Freedom from admiration

Made this my whatsapp dp. First time I’ve been able to put up a pic showing my fat arms and double chin. Lord graced me with a face that doesn’t betray the true numbers on the scale (3 digits!). But I’m done hiding and I don’t even have to explain why I gained over 100 pounds in the past 4 years.

I’ve survived worse than judgements and snarkiness and rejection. My body has been the real mvp for surviving ME. It took all my self-hate, all my homicidal tendencies turned inwards against myself, all my efforts at dying. It took it like a champ and protected me. Didn’t develop cancer or any other serious disease that would be a reasonable outcome to how I’ve been living since I was 16. It could have turned the comfort eating into physical danger, but it just created cushions to embrace me, to protect my emerging fragility from the world.

And even though I’ve been fat for a few years now, I’ve always felt fat because of my body dysmorphia. Even when I was battling anorexia and bulimia as a 13,14 year old. That’s what made it easier for me to hold space for myself and not react everytime I met my disappointment in the mirror. I understood that I can’t be fighting several battles at once, and once I deal with the root issues, the external will follow suit. And it surely has. It hasn’t translated to a snap back because there’s so much else to me that is more important right now. Things that strangers on a bus can’t readily perceive. And it’s fine.

It’s fine that people become shocked when they see me. What happened? For a long while I just wanted to lose weight to avoid those glances and intrusive comments. I wanted to bury myself because of the shame. Because people couldn’t see my battles, my victories, my injuries and my progress. But it’s fine. Because I shouldn’t have to rest on people’s perception of me. It taught me, it forced me to accept myself unconditionally, even at my worst. It forced me to see myself even when I felt there was nothing redeemable or noteworthy about me. I was forced to break the conditioning that my worth lay in my proportioned curves that for so long had been the envy and admiration of many. I fell from grace, it felt like. But was it grace? To have parts of me admired for meeting certain arbitrary conditions that were liable to fluctuate? No. It was a pyramid scheme. It led me to believe that I, as Mulki, was being loved. No. People were loving the image that they could project on me. They loved what I entailed, what I represented, but not who I actually was. And I conflated what I represented with who I was, so sweet was the validation.

And I don’t care that my skin is glowing because that only makes me more self-conscious about my hyperpigmentation that looks like a 5 o’clock shadow. I’d rather pass on zooming in and evaluating bits and pieces of me. If you cut out the parts you admire about me, you’d have rotting bloody flesh on your hands. Yuck.

2:13 am

It’s raining. I ask Allaah to wash away like the rain is washing down the earth, everything in me, every image and concept that undermines my evolution. Everything that demands I measure up to a preset template in order to be deemed ok. Everything that contradicts the natural flow. Everything that resists the divine will. Everything that holds my body in tension.

It’s pouring now. Divine showers. May my body be cleansed like the earth is.

The summer at the end of 4th grade

My body says I’m a woman, school says I’m a child. I am confusion. Someone please tell me what this entails? Am I expected to act like mum and stop acting like the kid I was a month ago? How do women act? I tuck it in, cover it up, step back, sit down, can’t forget, can’t forget, can’t forget, shit! Forgot! Embarrassment, shame, shame, shame. Cut down, mute, push away, tear apart. I hate my body. I hate it because I’m supposed to look like that and it won’t stop looking like this and the more suggestions I notice the bigger the rift grows within me. The war against myself is engendered by the unclear crossing over to womanhood.

Who knew that the loss of my childhood would be so bloody?

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