My relationship with my grandparents didn’t exist until I was 13 years old, and even then it wasn’t exactly a happy relationship. I felt that they abandoned my Dad despite going on to have more children, and I guess I never got over that.
Growing up big means that you hear a lot of nasty shit. You get called names and everyone has an opinion about you. Everyone also has an opinion about skinny people, but you don’t think about that, do you?
Society might tell you that because you are fat you won’t get certain things in life, but you don’t expect it from your own grandmother.
It all started when my grandfather died. We headed up to Blackpool to attend his funeral and see my grandmother, and the cutting comments started.
At first she just made snide comments. I hadn’t offered to go and make my Dad a cup of coffee (in her home!) and she was absolutely shocked to learn that my Dad cooked some meals. At the time I was working two jobs, then babysitting, driving an hour home, going to the gym and then I had two hours every night for myself. I used that time to blog, package up eBay items and get ready for the next day. I batched cooked meals at the weekend, and my Dad was also retired. But that didn’t matter to her.
Those comments were fine. I mean, they weren’t, but I wasn’t going to put up an argument over them.
They were said in front of other people; members of the family I had never met as well as family friends I had never met.
I remember her comment about my weight. It came from nowhere.
In a room full of strangers, with no prompting and not on the subject of weight or relationships, her voice rang across the room…
‘You’ll never get a husband at your size’.
How on earth do you respond to that, when you are grieving and dealing with feelings of resentment anyway?
I still kick myself to this day that I didn’t say anything to her.
I only saw her once more before she died, because I didn’t want to be near such a cruel woman.
In fact I attended her funeral with my now husband as my fiance.
Watching my cousins get up to speak about what a loving grandmother she was and sharing all of their happy memories was hard. I was blinking back the tears, not from grief, but from anger.
I wanted to get out of there. I looked around and there was no escape route.
I did all I could do in that moment which was to cross my arms and scowl.
Anyone looking at me would think that I was just grieving and upset, but Tony knew. The man who loved me knew. He held my hand and squeezed. He kissed my forehead.
And as I listened to all the ways in which my grandmother was an amazing woman, I was counting down the days until I was married in just two more months.