This paper is a work of self-examination to find out what influenced my development from birth to this my 56th year. I will delve into my past and try to honestly and without judgment describe what events and actions led me to become the person I am today. I will look at the way in which the culture and family I grew up in build the frame-work of the person I have evolved into.
I am a white woman who just turned fifty-six years old. I have been married to my husband for twelve years. He is a white man and we both work in office jobs that have placed us in the middle to upper-middle class range financially. I have two grown children from a previous marriage. My sons are twenty-nine and twenty-seven. Chad, the oldest is in the Navy and has not lived in New Mexico for ten years. Clint, my youngest son lives in Kirtland in one of our homes. We have been blessed with the opportunities that have allowed us to live a very financially stable life-style. I found out about five years ago that I have ADHD and take medication to control my ability to focus and complete tasks. This disability has directly contributed to my lack of self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness that I have struggled with my whole life. In school I was the student that could not sit still. I talked too much, I did not pay attention and I just could not stop myself from answering all the questions before the other students could. I was reading before I started school so I was always racing a head of the class if they were reading page nine, I was already on page eighteen the teachers could not keep my interest. The only thing that kept me from having a terrible experience in my school years was my personality. Most teachers loved me so I could get away with my distractive behaviors. I also have lived much of my live with an eating disorder that has left me with numerous physical problems. The most painful outcome from my bulimic life-style is that my body has lost the ability to metabolize food efficiently. Even eating less than a thin person I gain weight. In the ten years that I have been fighting toward my recovery I have gained one hundred pounds. This huge weight gain has put my health, self-esteem and outward appearance at such a low point that some days I feel overwhelmed and out of control. The extra weight has also become a disability for me I cannot walk up stairs without getting short of breath. My knees are both damaged so badly that I have problems getting up and down. I sometimes feel older than my age and worry about my strength. I have been decimated against by my own insurance company who told me I was too fat to be worth insuring, people look at me and think she must be a really lazy person. And every time I get ready to board a plane I have to worry if the seat belt will fit around me or if I have to embarrass myself by asking the flight attendant for a seatbelt extension. Then after that I begin to worry about the person setting next to me. Will they be mad or discussed because they have to sit by someone who takes up too much room. A whole group of people are being treated this way. We are being marginalized because we do not fit into the norm for body size. Just as it is stated in our text book, “Marginalization is perhaps the most dangerous form of oppression. A whole category of people is expelled from useful participation in social life” (Sisneros, Stakeman Joyner, Schmitz, 2008). These are just a few ways my life as a fat woman in our society has affected me. I grew up in a traditional and very dysfunctional middle class family in Michigan. I was born the youngest of five children. From my birth until I was five we lived on my grandmother’s family farm. My father was not a farmer he was going to college on the GI bill to become an electrician. His uncle let us live in a small house that was a part of the Beldon farm. After my father finished his...
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