Do you ever feel that, as you age, you, in some ways, become more like your childhood self? That is to say, while in certain respects, you become more mature, you become more responsible, you grow up, in some ways—in your most vulnerable moments, in things that hurt you the most back then—you linger on them a bit longer now, you think about them more deeply, you let them affect you more than you should?
I knew that my weight loss surgery would likely amplify existing (or in some cases, present new) emotional difficulties. The more I lose physically, there is one thing in particular that is harder for me to come to terms with. For years, I blamed my fat for my lack of dating, romantic relationships, for the almost complete lack of interest shown to me from men throughout my adult life. Now, here I am, 90 pounds less of me. I look...normal. I mean, normal, physically. At least I think so. I don't look grossly overweight. Here I am, working so hard, dedicated, committed to changing my lifestyle and rebuilding a body I neglected for so long.
And still...no romance. No interest. No...nothing.
It's really terrifying.
That means that it may not have been the fat at all that made me...undesirable. Unlovable. It appears that it's just...me. Me, inside. It doesn't matter if I'm 300 pounds or 200 pounds or less. I've garnered as much attention now as I did before. Which is none.
I'll repeat: It is terrifying to come to the realization that something inside of you is broken. Something about you fundamentally as a person is a deterrent to the opposite sex. I can't fix who I am. I don't know how to change me. To be honest, I don't want to. Does that mean that I have to accept the possibility that I might just be one of those people who never experiences real, honest, genuine love?
When I was a kid (and I have mentioned this in a past post), I remember playing Barbies with my best friend, and she would talk about her future husband, how many children she wanted...I remember it as clear as day, I was sitting on my knees, staring down at my blond-haired doll, and thinking to myself, "But to be married, someone has to want you. What if no one wants you?"
A self-fulfilling prophecy, it seems.
I run on the treadmill, I cry sometimes. The tears blend in with sweat and no one can tell. I'm running to exhaust myself. To wear out my brain and drain the sadness and drown out the feelings of inferiority and shame and self-loathing, and the person inside that has never been enough to warrant second dates, has been toyed with and rejected and treated like garbage and lives only to serve as the unwilling sidekick for beautiful friends. I wish I could remember every time I've watched as my friends get approached, hit on, flirted with...and I'm next to them, right next to them, but I'm invisible. I watch friends date, enter relationships, cry over broken hearts, find someone new right around the corner, and do it all again. They're living. It's not always easy, but it's life. That's life. I feel like I'm missing out on this amazing part of life, something that makes it so exciting and beautiful and special and I won't ever have it. Not only will I not have it, I haven't even come close in my 33 years in existence.
You know how sometimes you think, "If I were to die tomorrow, would I be happy with the life I led? Will I have experienced everything I wanted to?" And for most things you might think of, they're things that you can make happen. You can quit your shit job and follow your dream. You can travel the world and embrace new experiences. You can mend broken relationships. You can eat better, change your body, truly transform if you really work at it.
What I want—love, someone to love me, the one thing I want, and have not had—I can't make it happen on my own. I need someone else. For someone as fiercely independent as me, this is a very humbling revelation. Humbling and heartbreaking. And the years go by, and nothing changes. No one comes. No one calls. I'm used and discarded, emotionally. Because of this, I become more angry. I become more cynical. Bitter. Jealous. Sharp. So fucking furious at the world. I am so angry lately, I don't know what to do. I'm rude and impatient and nothing and no one makes me happy, and it's all because of so much hurt and fear that no one can see, and no one can really understand.
I don't know what to do about all of this, so I work out. Hard. I push myself. I try to exercise as much control as I possibly can over the only thing I feel in control of anymore: my body. And I watch it change, and shift, and morph, and grow stronger and stronger on the outside. And inside, I just feel smaller and smaller with every day without someone to love.
And there's nothing at all I can do about it.