I've been writing this blog for a little more than a year now. If you've managed to find it, then I have highly underestimated your computer skills and knowledge. I know that you recently switched ISP's because you were complaining that your old one crashed a lot, and you were burning to do more with your computer and on the web. I can only imagine the things that you are searching for, and the things that you'll come across.
Let me say, first off -- congrats. I'm proud that you are not letting your numerical age influence your vitality and who you are. Learning new skills are what helps keep you current. I tell people proudly that you're not the typical grandmother. You are more vital than people half your age. Your adventurous spirit and your determination are important qualities that keep you younger than your years. Being around you is like being caught up in a whirlwind. You continue to outpace people decades younger, both in energy and in enthusiasm. Your positive and loving outlook make people around you your passionate friends.
And with that outlook and the loving way that you present yourself to everyone, I'm still astounded that you can so casually, and completely unthinkingly, reduce me to tears with your comments about my weight. I know you are not trying to hurt me on purpose, and you say that you are only thinking of my health, but you don't realize how deeply you wound me when you make comments. For example, when you say, "You'd be so pretty if you'd just lose some weight," that comment never fails to make me feel unloved, worthless, and ugly. "Mama just worries about you. You can't be healthy that big," you say. Did it ever occur to you that statements like that are damamging to my mental well-being? That's part of my health, too. And, it can't be very healthy to know that your own mother finds something about you so distasteful that she has to mention it often.
You wouldn't tell a friend of yours that she looked better in those chinos when she wasn't so chunky, would you? No, you wouldn't dream of it! It would be so impolite! Then why is it acceptable when it's your daughter we're talking about? You wrap it up in the guise of concern, but it's still just as hurtful. I would never dream of calling you to task about your weight -- it's unnecessary, and it's embarrassing, and it's just plain painful. Plus, I'm pretty sure that you're aware of what your body is doing, especially if you've recently gained or lost weight. Why would I be so crass as to point out the obvious to you, while being indelicate and mean-spirited to boot?
In many ways, you're a great mom. You taught me self-reliance, and taught me how to be a good friend and a good mother. It's just in this one area that you are lacking. You never realize that every time you "gently chide" me about my weight that it's an arrow straight through my heart. That when you do, I do not feel good enough, or worthy enough, or even valued. All those comments about how creative I am, and what a good person I am are all undone with that one admonishment about my weight. Do you think I don't know that I'm fat? Trust me, I obsess about it enough without you reminding me.
I know that chances are small that you'll find this letter. I know that chances are even smaller that you'll realize how hurt I still am over all these comments. I try to be a good daughter. A goood mother, and good friend. I live my life to the best of my abilities, and I am trying to teach my daughter the same. I vow that I will not repeat this hurtful cycle in my relationship with my own daughter. I hope that I never become so desensitized that I think it's acceptable to (however tacitly) call my daughter "fat" and make her feel as if she is less than the joy to my life that she is. Her size is of no importance. Big, small, short, tall. All I want is to be supportive and loving. I want her to never have to write a letter to me. I know I'm not a perfect parent, but I pray that I never make my daughter feel the way that you often make me feel.
I do not write this to try and hurt you in return. As a matter of fact, my heart hurts just thinking that I might cause you the kind of pain you often cause me. I write because I'm to the point of giving up. To the point of believing that your censure is merely a validation of the truth I'm running so hard to escape -- that I really am not worth very much. Society already tells me that fat people are worth less than skinny ones. I just never expected someone who professes to love me to do the same.
Your fat daughter
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