Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Formspring, Take 2


formspring

I’ve written about hellspring . . . er . . . Formspring before.  I had closed mine, and then over break got bored, and decided to start it up again.  So far, people have, for the most part, asked respectful questions.  I leave it so that anonymous people can ask questions because I’ve gotten some good questions about recovery that I don’t think people would ask if they had to attach their name to the question.

Then this morning, I got one of those not-nice questions: “Why are you so fat?”  I’m really not sure that the person who asked that question wanted my initial reaction to be bursting out loud into laughter.  I think that person probably meant it as an insult.  My answer: “because I’m healthy!!!”

A) I know I’m not fat.  In any sense of the word.  I’m not overweight.  I’m not pudgy.  I’m not ill proportioned.  I am a very healthy size for someone who is my height.

B)  I am secure in this self-knowledge, so a comment like this really does make me laugh.

C) This person obviously isn’t a friend because a friend would know that because of the ARVD and my heart, doing anything that would alter my weight negatively could risk my life.

D) I am concerned for the individual asking the question for multiple reasons.  This individual thinks it’s funny to insult someone, which my mother always told me was impolite, rude, and disrespectful.  “If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all” kind of thinking.  This person thinks it’s okay to make someone else feel like shit, and generally that means the person doing the dishing isn’t that secure in his or her own self.  This person, if they honestly think I’m fat, really has a skewed perception of what thin, healthy, and fat are and that’s concerning and unhealthy.  And finally, the people who would consider me fat tend to be the people who have an eating disorder and are in the “pro-ana” camp, whether or not they will label it that, and that is very dangerous indeed.

E) People can leave comments such as this on my formspring and I won’t give a damn.  I worked my ass off to get “this fat” and I’m damn fucking proud of this.  Because when I would have been considered “thin” or even “normal” by this questioner’s standards, I would have been close to death.  Oh, I just threw out that D word and questioners such as this one tend to scoff at that, but I don’t.  Because I have a list of over ten men and women who I knew personally that died because of their eating disorder.  And I can’t keep track of how many parents I know who have lost their child or the number of people I’ve met on online forums who have died from their eating disorders.  So guess what, this “fat” girl rests secure in the knowledge that she’s alive and is thankful for it.

F) But I know a great many people who, if they had gotten this question, would have taken it to heart and would have stopped eating or would have gone on an insanely long run.  Even though they’re already underweight or at a healthy, normal weight, thus putting their lives in immediate danger.  And even if someone is technically and medically considered overweight, hearing a comment like this could result in the beginnings of an eating disorder or an exacerbation of existing symptoms and would definitely result in feelings of worthlessness and shame and guilt and depression.

Basically, the person who left that question for me was engaging in cyber-bullying, a situation that has gotten way out of hand and had resulted in individuals hurting themselves and committing suicide.  In what moral world is that considered okay?

Please, if you are suffering from an eating disorder or self-harm or depression or just have days when you feel like shit, do yourself a favor and protect your formspring account and either block anonymous questions or block anyone who isn’t approved as your friend.  No one needs these questions.

And please, if you’re the person asking them, take a look inside yourself and ask yourself these questions: Is it okay to make someone else feel like shit?  Why do I feel the need to belittle other people?  What would I feel like if someone asked me this question?  Am I willing to be the trigger behind an act of self-destruction?  Why do I take pleasure in causing other people pain?

Have some respect for yourself and other people and cut the crap.

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February 3, 2011 - Posted by | Body Image, depression, Eating Disorders, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. ah, formspring. i understand why you leave it, but at the same time i always wonder why in the world you leave it. it seems to be little more than an excuse for cyberbullying under the cover of anonymity. fortunately, you ARE strong enough now that you can read questions like “why are you so fat?” (to which i’d have been tempted to reply “and why are you such an asshole?” or “when are you going to grow up already?”, but that’s sinking to their level) – but i just don’t see formspring going anywhere good for a great many people. i hope it continues to serve the positive purpose you intend.

    Comment by michelle | February 3, 2011 | Reply

  2. I don’t have a formspring account myself, but have been hearing negative things about it. I just want to say that you are an amazing person-beautiful inside and out with a great perspective on things. Everything that you said in your post hit the nail on the head completely. You rock.

    Comment by Jamie | February 3, 2011 | Reply


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