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.