Thursday, April 23, 2009

Humanity

Earlier this week, a 700-pound woman named Karen Ferguson gained national attention because she cried out for medical help after being stuck inside her home for over a year. A crew of paramedics got her out of her trailer and into a rehabilitation clinic to get the help she needs for diabetes, bed sores, and a broken ankle. She's scared and embarrassed, but hopeful that her "lonely condition" is about to end.

It's sad to me when anyone is suffering. Pain, sadness, loneliness... it's tough to watch. I'd be her friend if I could. After all, she probably suffers from a lot of the same food issues many of us have... just on a more severe level. She had open heart surgery already, plus three surgeries to save her toes from amputation. She needs helpers to get her the two steps from her chair to her portable toilet. She is SUFFERING. And she deserves help.

What kind of reactions do people have when they see this story? Do they cheer for her rescue and pray for her recovery? Do they feel heartened that *someone* out there got this woman help before she died of her complications? Do they think on how wonderful it must have been for this woman to feel the fresh air and sunshine on her skin for the first time in more than a YEAR? Well, some do. But others, not so much.

Society hates fat people. I mean, not *everyone* does, obviously. But there is a real, tangible sense of dislike, if not disgust, for the obese. I've felt it, you've probably felt it too. The comments, the stares, the eye rolls. The name-calling starts in grade school with "fatty fatty two-by-four," but it doesn't end there.

I spent some time reading through about 100 of the 2000+ comments on this news story on various news sites. While there were some compassionate responses, here is a sampling of what people think of this woman... and by association, what they think of obese people in general. Amidst the predictable moos and oinks, we read the following:
(if reading insults bother you, scroll past them to the next line of stars)

****************
how do you get to be like that?

I have no sympathy for people like this. Like a heroin addicted junkie, they bring it on themselves. I already help pay for her medical expenses as it is. She is nothing more than a burden on society.

Fat people cost this country billions in healthcare and billions more in lost work days. Stick that in your mouth instead of a tractor-trailer full of twinkies.

how do you get to be like that? The original recipe was; mindless television, a cornucopia of disgusting fatty foods and low self esteem.

Here's help: STOP EATING!!!

Oh please. have you ever watched obese people eat at a resturant. They can out eat everybody else in the place. Forget about a buffet place. Those third and fourth trips back to the food bar. As the saying goes " you make your bed. you sleep in it. These people freely choose this life style and then expect someone else to pickup the tab.The hell with them. They can lay there and rot in their bed sores.

I can never understand how anyone can allow themselves to get that big, it might sound mean but I have no sympathy for them, there is no excuse for being big like this, the diabetes was brought on from being fat. What is sad is most of the time you see fat people driving those motorized carts at WalMart cause they are too fat to walk. To me these carts are for people with physical disabilities such as the loss of the leg or a stroke, not for being too fat.

Just do yourselves a favor and don't end up as some 700lb pig in a trailer. Finish your degree(s) and make something of your lives.

I am tired of fatties crying the blues once they get to the point of not being able to leave there chairs or beds. take a walk chubby and try pushing urself away from the table

I think we should have stoped giving this woman chances at 400 pounds instead of 700. she is half the weight of my car, when you i think about it, that kinda makes me sick

WHEN SHE REACHED 300 LBS., DID IT NOT OCCUR TO HER THAT MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, SHE NEEDED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT HER WEIGHT. WHEN SHE REACHED 400 LBS. WHEN YOU HAVE A REACHED A POINT IN LIFE WHERE YOU NEED A HYDRAULIC LIFT AND FLAT BED TRUCK TO GET TO THE HOSPITAL - YOU HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT YOURSELF.I HAVE NO SYMPATHY FOR THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE GIGANTICALLY OBESE.

Fat people are just disgusting , No will power.

They should be ashamed for allowing themselves to stuff their faces like a turkey and getting atrociously big like that. There's NO EXCUSE for anyone to be extremely lazy...repulsive...repulsive...utterly repulsive. You will NEVER have my sympathy for what you did to yourself and, yet, you cry for help when others who have real medical conditions not attributed to sitting on their lazy ass can't get the real help they need.

I choose to work out and keep in shape so I have less to deal with as far as health and medical issues. Sad thing is my health insurance has doubled in the last 3 years -- some of which can be sadly attributed to people like this that won't take care of themselves and want FREE help which isn't FREE for me and you.

Somebody needs to quit feeding this fat glutton. Make her live off of her fat for five years. Being fat is not a disease. It's from laziness and gluttony. There are no fat people in Africa where food is scarce.

Quit shoving food in your mouth. Its not a problem that cannot be solved by using common sense.

I have no sympathy for anyone that eats so much they can't get out of bed. These people are a waste of food and oxygen.

Does this woman not believe in heaven? In order to get into heaven you have to fit through the pearly gates!

If this pathetic woman had any will power, she would never have allowed herself to get in this disgusting condition. People like this gorge themselves and consume far more than there share of the world's limited resources of food, energy, and health care. Then they whine, "help me" and expect everyone else to contribute even more to the upkeep of this weak blob of fat.

There will be a day, when the earth is even more resource-poor than it is now, when this behavior will be a crime.

Just let her die, I'm sick of spending tax money rewarding people that become too fat to be a productive member of society.

Talk about a drain on the taxpayers. This reminds me of a tee-shirt it said; "When is somebody going to do something about how fat I am?"

I don't feel sorry for her one bit... no one held a gun to her head and told her to eat. Diabetes does not make you get like this, not putting the fork down makes you get like this. If she had a little self control she wouldn't be in this situation.

The obese person wants to blame desease for their weight. Not true! They simply eat way too much every single day.

She did this to herself, she has no one to blame but herself. If my behind is getting big then I go to the gym.

I'm sorry, this lady is just plain lazy and fat. No pity from me and this really isn't news.

Quit eating so much!!!!

A person gets to be that weight out of sheer laziness and getting the diagnosis of diabetes just gives an excuse. This woman was too lazy to take care of herself in the beginning, which is leading to this in the end. If she didn't care enough to keep herself out of this situation, there isn't much motivation for others to want to care for her.

****************

Do you see the generalizations here? Do you see, as I do, the same attitude about fat people that you see in everyday life... just magnified times three because she weighs 700 pounds instead of 250? Do you feel the judgement, not just for her, but for you, me, and any other person who dares to weigh more than society says they should? Why? Why the hate?

Do you not think that if this woman *could* change her circumstance, she would? Do you think she *likes* being stuck in her house in pain? Is it fun for her to have all those surgeries? Is she choosing to be that way? Or is it somehow out of her (mental, emotional, or physical) control?

I'm not here to judge. Heck, I've gotten more than my share of moos, oinks, and get-off-the-couch-you-fat-lazy-pig comments in my life. People tell me that if I wanted to be thin, I'd just do it. And I see someone like this, who is suffering in a monumental way, and is seemingly helpless against her condition. And I realize that I am on the same scale as she is. I'm just at the less severe end, and she is at the extra, extra severe end of the same disorder. That's my assumption, even though there are obviously complicating conditions in her case that make it even harder for her to be healthy.

You people who think all of us fat people are lazy, useless, smelly blobs... think again. We're all the same. Same as you. People. People with heart, soul, thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams. We are all the same.

Some people, they see a bum on the street with a HELP ME sign and they drive by and spit in his face and shout, GET A JOB, LOSER! They don't know he is somebody's Daddy, somebody's son, somebody who lost everything because he got sick or because his child died or his house burned down. They don't see that he was a baby long ago, cherished and loved in a mother's arms as she rocked him and sang to him, kissed his soft hair, caressed his tender skin and cherished his laughter. They don't see his humanity. They see a bum.

Some people, they drown kittens they don't want because they're an inconvenience. They see a "cute" puppy and give it cuddles and treats, but they see an "ugly" puppy and kick it across the street and throw rocks at it, laughing as it yelps and bleeds. Seem wrong? It is wrong.

Stop the hate. We are ALL the same.

38 comments:

Twix said...

Wow. :(

I see it as a wake up call to where I am heading if I continue to fail what I need to be accomplishing. I was that lady, eating herself to death. I just didn't get to 700lbs. My body got to 370 and began shutting all my life functions down. Sitting still on this side of 300 is still uncomfortable for me. In the fact that I feel I'm walking a tight rope walk with death. I also struggle with feeling alone despite the fact that I know I'm not. I need help. But do you think anyone is going to come to my rescue if I cry out? No. And that's the plain simple truth. I must do this myself. And to that side of the stick. Shouldn't we all. We must do, fend for what we need. And perhaps some are angry because it's almost like an entitlement mentality. Of course I haven't read the story or many of those responses other than what you have posted. It's definitely sad though any way you look at it. It's a good example of a wake up!

And I agree it's a shame others have to feel they have the right to hate another based on size. Just not right.

Merry said...

It's true that most people would have had a mental wakeup call telling them it was time to get help before they reached 700 pounds. But maybe this women did reach out, to friends or family, and couldn't get help? If so, she might well have retreated into her own "safe" environment until it became patently obvious that it was turning into her tomb.

I think we all have flaws and weak points. The only difference is that some are on the outside.

Marieke said...

I do feel sorry for this woman, and hope she will get the help she needs. I don't know how this woman got in the state she is in now, I can't understand that for myself. I don't understand how people can't see if they have trouble walking, doing daily chores etc why they can't do anything about it. I can see she suffers from some sort of eating disorder, but even then you can still do things about it. Even if the lady was struggling all the time, if she would have fought against it then she would have had good days and bad days and would not have gotten to the state she is in now. She could have done research on nutrition, she can't just blame it on a condition, if that is what she has. This has gotten way out of hand, and it is not just her, there are lots of people like this. Society is partially to blame, but I think people should be able to use their own brain. Yes, I am about 30 pound overweight, it is not that much, but I do know how to make good choices and I am very aware when I make bad choices. I make the choice at the time, I am not driven to do anything. I have food issues myself, and find it a struggle a lot to be good and exercise. I went to the doctor, but would not get any counselling because I wasn't suicidal and not in a dangerous enought weight range. But if I never fought my cravings, my struggles, if I never tried hard, never exercised, I would have been twice the size I am now, I'm sure of that. And now I've seen this, I'm even more aware of the fact I want to be healthy and fit.

Vickie said...

The delete was me - I missed a major typo - if they are little ones I leave them - but this made it un-understandable.


I did not read the comments - I normally don't on this type of thing.

When I hear these stories - I think of sickness and addiction - and then I ALWAYS wonder who was supplying them - ?

So my question to them is 'would you buy her heroin?'

And I think the true answer is probably YES. They would.

It IS the same thing. It is codependency and enabling - and they are helping her become very, very sick and in danger of dying.

And who ever it is will be sneaking the same foods of choice in to her facility. . .

Anonymous said...

But for the grace of God go I.

peanut said...

Most of the comments left on that news story are terrible, but some of them are just people trying to get a rise out of others (nothing better to do, I guess). I'm really disturbed by the ones with a depth of hatred that unfortunately represents a prevalent tendency in America to judge everyone else by our own standards. Unless a person is living in that woman's brain, they have no idea what factors contributed to the state she is in. Unforunately, I experience a similar phenomenon when people talk about gays and lesbians. "I'm sick of the gay agenda", "You're making a disgusting choice," etc. How can people judge what another person thinks or feels? I often wish that Americans felt instinctively more compassionate toward others.

Rebecca M. said...

It's possible to feel compassion toward that poor woman while at the same time recognizing that yes, she is the one responsible for the situation she's in. Of course it's not a reason to be unkind or cruel or hate-filled, but the reality is that she made the choices that allowed her to reach 700 pounds. And only she can make the choices necessary to reach a healthy weight. Exactly like for us. We're the ones who made ourselves fat and we're the only ones who can fix the situation.

We're all God's children and of course we all deserve respect and dignity. But that doesn't absolve us of taking responsibility for how we live our lives and the choices we make. She made many poor choices and is suffering the consequences. Let's hope we all can make better choices and not end up in such a tragic situation.

ryry the adventurous said...

Just like anyone who has never suffered from an addiction/severe illness/REAL deperession (I say REAL because many people say they suffer from it, and few actually do)... they have no idea what it's like to be in those shoes.

I am thankful for my time as an obese woman. Why? Because I understand more about my body and myself know because of it, I never would have been able to learn it any other way. Too bad these people get to go unenlightened. lol.

fatty McButter Pants said...

How sad. I couldn't read all of the comments, I want to go into the world believeing that people are good. All those nasty, narrow minded, down right mean comments make me feel like we have a long way to go as human beings. I would rather be overweight then be an ASSHOLE. That's just me...Good luck to that woman, and to all those mean spirited people, they are going to need it.

Helen said...

Believe it or not, there are folks out there who feel the same way about alcoholics and drug addicts. They just can't grasp why the individual won't "get it together." Until science discovers why some of us are able to stop ourselves and others are not these attitudes will continue. In the meantime, if you have a heart for obese people, then by all means you should share your love and compassion with them. You never know if you might be the ONE person who loves them a little that day.

Ang said...

okay..i didn't intend to cry first thing in the morning..But wanted to say great post..and I hope others of the non-weight challenged would read and wake up! How would they feel if we took a camera inside their life and picked a part what they did as a ritual that was unhealhty..(cancer sticks, organ donar bikes, the list goes on)

Sassle said...

Lyn, I love your blog, you are literally the type of person I could sit down and talk with for hours. I see so many similarities in us, sometimes I want to say, "how do you know?"

When I see one human being mean towards another, I can't believe how heartless one can be because of one's weight, looks or anything that is out of the "norm". I can't control what others do but I can control what I do and it's to be loving towards my fellow man/woman and all of God's creatures, I don't always succeed, there are times I'm not in a good place or I suffer intolerance on occasion but I do not ever want to hurt another being.

As for this woman, she must be suffering and lord knows how she feels about herself. To be so lonely my heart goes out to her. She must have been living that vicious cycle; we all know the one, you feel lonely or fat so you eat, which makes you gain more weight, which makes you isolate, which makes you lonely, which makes you eat and the cycle continues.

Thank God she had the sense to reach out.

Bethany said...

Ugh. I can't stand to read stories like this. And the comments make me soooo angry! Because you know each of those commenters has a perfect lifestyle and no vices whatsoever...Some people have simply never learned EMPATHY! And one day, when they are in situations beyond their control, they will realize how wrong their judgments were...

mythreemonthokinawadiet said...

This woman was shown compassion by those who helped her out house and treated her. I think we should be thankful society still cares.

I am fat. I have suffered plenty of sly insults. None of them made me feel good about myself and most of them were true.

I mean no offence but I suspect fat people are super sensitive. I get way more vicious attacks about smoking. Compared to smokers, fat people get let off easy (my opinion).

And yet, smokers tend to take it on the chin and never cry about hurt feelings?

Compared to my grandfather's generation I think society is more tolerant of fat people.

Do you think if society "went after" fat people like they do smokers, there would be less fat people?

This rant is partly the result of being shouted at by a fat American woman from base for legaly smoking in a coffee shop. I let it slide. Later she is complaining about the small portion of dessert and the price.

Sorry for the jumbled comment. I'm tired and need to go to bed. I want to thank you for your blog. I've read every post for the last 3weeks. I know you will reach your goal.

cheers

My Sensei said...

I see way too many negative and hurtful comments of stories in the news. Whether it be for this poor woman crying out for help or someone who was in an accident, some people just don't have the decency to think before they write. No one knows the entire story, no one knows all the trials and tribulations this woman may have been through during her life. How can these people sit there and judge her? It hurts my heart to see how many insensitive people there are in this world we live in. I hope and pray that this woman gets the help she needs and I hope all the haters would just focus on their own lives!

Lady Downsize! said...

Disgusting! I don't mean the woman, I mean all the self-righteous, think-they-know-it-all, inconsiderate, icy people. Wow! And you only quoted a small percentage. They are clueless! Their harsh comments and opinions are not beneficial to anyone, especially someone who may be looking for support and/or a friend...

I read those comments and predominant brick-wall attitude. Their insensitivity reminds me why I struggle with feelings of not wanting to leave my own house, but I do. After all, if I don't work hard then my daughter and I land on the street. My weight is not from ‘sitting on my fat …’, as some wrote. Every extra pound on a person has a reason. Where as these commenting people think they have all the answers in their blatantly cold assumptions, they really are na├»ve. Sometimes extra weight is the result of a medication reaction, and yes diabetes causes added weight. I’ve know many people with the disease, some a standard thin, and they have gained due to how the body deals with blood sugar, there are also some people with thyroid conditions causing weight. There are those who have lived horrible lives of abuse from people who drove their sense of self –worth and esteem into the toilet, and they struggle with self worth and self love. Those commentors could afford to learn a bit about psychology (classic learning, operant conditioning and reinforcement) - and for those out there with disgustingly harsh opinions about weight, what kind of reinforcement are you providing? It isn't all about food!

What I say to those icy, opinionated people is hopefully you never have anything go wrong in your life that causes weight, because with the same measure we judge others will be returned to us.

Comment after comment makes me realize why some don't want to be out in public, why they might feel safer staying in my own home, and allowing thoughts to be drowned out by what’s on TV. For those that are so worried about their tax dollars, how are your attitude and words to overweight person bringing about the kind of world you would like to see? Sometimes the words people express cause the complete opposite result to what they would like to see.

I have already lived a life of harsh judgment, of people expressing opinions about how inadequate and useless ‘they think’ I am. So, what do those people want overweight and obese people to think about themselves? Within everybody is a person with heart and feeling, and if always bombarded with judgment and opinion, eventually a person will believe what they’re told. Maybe some could try telling other people that they are worth it, and other expressions that bring about positive change.

Now there's a thought!

Tina said...

That hurt to read but I made myself do it. I have told people before that I can see how people get to that stage...I could easily eat myself to that size. Gaining 10lbs a month is easy. Throw some depression in there and it's a recipe for disaster. I hope she and everyone else in this country who needs help gets it. Some people have no idea what it's like.

justjuliebean said...

Yes, this is one of the uglier sides of humanity. I think it comes from a need to feel superior, and an intense cultural fear/hatred of fat.

That poor lady. She must have been truly frightened to request help knowing the vitriol it would attract.

I don't see too many very large people often, but I see various levels of compassion or lack thereof, about our many homeless and/or panhandlers. If you're missing a leg, or have obvious psychiatric damage, people don't hate you as much as if they assume you're just a tweaker (crack, crank, speed, heroin, etc). I have to hear this hatred and it makes me cringe, but if a man doesn't like to step over human feces everytime he leaves his apartment, I can't really blame him for that. I think more public bathrooms would be a better solution than sending them off to labor camps, but this is getting off-topic.

I understand denial, and compulsive eating, etc. but my life got too difficult at around 215. I caught myself when it got hard to get around on bike, maybe hers when when she couldn't get to the bathroom.

Andra said...

There's so much to say but I'll start with the overall talk about "will power." Obese people have more will power than any thin person could ever know about. Curing obesity has nothing, NOTHING, to do with will power. I had a physical on Wednesday and I was talking to my doctor about all the progress I've made and she said that people don't understand how hard it is to lose weight, harder than quitting drinking or doing drugs because "people have to eat!"

jo said...

Another thought provoking, WONDERFUL post. It brought out many questions in my own mind because I thought:

How did she get that way? Where did she get the money to buy the food? Who was there with her, because she couldn't have been alone. What was so bad in her life, so painful that led her to this!

I know in my own journey I have discovered my fat = my pain, physical and mental manifested. It is a personal barrier.

I'll carry this with me for some time. Thank you for posting it.

The answer is clear for all of us: self love.

nicole said...

Ok totally off the subject and I apologize for that but just read a cool article that I thought I would share with you.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30312808/

Its about how some obese peoples brains are conditioned to crave hight fat and high sugar foods, and how it really is harder for them then others to control their cravings. The suggestions at the end of the article to bypass the conditioning are pretty lame but the article as a whole is informative. I really agree with this article and I hope to see more resarch done to validate that fact and have it be common knowledge. Hope you enjoy it!

mcc394 said...

You know, Your Blog is just amazing, every time i come read it I learn something about humanity and life. You are truly a inspiration. And yes, I totally agree with you. It would not be hard for anyone to get to that point. I was nearly 400 pounds before I decided to get into gear. And this community of Blogger's is helping me every day.

Thanks.. And thanks to everyone else as well.

Pubsgal said...

*sigh*. Compassion is a rare animal on the internet, especially on major media comment boards. I feel sad for her, and I dearly hope she can get back to good health. I'm sure there's a lot we don't know in her story.

The fact that she had diabetes caught my eye. You hear so much in the media about obesity causing type 2 diabetes. Genetic flaws cause type 2 diabetes which, when untreated, can be a cause of obesity. It develops gradually, and its very symptoms feed the disease. Some common symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) that would lead to obesity:
- Hunger (Weird, no? And unless one is consciously trying to be healthier, one often goes for whatever's convenient, which is likely going to run those numbers up even higher.)
- Fatigue (Another thing that feeds into itself: if you feel too tired to exercise, you're going to resist doing so, get out of shape, which leads to more fatigue.)
- Difficulty concentrating (making one mentally foggy, perhaps less aware of the bad choices or less resistant to sabotaging thoughts)

Um, I could rant on & on about the subject, but I'll keep it at this.

Graized said...

Some of those comments were very harsh, but I have to agree somewhat. The free healthcare she is getting is just a publicity stunt. There are a lot of people out there who need help more desperately and for many less preventable reasons.

It's just difficult for some people to see that and be happy for her.

I don't know because I never let myself get that out of control, but I would think that eventually you have to know that your life is in danger well before 700 pounds.

Lee said...

People hate what they fear. They don't understand or have compassion for the mental dysfunction underlying both morbid obesity or anorexia. Or alcoholism. Think of the homeless alcoholics (pejoratively called bums) who are robbed and beaten every day.

People also feel powerless when they want to helping someone to stop starving themselves or obsessively overeating. Such fearful persons are probably just as negative about people who are unable to stop smoking even when they are struggling with lung cancer.

Bottom line, there's a ton of fear and misunderstanding about addiction out there.

It's good that you brought this out. This woman's situation is heartbreaking. I hope her life can be saved.

Saje said...

The, "Just let her die," comment is really the pinnacle of the lack of empathy going on here. I am saddened. It really is a shame that humanity has such an ugly and unsympathetic side, one born of differing circumstances and an inability to view things from another's perspective.

"ryry the adventurous": I just wanted to let you know that what you said here really spoke to me. Your comment is insightful and you are obviously a self-aware person who is ready to internalize all the lessons that life has offer.

beerab said...

I totally agree with you Lyn. I hate when people who are fat are judged. When my husband makes any sort of comment I look at him in disbelief. I'm like HELLO you have a fat wife and he says "your not fat" and I say "that's what his/her spouse might think as well." He's really toned it down, I rarely here a comment now, but it's like there is more to being fat than just eating a lot IMO.

While I do not give out handouts (because let's face it some of them do use that money for alcohol- I've seen it first hand myself, giving someone $5 then seeing them later on with some alcohol in their hand) I never sneer or make rude comments, I don't know their situation and always pray it never happens to me :(

beerab said...

Ug it's friday and my spelling it terrible! lol.

Just Me said...

I'm sorry people, but I cannot feel sorry for this woman. And for everyone here talking about addiction, food addiction is harder because you have to eat, you can never stop. But still that doesn't mean you can't beat an addiction, and this woman didn't seem to try, or gave up, one of the two, neither of which I can condone. To view my full response to this entry, follow this link. Re: Humainity

muttonfish said...

Andra, the statement "obese people have more willpower than any thin person could ever know about" is not fair. Obese people are just people, that's all, with different lives and personalities and intellects and whatever. You can't make a blanket statement like that without being as prejudiced as someone who says obese people are lazy. And by the way, some thin people were once obese people.

Anonymous said...

Well, you site a sad situation and highlight the people who will kick a person when they are down. You will see the same types of comments for really any given controversial situation. I don't think this (hate in general/nasty internet posting) is isolated at all to obesity or this woman, or any one event.
I almost never read the comments of online media articles for that particular reason. You can make yourself crazy if you take the internet that seriously.

The energy used to judge and criticize people who judge and criticize is a waste of energy.

All you really did here was extends the reach of the posters who made the original comments.

Mamacita Chilena said...

I agree with you completely that people should learn to be tolerant. However, I don't think that the intolerant comments tripled because she's 700 pounds instead of 200 pounds. I think they tripled because internet brings out the worst in people. I'm a professional blogger and I do style/celebrity stories. It doesn't matter how great a celeb looks, at size 0, perfect hair and makeup, and we'll still get at least a few dozen comments tearing that person down. Even in my personal blog (I'm an expat living in Chile) I get people leaving hateful comments telling me to get out of the country...and I don't even write anything that's too extreme.

The internet sucks.

Well, not really, but in that aspect -- people hiding behind a computer screen so they can be vicious and evil -- it does.

IRJessica said...

My favorite - and by that I mean least favorite comment was the commenter that said only thin people go to heaven. Sigh.

I hope the lady gets help, and her quality of life improves. No one deserves that kind of life.

redballoon said...

Lyn,

Thanks for showing us the article about Karen. The comments got me well...kind of angry, to put it mildly.

Really, the poor sods who bother to write them AND their comments are wholly irrelevant. There are so many misguided people.

Let's focus on the ones who are helping her.

It's a shame that there never are followups on these cases. I would love to have someone commit to helping Karen and write a daily blog about the experience. God, that would be an eye-opener. I wish so much I could see her a few years down the road, having more of the life she surely dreams of and surely deserves.

I really am angry though...so let me say this to those people who commented that Lyn found. ....All the righteous, self-serving talk about "responsibility" and *Why can't she try" "Why can't she do it?" "It's her own fault." Blah, blah, blah. Since when did ANYONE'S opinion matter? Since when did ANYONE get the right to judge another? This woman, Karen Anderson, IS this way. She IS, period. That's a fact. Live with it! IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU. It's about HER.

And the thing to do is to find out how to help her right now and later and WHENEVER she needs out, OVER and OVER again. Even if you have to do it a MILLION times.

The analysis of why she got this way, why she stays this way, can wait till she's is on the road to safety.

Heather said...

that is really just too bad. I think one comment stuck out to me - the one about the heroin junkie. while this person clearly realizes that food is an addiction much like drugs, they fail to see the difference in that if a junkie were to cry out for help, I dont think people would post all those types of things about that person. but when someone cries out for help because food is their addiction, you get exactly what was posted. I think its just hard for some people to understand if you have never been addicted to food, and socially we are never brought up to learn to stay away from food, but from drugs and alcohol. so its hard for people to get that food can be just as addictive as drugs for people. I know how addicting it is and how every day I have to consciously make decisions to eat healthy foods and stay away from the bad stuff. Being fat isnt always about being fat - its about conquering another type of addiction and its just too bad that a story like this only makes people hate those who are fat vs opening their eyes that it is a true addiction.

Susan said...

Vickie makes a good point. If that woman was too large to leave her house, who was bringing her food? And would they continue to do so, even when she was in some kind of treatment facility?

It's a very sick situation all round - I just don't know what to say.

Susan said...

And by the way, some thin people were once obese people.I just had to comment on that. I used to be obese (around 220 pounds at my heaviest) and now I'm slim and very fit.

I grew up with almost daily bullying and "teasing" about my weight at both home and school, and now I get constant remarks about my "exercise addiction", dirty looks from other women, etc. etc.

It never lets up.

Sarah said...

Susan, I couldn't agree with your more. I was once 345 pounds (and up until then fat my whole entire life) and now am 160ish.... When I was just 10 pounds lighter, the "you are too thin", or" you should eat something" comments never stopped. I still get them now, but less. People don't fear normal... They fear what they don't know. And most people don't know that you can lose large amounts of weight and keep it off.

However, changing what is normal, either for yourself (if you are trying to lose weight for example) or for society (trying to get people to have some compassion for the obese) is no small task. Andrea said it has nothing to do with willpower. I have to disagree completely. Changing your normal or society's has everything to do with willpower. Biting your tongue is hard regardless of the situation.