2 August 2018

Exorcising The Ghosts Of Relationships Past

* Long read

Hello there.  It has been sooo long since I have written a personal post.  So long since the words have floated around in my head until I had no choice but to filter them down through my fingers on to the page.

As ever, I can articulate so much better when the words flow through my fingers as I type; but tonight is the first time in a long time that the words have danced, demanding to be set free.

So what am I talking about tonight?  The ghosts of past relationships as a fat, insecure woman.

Looking back at past experiences with men in my life is hard for me to remember.  The experience that I have had with relationships is little, the heartache, a lot.  I have been hidden, I have been put up with; I have been the dirty secret and the one that was so nearly "the one", had it not been for my body.

What I have come to realise over the past few months is that although I have been treated badly in the past, I have allowed this to happen to me.  When society and your peers tells you that as a fat woman, you are not good enough, eventually you believe it yourself. So you overcompensate.

When the #MeToo movement was starting to take shape, I shared some of my own experiences of what happened to me in the past.  I was a fat teenager, but I knew that the actions of those that touched and grabbed at me were wrong.  I knew that the words said to me were unacceptable.

I railed against them, but my words were ignored; my experiences were explained away by others as "wear a baggier school shirt".  "You have large breasts, what can you expect".  A look up and down at my body and a "you should be grateful for the attention".

Those last words shaped me and the experiences that I have had with men for a long time.  Not just from them, but people close to me.  That same message. Be grateful.   Take what you can get because you are fat.

So I allowed transgressions to happen to me because, maybe, I should be grateful.  I allowed myself to be hidden because who wants to have a fat girl as a girlfriend, right? Be happy that he likes you in private.

My love life up until this point has been a car crash, with me shaving off pieces of myself, sometimes my soul; and handing them over on a plate trying to find that love, that attraction; so that someone, sometime will think that I am good enough for them.  That I deserve more than to be hidden or been embarrassed by.

The problem with shaving pieces off yourself is that eventually, you start to forget who you really are. When you give your  heart away each time, especially to someone that doesn't deserve it, you lose a piece of yourself.

I have always avoided men that found the larger woman attractive.  I did not understand how they could think of me as more than a fetish.  I had no clue or realisation that someone could actually find me attractive, sexy.

As I type right now, I am dating someone.  We met through Tinder, on my first couple of days when I thought that I would give it a whirl.  We have been dating a few months now.  I will call him A.


With A for the first couple of months I found myself in the same familiar cycle.  The insecurities.  The wondering if he really did find me attractive.  The fear when he said that he liked larger women.  Was I just a fetish?  The familiar feeling I got when he said that he couldn't promise me anything at all, but also wasn't saying that nothing might progress one day.  I had heard those words before.  The feeling that I was once more being hidden returned and my insecurities nearly  made me end it.


But the truth was, he isn't hiding me. He isn't ashamed of me.  He makes me feel sexy, for the first time in my life.  I no longer feel like that I need to give so much of myself to overcompensate for my body.  He is attracted to my body and again, for the first time in my life; I believe it.

So as these new experiences wash over me, I realise that I am in no rush.  I don't feel the need to be his girlfriend.  I don't have the craving for commitment and am in no rush.  We may progress, we may not.  But I am enjoying dating someone and just, for once, having fun.  The pressure to hand myself, my heart over on a plate is no longer there.

I have no idea what will happen with myself and A.  We may date for a while and it may fizzle out.  It  may progress.  Who knows?  But what I do know is that I can be myself.  I can be goofy.  I can be silly.  I can feel attractive and know that he is attracted to me.  I don't hold back on what I think or who I am.  I may even let him read something that I have written.

I feel good enough for someone.  If nothing else happens between A and I, that feeling will stay with me.   For the first time I feel like this thing we have is 50/50.  We are figuring each other out.  I no longer feel, as I have done every other time, like I am on an audition.

We are on a dance and who knows whether it will end or whether we will continue to dance.  All I know is that the pieces of my soul that I gave away are coming back to me and it feels amazing.  The parts of me I gave away, I am taking them back.  I am whole again (sorry for the Atomic Kitten reference!).

The dating experience I am having now, I should have had so long ago.  It is only now that I realise that this is what I always deserved.  What has happened before I let happen.   That is on me.  What happens now?  Who knows.  But I sure am enjoying the experience.

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