Monday, August 12, 2013

Body Memory from a Slightly Thinner Fat Girl

I am sitting in a coffee shop with my sister wanting a hug.  A hug from just about anyone in the world but her.

Do not misunderstand.  I love my sister.  I love when she hugs me.  But she's tiny. Six inches shorter than I am, with arms to match.

And I am anxious.  Filled to the brim with so much anxiety I can scarcely see straight, or breathe, or feel anything but anger and fear.

What I need in this moment is a tight, powerful, full-body, compressive hug.  Something that I feel through the whole of my body and which reminds me of where my newer, smaller body ends and the rest of the world begins.  Anything light will serve only to make me feel worse, not better.

TB has moved to Texas.  N has not just ended our dates, but despite his insistence that he would like to remain friends has not answered my call and has unfriended me on facebook.  Which is confusing in itself, but another story.

I reach out to K, but she does not get the message in time.

After my sister heads out, I finish up the work I have sitting before me, and I pack up to go home.

On the drive, my key fob brushes my knee and I feel as though flies are crawling over my entire body, their feather-light touch irritating and enraging me.

The circle-swirl paperclip I'm using to replace the lost screw in my sunglasses turns and brushes my temple, and I want to rip them off and throw them out the window.

I get home and try to take a few deep breaths, thinking perhaps if I can relax and read a good book, maybe I'll be okay.  But someone is making noise in the kitchen, and I want nothing more than charge downstairs and punch whoever it is in the face, because the sounds are driving me fucking insane!

I change into shorts, a t-shirt, my athletic shoes and I head out for a walk.  Someone lets the dog out five minutes after I leave and she shortly catches up with me.

I do not want her with me, walking in the middle of the road with cars whizzing by at 65mph, or walking closely enough to me that she brushes up against me, or strikes me with her tail.  I do not want her stopping in front of me for a bit of affection and tripping me up as I move purposefully up the hill.

I yell at her to go home, but she stays faithfully with me, rolling in mud puddles when she gets the chance, chasing the bird, frolicking in the corn fields when she isn't pacing the blacktop.

After two miles, I turn and head home.  I'm halfway there when I stop and begin to cry.  Great heaving sobs and tears stream down my face.  I just need a fucking tight compressive hug so that I can breathe freely.

Gasping for air, I pull up the hem of my shirt and sob into it, trying to stem the flood of tears.  Slowly, they subside and I wipe my face dry.

All I can feel is incredible fucking rage.  And I have no idea why that makes me cry in this moment.

As I continue on my way I remember very powerfully the feeling of my mother's arms around me, her whispering, "I'm sorry you're so sad," of feeling as though I might be okay again if I just let go, and her hasty retreat before I can even begin to appreciate her touch as she exits the van and heads into the house.  That was five and a half years ago, but suddenly I feel exactly the same.

"I haven't felt this way since Tim died," I say out loud.

I look down at my body.  The body I had when I met him.  A body that was 19 lbs lighter than it is now when he died.


I see it now.  What my body has remembered all along.  Five years of consuming sugar and highly processed foods and gaining 115 lbs of fat silenced it, but could not make it forget.  It remembers.  Losing 96 lbs in the last 10 months has forced me to remember, too.

Yes, it lives in the body.

I miss his hugs.  I miss his smile.  I miss his laugh.  I miss the music he made, always with a song or a hum or a whistle.  I miss his touch, his hand on my arm as he made a point.  I miss knowing that I am safe and secure and deeply loved by this man.  I miss knowing that I have an advocate who will fight tooth and nail for me.  I miss knowing that there was a person in this world who could fix anything.

I remember that first morning, walking silently behind Michael and Kym, thinking to myself, "Whatever it is, Tim can fix it."

Sitting on the couch, both of them standing before me, as Kym said, "Tim Fauvell died last night."

"Tim can't fix that," was the only thought I had.

Today I am angry.  I am so incredibly fucking angry with God for taking him away from me.

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