Daily Photo – Day 1: Full Disclosure
That sounds crazy, right? Surely, we must’ve done something other than be white and lower middle class to warrant their ire. And I’d probably feel the same way if it weren’t for the damnably thin walls, and their constant rants about our new television and air conditioner (that we skipped paying a bill to buy when the old ones no longer functioned), our exercise machine, our empty liquor bottles (some of which we’d had since we got married in 2002), our ability to order out whenever we wanted to (which was actually just their perception…if we were ordering out, there was money left over after bills for once), our weekend trips to the laundromat, our bikes, our computers (that we use for work…one was bought by Master’s company, and the other was the cheapest model on the market), our cellphone (singular…I still don’t have one), our iPads (one of which was bought by Master’s company), the fact that our car rarely left the driveway until after business hours (which, in their mind, meant we didn’t work…in truth, we both worked from home, and we walked most places)…
Once, we listened to D (one of the men) rant for thirty minutes about how we–specifically Master and I–were keeping him from having what he wanted. As it turns out, the drug and alcohol addiction D had already perfected by the time he moved in was our fault. The fact that his white boss couldn’t understand that by showing up 15 minutes late (it was usually more like an hour), D was actually saving him money was our fault. The fact that his white girlfriend was doing heroin (we don’t do heroin) and “acting more white” was our fault. Then he went on a “death to whitey” tirade, and threatened me with violence for the first time.
This, of course, is not racism, because only white people can be racist. /sarcasm
We called the police when I was threatened. They told us to move, and told the person threatening me that I was an “uppity white bitch.”
Probably we could have handled the harassment if someone would have just listened to us and tried to help. No one would, though. They all thought we were blowing things out of proportion until the second family tried to prevent us from moving.
I’m not really sure what the logic was, there, unless they were enjoying tormenting us so much, they decided to keep us there. I mean, typically, when you hate someone, them moving away would be a good thing. If I were them, I’d have offered to help them pack!
Instead, they blocked our car in, and blocked our stairs once or twice so we couldn’t get our stuff out of the house. Finally, the cops agreed to do something if they made our move anymore difficult…after first suggesting that we move again.
In January of 2013, after a full year of harassment, we got tired of fleeing our home every day, packed up all our belongings, and ran, as fast as we could, to a new house.
We chose to look at it as a good thing. If it weren’t for the second family intentionally trying to cave in our ceiling, and the landlord refusing to help, we probably wouldn’t have moved. But we still reacted to finding a safe space the way you’d expect any victim to react. We curled up inside ourselves and each other within the walls of our safe space, and locked the rest of the world out. And then we promptly got comfortable being hermits, making excuses every step of the way.
When we stopped leaving our backyard, it was inevitable that we’d eventually stop using our elliptical. When we stopped that, we stopped eating right. I’ve gained 50lbs. He hasn’t gained much back at all, which is bizarre because he sits more than I do. His metabolism must be insane.
We’ve tried to start again, but it hasn’t worked out. And now all he can do is eat right because of his back. He’s waiting for a call from the doctor telling him when he goes for an MRI. We’re both kinda scared.
So today, I’m taking back control of my body. From myself, not from him. Ha! Like he’d ever let me take it back from him. And for reasons I still haven’t figured out, I’ve decided to take a picture every day. With me in it. We all know how flakey I am, so maybe this is the only picture I’ll take. But that’s okay. This one’s the most important.
This is me. No makeup. Hair still wet from the shower. No clever angles, cropping, or lighting meant to hide the feature I’m most self-conscious about.
I weigh 255lbs, today. I don’t give a fuck about the number. I am more than a number. And though I could do without the double chin, I don’t really care about that either. I care that sitting gives me heartburn after eating because of the way the fat pushes on my stomach. I care that I couldn’t sleep last night because there wasn’t a position that didn’t hurt my joints or give me cramps. I care that I’m starting to have circulation problems, and I have gastric issues.
In reality, the issue is sitting still most of the day, and eating a lot of unhealthy food. So, that’s over with for me. I’m on a mission to get out of my own way. I’ve said that before. I don’t even trust myself. But I’m going for it anyway. That picture’s the first step.