The worst thing that anyone ever called me was "anorexic". Not because there is anything inherently wrong with being a person with a serious disease, but because a girl took it upon herself to eliminate every other thing that mattered about me and judge me entirely on the way my body looked. And if you're wondering, yes. I was tiny.
My bones jutted out at odd angles, my head appeared too big for my body and I was barely there. But I wasn't anorexic. I was malnourished. I was the girl who ate scraps off of everyone else's plates because she wasn't fed enough. I was the girl who got to grandma's house on the weekend and ate too fast, then felt sick. I was the girl who tried to hide lunchroom food in her locker and take it home so she would have food for dinner. It worked until a chocolate pudding exploded in my backpack and I got in trouble.
In my life I have become judgmental and harshly critical of others. I cannot decide where this trait came from, because I was the victim of endless criticism from my peers growing up, and I promised myself I would never become the mean girl. But I did. And I wrestle with that endlessly. As much as I try to change and be understanding, there is a part of me that still sits there and picks people apart.
However, I don't know where this judgement is leading me. As soon as I say something negative about someone, whether they be a stranger or an acquaintance, my mind starts to immediately try to justify why they may be the way they are. Just as I was too thin because my mother barely fed me, the person who is chronically late for appointments may be working, or having to find care for their child, or dealing with a crisis at home. And then I sit there and beat myself up for picking on someone else for something they can't actually control. So is being judgmental a weird form of self-torture for me? Is it my brains way of reminding itself that no matter what, I'm still just that little girl on highway 7 who wonders what it would be like to eat a full meal for once?
I don't know.
For so long I have tried to leave my past self in the past. But if I want to grow as a person, isn't it important to embrace what happened to me as a child and learn from it and become stronger from it? I have never thought of being an abuse survivor as a hindrance of any sort, but I have come to realize that maybe it is. In trying to ignore every bad thing that ever happened to me, I have ignored a piece of myself and become the exact type of person who aided in causing me so much grief in my childhood.
I'm not a bad person by any means. Sometimes I'm just not a NICE person. And that sucks to come to terms with, because admitting fault is never fun. But I am here, flaws, and scars, and everything, ready to embrace a better self.