Finally decided to post this... Started writing it about three years ago?
I started to write this personal essay about two years ago. But I never finished it because I wasn't sure anyone would give a fuck about what I had to say. I didn't think anyone would take the time to read about me. I was also scared of revealing a very private part of my life. Growing up Catholic (although my mom rarely made me go to church,) was something that had a huge impact on how I felt about sex and my own sexuality. This essay is not about sex, but it is about what led to it, and how I felt afterwards. It is about how I feel now and why I was unable to continue writing and much less actually publish it. I feel that in some ways, those around me don't really know me or understand me. It has only been a few years since I actually started to allow myself to be myself. I never truly had the courage to dress the way I wanted to, to say the things I was thinking, or to try and connect with those I felt were like the person I wanted to be. I love my close friends, but there are very few people I can actually relate to and I am not sure where that stems from.
Anyhow, the essay I wanted to write and will write as part of this one was mainly about my body image issues. For a very long time I hated my body. Hated the way it looked and hated how it made others look at me and treat me. And still does. But I no longer care (as much.) I never realized how much I was missing out on until I went to Vegas for the first time with my sorority sisters. I learned that some of them, when they go out, only carry $20 with them, because they know that guy(s) will buy them drinks. This seemed crazy to me. No one had ever approached me at a party or at a bar and offered to buy me a drink. I had seen it in movies and on TV and I had friends who told me about it when it happened. But this particular sorority sister knew that every night she was out, she didn't need to worry about having money for drinks.
It wasn't until I graduated from college that I understood what it was like to have a guy pay for my drink. It wasn't until I was 22 years old that I experienced what it felt to have someone be attracted enough to me to have them buy me a drink. Yes, it might have been for all the wrong reasons (ie. get in my pants) but I wasn't going to say no to this new experience. I'm honestly not sure what happened. It may have been the fact that I was finally gaining some confidence in myself, I was wearing more make up, going out more and wearing the clothes that I really wanted to (not caring if I looked crazy or not.) I wasn't sure what changed all of a sudden.
I know that I'm not ugly, but I am fat. I have always been overweight. And being fat in our society is the worst thing you can be as a woman. Or at least it feels like it. And I'm only talking from personal experience, it is not my intention to generalize or to pretend that all overweight girls go through the same or struggle with the same issues. This is about my experience with the lack of attention from the opposite gender. And believe me, I am not one those girls who needs that sort of validation, but after years of going out with your friends - who are much prettier, thinner, and thus more confident - and you see guys look past you, or point at you, whisper something in their friend's ear and laugh, something starts to slowly eat up at you. It slowly begins to corrode the little self esteem that you had been able to build up since you were a little girl.
So when someone came along who showed interest, the last thing in my mind was to question whether their intentions were honest or if all they wanted was to sleep with me. Because, even if all they wanted was sex, I was still wanted. Something I had never experience before. This led to a series of reckless decisions that most often than not ended up in me crying over some douchebag who had led me to believe that he wanted to get to know me, to date me. But once I wouldn't sleep with him, he would drop me like trash on the side of the road. And this happened a couple of times. And it always made me feel ashamed of myself, for not being brave enough to have sex and also it made me feel like I wasn't enough. I would cry and blame myself.
When I finally decided to have sex (probably with the wrong guy and for the wrong reasons,) I felt ashamed once again. I felt guilty for having had sex, and even dirty. I wasn't even allowing myself to truly enjoy it because I just felt so bad about myself every time it happened. Other guys came along, and those I slept with, also made me believe that they wanted more when they really didn't. And by then, I wasn't sure what all these assholes were after. I also questioned what was wrong with me. For a long time, I blamed myself for their actions. I thought that if only I had done this or that differently, they would have stayed with me. It took me a long time to realize that it wasn't me, that it was them. Whoever was interested in me and had honest intentions, wouldn't care whether I decided to sleep with them too early, too late, or not at all. They wouldn't just stop talking to me one day without an explanation. They would make an honest effort.
Feeling wanted gave me a fake sense of confidence - one that was easily shattered once a guy stopped talking to me or claimed he didn't want anything serious. Feeling like I was wanted blurred my vision, making it impossible to distinguish between the guys who had genuine intentions and the ones who only wanted to get in my pants. I allowed them to play with my emotions and my body because I didn't want to lose their attention. I craved their texts, their touch, their presence because I had gone my whole life without anyone ever looking my way. These guys didn't care that I was fat, they still found me attractive. And that made me feel attractive, even if it was only temporary. I was chasing this fake confidence and I was willing to do whatever I had to, even if it meant being treated like trash in the end.
It took me a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin and to learn how to love myself without the validation of others. I cried a lot before I was able to understand that it was ok to embrace my sexuality as long as I wasn't sleeping with someone just to feel wanted for a little while. I'm still fat (though working on it) but now I can handle the laughs, the hate and the fact that when I go to clubs no one asks me out to dance. Now I don't need a guy to be attracted to me in order to feel beautiful. Yes, I still have days but there are a lot less of them and they are far in between. I learned that self-confidence has to come from within or it'll shatter and disappear quickly. I learned the hard way that a guy buying you a drink at the bar is not a necessity and I can live without it. I can buy my own damn drinks and as many as I want to.