One time I asked a boyfriend why he suddenly started having an interest in me after knowing me for so long. In high school we were friends and he knew I had a crush on him. Our sense of humor was similar and we always had fun together when we hung out with others in a group. He told me that he knew that I had a crush on him in high school and at a certain point he considered pursuing something more with me. These answers seemed almost like a deflection. I asked him again why he didn’t try to talk to me or go further. He asked me if I was sure I wanted to know and that he kind of didn’t want to tell me. I told him that it was fine and he shouldn’t be afraid to tell me. Finally he said, “Well, I wasn’t attracted to you because I thought you were fat. I also thought you were cool and nice, but I just wasn’t attracted to you.”
It was true, I was overweight in high school. I met Chad freshman year and we began being friends sophomore year when I was thirty pounds overweight. I lost most of the weight junior year and was my lightest senior year. Chad and I reconnected my second year of college when I was still pretty in shape. Before this, our developing relationship was going the routine course, although there always was something off about Chad. During the time we dated he was going through somewhat of a crisis. He was a third year engineering student and with every class he took he came face to face with the fact that he hated what he was studying. His parents were dead set on him becoming an engineer and were paying for his schooling and apartment, so you could see Chad’s dilemma.
Looking back I think there was a lot emotionally wrong with Chad. When he dropped the big weight bomb on me, I was crushed. I could see the pain on his face while he was telling me, but he had a choice to share it. But honestly I wasn’t surprised that he said it, everything seemed too good to be true. I realized in that moment that he was an extremely selfish person who had little consideration for other’s feelings. I wouldn’t say he’s a full-blown narcissist, but I think during this dark time in his life he had little thought or regard for others.
This incident with Chad is the driving reason why I’m so uncomfortable in my skin today. I’m not as fit as I was back then, in fact I’m about as heavy as I was when I first started my fitness journey. I’m constantly questioning myself in my head: “Am I ugly?” and “does anyone find me attractive or valuable?” There are good days and bad, and all I can do is try my best to be healthy instead of beating my body into submission like I did in high school and college. I couldn’t enjoy a lot of things most teens or young adults could because I was either on a strict diet or I had to go work out. Now I try to say yes to both in order to create a more healthy balance in my life.
I told the story about Chad to my next boyfriend Quinn. When I finished telling Quinn, he had the appropriate responses of “you’re perfect” and “you’re beautiful no matter what size you are.” It was reassuring to hear and it also checked the boxes in my mind which convinced me that Quinn could never hurt me like Chad did. But in the end I was wrong, Quinn sexually assaulted me a few weeks after we started dating. I don’t think I need to go into detail about how this affected my life. But I will say that almost five years later the feelings I felt during the assault sometimes protrude into my sexual relationship with my husband.
I broke up with Chad and Quinn shortly after both of these unfortunate events. The most ironic thing about all of it was how much they said I hurt them by breaking up with them. I felt nothing when I ended the relationships, my feelings toward them were made numb by their selfishness. I’ve also never forgiven them in my heart. If I had the choice to either forget about the relationships I had with those men or forgive them, I’d probably want to get my memory wiped. In my mind they don’t deserve my forgiveness, but I know in the end all I’m doing to continuing the pain they began.
Instead of starting this piece out with “have you ever thought about?” the writer will start with “have I ever thought about?”
Have I ever thought about how I wouldn’t be a piece of shit if I just let myself write? I don’t think I have. I think I’m too busy thinking about how an imaginary reader would perceive me. As if I would ever let anyone read what I write. I think about how I’ll start a blog (which I will link on my insta, of course) but I will never do it. I will never share this murkiness (no that’s not right, you’re trying to use fake words to draw in the reader) umm this… depression seeping through me. I will never show anyone what comes out, because when I do I over analyze (duh, this is obviously a product of over thinking, redundant ).. I mean, I get self conscious, because why do you even have anything worthwhile to say anyways? There are beautiful people sharing their art and encouraging stories, there are people sharing their families and lives and pets. Here you are sitting at home thinking about yourself, again. Are those people thinking about themselves? Probably. But you’re worse for doing it. You wanna know why? Because you’re a bad person.
I think I don’t let myself write when I want to because I judge myself. I can’t let myself write the words in my mind down because they’re silly, they’ve been written before or no one will find them worth reading. But at the same time I also think there’s something comforting in reading things by someone who thinks like you. The thoughts you feel are something I’ve felt too and we can feel them together. I don’t know if you know this, but there’s a number one rule about people, we all learned it while we were in high school and middle school. It was that everyone thinks in unique ways but mostly in the same way. I want to finish this off by saying that I think that I’m a four on the enneagram and I’m a Sagittarius, so of course I think everything I do is unique but also everything I do is the same as everyone else.. but more sexy.
I was woken up by the most unbearable itching and burning sensation between my legs. I hit my phone’s home button, 1:37 AM. If I stuck my hand down my shorts and started scratching, I knew I wouldn’t stop rubbing my labia raw for nothing or nobody. I rolled around a few times, rubbing my crotch through my shorts hoping to satisfy what was ravaged by a genital fungus named candida. Out of the forty plus yeast infections I’ve had over the years, this bout was the worst case yet.
I grab my phone in order to distract myself. No funny gifs or moving personal stories on Reddit were taking my mind off the pain of the itch. It was like I had twenty mosquito bites begging to be scratched mixed with the burning sensation of alcohol poured on a wound, all wrapped up like a little fungal present inside of my crotch. The bow on the present was from earlier when scratched too much and created some tiny wounds in the crevices of my labia. I couldn’t help myself, an itch was asking to be scratched and when itched, it mirrored something like an orgasm. But the explosions that waved over your body had a stale aftertaste. And most of all it had an embarrassing hurt.
A few tears rolled down my face and soaked into my pillow. There’s nothing like good ole’ genital discomfort to make a girl feel helpless. I look over at my husband, who conveniently sleep through all of my late night crises. He didn’t seem concerned by my current situation and I wish I didn’t have to be concerned either. I roll around a few more times, finally giving in and edging up to my overwhelming emotions. A few more tears, one or two more scratches and then I open an internet app on my phone to research why and how this yeast infection has gotten so bad. At this point I’ve taken an oral treatment, fluconazole, about sixteen hours ago. That should have been enough time, right? The taupe over-the-counter egg I’ve lodged up there countless times usually gives some sort of relief in about three to four hours. This time I took a pill, which with one google search I end up finding out that the supposed all-powerful fluconazole is extended release. It could take days to give me tangible relief to calm down the pain I was feeling. I start sweating and I lift myself out of bed. I walk to the bathroom and turn on the light, then I cry while I apply hydrocortisone on my poor vagina. I need at least surface-level relief so I can try to sleep again.
I climb into back into bed and I snuggle up to Michael. I’m scared and I’m sick and I don’t want to be alone right now. He stirs and puts his arm around me, drifting back to sleep. For some reason I move away from him and lie on my stomach and I begin to sobbing. I’m good at silent sobbing, I know a lot of women that are, but these sobs were the bed-shaking and deep breathing type. The shake of my sobs wakes up Michael, and thankfully he snuggles up to me. I weep to him about how exhausted I am from being sick all the time and how afraid I was that I was never going to get any better. There it was, the real reason why I was feeling helpless and overcome by my yeast infection: I was afraid that I would never feel like myself again. This has been the theme of every season of my life.