I’ve been hiding. In my youth I hid behind perfectionism and dance. As I entered my teens, I hid behind sexual promiscuity, drugs, alcohol and fashion. My twenties saw me hiding behind cocaine, expensive clothing and a certain ‘privileged’ lifestyle. Mental illness provided me with pills. Pills helped me hide from life.
In later years, I stopped using drugs and alcohol and instead I hid behind my work, my accomplishments, my sobriety and my children.
What was I hiding from? I was hiding from the truth. The pain. The horrible shame. I was hiding from the fact that I was sexually abused as a child. I was ‘coping’.
I thought it would be okay to live a half of a life …that was until I decided one day that I did not want to live at all and so I sought help. I finally told a therapist about the sexual abuse I had suffered as a child. That act of disclosure led to more pain and trauma than I could have ever imagined. The feelings of shame so overwhelmed me that I started hiding again. This time I hid by eating. My once lovely figure soon became buried under extra pounds of fat…and more fat.
The weight has caused me health issues. It’s caused me to feel even more shameful. It has been my comfort in such a bizarre way that I struggle to define or understand it. I beat myself up daily for how gross I look and yet deep inside I tell myself to keep eating – keep hiding. It’s ‘safer’.
This past week has been one of great sorrow for me as I began to accept that a full, free and happy life was never to be mine. Too old, too fat, no job….pretty much reconciled to the fact that my health will continue to deteriorate and my days will be numbered. I just felt ‘done’.
Then I got mad….really, really angry. I looked at my accomplishments through the years and DESPITE the drug addictions, mental illness, f**ked up lifestyle and insane (mis)adventures- I have managed to give so much good to the world. I decided that if I keep hiding behind this weight and keep adding pounds then that bastard that sexually abused me…the one who took away a lot of my life’s potential – then gets to take away the years I have left. I will be damned if I am going to let that happen.
No more hiding. Look out world. I’m about to start living!