I took yet another leisurely half day today so that I could take P to the weekly gathering of our Mums and (now)Toddlers group, which I have not attended in at least 6 months. I was excited about catching up with the other mums and seeing how much the other kids had grown and their speech developed. However, as there is always one of those popping up in nearly every tale of mine, I spent most of the time trying not to cry and telling myself that I needn't leave 2 hours early much as I wanted to.
One of the other mothers, a mere slip of a thing, has recently been diagnosed with PCOS, the syndrome/disease/ruiner of a happy life which I have. This woman is truly pocket-sized, in that she is about 5'4 and can't weigh more than 90 lbs. As soon as I heard her say PCOS, I panicked, as all of the other women know that I too have PCOS and that it accounts for my pleasing plumpness. I knew they were looking at her and thinking, "She's so thin - she may snap in half just picking up a plastic fork!", then turning to look at me and no doubt musing, "That one, on the other hand, has guided far too many plastic forks loaded with massive lumps of cheesecake into her gaping maw, so what's the deal here?"
The operative word here is "thinking" - as in, these thoughts may have occurred to them, yet they didn't verbalise them. However, the kind lady sitting to my right, never known for her tact actually said, "So you both have the same problem and in you it makes you underweight, and it makes you (Pru) overweight?" Oh no she didn't just...
Yeah, she totally did. Not a waking hour of my life goes by without me lamenting my weight, and prior to this act of aggression I was sitting there, feeling fat, cumbersome, and frumpy. Clearly all that I needed was to have my name verbally connected to "overweight". This statement has imprinted itself onto my brain, just like every other casually ignorant statement that family and acquaintances have said to me in the past 10 years since I gained the PCOS weight. It keeps the company of "Only fat women have big boobs - sorry Pru, but it is true" (said by brother-in-law to make his flat-chested wife feel better), "Us larger girls need to stick together" (said by a former co-worker easily 80lbs heavier than me), and "Most clothes don't flatter bodies like ours" (said by my mother, a woman both heavier and more ill-proportioned than me).
So thank you to all of the people that carve even more chinks into my already-flimsy, damaged self-esteem. I need to have another reason to hate myself so much that I feel I need to feel a lot of physical pain in an effort to lessen the emotional pain. Thank you for further making me question how I will ever be a good mother to a daughter.