I keep an ever growing list of things I want to talk about. It’s my source of inspiration on days when all I feel like writing about is how I don’t feel like writing. At the top of that list (started over five months ago) is “Why I am Fat.” It’s not only the most important but the most complicated question for me to answer here.
I’ve put off answering this question because it delves so deeply into the things that I don’t want people to see when they look at me and because I don’t know how to properly answer it without it becoming a sob story.
To address my first objection I’ve had to remind myself that, yes, I want people to see the happy things when they look at me but if they like me knowing only that part, they don’t really like me. To my second objection I could only remind myself that the tragic was tempered by the ridiculous and that my life is no longer because I’m okay, happy even.
It seemed appropriate to start talking about this on a Skanky Tuesday because it all started with sex. I was aware of sex long before most children are aware that you shouldn’t dance naked in public. I don’t remember exactly how the awareness happened but I know that I understood that it was something that I was expected to do and like when I grew up and I felt that I ought to understand such an expectation.
Sexual images were easy to find at my house (despite my mother being unaware of this fact) and I took them with no idea that it was making me an easy victim later. I had this general idea that all men wanted in life was sex and that women could get anything they wanted by using that. The problem with porn, among other things, is that it doesn’t show any of the emotional repercussions. Granted, it is certainly not meant for children or sexual education but it was my sexual education.
All of that meant that at five years old when a boy wanted to see me naked, I didn’t think much of it, at six when an older boy wanted to play doctor, it was no big deal. Later, when I was ten and another older boy wanted to go much further, despite the nauseous “OMG don’t do this Kendra” feeling, it didn’t seem like a big deal either. At fourteen, when a much older coworker cornered me several times over a period of several months I didn’t think I had the right to tell anyone.
With each incident I gained weight. I didn’t think through it at the time but I think that it was my way or protecting myself from this happening again. That five year old started hiding and hoarding food and candy. That six year old learned how to flirt and manipulate without realizing that she was doing so. The childhood weight problems resolved themselves because of ballet training but with each incident the small gains became larger gains until I was kicked out of ballet because they worried that I would hurt myself. I used to lie and say it was an ankle injury but it was because of my weight.
As I got older, the more I wanted it the more I gained weight. I never wanted to feel the after effects again and despite loving the attention and the immediate physical response it was never worth it. It was never appropriate. It becomes harder and harder to take care of your body when you feel defiled and dirty. Even your body is betraying you with it’s response to the inappropriate touch.
The silver lining is this whole thing is that my will is strong and I was always able to keep things from going all the way. I may have been easily manipulated and used but I would not sleep with someone that I didn’t want or love. It was not going to happen and it did not.
Hence we come to where I am now. I’ve dealt with these things and mostly healed. The sexual issues aren’t the only thing that contributed to my weight gain but they are the largest factor in the early gain and the acquisition of the habits and coping mechanisms I would later use.
This is also why I’m unceasingly dirty but don’t have sex. I realize that I’m pretty royally screwed up (no pun intended). Tomorrow I’ll tell about the major part of my weight gain when I ran myself over with a car… sober.
Disclaimer: If this post is all over the place it’s because I sat down, wrote it, did spell check, and posted it. I can’t go back and reread it to edit. It’s a hard thing to put out there for anyone to find but I said long ago that I’d be honest.
You are incredibly brave to post this. Cheers to you for your bravery and for sharing something so difficult.