|Bri - 1985 Prom Night|
I've mentioned in the past that I've had weight problems on and off my entire life. During high school, my battle with the bulge was a huge concern. In junior high, I was very involved with sports. I played volleyball, basketball, and softball in my 8th grade year so I kept fairly slim regardless of gorging on large quantities of junk food and sweets. However, when I entered high school, I stopped playing sports yet continued eating the junk. Why didn't I stay active? I was enrolled in an all girl Catholic private school. In my mind, there were stereotypes attached to female athletes which of course are so silly now that I'm embarrassed that I considered them. Also, I would have had problems with the commute. I lived quite a distance from campus. So, needless to say, I ballooned. By mid-freshman year, I weighed over 200 pounds. Add this along with the factor that I met and started dating an abusive senior from the brother school, well - my self-esteem plummeted and I piled on more pounds.
I was a naive, overweight adolescent who by the time I was 16 had been sexually assaulted, survived an attempted rape, and was physically abused by the only serious boyfriend I ever had. That same year, I was sexually assaulted by a 70 year old friend and told repeatedly throughout my life how worthless and fat I was by the people I loved. Wow, no wonder I ate. Calories comforted me. They didn't hurt. They didn't shame. Fuck - this was a tough paragraph to write.
Suffice it to say, I didn't have a heck of a lot of self confidence when I first met the guy I fell head over heels in love with. He, on the other hand, had plenty of it. I'm not going to use his actual name here, I'll call him Pete for privacy purposes.
I've always been a bit of a character (No, really? Me?) so outside of sports, my next logical activity was the Drama club. This is where I met Pete. He was from our brother, all-male Catholic high school and was dancing, laughing, and cracking off one liners in the middle of a group of kids I hadn't met before. He was amazing and intimidating. I'd never seen anyone so fast with jokes. My sister, Ellen was like this and I always envied her skill. It was the same with this guy. I almost didn't want to catch his eye but at the same time, I wanted to. He had such beautiful eyes. Oh, and could he sing!
Now with this said, dear friends and blog readers, I'm certain you're quietly nodding your heads thinking, "Bri, couldn't you recognize the tell-tale signs? Dancing, singing, etc?". Dear ones, again I reaffirm that I was a young, naive girl who desperately needed the Handbook, "What Are the Obvious Signs to Look For in a Gay Man". I had no clue. I was in love. I was twitterpated. I was a gonner.
Sadly, for Catholics and staunch Christians everywhere, we are taught at an early age, to stifle what is clearly an inherent trait. What a terrible shame this is. Pete fought it for such a long time and at such a terrible cost to him and his conscious. If God is love, than in my opinion, how can what He created be a sin?
Where was I?? Oh yes, did he eventually catch my eye? Silly, funny, goofy people always have a way of becoming the center of attention and the best of friends. Of course he did and unfortunately, I didn't want to be his best "fat", sisterly friend which is exactly what happened. My not-so-secret crush was bursting out of my size 22 jeans. I could barely contain myself. I was enamoured. Every waking thought was of Pete. I had it very, very bad. First love - what a terrible time in a teen's life.
Around this period, my entire family (except for my baby brother who was eleven years younger than myself), had gained an enormous amount of weight and my parents had placed all of us fatties on the liquid diet, Optifast. It worked for obvious reasons and suddenly within months I was a skinny, beautiful princess. Of course, on the inside I was still a naive, sexually abused, worthless cow but Pete didn't know this; I just wanted him to love me and love me he did - in his own skewed way.
I lost my virginity on the bathroom floor in a room of the Disneyland Hotel. It was my senior prom with all of my best friends and their dates just outside the door. Pete was high on cocaine and booze. He had no condoms and decided that a complimentary hotel shower cap would do just as well. While I gritted my teeth through the pain, I convinced myself that it was ok because I loved him, that I wasn't being sexually abused, that I wasn't being naive, and I didn't hear the words "worthless" being murmured in my mind.
When it was over, he walked out the bathroom victorious. To my shame, I heard giggles scattered around the room. My vagina ached. My body ached. My heart ached. I was the first of my friends to lose my virginity. This was not how I wanted it to be. But I was convinced it would be different the next time. He would hold me and kiss me. He would tell me I'm beautiful. Wrong. In all the times afterwards, that "time" never happened. My shame continued to grow. Just tell me I'm not worthless, please just tell me that you love me. It never happened.
Over the years I went on to date some lovely men; however, not one of them could prove to me that I wasn't worthless. I worked my ass off while they spent money on scuba diving lessons, others accused me of hurtful things, yet another broke a solemn vow. It took years of looking inward and 347 pounds to recognize that it wasn't about them making me feel worthy of their love. It was about me willing to love myself unconditionally.
I have a huge crush now. It's my final crush, my last love. She's wonderful. She's beautiful. She has bright blue eyes, an amazing smile, a quirky personalty, and she's blessed to be married to an amazing man. Her name is Bri Potts. She's not worthless, she's fantastic. I'm glad you're getting a chance to meet her - one blog, one rambling day at a time.