Tag Archives: depression

Diary of a Fat Girl- Part 3

It really isn't funny at all.

Isn’t it strange how some things from the past we can recall with total clarity while what we had for breakfast this morning totally eludes us?  I remember starting at a new high school after the school year had already started.  It was 1972 and at this particular high school, 8th graders were included as opposed to being in middle school.  It was hard enough being the new girl, much less being a “subbie” (that is what the upper classmen called us).  It was also more difficult because I was overweight.  I was not extremely obese at that point in my life, but I was bigger in many ways than most of the other girls…hell, even some of the guys!  I have always been tall as well as big, so that also put me in the spotlight. I remember one of my nicknames (given to me by a boy) was “moose”.  I did not particularly enjoy that nickname, but it was infinitely better than “fatty fatty two by four, couldn’t get through the bathroom door” or fat ass, lard ass, thunder thighs….and the list goes on.


I had made friends with several people (quite easily) because I decided I would NOT be a silent wallflower.  I have always been friendly and easy to get along with and I never knew a stranger.  Like most high school kids, they divided into groups or “factions”.  In our school, it was the geeks or nerds…the jocks…the far-outs or stoners…and then the kids who pretty much fit in wherever they wanted.  I was one of those kids, with the exception of the jock group.  Although I had friends in that group, I never fit in with them because I was not athletic.  I did, however, hang out with the far-outs and the nerds.  I had good friends in both of those groups.  Rather than being athletic, I was given the gift of song…so I joined the chorus.  When I watch the show Glee, it kind of reminds me of my high school days because chorus geeks were not exactly in the “in-crowd”.

So, my life in high school was not all bad.  I had some great friends, did my chorus thing and got decent grades.  Then there were the times when I would come home from school crying.  Someone had said something or done something to hurt me.  I was never able to shake off things like that.  I guess it’s because I always wore my heart on my sleeve…still do.  I remember one incident so distinctly.  It’s like it happened only yesterday, when in fact it was 38 years ago.

Two girls (names will be left out) came up to me in the hall one day and told me that one of the football players (again, no names) had a crush on me.  They gave me a note that was supposedly from him.  I opened the note and read it and it said that he thought I was hot and then proceeded to ask if I wanted to go steady.  I should have listened to that little voice in my head that told me they were playing a mean joke on me.  But I didn’t.  I guess I just wanted it to be true because the football player was so cute.  I should have known better.  The note said that if I wanted to go steady, that he was going to put his ring in his desk and that I should get it after class.  Silly me, as soon as the bell rang and the kids cleared out, got up and went over to the  desk and started rummaging around inside looking for the ring.  All of a sudden, I heard a lot of laughing and giggling coming from the doorway to the classroom.  There stood the two girls and a few other people they had clued in on the joke.  My heart fell as I realized a cruel joke had been played on me.  I can’t remember for sure if they had told the football player about the joke or not.  All I knew is that I felt like someone had knocked the breath out of me.  Hot tears flooded my eyes and streamed down my face as I ran down the hall.  I went home sick that day and was out for the next two days afterward.

I never got an apology from those girls.  I don’t even know if they really knew how badly they had hurt me or if they even
cared.  I often wonder if karma came back around and bit them on the ass.

More later……..

The opposite end of the scale. It's not funny either.

Diary of a Fat Girl, Part 2

Take Up Space by Heather Keith Freeman 8×12″, pen and ink on vellum

I had gone to a department store that was popular during this time period.  It was called Rich’s.  I think I was around 18 or 19 years old.  Now, in this store…there was a department called (I believe I remember it correctly) the Regency department.  My mother had sent me to pick up a dress they were holding for her.  Now mind you, this department was very “exclusive” and they only carried “normal” sizes.  I spent a few moments looking around before going up to the counter.  Before I even had the chance to get to the counter, a woman approached me almost mowing me down!  She looked me up and down and with a reproachful look on her face said “Miss, we do not fit YOUR SIZE (she emphasized the “your size” part) in this department!”  I just looked at her.  Did I really just hear her say that???  “Well lady, I said…I am not here for me.  I am here to pick up a very expensive dress my mom has waiting to be paid for and picked up”.  I wish I could describe the look on her face just then.  It was really quite priceless.  I almost called my mom right then and there to tell her what had happened.  I know she would have told me to tell the lady to put her dress where “the sun don’t shine”.  But, I didn’t do that.  I just stood at the counter while the sales lady fumbled around ringing up the dress.  It was apparent that she was flustered…but not for the reason you would think.  Rather than being embarrassed about being so rude to me, I think she was more worried about losing a sale.  It sort of reminds me of that scene in “Pretty Woman” where Julia Roberts goes into that swanky shop looking for clothes and the sales ladies were rude to her because of how she looked.  I waited until I was out of the store for the waterworks to be turned on.  I cried all the way home.

A couple of years later, I was invited over to my boyfriend’s place of employment (Days Inn) to go swimming.  As usual, I dressed in a pair of cut offs and a t-shirt.  I would not wear a swimsuit.  To this day, I still don’t.   Everyone was already out by the pool.  I hated that, because I knew I had to make a solo entrance.  So there was no “blending in” with the crowd.  I noticed there were motel guests there swimming as well as my boyfriend, his brother and the rest of our friends.  I walked across the pavement and descended the stairs, smiling at my friends and waving.  There was a guy in a floating lounge chair with some girls surrounding him.  They were all staring at me.  I started to make my way across the pool to my friends and heard the guy say “Wow, I did not know they allowed hippos in this pool”.  His gal pals all giggled at his joke.  I was mortified.  Embarrassed and hurt, I turned around and got out of the pool as fast as I could.  I ran all the way to my boyfriend’s room where I cried my eyes out.  I later found out that the guy had been a paraplegic.  That amazed me completely.  Here is someone who is handicapped and is probably familiar with staring eyes and whispered words…making fun of me.  Searching for an answer, I could only come up with the reason that perhaps he was trying to take the spotlight off of himself and put it on me.  I don’t really know.  I do know that it hurt.  It hurt deeply.

These are two examples of discrimination, ignorance and how words can cut deeply.  These were not the first, nor would they be the last that I was to endure.  Keep in mind that I dieted for years…enjoying  success at times and finding failure at others.   But it seemed that when I came up against people like these, I spiraled downward.  It was a constant struggle.

In my next blog, I will talk about my high school experiences….some of them the most painful.  Kids can be cruel, they say.  They, whoever they are, are correct.

Wolf Mom

Diary of a Fat Girl, Part 1

There is always something to smile about

I see the way you look at me. I see the sidelong glances as I walk by. Sometimes, it’s not even a glance…it’s a head-on stare as you look down your nose at me. I hear the giggles and the jokes. I feel the animosity radiate off of you.  You hate what you don’t understand…or so I am told. Understand this… I am a human being, just like you. I bleed. I cry. I  hurt.

I AM FAT.  There, I said it.  No sugar-coating, no cute little nicknames for it.   Plain and simple, I am a fat person.  Am I happy about it?  Of course not.  Do I blame only myself?  Sometimes, but I know there are more reasons behind it.   Do I wish I were of  “normal” size?  Of course I do!  It sure would have made my life a little easier.   Have I tried dieting, you ask?  The only answer I can give you for that is, DUH!

My weight issue has been a lifelong battle.  I have been passed over for jobs, chased out of department stores, stared at, made fun of, had pranks played on me.  You name it, I have been through it.  But you know what?  It has made me a stronger person.  It has also taught me how to be forgiving, more intuitive, more outgoing and more appreciative of who I am inside.  I guess you could say that instead of turning it in and letting it bring me down…I turned it out and decided to live my life and be the best human being I could be.

You may ask me…why are you writing this?  Why are you putting something painful and embarrassing out there for the world to see?  Because I want to inspire those that are walking in my moccasins AND let those who never had a weight problem in their life know what it’s like.  Perhaps I can prevent someone from being bullied.  Perhaps I can inspire a kind word instead of a hateful word.  Perhaps I can make someone THINK before they act.

This blog will be in parts.  It will not be chronological.  It will be remembrances of things in my life as they come to me.  Part 1 is an introduction.    Part 2 will be coming shortly.  Please feel free to leave comments on this and upcoming parts of this blog, if it touches you in any way.

Oh, by the way…the old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me”……IS SO NOT TRUE!

So this is supposed to be funny?


Living With Disabilities

Me and Brandon
We Don't Look Sick

When you are young, you tend to believe that you are indestructible.   Everything is laid out before you…the world is your oyster.  For many, it can turn out that way.  For many others, it certainly does not.

When I was 37…I had a job, a husband, a home, a child, a life.  When I was 38, I lost a lot of that.  In 1996, I started having trouble walking.  My feet hurt me almost constantly.  I went to see my doctor, thinking it was my feet complaining about my weight.  He examined me, asked me a bunch of questions, then sent me home with some anti inflammatory medicine.   A few weeks later, it had gotten worse.  It progressed upwards to my knees.  By that time, I was having trouble getting up in the morning and going to work.  I was in extreme pain every day.  I went back to my doctor and he proceeded to send me to a rheumatologist.   I was asked a series of questions, had a series of blood tests done and was poked and prodded.  The next day, the specialist called me to come back in to his office.  He sat me down and proceeded to tell me I had rheumatoid arthritis, aka RA.  I did not totally understand the ramifications of what he had told me.  I knew it was some sort of joint problem, but I had no idea at all of the directions the disease could take and what it would mean to my life.

In three months, the disease had me bed-ridden.  I had to stop working and go out on long-term disability.  I could hardly walk unassisted.  I required either a wheel chair or canes/walkers.  I was in intense, miserable physical pain every day.  My joints swelled in every part of my body.  My knees got so much fluid on them, they looked like basket balls and had to be drained every so often.  I lost the ability to cook, clean and keep my home.  I lost the ability to have fun with my hobbies.  I lost the ability to play with my son.  I lost the ability to have hope.

Trip after trip to the specialist, medicine after medicine tried…nothing was really working.  Most of the drugs I was put on made me sick and lifeless.  Pain medicine was a necessity.  I feel into a deep depression.  At one point in my treatment…I went into his office and told him point-blank that if he did not help me, if he did not stop the pain…I was going to get a gun and blow my brains out.  Believe me, a deep dark part of me meant that too.  He put me on antidepressants for my depression and morphine patches for the pain.  He continued to switch up my medicines, searching for something that might slow down the progression of this awful disease.

In 2004, my knees were gone.  I was in a wheelchair most of the time.  My poor son was my caregiver most of the time.  He had to help me up and down off the couch and in and out of the car.  He watched me struggle through the pain on a daily basis and had to witness me cry my eyes out from the pain.  I hated that most of all.

It ended up that I had bone on bone in my knees, the cartilage was gone.  I was sent to an orthopedic surgeon by my rheumatologist, who told me I needed a total knee replacement in both knees.   I underwent my first knee replacement in February of 2004 and my second in September of 2004.  It took a lot of rehabilitation and patience on my part, but I was finally able to walk again.  I began to do some of the things I had been unable to do once again.  I had been given a reprieve!

Years later, my hip began to show signs of giving up.  When it was x-rayed by my doctor, I had lost almost all cartilage in it.  So, in 2010 I had my right hip replaced.  I have to say, it was by far, the worst of my surgeries and the longest recuperation time as well.  I experienced very intense pain after the surgery and thought I would never make it…but I did.  In 2011, I am now getting around pretty well again.

One thing that people always say to me is “Wow, you don’t look sick”.  Or “Well, you are getting around pretty good now.  Why don’t you go back to work?”  I have tried.  The nature of RA is that the disease is unpredictable.  You can have a flare up at any time.  They can replace your joints (thank God) and they can load you down with meds that make you feel like crap.  But bottom line is, right now…it’s incurable.  Sure, I am luckier than a lot of people…at least I don’t have cancer.  But the point is, it’s still my disease to deal with.  It still affects my life.  Now, my son is affected even more than he was when he was taking care of me.  He now has his own illness to deal with.

In 2010, I also found out that my son has MS.  In retrospect, he was showing symptoms years before the major attack that put him in the hospital.  He went to the emergency room barely able to walk, due to the fact that he could not feel his legs or feet.  They admitted him after a grueling 24 hour emergency room ordeal.  After blood work, MRI’s and spinal taps…they were finally able to tell us that he indeed has MS.  I can not tell you how devastated I was to find out that my son was afflicted with such an awful autoimmune disease…even worse than my own.  I had heard that autoimmune diseases could run in families…so I prayed he would never get RA.  I had no idea that not only would he develop one, but it would be far worse.

My son is 24 years old.  I blogged about him here under the story “Were You Born That Way”.  He is a wonderful, intelligent, sweet and caring young man.  It seems he just can’t catch a break.  I will be talking to him later on and getting his thoughts and feelings on being diagnosed with this disease.  I will then write another blog entirely about him.  Please check back for more on Brandon and MS.