I bet you didn’t know this but I have a superpower. I am, in fact, invisible.
I know it’s hard to believe being such a large woman, but it’s true.
When I was growing up I learned two extremes. From my dad I got attention without even having to work for it. If I came in the room he would shut everyone else up so that I could speak. I was the sun in his world, and thus that’s what love looked like to me.
From my mom, she was the strict one who thought that by giving me all this special attention I would be spoiled. (And I guess I kinda was.) She was also a martyr who believed that it wasn’t godly to ask anyone for anything, instead we had to give 110% of ourselves and expect nothing back. That is what being a good woman looked like to me.
Once my dad died, no longer did I have anyone who would give me attention for just being me. The only one who fit that criteria was my best friend Jeff, who I met just before my dad died. We had just moved up to Amarillo from Abilene, and I had the wonderful almost divine fortune to sit next to him in English class.
After my dad died, he was the one who would fill the attention void.
But of course I still hungered for more; I fell into the very classic pattern of trying to get the attention of older men. The easiest way to get their attention, I found out, was through sexual conquest. For the most part, it was highly, dangerously effective. What really threw me off my game was when men didn’t want sex from me at all. It equated that they didn’t want anything from me, and thus by my slinking back into the shadows I became invisible.
The pattern has oft repeated throughout my lifetime, and is probably worse today than ever before. Because I’ve packed on so much weight to ensure people can’t hurt me, sometimes I feel like I’m screaming at the top of my lungs and no one can hear me.
I’m not the weak one who needs to be held up. I’m not the pretty one who needs to be courted. I’m supposedly the strong woman who has enough of myself not to need any attention from anyone else.
But inside there’s an 11 year old good girl hoping someone, somewhere, will notice I’m alive and that I’m worth just as much as the other girls who have no problems getting the attention they seek (and sometimes don’t even want).
If I truly want to shed the pounds then I have to make peace with the idea it’s okay to ask for attention and walk away if it’s not willingly given. I’m worth more than that and frankly I’m quite exhausted chasing a rainbow, the end of which I’ll never reach.