Trying to help.

Growing up, I was always on the bigger side. My grandma would try to "help" motivate me to lose weight by saying, "Boys won't think you're pretty if you're fat."

This started when I was five years old.

"Lazy and useless."

My mother, siblings and I were looking over my report card. I had finally gotten all A's and made the high honor roll! I was ecstatic, and I happily told my mom how proud I was of myself. 

Her reply? "Finally. Seems like that's the only thing you're good for."

I told her that I thought I was a pretty good person, and I listed all the things about myself that I was proud of. 

"Yeah, but you still don't pay any bills and you do nothing for the family," she said. "That makes you lazy and useless." 

I was 14 then. I recently graduated from college, and on my graduation day, that was what kept buzzing around in my head. Lazy and useless. I'm the first in my family to graduate from college. But I still feel lazy and useless. 

"What do you expect me to do?"

I got married at 18 and had my son at 19. My husband is almost 20. 

I went to the doctor's office on my due date and was told that I had preeclampsia and had to be induced for the wellbeing of my child. While I was in the middle of pushing, they though the monitors were confusing our heart beats. They were wrong. My son had no heartbeat. I felt something was wrong, but the doctor kept dismissing my fears and acting like my son was fine. I kept telling her that something was wrong and to get him out of me. 

The doctor just looked at me and said, "What do you expect me to do? How do you expect me to get him out?" I begged her for what felt like forever to just cut me open and take him out. She refused. 

When he finally came out, the cord was wrapped so tightly around his neck that it snapped and he lost a lot of blood. He had a seizure. He didn't breathe for over 5 minutes and he was a deep blue/grey. They had to resuscitate him and rush him to another hospital where they had a higher level NICU. I didn't get to hold my baby for over 3 days because he had to be on a cooling pad for HIE and monitored for seizures. 

All because a cocky doctor wouldn't listen to me. Fuck that doctor.

Husband.

One day in my college French class, we were asked to write about how we pictured our lives in ten years. One of the things I wrote was that I hoped to have a husband or wife. I was just starting to come out as bisexual at that time, and I was really proud of myself for boldly including this detail. 

When I got the assignment back, the teacher crossed out "wife" and wrote that I only needed to write "husband." While I was confident writing "husband or wife" I still didn't feel comfortable confronting my teacher about this, and I let it affect my grade. 

This teacher would also go around the room asking girls to describe in French what qualities they liked in boys and vice versa, with the assumption that everyone was straight.

Although I believe that there was no ill will on the teacher's part, her oblivious heteronormativity contributed to my discomfort at a time when I was struggling to come to terms with my sexuality. Looking back, I wish I had said something at the time, and I hope she's more aware now. 

"You deserve it."

My husband was emotionally cruel to me, and then he had an affair. I went to stay with a friend and I asked my husband for a divorce. 

This "friend" told me, "You're too much. No wonder he treats you bad. You deserve it."

Believing this to be true, I went back to my husband. I was a horrible person who deserved to suffer, right?

I got back, he got drunk. He told me that the next time I want to die, he won't stop me because I'm worthless, I'm fat, and he could always do better. He reminded me that even my family thinks that I'm stupid, and they don't want me. 

I live in utter isolation because I don't have real friends, and I feel like I deserve his abuse.

"It's nice to see you."

A few weeks ago, I was in a store, and I heard someone call my name. I turned and looked and saw a guy who I went to high school with, who was kind of a jerk to me back then. He was with his high school sweetheart, and he started making smalltalk with me, which surprised me, since we were never friends. He said, "It's nice to see you; I never see anyone from high school anymore." 

Just hearing, "It's nice to see you," from this guy who used to be mean to me made me feel so good. It reminded me that people can change. 

"You're acting like such a bitch."

A few years ago, my mom and I were fighting yet again. As she stormed out of the room, she said, "You're acting like such a bitch." 

I'd never been called something so hateful in my life, not even jokingly. I was too shocked to cry. The person who I loved more than anything thought I was a bitch. 

Now we're best friends and curse each other out occasionally as a joke, but I will never forget that moment.

"It's rude, inconsiderate, and obnoxious."

"Don't do that. People will judge." - My mom, sparking a lifetime of doubt and anxiety.

"Don't ever invite yourself to people's houses. It's rude, inconsiderate, and obnoxious." - My dad, causing me to constantly be afraid of accidentally inviting myself among friends, and thinking that being obnoxious is the worst social crime I could commit.

"I think you're just bored." - My mom, brushing aside an actually harmful addiction I had in high school, because it might hurt her reputation.

"Hey, I was a jerk before. I just wanted to apologize." - A bully from middle school apologizing to me in high school out of the blue, helping me keep faith that there's always good in humanity.

"She dresses hot."

I was a sophomore in high school, in the second or third week of my relationship with my boyfriend at the time. Homecoming was just around the corner, and I was really excited about going with him.

But then he suddenly broke up with me and said he wanted to go with one of our classmates because, "She dresses hot." 

I'd never thought anything about what I wore until that day. Now I'm extremely self conscious and picky about what I wear.

"Fat girls don't get to wear pretty things."

When I was 8 years old, my sister and I went to my grandfather's house in Arizona. His wife loved my sister and bought her anything she wanted. But when I would even look at something, she would tell me, "Fat girls don't get to wear pretty things."

That was 20 years ago, and to this day I believe that fat girls can't wear pretty things, which is why I wear nothing but sweats and t-shirts. It was just in the last year or so that I started wearing tank tops.