The difficulty with simple questions

0Twenty-five years ago, I took my first PSI Seminars class – The Basic. One of the fun exercises we did was called The Behavior Matrix, which separated all of us into one of 4 groups based on 2 traits: Formal vs Informal, & Dominant vs Submissive. I was definitely Dominant Informal, which put me in the Promoter group. And at the time it was accurate.

But twenty five years passed. I think the next group I moved into was Controller, but now I find myself straddling the line between Controller & Analyst (I think being in a wide & varied progression of bands completely beat the Promoter out of me), but the majority of my weight is on the foot in the Analyst side. And this has a huge impact on… well, how I answer questions.

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Weight Loss Stigma

before afterAs mentioned in a previous post, I started Wellbutrin in May, & in addition to not wanting to stab myself with a knife any more, I’ve also found the motivation to diet. Nothing drastic; just keeping a food diary & trying to keep myself to <1200 calories & ~80g carbs per day. I’ve had friends scoff that 80g is a lot, but screw you guys. 80g is like… well, let’s say I only make it half of the time. Love my carbs!

That said, I’ve lost 18 lbs. So far. But what I want to talk about is people’s reactions to my now noticeably slimmer figure. The women’s reactions are always initially positive, but I sense a slight withdrawal. I know one girlfriend has insecurities about her boyfriend (a long time ago, before he met her, I once – ONCE! – flirted with him, but no further than that), & it could be her afraid he might look, or actually just him being afraid she might catch him looking so maybe he’s avoiding me, but they’ve disappeared. He’s completely devoted to her, & I’m completely devoted to my guy, but I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s a subconscious reminder of the weight she’s gained since she met him (I know, because I was there!). And if he so much as glanced at me, even for nothing at all, she’d feel that. Girls internalize things. So sure, I can see other girls internalizing changes in me. Can’t be helped. Girl Thing.

There’s a stigma. Totally unexpected. It shows itself in more obvious ways as well.

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A Better Friend Than Me

Leisa CollinsI had a long talk tonight with a grieving girlfriend whose bestie just committed suicide. They’d been distant over the last few months, not because of her, but because he was going through a hard time & it made him act like a jerk, & he was the worst to the ones closest to him. She was hurt, resentful, doubted their friendship, but she never really gave up on him. She gave him the distance he seemed to want, not sure how much friending he wanted from her.

Before he did himself in, he wrote her a letter. The cops confiscated it & she’s still never gotten to read it, but I can guess what he wanted to say to her. He also sent her a scheduled text, written while alive but arriving days after his death, which, understandably, freaked her out. The text contained instructions – the kind you give to the person you trust most in the world. Clear my browsing history. Throw out the entire contents of my bedside drawer. You know.

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Rhinestone Earrings.

IMAG1964_1I avoid most of my high school classmates. There are only a few that I both like & think are interesting enough to talk to. But recently a classmate – I’ll call her Molly – has been popping into the bar to visit me. She was one of the popular crowd in high school – prom court, cheerleading – & although we were always nice to each other, I didn’t really hang with her crowd.

So apparently she’s been through a lot & her brain is pretty destroyed. She was pretty, but I guess not that smart, & right out of high school, her rich boyfriend dumped her (probably for college). I think she simply didn’t know what else to do with herself, so she got into an escort service because it was easy with her looks.

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Portlock 1989I saved someone’s life once.

In the early 90s, I was at a big party some of my college buddies were throwing, & I pulled a girlfriend out of a car.   I hadn’t seen her since graduation, & after a brief reunion at the party, I’d seen her disappear with a guy I knew was bad news.   Some stupid sixth sense told me to go rescue her, so I went outside & yanked her drunk ass out of his car & told him to get lost.   I told her the party was over for her & I was going to drive her home.

That wasn’t the moment I saved her life though.   Ron was a total choad (pretty, witty, & smart… & a big fat misogynist womanizer), but not dangerous.

At the prospect of being taken home, she broke into tears & the whole sordid tale of her life since I’d last seen her spilled out – abusive drug dealer boyfriend who forced a pipe into her face & raped her with beer bottles, desertion by her family, no job, no home.   So I took her home with me, to the UH dorms.   I was in the apartments, so we had a couch.

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