Thursday, April 7, 2011

Confessions of a Big Girl

Excerpts from Confessions of a Big Girl by
Dr. Naima Johnston Bush

From The Introduction…
But the direction came, write the story of my life, and I think who would want to hear about it? There is a blessing in obedience, by recounting it, maybe I can dislodge it and close the moving picture show in my head. So I’ll tell the story of food addiction, of a loving and struggling family, of mixed up men and musical masterpieces. Yet, I have been accused of playing house in my mind, so maybe pouring out this tale of woe, of triumph, of the dismantling of a life and the reconstruction of a saint, will speak for me. Perhaps if I share with others the truth of who I am then they will understand why I have played house in my mind. Perhaps they will say I never played at all.

From, The Truth of Ralph…
Women like me are defined as “testers”, we get involved with men and give them all these silly little secret tests instead of communicating with them our needs and wants. You know what I mean – we assume. Shouldn’t he know how much I want to be with him? We scream to ourselves, despite the fact that he could never really know our heart since we never shared it or showed it. Women like me are matchmakers. We meet our Mr. Everything and what do we do? Assess that he could never be interested in our imperfections and proceed to hook him up with our best single girlfriend, since she’d be perfect for him. Then stand back devastated since our heart’s desire is now hanging with our best home girl. And my favorite, women like me are defined as husband preparers. Sure, work all your little kinks out on me, let me tell you all about how a woman should be treated, listen to your emotional mess and pray with you and for you, then smile at your wedding. I try not to be bitter, but this guy, like several other men I cared deeply about married someone else and had the nerve to send me an invitation to the wedding.

From, An Ode To Government Cheese…
The lobby was teeming with people, line out the door; some were from the local community hoping that they could get down with the free cheese program. Oh… but that was the purpose of the rent book. In order to claim your government supply of surplus goods from the farmers of Ohio, you had to actually prove that you lived in the projects! And if you couldn’t prove it, you were dismissed and sent on your way cheeseless. We were high class, living in the projects; we didn’t live in the tenements across the street. We were privileged to obtain this gift from the government, it contributed to healthy kids, we would have good nutrition, perhaps it made us less of a Medicare risk. Cheese was good for you the government asserted, never mind that it was fattening, caused earaches and mucus build up, as well as constipation.

Weird Harold and Other Boys…
Angry and resentful I ate and determined that no one would take from me again so I started to give it away for free. Never realizing that God had a plan for me, that these violations were not my fault, that I was worth more then my sexuality, I packed on the pounds hoping no one would notice me, that no one would want me. But the cage I imprisoned myself in never kept them at bay, there was always someone willing to take what I was offering. What a strange way to live, not wanting to give of myself, but feeling compelled to do so. My life has been fraught with many failed attempts at losing weight. From the time my parents dragged me at age nine to Harlem Hospital to lose thirty pounds, to biannual bouts with Weight Watchers, diet pills dispensed by a morbidly obese male doctor, to even sleeping in plastic bags to sweat the pounds away.

The Story of Everything…
Our relationship died after that. And that day the song was birthed that would direct the course of my ministry. As I wept before the Lord, not understanding anything that had happened over the last year, not understanding why I was alone again, I knew that I had missed it. Did I hear from the Lord? Did Peter know he was supposed to be my Mr. Wonderful? I don’t know. But I know this, as I lay across my bed sobbing and stuffy nosed after another man I loved walked out of my life the Lord spoke to me clearly and asked, “Who is your everything? Is it this man who has let you down and failed to love you? Or is it I, the one who will give you everything and love you no matter what?”

I had made a mistake, one that could have cost me the ministry and the call on my life. God never confirmed if I heard right or wrong in regards to my relationship with Peter. He only confirmed in me that He loved me no matter what and that I had made a man my idol. Lifted him up higher then God and that I even allowed someone to become a priest in the temple of my idol, listening only to their words and not the words of the Father. The song was easy to write, it flowed out of me as a song of penitence and praise, a personal reminder that God was everything I wanted, needed and dreamed of. But even knowing this did not mean I was content with the fact – I still struggle with this today. I had to run to God and give up my dreams, I had to come to Him and pray to be changed and then have the courage to apply those changes to my life.

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