They say that a change is as good as a holiday, so here is something different from my poetry. I deliberated long and hard as to posting this as it is very personal, but maybe it will help someone else.
Nicknames can be torturous like Bugs Bunny for the child with buck teeth or Blubber for the overweight. These are usually dished out by the school bullies trying to prove their superiority and gain favour amongst their peers. What about the endearing ones like Pumpkin or Sweetie Pie or Princess that are given to us by our loved ones? They sometimes stick around only for childhood or there are those that last your whole life because of an unfortunate incident or some comedy that your family will never forget. These all leave us warm and fuzzy because we know they were given with love and are used to show affection. Then there are the unfortunate ones that were perhaps given with the same idea of love and affection, but later on in life have possibly had a different effect.
I had one such nickname from my mother… Dumps. I have no idea where it came from or what it was supposed to mean. Unfortunately there is no longer anyone around who can enlighten me. I’ve heard dumpling used on television shows as an endearing name and thought it sweet, but then I wasn’t called dumpling… just Dumps. However it does conjure up a…. big fat dumpling. Hmmm…. interesting considering these days I seem to resemble an oversized round mass of dough. I’m warm and comforting.
I know that I was a chubby baby, but as far as I know most healthy babies gain extra weight as they grow and then grow out of it. I was never a magazine cover model size, but I wasn’t considered fat in high school. I even managed to snag myself a husband. My weight got out of hand during my second pregnancy and has not come right yet. I put it this way because I believe that I can get it under control and this morning I had an Aha! moment during my meditation regarding this soul wrenching, confidence sapping condition. You do find confident overweight people who don’t seem to have a problem with their ‘excess baggage’. I don’t know if they are hiding behind a brave face or if they genuinely have accepted themselves for who they are. I have not managed that.
Back to my realization this morning. I could feel the ‘skinny’ person inside. This person is buried under nicknames and incorrect beliefs. One of these beliefs is that if I want to be warm and loving and motherly I need to be cuddly – and you can’t cuddle a bag of bones (no disrespect meant to skinny people). Huh? Where did this come from? I don’t want to be a stick figure. Hell, I don’t even feel that I need to be at that magical BMI weight that my medical aid tells me is a must for me to earn more points. I don’t ever remember being sixty four kilograms in my entire adult life. And let me tell you that that is the maximum weight in my range for my forty-one-years of age and one hundred and sixty centimetre short stature. I wonder if these hulking body builders who by all accounts are healthy, fall within their BMI ranges.
I digress. My whole point with this rant is that my nickname has taken on an identity all of its own and I have adopted that identity and made myself what I was called. NOT COOL! I don’t blame my mother for this as I cannot believe that she had any ill intentions. For those of you screaming at me to just take responsibility for shoving all those chocolates in my gob – you can stop. I hear you and I am. I am taking responsibility for how I behave now and working on this. I am now on a journey to say to hell with what everyone else thinks of me or calls or called me in the past. I wash my hands and literally shake my right hand (the one responsible for release – the left receives) as if trying to fling the shit off of it. Time to discover who I actually am, not the person that I have intentionally or unintentionally been programmed to be. With this said, I’m not solely blaming others for the programming, but myself as well as I absorbed these and made them a part of myself. Time to forgive myself too.
Debbie Gravett © 2017.05.28