Sunday, September 14, 2014

I've heard this before. That doesn't make it any nicer.

There's so much that I'd like to write—I've been working on posts about the gathering I went to at the end of July, actually—but right now, I've got something on my mind that's been bothering me a bit.

You see, a couple of weeks ago, my best friend confessed to me that although he loves me, he can never find me attractive because I'm fat.

I'm not in love with him, but it hurt almost as much (as I can say from bitter experience) as it would have if I had been.  My emotions, when I've thought of what he said, have run from sad to indifferent to angry and back to a sort of tired neutrality.  I've heard it before, after all—minus the "I love you," which somehow made it worse this time in some ways—and I'm kind of tired of it.

I believe him when he says he loves me.  He's not the sort to say this kind of thing lightly or without sincerity; even if he really doesn't love me, it's safe to say that he believes that he does.  And I believe him when he says that he doesn't actually see me as ugly and that he finds his reaction to my fatness to be somewhat difficult to understand.

But the fact remains that on some level, he agrees with the people who have called me any number of horrible things because of my weight.  And it hurt to hear him say that what he would want in a partner is basically me, but not fat.  I was surprised at how much it hurt, actually.  He's tried to figure out whether this is something caused by current societal attitudes towards those of us who possess ample figures, but it's so deeply ingrained in him now that he doesn't think he'll ever be able to get rid of it, no matter how much he wishes he could. 

I have to admit that I wonder whether he's actually tried.

Chief among the things that I've been thinking since we had that conversation is that I'm deeply afraid that if I could click with somebody this well—we are totally comfortable with each other, and we know each other so well that we've been at the point where we can practically read each other's minds for quite some time now—and yet still be very unattractive to him, then there really is nobody in the world who's capable of really loving me, through and through, as I am, and not as they would rather I could be.  Not for my fat, as people who only find themselves attracted to fat women might, and not in spite of it, as my best friend does.  Just me, as the Gods and my genetics made me, and as the person I am coming to be.

Because I don't want to be defined by my fatness.  I want it to be just another of my many descriptors, physical or otherwise, and no more or less attractive than my hair (long, wavy, and red-brown), my height (about five feet, seven inches) or my eye colour (a weird shade that's a mix of green, grey, and blue).  If I wear it as a badge of honour, it's because I've earned that by surviving the countless hurts that have been inflicted on me because of social standards relating to it even by well-meaning family and friends.  But at heart, I just want it to be part of me, not my most significant characteristic.

I want it to be neutral.

And as unlikely as I know it is, I want to be loved by someone who's up to the task as my best friend, however fond of me he is, apparently never will be.  I want to be seen as a woman, a person—not just a fat one.  I don't want my body, such a basic part of what I am, to be seen as a disgusting flaw.  If I'm difficult to love, I don't want it to be because of my clothing size—I'd rather that it was because of my personality flaws, because at least they aren't superficial reasons as anything related to my appearance is.  And I want to be found attractive by someone I find attractive, too.

This seems to be too much to ask, though.  And as much as I'm content with our relationship, I must say that it would have been lovely if he had been able to love my body along with the rest of me.  But he can't.

The hurt that I feel over this will be with me for a while yet.  It'll pass, though.  It always does. 

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