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.