Stacy Bias: The Shame Was More Important than Living
Stacy Bias speaks on childhood, compulsion, shame and the hierarchy of worth.
My mom and dad were both big More Help. My dad was about 6’4″, 350lbs, maybe even more than that, I don’t know. He was a very stocky guy, very Burly — his arms were just MASSIVE, his forearms. And he had a belly on him, but he had skinny legs and he was just massive, he was a massive dude. And fat, yeah, but man — did he pull it off. He had a lot of charisma. He was a con artist. And it just never seemed to hold him back. He was “DAD”. Mom was fat. Mom was maybe 240/250, 5’5″ or 5’6″ – I’m not sure exactly. Very docile, very submissive. She did all the cooking. She also did most of the working, job-wise.
And I remember the hierarchy of the family, and how it played out in terms of how much food you got at dinner. We never filled our own plates. Mom did that. We’d set up the TV trays in front of the TV and she would bring us our dinners. And dad would get the most, by a significant amount – he’d have just a mountain of food on his plate. And Mom and I would usually get about the same portion, but I always wanted more.
I don’t know what that was about; wanting more. I was a kid, but I could sure put it away. I would go into the kitchen afterwards because it was always my job to do the dishes and clean up after and I would eat whatever was left on the plates. I remember one time I was – my timeline is so off, I don’t really remember ages or dates or places. But I do remember being in the kitchen, and we’d had steak that night, and there was a piece of steak left on the plate; a little strip of steak, and I tried to eat it very quickly and I started choking. And I didn’t call for help. I was CHOKING, I couldn’t breathe, I was TERRIFIED. But I was so ashamed that I had snuck something that I didn’t call for help.
I don’t know how I dislodged it. I don’t remember. I mean, I remember being ashamed, but I don’t remember how I saved my own life. The shame was a more powerful thing in that moment than living.