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Big, Fat Hello!

February 20, 2013

Trigger warning: Talk of disordered eating, physical and mental abuse, and attempted suicide

Today, we have the first introductory post from a new blogging candidate. After three guest posts, we will vote as a community on her inclusion.

Hello, nice to meet ya! I am Kitsune Yokai and I am trying out to be a Fierce, Freethinking Fatty.

I am a 21-year-old Caucasian female; 6 feet tall; roughly 350 lbs.; a sophomore in my local community college learning to be an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for the deaf; a “single mother,” in that I take care of my 11-year-old brother alone with child support; an amateur body builder (that fashion model goal is true! I would love to be a plus-sized model for perhaps Lane Bryant one day after college); VERY MUCH a food snob (I plan to write about some of my favorite recipes soon!!!!); and probably more importantly, a Witch. Being a witch actually has a lot to do with my life, the way I found Fat Acceptance (FA) and Health at Every Size® (HAES), and is the basis for my own blog, The Fat Pagan. Don’t worry, I won’t be posting religious stuff here; that’s what my blog is for! Did I mention that I’m a food snob?

How exactly did I get into HAES and FA? Well, that requires some back story

I grew up in the South, and was born in Georgia. When I was about five years old, I was a cute kid. I had all the confidence in the world, was strong-willed and very happy. Then, I went into kindergarten. My mother cried as I got onto the bus, but when I got home, I was the one crying. I was teased by my classmates for being fat. Fat? Yeah.

Me at five years old, being cute.

Like any parent, my mother brushed it off and probably said some nice words, and I went back to school again in a better mood and wanting to try to win over the other kids’ hearts. It didn’t happen, and the ridicule got worse. Every day, things got worse and worse. Yeah sure, it was just words at first. Then it turned into physical assault, with kids throwing sticks and stones, literally! Punching, scratching, biting, pinching, kicking. My parents became very concerned and contacted the school, but it was brushed off as kids being kids.

So the years pressed on and I continued to be ostracized and ridiculed, with various bouts of physical abuse interwoven into the mental torture. If you think “torture” is a bit too harsh of a word, I would like to see you withstand days, months, years of being told you are worthless, that you should kill yourself, that you are nothing and unloved and hated, despised even. “Go away, you are a failure. You disgust me.” So, I hated myself, loathed and despised my peers for rejecting me, and looked towards adults for some measure of protection, being the teacher’s pet type of kid. I was diagnosed with Severe Clinical Depression at seven-years-old.

Needless to say, I had already turned to food as a comfort and would binge and binge when I got home from school. I would snatch the peanut butter from the cupboard and eat it in my room, consuming it all before my parents got home so I could hide the jar. I hid candy and sweets in my room so I could eat them while I cried so I would feel better. Yes, I became overweight.

Me, around age 8. I was stuck in that shoe bin.

My third grade year I had the most awful teacher. Like the kids, she despised me. She would throw my things across the room (she actually broke a ceramic pot that I had made my mother in art class), detain me after class despite needing to ride the bus, and would find fault in every action I did. Around the same time, or maybe just before, I was diagnosed with severe migraine episodes and was prescribed a pain killer. One of the redeeming things about being in this teacher’s class, however, were the animals she had in the room.

One day I got in trouble for some ridiculous thing and she punished me by sitting me under florescent lights and making me hand copy the states and capitals while I watched the other kids play. All through that day I complained of my head hurting. She blew me off all damned day. Between the odors of the animals, the screaming of the children, the lights, and stress, I could not see the paper because of the pain. She only let me go to the nurse when I started to sob uncontrollably. Later, when my mom came to pick me up, she could see something was wrong with me, but me being a stubborn kid, I didn’t tell her anything. The very next day, I woke up with a pounding migraine and two black eyes. The blood vessels around my eyes had burst from the pressure. My parents were livid to say the least.

Back at home, things went downhill fast. My parents couldn’t control my eating habits and were stressed about my binging. They would buy food for the month, and a week later most of it would be gone. My parents seriously thought about putting padlocks on the cupboards and the fridge. We couldn’t afford to support my eating habits when it was so difficult to get food in the first place. When I couldn’t get food at home, I went to the neighbors and begged them for food. My parents went around the neighborhood telling people not to feed me. I spent my lunch allowance on junk food, so my parents wouldn’t give me cash anymore and wrote checks or deposited money into my school account. I wracked up so much debt in the cafeteria buying junk  that my parents instructed the lunch ladies not to put stuff on credit for me. After that, I would just steal money from my parents’ wallets and buy food that way. If my parents didn’t know that, they do now.

When I was about nine or ten, I experienced my first sexual assault. I went to a neighbor boy’s house and he had his cousin over. The cousin, who was two or three years older than I was, said he had something cool to show me and led me to boat shed in the back yard. He trapped me there and molested me. He told me my breasts were “coming in nicely.” Afterward, my own female cousin told me what I should be careful because “that’s how girls get pregnant.” She was the one who told my parents that night, but it was already too late to get the cousin. I didn’t go back to that boy’s house again.

I spiraled out of control in many areas of my life, eventually getting straight up 10s in my classes, where I had previously made 90s and above. I was super-depressed with no help, an outcast with no friends, and alone most of the time. I was going through stages of starvation and binging (I guess it would be called bulimia) by this point in an attempt to be thin.

I would dream every day that I was thin and popular and loved. I would dream so hard it hurt to wake up. Around the same time, my mother’s friend (who turned out to be very much an enemy) and her kids moved in with us because they had lost their rental. The kids were vicious, especially to me and my mother. The kid who was my age started to sneak into my room at night and threatened my life if I made a noise. I believed him, because he was known to have violent tenancies, so I said nothing. In private he would call me his girlfriend, but in public would physically hit me and verbally assault me, saying I was too fat and too ugly for anyone to love and, incredibly, would later say he didn’t mean any of it. I believed him. I was screwed up, but I knew I wanted out. I didn’t want this and I was scared. After quite a lot of pain and family trauma, we moved across the country country to Texas when I was 12. I was finally free of him, three states away.

At 14 years old, I woke up one day and decided to end my life because I couldn’t bear getting up anymore. I hated myself so much that I could not even look in the mirror anymore, nor would I look down at my own body. I had not done so in many years. I went to school that day thinking it would be my last day. I decided to take all of my mother’s pain pills and be done with it nice and peacefully, so I could always be dreaming.

Suddenly, I was hit by a cosmic freight train. I was struck by some Divine power, unable to move or think or breath. It felt like a freezing fire was devouring me, so hot it was cold. Most of you don’t know this, but this was also the point in my life that I became a pagan. I can give details about this part later at my blog; all that needs to be said now is that I did not end my life that night, thank Goddess.

I did a major turn around in my life. I fought off my depression and since I had moved to a different state, I looked around and noticed that the people around me were pretty nice and was only avoiding me because I was distant and aggressive toward them (who could blame me, though?). I woke up from a fog, a deadness, a cold and distant place. I remember one instance when my music teacher told me I should smile and I replied that I didn’t know how because I hadn’t in years. Another was my first hug from a new friend; I was so stunned, I didn’t know what to do.

I clawed and dug and tried to fix what was broken internally. Only recently have I changed my relationship with food after more than a decade of disordered eating. It’s been seven years now since I almost committed suicide, and am happy and thankful for every day I get.

Now I eat in a way that not only pleases me mentally and taste-wise, but also satisfies my body’s nutritional needs (without skipping the sweets! In fact, I just ate ice cream and I didn’t even eat dinner yet!). I eat regularly, five to six small meals a day, and I exercise. My weight increased to 400 lbs. from my devastating depression and binge eating, and I am now trying to find my natural body weight.

Now, I love myself and take care of myself. I am so much healthier than I have ever been in my life. I am happy and outgoing and loved and accepted by my peers (mostly because I only surround myself with people who are awesome), but most importantly, I am loved and accepted by myself. I still have so much work to do, but you know, now I am happy just to walk around lazily until I get there.

For the first time in my life, I am OK with myself.

Me, May 2012

15 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2013 11:25 am

    Welcome! I’m 20 years older than you, but your story really struck a chord in me. It took me 20 extra years to get to where you are. So glad you’re here!

    • February 20, 2013 11:33 pm

      Thank you so much! ❤ May we travel the same path for years to come. 🙂

  2. The Real Cie permalink
    February 20, 2013 11:28 am

    I relate to everything you’re saying. I was severely bullied throughout school. My family was always very food oriented. I wasn’t fat while I was in school, though by the time I was twelve, I believed that I was and I became bulimic.
    I have bipolar disorder type II, borderline personality disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder which manifests with hoarding tendencies (items, not animals.) Bipolar II can be difficult to diagnose because there are no full manias. I was 38 when I was finally correctly diagnosed after a savvy counselor finally asked me the right set of questions. Before that it was a string of doctors giving me the wrong medications for my particular condition (SSRI’s make me MANIC AS FUCK! I honestly don’t know how people live with full manias.) Also, my family didn’t believe that there was anything actually “wrong” with me. They thought I was doing the things I did “to get attention.”
    I’m slightly over 5 foot six and a bit shy of 300 pounds. I exercise in the therapy pool at work. I’m able to do a lot of things in the pool that I can’t on land (plyometrics, running) because of my particular joint and spine issues. Also, I have fibromyalgia, and most land based exercises tend to leave me very sore.
    I didn’t discover size acceptance and HAES until I was 45 years old. I’ve never liked myself very much, but at least now I’m not always throwing “disgusting fat pig” zingers into the mix tape of put-downs in my head. My mother isn’t very helpful. She’s always making subtle digs implying that I really, really, really need to lose weight. But these days they don’t devastate me.
    I’m also pretty much a Pagan. I’m a solitary one, I do my own thing (basically Chaos magick.) I discovered years ago that I really don’t like most New Age types. They tend to be sanctimonious prats, so I avoid them.

    • February 21, 2013 12:01 am

      Merry meet my friend. First I want to say that I’m sorry you had to deal with that and it’s ridiculous that you just happened to”luck out” into proper treatment. I know I would be very frustrated.

      Second, I honestly don’t know what I would have ended up doing if I hadn’t found FA or HAES when I did. My mother used to be into body acceptance until she finally broke down from the social stigma of being fat and her old memories of thin privilege. Through insurance and a loan, she had lapband surgery and if I hadn’t already been ok with my body, I probably would have gone under as well. Even though now she has all these “complications,” she still says she is glad she did it, that I should too, and makes sometimes-but-not-always-subtle comments. Like you, it doesn’t bother me as much anymore. I hardly make negative comments about myself anymore either.

      You mean like Silver Ravenwolf type New Age? SMH, sometimes I worry about the pagan movement. There really are some of the brothers and sisters that I just wanna shake! But, to each their own.

      • The Real Cie permalink
        February 22, 2013 3:27 am

        I think I mean more the Louise Hay kind of New Age, which tends to say that anytime something bad happens to someone, particularly on the health front, it is that person’s fault because of their stinkin’ thinkin’. Silver Ravenwolf hasn’t rubbed me the wrong way–yet. I also had the misfortune of dealing with a particularly odious spirit medium. So suffice it to say, I’ve found that being solitary is best!

  3. February 20, 2013 5:36 pm

    I want to give that little girl a big hug…. even though she lives before. I hate reading about these lives and people that take normal little kids and shred them. Glad you found your path!

    • February 20, 2013 11:44 pm

      Honestly, for the longest time I couldn’t reconcile my childhood. I think back and say, wow, how ignorant I was and how much I suffered because I just didn’t know? I wish I could hug my child self and say that it really truly does get better, but I will have to settle for hugging myself and saying that now when times are hard. Thank you for your kind words!

  4. JeninCanada permalink
    February 20, 2013 7:52 pm

    Hi! I read your other blog as well. From one fat pagan to another, merry meet! And thank you for sharing your story here. What a journey.

  5. Lauren C. permalink
    February 20, 2013 10:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. I hope to see you around as a regular contributor!

    • February 20, 2013 11:40 pm

      Thank you! I really hope I am allowed to stick around, cuz I know I have plenty to say. 🙂

  6. Elizabeth permalink
    February 23, 2013 12:26 pm

    kitsuneyokai, thank you for sharing your story. There is a nice meditation practice where you remember a time as a child when you felt terribly alone. Your adult self goes to your child self and takes care of her, say, gets her dressed, takes her out to do something fun, holds her hand and tells her you love her. It feels very healing.

  7. February 26, 2013 2:37 pm

    Hello to you too :). I used to write a blog called Fat Pagan Woman, and am learning BSL (my sister is a BSL teacher), and fox has a special place in my life, so we have a few things in common LOL. Thankyou for sharing your story.

    • February 26, 2013 2:40 pm

      I don’t know why my picture came up with my head cut off LOL.

      In case anyone is wondering about the thin pic, I am reclaiming my thin pics after someone (trying to be kind) told me “you wouldn’t be you any more if you lost weight”. Hey, I’ve been ME at every size I have been!

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