On Saturday, I took a day off from visiting with my Mom to go to the Penn State scrimmage game with my Dad. This is a tradition we’ve had since I was in middle school. Over the course of time, it got larger and more people were included along on the trip. Which is fine by me. Mostly, its people he knows from the firehouse so it’s people I’ve grown up with my entire life. I enjoy them — for the most part. My boyfriend also went along for the ride this year.
I normally look forward to going. And this time wasn’t any different. This will probably be the last game that I get to go to, seeing as I’m planning to move to Florida either March or April next year. I’ll be lucky if I’m here by the time it rolls around. Which is why I’m saddened by the outcome — most of which is my own brain’s fault.
I didn’t go in to watch the game this year. The minute we got to State College, my father and his friends began their ogling of the student body — the female student body. Comments were flying, whistles were blowing, salutes were made. At one point, there was a girl probably half my size (if not smaller), walking along with her friends. With her, came the comment that she could be a line backer. And I was done.
This is an event that used to make me feel happy, feel special. It was something I got to do with my Dad without interference. The comments like that didn’t happen. Of course, I was a kid at that point and happily unaware of the humanity of my Dad. He is, after all, a guy. He has eyes and hormones and stupidity.
I no longer felt happy. In fact, I didn’t even feel comfortable being there. Sure, I was getting to spend time with my Dad, but not really. Not the kind of time we used to spend. There was no bonding. There was hardly even bits of conversation. I stayed in the RV the entire day. He was out playing tailgating games with his buds and staring at short-shorts.
My boyfriend attempted to be the good guy. Told me not to let the comment get to me. But he knew it was too late. It already had, and I sat there avoiding eye contact with everyone and trying not to cry.
I faked a headache to get out of leaving the safety of the RV. I didn’t want to step outside and walk (or attempt to walk — bum ankle on this fat ass) what felt like an incredibly long distance to the stadium so that I could sit on the bleachers out in the open where everybody could point and laugh at the heavy weight. I stayed behind, missed out on the game, all because I couldn’t bring myself to get out of my comfort zone.
I hate my body. I absolutely hate it. But I hate my brain even more. It sabotages me on a regular basis. Every time I feel like I’ve taken a step forward in accepting myself, in learning to love myself, the thoughts rear their ugly little heads again. It’s hard to get knocked down a few pegs when you’ve barely made it off the ground in the first place.
I won’t ever tell my Dad any of this. I won’t tell him that I didn’t go into the game because I didn’t want to be the girl everybody else saw and made comments to their friends about being a line backer. More like a sumo wrestler, in my case. I won’t tell him that I hid inside because I rather frequently feel undeserving of the light of day. Because it’s true. I do.
I’m quiet and anti-social because I don’t want to be judged for being less than everyone else. Sometimes, I feel like even the people closest to me are judging me. Like my Mom when she tells me she wishes I could do something about my weight. Hell, I even feel like my sister is judging me just by posting all the skinny selfies she posts.
I can’t do that. I can’t post a selfie. None of them ever turn out well. All I see is a cow staring back at me. Every flaw, every bit of flub, everything that the world finds ugly.
Someday, I hope that I don’t see that. I hope that I can accept myself. I hope that I don’t hide anymore. I want to be able to take a picture and actually think I look beautiful. I want to feel beautiful.
Today is not that day.