Weighing In

I've never talked about this on my blog but my father cheated on my mother. For years while they were married. I never wanted to tell people to save my mother's feelings, but it impacted me, too. My sister and I found out because we were hanging out in her room when we were supposed to be sleeping and I heard my mother yelling. My sister was usually the nosy one while I followed the rules, but this night for some reason, she wanted to go to sleep while I wanted to creep to the door to eavesdrop.

I was the oldest, so off we went. It didn't always work like this, but for some reason, this night it did.

When my father left my mother, I asked her, because we were closer, why he left her. She told me to ask him. Very passive aggressive in retrospect, but she was hurting just as much as me but in a different way. I'm not sure whether she expected me to really ask him but I did. I had no fear. I like to get answers and jump into situations headlong.

"Daddy, why did you cheat on Mommy?" I was 13 at this point but at 26, still call them by those names. I tried to change it but my mom never liked any of the names I selected (Mother when annoyed with her and Ma otherwise). I ended up just sticking with Mommy and Daddy. D (as I sometimes call him now) responded, "What kind of question is that?" "Well I asked Mommy and she told me to ask you." "She did, did she?" "Yes. So why did you?" "Because she got fat." I was shocked. Because she got FAT?????? "I thought you loved her?" "I did." Wow... my 13-year-old mind could not wrap itself around the thought, 'He loved her, but that changed because she got fat.'

I just realized, 8 years after I started seeing changes in my body and started working out sophomore year, is that the reason I was so terrified of the freshman (or sophomore) 15 is not because of the freshman 15, but because I didn't want anyone to find that additional weight as a reason not to love me. Obvious? Probably. Definitely. I would notice it right away in someone else, but in myself, though self aware, I tried to deny this one.

Now, my working out likely has something still to do with that, but also to do with the fact that when I work out I look JAM good and like the way I fit into all my clothes and work a bikini RIGHT. No, you can't see pictures. Lol.

When I told my father how his words affected me and how they impacted my sister as well, he didn't get it. Regardless, I've asked him to not say anything about weight to either of us. It's not for discussion. Your daughters should know that you love them regardless of their weight. I'm not saying that we think he loves us any less if we weigh 5 or 15 or 30 lbs. more than we should, but it never feels okay to wonder that sort of thing about your father.


La said...

9606Wow. Ironically, a friend and I were JUST having a convo last night about how we felt parents shouldn't have kids until they recognized just how profoundly their words and actions can shape their kids.

I am fairly certain that I am who I am, both good and bad, because of the relationship between my parents, and they weren't even married half as long. I'd delve into more of that dynamic, but I'm not always sure I'm ready to. Kudos for being upfront with your dad and recognizing that his issues don't have to be your own.

Sha Boogie said...

Wow...dig it. Do you think he was serious? That is one of my big scares-- doing something that will effect my child well into their adult hood.

Aretha said...

That's heavy. It's hard to believe that a dad would say that to his daughter (not saying it would have been better to say it to his son)knowing one day she'd grow into a woman and get married.

As a parent, I know we don't have handbooks for rearing kids, but some deliberate thinking and strategy has to be behind our words and actions. But, parents aren't perfect. I'm glad that you two still have a relationship because a break-up of parents,even without the explanation, can damage relationships.

Adei von K said...

awww man.

damn, D.

RunningMom said...

wow. I'm glad you stood up and told him he could never say anything about your weight.

My dad was a jerk to my mom in a lot of ways.. he's still my dad but I recognize that he is also just a man.

And well.. some men suck. I'm just saying.

1969 said...

He didn't leave because she got fat. I hope you know that.

As for you telling him to never mention weight to you again....good for you. Love is unconditional and not based on your size.

Momisodes said...

Wow. I can certainly see how just that statement left a huge impression on you both. Especially over time. Good for you for not allowing that subject be up for discussion. I agree that daughters should feel loved regardless. That's a great point.

Sparkling Red said...

That is harsh. I know that your dad is generally speaking a sweetie, but he really put his foot in it that time. At least you have the awareness not to let your consciousness of weight get out of hand. The consequences could have been much worse.

jameil1922 said...

la... lol good luck on that one! if we can't get a child license going, that is certainly not gonna fly! i certainly don't want anyone's issues!

sha... no, he was being spiteful since she told me to ask him that. you will do something that will effect them, just try to make it something good.

aretha... he still doesn't even get it. my brother is actually the one who helped me realize all of that stuff is a long time ago and being pissed isn't going to change any of it.

adei... mm hmm

running... it needed to be said. they need to man up!!

1969... of course i know that. but he still should never have said that.

momisodes... craziness. though not as big a deal to most people, my hair is also on the do not discuss list.

red... right? i don't know about generally speaking. that might be taking it a bit far but he is not a bad person. he does treat people badly a lot, though.

dreamyj said...

blogging has become impossible for me with this whole med school thing but i stopped by and was touched by this. thanks for sharing. it has always amazed me how things from our child hood can impact us in our everyday lives so much for the rest of our lives. i hope you are well!