I’m ten years old. The words cut to the core and break me down…again. What have I done this time? There isn’t a need to play dirty. I’m ashamed once again at your hand. Your words mean more to me than just about anyone. You know this…and take full advantage. I don’t understand what has occurred. I don’t have the perspective. Sadly, you don’t either and your own pain and self-loathing manifests through your words and actions as a mean to deflect your need to self-examine. As I grow, so does your self-loathing and spiral along with the insults.
“You’re fat….that’s disgusting I don’t want to see that…no woman will ever love you if you are fat…you’re worthless…you’re a fucking failure…you’ve failed as a son…you’re no son of mine…pack your shit and get the hell out of here…”
It’s Halloween Night. It is about 7:00 PM. I’m in the gym – alone, just the way I love it – and I’ve just finished a set of air squats. I’ve finally mastered the technique. All of those back exercises – dead lifts, Romanian dead lifts, and good mornings – really worked wonders. A technique that was so challenging now seems much simpler with a stronger lower back. Trapezius muscles are also on tap tonight – a personal favorite. But first, the result of drinking so much water in the gym…
While in the locker room, I weigh myself. I am back up to 225 lbs. I was sitting at 241 lbs earlier in the year but I look and feel leaner. People are often surprised I weigh that much. I’m not sure what their expectation is but it obviously isn’t what I exhibit.
I stop and briefly look in the mirror. I’m creeping towards my mid-30s and the mirror is still a source of pain. After bottoming out, in just about everything, I’ve completely transformed my body in three and a half years. My shirt is starting to ride up due to my expanding lattissimus dorsi muscles. Women have paid much more attention to me in recent years. The compliments on my figure come often – usually accompanied by a smile. Oh, and the blue eyes. The women always love the blue eyes.
It is flattering but yet still somewhat awkward and makes me feel uncomfortable. The same pain that keeps me from looking in the mirror also makes me shy away from compliments and attention as they have always bothered me. I think the worst thing anyone could do to me is place me in the middle of a room and surround me with people that are clapping. I think I’d try to dig a hole to hide in. And, I’ve figured out why.
I remember your words and I hear them. I haven’t spoken to you in over 10 years but I hear your voice like it was 20 years ago. The words cut and the wounds become fresh.
I step away from the mirror….
I wish you could see me now. I started this journey because of you and all the terrible things you said to me. I wanted them to stop. But, as I’d soon learn, it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with how you viewed yourself. If you were here, you’d say the same things all over again, because though it has been over ten years, I know nothing has changed.