Wednesday, April 1, 2009

May I have your attention, please?

So, I mentioned in my post yesterday that I had learned a few things about myself. One of the more major things that I learned about myself is how I've always seemed to avoid attention - necessary attention or not. I was always the "chubby" girl so I didn't get a whole lot of attention from a lot of people - especially of the male persuasion - and I was ok with this. I probably used that layer of excess to hide myself from having to be noticed and approached. That was also how I justified not getting the attention - the idea that "I'm fat, nobody will be interested in me". Yep, that's exactly what I did.

Well, this past weekend forced me to realize that I am now getting more attention than I'm used to and I just don't know how to deal with it. I don't have as much of the "protective" layer anymore and so I can't use it as my excuse to run and hide or convince people that they shouldn't be interested in me. Now, I have to face it. But how? How can we not be the "chubby" girl, when that's all we know? How can we believe that what the other person is seeing isn't necessarily what we see (or think we see)?

This past weekend I was approached by a few gentlemen (at various times). They were, clearly, trying to flirt but I diverted them to "the cute girls at the end of the bar". And yes, I did use those exact words. It's not that I don't believe that I'm cute or worth being flirted with, I just don't believe that they would want to be flirting with me. So, I sent them on.

Then, one persistent (and quite cute) fellow kept trying. And because he was NOT giving up, I allowed myself to flirt back. That, in turn, brought on vulnerability because he was "cute" and he liked me. This is something that I'm completely not used to. The problem was, that I wanted more interaction/flirting/attention. Yet, I knew that this little flirting session wasn't going to go anywhere because 1) we were on a cruise ship 2) he was not from the USA 3) I don't know that I believed what he was saying about me. But maybe that was because I didn't believe it myself? I'm not gonna lie, it was sure fun getting the attention. And, it made me want to spend all sorts of time with him so that he would keep telling me things and I might even have started to believe it. Of course, that didn't happen - I barely saw him after that evening, but it was still fun.

This brought me to a few questions and struggles in my current (not as chubby) world. How do I prevent myself from being vulnerable and possibly "settle" just because I may be getting extra attention? I'm still the same person as I was 96 pounds ago, why do I let my guard down so much more quickly than I did when I did have the protective layer? How do I know when someone is being genuine about wanting to "get to know me"? How do I know that these guys really are interested? How can I stop feeling so insecure about meeting people and dating relationships? Just because I have been unsuccessful in the past, doesn't mean that there's no success for my relationships of the future. Right?

I know that this is a big rambling session. I know that I need to find the answers to these questions for myself. I just needed an outlet and/or a sounding board so that I can really be open and aware of the struggles and insecurities I face. Maybe just getting it off my chest will open new ideas and avenues so that I can answer these questions?

Talk about laying it all out there! Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to throw a pitty party or anything, I just need to sort out the true thoughts in my head so I can get the negativity out of it and bring in some positive thoughts and directions. I felt it necessary and I actually feel better just having vented a bit. Now, I guess I have some questions to answer! My therapist is going to love this one! :-)


Janine said...

It sounds like you have got a learning curve happening. I must say I think you are very cute!!! And no wonder you had blokes lining up to chat. Good luck sorting through your feelings, it is vertainly a real head spin of a journey at times isn't it.

Heather said...

Thank you so much Janine! It IS a huge head spin of a journey. I don't think I was ready for this part. It's strange going from insecure for a reason to insecure for no reason.

I'm sure I'll get it all sorted and be back to normal soon. Hopefully very soon!

Thank you for your support!

Liza said...

OK, well you said something about your therapist, so obviously you are IN therapy. That would have been my first suggestion :) That being said I can only tell you what others have told me in the same situations:

Always remember that quote by Eleanor Roosevelt (I think) "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission". Believe that you are special, believe that you are wonderful, believe that you are beautiful and worthy of love and everyone else will too. And worse case scenario? Fake it till you make it :)

Heather said...

I LOVE it! "Fake it till you make it"! That's great advice.

Oh yes, my therapist will have a few words for me, I'm sure. Which will be GREAT!

Thank you so much! I do appreciate the support.

Kim said...

I'm in a different boat as I don't like the extra attention I now get, but then again, I am happily married, so I'm not looking either. But my weight started coming on as a child after I was molested, so it was my protection and now that it is gone, any attention makes me feel ill at ease and vulnerable.
But regardless of our differences the fact remains that we are getting attention from the male population. I think the more you put yourself out there, the more comfortable you will be with it. It's like anything else new; we just have to ease ourselves into it. And I'm a believer in always going with your gut instinct about people. If you are really feeling someone is being nice and legit, enjoy it, but if something is holding you back and making you feel uncomfortable, go with it!
Good luck. This new life is such a learning process!

Kim H. said...

Oh my goodness - I think this is something that we all struggle with - whether dating or not. Really - all I can tell you is that putting yourself out there is scary and rewarding. You have to get out there in order to experience the good...

Know in your heart that you are worth it, and you are an AMAZING catch for any man. If he can't see the beauty that lives inside of you - and on the outside as well... he is the one missing out and not worth the trouble. Don't ever let someone else make you feel inferior - I know it's easier said than done... but stay true to yourself. :-)

Anonymous said...

I understand this all too well...I have now been in a relationship with someone for 6 months...he thinks I am beautiful, he even, in moments of delusional stupor says that I am stunning and after our first date did not even try to kiss me (which I was fine with) because he says that he was intimidated by me, which I find hysterical...but in saying that, I see the truth of what he is saying in his eyes. That doesn't mean that I don't at times question it...or even (he hates this) roll my eyes at his compliments...It just takes time, it takes time to make the transition from being invisible to being a real live girl that people might on occasion feel attracted to...When Jason and I met I was 40 lbs heavier than I am now...and though I am much lighter I am also much more wrinkled than I was when we first met...the weightloss is a double edged feel better with your clothes on than you have in ages if not ever but with your clothes off you feel like one big mess. He loves me anyway, I am a disaster and he wants me anyway, I am a melting cathedral candle and he desires me anyway...This is what I have learned...he does not see what I see when I look in the mirror and I am not capable of seeing what he sees when he looks at me and that is the way it should be...I can only imagine the ego trips and narcissism that would be involved if I saw myself the way he hard part is learning to accept that they see something else and more importantly believeing has been half a year and I still struggle with it at times...on some level I always will BUT I don't question his belief in me and my beauty...once you learn that and can accept it, it will get easier. Best of luck to ya girlie...Jil

Heather said...

Thank you ALL, so much, for sharing. I can't tell you how much these comments mean to me. It's so good to hear and know that we are not alone in this journey. It's tough to admit our faults, but I love knowing that there is support.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!