Sunday, February 16, 2014
Sunday Confession: Dear X Love
Today’s Sunday Confession is about Dear X Love. It was open for our interpretation which means it is not necessarily an open letter to an X. Mine is not. It’s a letter to my childhood self. I’m not that same girl anymore. It’s an ex-me. A former me. Even though I never really succeeded in loving myself during that time in my life, I tried to, so I think this is still fitting.
No one ever tells you that, but I know from experience that you need to hear it. All the times your daddy has called you “fatty,” “Crisco,” and “lardass” have already made you start hating the way you look even as a young girl, and let me be the one to tell you that none of those names are true. You’re not a fatty or a lardass, Jenniy. You’re a normally developing girl. Nothing is wrong with your weight or the way you look, but there is most definitely something wrong with a parent who will constantly put down his own child to the point where she wonders if he even knows her real name. You wonder that don’t you--whether he has any idea that your name is something other than Crisco? I don’t know why I’m asking. I already know the answer to that question. There’s something wrong with a man who sees you walking through the house, a normal 10 year old girl, and drunkenly sings: Fatty, fatty two by four. Can’t get through the bathroom door before erupting into maniacal cackles. There’s something wrong with grandparents who tell you to eat then tell you to diet. There’s something wrong with a family who tears you down at every turn without ever building you up. They’re the ones who are fucked up. It’s not you. You’re not the one with a personality disorder. You’re not the one who lives for emotional denigration. It’s not you; it’s them. That’s a promise.
As you get older, everyone will tell you that it’s not what you look like anyway and that it’s about what’s on the inside. But, you know, we know, that’s not entirely true. It’s good to be beautiful on the inside and important, but the hard truth is that what you look like does matter to people. You’ll learn that along the way. People do care. People do make a big deal about it. And, people will miss out on getting to know you because of your appearance. I just want you to understand that it’s not because you’re ugly or repulsive. You’re you and you express you in ways people don’t understand. They’re not getting past the way you express yourself to notice that you are, in fact, actually a pretty girl both inside and out. People aren’t getting passed how you choose to look to investigate more about what’s under the makeup and running through your mind.
In the end, though, people will see it, and they’ll tell you all the time, but after so many years of bullshit, you won’t be able to take the compliments to heart. How’s that for fucking irony?
It’ll get better eventually. I promise. That’s where we’re at right now…the getting better part. It’s not easy, but it’s worth the work. We’re worth the work, and that’s why this needed to be said.
It’s not about how much you weigh, what dress size you wear, or even your actual physical features. You can be beautiful at any size, and you will find things about yourself that you love and hate….just like anyone else.
I just want you to know that you’re brave. You’re stronger than you realize. You’re tough, and you’re too smart for your own good (if that’s even possible). People are going to hurt you over and over again--not in relationships as that is to be expected, but your friends and family will (especially family). You know that all too well already, but you don’t deserve any of it. You didn’t do anything to make this happen. You’re not to blame.
And, I want you to know this above all else:
You’re going to be just fine.