While helping my son ease off to sleep tonight, in what may have been the first moments of quiet this entire day, I had a minute to think about what purpose my fat is serving for me. Doing this sort of work is like retracing your steps when you've misplaced something. I start out with a perceived fact: my fat keeps people at a distance. Then I ask another question: why would I want to keep people at a distance? Because I'm
Afraid they'll reject me. Why would they reject me if I am not fat? (As a child I was painfully thin until about 8 yrs). They would reject me because I am painfully shy and awkward in social situations. Knowing what to say or how to make a conversation go somewhere does not come naturally to me, I have to really think about it and force myself to do it, but when I was little, it was considered bad manners to not look at someone when they speak to you; rude to not answer their questions and delight in meaningless chatter as if every stranger my parents introduced me to was suddenly my best friend.
I was shy and awkward as a child, I postured my hands a lot and have always been sensitive to sensory things more than others around me; the laundry aisle at the store tortures me with the obnoxious over-scented fabric softners, the loud music and large crowds always made me want to wait in the car, even if it would be hours, the taste of green peas made me feel like someone just cut the lawn and was feeding me the trimmings. I have tested high on autism scales (Baron-Cohen) and have two sons with autism myself, but never thought about the reality of what that means for how I perceived my childhood. What if my mom was emotionally available but I am just remembering the times when she wasn't because I wasn't equipped to handle such frustrations? What if I am over-dramatic (like my sons) because I have issues with regulating emotions? I often had difficulty in situations where a particular emotional response was expected, like funerals or large family gatherings.
What it means, whether it could be true or not, is that I use my fat to protect me from my fear of being rejected. That is a huge unearthing and it is a real raw gem that's been hiding under a blanket of dirt.
I'm so glad I have this time to go within and find some of these answers.