After the demise of the "StepFather", I was angry (who am I kidding, I am still angry). I was the same, but people treated me different. It was like I was walking out into this world I had never seen before...I guess a more apt description is that it had never seen me before. I was accepted now...kids didn't call me fat. Boys I liked didn't make fun of me openly. I was SCREWED UP. I openly made a decision that I was never ever gonna let someone tell me what I could and could not eat. I was craving control. I really didn't know how to relate to people. That had little to do with the weight and more to do with the crazy life my family was living.
In my 13 short years I had gone from moving around for my dad's army career to divorce to in and out of my grandmother's house to remarriage to divorce to in and out of my grandma's house.
Ahhh...my grandma. Well, both my grandparents...they are my constant (shout out to all you other Losties). Where I would be today without them...I don't even want to think about it. I have parents and I love them, but I learned generosity and unconditional love from my grandmother. I was her first born grandchild. We have a very close bond. I can remember as a child standing on her feet as she "waltzed" across the kitchen floor. I would watch her feet move across the kitchen floor staring at the 1970's dark red linoleum. She was safety to me. She was comfort.
My grandma is silly. She likes to laugh, she appreciates my humor, even when she is sometimes feigning disapproval. I know she is faking it, because I am always careful not to say anything too off-color. She knows me, she knows that I like a heated debate. She knows that I will argue even though I know I am wrong. She knows I don't take anything too seriously. She wants me to be thin. I hate that she wants me to be thin. I love her, but she and I have had those moments where she has told me "but you have such a pretty face."
At 75 lbs., I felt like she didn't need to say those things to me, but I didn't feel like I deserved her not to say it anymore.
Change occurs as it does for everyone, suddenly and without warning. My mom had found a job in Washington, MO. I had lived in Cahokia, Il, practically my whole life and she was ripping me from my constant. She was ripping me from one of the best friends I have ever had in my life.
My mom had jealousy issues with my friend Rachel and it wasn't fair. It wasn't fair to Rachel and it wasn't fair to me. Life is not fair. I loved Rachel and her family. Everything wasn't perfect, but they were together. I was noticed there. I was encouraged there. I felt love there. I felt love there during the time my mom was with the "StepFather", a time when I felt no love at all anywhere else. See...during the StepFather times, even my grandmother wouldn't intefere. I know now that she was afraid that it would make things worse, but back then...it felt like abandonment.
When I was with Rachel and her family, I was one of them. They allowed me to be myself. They made me laugh. I was encouraged to be creative. Rachel's mom especially was a protector to me. She encouraged me to stand up for myself and be a strong woman ( oh boy have I let her down in sooo many ways....lol). I was honest with them, they knew what I was going through, and they let me talk about it a lot.
I have been a writer for a long long long time. I come from a family of certain religious values, I guess that is why I am 34 years old and have never had "the talk" (two kids later...I must've figured it out). When I was 12/13...I wrote a lot. Most of it was trashy enough to make a porn star blush. Makes me laugh to think about it now. I didn't stop for a second...it was in my head...I wrote it down (oh to feel that free with words again). My biggest problem...where to store these masterpieces of the sexual underground? So, in all of my brilliance, I decided to store them in a folder at my desk at the Christian School I was attending. I still don't know for sure how they were "discovered", but someone was going to hell in a hand basket. I was gonna fry. Then I was gonna get it from the "StepFather", but God intervened in a strange way. Never let anyone say that he is not merciful. Rachel took the blame. Her mother knew it was me and she let her take the blame. Folks...that is real, true kindness. I have never forgotten that. They didn't care about what the hypocritical freaks running that school thought. It was selfless.
There are those who would say that it was wrong, that my mom should have been made aware, but they are wrong. While I was being shown incredible kindness by people who didn't have to care...6 months since the divorce and no one noticed I had already gained 15-20lbs.