Thursday, December 29, 2011

Goodbye, Mom

Four months ago, my Mom died. I can't even begin to express my feelings about this. I was nowhere near finished grieving for my Dad and now, Mom is gone too.

I've mentioned here before, on more than one occasion, that I have Mommy issues. It's true. Things were complicated between us. But one thing is certain; I loved her so much. And I knew how she felt about me because she told me. All the time, she told me she loved me, that she was proud of me, that she thought I was smart and beautiful, that she was amazed at the mother I'd become...I could go on for hours. She sometimes did! And now she's gone. And I'm going to miss her so much. I want my mom.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

...you are teaching them well.

I believe that when people look at me, they see someone who is emotionally intelligent. Someone who can share her feelings openly and who can easily sympathize with others. This couldn't be farther from the truth. The fact is, I never share my true feelings. Nobody who knows me realizes that I feel lost and scared and inferior pretty much all the time. I find it embarrassing to admit that I don't know something or that I'm afraid of something or that I'm disappointed about something. I find it embarrassing to admit that I'm really happy or that I'm excited about something. I hate being the butt of a joke because I can't laugh at myself. I find it embarrassing to admit that I'm embarrassed about something!

Up until recently I believed what I'm sure everyone else believes. It's only recently that I've discovered that I'm emotionally blocked off from everyone around me. Part of this discovery came when my dad died. I could't cry in front of my siblings. Our dad just died and I couldn't cry with them. I could put my arm around them and nod and coo while they cried, but I couldn't do it myself. And then, to top it off, I discovered that I couldn't cry about it when I was alone either. I'd start to think of him and the tears would come and then I'd realize that I just felt stupid. Stupid and fake. So I'd push the feelings away and move on to something else. I became stuck.

I give off this image that everything is great. People must hate that. But the thing is, I try to open up and share and I just feel embarrassed! It's weird.

But even though I'm apparently some kind of emotional underachiever, I'm teaching my daughters that's it's perfectly okay, no, imperative, to share their feelings. It's necessary to put words to the feelings they have so that they can see that they are not alone and so they may learn to deal with them or at least live with them. Today, I overheard the following conversation as they were making egg carton boats:

Berio: Awwwwww!!!!

Bones: What's the matter? Are you sad?

Berio: No. I'm just disappointed.

Bones: How come?

Berio: I can't get my straw to stay in the right place!

Bones: Can I help you?

Berio: Okay. :)


Alright, it seems pretty minor but I was struck by the fact that 1) Bones, at six, was able to hone in on the fact that there was something wrong with her sister, 2) They were both easily able to name the feelings they were talking about and 3) I taught them to do that!

Maybe I'll be alright, after all.

Friday, April 22, 2011

...you still have hope.

Even when I feel hopeless, which I do most of the time lately, there's a part of me that must surely still feel as though I can finally figure it all out. I'm always looking for the magic book or article or website that will show me the path to wellness. If I truly thought all was lost and that there was no hope for me, would I bother?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

...you learned from their mistakes.

I stopped by my mom's place today to pick up some paperwork. I called first but there was no answer. I decided to go over and call from her parking lot - Mom has trouble getting around sometimes and she just may not have been close to the phone. When I called from outside her building, there was again no answer. At this point, I actually became a bit concerned. Mom is not the type to go out for any reason other than a medical appointment these days and she knew I was coming over. She should have been there. I thought she might have fallen or something so I went to her balcony door (thankfully, she's on the main floor...) She was there, on her couch, passed out (or something) with a burnt out cigarette in her hand. The apartment was a mess. I dialed her number again and watched her. She didn't move until the 5th ring, at which point she grabbed the phone while yelling an obscenity. I hung up and banged on the window. She turned and looked at me uncomprehendingly for a moment. When she came to the door, I could see that she was out of it and smelled mildly of booze but she didn't seem hungover. She was just really, really spaced out. She takes a lot of medication so even if she only had a drink or two, she could be affected like this...She thought I said I was coming tomorrow. It IS tomorrow, I told her. Anyhow, the whole incident made me anxious and sad and my first instinct when leaving her place was to get a bag of chips and run home to eat them.

But I didn't. I used to get angry when she was like this. Today, I felt nothing but pity. I even tried to be angry but the feeling just kept fizzling out. I just feel sorry for her. She is very, very sick both physically and emotionally and she's not likely to change at this point in her life. There was a time, when I was younger, when my biggest wish was for her to get well. Now, I wish her the absolute best, but it doesn't affect me if she continues to live her life like this. What struck me on the way home is that my life right now is so far removed from the way she lives her life that it's hard to believe she is my mother. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I have a good job, my house is reasonably clean, my husband and I have a relationship built on love and respect, my children are well-adjusted. I have broken the cycle of drug abuse and physical abuse. I have many, many issues left that I have to work on. But for today, I'm doing just fine.

Overhaul!

This blog will be going through somewhat of an overhaul. I can't focus on losing weight anymore. It's just making me fatter. I have to focus on accepting my body, and as corny as it sounds, loving my body. How do you love a body that is a hundred pounds overweight? I really don't know. But I have to try. Because right now I'm miserable and diets are not working.

Anyhow, change is coming.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yes, it IS a diet and no, you CAN'T eat anything you want.

Alright, here's the deal. I joined Weight Watchers (WW) online. Again. I had a moment last month where I felt like I was never going to get the call from the eating disorders program and that I was going to continue to gain weight at a mind boggling rate and that I just needed to do SOMETHING to stop the bleeding, so to speak. So, I signed up. I was embarrassed to even tell my husband. That's how messed up I've gotten. I'm embarrassed to tell the people that I love that I'm trying to lose weight again. Anyhow, things are going okay. I've lost a few pounds instead of gaining them, so that's alright.

I'm starting to get to the point (that I always get to) where I'm losing momentum because I'm so sick and tired of thinking about food all the time! I think about what I can have and what I can't have. I think about whether or not I'm being "good" and then I admonish myself for thinking of it in terms of being "good" or "bad". Because this isn't a diet. It's a lifestyle change - if I could write that so you could see me rolling my eyes, I would! My poor brain has a hard time grasping the concept that I'm not on a diet. To me, not being on a diet means eating what I want, when I want and in quantities that I want. But due to my new "lifestyle", I can't settle in to watch my shows with a bag of Doritos and some chocolate. Even though, I'm not on a diet and I can eat whatever I want. I simply choose not to eat the Doritos. Ahem....yeah. Right.

I have to face it. I'm on a diet. And I will have to follow this diet for the rest of my life if I want to get to and maintain a healthy weight. Call it a lifestyle change, call it whatever you want. A diet by any other name is still smaller portions and healthier foods.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hush, Little Babies

Every night when the girls go to bed, provided I am not at work, I go and tuck them in. First I go into Berio's room. I kiss her and hug her and cuddle her. She goes to sleep now the same way she did when she was a baby...fighting it every step of the way. I don't stay in her room long. Staying there would only prolong things and there is a very small window of opportunity to get Berio to sleep before she gets overtired and ends up being awake for hours. She rocks herself to sleep sitting up. More often than not, she ends up slumped over in what must be a most uncomfortable position. I go back into Berio's room and I whisper, "Lie down, Sweetie" she lies down on her side and curls up. She doesn't like blankets, but I cover her up anyway. I don't want her to get cold.

After I leave her room, I go into Bonesie's room. She likes to be held and to have her back scratched. She also likes to be sung to. She, too, goes to sleep the same way she did when she was a baby...fast. Once she settles in, it only takes her a few minutes to get to sleep. And what a sound sleeper she is! I've never seen anything like it. Nothing can wake this kid up. Sometimes, I'll doze off in her bed with her. I'll fall asleep thinking about what they mean to me.

I know that I need to lose weight for myself...for my health. And maybe someday, I'll get to the point where I believe that I'm worth the kind of care and attention that losing this much weight requires. But in the meantime, I have to keep telling myself that these girls need their mother. If I don't lose weight, I will die sooner than than I need to. They're little girls, for crying out loud. They need their mother! Even when they're no longer little girls, they'll need their mother. Someday, they'll get married and have babies of their own and hopefully they'll need (or maybe just really want!) their mother. For now, I'm going to have to do this for them. They really are worth it :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

A year of firsts.

Tomorrow it will be a year to the day since you left us. This past year has been a year of firsts for me. My first birthday without you, the first Father's Day without you. The first time I didn't send a card or call you on your birthday (or, let's face it a day or two after your birthday). We celebrated our first Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year without you. It's been a long, difficult year. We've gone through your things, one by one. You really had a lot stuff! We joked about how pissed you'd be to see us getting rid of it all. And now, we've sold your home. Saying goodbye has been a long, painful process. Things haven't always gone as smoothly as I'm sure you would have wanted but we're doing the best that we can. I think we're all going to be okay. I think you'd be proud. Not a day goes by where I don't think about you, Dad. And tonight into tomorrow, though it hurts so bad, I'll be remembering your last hours. I'll be thinking about how this is yet another first. The first anniversary. I hope you're okay. I hope, wherever you are, you're at peace. I love you. I miss you.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The next step

January is always a time for new beginnings and fresh starts. I'm not immune to the lure of a clean slate although, I've again sworn off dieting so that's not going to be in my list of New Year's Promises (as Bonsie's 1st grade teacher calls them).

The past year has been incredibly hard for me, weight-loss wise. There's nothing like a family tragedy in the first month of the year coupled with a huge increase in stress for the remainder of the year to prove that my propensity for eating my emotions away is alive and well. There were times over this past year when not only did I eat to numb my feelings but that I consciously chose foods for their stupor-inducing properties (Hello, Creamy Bacon Carbonara?!). I knowingly ate so that I would stop hurting. The problem is, it didn't work. No matter how much I ate, I still felt sad and raw and slightly crazy. No matter how much I ate, I couldn't stop the tears from coming. No matter how much I ate, I couldn't forget that my dad was gone. I tried therapy, but it was some weird online therapy that my workplace offered. It didn't help much. But the therapist did recommend some books by Geneen Roth. I decided that my new focus was going to be on changing my head and not my body and I went out and bought some of those recommended books. One, in particular, resonated with me: The Craggy Hole in My Heart and the Cat Who Fixed it. It was beautiful. I laughed, I cried...you know.

I talked to my family doctor and asked him to give me another referral to the Eating Disorders Program. He did and that's where we are right now. Waiting to hear from the program and to find out if they'll take me on as a patient. They did before, so hopefully, they will again.

I'll keep you posted.

I'm thinking of going public!

This blog is already public but nobody in my real life knows about it. I didn't think that I could be really honest about what I was going through if I knew that they were reading. But I'm considering changing that. I want to write about my struggle. I still think that if I can get things under control that what I have to say might help someone. So, yeah, I'm thinking of outing my blog to my family. Maybe.

I used to have a few semi-regular readers but I think they've gone away. I looked back and it seems as though I only wrote seven entries in all of 2010. 2010 sucked ass. I can't promise that the topic of my dad and how I'm dealing with his passing won't come up...but as the year anniversary of his death approaches, I'm starting to feel like it's time to move on. I don't know how I'm going to do that. I guess we'll see.

I wonder if this will be the year?

I turn 40 this year. I weigh more than I ever have in my life. I've been referred (again) to the eating disorders program by my family doctor for treatment of binge eating/compulsive overeating.

I hope to all that's holy that this is my rock bottom. It certainly feels like rock bottom. I'm ready to start the long climb out of this wretched life. I really hope this is the year at all clicks.