When I first started living together with my husband before we were married he took me to meet his father. I was excited to make the trip and was looking forward to creating a lasting bond with the man. Little did I know, the only lasting bond created would be one that consisted of years of mental and verbal abuse.
The one thing I asked to do while we were there was to visit a White Castle. If you’ve never been to one let me tell you about it (or click the link and enjoy!). They say there’s two kinds of people that have been to one. They either love it, or they hate it. I’m one of those folks that love it!
White Castle is a groovy little burger place that has perfected the art of fast food hamburgers. They taste of this wonderful onion flavor with dill pickle thrown in just for difference sake. You don’t order just one. You order them by the half dozen or the dozen. I can eat four of them in one sitting. I know that sounds like a lot of hamburgers, but they’re small and dainty and just perfectly right. They are the original slider hamburger.
Every time we passed one on our “whirlwinded” tour of the town where he lived, I would cry out from the back seat, where I eventually felt trapped, and he would keep talking, as if I never said a word. He ignored the only request I had made on that one (and only! we never went back) visit.
Oh, but it didn’t end there.
For the last twenty years the only insult my father in law is capable of sharing about his only daughter in law is that I’m fat, in his opinion. One of his favorites is to tell people that “he remembers how hungry I always was”. Any time my name is brought up, or he feels compelled to strike out at his son, he starts with the one taunt he thinks will cut the deepest. Truth be told, it’s the only ammo he has since he’s only seen me twice.
The two reactions he gets from me are, first and foremost, silence. I really don’t participate in dialogue with bullies. A man that calls a woman fat is truly the lowest of the low. I feel pity for him because I’m sure he polices every morsel he puts in his mouth. What kind of life is one where you cease to enjoy and marvel at what the world has to offer, simply because you’re worried about what people see when they look at you? I’d rather carry a few extra pounds than to sit in judgement as if I have no defects.
The the second is confusion. It is incredibly ironic to me that this is something he so cavalierly tosses out there to hurt us, when his own daughter has struggled with obesity for her entire life. It makes me wonder what he sees when he looks at her.
When she and I were friends a long time ago I can tell you that I never looked at her and saw her weight. It just wasn’t something that I concerned myself with. I didn’t love her outside. I loved her insides.
I remember listening to her talk about the new and interesting ways she was counting calories and I marveled at the tools she could find to add to her phone that would tell her exactly how much sugar and carbs were in a meal we just had at a restaurant. She was constantly exercising by running and taking self defense classes.
She worried about my weight and reached out to me by sharing different new methods she thought I might like to try. I remember one day she called me out of the blue and told me that she was concerned about me. She had been reading a book about the ways people carried fat on their bodies and that I carried mine high on my midsection. She explained that this was what caused people to have heart attacks and she made me promise to do a diet with her after the beginning of the year. She was always working on herself and exploring her options and that is what I saw when I looked at her.
I never saw her weight.
These are all things I am sure he doesn’t know about her.
But then, he doesn’t know anything at all about me either.
Except that he thinks I’m fat and he likes to shame me for being overweight.
He never offers advice or helpful tips.
Just shame and degradation.
I don’t have to wonder what all of this says about his character, or his heart. I already know and have long ago dispensed with caring because you can’t care once you can truly see what is actually happening here.
He’s the monkey reaching behind to his own asshole, and scooping up a steaming pile of his own shit to throw at you.
It has nothing to do with me and it has nothing to do with his daughter. It’s just all his shit and his misery.
Even though she and I are no longer friendly, at least we are blessed to be far enough away from him now, that his shit can’t touch us anymore.