Silence and understanding

“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.”

Elbert Hubbard

On the way home from the donut run last night I was busy carrying on about diets, fat and yeah, more fat. This went on for quite a few miles. Eventually my partner looked over and said “what you have an eating disorder now?”.- my brain recoiled from that comment, as if she were judging me harshly. not about having on ED or not, but as if it were one more fucking thing for her to deal with. Like adding a chore, after a day of running errands. I was mad.

I looked over at her and assured her I did not have the discipline for an ED, but that I clearly had a very distorted view of what my body looks like. But I was pissed. I said “we have been together more than 15 years and you ask me that, have you even been paying attention?” That didn’t go over too well. It was a breath away from being a fight, and I was all ready to go. How the fuck could she possibly be so damn clueless. I realized, as I have thought about it, my life has been spent talking to therapists. It never translated over into talking at home. How could I expect her to “know me” if I have never offered it up. am I to expect she understand my silence. or to piece together 15 years of bread crumb trails to understand me. She is super smart, but that is expecting a lot. I expect that. Did she not notice my sense of wonder and happiness as my weight bottomed out? or the endless label reading? bitching and sniping at myself about that extra inch. why I took a scale out of our home for years? the red marker scrawl on my bathroom mirror shrieking my weight at me before I had even opened my eyes in the morning…that has never changed, all these years. It was me and is still me. Where was she? did she wonder what the fuck was going on? did it ever cross her mind maybe this wasn’t quite okay. I just don’t even understand. Though she would never even begin to be able to relate to any of this. From the day we met, her weight has never much fluctuated. I’m not sure she has ever even owned a scale, or has ever retired a pair of jeans because she went up a size (or two or three). Nope, her jeans get retired when they have more holes than fabric, and only then under severe duress. Unreal. The only inkling she has ever had is when she was uncomfortable and bloated before her surgery last year. She would look down at her tiny little belly and bitch endlessly. “this isn’t me!!” she’d declare to nobody but the mirror. Yeah, welcome to the real world. The one where you pay for it when you eat potato chips and dip or swiss cheese my the stack nightly. When popcorn and diet coke are staples in your diet. People don’t do that, and if they do they are not 110 soaking wet.
I cannot possibly expect her to get it. that would be far too much of a stretch. I can still be angry. I can be mad about the judgmental exasperated comment from last night. Instead of taking her head off, which I really wanted to do. I said “I don’t see my body the way other people see it. I see fat where they see thin. I see perfect when they seem alarmed. Call that whatever the fuck you want, and it has been that way my whole life. I would have hoped you noticed that for fuck’s sake.” It was tempting to pepper her with every other thing about me she probably doesn’t understand, or hasn’t noticed. I wish I had a tenth of her ability for denial. It would be a welcome addition to my emotional toolbox. I don’t have it. I’m still angry about the exchange we had. I just wish she knew me the way my therapists know me. Or that she took the time to notice what was going on beyond her twitter feed. But here in the silence there is not understanding, only the heavy oppressive hum of the appliances in this land of make believe.


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