Being Fat & My Experience with Bullying

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As I’ve been on this journey of self discovery, and sorted through my past experiences. I thought that I couldn’t move forward unless I wrote about this. While I’ve healed, and looking back on these memories no longer causes me pain. I wanted to be a transparent person when it comes to this particular area of my life. I reckon that me sharing this will help someone on their journey of healing.
Being fat for a majority of my life meant that I was put through scrutiny. At the hands of family members, peers, teachers. Many of my relationships, and interactions with people were rooted in the fact that I was fat. The essence of those were that it was a power imbalance, and I didn’t have the ability to unpack until I was an adult. Me being fat, and going through bullying will never be mutually exclusive.
My first encounter with major bullying started in middle school. This particular group of boys made it there absolute mission to let me know how much me being fat bothered them. I used to have a crush on one of the boys in this group, his name was *John. John was considered the cutest boy in school, and I’m 100% sure all of my friends had a crush on him at some point. Word got around that I had a crush on him, and he told me that “I will never go out with someone as fat as you”
My 13 year old self was crushed, and it was the first time that I started placing my self worth on the opinions of people. I had P.E with him, and his friends who took it upon themselves to make cow, and pig noises at me whenever I happened to be around them in class. They would write things like “i’m fat” or “i’m a ugly pig” on sticky notes, and put them on my back. John managed to use my body size against me even in high school.
This continued psychological torture continued into high school. I had english my sophomore year with John, and *David. John, and David were the main two people in this group. We were having a debate over some novel we were reading at the time, and I might have said something that rebauutaled his argument. The first thing that David hits me with is “Well at least I’m not fat like you” at a certain point through all of this bullying, I gave up defending myself because I knew it going to get worse if I tried defending myself.
Unfortunately the bullying didn’t stop at school, it also happened at home. By people that were ashamed to have such a fat girl in their family. I was put on diets since the age of seven, constantly being told that my worth as human being was determined by my size. A woman (who I’ve known my whole life) constantly berated my for being fat, and told me that “no man would ever love me if I stayed like this.” This isn’t even the majority of what I had been told.
The reason that I’m even discussing this is because my bullying was interwoven with my fatness so much that my identity was shaped due to the opinions of others. My self-esteem was rock bottom for many years. It wasn’t until I started losing weight that I started questioning if my identity was even mine. I came to realization that my identity was based on toxicity, and brokenness of people. In the past year I’ve had to teach myself that my self worth isn’t determined by the opinions of others.
Neither should yours, and I want you to know that you’re worth more than what you’ve been told. You’re meant for more, and I hope that one day you will realize it. You are amazing, have the ability to bring light in the lives of many, shine brightly in world full of people that don’t want to see you achieve greatness. I hope to become the person I needed when I was going through this, for you.

XOXO, Crystal Emme

(*names have been changed)

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