Being Alive Hurts Too Much

BEING ALIVE HURTS TOO MUCH

Please just let me die. Being alive hurts too much

This blog post has been brewing inside me for a long time, and after listening to Kesha's song "Praying" I am inspired to share it now. I'll be quoting her lyrics throughout.  For the full lyrics click HERE.

The song resonates with me for a multitude of reasons. Mostly because I see this song as a direct message to the monster who abused me during most my childhood and early teenage years. 

I hope your soul is changing. I hope you find your peace, falling on your knees, praying

I also see this song as a direct message to the woman who gave birth to me, who neglected and abandoned me and my brother.  I see this song as a direct message to all the children and adults who made fun of me, and who called me FATSO.

Is this one of those dreams? Those horrible dreams that seem like they last forever?

For so long, Heifers, I lived in a body I didn’t choose. It was a body of shame, fear and self-contempt, and I lived in that body for 40ish years.

That body took me through some tough times. It carried me through a childhood full of divorce, dysfunction, neglect, abuse, and undescribable pain. It moved me from house to house, parent to parent, school to school. It took me off to college and greeted the pizza delivery guy every Friday night, alone ... just me, my oversized sweats and a large pepperoni, extra cheese. And breadsticks, if I'm honest.

That body suffered abuse at the hands of family members and was mocked by the kids in the school lunchroom.  That body was groped, grabbed, flung around and pointed at, kids calling me Fatso right to my face.

You brought the flames and you put me through hell

That body was ignored and scorn by men as unlovable, undesirable and flawed.

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I also lived a lot of wonderful life in that body. That body gave birth to four healthy, beautiful children, housing them beneath the layers of fat other people couldn’t see past, feeding them with breasts many said were too big, to saggy, too nasty, carrying them in arms that were anything but toned.

I met friends for lunch in that body and went to religious services in that body and walked down the aisle in a white dress in that body.

But Heifers, that body wasn’t my choice.

That’s a hard thing to write, and some people will argue with me.

Those people will say I made the choice to eat the food that made me fat. They will argue I made the choice to sit on the sofa or in front of the computer instead of exercising and moving that body to better health.

There’s truth in those arguments. I did eat the food. I did binge watch sitcoms instead of sweating to the oldies.

But if I think about choice and when and where all of those choices began, I have to look back a lot further than my house in the suburbs and my minivan.

I didn’t choose to be neglected by a mother too self-absorbed to see anything beyond her next boyfriend. I didn’t choose for that mother to inflict upon me mentally ill, drug-addicted and abusive ‘daddies’ who took up all the space in the house, in my mother’s head and in our lives.

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I had to learn how to fight for myself

I didn’t choose to be left alone on countless nights, no dinner served, no one asking about homework, nobody there to care if I ate myself into oblivion with my best friend: MTV video countdown.

Why have i been abandoned by everyone and everything I've ever known, I've ever loved ...stranded.  What is the lesson? What is the point? 

I didn’t choose to live with a family member who waited until everyone else went to bed to visit me, to show me his own version of attention, in the dark of the night.

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Some things only God can forgive

I didn’t choose to graduate from high school and be deserted by my mother, who left me with a house payment, no car and no job.

I didn’t choose any of that.

What I did choose in those years was to survive. I chose to feed myself in the best way I knew how, even if it was unhealthy and too much and full of junk. I chose to meet my needs without understanding what they were, without the benefit of guidance, and without the watchful eye of a parent who could lead me toward my best self.

'Cause I can make it on my own...

Heifers, I chose not to sink. I chose not to give in and give up and let go of the thread I was hanging by, and I don’t think for one minute that I’m alone.

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I see and meet people every single day hanging by that thread. Our circumstances are different, yes. Some of us struggle with childhood wounds that haven’t yet closed let alone healed. Some of us struggle with life today, with abusive partners or bosses or families who can’t (or won’t) let us go.

Sometimes, I pray for you at night...someday, maybe you'll see the light

I haven’t met one overweight person who just wanted to be fat, who just didn’t care, who just made the choice to be lazy or disgusting or lethargic for the fun of it. Those words? Those are all how I described myself. Those words were my mantra. That's what I said every day when I woke up and looked in the mirror. You are fat. You are lazy.  You are disgusting. You are lethargic. You are worthless.

Being alive hurts too much

I’ve met people who made choices to do the best they can after being dealt some shitty cards.

Once my life stabilized, I began to see the choices I’d made for what they were: survival.

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I also began to see that I wasn’t in survival mode anymore. I wasn’t hanging by a thread. I wasn’t about to be kicked out, fired or abused.

I was safe.

In that safety, I chose to focus on something other than survival.

I chose to focus on myself, on my health, and on my tomorrow instead of rightthisverysecond.

I lost weight and ate better foods and got off the couch. One day, I even started running.

but after everything you've done...I can thank you for how strong I have become

This body I am in now, this body that runs races and competes in triathlons and still eats pizza and runs around begging my children to finish their homework already – this is the body I CHOOSE.

I make a daily choice, right here, right now, to live in this body.

I feed this body the best foods to fuel it, to keep it humming, to let it be a vehicle for me to love and be loved.

I can make it on my own. I don't need you, I found a strength I've never known

This is no longer a body of shame, and it isn’t because this body is thinner than before, it’s because this body is finally my own.

no more monsters, I can breathe again...

 

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