You gained weight.

I went to the mall on Black Friday like most people do. I got my new pair of Doc Martens, my new pair of slacks for work, and a shirt and tie for graduation next month. Everything was going really good. I’ve also been getting used to my crew cut for work and it was the first time in a while I didn’t cover it with a beanie.

Feelings changed after we ran into a woman my mom has known since I was seven. Her daughter and I were in the same class in private school for several years. When news came out I was transferring at the end of the sixth grade, the girl said “Nobody’s going to miss you anyway”. Her mom would eventually find out she said that.. but that doesn’t have to do with Black Friday.

Anyway, getting back to the story. My mom and her mom were talking at the pop-up shop her mom manages in the center of the mall. I was just standing there because I didn’t want to have to find my mom in a packed mall. As I was standing there, the mom said “You’ve gained weight since the last time I saw you”. I stood there and said something like “You haven’t seen me in three years”.

Things like that really get to me. As an anorexia survivor, statements like those bother me and are a little triggering. I’m not bone thin like I once was (at one point, I weighed only 115 pounds as a six foot tall male), and I know I’ve grown in those six years (post-anorexia, I weigh a muscular 180 pounds in recovery). But still, people saying those things are damaging.

I let it go in the moment, but my mom could visually see it was bothering me so she cut her chat short and we left that lady’s pop-up shop. For the rest of the day and all of today I had been thinking about it. Some things just don’t need to be said and that is one of them.


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