Truth is the best policy, though sometimes lying can stop a beating.


Empaths and Weight: Part 3

As in the previous entry, this is an examination of the causes of my self-esteem which I theorize contributed to my weight gain. It is written, not as a victim’s story, but so others may see themselves in me.

Nowadays I cringe at all the fundamental errors I made while trying to find a partner back in the 70 to mid-90s. It’s clear to me what I could have done differently, but while I was doing them, I could not see it at all. The entire process was not only a mystery to me, but I swore what I was doing was logical to me; hence it should be logical to everyone else.

I am also thankful I didn’t succeed as it would not have brought me any happiness, at least not after the initial short term.

As stated, even though I was in much better shape, I did not feel attractive at all to the opposite sex.

I believe my poor self-image issues didn’t really begin until I was thirteen. Until then, I was pretty much being me, and, even though I was just a tad too young, there were girls who were interested in me.

However, my father disapproved of my being myself, and seemed to hate everything about me, including what I liked, how I laughed, the fact I laughed, and even the music I enjoyed. He was a sociopath, but I wasn’t aware of that at the time. To lounge back in a chair would risk being beaten. To enjoy something meant that it would be taken away from me. I pretty soon learned to hide the things I enjoyed, and I became very secretive. I would even be guarded about what book I was reading, or what music I would listen to. No one ever caught me relaxing either.

However, that was at home and I was fine outside of the house until one particular incident at a school camp changed everything.  At the time, I was very short for my age, had not reached puberty,  so I had a high piping voice. A couple of people I hang around with were supposedly gay, but being 13, I had no clue what the hell that even meant. I was quite innocent.

At the school camp I found myself being picked on, and in one incident I suddenly was being bullied and beaten.

I thought it was because I was short, but it wasn’t, of course. They assumed I was gay, and in 1976, that was not something you wanted to have people think of you as, especially if you were actually straight, which I certainly was.

The only thing that clued me in, and saved me was that a few days ago, I had made up a story about having a girlfriend. It was half wishful thinking on my part, and also a desire to fit in. The details came from my imagination, and a girl I visited in my mind on a daily basis that I called Patricia. She had no last name. So, when someone asked me if I had a girlfriend, I told them I did.

One of the guys who had just been beating me said, as he was walking away, “and that’s bullshit about you have a girlfriend.”

The others who were with him however, said, with some surprise: “Do you have a girlfriend?” and I said I did. Suddenly, they changed their attitude, plied me with questions on her, and I happily made up an elaborate story to support it, which wasn’t very hard, as I had all the details already. I told them I didn’t have her surname as it was complicated, and they accepted that.

Suddenly, I was in. People accepted and liked me, and I learned that if I modified my behaviour, people would change towards me.

Young teens were so homophobic back then.

No one ever found out that the girlfriend was fiction. I ‘broke up’ with her a few months later, and it was promptly forgotten.

(As an interesting side note, in 1992, I met a girl called Patricia, she looked like my fantasy girl, and I had coffee with her a few times, but it didn’t go anywhere, and I never remembered her last name as it was too complicated!)

It was clear to me that by hanging out with two questionable friends, it was hurting my reputation, so I cut them loose (and while I regret the method of doing so, it certainly wasn’t any loss to them) and tried to be well, more sporty.

I decided that I had to rebuild my reputation. I did everything I could to try and change people’s perception of who I was, and tried to involve myself to become accepted.

The camp acceptance was a flash in the pan, though. I had impressed everyone there, and I had also showed them there was more to me then met the eye, but this did not continue at school.

I was lousy at sports, and that went against me. I had lost my coordination the following year due to being hit by a car while crossing the road. My hearing and coordination was affected, and even the leg I broke took three months to heal.

I was also paranoid, and anyone who did try to befriend me during those years would be treated with extreme suspicion, as I believed I was being set up.

The paranoia was a result of my home life, and the fact that there was a group of kids who loved to pick on me.

All in all, it made for a very bad combination. For two years I struggled every day to fit in and in the third year, I just gave up and kept to myself. I felt as though there was an invisible glass barrier between me and everyone else.

At the end of year three, it all changed and suddenly I was more accepted, had good friends (including some who were former antagonists) however I was never relaxed enough to just be me.

The damage had been done. I became a product of other people’s perceptions of me.

The perception of the opposite sex also didn’t help. I was told that their view of me was that I was too short (I’m 5 foot 6 inches), too serious, too intense, and not good looking enough to be seen with, and finally, I was told I was too nice.

Now, I realize that those were mostly superficial things, and really, it was their issue, not mine, but at the time, there seemed to be a complete lack of single females, and even the odd ones who were single certainly had those quibbles about me.

What was missing with me, though, was not that those things were wrong with me, because even if they were, that wasn’t the main issue. It was my lack of self-esteem that was the problem. The fact I had no faith in myself. I didn’t believe that anyone would want me for me and what was more, that I was someone that they would want to be with.

I had no self-confidence. The moment I was put in a situation that warranted it, I would fall apart within, and feel isolated, lonely and desperately unhappy. Of course, no one understood why that was.

Ironically, I had plenty of inner strength, I just didn’t believe in me.

Such is the story of many empaths. They don’t believe in themselves. They feel  so much pain, so much loss and isolation that the moment something good comes along, they fall apart, especially the moment they feel challenged.

It certainly was my story, and I ended up being quite the aloof / poor me / victim type towards the end. I hated being that way, and I did everything I could to shift and when I did shift, it was traumatic and painful, but it changed everything.

To those empaths reading my story, please don’t feel sorry for me. I am not looking for sympathy. I am sharing so, if you have gone through the same thing, you may see yourself in me, and reach a new understanding of why you feel so isolated and depressed.

I certainly held a lot of the anger on a cellular level. I never let it go. I was unable to do so. If I felt frustrated, I’d either repress it or vent it through biting humour. I was also passive aggressive, but I never truly vented my anger. I didn’t know how to. Those who were initially responsible for those early events were no longer around. I had nowhere to go with it.

If anger affects the liver, then it is little wonder that my liver has taken so much damage. Fortunately is had the capacity to heal and regenerate.

Though this subject is about weight, it’s worth noting that the main push is self-esteem, and that is a subject many empaths suffer from.

Next: Looking at how this all fits together.

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