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How wonderful life would be if we could accept each other as the way we are. After all, we all have feelings, we all want to be accepted, and we all hate rejection. I have come to realize as I grow older, and more mature that I needed to stop worrying about what other people thought of me. After all, my opinion of myself is the most important. When I was younger though, it was very hard. I just wanted to feel as if I belonged. This is some of my story.

Being chubby was not something I dwelled on as a child. My dad is a big guy, but my mom and sisters have always been able to eat anything and never gain weight. I remember my mom putting me on a diet in the second grade. I had to eat vegetables while my sisters ate whatever they wanted. I would ask her at the end of each night how she thought I did on my diet. She would always change the subject. And from that point on I felt like the outcast of the family.

After my parents divorced, we moved from Mississippi to Utah. Talk about a culture shock. My emotions were already in turmoil and it didnít help to have my own cousins make fun of my weight. Kids can be so cruel. I donít ever remember anyone telling me I was a great kid, or even a beautiful child. I started to play softball at the age of 12. I couldnít even fit into the stupid uniforms. So once again I felt like an outcast. Parents in the stands would even crack jokes about me. I would go home and cry my eyes out. And my momís solution was to enroll me in Weight Watchers. Didnít work. At this point in my life all that I really wanted was someone to tell me I was beautiful, a good kid, something positive. My uncles and cousins would tell me I had a pretty face, just needed to lose weight. It was heartbreaking to hear, thus I internalized all of the negative talk and started to really believe it.

I made some horrible choices in men after high school. I did things that Iím not proud of, threw all of my values out the door. I gave things away that were meant to be shared with someone that loved and cherished me. I basically gave up. I felt worthless, so I didnít care that my husbandís treated me like crap. I didnít care that I was gaining more and more weight. I didnít care if I was beaten. I honestly felt that was what I deserved.

There came a point in my life a couple of years ago that changed everything. I was on my own. A single parent trying to survive. My abusive ex husband was gone. And I went in for counseling. I poured my heart and soul out. And she told me that I was a strong woman to have gone through all of that and still be standing. That if I put my mind to it I could do anything. To only think and say positive things. I looked at myself in the mirror everyday and told myself that I was a beautiful, strong, confident woman. That one day a man would give me the respect that I deserved. And since then I have never looked back. Sure I have those moments when the doubts creep back in. I can stop those now. It has also helped to surround myself with positive people. Humor has always played a big part as well. Because when I laugh I donít feel sad anymore. I have faith and hope that I will meet a man who will accept me the way I am. And love me the way I deserve to be loved.

Written and submitted by: hmfinau

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."
~Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874
"To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie -
True Poems flee."
~Emily Dickinson

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