Love, hold the onions
I wrote my first entry for what would become this blog on January 2nd of this year. I didn’t know at the time that it would become “Onceafatgirl.” (Or maybe I did somewhere in my heart.) But it was the 6th Anniversary of having my eating under control. And I was still thinking and living as if I were walking around in a 300 lb body. Growing up with food issues can mess with your head. Once a fat girl, always a fat girl. No matter what you look like on the outside. And I knew that it was time to let go of thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that had become obsolete.
And so far, this has been a year of healing and spiritual growth. Writing this blog has been a gift to me. What I wanted most was to be willing to take risks with my heart. I had always kept my life small. Been highly risk averse. Unwilling to risk rejection. Or humiliation. Especially in romance. And that kept me lonely. So here I am. For 10 months I have been telling you my dark secrets and painful truths. I keep my self-censorship to a minimum. I keep it honest. I make it intimate.
And when it comes to men and romance, I did, indeed, take a few risks. I am proud of myself. But instead of getting bolder and more sure of myself, instead of letting each risk be a reference to the fact that I survived it, I started out bold and got more and more timid. I started to get scared. I started to doubt.
And then BOOM! All of a sudden I find myself back where I was in January. Feeling small. Feeling my life constrict around me. Feeling lonely and ashamed. Unlovable. Unworthy. Burdensome. Broken.
And this has come up again now because I had to give up some food. And some serious fat girl issues got unearthed. Yes, even though I have maintained strict boundaries around food and my eating for over six and a half years.
See, what occurs to me is maybe a giant plate of deep-fried onions once or twice a week made it ok that I was lonely. And when that got taken away suddenly I was still lonely but I didn’t have the onions anymore to make it ok. So of course I just wanted my onions back. But maybe if I think about it, I don’t want them back. Maybe I should stop wanting things that make it ok that I’m lonely. And maybe I should stop finding ways to be ok with being lonely. Maybe I don’t want onions. Maybe I want love.
What I’m saying might not make sense to you. Maybe you have spent your life knowing that you deserve love. And maybe you have never put something between you and your fellow human beings. But food was my best friend and my lover for the first 28 years of my life. And then even in the past 6+ years, with strict boundaries around my food, I allowed it to be my comfort. And as soon as my comfort food was taken away, I felt vulnerable. Shamed. Punished. Growing up, food was how I convinced myself that I could survive without love. But it was also the reason I felt like I would never be loved.
There is something I am noted for in my work life. “Quality information.” I can be counted on to give it, and I am always grateful to receive it. But that is not true of me with men. With romance I always want to avoid information. Or at least keep the information I seek irrelevant. I never want to look at the truth. It’s too scary! Because I am absolutely positive that no man will ever be interested in me. That has been something I have “known” for as long as I can remember. So I don’t seek quality information. I don’t ask the relevant questions. I just answer the questions myself. Always with the answer that I am most afraid of. Always telling myself that no man is interested in me. You would think I would just ask them! When I answer for them, I never stand a chance.
It’s almost like when I was fat and I would make a fat joke about myself before someone else would do it. I’m rejecting myself on every man’s behalf first. I won’t give them the satisfaction.
Which just goes to show how warped I am. I’m not interested in jerks. I don’t like arrogant or obnoxious human beings at all. And certainly not to date. If I like a man, it’s safe to say that rejecting me would not bring him satisfaction.
I know that fear of humiliation is part of being human. It doesn’t make me different or special. And when I am paralysed with fear of rejection, it’s because I’m thinking that I have something to lose. Maybe I do. But I need to stop aching. And crying. So let’s try this again. I want to take risks with my heart. This time without giant plates of deep-fried onions.
I call a do-over. Starting…now.