Sometimes, it’s a bit embarrassing to be me.
And it has nothing to do with the fact that sometimes, in my own esteemed brilliance, I can do some spectacularly stupid scenarios. In my sleep. With a hand behind my back. Eyes closed. Not even trying.
It might be genetic. Let’s do that.
What it does have to do with is the fact that I, Allison-er-Allison Rose-have had to deal with it. What is it? Well. It is a spectrum of nuances and phrases and experiences wrapped in one big ball of twine. And once it began to unravel, there really wasn’t much to do but get out if its way and see what it wanted.
I, Allison, have had to deal with being fat. Being bullied. Being set aside for a collectible on a shelf. Letting others wear my voice around their necks and take my power as collateral.
And I can’t even really explain how it happened because it happened so slowly yet it happened so fast all at once. It happened the minute someone else believed that they knew better than I did and what did I know? It happened over the years of ridicule from supposed friends, even a couple of teachers. It grew healthy and strong and sucked the life out of me as it sat proud and happy on my shoulders, weighing me down.
It caused me to make sure I wore a tshirt over my bathing suit. It caused me to completely not join in on a pool party. It led me to some really sorry relationships that were detonated before I even got my hands on the trigger.
I did try to fight. I tried to make my body into something it wasn’t. People told me it’d be better that way. That I’d be happier and that I’d be healthier. Poof. It would be alright. So. I tried to conform. Diet after diet after diet took its turn, each and every time the little success I’d have would only backfire in the long run and I’d be worse than where I was to begin with. My closet held sizes all over the spectrum and my body was becoming a very uncomfortable container to conform.
And I wish I could tell you that POOF! A diet changed my life. It became Better and Better ran away into the sunset into tomorrow.
It got worse. No, it got ugly.
It was overpoweringly cynical and It was winning.
Until a therapist told me something.
She told me my version of Better had verdigo. That I had made it so nauseated from the merry go round I had created for shelter.
She told me the way to Better was to get my power back and to force it back. Speak up. Speak the words that would hurt ears but that needed to crack the surface of It in order for Better to be. Quit compartmentalizing my thoughts based on if it would hurt someone’s feelings or not. Speak. Say the words that required saying. The ones so hard to say but weighed more than I could carry anymore.
And boom. Poof if you prefer. I began to speak. Perhaps too loud at times but I spoke. I spoke my mind, I spoke It out loud to take the voice away from It.
Once you realize that the shrapnels you’re so ashamed of are actually keeping you together, Better seems to give you a hand off of the merry go round and for the first time, you are able to sit without dizziness.
I will be the first and the last to admit that I will deal with It and confess It and discover It and become acquainted with It. Instead of fighting against It, I guess you learn to soften Its edges and instead of becoming who everyone else thinks you should be or ought to be, for the first time, you realize that your voice is your own and that you will never, ever, EVER, deal in that currency again.
I don’t know who I would be without It.
I certainly wonder if I would be me.
So I say all of this to explain to you a simple truth: I know what it is like to look into the mirror and not recognize the reflection. I know what it is like to be so uncomfortable in skin you never wanted in the first place and you’d do anything-put yourself through utter hell-to just squash your round peg into a square hole.
These are my rolls, theses are my fat feet, these are the fat fingers that constantly cause me to make texting mistakes and yes, I am proud. Everyone around the Thanksgiving dinner table was trying to decide who my brother looked and acted most like, and I just sat there thinking. I know exactly who I am. I don’t need someone to decide for me. I like to think I take a few trinkets from both of my grandmothers. And I like to think I am still figuring out the rest.
So yeah. I will always comment back to haters who keep smashing body positivity movements with their BS “Fat isn’t Healthy” crap. I will always stick up for the person who fought to be who they are and to take their pronouns and use them proudly. Loving yourself is healthy. Refusing to conform to what others say you should be when you know you’re not is self love. It’s justice. It’s freedom. Who cares if someone understands or not? Our job isn’t to understand everyone or point our crooked fingers at others simply because we refuse to understand we refuse to recognize that yes, EVERYONE deserves compassion.
And I will continue to speak It, whatever that It has been, is being, or will become in the future.
I fail. I falter. I have empty hands to offer.
And with my broken pieces I will find that I’m already whole.
Now how amazing is that.