Please do not be alarmed by the title. This is NOT a fact. The title was the first thing that came to my mind after dealing with a fat-shaming message yesterday.
“Hey fat a$$…”
Those were the first three words of the post that my 11yr old niece, with the help of her 47yr old mother (my sister), wrote to me yesterday. She said the actual word, however I do not use profanity so you get dollar signs.
Yes, I realized that I must have hurt my niece when I verbally disciplined her regarding locking doors in a house where she does not reside or pay bills. And yes, it must have hurt to see me and her mother arguing last week…because her mother told her to stay and watch the argument.
But “Hey fat a$$” stung like a million heart attacks.
After my brother was carted off to jail for raping me from ages 6-8yrs old, I found comfort in food. Food allowed me to find peace. It never judged and it was always available. No matter how I felt, food was there to comfort me. When I was happy, food helped me celebrate. When I was sad, food was there to wrap its arms around me. Food never let me down like people did. Food was dependable and reliable.
Even when my uncle and his wife taunted me at 10yrs old, saying that I must be eating the entire refrigerator because I was overweight, it hurt, but I got over it by cutting them off…and turning to food. I never paid attention to people when they joked about my weight because in my mind I knew I could lose the weight but they could not lose their ignorance as easily.
But yet and still, “Hey fat a$$” broke me.
My defense mechanism….
Some people turn to comedy when they feel trapped. Others turn to sarcasm. Me, I turn to food and my weight. As crazy as it sounds, being overweight has saved me. I felt comfortable in my weight because I knew that it repulsed some people.
Yes, there are really some people who cannot stand to be around overweight or obese people. At parties, no one gropes the fat girl. Men don’t go out their way to make inappropriate gestures and advances to women with more meat on their bones. Do they make rude and ignorant comments? Yes, but my smart mouth always allowed me to refute those comments. On many levels, I truly believed that my weight kept me safe from another rape.
Yes, society continues to bash me and other overweight people for our size, and yes, it does hurt. I know that airplane seats and aisles have gotten smaller. I’ve seen that the majority of commercials during the day are geared towards weight loss or exercising. And I know that magazines and social media work tirelessly to say that beauty is limited to a certain size. But as much tv as I have watched, I have yet to see a fat person get kidnapped, sexually assaulted, or raped (again, this is NOT a fact). My weight acted as a shield, protecting me from those who meant me physical harm…but it did not protect against emotional harm.
Please understand that I am not condoning an unhealthy lifestyle, glorifying rape, or even saying that weight plays a factor in anything. I am simply saying that this is how I’ve felt for a long period of time.
My weight was my shield from the world for many years but I did make an attempt to lose it. At my lowest, I weighed 182lbs back in 2013. Then a series of depression and stress took over and the weight slowly crept back on me. Finally in 2016, I began taking an antidepressant that caused me to gain 70lbs. I am trying to lose the weight again but it is not coming off as easily as it came on and it’s not leaving as easily as it left in the past.
My weight is my daily struggle, my burden, and my shame. Which is why “Hey fat a$$” hurt me so badly. Not only did my sister share that sore spot in my life with my niece, but she allowed my niece to use that as a weapon of pain towards me.
And that hurt.
Like I stated in my last two blogs, I know that it was not really my sister doing this. As the Bible says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).” I know in my heart that it is just a spirit of evil and negativity that caused my sister and niece to say the hurtful things that they have said in the past and recently. And because I know this, I continue to pray for them and pray that God would heal them.
As I’ve said in the past, hurt people, hurt people. My sister has suffered her own hurts and pains, as has my niece. It is because of their pain that they are able to hurt others- whether knowingly or unknowingly. In fact, I am a living witness that hurt and damage will cause a person to continue to hurt another. I am not perfect; I am flawed but saved by grace. God continues to work on me.
Even in this pain, I can see how God is shaping me for the future. I have heard that sometimes doctors need to break bones in order to help them set correctly. That is what’s happening to me. God is breaking some things and shifting others, so that I can grow stronger in Him and in general. And. It. Hurts….but I know it’s for my good.
The comfort that I felt from food and the false security that I received from my weight must leave. When I surrendered to God and gave Him a yes, I was saying that I was putting EVERYTHING in His hands.
He is my comforter.
He is my defense.
He is my fortress.
He is my hope.
He is my peace.
He is my shelter.
He is my sword.
He is my shield.
He is my everything.
No matter what others say and no matter how others treat me, I turn to God and allow Him to be God alone. He knows my heart and the hearts of others (Jeremiah 17:10). He can and will handle all situations better than I ever could.
As I close this blog, I encourage you to turn to God. People will try us. People will hurt us. But we have to allow God to fight our battles. Let Him be your everything. Even as I wrote this blog, I got emotional because “Hey fat a$$” kept lingering in my thoughts. But each time I think of it, I repent for my part in the matter ….and I pray for my niece and sister. That’s all I can do. That’s all we should do.
Pray. Without. Ceasing.
If you or someone you know is the victim of rape, PLEASE SEEK HELP! The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) can help you. Please contact them at 1-800-656-4673 or http://www.rainn.org.