I have an aunt by marriage who is, IMO, a rude, nasty jerk, and I seem to be her favourite target. She LOVES to make nasty comments about my weight; a topic about which I'm very sensitive. I'm about 5 feet tall and just under 200lbs. I used to be 110lbs soaking wet but when I hit my mid-20s, my metabolism came to a screeching halt, I put on a bunch of weight and have been fighting a terrible uphill battle to lose it all ever since. I'm extremely self-conscious about my weight and how I look, moreso because my sister and cousin, who were hit with the same issue, could both afford expensive gyms and trainers and exercise equipment at home to lose it all. I have neither the space nor the money, and so have had to try to lose it on my own, with little success. Aunt Bitterhag (a very small woman, always has been, but it's because she is a chain-smoking alcoholic) LOVES to target me. It happens every time we are at the same family functions.
Last night I actually thought I was going to get away from the dinner table and Aunt Bitterhag without having to be hit with yet another comment. As I was walking from the dining room to the kitchen at Aunt Awesome's house, Aunt Bitterhag squawked, "Diane, if I didn't know better I'd say you were pregnant!" Bam. Good time done. It took everything I had not to start crying right there and I HATE crying in front of other people. Rather coldly, I said, "It's nice to see you, too." and started to walk away. Aunt Bitterhag replied with, "Well you're NOT pregnant, are you? Just fat?" I turned around (she was baiting me, and I took it. Rrrrgh!) and said, "You know, just once it'd be nice to come to a family dinner and NOT hear about how much weight I've gained. I HAVE noticed, you know, I don't need you to tell me." As I walked away, she started screeching, "I didn't say that! I didn't say that!"
At Thanksgiving, her comment was, "I can't believe I used to give you my hand-me-downs, they'd never fit you now!"
At the Grey Cup party (like Canadian Superbowl) her comment was, "Oh my GOD, look at your A**! How much weight have you GAINED??"
At Easter, it was, straight up, "You're getting really fat!"
Various other family members have witnessed this and brushed it off, saying things like, "Well, you know she drinks a lot," or "Well, yes that is rude but she's family." (Not to me, she isn't. Family don't treat each other that way.)
Last night, I just walked away, but there were a thousand things I desperately wanted to say. I didn't because I didn't want to make a scene and ruin what otherwise was a wonderful dinner/party for everyone else. She's always invited, out of respect for my mom's eldest brother, to whom Aunt Bitterhag was married and who passed away about 20 years ago. Our family is made up of kind, decent people who think that a nasty old stick like Aunt Bitterhag shouldn't be left alone at Christmas/Easter/Thanksgiving/whatever, even though when she is there, it's a nonstop stream of complaints and nasty comments as she gets drunker and drunker. Unfortunately, it's getting to the point where I'm thinking of politely declining any invitations to future events where she may be there, which I feel is unfair. I shouldn't have to miss out on the family events just because I'm Aunt Bitterhag's favourite target to bully. I love our family events and they are very important to me. I don't WANT to not go.
What do I do?