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Old 11-28-2005, 01:58 PM   #1
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I apologize in advance if this is too long, but I have to get this out, because it is eating me up.

On Thanksgiving Day, after dinner, we were sitting around the table at my mom's house, just chatting. I don't remember how it came up, but my father said I was the only one in the family with the fat gene and I must take after my great-grandmother, because nobody else in the family was fat. Then he wandered into the living room and fell asleep on the couch. I was pretty floored, and I remember feeling my face flame up from embarassment. I know I'm overweight, but I don't think anyone has ever said it to me before. My sister told me to ignore him, and I pretty much blew it off.

Now, my parents were pretty brutal when I was a child about staying thin. I look at pictures of myself as a kid and do not see an overweight kid. I see a normal little girl. But one of my earliest memories was of my dad making me do sit-ups every night after dinner because I was fat. My mom put me on an orange diet when I was 11. Yeah, a diet of only oranges. When I was in jr. high (and we had to change in the locker room for P.E.) my mom said if I didn't learn to suck in my stomach, she'd make me wear a girdle. She actually bought one, but I don't think I ever actually wore it. But I remember being horrified.

Well, this of course, led to an eating disorder in my late teens and early
20's. I went to a therapist for a while, and got things under control to a point. The rest of my 20's were fairly uneventful. I was a normal weight and I exercised regularly, etc. Sadly, these last few years have not been so good, and I'm probably 50 lbs. overweight.

Back to Thanksgiving; I pretty much ignored what my dad had said, until yesterday. My sweet sister called to ask me if I was ok, that I had seemed pretty upset that day. I replied that I was fine, and I'd forgotten it already.

But then I went to bed, and started to think about it and got so upset. I started crying, and I didn't want to wake my husband up, so I got up and cried in the bathroom. Once I did go back to bed, I tossed and turned for two hours before I could get to sleep.

I keep telling myself that I'm a good person and so much more than a number on the scale, but why has my dad's comment upset me so much? I did another round of crying this morning. My father and I get along pretty well, normally. He's never said anything about my weight since I've been an adult, but he will comment (with compliments) if I've lost weight.

I know I will probably have to call him on this. And knowing him, he will apologize and he will feel bad. But the words have been said and can't be unsaid. The damage is done. How do I get past this? He really chipped away at my self esteem. And why, oh why, is weight such an issue? Why do none of my accomplishments count (in my own head, as well as society's) unless I am thin.

If anyone has any advice at all on how I can get past this, I would greatly appreciate it.

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Old 11-28-2005, 02:33 PM   #2
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Hi Darby

I totally understand where you're coming from.

My father called me fat my whole life. For my 10th birthday I got a tape recorder and everyone in my family left a message for me on it. My fathers message said to my fat daughter Valerie. She's 10 years old today but weighs as much as a 20 year old. I still have the tape. Now I've looked back at my photos and I was a perfectly normal sized child.

I grew up hearing my whole life I was fat. Every time I ate dinner. At family gatherings ect. My father died 88 and it wasn't until a couple years after that I did start getting overweight.

Sometimes I wonder if being called fat and put down mutiple times a day throughout my childhood somehow contributed to me gaining weight when I was an adult. Like somehow that message was ingrained in me.

I would have loved to confront my father about this and other things he did/said to me when I was a child but sadly I never got my chance.

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Old 11-28-2005, 03:07 PM   #3
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I don't have any advice but wanted you to know that I understand. It's interesting how we want our parents to approve of us and love us no matter how crappy they are or how big of losers they are themselves.

IMO, People who insult others usually have a very low self esteem themselves and just say it to make themselves feel better. I'm not sure how I would react if that happened to me but I would most certainly be horrified too. My temper probably would have came out and I'd have pointed out his largest fault.

I commend you for being the adult in the situation and hope that you are able to discuss this with him so that it doesn't happen again.

Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it ~Bill Cosby
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Old 11-28-2005, 03:55 PM   #4
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OMG I am so sorry this happened to you and lwt me tell you I am a parent to three children and will choose my words and actions alot more carefully because of you !!! Thank you for sharing and know that maybe you have stopped one person from doing this to his or her child !!!
It would be so nice if the world could see our insides instead of our reflections !! HUGGGSSS I hope you can come to terms with your Dad and things work out for the better!!!
Only you can make the changes neccessary to obtain your goals!!!

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