I was putting away some clothes this morning when a pair of jeans fell out of my armoire. I picked them up to refold them and couldn’t determine whose jeans they were. Jaime wears several sizes smaller than I. I opened the waistband and noticed the size was “29 Waist”.
“Wow!” I thought to myself.
It was two years ago next week that I had my car accident. These would have been the size jeans I was wearing then. For a moment, I lamented the size “34 Waist” I was wearing now. It may not sound like a lot, but trust me. Womens jean sizes are all screwy. For me, this represented a 50 lbs (23 kg) increase in weight – from 170 lbs (77 kg) to my current 220 lbs (100 kg). My belly, for the first time in my life, rolls over the waistband of even my underwear.
Weight has been on my mind a lot lately. My most recent physical demonstrated elevated blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI. The absolute maximum healthy weight for my height of 5’9″ (175 cm) is 160 lbs (72 kg). It seems like a monumental task.
Several days ago, as I stood in the bathroom getting ready for work, I caught a glimpse of my naked body and thought to myself, “You’re disgusting. You’re just a fat tranny man.”
A reply came back from the mirror that completely caught me off guard. (It actually came from inside my head, not the mirror. I not that crazy.) That reply took me somewhere I hadn’t been in over a year. It was something I had completely buried deep in my psyche.
“At least you’ll be too fat for him to want you.”
I about lost it.
Consciously, I had been blaming my car accident and my subsequent lack of activity on my weight gain. However, upon closer analysis, this wasn’t true. Between DragonCon 2011 and DragonCon 2012, I had gained only 10 lbs. Between DragonCon 2012 and DragonCon 2013, I had gained 40 lbs.
What happened that shook me out of my routine? Before then, I went to the gym several times a week and worked out vigorously. Trying to keep a healthy weight has always been a struggle, but I was successful and it made me feel so much better.
In early November, I business partner and principal investor had a conversation with me. I had worked so few hours since the accident that I was starting to actively hurt the bottom line. The long and short of the conversation was that if I didn’t bring in a significant amount of money soon, I would be out of a job.
As luck would have it, not a week or so later, a long time customer called at the last minute needed a complete overhaul of their server room during a remodel. All new wiring, cabinets, racks, outlets – everything would need to be re-done and diagramed.
I didn’t particularly like this customer, but they were nationwide and usually paid promptly.
My first day on the job of an assignment that was to last a little over a week and pay several thousand dollars something unimaginable happened. The project manager, whom I’d met before on another job, was going over the blueprints with me. I commented about him being overly-flirtatious and wondered if it had ever gotten him into trouble. He then proceeded to tell me the story of a young woman that had attempted to sue this company because of him and how they (the company) systematically destroyed her life. I thought this a bit asshole-ish and creepy.
It didn’t surprise me though. The owner of this company once called my business partner and complained about me. You see, during the summer months we wore khaki shorts on the job. During my last visit to this customer, my partner and I were both wearing shorts. However, he was told that it was unacceptable for me to “bare my legs” in his business – not my male business partner – just me.
Anyway, after going over the blueprints he told me he wanted to show me some structural changes they had made to part of the building. I followed him into a large room full of his workers and they all immediately put down their equipment and left. I didn’t really think anything of it at the time. We then turned the corner into a room. He immediately shut the door and turned the deadbolt.
I’ve never thought this would ever happen to me. I like to think I’m stronger than the average person, but it turns out, I’m not. I guess all these years of hormone therapy really did have an impact on my strength because no matter what I did, I couldn’t break free of this man’s hold. There was no penetration, but I still felt violated.
“You know you want it.”
Did I really want it? No! Of course, I didn’t. Did I lead this guy on? Is it really possible I gave off these cues?
I wanted to run away and scream and call the police. However, my mind went back to our previous conversation of how they destroyed the life of the last woman he’d probably done this to. What a clever strategy for this bastard.
Even more so, I couldn’t get the recent conversation about my employment out of my head. If I didn’t bring in some money soon, I would be out of work.
Is this really the way the world is? Do women really have to go through this every day. This isn’t fair.
I actually stayed and worked the next several days. I avoided him whenever I could or I made sure that I was surrounded by others when he was around. That didn’t particularly make me feel safe as I believe his workers were complicit and knew exactly what was going to happen to me.
I sucked it up, did my job and made the money.
His parting words to me, “Damn you sure are fine as hell. You could really stand to lose some weight though. You’re almost too big for how I normally like my women.”
It no longer seems like much of a mystery to me as to why I let myself go…
*P.S. This person has since left the country on a long term assignment.