...so today, an old elementary school friend posted several old pictures on Facebook. I was thrilled to see how cute we all were, in our school photos...all dressed up with ribbons in our hair. There were a few photos that unsettled me. It shows a very pretty (if I do say so myself) little girl with a far off look in her eyes.
That little girl was sitting at a birthday party at a pizza place. She might have been eight or nine at the time...not quite sure. The little girl did not look like she was having fun...she looked like she was deep in thought. All of the other girls in the picture were smiling, especially the birthday girl. That little dark blonde, blue eyed girl in the blue dress was worried. She was worried about how much bigger she was than everyone at the table. She was worried about actually having to eat in front of the other, much smaller girls. The little girl in the blue dress was worried that her mother would be mad if she found out she ate too much pizza or too much cake. That little girl had already been put on a diet, and she could not mess up. That little girl did not sit up straight because then she would tower over the other, much more petite little girls. That girl was thinking about how the waistband of her tights was cutting into her sides, and that she was so fat.
That little girl is me.
So many memories washed over me as I saw that picture. First, I thought how thin I looked. How could I have been put on a diet to lose a few pounds??? I was skinny!!! Sure, I was tall and had big feet...but I was certainly not fat. Then I remembered that, at that point in my life, I had already learned to avoid scales...when it came time for the school nurse to weigh us every year, I pretended that I did not hear the number that she gave me. I did not compare my number with the number of all of the other little girls. I was afraid that I weighed more than my teacher!!!
I get sad for the little girl in that photo...I get mad that she did not stand up for herself. How could she have??? My psycharitist says that my mother was neglectful...I don't see her as being neglectful by any stretch of the imagination. My mom had a lot on her plate...that should not be an excuse, but she was a young mother with four children at that point. If she was doing Weight Watchers, then so was I. I remember a lot of cucumbers and cottage cheese. My mom must have had a different idea of what her oldest daughter should look like...she is the oldest in her family, so that makes me sad for her.
Take a peek at the pic if you can... http://www.facebook.com/#/photo.php?pid=835900&id=1409535951&fbid=1288472217783 I am not sure what sort of privacy settings it has, but I am tagged in it, so you should be able to see it in my photos.
Love to All.