The Body Shame Game
The author wants readers to know that she wrote this poem during a difficult time but got through her struggles with love and support from friends and family. She wants anyone who is struggling to seek the help and support of others, as she did, and to know that things do get better.
A year after my mum passed away, I was called fat for the first time. Seven year old me wore a jean jacket, And three boys I’d never met shouted after me: “Hey fatty! Don’t eat my chocolate factory!” Maybe this is when I found out about the cruel nature, That was teenagers in their habitats. Their eyes locked on the fat that was my body, Like how a predator watched its prey, They snarled at me like beasts, But instead of digging their claws into my throat it was their words, Making me the first victim to their twisted body shaming game.
I remember more about being called fat Than I remember what my mum looked like. Maybe it’s because I was six when she died, Or maybe it’s that I’ve been called fat over more years Than I was alive before she died. Hating my body became routine by Grade 6 Where my fat became a burden that I never signed up to carry, As if it turned into bricks, I was weighed down with it. Every step felt agonizing, But instead of breaking my bones, It broke my brain.
I choked on the sadness that welled up in my throat I felt nauseous when I looked at myself in the mirror. I was afraid to look down because of a double chin I got when I did, Like the excess fat were hands, Wrapped around my throat strangling me, I couldn’t breathe. Crying began to feel like losing but still, I did it every night. My brain had forced conscription upon the land that was my body, And upon the scarred warfield of my fat, I knew I was losing a battle I never wanted to join.
He was forced with a gun to his head, Into his own bloody battle. Living as a soldier on a battlefield that was the bathroom, He stares at the food on his plate, Fear in his eyes, like he was being forced to eat, A plate of writhing worms … But he wasn’t afraid of the food, but instead of feeling full, So when he is, he heads to the bathroom, And perches himself over the toilet, Shoving his fingers down his already raw throat, And he gags, and gags, until he purges, Throwing up his mistake that is his dinner until it’s bile. The nausea lasts for an hour, so he numbs himself with a cold shower, Laying at the bottom of the tub, There’s no differentiating the water from his tears, Because he’s drowning himself in both.
Pain has become a competition of who has it worse, But how is anyone supposed to get help, When all that matters is if you’ve killed yourself? We’re dying from our illnesses But we’re in love with them, Because at least throwing up makes us feel something, Other than numb. So we choke on our sorrows, We choke on the vomit, And we choke. Until we can choke no more. So we suffocate.