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  • Writer's pictureWellington Lambert

My well-fed fat face

Learning to be hated

Ok, hate is a strong word, but it feels like hate when you’re a people pleaser. I have spent a large part of my life telling people what they want to hear. Molding myself into a shape that doesn’t offend anyone. Accepting insults and put downs without rebuke. I hated myself afterwards and I hated the people who I twisted myself for. It is not their fault, but it is not, not their fault.

Once, after a direct hit in conversation I suddenly had enough and approached the topic of put downs. It was immediately met with the response of “it’s your fault for not saying something.” I think this is called gas lighting now, but then I didn’t know how to respond so I just abruptly cut that person out of my life. I do have a limit. I think it is interesting that they don’t realize that if I was the sort of person who would have “said something”, we wouldn’t be “friends” in the first place. Once someone gets comfortable controling you through your endless lack of self esteem, it becomes a match made in heaven for them and hell for you. That coupled with an overactive empathetic guilt response, some might say I was fucked.

Unfortunately, this experience was not the first and it was a few decades to be my last. It was so second nature to accept these comments and relationships that I did not second guess why or when I was trained to become such a door mat.

Now, this being said, there are a few people who I have been lucky to meet who are still my friends now. Our relationships hold a healthy give and take. They are strong enough to hold themselves on their own and do not require constant restructuring of their ego through put downs or the usual dribble of pseudo-intelligence I was subject to listen to. I have been lucky to meet them.

But there is one person who did give me a voice. My husband, who I met 23 years ago. I learned I could fight and not remain angry, most of the time. I learned that when I am positively reinforced, I feel the darkness lift. I learned that I can be the support I needed myself.

As I am curious why I would attract such characters, I am also curious why they would need someone to feel superior to. Was I a pick me up they could hold onto; did I actually offer them anything of substance? Did they feel they were doing me a favor? I’m sure the answers to the questions are varied and complicated. All I can do is try and speak up when I feel myself being drawn into a fake version of myself. It’s hard, because it is so easy.

So, hate me if you want, at least now, you will know who you are hating.

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