Last week I stepped off my back porch and sprained my foot. The fall seemed to happen in slow motion, as if I were underwater. I remember my right foot bending backwards and the shadow of my ass looming over it. I remember distinctly thinking: this is going to hurt. Bad. And it did. I could not move. I thought I had broken it.
I am fortunate enough to live next door to my father, so when he heard me lying in my yard screaming crying, (yes, I’m a bit of a drama queen, more on that later) he rushed over. He immediately extended an arm to help me up, a lifeline, and I quickly refused, determined to drag my own ass up off the ground. He offered his shoulder to help me walk, I again refused.
Later, in the Orthopedic office where I went for an x-ray, I flat-out refused a wheelchair, and only succumb to one after a nurse informed me I was probably doing more damage and would be out of commission longer than necessary. As they rolled me through the waiting room I felt a sense of humiliation that seemed to be drawn from a bottomless well.
Later that weekend, as I was lying on the couch with my foot in the air and a Similac ice pack on my foot while watching Little House on the Prairie, I realized why I was so hesitant to accept help. I’m not strong, not by any means. My low pain threshold has often been the source of mockery and snark from my family, so I knew it wasn’t that. It was something deeper, something heavier. It was my weight. It suddenly occurred to me just how far I go to avoid any kind of attention being placed on my body. As I was being wheeled through that doctor’s office, I had no way of knowing what the nurses and other patients were thinking of me, but I can tell you clearly what I was thinking in my own mind: She’s in that chair, she hurt her foot, because she’s fat.
And that’s what a fat girl deals with on a daily basis. We are poisoning ourselves from the inside out. We don’t need someone else sneering at us or making us feel bad, we do it all ourselves. I didn’t want to lean on my father’s shoulder, or have my husband help me up the stairs because then they would know the heft of me. And that’s the ugly, unfiltered truth. My weight colors everything that I do, even how I injure myself.
The foot will heal, not sure about the rest.