Ghost Issues


Every year of my life, I try to work on my issues and improve myself as much as possible. This year, I’m working on two main things: Eradicating all passive-aggresiveness from my life (not practicing it, not tolerating it from others), and the ghost-issue of control.

I say ghost issue because it’s not something that ever really happens, just something I irrationally fear. Like, for instance, here’s a fictional example, okay? Let’s say I’m fat, and I want to lose weight, because I want to wear nicer clothes for cheap, all right? And let’s say that I’m reasonably intelligent and experienced in these matters, so I know how to lose weight. I’ve done it before.

But, at the same time, I’m afraid. Maybe every time I try to indulge in a fantasy about weight loss, my mind derails and takes me back to a time when I was thin, and someone hated me for it. Very vividly, instead of being able to think of a dress on clearance at Target, my mind calls up a woman who went to my church twenty years ago, who said to me, in front of the priest and everyone, “But I guess with that cute little figure of yours, you don’t have to be smart.”

Or it calls up the sensation of a man on the bus, twenty-two years ago, who purposely rubbed against me on the way to his seat. Or it calls up something disgustingly inappropriate that I heard someone say to a thin woman just the other day. Or the completely fictional idea of being raped.

And… this is not a real issue. Because, hello–people say rude things around me all the time, whether I’m fat, thin, purple, or green. There are haters and perverts everywhere, and they victimize whoever they can, no matter what. So why should their opinions matter more if I’m thin?

I have an irrational feeling that my control over my own body extends inversely to the minds of the people around me. As if losing ten pounds will make ten more people try to break my boundaries, and therefore force me to be ten percent more vigilant, or ten percent more afraid. I know it’s irrational, especially to people who know me in real life and know that I’m way too much of a bitch-face to get sexually harassed very often. But I still feel this irrational feeling, hypothetically, and therefore I have to work through it.

I try to explain it to my friends, and I’m not sure that they understand. One friend does, actually. She says it’s probably PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as we all know, can be worked through. All you have to do is identify irrational thoughts, and then rethink them. Like this:

“A lot of people are assholes, but that’s no reason to let assholes affect your decisions on what to do with your life.”


(Even the hypothetical not-rude, not-offensive behavior starts to upset me. Just thinking about the fact that when I’m thinner, more people talk to me, smile at me, and like me… bothers the living shit out of me. It makes me want to stay fat, sometimes, seriously. I feel like, the people who like me at this weight are the only ones I want as friends. People who only like women of a certain weight, I don’t want anything to do with. But that’s a different issue, I think. Not a control issue, but rabid, hypersensitive feminism and anti-lookism, and a deep, futile desire to be respected for my mind. :) One of my friends says that this observation is untrue–that people aren’t treating me better because I’m thinner, they’re treating me better because I’m radiating more happiness and confidence. But I don’t believe her. She’s only ever been young and thin, and I’ve been both fat and thin, both young and not-young, so I think I have more bitter, real-life experience with lookism. Unfortunately. Stay gold, Ashley! Stay gold!)


My boyfriend says I had a lot of nightmares last night.

“You had a lot of nightmares last night.”

“I did? No, I didn’t.”

“Yeah. You were all yelling and trying to run in your sleep. Oh, and you had that one where something’s wrong with your hand.”

“Oh! Did I wake up and tell you my fingers were broken? I dreamed my fingers were all bent the wrong way, and then I woke up and pulled my hand from under the pillow to make sure, and my hand was asleep, so I thought it really was broken, and then I yelled for you to take me to the hospital. But then my hand woke up, so I went back to sleep.”

“You always have that dream when I spend the night here.”

“I know. It’s because, when you’re next to me, I don’t have any place to put my hand. We need a bigger bed.”

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Posted in dreams, lookism, psychobabble, venting on 05/18/2007 11:04 am

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