R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The other day I was sharing a story with my sisters. We were talking about when each of us went through Blue Birds and Campfire Girls. I mentioned, “I was kicked out of Campfire Girls.” We kind of giggled about it for a minute and then one of them asked what I did. I told them that I admitted to doing something that I really didn’t do…

“We were at a troop meeting and towards the end of the evening, I had to use the bathroom. As I left the bathroom, another girl from the troop walked in after me. She was someone who I considered my friend. She was pretty and popular and did have a sweet nature. When she returned back to the group area, she smiled at me and then motioned to her back pocket where I could see the outline of something, like a compact. I just smiled back and that was that.

The following week, our troop was attending a skate night at our local roller rink. We all came in, got our skates on, and then I was pulled aside by the troop leader and another adult. I was accused, right there, of stealing makeup from my troop leader’s bathroom. Needless to say, I was shocked! I told her, “I did not steal anything from you! I wouldn’t do that!” She said, “You were one of the last people in my bathroom.” Again, I told her that I didn’t take anything from her. I was told to stay where I was and they pulled the other girl over and when she was asked, she denied taking it. Our troop leader knew that it had to be one of us because we were the only two that used her bathroom that evening.

The troop leader left to go and phone our parents. That’s when this girl turned to me and begged me to confess that I had stolen some makeup. I told her that I was not going to do that, because I did nothing! She cried, “Cindy, please! I will be in so much trouble and my dad will hit me.” I started crying and told her that I couldn’t, but she pleaded with me and I finally gave in.

Our parents arrived, heard what we were being accused of, our confessions, and were told that we were no longer welcome in our troop. My disappointed parents asked me on the way home, “Why did you do it?” I bawled and told them, “I didn’t.” My dad, who just happened to be an attorney, drilled me full of questions about it and then asked, “Why would you admit to something you didn’t do?” I said, “She told me her dad would hit her.””

Now some may see this as something admirable and commendable that I did for a friend. Nope. I don’t see it that way at all. She made it very clear to me that she had an agenda, because a friend wouldn’t have even asked me to take the rap and watch my reputation take a dive like that. My peers now believed that I was a thief.

When I saw her the next day, she looked like she didn’t have a care in the world. I asked her how things went with her parents and she said, “They weren’t mad at me at all.” Huh…I believe that was a defining moment where my self-respect took a big dip and a barrier around my heart went up. I never talked to her again.

Diving into the behavior behind the weight issues is proving to be tough, at moments. I’ll just be honest with  you, I’ve never been one who feels it necessary to walk down memory lane; only to drudge up old feelings so I can blame people and things for whatever issues I have. I’m a very even-keeled person, with a huge amount of optimism (if I could bottle it and sell it, I’d probably be rich) so I don’t wallow in pity for very long at all. Last week, at my Thursday evening weight loss group (aka ‘support group’) we discussed chain reactions. We took steps through different scenarios, searching for healthier responses.

So here I am, diving into all of this behavioral stuff, and wondering why telling that story to my sisters lit something inside of me. I hadn’t thought of that moment in years! It has made me kind of stop and take a look back. First of all, why on earth did I confess to something I didn’t do? Was it because she was popular and I wanted acceptance? Was it because I truly felt sorry for her and didn’t want her dad to hit her? If I’m honest with myself, probably a bit of both.

I still can’t put my finger on the reasons I self-sabotage. I truly like me. I know who I am at the very depths of my heart. I am a good and honest friend. I am loyal and passionate. But…I have time-and-time again, put my feelings aside for others. I go where others want to go, I do what they want to do. I have lived a lifetime of putting me aside and placing other’s needs far above mine. I am the most flexible person I have ever met in my entire life…and I so dislike that part of me.

Please understand, this is not a pity party. Oh man…I hate it when people feel sorry for me, so don’t even go there. This is a “me” issue…it’s me realizing that even though I chase every single silver lining out there (always have, always will), I have lacked a level of self-respect in myself. I live a life of self-induced guilt, always feeling like I have to meet everyone’s expectations. Like I’m still running after acceptance. I don’t want anyone to have a negative thing to say about me, so I bend and cave.

This is explains a lot about me leaning hard into being an introvert; it’s the place where I find solace and rest. So…maybe there is something to this behavioral stuff. I don’t eat because I’m angry or depressed. I don’t eat because I’m bored or lonely. It’s a self-respect thing in my case.

I have no idea what this enlightening moment means for me. I have no idea how this will change my eating habits. But, I believe I’ve become aware of something crucial. I love myself, but I don’t really respect myself. And maybe that’s all I need to be aware of..to know that my feelings are valid and that I need to take care of this intricate part of me.

Hey…thanks for walking this road with me.
Thanks for reading my ramblings. 🙂
If self-respect is your issue…be mindful and take care of you.

Simply,
Cindy

respect

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