

If they’re taking good care of themselves

As they would a small child

 

This does not work out though

Surely people appreciate that you listen

That you are the one who will make eye contact

Take in every word

Think about it

And try to take a non judgemental and thoughtful approach

It doesn’t mean they like you

It means they like that you make them feel like they matter

And they do

But in doing this

It reminds you that you do not matter

For you are always the one to listen

Always the one to hear stories

About how their day is going

About their ideas

Thoughts

Babbling

 

And the moment you speak

They are upset

 

You are not supposed to talk

You are not supposed to say things

You are taking away from their one time

The one time they’re listened to

Because most other times,

They are you

They are the one who listens

For at least one person in their life

Who they wish would listen to them

 

So you listen

To all

To every person

And you do not talk about yourself

That’s a huge mistake

Don’t ruin this moment for them

Don’t be just another person who talks over them

Be the person who cares

Be the person who will take it all in

Who will look them in the eye as they speak

Who will respond with genuine interest and care

Never be the talker

You haven’t earned that

No one really has

There are people who take that position

Those who allow others to take their position

And ever so rarely

Those who can balance both personalities

 

You were born to listen

Ever since you were a little girl

You would listen to your mother speak

Hear her voice concerns

Nod and empathize

You would hear her speak of herself

With such pure vitriol

Her body was too much

She needed to diet

She needed to exercise more

She needed to restrict herself from eating certain foods

You found diet pills

You took them

The measuring tape she gave you along with your first sewing kit

Became a tool of measuring self worth

You recorded your arms, thighs, hips, waist and gut

All in one spiral notebook

Every day

You were concerned with drinking “light” and diet drinks at 8 years old

You were concerned with how many calories something had

Or

You cared not at all

As her attitude went

So did yours

Some days were “fuck it” days

Which turned into “bingeing when no one is around” days

Which resorted you back to wishing you’d eaten better

All before you were 10 years old.

The dieting mentality stops here

It poisoned her and the antidote never came

It poisoned me and I’ve slowly figured out how to take my medicine

 

I’m lucky I learned when I was young

Or else i would’ve been stuck in a cycle

She unintentionally taught me about purging

Through an anecdote about a popular girl from her high school

The girl would tease my mother

But one day

My mother went into the girls bathroom

And heard the girl retching.

All I thought was

“Oh. that’s how you do that!”

 

I remember coming home from dinners with my parents

And my mom would immediately go to the restroom

I’d hear her cough

I just thought she’d a bad cough

Allergies

 

It’s only now that I’ve realized what she had been doing all these years

Not every day

But often enough

Her esophagus is scarred

My dad didn’t even know she bought diet pills or purged until I told him

How did he not know?

How did he not know.

 

She’s such a beautiful woman. One of the best role models I could ever have

And it kills me to think that this is how she sees herself

And this is partly how I got to the point of self deprecation where I am with myself

I looked up to her

I was always a momma’s girl.

She was beautiful, strong, smart, funny and my best buddy.

She always thought she was too big

Wrinkled with bad teeth, grey hairs she needed to dye, that she was always fucking up, making mistakes.

She was beautiful

How does she not see that

I am the way I am because I looked up to her so much

I thought you had to be mean to yourself to be amazing like her.

I thought you had to doubt yourself

Hate your body

Never say a kind thing about yourself

But always lift up others

Always make other people feel good

I thought that was the formula to be a good woman

This is why I am not good enough

 

I needed to take diet pills

I needed to regurgitate my mistakes

Maybe I could cleanse myself of them

Maybe I could cleanse myself of my complete and utter insufficiency as a woman

Maybe I could be what someone wanted

What I wanted

 

It was in my control

I could finally have control

Be assertive

Make my own choices

Rid myself of excess

See some progress

See the progress i worked so hard for

I could show that my physical self was just as good

As who i was

If I just looked perfect

If I just had a thinner body

If I just had a prettier face

People could see that I was Important

That I had something special about myself

That I had more to give to this world than usual

I am not significant when I am fat

I am not inspiring or thoughtful or worthwhile

I am obviously gluttonous and neglectful

So I tried to finally reach my best self

So that others could see it

So that they could see me

So that maybe what I cared about

Actually got attention

So that maybe my writing could go somewhere

That my passions were taken seriously

And not just the simple whim of a girl who cannot even take charge of her own appearance

No

Only a woman can make herself be precisely what she must

Only a real woman can be physically perfect

If it weren’t for your body

Maybe you could be a woman

 

This is what you have been taught

This is what you have been shown

You will get nowhere if you are not conventionally attractive

You will get nowhere if all you have to offer is your heart mind and soul

It must come in a pretty package

Or else it doesn’t matter

 

Maybe that’s why you don’t talk too

Because words of a fat girl don’t matter

What would I know?

I can’t even get enough control over my repulsive body

Why would any words I have to offer be meaningful?

Don’t talk

Never be the talker

 

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