And here is where the episode gets really painful for me. I’ve been hurt, not just by men, but by (mostly anonymous) commenters and bloggers. I didn’t think this episode fully captured the pain I’ve felt at their hands, but let’s put it this way: it hasn’t been pleasant. I wish we had talked about how I’ve heard that I’m fat, ugly, old, how my fingers are sausages and how my legs are tree stumps and how my face is deformed. How I look “like a dude” in person and how I am a failure of a woman and no man will want me because I can’t cook. (For the record, I make awesome omelets. So. THERE.) Other reasons men won’t want me, according to these people: I am crazy, psychotic, a liar, my teeth are yellow, I am a fame whore, I am fat, I am a terrible writer, I am desperate loser whose ass looks, as they say, like a raft (that’s the only insult I don’t quite get... I think my giant ass looks more like... a giant ass.) Have I mentioned the fat comments enough yet? Yes, fat fat fat fat fat. And ugly! I am also, according to them, a terrible dog mother (they do not like it when I leave my dog with a responsible friend to travel, and then they don’t like it when I travel WITH my dog. Apparently dog owners must only stay at home with their dogs 100% of the time), my friends all hate me and my family pities me (now, that last one might be 30% true). And, once again, I am fat and ugly.
I could go on, but I’m bored and I’m guessing you are too. What’s the deal behind this? I have lots of theories, but the deeper root in this: the deal behind this hate site -- behind any of the anger and angst we find directed at us throughout our lives -- is pain. Pain on my part, pain on theirs. I never felt good enough, growing up. I never felt pretty enough. I would look in the mirror and hate my own face. I never felt popular. I felt like a fraud. I just wanted to be loved.
And I have played out that dynamic in my adult life. That’s what we all do with unhealed wounds. We play them out until we either go crazy or we get help. The good news? I finally got help. But it’s a process. You don’t just heal decades old wounds in one day. The bad news? A hell of a lot of other people are walking around wounded, too.