Bodies don’t really understand societal boundaries.
Or social norms. Or the way I am supposed to feel.
I have not seen him in two years. He’s dating another girl, someone much cuter than me. He doesn’t want to see me and anything I feel at this point is really beside the point.
My mind has no trouble with any of it. He’s dating exactly who I wanted for him, a blonde willowy Ivy League grad who is not brutally traumatized and is not sick.
I’m not saying I hand-picked her. But when I pushed him away, it was in hopes that he would find her. Someone just like me, only privileged and pretty. Someone who would make all his dreams come true. Who would not notice the cracks-not in his performance, not in our society.
I wrote myself out of his story. I wrote myself into the margins, where everything I have ever known has taught me I belong. I wrote myself into obscurity. I wrote myself sick and invisible and fading away.
I was very comfortable with the idea of just fading away.
If you are fat, you are hyper-visible. If you are sick, your body is everyone’s problem. If you are traumatized and a woman, you are a mystery that everyone around you wants to solve. If you are a woman, everyone wants proof all the time that you are not crazy.
There are benefits to being invisible. And I am a former anorexic. I am not afraid of disappearing.
It’s not my heart I feel sorry for. Not him either, he’s fine without me. It’s my body.
Somebody please tell my body that it’s over.
The body remembers, indeed. Not only trauma but also the good things. My body remembers holding him. My body remembers staying away from him and not even being able to look at him, for fear what I might say, might do.
My body also remembers humiliation. My body remembers being a fat body, in a society that thinks fat women who want sex are hysterical. My body remembers, but my body has faith in him. My body thinks someday he will understand, just what he did to me, and how it felt. Will empathize. Will make it right.
I wake up and lie in bed for hours holding him. Holding his soul, or holding his ghost. Imagining my own body were a different body. Or that I lived in a different society, with different rules.
Maybe if I lived in a different universe.
If I were a fat dog, he could still love me, out loud. But not a fat girl.
I gave up my seat in the upper echelons of society because the things I was doing to get there were killing my body. Because when I step through that exalted doorway and stand at the center and leave the margins, all that misogyny and fat phobic hatred turns into violence directed at me.
So I left that life. I ran away.
I didn’t know that it would cost me love. I was just trying to stay alive in this society that does not want me. Except maybe as a nursemaid or handmaiden to girls like the girl he is going to marry.
Somebody tell my body. Please? I can’t bear to.
Because my body is still going around insisting on her sexuality. She is putting flowers in her hair. She is rubbing lotion into her skin. She is dreaming and dreaming of spending her life with him, and she doesn’t know yet that the world is not like that. She doesn’t realize that a fat sick Cinderella is absurd. She doesn’t know that he and everyone else will only laugh at her.
Nobody taught her the rules for how to survive in this society. Nobody taught her how to keep herself alive in a world where even the man she loves hates her for her identities.
She still thinks maybe he will want her back, someday.
Somebody tell the girl.