Thursday, June 30, 2011
Do you think that you get more confidence after you lose weight and become more healthy? Is it a part of growing older and more established? I don't know if the "why" part matters, but something is up with me. I have tackled a few major issues head-on rather than my former way of "putting up" with things that aren't right or fair like the former, shy Sylvia did. I called and talked to one of the park board supervisors about a wayward employee who was making life at the summer program unpleasant for every other adult involved and I simply ended the conversation by telling the supervisor that "you need to shut her mouth." I also returned an email by the PhD candidate who is supposed to be observing our summer program for her class and who is trying to act as a principal and told her that I wasn't expecting an evaluation and that there were rules about that. (I also hit the "reply all" button so this went back to administrators and everyone else in the program.) She was pretty upset with me today and we had a tense conversation--but in the end, she is not doing the "evaluation" and will come by at an appropriate time to observe a variety of ways that I teach reading. I needed relief from these things and I spoke up and got it, just like I got ahold of administrators about carrying heavy classroom materials and things are now set up for custodians to move things back for me.
Anyway, what has happened to me that I did something about all of this stuff rather than quietly swallowing it and accepting it. I think a few things have impacted me. I have had a tough relationship with my principal for the past 5 years and I finally had to call out for help because she was so mean and inappropriate with me. I know that she cares mostly about appearances, so having an obese, disabled, non-walking employee made her cringe--but that is not right for her to do. A second thing was my new doctor who offered to call my employers and who wrote a detailed restriction list of what I absolutely NOT do which includes overhead work, lifting more than 5 pounds, and repetitive bending at the waist. I took responsibility for my own actions in moving things--because I had no available help, just a custodian who was badgering me to hurry--and I handled it to save some face. I also think that I don't need to hide out from the world like I used to do because I am more comfortable with my appearance. Losing a lot of weight made me happier in my own skin, and gave me some sort of internal permission to finally become visible and speak from my heart.
I wish that I hadn't been so ashamed of myself for how I looked for so many years--I think that was the result of how people treated me in my life. Everyone from my own parents, my siblings, kids at school from elementary to high school all make fun of me constantly and it hurt. Staying away from that prevented it from happening and I think it became a way of life. It has taken me a long time to find my voice and to use it. I think I like the outcome, because even if several of these people are probably irritated with me, they have agreed that I am correct in my comments and things are really going my way. I wonder how much work I have done and how much rudeness I have accepted because I didn't want to make a scene and be noticed.
I really have gotten better!!