Don’t talk but you speak so loudly
You smile, but your eyes look cloudy
You say someone left you broken
But I’m here with the door wide open…
This post is part 1 of a 2-part ‘series’ of posts on who i am as a person, both in Second Life and behind the screen. There is a particular group of P/people that seems to think they know who i am based on the lies of others… and since T/they didn’t bother to come talk to ME about ME, i figure i’ll just let all of you in on a bit of who i am, and in particular what i’ve been going through during 2020.
Part 1 of this ‘who i am’ kind of series is about me, physically, and what i’ve gone through physically in RL over this past year in particular, but also what led me to this point. As many people have told me before, i’m INCREDIBLY candid in my blog, because it’s my space to express myself completely freely, so if things like suicidal thoughts, self-harm, body image issues, and other similar things trigger you, you may not want to read this post, or make sure that you’re mentally prepared to read about those themes before you do. i will pull no punches here. i never have, and i’m not about to start now.
For those that haven’t paid attention to my in-world profile, ever, or haven’t heard me talk about it… i’m a bigger girl. i always kind have been, but over the last 7 years or so it’s gotten particularly bad. Why 7 years? My dad died 7 years ago, i had a bit of a nervous breakdown, and i was never really the same after that. i’ve talked a lot about his death before, so sorry for being all ‘non-chalant’ about it, but that was kinda the triggering point for me.
i was incredibly suicidal. And when i say incredibly, i don’t mean the ‘typical’ moments that most anyone goes through after a loved one dies when they just want to be reunited with them at any cost… but i have chemical imbalances in my brain that take that and turn it up to 10 (more on that stuff is coming in part 2). So not only was i missing my dad, i genuinely didn’t want to be alive anymore. It wasn’t even that my dad and i were particularly close and life didn’t feel worth living without him… we were actually kinda estranged when he died… i was just done. With everything. i couldn’t find hope in anything. My parents (mom and step-dad) moved 12 hours away the same week i found out my dad died so not only was i wrestling with grief, but i was feeling abandoned.
And if you know anything about me, you know i don’t do abandonment well.
Despite being incredibly suicidal at the time, i’m pretty well generally plagued with FOMO… so while i wanted to die and i couldn’t find hope in anything anymore, i still couldn’t bring myself to go through with it, because what if i missed something cool? It wasn’t hope, but it was curiosity. And it was just enough to keep me from being ‘brave enough’ to follow through.
But at that point i’m beating myself up in my own head about not being ‘brave enough’ to just get it over with if i was so sure i hated life. i wasn’t in therapy at this point and i didn’t have a lot of friends or family close by anymore so i didn’t really have anyone to talk to about what i was feeling. So i found a compromise…
i just stopped caring about my body and my health. After all, i’d been fat for so long anyway it’s not like i had any hope of finding someone, falling in love, any of that bullshit that would’ve made me care about my appearance. So i just gave up. At that point, i figured if i couldn’t go through with my ‘plans’ on my own, my body would eventually do it for me.
i’d eventually just become so unhealthy i’d just die of complications, right? It was ‘perfect’. i’d either eventually get brave enough to do it myself or my body would do it for me.
Unfortunately, about 5 years later when my body still hadn’t done it for me and i started learning more about my diagnoses (again, more info in part 2), i realized i wanted to live… i really did… and then came that terrifying fear that it was too late. That i’d set myself down a path that i couldn’t reverse.
For about a year, i tried to reverse it all the right ways. Changing diet, exercising as much as someone my size with limited mobility is able… none of that worked. Which, i knew it wouldn’t, because it never had before, when i had less to lose. But i still tried, i really did. i maybe lost 10 pounds in that entire year of trying, total, between how much i would fluctuate between losing and gaining. i couldn’t keep it off.
That brought me to October of last year, when i was finally hospitalized for my mental health for the first time. i’ve already written all about that experience, and i’ll touch on it again in part 2 of this series, but when i came home, i was finally a bit more open with my mother about what got me to that point and what other options i had.
i finally swallowed my pride and went on disability so that i could get consistent insurance, so that i could start to pursue Bariatric Surgery.
It was something that i’d toyed with the idea of for the past several years, even when i still wanted to die, but i never knew how viable of an option it could be for me. Especially when my physical limitations were starting to get in the way of me maintaining a job long enough to become eligible for benefits like health insurance. And even then, i’d have to work for xyz amount of time to save up the time off i’d need in order to even think about the surgery in the first place.
It was just always one of those things that, in the mental state i was in at the time, it was really easy to talk myself out of it.
But not this time. This time i was in a better mental place, i got on disability, i got my insurance active, i got in with a new primary care physician that i developed a rapport with and then i finally felt like i was in a safe enough space to address the idea of the surgery with him. He was delighted, and i still remember my mother sitting in the room with me and looking at him and saying, “Imagine it was your wife or your daughter that you were referring for this surgery. What surgeon would you send them to?” With that thought in mind, he set out to refer me to a surgeon to start the pre-surgery process.
March 16th, 2020, i spent 2 hours in a weight loss clinic 5 hours away from home getting poked and prodded, weighed, measured, breathing into this weird-ass machine… getting everything they could for a baseline. i was diagnosed with Diabetes that day, something i’d been somehow keeping at bay for the last couple of years just barely, but i’d tipped over the line, so adding even more medicine to my already daily regimen.
i take 9 medications every morning and 2 every night.
Since March, i’ve had monthly Zoom calls with a Nurse Practitioner and Dietician to supervise my pre-op dieting, food journaling, and overall health. My insurance requires 7 months of this before i’m even allowed to submit all my information for surgery. So for those 7 months i twiddled my thumbs, bided my time, and tried my damnedest to stick to everything they gave me.
During this time, in July, i had a flare-up of the Cellulitis in my leg and spent a couple months going back and forth to the hospital twice a day, every day of the week, and then eventually being approved to do my IV infusions at home. i had a picc line in for 3 and a half months and at one point they were talking about taking my leg if the infection didn’t respond better to the medications.
Despite that scare, the infection cleared, i stopped the medications and got the line removed. i was relieved, because i didn’t want to be dealing with an infection when it came time to schedule my surgery and have to wait even longer because of having an infection.
September 2020, i connect again with my Patient Coordinator about the things i was missing in order to be able to submit my information for approval. The biggest hurdle i ran into this entire process wasn’t the pre-op diet or the habit changes… it was the fact that my insurance requires my Psych Eval to be done specifically by a Psychiatrist. My therapist can’t do it, my Psych NP can’t do it… it has to be a Psychiatrist. i spent damn near a month and a half calling every Psychiatrist’s office in my city, the surrounding cities up to an hour away, and the city my surgeon was in 5 hours away. Every office i tried either didn’t have a Psychiatrist anymore or didn’t take my insurance. Or they didn’t do Evals for adults. (Make it make sense.) FINALLY, i managed to work out a situation where my Psych NP would do the evaluation itself as she has the relationship with me but a Psychiatrist she works with would sign off. We would have to hope that would be enough. After a month and a half, i had only one other option i could explore and then i wouldn’t know what else to try.
For those of you that had to deal with me during September and the beginning of October of this year, this is why i was so stressed all the time. i was so close to something that meant so much to me and i was being denied at every turn. i felt completely helpless, like i had no control of anything in my life anymore, and i damn near slipped back into that space i was in before.
October 12th, 2020, my patient coordinator called me and told me she was submitting my information to insurance for approval for the surgery and that it would take around 30 days to get a decision back. i had one piece of missing information, and so she prepared me for the fact that i may be denied the first time, and i may have to appeal that decision or wait up to 2 years to become eligible.
The thought of waiting 2 more years terrified me, and nearly put me right back in that place of just wanting to die. i didn’t know if i could live for 2 more years like this, all of the medicines, all of the complications… feeling less than human because there’s just so much basic shit in life that i can’t do. So i crossed my fingers and surrounded myself with positive people who were speaking my approval into existence.
It was everything i could do to keep myself sane during that time. i’d already spent the month and a half before stuck in an endless cycle of disappointment working on my last bit of paperwork, so now to twiddle my thumbs for 30 days and pray that someone at the insurance office had enough common sense to draw the conclusion that the surgery is medically necessary despite missing information from one year (i didn’t see a doctor at all that year).
November 9th, 2020, my patient coordinator called me at like 8 in the morning. So i’m half-asleep but i recognize the area code from being from the area that the clinic and my surgeon are in, so i answered immediately.
“So i got your approval this morning…”
i barely registered any of the other very important information that she said afterwards, and actually had to ask her to repeat it, god love her. She was used to that, i guess, because she repeated herself and then told me she’d sent the same information in a message on my patient portal.
i hang up and immediately call my mother. The poor woman is at work, so she ducks into a room thinking it’s some kind of emergency and answers the phone. i told her and she didn’t sound as excited as i expected her to, but then again… at work. i figured it was a measured reaction to avoid drawing attention to her being on her cell phone when she was supposed to be working. Lol.
From there, i really only told a couple of other people. It was when i was trying to think of who all knew what i’d been going through all year so that i knew who i needed to tell, i realized i hadn’t shared all of this with very many people. With being so uncertain it would be approved with the missing information, i didn’t want to get everyone in my inner circle all hype about it only to have to be like “Just kidding, i have to wait 2 more years.”
But since i started telling people, i’ve received nothing but support. And that’s new for me. i don’t really talk about my real life self in the physical very often… just because i know RL me is so different from SL me that i didn’t want to ruin anyone’s illusion… or at least that’s what i told myself. i think the other part of me was just afraid that the people i thought loved me wouldn’t love me the same if they knew more of who the ‘real me’ was. That i’m not this strong, independent woman that i try to come across as in-world. That real me is pretty fucking weak and fragile and unable to do a lot.
i was afraid of the judgment and the stigma. “Oh, you’re fat because you’re lazy.” “Oh, you don’t exercise because you’re lazy, not because you can’t physically do it. If you tried harder, you’d be fine.” Everything i heard in my real life for most of my life… i wasn’t prepared to hear it from my Second Life too.
And then there are people that like to make their assumptions about me, regardless. Though that moreso applies to stuff i’ll be speaking on in part 2, i wanted to address the physical side of me in part 1 first because THIS is the part of me that i never talk about. And i can’t exactly call it being ‘vulnerable’ if i’m not willing to share it all.
So this was a start, and this was a big thing for me. But i need people to understand who i am, and some of the why.
Especially since, again, there are many P/people who used to be in my life – some of which i even considered close – who just didn’t see fit to come speak to ME about ME.
i don’t owe anyone an explanation for anything anymore, it all is what it is, but i suppose a little piece of me hopes that some of them will stumble across this series and realize just HOW much of an asshole THEY are for passing their judgment based on the words of others and not bothering to speak to me at all.
And while i know i can’t change anyone’s mind about me, i can only put everything on the table, so at least their opinion is rooted solely in their own judgment, stigma, discrimination, and bigotry than it is in ignorance.
They get to consciously be an asshole now, instead of just being ill-informed.
i certainly wouldn’t want their karma, i know that. 🙂
Shape || Mine
Body || Lara Body (v5.3) | Maitreya
Head || Nova Head (Evolution Line) (v2.5) | Lelutka
Eyes || Talula Eyes | Euphoric
Skin || Daisy Skin (Tan Tone) | MILA
Freckles || All Over Freckles (Dark 50%) | MILA
Lipstick || Stay All Day Lipstick (Dark) | MILA
* Hair || Endless Hair (Red HUD) | Stealthic
Surgery Marks || Surgery Facemarks | Colorfuel
* Dermal Piercing || Heart Dermal Piercing | PUNCH
* Pose || Refresh 2 | FoxCity
Location || Home
Blogging Tune || “Hold You Down” – X Ambassadors