So has anyone out there ever experienced a situation like the one I will shortly relate to you.....if you haven't, I hope you never do, and if you have, my sympathy and understanding are with you!
The day: Sunday. The place: Church. Here's the scene:
I was sitting in a pew in the back, watching the kids get ready for their bell choir number that they were scheduled to do that morning. As I sat there, a gal came up to me in a VERY excited and pleased manner. I know this gal, but not well, and she was positively bursting with gladness! I initially thought she was just wanting to be friendly and was just going to talk for a moment......But she grabbed me around the shoulders, and here's what she said:
"Oh my goodness!!! I heard a rumor that you're pregnant and I just want to be the first to congratulate you!!!!!"
I had about two seconds to figure out how I was going to respond to this situation......
So I said:
"Wow, um, no, I'm sure not, but I do look pregnant!"
And she said:
And I said:
"Not the last time I checked....ha ha ha....you're jumping the gun a bit!"
And she said:
"Okay, well, never mind then!!"
And she walked away.
Let me just say that I used the nicest tone of voice possible under the circumstances and I tried to go out of my way to make it a joke. I felt SO bad for her!! I mean, she wasn't the first one to make a comment like that in the past month, or even the first person to ask me that. I always try to respond very graciously......I bet she was so embarrassed.
But the truth is, I was upset. Let me try to explain, in some concise fashion, what was going through my mind.
You see, I am overweight. I know that! Also, if you were to look into my closet, you would probably wonder where all of my clothes went! Truth is, I don't really have any clothes.
The reason I hardly have any clothes is because of lack of finances.
Yes, I am overweight, but truthfully, you probably wouldn't stare at me on the street and whisper wowwww, look how fat she is!!!! My tummy IS large, I mean, I've been pregnant 12 times!!
So lately it's been really easy to choose an outfit every day because.....I only have two to choose from!
I threw one of my dresses away recently, because someone at church asked me when I was due, and someone else asked me if I was expecting again. It was a kelly green maxi dress.....a maternity dress. I was only wearing it because it was one of the only things I had to wear. So it was really full and too big.....and it went in the garbage when I got home.
So, being overweight, and not having many clothes, I guess feeling beautiful is important to me.
If I was being really honest, I would tell you that feeling beautiful and looking elegant and pretty and well put-together is VERY important to me.
And looking pregnant when I'm not is on my mind too.
I deeply desire to feel pretty.
But my self esteem has always been very, very low, due to the way I was brought up and exacerbated by the past two years of living in a very difficult situation with others who neither respected me nor liked me at all. Trying to conquer that on my own has been a life-long process and honestly.....
I haven't begun to win.
Because I know that I can't find my value in how I feel or how I look or how others view me. I know that!! And I still struggle!
Friday I went shopping to try to get an outfit to wear to our concert that evening. I picked out one that I thought was beautiful. It made me feel elegant. I felt so confident. I looked nice!
And then I saw the pictures that were taken after the concert.....and I almost cried because I looked AWFUL!!!!
So you see the conundrum that circles around and around in my mind??
I came across a really fantastic post this morning written by a gal I read regularly and respect greatly. She nails these issues. She understands! She gets it. And......she struggles a teeny bit with this too, even though she's super beautiful!
Go read the article. It's on Erin Kern's blog, Superfluities. It says everything I want to say. It's everything I want to be. And I'm thinking about getting the book that she quotes from at the end of her post.
(I tried to make a link, but we have a new Mac and I can't remember how to do it, so you'll have to google her blog!)