Welcome all to Open Mic Friday! The format is simple. Every week there will be a featured “reading” in the body of this post. In the comments, you’re warmly invited to share some work of your own — and it doesn’t have to be text. To keep conversation and creative spirit flowing, please applaud and cheer for others’ offerings just as loudly as you would at a physical reading — by commenting on their work and giving props to everyone.
- Writers, if your work is lengthy, I recommend posting it elsewhere and including the link in the comments (with a sentence of description so we know what we’re clicking for).
- Comments are threaded, which means you can reply directly to each reader by hitting the “reply” button within that comment box. Converse!
This week I am truly pleased to introduce you to Lisa Fisher. Lisa is a friend of mine (we used to be in a book club together!). She is proud to call herself a 32-year-old Mexican, disabled, and skinny female.
Lisa Fisher: The Truth About My Childhood…
…is that it was all about shame. My parents did the best they could. When I was born they were only twenty years old. They had not even grown up themselves. A human’s frontal lobe does not even finish developing until we are in our late twenties and early thirties. Why is this important in understanding behavior? The frontal lobe is where our impulse control lives. It is what separates us from our primate forefathers. When primates are mad, they don’t have to adhere to the rules of a guilty conscience. They yell, fight, throw shit, all the things that humans have the impulse to do but we don’t. This is true of ALL “normally” functioning humans.
My mother was brought up in a family where shame was the order of the day. She was taught to be ashamed of being female and a Mexican. Both things being unforgivable and unchangeable, it is perfectly understandable that shame was a giant part of her childhood. Why did this happen? My grandmother’s childhood was filled with shame as well, as was probably her mother’s childhood. My father was raised Catholic. Need I say more? We all look the same in pictures, ashamed of being who we are, we hide behind others or make ugly faces. They acted out their shame in life and I picked up on it easily and quickly.
I held my shame down secretly, always afraid that it would bubble out of my skin like hot lava. My mom and my grandmother regularly made comments about my weight. I was either fat or refugee skinny. My hair, thick and curly, was a pain in the ass so my mother would complain about having to style it for me. Eventually she gave up on my hair and all my school pictures feature me with a fucked up hairdo. I will say again, my mother was and is not a bad mother. I will NOT blame her for any of the shame that I chose to feel. It was not her intention to make me feel worthless. This is the reality of feelings, nobody can make you feel anything.
The kind of brain I have is highly imaginative and quick to learn new things. This is a good brain for trigonometry but is not so good when it comes to things like self-esteem. Once I learned how to feel shame my quick learning abilities set shame in stone on my psyche and my large imagination provided the ammo for the shame. I was the first daughter and the first female granddaughter so I was next in line for the shame train. I was female, Mexican, disabled and FAT! I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin, that being out in public was sheer torture for me. I knew that people were looking at me and there was no way to hide myself. Detachment was the name of the game until I could get back to the safety of my own home. I had no way to articulate this to my parents or friends so nobody was able to help me. I said “yes” to every invitation when I just wanted to find a rock to hide under. I knew I would never get married, have children and I would see my death in my mind’s eye: alone and sad. I knew I would get everything a fat, Mexican, female crapper deserves: loneliness and abandonment… continue reading at Lisa’s blog
Thank you, Lisa, for sharing so honestly! To read more from Lisa, check out her blog, Food Is Not the Enemy (blewslurpeas.wordpress.com), where she regularly and courageously tells her story.
And now… it’s your turn. The comments are open!