what if?

the topic of my weight came up though not by accident.

it’s a topic whose existence nauseates me and it’s tiring to take it on and off repeatedly and still never find the right fit.

when asked why i’m at the gym my answer usually involves a purpose to gain muscle, not lose weight, but rarely does anyone ask how i arrived at whatever weight i might be at the time.

the question comes unexpectedly and it hits me in the heart like an arrow so i held my breath hoping that not breathing would somehow make me disappear. but they stared and waited patiently for an answer as i briefly rethought life decisions and what made me think this was a good idea.

i think i can be a good liar but even if not, i’m still a ‘need time to come up with something’ liar, not an ‘on the spot’ liar.

the question served to generate flashbacks and visions of being raped and while i controlled the shaking the tears betrayed whatever facade i might have attempted to erect in that moment.

i’ve spent years in counseling working on this, but how i’ve correlated the perception of my body to being susceptible to sexual abuse hasn’t really changed. if the mind makes a statement the body tends to believe it’s true, and if you make the same statement for years and try to change it, the mind disagrees because it’s comfortable with known patterns.

i despise being overweight on levels i can’t articulate but at the same time believe the weight hides me, thus protects me, so i both hate and love it.

my natural physique without the engorgement of the mind’s drama attracts men in a way that scares me and leads me to fear for my safety. it’s a thing i’ve tested over the years and results lead me to the same early childhood statements.

my natural body will lead to being abused. my unnatural body will protect me because no man in his right mind would desire this type of physique, thus, i am in control of my physical and emotional safety.

this is the pattern and i haven’t learned the tools to break it.

so they asked me questions socrates style – diving, diving, diving…

i can see they don’t know what to ask but they ask anyway. all of them have tears in their eyes at what i said and part of me hates being there as another part is aware and in gratitude of the work it took to get there. i’m no longer ashamed that i was sexually abused. that’s kind of a big deal.

but it might take a jackhammer set of questions to change my narrative and allow some space between what is, what was, and what can be. it wasn’t intended to be a session on offering advice but it is our nature as humans to want to relieve the suffering of others.

dating came up as a recommended solution. i smiled and thanked them.

but no. it’s not.

seeking outside diversions to change internal dialogues just adds to the chaos of pain. i love them for their compassion and though my belief is still there i did come away with questions that lead me to look deeper into the bias my experience brings to the missing leg of the achieving wholeness table.

i don’t know that it’s a tool that can do the job on its own but have a sense it’s now part of the overall toolbox.

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