Sunday, July 1, 2012

I'm not a turkey

My mom came over to my house today to spend some time with me and to do her laundry.  She hasn't seen me in two weeks I think it is.  She came into my house with a greeting of "Oh my God!!"  I get that reaction from people a lot these days if it's been a few weeks or more since they've seen me.  She asked me how much weight I've lost and was just astonished when I told her.  Not five minutes passed before she took the opportunity to tell me that she wished she could give me some of her boobs since apparently mine are now small.  She's gained a lot of weight over the years and now hers are pretty big.  I looked down at mine and wondered what she was talking about since my size hasn't changed at all there since dropping weight.  I decided to let it go.  Then she started talking about what she's doing to lose weight and how she's joined a gym, expressing that she thinks I should join one, too, to lose more weight.  I stepped in and said that what I am doing is perfectly fine.  I almost felt like saying to her, "I've lost 135.5 pounds without a gym ... how much have you lost?"  That felt sort of childish, immature and a little braggy so I just told her that I enjoy exercising so much more outdoors than paying money for a gym membership.  Then she started to say that I need to have skin removal surgery under my chin because I was looking saggy.  That just congured up an image of a turkey in my mind.  Do I have turkey neck now?

I told her that I am not worrying about that right now because I still have a lot of weight left to lose so we'll see what things look like around my face later on.  Besides, I said to her, I think I look fine.  She didn't need to know that I have already been having personal feelings about excess skin (although not around my chin, that was a new one to freak me out).  I didn't want her to feed into any insecurities I was having.  How about the fact that I've lost so much weight ... can we please celebrate that and not pick on any flaws you might see in me, Mother??  I was not about to pick a fight with her, but come on!

It reminded me of when I was a kid.  I was never good enough for her.  She was always picking on the clothes I was wearing, how pretty she thought I wasn't and certainly how I was too fat to be her daughter.  Things have most definitely improved in our relationship over the years and I can, in fact, have a relationship with her as an adult.  She is no longer abusive towards me and does try to love me in the best way she can.  I had to remind myself that she is limited in terms of knowing how to say something or how to be appropriate.  She just doesn't have a filter.  I am not going to rip at her because she is not tactful, but I did let her know she was starting to hurt my feelings.  Argh, how is it that family can still push your buttons?  The good thing for me, though, is I said what I needed to so she could understand that it's not okay to pick me apart, but just to love me anyway.  This is the most challenging thing I've ever been through in my life and I need her support, not criticism.  She got it.  Finally!!!


Anonymous said...

Good for you, Kathy, for staying so centered and calm in a situation that could have triggered a number of icky outcomes!! That was great self-loving while at the same time having compassion and understanding about your Mother's limits. I find it tough to stay in my Adult Self when in emotional situations like the one you've described. You're a great role model!

Anonymous said...

You are a great role model and sincere person. Dont never let anyone verbally abused you again. I read your life story and you have overcame the odds of a million people wished they could do. Like loose two hundred plus pounds. I wish you the best of luck. And keep wearing that swim suit of yours . You deserved it.

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