My birth weight was 8.2 pounds. My mother said that if after all the damage I caused coming out of her – she managed to survive – she could survive anything.
Every argument and every fight I had as a child was more often than not because somebody made a comment about my weight. The doctors said it was baby fat and, in all likelihood, I would shed it as I matured. But the damage had already been done.
‘Humenah. Babe, are you alright?’
I couldn’t even raise my head up to look at Kitan. I knew the feeling all too well.
It was shame.
‘No, you’re not.’ Kitan said softly.
True. Not since that unfortunate day in high school Children are scary. They say and do the most hurtful things without fully comprehending the consequences.
That day we had visited a farm for a school field trip, and by the end of the day the kids were calling me ‘Moomenah the Cow’. At 14 years old I was easily twice the weight of the average kid in my school. I was used to the name-calling and thought that soon it would pass. It did not.
‘Tell me what’s going on.’ Kitan pleaded. He held the box as if it was a chest of vipers.
‘Miss perfect Humenah here doesn’t want you to find out about Moomenah her alter ego.’ Fred blurted out.
‘What? Who’s Moomenah?’ Kitan asked.
My heart slammed into my chest, and I slumped on the couch when I heard Kitan say the name. Now his voice would be added to the other voices in my head that were taunting me. I felt cold all of a sudden, and wrapped my hands around myself to stop shivering. Kitan dropped the box and rushed to my side. I allowed myself to be hugged by him as hot tears rolled down my cheeks.
Shame and regret.
I was called Moomenah up until I graduated from high school because I was unable to lose weight at that time, even though I starved myself in the name of dieting, took weight loss pills and syrups, and exercised until I dropped from exhaustion. There were many nights I cried myself to sleep, and I even developed medical problems – was hospitalized at some point.
I wept for my younger self that suffered at the hands of her tormentors; the young girl that was never loved for who she was. I did not even love myself – never had a kind word to say to myself – just had hate and disgust for my body.
I was my worst enemy.
But as I matured, I realized that I was no different from the people that bullied and mocked me when I was younger. Even after losing weight and years of therapy, some people would still see me and call me ‘Moomenah,’ like it was all fun and jokes. I was ashamed that I had put myself through excruciating pain just to fit their standard.
I didn’t want to put all that baggage on Kitan. I couldn’t let him see my scars because they were ugly. I didn’t want to know what his reaction would be once he finds out the truth that I was broken and a complete mess on the inside.