I guess I don't understand some people, but if I really think about things, I may be figuring some of them out; namely, my sister. And though right now it's her, later it may be somebody else. So, I guess she's just practice for what may be coming.
The other day, I texted her with news that I made it into ONEderland. She replied with kudos and "atta girls" and such, and then replied with (and, I apologize, but I'm taking it right from her text shorthand):
"Geez, by [the] time i see u i wont b able to see u LOL. Xxxx (her boyfriend) will be like hey i thought u said yer sissy was pudgy."I replied:
"I'm so thrilled how you tell all your boy toys about my weight."To which SHE replied:
"I was just kidding dude."Okay, first and foremost, she totally missed the point. It wasn't that she shared that comment with me -- it's that she has made it a habit in the past of letting people I'd never met know that I was fat. She had another boyfriend a couple years ago who made some snarky comment about my weight while she and I were kidding via text message. Not only did he make a snarky comment about my weight (something akin to, "Well, at least I got the THIN sister"), but she thought it would be funny to share WHAT he said WITH me. In text. And then play like she was aghast at what he said and wasn't a party to it. Yet, she was, if only because she shared with him that I was fat.
Apparently, to her, I'm defined by a number on the scale or the size of my clothing. Never mind that I'm intelligent, witty, was a decent mom, was the first person in our family to graduate college -- AND graduated with honors, am artistic, or any number of other things that define WHO I am, not WHAT I am. I mean, it's not like I've ever talked to friends and mentioned my ex-bulemic-but-currently-alcoholic sister. Why would I? It's ugly, for one, and it would be painful to her if she ever found out.
I called my mom with this and asked her what she thought. She said something I knew in my heart of hearts, but I was focused on what was said instead of why. The fact may very well be that I, for one, am taking care of business and fixing what was wrong with me. She, however, is not. She's gained about 30 pounds (per her) and is still drinking pretty heartily. I think her drinking was one of the things that ruined her marriage, and it would ruin any good relationship she might have.
Beyond that, I had read articles years ago which warned bariatric patients about possible changes in relationships -- with spouses, with family, and with friends. In marriages, the relationship may change where the individual who lost the weight feels better about themselves and that they deserve better (whether the relationship was strained before may or may not be a factor, but a strained one prior to weight loss is probably doomed). With family, siblings may feel threatened. With friends, your "place" in a group of friends may be compromised, your definition redefined. For instance, in a small group, there may be the "smart" one, the "pretty" one, the "funny" one, and the "fat" one. Once the "fat" one loses weight, what happens to the dynamic? Oftentimes, it can change, and sometimes friendships fizzle. None of it is intentional, necessarily, but it does happen.
My mom pretty much brought this up. She said that, while I was a beautiful teen (her words), my sister didn't really come into her own until she was about 25 -- oddly, around the time I was becoming fat. Add to that the fact that her issues are not being dealt with, and maybe she feels threatened, jealous, and inferior. Maybe... It's very possible.
Regardless, we will likely need to talk -- primarily because I don't find my weight to be a laughing matter, and I certainly don't like how she's made it fodder for conversation with folks. I think it's mean and very unfair, even if she needs to do this in order to feel better about her. It's time for her to take care of her own back yard and quit focusing on mine.