Monday, September 28, 2015

Let's go Bizarro

Bloomsbury Coffeehouse
Soy Cappuccino
Chai Spice Biscotti

I just came from the physical therapist today.  Yep, going through that again.  This time, however, they might actually approve the referral.  I'm still trying to squeeze in as many appointments as I can, just in case, since I won't get billed for any treatments prior to the official denial.  Nonetheless, I have been assured that the insurance has changed their policies regarding pain management so there shouldn't be any problem getting this approved.

So they say.

I have been through this so many times, I have a conditioned dread of seeking help.  Towards the end of my first appointment, I almost started crying (catchphrase!) in front of the therapist, worrying that I wasn't broken enough, or hadn't described all the pain or in the right way, to get the insurance to approve it this time.  Again, they tell me it's going to be different this time.  But there was another deeper emotion mixed in that was driving the feeling of break down: body-hate.  I just hate my body right now.  Loathe it.

I have been fantasizing lately about Bizarro Chandra - the super-healthy, super-well-adjusted version of me from another incarnation of the universe.  Bizarro Chandra doesn't have these pain problems.  She never gained too much weight - she eats right, she does yoga.  She finished school and got a real job - she's probably your favorite math professor - so she has real health insurance, which she almost never has to use because she's so super-healthy and awesome like that.  She still doesn't wear make-up but she's still a super-hottie.  And crying at inopportune moments is not her catchphrase, because she has her shit together.  She is my most positive visualization of myself.

In short, Bizarro Chandra is my evil fucking nemesis.

And lately, I can't stop beating myself up with the image of this person I can never be.  No matter how much I can improve in this real-world version of myself, I will never be like that.  Too much damage has been done.  Even if I lose this extra weight that is such a burden to carry, and recover the functionality and strength in my body, I will still be left with a sack of extra skin hanging off me.  I already look like a half-deflated windsock and I've got at least another 30 pounds to relieve myself of to feel healthy and functional.  I fantasize about this mythical post-weightloss head-to-toe plastic surgery - so I wouldn't feel like a walking Savini gunk-dissolve - but I can't fathom ever paying for it.  I've priced it out and it would probably cost as much as we earned last year.  And even if we had an extra year of pay, and, miraculously, no bills to put it towards, I still could not justify spending that much money, no matter what it would cost me mentally to keep carrying that baggage - forever.

It has become abundantly clear that we're never getting out of this financial state.  Whatever changes will not be enough - it's not mathematically possible.  So whatever resources we have will have to be put towards making sure the boys are okay and have an education with as little financial burden as possible.  Retirement is not going to be an option for us, so we have to keep ourselves healthy enough for as long as we can to keep ourselves in the workforce - for as long as we can literally stand it.  So, costly indulgences like having a less cumbersome body that I don't have to think about are totally off the table.

So this is the Is!  I fucked up along the way and this is the body I have and I have to deal with it.  There are still things I can do to make it work better.  They may be much harder to do than other people think they ought to be, but they can still be done.  And my body doesn't really matter so much anyway, right?  I need it to function for my sake - and my family's sake, so I can take care of them - but in the grand scheme of things, who gives shit, right?  What I have to say and do and and who I am as a human being, is far more important to the world than what my body looks like.  Right?  And it's not like I'm in the dating scene anyway, so what do I care?

Yeah, all true, but I fucking care.  It's not just that my body hurts, it's that my mind hurts to think about my body... especially naked.  I'm angry at my physical pain because I feel like it's yet another way I have failed, failing to somehow take care of myself in spite of the obvious obstacles.  And I'm angry at my reflection because, even though I have known so many men - even particularly gorgeous men - who can love and be attracted to women of all physical states (including this women), I still feel undesirable - unlovable.  I even feel a sick pang of embarrassment at noticing an attractive celebrity.  As if I can metaphysically feel his disgust, or pity, and rejection of my attraction.  Like I'm a damn teenager again.

Perhaps, it's some deep-seated fear that, even though I've become strong enough (sometimes) to accept that I can be desirable to some mere mortal, if that same hottie were famous and had other options, I wouldn't stand a chance of being loved by him.  And I'm married!  I'm not looking for anyone else but the man who does love me.  But still, emotionally, I am always seeking that validation.  It's something primal, I guess.  Acceptance, not just by the Group, but by the Alpha Group.

I am aware of just how much of a downer this useless blog is.  But I guess it can't be useless if I needed to write it.  I know I am not alone.  I know that body-hate isn't just for fat chicks.  And sometimes I can inhabit that Bizarro Chandra mindset and love my own body, or at least not give a shit whether anyone else does or not.  But that's for me to work out.  What I would really like to see is a little more Bizarro from the outside world.

I would love to see an art project, a photobook or some such, of those rarefied A-list, Sexiest Men Alive types in intimate couplings with Hollywood's rejects.  All those people denied representation in the cultural consciousness - from my fellow fatties to the gay-lesbian-trans folks to any person of non-white color to the wide array of people with disabilities of one kind or other - being shown loved by their fellow human beings who already reside in that elite space.  It is not about being validated because of some beautiful person's interest in you - to make you feel better.  The power of it would come from seeing the people you identify with being fully accepted and integrated into this highest abstract ideal of our society.  After all, the absence of these real-life truths from our cultural vision can be absolutely devastating.

And we self-haters are fully capable of dismissing even this gesture.  We can tell ourselves that these rich, beautiful people want to be seen doing something nice, but they couldn't actually be interested in us in real life.  So, I would make it a part of the design of such a project that anyone approached as a participant has to actually believe they could, under the right circumstances (as in, if they weren't already married to another rich and beautiful person, etc) be in a relationship with the person they were ultimately paired up with.  Like a preliminary hypothetical dating service pre-screening.  Because the truth is that such couples do happen in real life.  Not everyone is stuck with Hollywood's narrow and superficial tastes.  Plenty are that bad, but plenty more prefer to live a little Bizarro.

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