I just spent the last hour or so, sporadically looking for the perfect photo for this post. And just now, I realized…this is one of those posts that doesn’t need a photo. This isn’t about the bells and whistles. This post is about me keeping my promise to share all the stuff that comes up emotionally, physically, mentally and even spiritually while on this journey to find my healthiest self.
Today is Day 69 and the week started out with me asking myself the question “What is the point in all this?” And that hasn’t gone away. I’m still asking the question. Only now, I’m asking it in a different way. “What the fcuk is the point!?” WHAT THE FCUK IS THE POINT!?
I had a meltdown at bootcamp on Monday. I fought with one of our trainers. Cried. Hated every single moment of it. Hated it. Spent much of the class talking myself out of quitting. Gratefully, I’m not much of a quitter, but I wanted to. Believe me. When I was leaving, I had a conversation with the trainer that I fought with. By the time that conversation was over, I realized she’s just really committed to every single person in that program doing awesome and that’s it. Everything she says comes from THAT place. So the fight wasn’t about her. My being upset..it wasn’t about her. But I was visibly upset by it all. I was shaken. Thrown off. Mad. Sad. Vulnerable. And I wasn’t sure why. Because in the grand scheme, it wasn’t that big a deal. But it felt like a REALLY B I G D E A L.
Then yesterday, while I had lunch with a friend, she heard something in what I said as I was sharing with her about Monday night. So she asked the question that I was afraid she’d ask…without knowing she’d ask it. “I heard you say to the trainer – You don’t know what it’s like. What did you mean? What is it like?”
I spent 3 months living in Beijing, China when I was working during the 2008 Summer Olympics. It was definitely my dream job, and I worked with amazing people who are great friends of mine now. We had a lot of fun. We experienced a lot of new things. We climbed the Great Wall of China. We saw the Terracotta warriors. If you ask anyone, they loved it and can’t wait to go back. Some of my friends have since, gone back. But me?
You couldn’t pay me enough to go back.
I don’t talk about why. I don’t tell people what happened, or what my experience was like. I just tell people “Yeah, I worked in Beijing during the Olympics and yes, it was very cool.”
I don’t talk about what it was like to have to spend an extra hour or two psyching myself up in the living room, pacing back and forth to put myself in the right frame of mine so I could leave the house. I have never told anyone that the people, so unused to seeing someone overweight walking the streets, used to point at me, and grab each other and make sure I didn’t walk by unnoticed. I can’t even talk about all those people who pulled out their cameras to take my photo when I stood at the stop light. Or those who simply shout the words “ooooOO FAT” at me as I’d walk by them. Never mind telling anyone about those people who would take out their video cameras and film themselves standing behind me or beside me and doing some commentary, so they could show the folks back home about the “circus freak” wandering the streets of Beijing.
No one can know that I would wear my sunglasses even on rainy days because I didn’t want anyone on the street to see the pain in my eyes when they’d stare at me like I was some kind of monster. Or that time that toddler looked up at me and screamed and cried because clearly…I’m a scary monster.
The people I was in Beijing with, the friends I made while I was there, don’t know that I used to walk out of the lobby of the hotel, and get straight into a taxi because less people could see me, and get out of the taxi right in front of the building where I worked, so the least amount of eyes would be directed at me. They had no idea that the times I went to get deep tissue massage done at a clinic for my knee, that the people in the clinic would try and up-sell weight loss acupuncture for a half hour before they’d treat my knee.
Every. Single. Time.
I can’t tell people that this me, this person who loves and who lives and breathes and is ever grateful for the kindness of others, and the love that people have for each other, that I’m the same person who actually fears what people think when she walks down the street. That I literally cringe when I see a tourist with a video camera. That I couldn’t keep my shit together long enough to enjoy my experience in Beijing. Because I have never in my whole life felt more humiliated or embarrassed. That I would go out shopping, come home, have a cry, and then go on with my day. I can’t tell people that if I could put on an invisibility cloak and walk down the street to be saved from people’s stares and jeers and pointing…I would. I don’t want people to know I was weak enough to have had that experience, and that it forced me to find new ways to protect myself and my heart.
People can’t know that THIS is the reason I get so riled up when people are unkind to eachother. My level of passion and/or disdain for the stories about bullying…there isn’t an explanation for it. When I hear of another teenager killing themselves because of all the bullying..it makes me want to slit the throat of the world we live in. Because how in the world can we be so fucking ignorant to one another? Don’t you know the damage that can be done to another human being? We all have feelings. Doesn’t matter how old we are or how old we get. Shit like that stays with you.
I was 38 years old in Beijing in 2008. And, 6 years later, on Monday night, I cried like a 10 year old at bootcamp because we had to go outdoors and walk through downtown to get to where we were going to run some hills and I was mortified. I was humiliated all over again. I didn’t know it at the time. Because what happened in Beijing…was supposed to stay in Beijing. No one needs to know that I was bullied by an entire culture. No one needs to know that.
And honestly..the last thing I wanted to do was tell you about this. To put out into the world the humiliating experience that has impacted me for the past 6 years…There’s a reason why I don’t talk about my experience in China other than to say “I’d never go back” and “yeah, it was cool” even though it wasn’t.
Because my experience in China, broke my heart.
And the only way I know to protect it is to eat all the mini eggs. And pretend like it never happened. But, that hasn’t exactly worked for me…so I thought I’d try something else.