Sunday, January 1, 2012

"Bad" Thoughts

As "the fat girl" growing up in the 70's, my life was one in which I could not wear the fashionable clothes of my peers. At that time, "plus size" clothes only came in a few flavors and for pants, it was mainly polyester stretch pants. While other girls wore jeans, corduroy, and velveteen, I was clad in the trappings of old ladies. What was worse, I was at the mercy of my mother's fashion sense. I would prefer a parade of dark brown and black to mask my fat thighs, hanging belly flap, and voluminous ass, but she would sometimes buy hot pink, light blue, and lime green (most likely because these were unpopular colors and cheaper - she did not buy similar colors for herself).

At some point in junior high school, I found myself capable of squeezing into a pair of the biggest jeans I could locate. I was so happy to have a chance to wear something other than stretch pants and feel like I marginally fit in with everyone else. On that day, those too tight pants split across the seam in the back and I had to walk around for the rest of the day with a sweater tied around my waist to cover up the huge rip.

One of my classmates, Julie, who was a cheerleader took no end of joy in this incident. She carried on and laughed through several classes about what had happened. Her mirth at my embarrassment was something she could not contain and when we got to Spanish class she was bubbling over in giggles. The teacher asked her what was so funny and she asked the teacher how to say "rip" in Spanish and she constructed a sentence which said, "Shari's pants ripped", and she burst into new gales of laughter at the renewal of my humiliation. I just put my head down and endured it because there was little else I could do. Needless to say, I never wore jeans again in school.

By graduation, Julie was starting to show signs of pudginess herself, though she edged away from becoming genuinely fat. In addition to her making fun of my ripped pants, she enjoyed criticizing my lack of athletic aptitude due to my weight and overall lack of grace and coordination. When she struck out while playing softball and one of her friends called her some derogatory word for doing so, she looked my way and said that being caught out on base because you were too slow to run to them made you this unkind term (which I cannot recall), not striking out. Her failure was okay, but mine was not because I failed due to my fat.

Recently on Facebook, I have been reunited with a lot of people who both were and were not my friends in school. This is a situation which taxes my ability to be mature and kind to the hilt since these are people who dealt me a great deal of damaging cruelty and contributed to the psychological burdens that I continue to carry with me to this day. I have to admit that part of me is very ugly in response to how their lives have turned out and that I am more than a little happy to see that many of them are aging far worse than I am, and that includes the formerly skinny and pretty girls who are fatter than me at my current weight.

Julie was persuaded by one of the people I am friended with to get onto Facebook, but she hasn't uploaded a picture and hasn't interacted with anyone. I'm unhappy to admit that I have a strong hope that she amply fulfilled her propensity for chubbiness through the years and that she got very fat. This is a truly awful thing for me to wish on anyone as I know extremely well how difficult and painful obesity is. The part of me that longs for karma to be real and desperately wants empathy to be bred in my former tormenters can't be denied though.

I realize that these sorts of feelings are "justifiable" in one way. I was hurt and it's not uncommon to want those who hurt me to learn a lesson in the pain I lived in by living in it themselves, but this type of thinking is poison for the soul and the psyche. I need to focus on positive motivation and my own successes and growth, not wish misfortune on others who once hurt me. As I have said before, I also realize that the people my classmates were at that age are not who they are today and I need to learn to forgive them. This sense of wanting them to be worse off than me is not conducive to that sort of mentality and something I need to work on.


Norma said...

A little schadenfreude at seeing a nemesis get her comeuppance is more than excusable.

screaming fatgirl said...

Perhaps excusable, but really, it doesn't help me grow as a person. I need to move on from that sort of bitterness. Sigh.

I'd love to justify it to myself. I really would, but I can't.

However, I appreciate your comment and your support! :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't want to imagine what her home life might have been like to turn her into someone so mean and nasty. Girls who were cheerleaders and *beautiful* and popular can feel completely miserable on the inside without ever showing it on the outside. For all anyone knows, she has been suffering already throughout her whole life. Of course it doesn't excuse her cruel behavior. We just can't assume we know someone's inner life from looking at the outside.

screaming fatgirl said...

That's exactly why I think I need to do better. Well, that and the fact that such thinking (such retaliatory meanness) isn't benefiting me in any way.

Thanks for commenting, and I did get your letter and hope to find time to reply! My life is an utter whirlwind right now. I've never been so busy in my life. :-(