TW: psychological abuse, ableism
I had a depression the other day, and I realize why. I could not say no. I was told in school I couldn’t ignore my bullies, that I had to interact with them no matter how much they abused me, it got to a point where I felt I had to retreat inside my mind because that was the only place they couldn’t get to me.
I had trouble saying no or ignoring bullies, because when I went to school, I was taught I must please others my survival depended on it. If I was in trouble, I’d be put in detention with people likely to bully me. I wouldn’t be allowed to leave, to go home. This is why whenever I was bullied instead of saying no, I acted passive aggressively. I was taught from a very early age I must make sure everyone likes me, or they will tell on me, and I will be held in school against my will forbidden to go home.
I never was able to say this, I would deny it, but it was psychological abuse. As fat people we are told we must exercise, despite the people we turn to who should help us in that, abusing us. Trainers passing along their “funny” stories about how they sadistically put a fat person through an extreme round of fitness, only to take sick pleasure in watching them give up so they could confirm their beliefs that fat people are lesser than them. Their need to make fun of fat people, and to intimidate them, like the people from boards like /fit/.
We’re told that we should take this abuse, that we shouldn’t complain, and say no. We’re fat, we need to be thin. When we try to become thin, we are abused, and have exercise and fitness tied into triggers. Either we force ourselves to be thin to escape the constant abuse visited on fat people, despite that it means we expose ourselves to people who would want to and take pleasure in hurting us. Or we accept we’re deserving of the abuse of being bullied for being fat. That is what it’s like to be fat in today’s society.
Society puts us in a place where we’re punished for asking for help, and we’re punished for not doing what we ought to. I know this all too well, because I have Asperger’s Syndrome, and I was in Special Ed. If I didn’t perform well in school, I was punished, despite being told I must accomplish tasks that seemed impossible for me to do. I was told I was bad, and I needed to improve, and yet never given a way I could improve without having to overcome my disabilities.
This is what it’s like to be fat in a society that tells you, you must be thin, yet gives you no help in getting there other than you should be exercising and eating right. Vague advice. If you ask for more help, you are smugly condescended to and treated as if you must be stupid for not figuring it out on your own. When you go to trainers, they delight in humiliating you for being fat, and push you to a point you cannot stand only to watch you leave.
These people create a system, where we are made to confirm their own negative stereotypes of us. If you cannot learn properly you are a failure, despite things being set up to make it impossible for you to do so. Then you must be dumb. If you cannot exercise, and your fat, despite being made to follow a system that will not work for you be it a diet program, or exercise mandated by a trainer with a grudge against fat people. Then you must be lazy. I understand now, how this made it so I felt I must be perfect. Most of my life I was criticized and abused for not being able to do things that were beyond my abilities. I now can finally move on free from the guilt and obligation that I must please people or else I will suffer. No one should have to feel like this, because our schools make it so students must go to a place, where they can’t say no to psychological abuse. It causes damage in so many different areas of their life.