Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Apologies

I am adept at Fat Girl Protocol.




Dictionary.com defines protocol as
1. the customs and regulations dealing with diplomatic formality, precedence, and etiquette.


Fat Girl Protocol is the set of customs and regulations on how to live as a fat girl within the social construct that allows the individual girl to have the freedom to twist the perspective of those around her to believe that she is just a fat girl who "has no idea how it happened" and "has no idea why it won't come off". There are some protocols that through my personal observation do appear to be universal.  Most are tailored to the individual.  There is another part of FGP that while it does, is not intended to deceive; and that is the part that allows us to alter ourselves, traits, and personalities to just survive in a world where people don't understand and judge us based on our fatness.   This is where I am the Queen of FGP. 


This is also why I'm sorry.


Part of my protocol was in keeping my world small.


It's a protection really.


Even when blogging my deepest, darkest fears to the masses.  My real world was small.


I held onto my weight because I was hurt.  Hurt by dirty, nasty people.  Hurt by insensitive people.  Hurt by regular "joes" that really didn't do anything than rub me the wrong way.


Keeping your world small can be difficult, but I am a pro.  Here are some of the ways I did it.


1. Be very judgmental.  The more pious you are the better.  Say a lot of things to true friends and family like, "I know I'm a big girl, but at least I love people." or "I'd rather be fat any day than stupid like ***fill in the blank***.


2.  Be very funny.  Cross the line funny.  Keeping those around you in stitches is time better spent then allowing them to have the opportunity to be real with you about their concerns for you.


3.  Try "just enough".  Make just enough effort for it to look like real effort, but don't actually make real effort.


4.  Never like anyone right away.  As a matter of fact, hate everyone right away.  That way if they're assholes you're right and if they're not you can always tell funny stories about the time you thought they were.


5. Be unapproachable.  Same reason as above but in reverse


6.  Never get to know anyone that isn't integral to your daily survival.


Long before my physical body changed, I just got tired of FGP.  I decided to stop working so hard to be accepted and just accept myself, everyone else be damned.  This is where everything changed for me, but in some cases the change was too late.


In 2011, I went on a field trip for Autumn's kindergarten class to the "farm" belonging to one of the teachers.  There was a picnic, activities, and water play.  My kid was in heaven.  I WAS MISERABLE.  I hated people because people didn't understand me at 300lbs. or they didn't want to...I don't know, but the last thing I wanted to do was to be categorically ignored for 8 hours like I was less than human.  I took up residency under a tree and figured that I would live there until it was time to go.  All the parents chatted with everyone, but me.  Look, I'm not blaming them now.  I get it.  I was anti-social.  I was in my head.  I was following FGP to the tee, because if they are talking smack about me now, it's because they were bigoted against overweight people and was because of surface me, not the real me.


While I was spending my time fat and sweaty beneath the tree, a woman approached me.  She was in a neck brace.  I asked her if she needed help spreading out the blanket she brought with her, but in my head I was thinking.  "Why?  Why here?  This is my tree!" She introduced herself as Barbara and she asked which one was mine.  I pointed Autumn out to her and she told me her son's name was Royce.  We had polite chatter.  Very pleasant.  She was nice.  At the end of the day, I said the goodbyes and the "see ya arounds" that you don't really have to mean when you live in a rural area where there is no chance of running into anyone anywhere.


I saw her once again at a parent volunteer meeting later that year.  We exchanged pleasantries and I immediately decided that I did not like these moms.  I was new to the area, they didn't know me, they didn't give two hoots if I lived or died.  This was my first and only parent volunteer meeting.  Barbara waved as I left and said "It was nice to see you".


Out of sight and out of mind.


Last summer, she sent me a friend request on Facebook.  I was already in a different mindset as a person, more comfortable with me and others.  It was evident from her photos, that I stalked immediately, she had been receiving treatment for breast cancer.  I immediately felt bad and thought, "she has always been so nice to me."  I prayed for her.  I didn't physically see her again until this spring when Autumn was inducted into the National Honor Society.  She was all smiles and ran up to me right away, hugged me and gave me kudos on my progress.  We chatted for a minute and went our separate ways.  I saw her a few days later at a band concert, where I emphatically waved and smiled at her and she replied in kind.  I never asked how she was doing.  Not because I didn't care, but because we weren't friendly like that.  I didn't want to be invasive and intrude into private arenas where I am not welcome.  I did care, I just didn't know how to express it.


Last night, Barbara passed away.


Amazing woman of faith, mother of two young sons, gone too soon.


And now I am truly sorry.  Sorry that I ever let FGP get in the way of building friendships and conversations with brave and truly amazing people.


I have lost more than weight.  I've lost my blinders.


If I have ever seemed dismissive, uncaring, or unapproachable to you...I am truly sorry.  Know that it is me, not you and I am working on it.





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