The tyranny of the ‘Fat’ Brigade

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vintage-1107700_960_720One of the most distressing symptoms of my prolonged health relapse is that I am very underweight. I’m 5ft 1″ and under 7 stone. I eat like a starving donkey, take supplements, including whey protein powder, I am having tests on my repeated GP visits.  I hate being this thin.  It makes me feel unfeminine, weak and insubstantial.

Yet people feel free to tell me,  most  emphatically, that I am too thin… in a concerned voice.  It seems never ending.  I find it patronising and hurtful. It is socially acceptable to tell me I am too thin  but how would they feel if I said: “Hi! Still fat, then?” or “Crikey, you’ve put weight on. Bit of a porker!”

Constantly telling someone they are too thin seems to imply that you’re starving yourself, (you’re anorexic) or just plain difficult!

I think some people genuinely are concerned but it does make me wonder if some are they’re doing it to make themselves feel better about themselves and THEIR bodies. To be fair, no-one at church has said this; it’s my secular friends! Go figure! 

I’m going to have to think of a good riposte next time somebody pipes up!

 

The Passive Mother and My Prayers for Patience

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Portrait of Miss Georgina Pope, head nurse of ...

Portrait of Miss Georgina Pope, head nurse of First Canadian Contingent during the Boer war. Possibly in her nurse’s uniform from Bellevue Hospital, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why does my mother not ask people questions or ask how they are? Is it selfishness or a lack of confidence? I think it is the latter. I hope it’s that!

I think it infantilises me because its left up to me to do the ‘filling in’, all the communication work – like the child I was returning home from school and babbling on about my day. I still have to do that. I also feel that i have to persuade her on the worth of my words. Weird.

When she came to stay here for 4 weeks she didn’t ask my (many!) friends one question. Not one question. She did ask my ex-husband a question but only after I prompted her.
When my platonic male friend (PMF) came to stay with us overnight she didn’t ask him anything. She talked to him at length but about herself. She has always been like this, it’s not just because she’s elderly, although it becomes more apparent when someone is elderly.

Maybe it is something to do with the job she had. She was a nurse, beginning in the 1950s. I think it might be something to do with working with consultants. I think these men made women, i.e., the nurses, feel stupid if they asked anything. They were like gods. Consultants spoke and nurses listened and carried out tasks.

My whole life I have never known her to ask a shop assistant for help. Rather than do that she will just walk out of the place without buying the thing that she needs.

I am praying for more patience and understanding!