Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Looming large

This is one end of my room. The door (that swag-bag is my laundry) and my 3ft clothes rail.

Now, here’s the oddity. Sometimes, when I sit at the other end of my room, ie here ~

~ like today, the clothes rail just looks normal to me, simply okay.

But other days, it looks MASSIVE – absolutely HUMUNGOUS – so that I feel overwhelmed by the sight of it. Then I’m surprised when a day like today comes along and it seems only normal.

And the same is true with my body. Sometimes when I am walking along, I feel really tall – as tall as an angel sometimes. Walking down the street getting taller and taller.

And sometimes I feel very stout and fat – not average at all, immense. Frighteningly large.

I am in fact rather big. My feet are UK size 9 – 10 (so, EU size 43/44, US size 12). My hands won’t go in women’s gloves mostly, and hats are generally too tight. And I wear a big clothes size. And my doctor and her practice nurse tend to suck their teeth and ask me what I plan to do about losing weight.

So I have the idea that I surge through the universe not so much like a mosquito or mouse as a fair-sized planet.  And my beautiful mama likes to tell me that she has always thought of me as really Big (in contrast to herself primarily). Why, thank you Mama.

When I sit in church (and the pew creaks) and I look down at my lap, I think Blimey! Plenty of you!

But then another time I’ll catch sight of myself and think – no; you’re just normal.

And sometimes my hands feel terrifyingly huge like bunches of bananas. I look down at them and they’re just hands.

Sometimes I feel so enormous it’s a relief when I get up in the morning and see myself in the mirror and I still look like an ordinary person.

Does this happen to you, too?

What is it?


SueBK said...

I always saw myself as short. Not just on the short side, but short. My family are all several inches taller than me, and all of them gave me a hard time about how short I was. In truth, they still do. Then one day, I read that for my age I am right on average height.
In his youth, my husband was a long distance runner. His nickname was Greyhound. Even though every pair of trousers he has ever owned has been taking up by about 2 or 3 inches in the legs, he can't fathom that he actually has quite short legs.
We all perceive things through our personal cultural lenses. That lense might have differences applied to it on a daily basis. If I have people staying for any length of time my house feels incredibly small. The day they leave and I have to wash all the floors it feels incredibly large.

Chantal Johnston said...

I understand you completely, but that shows how strong is the power of the media w<ho attack us daily with pictures of skinny women, the new godesses of our times!!!remember :Vanity ,everything is vanity!
Nothing written in the bible about weight, just about gluttony,that's what we have to worry about. What is leading us, God or our body/stomach!!!!
anyway you look great in your picture!

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

It's sounds almost identical to Todd Syndrome /Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, and it is often associated with migraine type problems.
Surprisngly, one of the best articles about it appeared in the Daily Mail :-)

Rapunzel said...

Sounds like a case of Alice Syndrome. Way too much imagination for our own good.
You look just right to me, but if you want to feel smaller I'd say skip the temptation to diet yourself into the stick figure realm and just go hang out with some giant oaks or frolic under the open sky. A paddle in the sea might help too. You're not all that big ; )

Rebecca said...

Yes! It happens frequently to me. I think it comes with living in the middle of perishable and imperishable; mortal and immortality. (I Corinthians 15:53-54)

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello friends! Thank you for your interesting thoughts.


Thanks for that link, Elizabeth - yes, that's exactly the thing I mean!


Rapunzel said...

Well what a surprise. I thought I made up Alice Syndrome.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Pen Wilcock said...

All that and mad as a Hatter, too ! xx

Rapunzel said...

You're in quite good company m'dear!

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

BLD in MT said...

I don't often feel it in my body, but sometimes when I look at photos of myself I see different things like this. Where my wrists and hands look so slender like little birds or when I'm flapping them around with my mouth open in laughter they look large--and so does my mouth. I do feel it with objects more often though. Full, cluttered, or loud rooms/shelves overwhelm me in their bigness quite often.

Also, that is a lovely photo of yourself. You look just perfectly sized to me--and joyful! ;)

That is a big shoe size, my sister is the same and often just goes to the men's department since it can be difficult to find such large women's shoes in an average store. Her 8-year old daughter already can wear my shoes!

Suze said...

All the time. I have a belly and skinny arms and legs. I look about 13 months pregnant in pictures. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Well, I wonder what is the height of you? You do always look most perfectly in proportion with yourself in photos.
I have a very tall husband and some sons, and when I have been days at home I begin to feel quite little - until I go out in shops again and find apparently the world is very short and I have grown.
I had such a tiny petite mother - 8 inches or more shorter than my grown height, and she didn't know what to do with a creature like me. I was always "big", was never cute or feminine in her eyes at all. I guess I fixed that for myself by marrying a man 11 inches taller than me. :)

Pen Wilcock said...

Beth - Vivobarefoots are great shoes for people with big feet (though for my size you can only have the men's styles); because the soles are so thin and the shoes very flexible, you lose the clompy look. Also, if your sister's feet are the same size as mine, Gabor on Amazon can be a lifesaver. ALL my shoes now are either Vivobarefoot or Gabor.

Suze - photographs!! Gaah! Some photos came back from our Grandad's funeral, when we stood in groups chatting afterwards. I looked at myself in silent amazement, Everyone else looked fine. To me.

Pen Wilcock said...

We seem to be talking about different things - both here and on the corresponding thread developing on Facebook.

1) Alice in Wonderland syndrome.
2) Figure disproportion.
4) Being fat.
5) Culturally induced anxiety about being fat.
6) Being in general big.

I am responsible for this, because I see the confusion of ideas is inherent in my original post.

I was meaning to write about the Alice in Wonderland syndrome.
But I see I drifted onto the dysmorphia I sometimes experience because of cultural expectations and weight gain.
I also mentioned that I am in fact a big person, intending to take this into account - though it doesn't explain the Alice in Wonderland syndrome.

As to being generally big - well, I am, and nothing will change that, and it's not of importance.

As for being overweight - yes, I am, and I know what to do about it but love carbs and sweeties and lack self-discipline.

As for cultural expectations - they are a problem to us all. They follow us home in a multitude of unthinking remarks. C'est la vie.

As for Alice in Wonderland syndrome - that's the thing - I've had it since I was a child, worst when feverish or falling asleep. It is still worse at night. To be expected I guess, since it's clearly a neurological thing, so likely to be exacerbated by tiredness.

As for figure disproportion, I recommend reading Eric Berg's book, because sometimes figure disproportion is caused by internal organs struggling and needing support. He explains how to detect this and how to address it.
Or check him out for free on Youtube.

Anonymous said...

Sounds very disconcerting! Hope there is something that helps - perhaps migraine med?

Pen Wilcock said...


Well, it is rather strange to experience - but we have so many psychiatric and neurological oddities in our family that it also feels no more than part of the landscape on this wacky planet we inhabit! xx

Angie K said...

I think we just need to accept that people come in different shapes and sizes and leave it at that. God loves variety! ☺ xx

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Angie - I agree wholeheartedly, if we are talking about cultural acceptance of body types and expectations concerning size and shape.
I apologise that my involvement of those issues has rather confused people concerning what I was writing about - which is not about acceptance or expectation concerning shape and size, but about an odd neurological phenomenon where things one is looking at, or parts of one's own body, randomly and suddenly seem huge. This is not the usual thing of 'does my bum look big in this' type of feeling that one might be too fat, but is an experience where one seems to be about twelve feet tall, or one's fingers are as big as cucumbers.

Angie K said...

I think we need to just accept that people come in different shapes and sizes and leave it at that. God loves variety! By the way Pen, I love your photo. You look really happy! ☺ xx

Pen Wilcock said...

Angie, I deleted your second comment as it said substantially the same as the first. x

Angie K said...

That's fine. It got published by accident. I'm new to all this; lol! Xx

Angie K said...

I think I understand what you mean. When you look at parts of your body, it appears bigger to you than it really is. That must be quite scary at times?xx

Pen Wilcock said...

More a feeling from inside - though it also applies to looking at, like when my clothes rail seems really big.

La Petite Gallery said...

It depends what's going on in your life at the moment.
You are normal, kiddo. yvonne