Thursday, June 07, 2007

Where Do I Go From Here?

I had an epiphany today while I was commenting on SnackiePoo's blogpost about struggling with her inner demons about gaining a few pounds.

If you haven't been a long time reader, go and read here and here before you continue...

Go ahead. I'll wait.

Are you back now? Great.

Now that you are aware of some of my history in regards to my weight and also being raped at a young age I hope that this next part makes more sense.

I realized that part of me wants to stay fat because it makes me feel safer. Not safe, but safer.

If I am fat, the risk of me being attacked or raped is significantly lower. I don't have to worry about being accosted by someone and not being left alone if I want to. Because I will be honest, if I was skinny, I would be pretty hot.

How fucked up is it that I am willing to live half a life at twice the size out of fear? I thought that I had worked through all of the issues that my being raped had heaped onto my psyche. I thought that it didn't really affect me that much anymore and now I realize that the fear has locked me into my own prison of flab and inactivity.

Instead of working through my issues, I ate through them and continue to do so. Mentally I want to lose weight. Physically I want to lose weight. Emotions & fear keep me going to the freezer and getting my favorite Haagen Daaz Carmel Cone ice cream and eating the entire pint in one sitting.

I honestly don't know how to fix this and I am reeling from this realization. Now what the hell do I do?


Babybull40 said...

Live to eat and not eat to live... Is a motto I heard on Dr.Phil once and now I have struggled with weight over the last 20 years.. I wasn't a "fat" child by any means.. I was a bean pole.. I had issues throughout my life that caused the weight to come and go..add in laziness to the fold. Whenever I was extremely stressed I would eat... eat and eat again.. or not eat anything at all.I weighed at one time around 180 lbs.I was called a fat slob while waiting for the bus.. Something in me clicked... I felt like hiding under a rock... I was ashamed of myself...I realized over time I was who I was and it was up to me to change it.. having being traumatized at a young age you have had your life changed forever.. eating is a way for you to you really believe by staying fat that you are safer.. ?
You have acknowledged that you do this so the next step might be some professional help with your weight.. Doing this gradually may help you build up your self esteem and confidence... it's a good thing that you are able to talk about it.. That is sort of therapy for you..

Freckle Face Girl said...

I can't say I have any answers. Some scars in life just never go away. They might get easier to deal with or less noticeable, but will always be there. I would say the fact that you realize there are issues and can link your actions to the incident means you have come a long way.

laughingattheslut said...

I've never been afraid that I was more likely to get raped if I looked better.

I do have this fear that I'll get raped when I'm not on the pill. It's one of Murphy's Laws or something.

Anyway, I wonder if anyone has done research on raping fat women. Cause now that I think about it, maybe less fat women get attacked. But not for the reasons that you said. It sounds sort of stupid to say that rape isn't about sex, cause someone on TV is always saying that. Maybe it's more accurate to say that a rapist isn't turned on in the same way as the rest of us. He may not be looking for the most attractive person, just the easiest target. Or maybe he's looking for a target that reminds him of his mother or something sick like that. And whatever is going on in the rapist's head, a fat woman might be attractive, but she's probably not the easiest target.

Anyway, I just wonder if someone's maybe done a study on that. Maybe skinny girls get raped more often, not cause they're more attractive, but because they're easier to drag into dark alleys.

But that stuff mainly applies to stranger rapes anyway. Not that we shouldn't worry about those guys, we should, they're still out there, but it seems like we're finding out that more women are attacked by men they're dating. Or when they're younger they're attacked by mom's boyfriend or an older sister's boyfriend. Or an older cousin.

So maybe your logic works better there. You'd be more likely to be date raped after you lose weight, just because you'd probably go on more dates.

I've never been the victim of a stranger rape. Some people would consider some of the stuff that's happened between me and a boyfriend rape, and some people would consider some stuff that's happened between me and my husband rape, and some people wouldn't count that at all. So let's just say that I've never reported anyone.

I think that I was almost raped by a guy in college, but to tell the truth I don't remember the incident very well. I think maybe I sort of blocked it out of my head, and it all just came out of nowhere and happened so fast. I know that I wasn't raped because I was able to walk back to school in time for class, and I couldn't have done that if I'd been raped. But we were having a nice walk and we were talking, and I was hoping that he was finally going to kiss me. And then suddenly he was all over me, and I was yelling at him to stop and he wasn't listening. And I don't know what made him do that in the first place, unless he actually was going to rape me. But if he was going to rape me, I don't know what made him stop either. It's a total mystery to me.

I think that if you're worried about being raped that a better thing to do would be to take one of those classes that teach you how to defend yourself. It would probably make you feel better just taking the class, pretending to kick someone's butt.

Sizzle said...

first, i am so sorry that happened to you. no one should! it's totally understandable that your psyche would go into protection mode. many women put on weight as a defense mechanism. understanding that as your root issue, you can tackle it. i'd say talking to a counselor would be a good first step. someone who specializes in body image and survivors of sexual assault. it sounds like something mental needs to shift before the external catches on and the pounds come off.

it's all about loving yourself to feel worthy to live the life you deserve. you ARE a beautiful woman- it's not about how many pounds you carry.

Churlita said...

As far as I know, rape is way less about how attractive you are and more about power and dominance. My sister, who is extremely overweight was raped anyway. Of course, it doesn't matter what the reality is, if you feel safer being heavier, than that is your reality.

I hope you work it all out in a way that makes you feel good about yourself. We all have our issues, don't we?

Skyzi said...

All I can say is woah!

I have always been fat, except for a two year period 2 years ago. Long story short I left my job, left the country and walked. I walked off a lot of fat and figured out what I wanted for my life. The physical change was not conscious, I didn't actually realize that I had dropped 40lbs until 6 months later when I saw my friends and family.

Once it clicked that I had been given this jump start to weight lost I felt empowered, I worked out twice a day and ate healthier things. I never restricted myself or said that I could not eat a particular thing. For me it was the snowball effect. The more I exercised, the better I felt, the more weight I lost, the better I ate (because Lord knows after working out for all that time I was not going to eat crap). I lost a total of 85 lbs and gained a self confidence that was 100%, I can truly say that I didn't give a damn about what other people would say and I was rocking out. I met my husband, got married and then got pregnant.

I had a free pass to be lazy and eat anything I wanted, and now surprise surprise I gained all the weight back and am unhappy (about that) again. I know what I have to do but until I get some sleep I tell myself that I can only handle so much. In the end it is bs and I sabatoge myself. This time being fat for me is so much worse, because I have seen the other side, and the other me is athletic, toned, tan and happy. That is who I want to be.

Thanks, I needed this.

playtah said...

Excellent post, Rach. I'm amazed that you are self-aware enough to realized the reasoning behind what you struggle with. Many people never get to that point, and as a result, never fully grasp how to improve the situation. Knowing and giving a name to your enemy is half the battle.

Everyone has something they use as a security blanket. Maybe it's money, friends, family, faith,aloofness, weight, emotional distance, violence, drugs, etc. The biggest problem is not the security blanket itself, but the feeling that you NEED the security blanket. If you can find a way to realize that you don't need the blanket, the rest can follow more easily.

Therapy might be a good idea. I know that when I can get to therapy, I love it and feel so much better. It's like having a friend who will listen to anything. For $150 an hour. :)

Rachel said...

Babybull ~ I was very thin as a child as well. It wasn't until I was raped that the weight started to pile on. It was very gradual too. It was a size up every year or two until I am at where I am now.
I do believe that being fat keeps me safer. I know that rape is about power but if you think about it, most people who are raped are relatively young and thin. There are people out there who are old or fat that are raped but it is few and far between.
I have to convince myself emotionally that I don't have to be so scared that I encase myself in fat. I haven't figure out how to do that yet.

Freckle ~ It is really just in the past year that I have started to realize how many things have been impacted by what happened when I was young. Working past it is another ball of wax completely.

Laughing ~ I don't know if a study has ever been done. Maybe there are just as many fat women raped as skinny women but I have a feeling that the fat ones wouldn't report it as much.
For many women, being overweight and having low self esteem go hand in hand and when you have low self esteem, you feel that everything is your fault.

sizzle ~ I am starting to realize that I have a lot of issues that I need to deal with to be a completely healthy person.
My health insurance does cover counseling but the only counselor in my area that accepts my insurance deals with children with behavior disorders. Wouldn't be much help for me.

Churlita ~ Right now it is my reality. I feel safer being fat. I feel that most of the time I can walk down the street and not have to worry about being accosted or bothered. On the other hand there are times when I WANT to be noticed and paid attention to and I am still ignored. It is so hard.

Playtah ~ Can I hire you? No one here takes my insurance.

reformattingmybrain said...

Rachel, your posts are always SO amazing. I had a thought while I read this. You say "How fucked up is it that I am willing to live half a life at twice the size out of fear?" I was thinking... "How fucked up is it that I was willing to starve myself out of fear of gaining 1 pound or having my friends look at me and think oh my what's up with her, she's gaining weight." I wish I was as strong as you. You're always with friends and having a blast. You're more likely to find me sitting at home hiding because I'm scared of too much. And.... btw.... "Because I will be honest, if I was skinny, I would be pretty hot.".... my dear... you ARE gorgeous! :-) If things are really bothering you - I'd opt for counseling. I LOVE my counselor and most days I'm wishing I was sitting in his office.

The Diva's Thoughts said...

Oh God I had no idea. I wish I had some suggestions or advise for you but I have no idea what to say excpet I am sorry.

The Furtive Wangler said...

Rachel you are one funny, vivacious, creative, inspiring, strong, caring and loving woman. You have many friends and folks in the blog world who love reading your thoughts. It's a terrible thing that happened to you in childhood but you are a survivor and this proves you have the strength to achieve anything you want to. I believe in you.

Rachel said...

Reformat ~ We all have our demons. I try to not let my size impact how I live my life. I know that it does. There are some things that I can't do.
One time we went to Michigan's Adventure and I couldn't get the belt done on the OLD roller coaster. I had to get off of the coaster and stand there waiting for the rest of my party to finish the ride. It was embarrassing, but it didn't keep me from getting on the next ride.
I haven't gone to counseling since I was younger. If I could find one around here I would seriously consider it. No one takes my insurance though.

Diva ~ Thank You.

Furtive ~ If you and I were both in a room there would be one person in there that believes in me. Thank you for you kind words and your compliments floored me. I need to gain more self confidence and believe in myself.

l.b. said...

I suppose it comes down to finding some other form of protection for yourself. Not physically, though you could start packing heat...but I mean you need to find a way to protect the actual YOU.
I have a feeling that if you are determined to make a change that you will, because you strike me as being an exceptionally strong woman.

M said...

I read your older posts and they totally broke my heart. I think these kinds of things - sexual abuse, rape etc halt human development in a way. Maybe the only way to go forward is to control another part of you (whether it's by restricting food or by not) to compensate for not being able to control the fact that you were raped. Either one adds some 'protection' to the self in the way you describe.

Skyzi said...

I am still churning the post through my mind. With such a high rate of sexual molestation/rape (me and my friends are virtually all victims of one or the other, including men) how am I supposed to protect my daughter? How am I supposed to protect her from my issues relating to being fat/ sexuality??