A couple months ago, I thought life was going pretty status quo (hey, that rhymed!). “Status quo” meaning things were, I thought, the way they always were: not better, not worse, just the same. I had come to realize that it was about as good as it was ever going to get, so I had made peace with that and accepted it. It was Labour Day weekend and I had accommodated others, at their request, and made the best of it and proceeded afterward to wonder why I bothered. Like I said, STATUS QUO. A couple of days later, I received via email some pretty harsh criticisms on my personal appearance which were upsetting enough to leave me vomiting in the bathroom sink. Needless to say, I was devastated on pretty much every level a person can be.
True, I know I’m overweight. True, I should be doing more about it. However, I get the same measly 24 hours in a day that everyone else gets and honestly, I do what I can and ensure that I try to keep my life as balanced as possible given the day-to-day stresses each of us face. I don’t think everyone gets it exactly right, but personally, I thought I was doing pretty damn good, all things considered, right up until some other people took it upon themselves to burst my bubble and point out everything I’m apparently doing wrong, or wrong according to their own specifications. God forbid they should turn the mirror on themselves, after all. Even worse, they had the audacity to play the victim after attacking me, citing reasons such as if I had lived my life according to what they thought was best, they wouldn’t have to tell me at all and put THEM through this kind of pain!
My husband, who happened to be out of town for work that day, has been my biggest supporter and proved once again that he has always been and always will be my very best friend. He talked me off the proverbial ledge, and made it clear that he still finds me attractive, loves me more than I can know, and will be there for me no matter what. On top of that, my friends S, C and T (we call ourselves The Fab Four for good reason) listened patiently and sympathetically while I ranted and vented about this horrendous outrage. Friends who are only a tiny bit beyond that circle also offered their support more fully than I would ever have expected, you know who you are, H and R (again with the rhyming!). I sought not only their shoulders on which to lean, but also to determine if they, too, saw me the way these other people apparently do. Given that I have a rather clinical, scientific mind, they didn’t regard this as strange at all, knowing my lust for data and information. They also know that I can not only take their honesty, however brutal, but also appreciate it beyond measure. So, I asked each and every one of these people, along with my siblings, how to best approach this ridiculous situation. And whether I was as grotesque as I was being made out to be.
After reviewing the email and the content of my telephone conversations (C was unfortunately more than a little privy to one of these conversations – she didn’t run away, which would have been completely understandable, but simply took a seat and waited it out. Our C never leaves a friend behind.), they assured me it was clear that this was some kind of psychosis not on my part, but on the part of my attackers. What a relief! Even the moreso since I can trust each and every one of these people to have set me straight if they thought I was out of order. Like I said, I can trust THESE people.
I have decided to refuse to apologize for my appearance. I realize it’s not perfect by whatever entity defines “perfect.” But you know what, given what I have to work with, I do the best that I can. I have my good days and bad days as everyone else does, and sometimes I hit the mark and other times I miss it by more than a mile. These are all the things that make me “Me” and honestly, I will not trade or change them for anything. It is unfortunate and I regret letting what can only be described as outright bullying get to me, but it happened on an “off” day and therefore caught me off-guard. Sorry for being human, if that’s something to apologize for at all.
Anyway…after a few months of putting up with continued harrassment and demanding phone calls, emails, and voicemails, I have decided to put a stop to this as best I can once and for all. Given that I don’t get a word in edgewise in conversation, I was forced to send an email back finally stating how devastated I was in the rare hope that they might appreciate or understand the effect their bullying words had on me (I am not holding my breath). I also stated that in order to preserve my own sanity by halting contact with them until (again not holding my breath) they understand that what they did was wrong and hurtful. Bottom line, at least I said what I had to say. At least I got it off my chest and can grow from it. I no longer concern myself with whether they will accept it, since it is entirely likely they will not. But for my own edification, I feel better having done it and I can rest easy knowing that up till this point, I have gone out of my way to accommodate the needs and wants of these people. Regardless of whether they recognize it, I am comfortable in knowing I’ve done every possible thing I can to ensure their happiness and comfort. After this, it’s up to them. I accept no further responsibility in this matter. They will undoubtedly be hurt by some of the things I’ve said, and while that is regrettable, I think those things NEEDED to be said. I am prepared for whatever the outcome might be, whether they eliminate me from their lives altogether (or vice versa), or whether they actually come around and admit that it was wrong.
Either way, I’m good.
I can only say this for certain: I may not get the kind of support that I should be getting from people who should be offering it freely, but at least I know that I have a safety net in my husband, siblings and friends. I owe you all so much, and value you more than you can know. Thank you for being part of my life. You’re the best! I will try to return the favour as best I can to each of you as the need arises.