I Needed To Be Heard

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.
-Harvey Fierstein

When I was a young girl, I had huge self-esteem issues. My older brother used to tell me how fat and ugly I was, at least once a day. I remember once when he thought it was okay to sit on me when I floating in the pool. He called me his personal pool float.

I have had a fear of the water ever since then.

What really traumatized me wasn’t the name calling, or possible drowning, but the brother I looked up to and looked at as my protector, was suddenly my bully.

When his friends came to the house, he did everything he could think of to keep me from being around them. He would start a football game in the backyard and I would always be the one getting tackled. I got to the point where I didn’t want to be anywhere around him.

I also started with some really bad eating habits that has now become labeled as eating disorders.

I wanted to be thin and pretty like the girls he and his friends wanted around them. Eventually, any amount of food had to be cut in half. If I ate more than half, I would force myself to throw up right after the meal.

It wasn’t until one of his friends showed up one afternoon and asked where my brother had been keeping me? I knew this kid since before I had breasts, and he had never talked to me. I rolled my eyes and pointed inside the house, while telling him that my brother was in his room, being punished. Before he walked into the house, he gave me a onceover and announced that I had great legs, and he wished he had noticed me a couple years ago.

I had finally reached the status I wanted, but it gave me no satisfaction because my brother had pushed me aside as his little sister, and I was still in his way.

That was almost fifty years ago. I got over the stigmatism of being the fat kid and getting bullied, but I never got over my need of always wanting to be thinner.

How that turned into my becoming the person I was now, I’m not sure. My husband tells me it is because he knows how beautiful I am regardless of how much I weigh. I think I just gave up because I was told that a grandmother and great grandmother wasn’t meant to be beautiful and thin.

Now, I’m back to wanting to lose weight. As I said before, I’m doing this for me now. I’m not worrying about what my brother thought back then. Before he died he made it quite clear how proud he was of me. The sister’s whom I had always been so envious of for their perfect figures and beautiful faces have told me they were envious of me for my beauty and intelligence. (We each had our own reason for being envious of one another, even though we all look exactly alike.)

I’m wondering if my allowing myself to be bullied by my brother, and even my ex-husband, wasn’t because of my personal inadequacies and fears.

Maybe I’ll need to self analyze myself and delve a bit more into this thought.

In the meantime, I have lost another half pound and I want to thank those of you who are beginning to read my ponderings. I hope you stick around while I continue my journey. Even a friend in a storm is still a friend I would not have met without the storm.

Simple cabbage fry:

1 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 small zucchini thinly sliced, and washed well. Leave the skin on

2 green apples, sliced and cored, but not peeled.

In 2 Tablespoons of real butter, saute the cabbage and onion until cooked down and slightly tender.

Toss in the thinly sliced apple and heat the apples through.

Toss in the thinly sliced zucchini and allow to cook for five minutes.

Add pink Himalayan salt to taste, hot paprika to taste and pepper.

This makes about four individual servings, or share with your loved ones, unless they hate cabbage as much as my husband. (For him, I throw in some cooked egg noodles, and he is a happy camper.)

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