Today I took a stroll down memory lane and looked at photos of me from the beginning of my Instagram. Each time I scrolled I found pictures of me when I thought I was fat. At first I said, I wish I was that fat. But then I began looking, criticizing, analyzing… I told myself, I see it. I see the pouch at my stomach, the heaviness of fat sitting on my knees, the build up of skin on my arms when I bent my arms. All healthy and normal things. But I couldn’t see that. I remember when I stopped eating, cutting down my food intake until was just yogurt for breakfast and just a little something for dinner. I remember during class or photos I would just stop breathing so you couldn’t see my stomach inflate. Or placing my purse in front of my legs so you couldn’t see the cellulite. I would do anything to make myself appear smaller.
Now, I think I wish I was that “fat.” I go to work and see myself in the mirror and am angry. How’d I do this to myself. I look in the mirror and find every imperfection, and hate myself for each thing I can find. I thank myself for buying the bigger size up because no one wants to see this. The each and every roll I have.
My therapist told me, you can’t lie to yourself, because your brain is going to know it’s a lie. It’s not a beautifully structured sentence, it isn’t special in anyway but it stuck with me. What if you brainwash yourself to think the lies are all truths? I mean really. Why can’t I just fucking tell myself I am beautiful every day until one day I believe. Why can’t I allow myself to be loved by myself. WHY?
I am so angry. So upset. So hurt. I let the things people say and the comments people mumble get to my head. Not the “You’re beautiful,” ones but the “Skyler, are you an ape?” I reply, “Why would I be an ape?” and he replies, “because you’re so hairy!!” And all the kids chime in with laughter. I was 6. That night I went home telling my mom she was to let me shave because I was an ape.
My poor beaten down mother. She only wanted my happiness. She didn’t want the kids calling me an ape, no mother than she wanted me nairing my legs. But she had a choice. She chose my happiness.
At 8, I had a crush on the neighborhood boy. I told him I liked him and he said, “Sorry but I don’t like shit colored hair and eyes. I like them blonde and blue eyed.”
That night I went home and told my mom to dye my hair.
Unfortunately I have many more stories on why I changed or why I started believing that I was ugly, repulsive and fat. Now I am turning 23, I should be able to make my own decisions, decide what I think of myself. But I remember all these instances, the comments and I think my brain and I were just tired. So we started to believe. We started to think, if Joseph, Austin, Brittany, Marissa, Miranda and every single other person who fed me these lies, if they all think the same thing… and many more others… was it I that was right or them that was wrong?
I mean there’s more of them, so that means they’re right… right?
It must mean that I’ve got it backwards and I truly am hideous.
You can’t tell lies.
Your brain knows the truth.