I Am Strong, Redwood Tree Strong … I’ve Weathered Many Storms
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny
One of the faces of my grief … 9 months after Tommy died. I couldn’t get past it … I thought I would die, too. Overweight … my face looked just awful … my expression was reflected pure Hell from my soul … my only child, my son had died.
Well … I have made it public I am losing this extra weight I am carrying around on my body. It’s noticeable now … but, no one will comment on it. Why? I have my opinions … hear me out.
I look around, panic … why? Because most everyone is big … getting bigger. It’s good when we are big, also. It’s unwritten permission to let go … to be a part of a … bigger world for some people. Let go, come join me! I was a part of that. I was glad I wasn’t alone … it took the attention off me … Fat Gloria.
I don’t knock anyone for being overweight … if you’ve never been prone to gain weight … or been overweight … you have no way of knowing ‘why?’ someone is big. Why? someone is fat. You don’t … and when you judge … you make horrible mistakes when you do that, and you … make fun of them. Why?
Because someone may be taking medications that cause swelling, weight-gain. Someone’s health condition may keep them swollen, ‘big’. Someone may be like I was … going through ‘pure Hell’ on the inside … never-ending emotional grief, pain … not care about their physical self while fighting mental battles of losing everyone they loved, fighting cancer, losing their child … the list goes on.
You don’t know what’s going on. Yeah, I know … there are people who are going to eat, and eat, and eat. They aren’t thinking about how fat they have gotten. They are only thinking to COMFORT themselves in some way … you don’t know the Hell they suffer inside. You know you don’t.
There are fat people who say they genuinely love to be fat. Good for them, I don’t knock it at all. If they are … genuinely happy … that’s wonderful. If, when they look in the mirror and see a happy smile reflect back at them … at what they see … that’s probably true. It’s good for them, not for me.
All the expressions I’ve been seeing in my mirror have been sad, disappointed ones, desperate to lose this weight … unhappy ones.
Lately … expressions, thoughts of “I’m either going to lose this weight or … die”. Now that means … I’m ‘dead serious’ about losing weight to have a good quality of life the rest of my life. I’m doing it for myself … no one else.
I AM going to lose it … one way or other. I want to accomplish what I need to do … to make me happy the rest of my life. Not only that … I have health conditions … that mean I’ve got to. I should have done it yesterday. Life … got in my way … real life.
I let go when I was grieving over the death of my son. I let go when so many ‘bad things’ in my life … overwhelmed me. I didn’t give a damn … I reflected how I felt inside … too many bad things for me to ever feel good again.
Oh my … you don’t have to tell me how fat I’ve gotten. It’s in your eyes … shock, disbelief. Especially in eyes of males who knew me … before.
In the eyes of women … it’s an expression of glee, satisfaction, disgust yet … when they speak … their voices gush out pure, sweetness of “Hello-ooooooooooooooooo! Lo-oooooooooooong time, no see! You sure the Hell are lo-ooooooooooooooking so good!” “You look so damn …………….. healthy”!
They know they are lying … bitches! That’s right, that’s exactly what I think. They don’t know, if they do … there’s no compassion … that I’ve fought to stay in this world.
I’ve survived cancer … congestive heart failure … my home burned down … in a few years all my family members died, my husband was in a tractor-trailer wreck, then a woman almost killed him again 3 weeks later running a stop sign. They don’t know we fell on hard times … they aren’t aware my only child, my son died.
These are only a few things that has happened in the past 16 years … the list goes on. I know they wouldn’t care if they did know … guess what? I’m not going to tell them. Why?
I made the mistake of telling a woman named Elaine that I was very sick, fighting cancer. She was working in a pharmacy at that time (1999) … she used to work at the hospital with me. I always loved her, she pretended to like me. She didn’t have room for another real friend, she had her friend, Brenda.
(Photo of me when the woman knew me … women pretended to like me when I was beautiful. I learned that people will hate you … when you are beautiful. I have a beautiful cousin I told that too … she has learned through the years ‘why?’ women naturally hate her.)
Elaine saw me, stared at me wondering what happened to me. I was so sick, but … I wanted to make myself get out, do things, get stronger. Hell, I knew I looked so bad … didn’t matter, I had to help myself to get stronger.
She asked me what was wrong with me. I began to tell her, stopped … pretended not to see her as I paid her the money I owed. Why?
She gave me a cold expression, I knew she didn’t care at all. I stopped speaking, she never prompted me to finish … I didn’t. Why would I? I left, I never spoke to her again. She was so … cold. She had no compassion … she doesn’t know to this day she devastated me at a time in my life when I was fighting to live … to survive.
She ‘kicked me while I was down’. I never forgot that and … I have forgotten a lot during that time. I won’t ever forget her, and her friend … never.
I see her and her friend ever so often, the last time at a cantaloupe festival Skip took me to. She and her friend followed me around, pretending not to see me until I looked into her eyes. They were whispering about me … making fun of how I looked. Truthfully, I looked so bad … cancer isn’t a pleasant thing. It … does take … the life out of a person. I’m lucky I survived. I won’t forget the laughter in her eyes … I knew.
To this day, I’ve wondered about her, her friend. I wonder how their health is … they were older than I … back then. My prayers for them … to have good health, and I forgive you. But … I won’t ever forget … the extra pain you added to recovery road I was on.
For several weeks I was devastated … wondering if I should die because someone didn’t like me. Honestly, this answer in these words came to me about 3 weeks after that incident … “Fuck, no”! To Hell with them.
Forgive the ugly words in this story because … they are the not nicest colors in my life … and this is the extent of ugly words I’ll use … just what is here plus a … couple more ugly words. 🙂
Life is what it is … I’ve told you I’m not perfect at all … I am truly a good person who … can, will say an ugly word or two. I don’t mean to, but … it’s in me. I really try not to cuss … this is a part of being the ‘character’ in my stories … the real Gloria. I think … real thoughts in … real words.
Later, I went on about my life as I got better … this after a period of three years … in the 4th year Skip was diagnosed with colon cancer. I was still going to the oncologist … he had begun going.
It took about 6 years of trying to survive cancer … both of us. We both made it … and survived things life kept throwing at us … alone.
Tommy was in Germany … we kept so much from him. He would have died … trying to get home to us. We loved him with our Hearts, he loved us with our Hearts. Tommy was the only child I ever had … he died May 29, 2010 on Memorial Day weekend.
During that time my mother died … it threw me back. I won’t even go into that … the questions, haunting of her voice begging me for help on the phone recorder … the things I saw, heard during, after her death … connected dots to all these years. No one will know the torment I was in … only Skip.
No one can ever know the torment I suffer now … if I allow myself to think of her … what she was saying on the recording … the unearthly sound of her voice. I can’t bear it. I can’t speak about it anymore.
Deaths began … about 19 people on both sides of my family dying … strange how all were the very people … I truly loved. Some … I loved, hated, loved at the same time. So damn much grief … I didn’t know if I was coming or going. Imagine a cartoon character getting slammed by a car each time, he got up … that was me.
I never had anyone to talk to … I coped in my own way. It took years. I did it … now, I’m only stronger for it … Redwood tree stronger. I’ve survived storms the normal, everyday person never experiences, much less … experience one or two in their life. Am I proud of it? Hell yes … I made it.
How did I do it? I have a fighting spirit … I know it comes from my Grandma Alma. She was paralyzed for over 20 years … she survived living in Hell. I watched her as a child. I loved her fiercely.
Getting back to being a fat Gloria … seriously, when I look in the mirror …. I can’t help but, to notice my eyes. A real smile reflects back at me … I’m actually losing weight. I’ll be a real person again … me.
I am speaking of myself here … so, no one can take any of what I write personally. If you do … you are at fault … I don’t know your life but, I damn-well know my life.
Don’t jump on the bandwagon of sensitive people … it seems every damn body jumps on a wagon of some kind these days … they cry, whine about everything. I DO NOT FEEL SORRY for you.
There are genuine people … let them do what they do … you just make them look bad, and not be noticed at a time they need to be to accomplish something positive.
There are NO bandwagons here for you to jump on … only a ship to carry you on out into the sea. If I can’t jump on one here … you know I don’t keep wagons parked in my stalls.
What in the Hell would they do … coming through my life … on my roads I’ve traveled? I didn’t have a ‘fucking’ wagon to jump on … I had to walk those damn roads and … I damn-well did it. Ugly words again … if you judge me for those words … you never liked me to begin with.
If you judge me for those words … go on about your life … you sure damn don’t need to be here. You might get too sensitive. I am speaking of how it feels to be a human being with real feelings. Sensitive doesn’t get anyone … anywhere. Hell, I used to be … sensitive … walk on eggs around my ass. Now … I’ve come too far.
Oh … all I just said … doesn’t mean I’m not a good person. I stress that all the time so, you can know this. I’m just … not perfect. I don’t try to be anymore … I am me. I am a good ‘me’ … and sometimes, I say ugly words.
Deep feelings, thoughts … I voice them in how I really think, feel. Can’t help it … and I’m not going to stop writing no matter what someone thinks. Only real people will understand me, anyway. Only real people will like me.
I feel many people don’t want to see weight-loss in me … especially females who were very happy that I ‘got fat’ when once … they hated me for being the … perfect size. They will be the last ones to ever say they notice … probably they will never say anything.
Doesn’t matter to me … I know they are there … though they don’t see me notice … I really do. The more I lose, the more I’ll be smiling. I’ll also, pretend not to see … their expressions … smile some more.
I have become tired of being a … fat girl. A fat Gloria girl. Females have really liked me since I became one. In fact, I’ve not been able to help notice how much they really like me since I ‘became ugly, fat’.
The fatter, uglier a person is … someone who doesn’t like them thinks … okay, this poor bastard has gone too far … they won’t ever travel the road back to being … slender, nice-looking again.
They forget them until … one day … that person did make it back, not only that … they sure are looking good! What’s the first reaction? Jealousy. Now … they got to keep an eye on them once again. Just because someone lost weight has instantly put them into a threatening position … one I know a lot of times … shouldn’t be.
The worse I look … the more female friends I have. Well, it’s not going to hurt me at all when … I become smaller … I will have less ‘ female friends’.
Doesn’t matter at all … I recognized long ago … those kind of friends. They won’t smile at me anymore … that’s good … it was all fake anyway. I’ll be glad for them to pretend not to see me, go their ways again. They don’t know it … I’m tired of pretending to be nice to them … of course, I will always do that.
The more ‘bad things’ happened to me … the worse I looked … females just mothered me, liked me so much. I know they didn’t think I could possibly see the expression in their eyes … hear the insincerity in their voices. The truth is the truth … and I’m not going to sugar-coat it. I’m going to tell it like it is … you can like it … or not.
I’m no threat to them like that. Isn’t it wonderful Gloria’s son died? Isn’t it wonderful Gloria had cancer? Damn, it’s wonderful her home burned down! Even better … she is on hard-times!
Stay down, Gloria! We sure do love you when you are like this! But … you don’t know how we really feel … yes, I do … your eyes are like a mirror reflecting the ugliness in you … you know that little evil glint. Do I need to say more?
Damn, they secretly thought … the worse she looks … the more I love it! If you can admit this … you are a ‘helluva’ person/female. We as females do this … I just know there aren’t many of us who can say how … we really think … inside. You know it, I know it as a female.
How do I know? Well, I’m stepping out here to show you I’m a ‘helluva’ person. I’ve thought such things through the years. I didn’t only pay close attention, study other females … I’ve done the same with my own reactions to … real life.
I have been glad someone got fat! I think Karma paid my ass a lesson … it bit this ass good, and hard … and made it bigger. Big-ass Gloria … Karma caught up with me. I told you things have a way of coming back to … bite one in the … ass!
I’ve been glad females got fat through time … the worse they looked … the better I liked them. That’s why I know females do this … I know the difference each time I meet up with a female I haven’t seen through the years. I’m thinking of what she’s going to say … be damned if I’m not right! Bitch! 🙂 Yes, I said that!
When I say this, know that I don’t claim to be anymore than I am. I’m not an expert in anything … but … real life. To me … that’s where it counts. If you live it … then, it’s a very real thing.
Experience life … good or bad … really feel life … hurt, laugh, cry, be happy … you KNOW what it really feels like. That’s how I know … I know how real life feels. I will describe what I know … in my very real life, my very … real words.
I know how my life feels … best. So, when I write it … know I know what I’m talking about … when it comes to my life. I know I’m not the only female, person … human in this world who have come through storms … some of you are bound to go through a lot of the same things I have. I only know a few.
You could say I’m crazy as Hell … not true. It would be too easy to say such if … I bother you with what I write. I just voice what I think, feel when I write. I write from inside … I don’t write what … you want me to write. You would do it too … if you had the nerve. But, no-oooooooooooooo … we don’t want anyone to think bad of us! 🙂 We don’t want anyone to know we … could think such things. I think them … plus more.
Do I worry about having readers, fans? No. Why?
Because I know there are many people like me … I know there are a lot of people who feel, think like I do … who agree with me. People who have walked many different roads in life … some really bad … they learned they didn’t belong in certain worlds they found themselves in … they ran like Hell to get back to the world they wanted to live in.
Sadly, some never make it back from the worlds they entered … sadly, some live there, couldn’t leave.
Not only that … you are bound to think, react to a lot of things just like I do. See, I’ve done my own little tests through time … yes, we are all so much alike than we even know. Sadly … some love their ‘bad’ worlds.
I have to say this … I have known ‘bad’ people from ‘bad’ worlds who were some of the best, real people I’ve ever known. Not only that … they’d help you before a ‘good’ person. They know how real life feels. That’s why my … friends … are all a ‘different feather’ … and you can’t judge me by any of them. They come from every walk of life.
When I make comments I want you to know where they are coming from. I make comments from my own experiences in life. I know females can be wonderful beings just as well … as awful beings. I grew up with both … wonderful and … just plain awful.
I grew up in a life where it wasn’t normal … my life would be a movie you’d pay to see. One where you would say … ‘I know no real person lived this kind of life’. I never talk about parts of it … never will. Why? Because it’s my business … and my choice to do so, not do so. I am a private person. I respect your business, you respect mine.
I have a love as well as hatred … for females. I suffered so much as a child living always with … damn women. Pain mentally, physically … always … at the hands of … women. I only knew a man’s hand as a child as something to hurt me with … when someone would sneak a hand when no one was looking … to touch me. Damn them. I didn’t grow up to hate men … nor fear them. I did grow up to be strong … I don’t let a man walk on me.
I’ve forgiven … of course, not forgotten. The good thing here … it doesn’t hurt me, nor does it hurt my life. I’ve forgiven, moved on … I don’t live in the past. I never wished bad on the ones who hurt me through time … sadly, I did see really ‘bad’ things happen to a lot of them as I grew older. Bad health, wrecks, such things. I wasn’t glad.
You can’t be offended by what I said … I don’t mean you. But … if the shoe fits … then, that’s your problem … stay out of my life … I damn sure don’t need you. I’m not letting ‘another damn woman’ … dominate me again … I’m a big girl now. Especially a big, fat bitch with … blonde hair. I don’t ‘see YOU’ when I say this … there aren’t any ‘Fat, Blonde Bitch Bandwagons’ to jump on here … I have been a fat, blond bitch … so now. I’m looking at my past encounters with them.
You wouldn’t believe the stories I could tell you about big, fat, blonde bitches. They used to naturally … beam in … to bully me.
It’d be Hell to pay now … as I grew older … instead of dreading, being afraid … I would meet it head-on … telling myself I’d rather die than to be bullied by a big ass woman (even a little ass woman).
Don’t I sound awful? Don’t mean to … it is what it is. You are listening … well, reading a real person. You know if you don’t like what I write … it’s like a library here … just quietly go your way … I won’t mind. Please close the door gently behind you. I heard that damn door slam! 🙂
Getting back to being a fat girl. Well, now I am an … ‘old fat girl’. I know I’m older … but, as I lose weight … I am seeing this … I have a lot to work with! That thrills me to no end … okay, I see it isn’t going to thrill a lot of … females. Guess what? Doesn’t matter.
Guess what again? If you only knew the real me (I’m not letting you get close enough to … why would I at this late day and time?) … you would know … ‘there goes a truly good person who loves her husband with her Heart … I never have to worry about this one female … she has no desire to hurt another being in any way’.
Through time, I have been the ‘best friend’ I would want. I have passed the tests over and over … with my ‘friends and my … enemies’. I don’t try to destroy if I don’t like someone … I go on with life, wish them the best … let go.
I promise you this … I know how to destroy naturally … that’s the kind of family I grew up in. I could have done it over and over, and over many times through time. I don’t like to cause pain to anyone … only if … I’m pushed to.
Wow, how many times did I see the females in my young life … completely destroy other women’s lives … I learned as a child.
Vicious, evil … disguised with the sweetest of smiles, soft voices … beautiful faces, bodies. That’s how serial murderers prey on their victims … they lure them in. Sweet music to one’s ears … they want to follow the Pied Piper. Boom! What the Hell happened?
Beautiful women can trip up the best of men. How many times did I see that in my family growing up … I’ve watched it all through the years. My family has had some of the most beautiful females in it … still do. I used to be beautiful … I never had the desire to take from men … I could have easily … I just couldn’t.
If I’m ever pushed that far … I hope never not … then, all’s fair in love or … war. I don’t get close enough to people, nor let them be close to me … I don’t want to know their secrets … their life. Just meet, be friends in a good way … go our own ways. I … always want to … think good of you. I don’t want to see your … ugly. If I know your ‘ugly’ … it’s filed back, but … I don’t think of it anymore.
I am ready to be a … beautiful ‘old girl’. 🙂 A good person who has learned so much since being … a young, beautiful woman.
I was a good person being young … but, I had to learn by making mistakes to know what life was about. Those life lessons hurt so bad … but, I learned. Isn’t that the main thing in life? To learn once and for all ? I damn-well learned.
Most of all … I want to be beautiful inside … where my mind can dwell upon positive, good things. No one can actually ‘see’ that on the inside … of me, but … the most important thing here is … I know it, my mind knows it. I can … live with myself! That’s a beautiful, good thing … do you agree?
Oh … the happiest thing also, to me … is doing all in a smaller body once again. I have learned through the years that if one isn’t happy with themselves as a person … there’s a dark cloud always hanging over them no matter how much they smile. It’s always a cloudy day every day in their life no matter how the sun shines.
My opinion is in my life … those big, sunshine smiles have always hidden deep pain in myself. The bigger, brighter smiles … hides the most awful things.
I would like to know how to smile truly happy … no clouds hanging over my head to make me smile brighter to make sunshine in my life. I want to wake up to sunny days … all because I’m happy in myself!
I will make my ‘dark cloud of grief over the loss of my son’ … turn into a happy, little dragonfly tattoo once we have extra money. My sad expression will turn to a soft smile then, because I can see where … I ‘feel’ the dragonfly is supposed to be. On my right shoulder where I ‘felt it’ … it’s there now … but, invisible 🙂
I hope that’s the last dark cloud in my life for many years. I would love to know pure happiness, good life before I one day die.
This is a very real color of my life … doesn’t matter if no one likes it or not … this is for-real.
No matter if ugly or beautiful … fat or thin … I am one of the best people you’ve ever known. When I say that … I don’t mean perfect people … God knows I’m so far from being … perfect. ‘Granny Gee’ is NOT perfect at all. I told you so all along. Now! Oh, neither is … Gloria Faye Brown Bates.
I mean as a person … I’m a for-real good person. It took experiencing all the ‘bad’ things in my life to shape me to be good. Some people would have become more bitter, angry and went on to be ‘some kind of bad’.
I admit once in a while even now … I feel anger when I think about certain people who have treated me unfairly … hurt me intentionally.
I sometimes feel … hatred. You see, these are things born in me naturally … I knew hate, anger, fear as a very small child … these are the first things I can ‘see … when I look back to my earliest memories’. I remember very few hugs, very few ‘I love yous’ as a child.
I was a pretty child … I remember smiling, feeling so happy when someone paid attention to me … why did they hate me? My mother had me at the age of 14 years old … I’m sure that contributed to the beginning of my life. She was a child.
It took growing up to really realize that. It took growing up to be able to forgive her, not feel anger at her … but, I did it … felt peace inside, loved my mother with my Heart. Wow … now, I understand. I don’t know if I could have done any better … I’m sure I couldn’t have.
For years … I’ve made myself work on these ‘natural feelings’ because they used to dominate my every thought. I hated everyone … I greeted them with anger because I knew everyone was … mean. I had a chip on my shoulder …
I would quietly spit venom at someone if they bothered me. I did smile at times … rarely. It took growing up … learning there are truly good people in this world … like me … today.
The good thing is … I deal with ‘bad’ in a positive way … go on … I’m not letting anything destroy my peace of mind. I’m not giving other people power to hurt me … when they aren’t even aware of it … much less care. I would be the one to suffer … while they walked around having no idea of the power … they had on me.
The one thing that threatened my peace of mind, took it away, almost took my life in the process was … the death of my only child. It’s been 5 years now … I made it. No one will ever, ever, ever know the Hell I suffered alone … in my mind. I MADE IT. I’m okay now.
I am feeling happiness once again … more happiness once the Fat Gloria is once again … just a smaller Gloria. If I can be happy with me, myself … I can be truly happy. I’ve coped with the worst in my life … losing my son, my family members, all the ‘bad’ things in my life. Now, to finish coping, dealing with the biggest obstacle left in my life … being overweight. 🙂
Thank God for all of you, my faithful readers, fans. Being here for me … meant my world. You are a part of my world just as Skip, and our two Pups.
You have been the river for me to pour my grief, pain in words … to flow into the ocean where they can go free, not dam up to hurt anyone … not stay inside me … nor you.
You can just read it, go your way … if my life’s pain can help anyone … I am so glad. I would have liked to have had something to turn to each time ‘bad’ happened to me. I didn’t.
I have to write to save myself … I can’t let these words, feelings, grief, pain … dam up inside me. Sometimes when I get writer’s block … I can’t bear it … I have to write.
Imagine a garden hose … you turn the water off … it comes out the other end … if something clogs it up … no water/words come out. No telling what would happen to the garden hose if the clog wasn’t removed.
I know sometimes, I have sounded probably crazy, just plain stupid, dumb, awful … please remember … thoughts that come from a dark place aren’t … always good, not always pleasant.
Thankfully, I think you know that … thankfully, I realize that … and know this … I have no desire of becoming a … dark person full of anger, bitterness, hatred … no matter how life has treated me.
I think you can safely describe me as … bittersweet … it’s there (hatred, anger) … but, in a good way. A good way to drive me to do better 🙂
No matter how bad life can be … things can, will … do get better. Look at me … I am proof.
The truth is that no matter how bad life is … it doesn’t mean all the good in life is gone too. It’s still there waiting for us to see it … when our eyes open again … when we can get past the pain … the grief. (#Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee)
This is how I see life now, after experiencing all the ‘bad’ stuff I have suffered.
This is what I have also, learned in this life. Caring, love, sharing, pure kindness … yes, I think these things are most important. Compassion for others.
Note by this Author:
Photos/written words in another color of my life … all owned by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.
These are colors of my life: yellow, gold, green, pink, black, gray, brown, magenta, orange, red, purple, blue, white, rose, aqua … lots of happy colors to outdo the ‘sad’ colors 🙂 God knows the colors I haven’t mentioned … colors I don’t know the names of.