judgment

Losing Weight

I came across a post the other day where a woman’s photo that was used to illustrate the effects of anorexia was misused in a “listicle” for photos of successful weight loss. There was a lot of commentary about how people who suffer from emotional dysregulation (e.g. depression, anxiety, anorexia, bulimia, etc) are often “celebrated” for their good looks. They would often get comments such as, “Did you lose weight? You look great!” In reality, their weight loss was very unhealthy, yet still rewarded and showered with compliments on their “good looks.”

That got me to thinking about how one could approach another who has had a change in weight. Can you come from a place of concern? “I noticed you’ve lost/gained some weight recently, is everything okay?” Or can there be a neutral ground? “I’ve noticed you’ve lost/gained some weight recently, has something changed for you?” Or is there another way?

It’s definitely got me to reevaluate how I view others’ weight loss/gain. I can’t assume that others’ weight changes are done in a healthy manner. In order for me to stop rewarding or complimenting bad behaviors, I must reframe my commentary and/or not comment at all.

But for now, here are some examples of things I will not say:

“You’ve lost a lot of weight. You look great!”
“Please tell me how to fit into your pants!”
“You look so skinny!”
“Your face looks skinnier!”

Saving

Fuck.

That’s what I want to say. I am going through my friend list today on FB for a class assignment and I run into an account for a person who passed by suicide. I perused his FB wall and I read a few notes he had written a few months before passing. It tore me up inside because here was an individual who was open about his pain, someone who willingly shared how he felt and how difficult he found his life to be. But he still didn’t feel heard. He still didn’t feel understood by his closest friends and family, even the professionals he spoke to.

It was so disheartening to read all of that. That he felt people didn’t believe him, that he was over-dramatic, or that “his life wasn’t as bad because other people have it worse out there.” These were all the things that I would have challenged had I been given the chance to do what I do now for him.

I would have said that no matter how big or small your problem can be compared to another person’s problems, that doesn’t make your problems any more or less important. How you feel in, deal with, and process your world is important to you and is valid. There’s no right or wrong way to feel or do things. Well, not necessarily if I am saying this creed.

You deserve to be heard. You deserve to be recognized. You deserve to be validated.

Most importantly, you deserve to have someone in your life who will love you unconditionally and always hold you in the highest regard. No matter how you may falter, no matter what you may do, you should be loved and cared for. Not blamed, shunned, or neglected.

That’s what I would say. But I can’t tell him now. And it wasn’t my place to “save” him. And I can’t “save” everyone.

But I can try.

House is not a Home

I feel like this is a recurring mantra and more specifically, to a specific house.

Earlier this week, we had an in-class exercise. We needed to talk with another person about something that bothered us, something small. I picked the weather and how cold it was. Somehow, during that talk, it lead to my discovery that while I dislike the cold, I dislike the fact that I am cold and freezing in my own house and how that is a product of a specific person in that house: mother.

I don’t know how many people truly understand how much I detest mother. Her interests are backwards and wayward. I could relay all of the despicable things she does, but I don’t want to be that person. Just trust me – she’s terrible.

I’ve been thinking about it more today and since Monday. Have I ever felt at home in this house? Have I ever felt truly comfortable? To be honest? I don’t think so. Our house is practically its own apartment home. There is a lady who lives in our garage. There is a man who lives in the room adjacent to mine. I know none of these people. About two months ago, she decided to let her friend live in our shed. Yes, the shed. The shed that still has all of our stuff in it.

This house is crowded in terms of its occupants and also things. I just want to take a week and go through everything in this house, toss the things we don’t need and the things that she says she’ll “use one day” but hasn’t in the last decade. There are so many things and I just don’t understand their purpose. Everything is a mess. Everything is dirty. Nothing is clean.

I don’t feel at ease in my own home. During this winter frost, I have to use two heaters because a spike in the electric bill is more desirable than a spike in the gas bill. Because the solution to my problem is just to layer up, not make sure the house is a comfortable temperature.

This is not a home. It’s a living space. It is my temporary stop until I can leave this godforsaken hell hole. I want to be able to place things down and not worry that someone will move it, or “clean” things up without knowing what needs to be clean. I want to be able to throw old expired food out and not have to worry about keeping it a secret. I want to be able to eat my bambu and throw it away in the kitchen trash, not my own, because if I throw it in the kitchen trash, rest assured, that cup will be “saved” and put to another use.

I just want to be comfortable. In my own space. In my own “home.”

And while I should probably stay on topic, I’m not. What I also want? To be able to say these things freely without having someone else minimize how I feel. Yes, there are dying children in another areas. There are children on the streets. My problems are #firstworldproblems, but they are mine. This is how I feel and that is important, no matter how trivial. I get to be in that space and I get to have people listen to it and sympathize. I don’t want to be compared. I don’t want to be told that my problems are nothing and that I need to be grateful for what I have. I may be more vocal about my complaints than I am about my blessings, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel blessed everyday to have what I have. But in that moment when I am feeling like it’s been a crap week, I just need someone to listen and not judge how I feel.

I need to move out. Soon. Probably before I kill someone. Or hurt someone. #angerissues.