Saturday, December 22, 2007
A fellow sufferer out there responded to a very old post on this old blog of mine which gave me reason to read through what I had written. January 2006!~ So much has changed. All of the things that were blocked from me before are available now. And, being 293 lbs. feels real good. Ya, that's right - I said it -- two hundred ninety-fucking-three pounds. 427 sucked. 293...not bad.
It's that time of year again. The anniversary of my failed attempt at ending my life - the beginning of gaining 200 lbs. back and the emotion filled me at the emotion-less Christmas.
I find myself thirsting for spirituality these days. I'm almost ready to suspend disbelief and go back to Catholic Church. I just might. It's hard for me when I get literal but I have to get some connection going.
My mom visited me this weekend. We had a nice time and that was good. It's amazing that I can do anything now - I can go for a stroll - I can stand - I can fit in a booth at a restaurant. I've learned alot over the past two years about my emotions and how to have them and how to hold them at times when an emotional breakdown is not acceptable.
I've worked hard. My mom gave me this awesome book that she said taught the things that she should have taught me when I was young. The book is so wonderful and right-on target and you can get it for FREE just click on the link. The 5 Keys to Wellness by Kelly Mather
My food has been a little sloppy lately. I had a huge blowout with my Denver family. I had "given" a business to my sister-inlaw and she totally screwed it up. My brother is going through a hard time and said something to me that made me spin out: "Why don't you go kill yourself, isn't that your holiday thing?"
That was just a little more pain than I could take. Buddhist philosophy says that Pain is Necessary Suffering is Optional and I try to keep that in my mind but sometimes it's only small moments that I get relief. I've been wanting to be soothed and food is my number one balm. I have dabbled in nuts, sugar free cool whip, sugar free pudding and that's it. And they make me sick. And I feel horrible. And I am stopped. I am stopped as of this moment. I am not going to soothe myself with food. Game Over. I'm not going back. God, help me - I'm not going back to using the food again -- I can't do it. The food is a rapacious predator that will control me and I won't be able to put it down. So, stay stopped. STAY STOPPED.
If you are out there and you feel like you can't imagine going another moment or another day without binging or stuffing yourself or having treats -- you are probably right. YOU can't stop. I can't stop. But, together we can.
I highly recommend going to the Los Angeles Overeaters Anonymous website and listening to some of the speakers. The recovery is strong there. I know that OA is not strong everywhere - so please go listen to some recovery. (You do realize I'm talking to my self -- right?-- because I would never dictate to another addict -- it wouldn't work anyway).
peace out my friends...stay stopped!
Saturday, August 26, 2006
In the Hindu religion, Ganesha is the blocker of obstacles. I am using Ganesha as my picture right now on my blog because I am grateful for the obstacles being blocked. It has taken a while to get back to my writing. I appreciate all of your notes to me asking about my whereabouts and if I'm okay. It's helped me stay in touch with myself, if only slightly.
I think the miracle I have experienced mostly is being able to tell myself the truth and believing it and then taking action. They say relapse starts way before the first bite is taken. I haven't relapsed yet, but the warning signs are there for me to see. However, I didn't want to see them until a few days ago when I didn't want to make or eat vegetables. It started with the vegetables...I just couldn't be bothered with the preparation of them and they seemed so boring. It wasn't until last night while I was in my new addiction of internet chatting that I realized what was happening to me. I was surrendering my serenity and peace of mind by not putting my recovery first. It is a double-edged sword, because the friends I've made online have given alot to me through humor and love and most of all, fun! However, when I surrender the order in my life because I'm having fun...and it interferes with my sober life...then we get to call it another addiction. It's all about balance. Balance in all things.
After being abstinent for almost 90 days now, things have become more comfortable for me and I forget that my very life depends on me following a food plan. After all, I am a food addict and the only real hope is that I have one day of reprieve from this vicious addiction. ...And leaving vegetables out might seem like a small incident to most, but to me...I know this is the disease creeping its way back into my life.
...And I made some vegetables!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
I was reading another site and came across a post about how these fat women love their bodies and described them with witty banter and how they looked good, except they could lose a little. I got disturbed with this because the post had 81 comments and they were for the most part light and enthusiastic. I sit here mourning the body God intended for me. God intended for me to have a healthy weight, no loose skin, and a healthy mind... My actions and addiction changed that course.
I have never been at a healthy weight for very long and I've always been doing something to my body to abuse it, i.e massive caffeine intake, massive cigarettte smoking , especially when I'm abstinent from addictive eating.
I'm a true addict from the word "go". I can't eat flour or sugar or wheat and have any semblance of balance or control at all. I smoke and I smoke alot. I drink caffeine and I drink alot. I get into tv and I watch alot. I get into TV show websites and I spend hours chatting with other fans. There are alot of things about me which are addictive and crave to be soothed.
The thing about addicts is: We have low self-esteem and big egos. It's a deadly combo. But by the grace of some power greater than me (and it is a stretch sometimes to believe there is one) I have been restored to sanity --- one day at a time--around food. As far as the side dishes of addiction, they are alive and well and seem to come alive evermore when the food is "down".
I want to get back to body acceptance for a minute. This site I went to (FattyMcBlog) is usally very funny and light. I need that sometimes, but the body acceptance piece really got to me. It stung and it still stings. I get uncomfortable when fat people joke about their bodies in a condescending way because I do that when I'm nervous. I get uncomfortable when women say I love my "twins" when they are fat. I get uncomfortable when women say "I love my junk in the trunk"...because the truth is that junk in the trunk is probably not that great and the "twins" will be reduced to deflated balloons once they lose weight.
I sound so bitter. I guess I am. It is wonderful when a person has body acceptance but my radar goes off that its not true that these women on that site really do love their bodies. It seems to me that it's a front so that they don't have to identify themselves and how they really feel about their bodies. I just wanted to read one comment on there that I could identify with and I didn't. And now I feel lonely.
I better make a gratitude list and fast!
Love you all,
Saturday, August 05, 2006
I believe that quote is from Carolyn Myss. I borrowed it from somebody else's comment on Frances Kuffel's Amazon blog. The funny thing is that I was never able to absorb Carolyn Myss' words before this posting. I'm still trying to figure out Eckart Tolle's Power of Now.
I guess it holds true that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. I have been writing alot about my family lately. It has been such a cathartic experience for me and I am so grateful for the loving feedback I have received from all of you. You truly are my loving support system!
I have struggled to "fit" into the tribe in which I was placed. It has always been a daunting task that has led me to dark places -- dark nights of the soul, indeed. I have been to the edge and back with my family of origin and it has come extremely close to destroying me. I am back from the edge now and life has taken on a whole new light.
There is a saying in the rooms created by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob, that says: "Religion is for people who are afraid of going to Hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there."
It's amazing to me that I have been restored yet again to a place of light and hope. My life-long struggle with my weight and subsequently all my weight loss over the years has taken its toll on my psyche. I am grateful to be back. There is a state of mind that occurs in suicidality that is unavailable to the sane mind. I am glad to all the resources I scratched and clawed my way to find even though I was preparing my own death cocktail. You see, I am back now and can't even imagine wanting to die. But, over the past three years, my suicidality increased at a yearly rate culminating this year to a plan of action and a most-certain demise. Thank god for Kaiser Permanente's Psychiatry Department and their progressive approach to healing the mind from its dark caverns. It is through cognitive behavioral therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy that I was able to finally see a few key things:
a) I am a worthy person wrapped in a sensitive package and that will never change.
b) I am wrapped in a sensitive package and there are skills I can use to manage this.
c) I am an emotional person in a non-emotional family and this brings me to a crisis stage.
d) When I'm in emotional crisis, I have skills I can use.
I never thought that I would be a person who needed "skills" to live life. However, I'm 40 now and have seen too much sadness and pain and lost too many relationships and jobs to deny that I need some "skills". I have often said that nobody gave me the rule book to the Game of Life. It seems like everybody knows how to play and I don't. So, it is with these skills that I am able to live and thrive.
To soothe has always been the elusive goal of my life. I have sought out the soothing I should have received in a family but was stuck with a pacifier instead. My pacifier has always been food as it relieves me of myself in the quickest and most potent of ways. However, all through my 20s I was quite fond of marijuana which provided a wonderful high and an appetite for more food. Now, the marijuana ceases to be enjoyable as it makes me paranoid and scared. The food has given me a body of over 400 lbs. TWICE!!!! My drive to soothe is so strong that I've been dubbed by one so-called friend as "the worst addict she knows". That felt great to hear! Nothing like sending a little hope my way. :)
So, I perhaps will always be chasing the pacifier in some way. My goal is to learn to manage it. Manage - Manage - Manage! Managing is not my strong suit. I've been really off-kilter lately and while I'm able to abstain I am living a life run on self-will. I spend many hours on the 'net chatting with fans of a tv show I watch. I lie to my sponsor every day by omission by not telling her that I drink Diet Coke and sometimes have latte's as my dairy. Part of me says, jeez louise -who cares? Look at where I'm coming from...give me a break! The other part of me wants a sponsor that says, "Hey, you are coming out of a terrible relapse and hopeless state of mind..let's take it easy..don't get too hard on yourself..gentle steps my friend, gentle steps."
So, back to the quote that began this post. I have been given a gift of being a person who seeks more and climbs back from the brink. I hope it is of value to somebody in the world because I need to help someone just like me someday.
Love to you all,
Thursday, July 20, 2006
I haven't really talked about my dad too much. He passed on in June of 1993 at 49 years old.
Its been so difficult to disect this man who was my father. He was gregarious and smart and witty and a complete package of the "Disneyland Dad". My memories of my father stretch between gratitude for him because without him I would never have developed the charisma that enables me to walk on this planet -- the very charisma that has enabled me to live even though I weight 400 lbs. I can enterain people with my wit and charm and pretend that they don't notice I'm 400 lbs. and dying inside.
However, my father was selfish. He was addicted to the ponies. His whole adult life was spent chasing the elusive big win. He did this at the expense of his children's well-being and security. I suppose that fits the addiction model. Here's a trip down memory lane -- join me won't you?
My brothers and I are all sick with bronchitis. My dad reluctantly drives my mother and us to the doctor and says, "I'll be back to pick you up." He never shows up and my mother and my brothers and I walk home from the doctors office - sick and coughing and feeling awful - the trip was about 5 miles. Where did Dad go? -- Where do you think he went? (rhetorical question)
My mother sits crying and I ask her what is wrong? I have always had an intuitive sense when things are wrong. She tries not to tell me, but I am so attached to my mother, I simply have to know...begging her to please tell me. She said we couldn't pay the rent because my Dad has gambled it all away.
My mom and dad had gotten divorced when I was seven. My mom and my brothers and I move into the Casa de Single Moms Apartment Complex. I had constant stomach aches during this time and often had to come home from school early due to intense stomach pain...(this gives me some clue about food being a soother). One day, my dad shows up and my brothers and I are beside ourselves with excitement. He doesn't stay but for a minute -- just long enough to take our television and walk out. We all cry the cry of abandonment.
This takes place any given weekend throughout my childhood: Dad makes arrangements to take us somewhere on a Saturday. We get so excited and look forward to the day. All dressed and ready to go we wait for his car to pull up outside (a brand new Cadillac for him -- we had a VW bug with no a/c). Phone rings and my mom says my father wants to talk to me. I say to him, "Daddy what time are you getting here?" He replies, "Sorry kid-- can't make it today, something came up, but we'll do it soon." I tell him oh that's okay daddy-- I love you. The rest of the day is spent with my mother rushing around trying to take our disappointed minds off of what had just happened. We would do art projects or macrame or anything so we didn't feel the emotion of what had taken place.
Daddy calls and says he's taking us to Disneyland. We are beside ourselves with glee and over-excitement. However, when daddy shows up he introduces us to "Sheila" and says how great she is and how nice we should be to her. (This is just a typical time with Dad- never Dad alone-- always a new woman in tow). We got to Disneyland and I have good memories of Disneyland (who wouldn't -- its the Magic frickin Kingdom), but what happened next was disturbing. I was about 10 or 11 at the time and Dad and Sheila were either having sex and having issues or having sex and then having issues, because I heard my father talk in a way I had never heard. He mocked "Sheila" and told her she was a baby and wanted her mommy. I guess Sheila wasn't having a very good time. This memory still leaves a pit in my stomach.
As the years go by, wife number two, three and four are introduced. We are to love these women because they are so great. For the most part, these were women who had fallen under his charismatic spell. They were all quite nice, but would disappear without notice to us. We were just supposed to love them and then they were gone. My dad would never be without a woman and I imagine these women were all bled dry of their financial security and/or self worth after Hurricane Larry blew through.
When I was 16, my dad sent me roses. I felt these were so special. Wife #3 was very kind to me, as it was her idea for the roses. Wife #3 taught me to drive. Wife #3 was an alcoholic with money to spare I suppose. My dad calls me and says he's taking me on a special trip to Washington DC for my birthday. I am so excited to have a trip with him- just him and me. However, wife #3 comes along and they are on the 10th floor of the hotel and I'm on 12th - all by myself. As is regularly the case, Wife #3 is stuck with me the whole time because Dad has business to take care of -- the races were in town. I sucked it up as I always did with my Dad because not doing so made me selfish. I was supposed to be grateful for the trip. My room had a mini bar and I ate every single thing in it.
Enter Wife #4 -- the longest running wife and the last wife before he died. The phone call came in and as is typical of all the wife announcements it was explained that he met Wife #4 and they got married. Isn't that great? He told me I was going to love her. She was also a very nice woman. Rumor has it she went nutto after my dad died and left her penniless. With Wife #4 I saw my dad alot more. They would come to San Francisco and my dad would disappear to the track and wife #4 and I would go shopping. However, I had become quite fat now and shopping was a daunting task. We ended up in the shoe and handbag section alot. She was kind to me, but I remember the shame that lived deep inside of me was beating like a drum. All of dad's wives were thin and blonde. I was red-headed and fat.
A few years later, my father called full of glee. He announced that something great had happened. He announced that he won "big" at the races and was beside himself with joy. I gave him the congratulations that you give an addictive gambler who had won big. I was 22 and living in downtown San Francisco and working and going to school. He said to me, I want to give you my Thunderbird. The Thunderbird was a large vehicle with all the bells and whistles. However, I had no need for a car in San Francisco and more importantly no where to put a car in San Francisco. I told him that I appreciated the offer but I would rather have money for school. He replied, "Listen Kid, I can't help you with that-- you're on your own. But, I will give you this car...if you don't want it you're ungrateful." I took the car and paid $180 to park it in a garage every month. This story gives me a stomach ache.
At age 23, I called my father to ask him if he could help with money to go to Jenny Craig. This began our conversation about my weight and he proudly told me that he was the only one who had never bothered me about my weight. "Chele, I've never bothered you about your weight, and I never will - but remember I have never bothered you about it". Actually I remember him saying that to me quite a bit. As I think back, he said that so much to me that I think it was bothering me about my weight. He gave me the money for Jenny Craig where I proceeded to last for about 2 weeks. This reminds me of a story of a girl who is very similar to me and had a very similar father. She says:
My dad was a radio disc jokey and always got free cars , etc. He would give me the cars and then he started doing sponsorship with Jenny Craig. Thinking it would inspire her to diet, he hooked me up with Jenny. I was was sixteen in a brand new sports car, with a crap load of Jenny Craig, driving through Taco bell.
At 24, I joined Overeaters Anonymous and began learning about my addiction. I lost weight and was thin. My dad still boasting from his winnings wanted to have a Norman Rockwell Christmas. (Places everyone, places -- you could almost hear the director calling out.) He reminded me that I looked great and that he never talked to me about my weight. (Ok Dad, I got it -- you never bugged me about my weight). Dad and Wife #4 had moved into a posh neighborhood in the Los Angeles area and we got to enjoy a huge house with a swimming pool and waterfalls, gardeners, housekeepers, etc. My brothers both got brand new cars and we inherited two step-brothers who were a year or two younger than me. I'm supposed to love them too. Prior to this visit, I had experienced a number of panic attacks for the first time and was given Xanax to help me. I had never thought I was a depressed person but was quite confused as to why I felt so panicked all the time. Xanax only excaserbated my emotionalism. Both my mother and father didn't do "emotions". My dad wants to take me to a party with Wife #4 for Christmas (to show me off I suppose). I was so depressed I just didn't want to go. He was not pleased with this. Later, after they returned from this party, he sat me down and sternly said, "Chele I want you to tell me why you are so angry at me. Just tell me everything." I said that I didn't feel comfortable doing that and perhaps we could talk about it at another time. He insisted I tell him. I reluctantly told him that I had been continually disappointed by him as a child when he would disappear. I told him that it made me sad that he never tried to get to know me. I told him it made me think that he didn't like me because he'd rather marry 3 strange women rather than get to know me. After this explanation, he got very angry and said to me, "You are the most selfish person I have ever known. You're an ungrateful person." Well, let's just say this didn't help the depression.
The next 6 months were strained between me and my father as I really didn't know what to say to him. In May of 1993, he went in for his 4th bypass operation where they take veins from your legs and place them in your heart. He had never followed doctor's recommendations to quit smoking, quit gambling, etc. Hence, the 4th bypass by the age of 49. He had burned through all the money and the honeymoon was over. I had my last conversation with my father on the day he got out of surgery. He was groggy from the morphine and I told him I loved him. He told me that one day he and I would take a trip together - just us. I told him that I would like that very much and that I loved him. A few weeks later he died suddenly while at the doctor for a follow up appointment after his surgery.
I received a phone call at work and was paged to answer the call immediately. It was Wife #4 sobbing and trying to tell me that my dad had died. She asked me if I could call my brothers and tell them. Oh, those were not easy calls to make as my brothers were in love with my father. We were all numb from this experience however, I imagine my brother's numbness was for different reasons than mine.
The money had run out and sadly there was not enough money for a headstone for his grave. That is the way my dad lived. He had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. When life was running high we would meet the next new wife. When life was running low, we wouldn't hear from him.
I have such a hole in my heart where his love and admirationof me wouldhave lived. I weep from a deep place when I think about this and I also weep when someobody comes along and treats me with unconditional love - the love I should have received from him. There haven't been too many men in my life who have been unconditionally loving to me. In fact, I can't really think of one. And it is with that experience that my heart weeps when I think of him.
At least he never bugged me about my weight.
The evolution of human growth is an evolution from an absolute need to be loved towards a full readiness to give love.
--Dr. Karl Stern
As children we looked to our parents for love, for clothes and food, for an indication of who we were. If our needs were met, we felt secure. As developing adults, we still seek love. We continue yearning for security and all too often our self-definition comes through someone else. But a healthy sign of our growth is revealed each time we extend love to another with no thought that love is owed us in return.
We can show our love in myriad ways -- a genuine smile, a note of appreciation, an unexpected favor, perhaps flowers, or a phone call. Warmly giving another attention in any form is an act of love, one that will be repaid in full by someone, at some time.
The ease with which we genuinely love others is directly proportional to our commitment to loving as a priority in our lives. To love is a decision first, an action second, a value next.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
First, let's start out with some definitions:
The scapegoat was a goat that was driven off into the wilderness as part of the ceremonies of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, in Judaism during the times of the Temple in Jerusalem. The rite is described in Leviticus 16. The word also refers, in modern parlance, to one who is blamed for misfortunes, often as a way of distracting attention from the real causes.
Well the family drama unfolded in Colorado this week. My mom and her husband went to visit my brother and his family in Denver. All went to hell. There was arguing, blaming, and my mother took ill and retreated to the guest room. This is her M.O. and it is the way she deals with having an emotion. Her husband is a hateful man who has never been able to look at himself in any way. He has no friends, no hobbies, complains all the time, and hates me. He's hated me since I was 17. At 17, I was a normal teenager with angst, drama and a bad attitude. This guy still defines me by the 17-year old girl he met. Therefore, he hates me. He likes dogs and toddlers because they are controllable. It would take years for me to talk about this piece of work == but let's move on. The dynamic duo headed to Colorado in hopes of having some illusional family brew haha. This has never happened as "Dick" (the husband) never likes anything or anyone and makes everyone nervous. My mom is a total codependent so she tries to manage him so he doesn't get upset and then acts weird most of the time. My brothers' kids are 3 and 5 and a little bit hyper. This was just too much for them to handle so they wanted to leave. The little 5 year old told his mommy that he felt weird around them and didn't want them looking at him funny. (Hmm, if a 5 year old says something like that, I tend to believe it).
Scapegoating in psychoanalytic theory
Psychoanalytic theory holds that unwanted thoughts and feelings can be unconsciously projected onto another who becomes a scapegoat for one's own problems. This concept can be extended to projection by groups. In this case the chosen individual, or group, becomes the scapegoat for the group's problems.
So, they wanted to leave early and my brother's wife made some curt comments to them because she was protecting her baby cubs. Well, she told me about this and then my mom called me and told me her side. I didn't take sides. I just listened and provided an ear. IN the back of my mind I thought, these people have always said that I was the "ruiner" of every event because I was emotional. So, for the past year I haven't gone to any "events". I've seen these people destruct over and over again even thougth the "ruiner" wasn't around. But, they are used to thinking I'm the problem.
With that being said...you probably know where this story is going. Things heated up today as my mom called me and told me that the mamabear left her a message that basically said my mom was a horrible mother and that's why her kids are all fucked up and that she was very hurt by the way they acted around her cubs. Earlier in the day, mamabear had called me and told me she had done that. I understood that she was distraught because her kids had been affected by this visit. The kids were so excited to see Nana and Poppy, but Nana and Poppy were displeased with their kid-like behavior and decided to leave early. Mamabear got real pissed at this. So, the scenario is that I know both sides. I talk to both and don't offer anything about what the other said. But, lo and behold, I am an instigator supposedly and caused this entire catastrophe. Now who's hurt? ME!
However, the important part of the journey for me is that I'm in San Francisco and no where near them. I have always been the Identified Problem and Scapegoat and even though I am miles and miles away, they found some insane way to blame me for the problems they are all having.
It's insane, I tell you ...Insane. What is it about coming out of a suicidal depression and getting abstinent that makes people turn into assholes. I just don't get it. First, I had the idiot friend who dissed me and I let go of, then we had the drama with the family, and now I'm being blamed for something I had no part in. I was so angry when I heard this and really wanted to rage at all of them. I felt myself going toward that same suicidal place that only my family seems to help me get to. I am holding on. ONe thing I liked about James Frey's book, A Million Little Pieces, was the term "hold on, just hold on". I'm holding. I'm still taking care of myself around food and trying to tend to my tasks that keep me on the road to recovery but this dynamic of scapegoating is becoming intolerable.
Am I supposed to just walk away from these people? At a time when my friendships aren't quite a family, and I'm jobless, and very tender due to new abstinent behavior and coming out of a deep clinical depression, am I supposed to walk away from them?
Maybe some of you are wondering; what does this have to do with Fat Girl Camp? It has everything to do with Fat Girl Camp. It is a known fact that eating addictively is merely a symptom of much deeper problems. I am recovering from a hopeless state of MIND and BODY. My reaction to food AFTER I take the first bite of an addictive substance is out of my mental control. I believe this wholeheartedly. However, when emotions come into play it is required to rely on a power greater than myself. I'm having problems in this area.
I've always said that I should have been born into a crazy Jewish family from NYC. I would fit in so well. But alas, I was born into a broken Irish Catholic family who are so disjointed and fragmented it has made me physcially sick and mentally shattered. I wonder how I can use a higher power in this? Will a higher power even help me? Is there even a higher power at all?
These are the things going through my mind right now. I still can't believe they are blaming me for something that happened 1000 miles away....unbelievable but predictable.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
It's just emotion taking me over
Caught up in sorrow
Lost in the song
My emotions runneth over since last Wednesday. I have been a regular waterfall. It all started last week when we were talking about the meaning of different emotions in my DBT class. The first emotion we discussed was LOVE. Well, it described the different facets of love and I just found this place inside of me well up and the tears began to flow and I couldn't stop crying. I could feel this old wound wake up and demand attention. I haven't processed the "LOVE" thing yet, but it doesn't want to wait for processing, it wants attention and it wants it NOW.
For the days following, I found I was sensitive to everything. I was tearful at tv programs, commercials, seeing homeless people, etc. But mostly I am tearful about my family right now.
I have been the Identified Problem in my family since 1991 when I admitted I was powerless over food and began to abstain. Losing 100's of pounds can unleash emotions that one might not be aware they have...hence, Identified Problem enters the scene. My family is not comfortable with my emotions or their emotions. This has always made me sad deep down in the caverns of my being. My heart cannot be broken open by anybody except my family. I have given them the keys to enter that chamber and mess up the furniture (if you know what I mean).
My emotional self has never been comfortable for them. My mother is a wonderful woman who is completely afraid of feeling vulnerable or sad. If anything occurs that is uncomfortable, she "ices" up. I describe it as a "cold front movin in". I am very attached emotionally to my mother even though she doesn't want me to be. I have been very close to her all my life because we essentially grew up together. She had me when she was 18, and the story goes from there. When she feels discomfort, I sense it, and basically feel the emotion. I cry and feel sorry for her and start to catastrophize the situation and want to rescue her. She doesn't want that. Remember: when emotions rear their head, my mom heads for Antartica!
My brothers are both emtionally crippled as well and only want to be around for the "good times" as my brother Larry stated to me when I went through a suicidal depression earlier this year. My mom told me my brothers felt "dumbfounded" when they would speak to me while I was sad, because they didn't know what to say. But, my brothers are people I worry about too. They don't deserve it and I know that, but I can't help it.
My family says things to me without thinking anything of it. I mentioned to one brother that when I got to a comfortable weight I would like to join them on some of the group "family" vacations they enjoy. He said, "Well, Auntie Chele seems to cause problems when she gets around the family." I haven't been physically around the family for over a year now and have watched them all fight with each other and basically implode without me being anywhere near them. My response to my brother was, "Well, I think you guys are having problems without me being around, so do you really think this family myth is correct?". He said, "You have a good point. Maybe you're right." I left it at that.
Today, my other brother called me. My mother and her husband went to visit them in Colorado. Now, in most families this would be a joyous occasion, but in my family, we do much better on the phone together than in person. I had a feeling it was going to be disastrous when I heard of their plans to go visit my brother and the kids, etc. And lo and behold, Auntie Chele no where in site, they had PROBLEMS. Yep, issues abounded and I was no where near the place. Yay for me!!! So my mom started feeling "ill" and they have cut their trip short. After speaking to my mom today, I found out her sickness was really an emotional sadness that manifested in physical discomfort. She didn't like seeing how my brother lived (i.e., the mass amount of chaos, the spending of money they don't have, the out of control wild sugar high children, etc.) Instead of facing the issues, my Mom has declared that she won't be a part of any of our lives anymore. She will only phone and write letters from now on. This is my mother! She makes declarations of coldness when she feels emotions.
Well, this just made me sad. I know it is not true. She will be a part of my life. The iceberg will melt. But what makes me sad is that she has to go to Antartica at all. I wish she could go into her feelings and feel them and embrace them. She grew up in a rough family and deserves so much love and affection and admiration. But, she won't let people give it to her. I'm powerless over this. And...it makes me cry.
My mother's husband is quite a specimen. He has no friends, he likes small children and dogs. Why, you ask? Because they offer no opinion and mind him. He's very difficult and negative and the exact opposit of my now-deceased father who was a philandering gambling addicted self centered dude. So, my mom married this dude and ever since, he's been a pain in my side as well as hers. ON the phone with my other brother today I mentioned that Mom seemed depressed and that perhaps she needs to move on from this husband. My brother says to me, "I told her not to do that because if she did you'd move in and spend all her retirement money." I was taken aback. What!??? I was so displaced my his comment and offended and angry. I told him that I didn't like that statement and it was far from the truth and the fact that he even thought something like that was disturbing. He said, "Well, you probably would. You'd probably move in with her and take everything she has." I said I needed to stop this conversation because it felt really sick to me and unhelpful.
Now, here comes my dysfunction: I have never thought about living with my mother or her retirement. In fact, I've never thought about retirement (mine or anybody else's). But I start to question myself after my brother made that kind of statement and think to myself: Am I a pathetic loser who is a mooch? Why am I perceived as one? If I'm perceived that way, doesn't that mean I am one?
OH my heart is heavy this early morning (4:44 am). I want to move through this and not fall into the pit of despair. My family is the one group of people who have the express elevator button pushed and ready for my journey to despair, hopelessness, and misery. I don't want to hate myself. Am I this person he assumes I am? Is he just a dysfunctional bastard? How do I have a relationship with these people without destroying myself? Who am I without them?
I can see now why 400 lbs of armor might have been necessary.