I hate it when I make mistakes. I hate it when I'm not approved of.
Three and a bit years ago, I built my self esteem on the fact that I'd lost a lot of weight, and that I was a weight watchers leader. I was in denial that I was probably really quite honestly suffering from a bit of an eating disorder. That my son was (and still is) strong willed, and that I wasn't coping well with the thought of him going to school. That my judgement of myself and others was at an all time high. I couldn't meet another person without assessing them and wondering if I was bigger or smaller than them, what they thought of me, what I thought of them, and so on and so on. It was exhausting.
I also had to load my car up every time I worked with Weight Watchers products. I had a child who just wanted to be around me. I had a chronic pain problem and I regularly binged on food at night, then ate just vegetables during the day so that I'd still be at the right weight for my job. But even at my smallest, I still wasn't the right weight for my job. We had to report our weight to area managers every month, and obtain the weights of the weighers as well. There was a woman in her sixties who had been doing the job forever, and I had to do her the ingratitude of asking for her weight every month, and being forced by management to suggest that she wasn't following the program.
I was appointed WW Leader because there was nobody else in the Shepparton area to do this, and because I was working towards a healthy weight. I had already lost 22 kilos, but my weight was not in the healthy weight range (it was 35 kilos lighter than I am today). I was passionate and excited about the opportunity - I contacted a local media outlet to do an interview on the new venue we were moving to, and they wanted to do a story on us. Only problem was, that because my BMI wasn't within a healthy range, I wasn't allowed to speak on camera. I could only identify as a member, because I wasn't successful enough for them. But I was successful enough to run a meeting. I started to become bitter.
At the time, I was friends with some people who I'd get together with and be extremely judgemental about everyone. We'd spend hours on Facebook making fun of people and talking about boyfriends and friends and English humour. I was just getting my identity back after having my son, who was 3 and very strong willed. I liked being around these people because they represented me being approved of. Me being acceptable. If we got together and made fun of other people, at least it wasn't me that was being made fun of. It wasn't a very nice way to behave and yet it was addictive. A large part of my identity was caught up in hanging out with these younger people.
So when they started to withdraw their friendship, I didn't see it coming. I was distracted and bitter and angry and I just thought that they weren't available. I thought they were busy. But then I started to get the horrible feeling that I was being talked about the way we used to talk about other people. That I had gone from the judger to the judged. And I didn't want to let that go. So I clung on. Too tight. I did silly stuff like delete people from Facebook and re-add them and then agonise over that. To message and to cry and to plead. I was putting way too much pressure on myself in the job that I was in and in my parenting. This was one part of my life that had to go right. I had to make it go right.
But then it all went wrong. We definitely weren't friends any more. But I still kept in touch with what one girl was doing by reading her blog. And when I read that she was suffering from depression and anxiety, I thought that contacting her would be the right thing to do. To send forth a message of hope and encouragement. I guess I'd forgotten about the crazy way I acted and thought that she would want to know my answers. How incredibly arrogant of me.
I didn't think much of this until just recently, three years later, I saw this girl and she ignored me. Just blanked me. Was angry that I tried to speak to her and walked away from me. And I know I'm 38 and a mother of two and all, but it still hurt to be rejected. I don't get much rejection in my daily life. I have rebuilt myself and realised that I had parts of me that needed fixing. I have tried my best to make amends to those who I hurt when I was so lost. I have sought help with my eating problems, my judgement problems, and I have tried to take my ego out of my parenting. To accept my children the way they are and love them in the way that they need, not that I want.
But my ex-friend doesn't know this. I find this hard to realise, but it's true. She doesn't want to speak to the angry, bitter, irrational woman that I was years ago, and on some level I understand that. She doesn't know who I am today, and that I give my friends space and let them be who they are. She doesn't know that I want to help her and say I'm sorry.
I suppose I will never get that chance. Sometimes, you say sorry by leaving someone alone and letting them heal from your behaviour. I never meant to hurt her, but I guess I did. And she doesn't want to talk to me, and I have to accept that.
I hate it when I make mistakes. I hate it when I'm not approved of. But that is life, and I must accept it.