After the internet discussion yesterday, the person who seemed to make it personal about how lazy I am and I went into a private conversation.
One of the things she said to me was that I was courageous. I think maybe I am, but not for the reason she believes me to be courageous.
Her view is that I am a food addict, living in my denial. Her view is that since I’m engaging in this discussion, I’m ready to hear about my denial and start the steps to necessary to stop my addiction and do the hard work necessary to have a better, non-dysfunctional life.
I’ve not written her back yet. I need to take some time to really work out an answer to her.
She’s really serious about this. She has compassion for me, because she’s been where she thinks I am (in denial about her addictions, which were different than what she perceives is my addiction). I don’t want to be heavy handed. She’s reaching out, she feels, to a fellow addict, offering a hand of help.
It’s funny that I can be seen as courageous for the absolute wrong reason. My courage comes from going into a place where I know my views will be ridiculed, where I’ll have to listen to how wrong I am, where I’ll have to hear people say things like how all fat people should just die. My courage comes from not letting anybody else shut me up about my experience as a fat woman, the disrespect I have gotten from people in general, the misdiagnosis I’ve gotten from doctors.
My courage comes from telling people that MeMe Roth isn’t right. It comes from confronting people who are supposed to know better twitting (tweeting?) about a conference going on at a university where they are holding a conference on the importance of play, yet state this in their online flyer: “Children under the age of 10 represent the first generation in years not expected to live as long as their parents,” Mainella added. My courage comes from not backing down when the person I confronted got angry with me for telling her she needed to vet her sources better. My courage comes from writing the university in question and telling them they need to vet their speakers better, and to stop adding to the fat hate and discrimination that is going on in the world right now.
I still don’t know what I’m going to say back to the person who called me courageous. But I think we can both agree on one thing. I do have courage.