I am starting to measure our personal strengths as individuals by our ability to heal.

As a larger person, I sat on the Victim side of the bleachers regularly. Except when I was there, we had no cheerleaders like they have now on that side. Society runs around holding up signs about having rights to being victims now. Man, I came up in the wrong time!

I had an army of one in my victimhood. And most of the time, I wasn’t even trying to fight. I cried a lot. I ate a lot. I blamed many others for not building me up. I blamed my fat on their skinny. I blamed my ugly on their pretty. I blamed my inner turmoil on their seeming ability to transcend themselves to a higher understanding that I could never find.

My meltdowns growing up are trauma for me when I look back at them. So is my treatment of myself and the victim stance in which I placed Me. Trauma is looking at every picture of yourself and seeing the ugliest, fattest, not-good-enough, never-going-to-be person your eyes could see. Throwing every single piece of clothing you own violently on the floor while screaming and crying and wanting to bust a mirror is an assault on Me.

Trying to peel your own fat skin off while screaming at yourself in the mirror at your ugliness is nasty trauma. Manically doing sit-ups while having a temper tantrum or grabbing all your fat at once to feel its density as if to rub your nose in it – all traumas. Being the disclaimer eater who must tell everyone that she knows she’s fat every time she puts something in her mouth – trauma.

Needing to place a ton of boundaries around everyone and everything that has to do with our bodies and even our health is a trauma response. It is the opposite of healing. If I spend my time building the wall around myself with my boundaries, I stop letting in the healing that is around me.

My boundaries are not up against you. They are up against myself for anything that threatens to stop me from healing. If I want to fight society or my family or whoever, I have every right to do so. But my time and energy then put me back in a place of defense, where I lived for many years.

Defense is also the opposite of healing. If you build a wall, no one and nothing can get through. You accomplish isolation. 

The fight for me and the strength are now in my ability to get to the ugliest parts, validate them myself without the need for external behaviors and responses, and rewire my thinking and approach with myself. Fighting others gave me years of hate for them and hate for myself. It does not work for inner resolution.

I do not put much time into the concept of “fat-shaming” nor will I ever. I grew up in a “fat-shaming” environment to some degree. I was not able to address that fat-shaming until I began to heal, and in the bigger picture it was a very small part of my healing process.

The real shame naturally falls to those who dish it out. As one of my favorite movies states, “The universe tends to unfold as it should.” Those who fat-shamed me have their own healing processes.

I have been addressing my own fat-shaming now for a few years in my healing journey. It is the most important of the fat-shaming to face. It holds the most weight, pun intended.

I am dealing with years of poor self-treatment through self-hate, cover-ups in behaviors, low self-esteem, the constant need to blame others, my incessant draw to apologize for my body and my eating, my retreat from life, my isolation, my numbing, my hiding from cameras and people, and the shortening of life experiences I gave myself. I no longer will allow myself this trauma.

Healing is painful and hard because it can make you have to look at what you have done to yourself and allowed as some of the biggest trauma-causing violations.  Looking at ourselves and the trauma we bring is harder than it will ever be to blame someone else. Changing self-treatment is even harder. But this is strength.