Saturday, July 21, 2012

Relationships and Supersized Ladies

I had an interesting conversation on this blog article.

"Guys Who Like Fat Chicks"

Scroll down to the comments and see what I had to say to a fat admirer writing in.

Here is a segment:

"I just don't think telling superfat women they have to "settle" is an answer.

Yes, being superfat may even preclude the relationship due to functionality issues to start.

But don't superfat people deserve real LOVE too where the WHOLE PERSON is embraced?

Yes I have had people come up to me in shock, that my husband married me. By the way, his family banned the wedding. Some people told him to his face he was nuts. I have been told I have married "out of my league" even based on his looks. {yes seriously}

 And marriage takes work, but if you are going to have a FETISH skewing it all at the start how successful will it be?"

Too many fat women especially in stratosphere sizes are told they have to "take what they can get". I would fathom it is better to be alone, then to be with someone who has made a fetish out of you. One thing I do know dating can be far harder for those in the extreme sizes, I am not talking just mid-sized fat people but women in the 400plus weight ranges. Many people I know in my weight ranges do not marry, or date at all, some of this is due to the limitations of functionality but also social realities. I dated very late myself.

I'll be honest, when I was in the size acceptance world, I saw many dysfunctional relationships where it seemed to me that very fat women were more prone to ending up with extremely predatory men and ones of dubious moral and other characters. I saw horrible stuff from the sides. Some of the women, were with men who told them because they were very fat, they had to put up with them sleeping with other women and I saw women who took this! There were the abusers and other horrible men. Some treated their very plus sized partners with a disdain, and like they were DOING THEM A FAVOR. If you end up with a man like that run, RUN!

I had this terrible experience of once telling this 400lb+ lady I knew in size acceptance social circles, "You are too desperate to get married, you could end up with an abuser or worse". What happened to her, as I found out a couple years after moving away, was beyond horrible as she lost her life to the worse kind of man. I still shudder thinking about that.

Many superfat women lowered their boundaries to get what they could get, and I noticed in the FA [fat admirer] playground world of size acceptance society, that the FAs I found myself in contact with and turning down because I was already engaged, didn't seem to hold to even normative standards of monogamy and morality. In other words, the numbers of "players" seemed to outdistance, the number of normal guys looking for a wife or girlfriend. As I have written before, I became a Christian later but was conservative enough back then to be horrified.

This can happen to ALL women, but I think anyone facing disabilities and super-obesity they are more at risk. One good friend of mine, now deceased used to tell me "broken" people attract other "broken" people. While some of us may be able to find long-time relationships, and I am not saying even those relationships are trouble free-be married over 10 years and many issues will crop up, super-fat women especially need to be careful out there.

Sometimes with us super-fat women, we have to draw our lines stronger, and even as a relationship develops even years later, make sure to hold to our boundaries. When my husband lost his jobs, and we saw the bottom fall out, a few years back, it put incredible strain on us. I had to face some of my own what the pyschological world would call "co-dependent" behavior and even in my own marriage, make it clear there was expectations that were going to be held up. Things are going well now, but relationships in general take work especially when you are getting close to the 15-20 year mark. If you pair up with someone who is into the "fetish" of fat, I dare say the odds are lesser for a long term commitment. I also question how many of those free-willing fat fetish types hold to old school beliefs regarding marriage, dating or relating?

However remembering what I have seen in the size acceptance world and seeing what other fat women have encountered in the regular dating world unless a super-fat woman has very good support systems and has developed extraordinary confidence, the dating and relationship world is full of more minefields then even for a normal woman. Women can be in danger in looking for relationships to fulfill way too many needs. One person can not hand you self fulfilment on a platter. I believe one cannot get their needs met from one human being even if all the romantic songs tell us otherwise and one should be looking to God first. Others still, having faced a hateful society and endless rejection, some from their own families even, put all their chickens in one basket which can leave them very vulnerable to the wolves of the world out there skulking around to see who they can devour.

So for women who are superfat and in the very high sizes, if you desire to date or marry, you need to be careful. If you choose not to date, that is understandable too because of the other factors including functionality. You have to look at what the other person can handle and make sure they are going into the relationship with their eyes open regarding fertility, health, disability and financial issues. When I married, we did not expect me to live very long. I had already told by the doctors unless I lost weight, and there was already mutterings about my thyroid caused cardiomyopathy, that I would be dead very soon, and I was in and out of the hospital constantly back then with my weight near 700lbs. Maybe I was young and romantic and foolish, to get married at such a huge size, and even years later told my husband maybe it wasn't fair to you, and wondered it then but he has told me I've given him years of happiness despite the hardships and would not change a thing.

So I know women my size can meet someone who does love them, but there is serious dangers out there in the dating world. Other women who face other disabilities, and my husband has to deal with my eroding hearing, also can be more vulnerable. I think I saw too much with those other fat women. As I have written about on this blog many times, even seeing how some super fat women were lured into pornography in size acceptance breaks my heart to this day. This included women in the 600lb plus weight range, being told this exploitation would bring them acceptance. The wolves of the world like to manipulate the suffering.

Anyhow the superfat woman needs to be very careful out there. You may if you decide to date, realize you have to look for something deeper beyond the "meat market". From my own personal opinion that is where your best options lie, where the compatibility is based on shared intellect and personality and outlook in life. For me the life of the mind always counted more then the life of the body. There are other people out there, who do not focus on the physical body to the detriment of everything else.

How They Plan to Get Rich From the Fat

How to get rich from the global obesity crisis

You know that whole Hegelian dialectic thing, create a crisis, and then produce the solutions?...[in this case they desire to produce "solutions" that make them money!] Remember repeated business due to failures in weight loss keeps the whole fat hamster wheel humming.
But what does it mean for your portfolio? A new Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Global Research report looks at how investors can take advantage of what they call the "globesity" trends. Opportunities include:

Pharmaceuticals and Health Care: We look at companies taking advantage of the FDA's increased support for obesity drug development. We also highlight companies tackling related medical conditions and needs including diabetes, kidney failure, hip and knee implants. We also consider equipment such as patient lifts, bigger beds and wider ambulance doors.

Food: We position companies on their efforts to access the $663 billion “health and wellness” market, as well as on how they are reformulating their portfolios to respond to increasing pressure such as “fat taxes” to reduce sugar and fat levels.

Commercial Weight Loss, Diet Management and Nutrition: Up to 50 percent of some western populations pursue dieting, targeted nutrition and behavioral change making it a $4 billion market in the U.S. and growing globally.

Sports Apparel and Equipment: This is the longer-term play, but we believe that promoting physical activity will become a key priority for more government health policies.

"Don't Ignore Poverty In Obesity Fight"

"Don't Ignore Poverty in Obesity Fight"
"Further, it is to a certain extent insulting and condescending — all the banter about teaching families to eat healthy, when just about everyone knows what constitutes healthy eating. The problems are lack of jobs, money, affordable healthy food and the high prices of healthy, nutritious food."

I totally agree.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I Love Antiques

What would be a dream job for me? Probably an antiques dealer.

But then I probably would want to keep all the things.

Economically I am not able to afford many antiques, but when I can find them cheap, I get them. My apartment has Victorian photos, old paintings and pictures plastered around it. Even as I write this, there is an 1800's McCall's framed picture right above me, next to one of my paintings.

One close friend of mine works in estate sales, and I get antiques from her every now and them.  I bought a nice Victorian picture for a dollar.  I like going through what people call Ephemera, old papers, letters and more from the old days. The other day, I went to an antique sale and bought a box of letters--here my interest in stamp collecting merged, and it was actually very fun to go through everything. I have a Victorian picture collection as well.

I find the things of yesteryear to be more beautiful. The craftsmanship is better. Often I feel like I was born in the wrong time, though the rational side of me thinks "How long would you have lasted without air conditioning and antibiotics?"

Childless Not By Choice?

I've been mulling over this issue lately, and found this article

"Is Childlessness Felt More In Middle Age?"

The answer is YES. 

I guess I am surprised there are 1 in 5 of us that never had children. That's 20%. There are many women who do not marry and other factors that play into this. Several of my friends have never had children. 

Late last night I was talking to my husband about this issue, and how we were unable to have children. He married me at my peak weight 14 years ago. We also had a discussion prior to marriage where I told him, the chances of me being able to have a child were pretty low, and he would have to go in with eyes open regarding that factor. He is not troubled by the no child thing, which has been a relief to me, given that if I had married someone who got bothered by it, as they aged, that may have caused a lot of trouble for me. He sees his "legacy" being in other places.

Trying to have a child when I was going in and out of the hospital with statis ulcers, infections and severe breathing problems would have been insanity nonetheless at near 700lbs. I am considered mostly infertile. When we married, it was kind of odd, I did not expect to live long at that time.

My periods disappeared at age 19 and only came around later either under Provera or other drugs, and well I maybe have a period a couple times a year now. My doctors however hedging the bets, told me to use birth control religiously just even for that slight chance I may ovulate on an off day. I have been told by three different doctors I would die if I got pregnant. This has more to do with just the severe obesity but with the cardiomyopathy issues from the hypothyroidism and others.

I've always have tried to be a responsible sort even if I have failed at it, at least knowing bringing a child into a household where the two adults could barely take care of themselves financially and with such severe health problems was crazy. I also have to admit I feared passing on the severe obesity, and other health problems but that definitely did not form the core of my not having children, being swamped by tsumanis of ill health and severe financial problems for years and years, had far more to do with it.

I also admit that I was on the fence about having children even on a mothering-nuturance basis, I worked in day care, I babysat, I took care of violent teens who were hard core residential cases, so I knew the nitty gritty, from day one and what actual child-care took and that I was not in financial,  physical or emotional shape for it. Online, there are these extensive "child-free" groups,. but most of those folks are child-free by CHOICE, which in our crazy society and the financial and other stresses, one can see why people would be leaning that way, but that doesn't describe my situation in total.

Our society makes motherhood look all bliss but it's not, its a 24/7 job. Even if you have children does not mean everything will turn out perfect. Also who wants to have children with selfish intentions? You have to be there for the child and able to GIVE.

My time to get pregnant was as a teen or in my very early 20s, I have to admit, that sometimes I wish I had been more wild and gotten pregnant when young despite the hardships, because at least I wouldn't be looking back with regrets knowing there would be no "family", and no "children". Part of me doesn't regret it, in that, I did not think I was well suited to the rigors, and I probably made the "best" choice given I and my husband's circumstances. But there is that part that does regret it. This mostly has to do with feeling "alone" in this world, and knowing I have no "family" in the way that counts.
You hear about people visiting or their relationship even with an adult child, or see the endless family photos on a social website and it can be tough business.

You do start worrying "what if I grow old and I am alone in the world?" I've had the scary thing already happen where they thought my husband was having a heart attack 11 years ago, and he was hooked up to wires and more, and beyond being terrified for him, I had the fleeting thought, "What is going to happen to me?" It turns out his heart was OK, but he has other worrying health problems, that bring this issue to the forefront. No one wants to have children simply to be a future caretaker, what if they move away? But these issues come to mind.

I worry about my husband ending up alone when I am gone, because he only has one living relative-a sister, in the entire country, and she already has had cancer and never had children either, not having married. Both of his parents are deceased. So yes that sort of thing troubles me quite a bit.

Our society is very family-centric. Even if you happen to be a married couple and there are plenty of people who are single too, you can be made to feel like you are on the fringes as you have no children. I've experienced this in churches and other venues, where having no children, grown or otherwise means you didn't fit in. I grew up in a family where because of its religious culture, one is not viewed as a "full adult" unless they had children. Oddly I grew up under the conflicting demands of extreme feminism coupled with this idea that unless I fulfilled certain demands--motherhood and a high level career, that I was not worth anything.

I think in times past even if one didn't have children, they were included in the family of origin, as the auntie, or uncle, where they could become close to nieces and nephews, and be on going part of their lives. This option hasn't been opened to me, though I try to send them cards and visit as I am able, I remain somewhat a stranger since they only see me once a year. Two nephews I haven't seen in three years. One aspect that is frustrating about dropping down the socio-economic ladder is the upper middle class has no qualms about living hundreds of miles or even thousands of miles from each other, but what happens if you fall down the ladder and can't afford the gas or trips? You feel you have failed in these relationships despite your best efforts.

More and more I have been closed out of my own family circles, it is a long story, but something I have noted has made things far more difficult for me. For a variety of factors ranging from how my weight is viewed, personality, religious differences and too many miles and miles of distance, the door has been shut more narrow every year. Some childless people have a family of origin that still surrounds them even on a day to day basis. Even if they do not have children of their own, they are included in their sibling's lives and lives of other relatives. They have relatives, their aunts and uncles even who remain part of their life. What happens to those without "families"?

I always try to find "families" of friends, and have sought other forms of community in life, and other endeavors and am glad I have my husband but lately have been mulling over this no child and no "family" thing and realizing some of my emotions about it all. I have told my husband and he understands, this feeling of "not being connected", and I know for me, when I lost my last community and close church 6  years ago, because of these issues, that the pain for me was more acute then it would be for an average person.  There are things I was able to do and explore without the responsibility of children so it is not all bad, but just some things I am thinking out.

I had this weird dream years and years ago. It is kind of strange, but I had in my early 20s, and it repeated a few times. I had a "daughter" who was grown visit me and tell me, "I won't be able to come earth to be born". What a strange dream, but I think it came out my knowing my body didn't work right, and that things were not going to be "normal" for me.

If there are others reading this who never had children married or single. I know how hard it can be. Some could be facing children who moved away or cut contact.  Some may even have chosen not to have children, whether they stood by that decision later or regretted it or understood why they had to make those choices.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Those Were the Days!

Ah can you imagine this today?

I guess back then when life was still normal and the food not chemically laden people had to worry more about not being TOO THIN...

Isolation From A Too Hot Summer

It looks like the summer from hell has hit. I have to admit I am not in the mood for this, and you think after this many years of the disabled life, I'd be used to it.  We have had in my neck of the woods, 100 degree temperatures for multiple days in a row. It is insane. As you all know I am housebound when it hits over 83 degrees as well as in cold too, due to a combination of COPD and asthma. Months inside are nothing new to me. After all it's one reason I get housecall doctors. But for some reason as I get older, instead of getting more used to it, it doesn't seem to get any easier.

I went out to eat with a friend when it was on the border temperature, we went out early in the morning and I coughed and wheezed all the way home, but this stuff, when it's a soup pot outdoors, it is scary for those of us with respiratory disorders. Just walking into air like that within a minute or two, will have me with the lungs struggling. One thing when you can't breath and the oxygen sinks low and the phlegm rises, it brings terrible panic. Sucking it up, doesn't work in that. I am scared for people in all the places without air conditioning. I wonder if the people in my sort of health conditions can get help. I have been in places in the winter where there was no power where I feared for my life and breathing.

Having the apartment window air conditioner on for full blast for hours and hours. has kept it at a bearable 81-82 degrees in the apartment. Yes it is that hot. There is also some crazy drought which my area of the country very rarely sees that has sun and fire-blasted every single blade of grass into yellow straw. My mood feels as just as dry and rusted out.

So life for me has come to a stand still most of this summer. When the weather breaks I pop out, I did a presentation at a self help group I was in acouple weeks ago, but then the door slams back shut! So it is a strange way to live life.

It's kind of difficult, I have to admit feelings of ennui and isolation lately. Sometimes going on a social website can be a torturous event watching people seem unable to feel heat, not letting 100 degrees stop them from doing anything. You wonder, "Was I ever that healthy"? I think in my case I never was.

 I have had some people visit me, a couple friends so that has been nice, and kept things bearable but you feel apart from life. It is painful. The small pleasures of life get stripped away, no groups, no time outdoors. I have this ongoing fantasy of a 50 degree day, my favorite temperatures, and a cool wind blowing wearing a sweater but not too cold. LOL. I have had periods of time when I have been inside 90 days straight. The weather is growing worse, no matter if you believe it's global warming or not. Mild is not the word anyone could use to describe the weather anymore.

So I write, do poetry and other art projects to try and distract myself. But it's hard to explain the pain and how the isolation troubles a person. I hate being housebound even with the years of having to deal with this. I built up an "indoor life" that has a lot of Internet connections, hobbies, phone calls and art projects to keep me going but I have noticed when I hit the 2-3 week mark of this nonsense with no let-up or break in it all, I start getting very antsy. I missed too many things over the last few weeks from a disability meeting to a self help meeting to not being able to visit an art center. It could be worse, I at least have my husband in here, but the feelings of "missing out" definitely are there.


"Housebound Fat People"