Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Soul Search -- Part 1

Ok, things have been a bit stressful lately, as in the past three months.  My co-worker quit in April and my supervisor retired in June, leaving me as the only full-time employee, and pretty much the only one there.  Thank God for Sharon!  She comes in eight hours a week and helps me, and I don't know what I'd do without her.  The semester starts in two weeks...need I say more?

All complaining aside...

I decided to start seeing a counselor to help me work some things out.  I really like her, and I feel that our sessions will be very beneficial.  Previously, we have talked about how I see myself and how I think others see me, and how it would look if those two lists merged, in other words, how do I want people to see me.  (I think the real issue is how do I want to see myself, but we'll come back to that.)  Last week we talked about why I think I can't do things, or why I think people won't like me.  It sounded stupid to say it out loud and I almost felt ashamed, but I admitted that for me, it all comes back to my weight.

I have been hurt and disappointed by those around me, especially people close to me, and so I've built a sort of cocoon around myself to keep myself safe.  I have a ready excuse for anything bad in my life.  A person doesn't like me: it's  because of my weight.  Someone doesn't think I'm attractive: my weight.  I didn't get to do something: weight.  She looked at me and asked "so are you safe?"  Hmmm.  "Do you still get hurt and disappointed?"  Yes.  "So, you're not really safe then are you?"  No.  She looked me in the eye and said "you need to decide who you want to be, whether it's the same or different, but either way you have to accept your choice."

There is a quote which says that it is the same amount of work to be miserable or happy.  That may be so, but being miserable is familiar work.

Aaron Thomas spoke at our staff day yesterday.  He's the son of the late coach from Parkersburg, Ed Thomas, who was murdered by a former student in 2009.  He talked about how his father made a difference in peoples' lives, how he was über optimistic, maybe to a fault, but could make something good out of tragedy.  He asked us what kind of person we were, if we would be someone's call when they needed someone on whom they could depend.

Sometimes, in order to move forward, you have to actually admit, verbalize those things which you keep hidden down in your innermost self, so bear with me.

What am I really afraid of?

I am not afraid that people don't like me.  I know that people like me, perhaps not as well as I would wish, but they like me nonetheless.  I am not afraid that I am not good enough.  I am good enough.  I am intelligent, creative, and extremely capable and people know it.  I am not afraid that I am worthless and have no potential.  I am not afraid that no one could love me, a fat person.

I am afraid that people really do like me, because then I'd have no excuse to stay away from people.  I am afraid that I am good enough, because then I would have to live up to it.  I am afraid that I am worthwhile and have great potential.  I am afraid that someone could love me and my fat, lumpy body, which I have convinced myself is so disgusting.

I have taken all the horrible things in my life and used them to convince myself that just because a few people in my life have called me awful names, hurt me mentally or physically, that everyone feels that way.  All I see is my fat, so that must be what everyone else sees.  People ask me why I've not dated and I think to myself, "duh, I'm fat!"  In my mind, the answer to everything is, "because I'm fat."

But what if that wasn't my answer...


Am I In A Time Warp?

Geez! As you get older you figure out that the adults in your life actually knew what they were talking about when you thought you knew bet...