I was born a twin. We were born five minutes apart from each other and are fraternal. When we were little we were the same size which was average. Somewhere around the age of 10 that started to change. I was starting to go through puberty earlier than my sister and gaining weight. As the years went by my weight continued to increase while she stayed not exactly thin but maybe 10 pounds over the average weight of other girls around us.
In high school I was a size 16 and she was a size 10/12. From the age of 10 I was picked on because of my weight. I was called names and gym class was always a nightmare. My sister had more friends than I did but still thought of herself as fat when she looked in the mirror. She wasn’t picked on. She would eat only white rice with vinegar on it for months because she believed she was too fat. While I was getting mooed at and called names she was imagining herself as my size. That was not acceptable to her. By the time we graduated high school I was a size 18/20 and she was smaller than a 10.
My sister went to college where the pressure of thin roommates drove her to eat even less. She had fainted twice in class. No one seemed to have a problem with her hip bones sticking out and the paleness of her skin.
When we would get together she would complain about her weight. I would get so upset at times but kept my mouth shut. My sister can hold a grudge better than anyone. One day I had had enough. The night before I had actually been spit on at a party while a guy did his impression of an elephant. I was drinking heavily then but didn’t stick up for myself. When my sister started with how “fat” she was I lifted my shirt and said ” You wanna see fat? Look at this!” and jiggled all my rolls in front of her face. She said I didn’t get it. She was right.
I finally tipped the scales at 268 before being diagnosed with Celiac and Bipolar Disorder. I also stopped drinking. The combo of meds and the gluten free diet caused me to drop weight too fast. In a year and a half I went from 268 to 130. It wasn’t through a healthy diet and exercise, it was because I was sick.
Throughout that time my sister got married, had 2 children, and her body changed also. She is now 170 pounds and very unhappy. Her husband actually likes her at this weight but that doesn’t matter to her. When she looks in the mirror she sees shame and disgust. I wonder what she thought when she looked at me all those years.
I now get comments about looking like “Skeletor” or the “Grim Reaper”. When my sister and I were talking today she was crying and upset. She said she was ashamed to see anyone she used to know. I said I wanted to see people I used know that used to make fun of me. Her response was “Why? Now you just look sick! You don’t look good!”. I can’t win. But I have to remember where this is coming from. Suddenly I’m not the “fat” twin anymore. She’s having problems dealing with that. She acts like I have no idea how it feels. I spent most of my life being tortured about my weight in the most humiliating ways. I allowed it to happen because I thought I deserved it. I let men use me because I thought I couldn’t do any better and that’s what I deserved. I don’t deserve it no one does.
I have to remember she’s sick so I don’t punch her. She never went through what I went through. I had one guy tell me “I would date you if you weren’t so fat”. Another mentioned I shouldn’t get pregnant because no one would be able to tell. Another said I was great and would be “marriage material” if it wasn’t for my weight. Things said directly to my face.
I’ll never forget being so excited to go to this one party with my best friend and the guy she was seeing. I was to meet them at his mother’s house. When I got there his mom answered the door. I didn’t understand what was going on. I was dressed up and tried hard to look nice. His mom told me they had left already. His sister who was giving the party only wanted a certain type of people there. She asked if I understood. I did. Unfortunately. His mother was bigger than me and looked at me with pity. Me? Well I did what I always did when I felt hurt. I drank it away.
My sister has never experienced such things. She married someone connected to the music world. She lived in California for awhile where she was backstage at concerts meeting celebrities and going to music awards in limos. Even when she moved back she still got to vacation with them. Her complaints boggle my mind. I’m sure my problems are just as confusing.
You would think we could help each other. I’ve been on both sides. She isn’t ready to listen or accept my help. Again I’m back to keeping my mouth shut. The problem is she is always ready with a solution for my “many problems”. I have to let it go or it will destroy our relationship. I don’t want that. She is my twin, my sister, and I love her no matter what.