Shit, you guys; you're always locked out of the stuff you did on the internet a million years ago. Not this time. Mysterious & lovely.
I have been excavating, again, some more, which is how I wound up here. I read Jen Larsen's piece on Refinery29 today because someone linked something else there on Facebook and then her name popped up and I was all, "didn't she used to be...?" and I read it and she did used to.
And I used to, too.
A long time ago, Jen and I had an exchange on this very website, which I remembered and found. And just a couple of weeks ago, I read through old archives of Fatshionista, which, bless you for what you were and are no longer; goodnight, sweet prince(ss).
And now as never before, I have been talking to my therapist about fat and fatness; I have been weeping through therapy sessions, getting angry. All of this is bound up in the excavation impulse that brought me to this corner of the internet I created & abandoned.
I feel sad for having abandoned it. I feel sad for the work I was starting to do here and elsewhere, and I'm not sure why I stopped doing it, but I feel very much like I need to pick it up and have lost time. Valuable time. Time I need and won't get back.
But I just read the post I wrote for Fatshionista on my body history. I note its closing air of triumph. I have emerged victorious from the body wars, I imply. I can hear that tone in some of my posts here, too. And that triumph was/felt real: I remember vividly the visceral thrill of the months just after recovery, the inkling that I could live normally, things could be different. I could be a regular person.
Or only with sacrifices. I think I sacrificed my investment in the thought possibilities of fat to my deep craving for normalcy. I wanted to try to be a regular person. Having at least partially dispelled my sense that I was unqualified for normalcy because fat, I wanted to give that a shot. I wanted to be like other girls, with a job and a boyfriend and an apartment in Brooklyn. I had all those things. And I've puttered along; I have them still. I have a different job (do you count "graduate student" as a job?) and a different boyfriend and a different apartment in Brooklyn (after three years away). I have all these markers of normalcy; I chat with my beautiful friends about our lives and because I am being a regular person, I don't draw attention to the ways in which our lives diverge. But when they fail to see or fail to acknowledge or offend me over the way our lives diverge, I burn with grief and rage.
Since I stopped keeping this blog, I have gone through two full (well, not quite, since by the end of my tenure here I was clearly on the upswing again, and feeling rocky about it) weight cycles of my sixty-to-seventy-pound range. I want to tell my younger self, "Oh, honey. Buckle up. Hang on tight."
Through these cycles I have kept mum. I have never said shit to anyone about being fat, not beyond the theoretical, the analytical. I have pretended I am just like them, the girls who can buy jeans in stores they just happen to be passing, the girls who can put up an internet-dating profile without having to contemplate the difficult prospect of how to present their bodies; I have pretended my friends do not have eyes and cannot see (only explanation for thinking that no one will notice that I'm never the same size for more than a few months on end if I don't mention it).
This is what's got me excavating again: I'm at the bottom. Again. I'm probably the smallest I've been in my adult life (I know this because I still have those jeans I bought, the Gap 20s, and they fit—not like in a hey-let's-leave-the-house way, but in a these-pants-contain-my-volume way) and frankly, it has got me riled. It is worth noting that I appear, given my behavior, to only feel able to talk about fatness when I am below a certain size. I am below that size, and God, I want to talk about fatness. I want to talk about it and write about it. I want to figure it out.