Energy

I’m moving right along still on my weight loss journey.  Last week I was definitely more hungry and had a few more treats that my “perfect” first two weeks, but still managed to lose 3 more pounds.  I started a private IG account too in order to track myself.  It’s fun to connect with people but I’m still being very protective of what I’m doing here, so I haven’t opened it up just yet.

I did tell one of my best friends about the medication.  She’s super supportive and is even helping me tonight when we go to a wine tasting and dinner together with friends.  She will be around me the most when we are at parties or out to eat, so it felt like a good idea to have an ally.

Speaking of tonight, I have a game plan: Doing a 3 small tasting & sharing with my boyfriend and giving another person my 8 tasting.  I’m ordering off the low calorie menu and staying clear of the bread at the table.  I’m also having iced tea with my meal vs. a glass of wine.  I’m going to do a 10 minute ab series before we leave after work, as well, since I was too tired this morning to get out of bed.

My partner who I live with mentioned working out in the basement with me.  I don’t know if this was to get me to stop asking him if he was going to join the gym with me (I haven’t been pestering, just mentioned it over dinner).  So this morning I tried to get him up and he wouldn’t budge, so I went back to sleep too, as I didn’t sleep well and every muscle is sore on me.

That is exactly what I was worried about if we did join a gym together.  His lack of motivation would drag me down.  I’m going to stop asking him to join or worry about him for now.  I look at this morning as a test.  I need to do this on my own, for myself.  I do not want to share my victories with anyone quite frankly.  This is my work to do.

I’m also noticing that my energy for everything in my life is not infinite.  Now that I’m spending a lot more time on me and my weight and nutrition, I don’t have the capacity to extend or compromise myself for my partner’s shortcomings.  I don’t know what this will mean for us, but if I have been patient with him, he will need to be patient with me.

I’m nervous for the holidays.  It’s a lot of buffets, alcohol and food presented to me that is not in my control.  I have set a small goal to get to and through the 270’s by 1/1.  That’s 2 weeks to lose 11 lbs.  I lost 11 lbs. in 2 weeks since Dec 1, so I don’t think it’s unattainable.

I’ve already let a few family parties know I’m not drinking so no reason to stock up for me (when they asked).  I’m being the designated driver for a few events at restaurants and bars.  I’m making plans head of time.  I’m also using the time off work to get in a ton of workouts.  Last night I swam laps since I didn’t have my kid with me.

No alcohol is going well too.  One of these days I literally had one sip of wine to taste a bottle before choosing it as a gift, but it still counted.  My skin is definitely showing the rewards, as well as the scale.  I just need to figure out what to do with myself sober.

streaks

This last Friday I went to my company’s holiday party and did indulge in 2 glasses of wine over the course of 5 hours.  I was pretty much sober for the event and as everyone moved to the dance portion of the evening, I just found myself standing at the side of the dance floor bored.  My date was a little drunk and having a good time, I was trying to make small talk, we danced to one song, but mostly I just wanted out of there.  Afterwards we went to our local dive bar to listen to music and I had an iced tea.  I lip read some movie on the NFL network about a linebacker from the Steelers career while a cover band played and tried not to fall asleep.  I’m feeling super boring without booze.  I don’t MISS it at all, honestly.  But i don’t know who I thought I was if I’m not the life or the party girl.  Something else to figure out as I go.

It’s insane to me how protective I feel about myself right now.  Like I’m holding the little girl in me that is afraid of the world.  This is an interesting journey for me, for sure.

-Lulu

Fat Girl Tears

On December 1st I went to my doctor to check up on a cough that wouldn’t go away.  Turns out I was ultimately fine, getting over Whooping Cough.  I’ll live.  At the appointment I purposefully didn’t want to be weighed because I knew it was probably not good and I had been halfheartedly working out for awhile, so I thought I was okay.  However, those pictures from Thanksgiving where I was at a side angle, not posed, had been haunting me.

When the nurse left I jumped on the scale anyways and to my horror realized I gained more weight since August.  I was 8 lbs. away from 300 lbs.  A number I didn’t even see when I was carrying another human being on my person.

I don’t know why I was shocked or why exactly this was the turning point, but I suddenly knew that I needed help outside of my own abilities.  We got through the exam on my lungs, etc. and I asked the doctor if she had a few more minutes to talk.  I laid it all out there.  That I was gaining (we looked at my chart, I have gained 40 lbs in the last year) and it’s not stopping.  I told her I was binging at times without using that word, that I was discouraged and desperate to try something further before we got to the point of surgery.  I am terrified of surgery.  That I know exactly what I’m supposed to do but I feel stuck and scared.  She listened and then suggested an appetite suppressant.

She told me it’s not a magic pill.  It may make me lose weight but I will gain it all back when I go off of it if that’s all I use, and I will have to stop taking it because it’s not a long term solution.  I have to do work with it.  She has seen some success but not much because people usually have that attitude.  I agreed to give it a shot for 3 months.  My blood pressure has always been fine and that was the only thing that would stop her.  It does not mess with any of my other medications and I should have no real side effects.  I agreed to try it for 3 months.

I left her office and walked to my car, closed the door and bawled.  I cried all the way to Walgreens to pick it up.  I took my first pill in my car before picking up the Thai I ordered for lunch and going back to work, still crying.  I looked up a ton of information on the pill at work to prepare myself for any lesser side effects (dry mouth, high energy, trouble sleeping, bad taste in mouth).  When I got home from work that night I went upstairs and sat in my dark bedroom on the floor and bawled some more.  Sobbing, heaving cries.  I gave myself 30 minutes of tears and decided to get up and get going.

I got myself here, I can get myself out.  No, these pills aren’t the same pills I found in our spare bathroom when I was a kid and realized my mom hated herself (why did my mother keep her diet pills in the kids bathroom anyways? Ah, probably hiding them from her husband.)  I’m not a failure for asking for help.  I trust my doctor to know if these are dangerous and I have a time line of 3 months to get my ass in gear.  USE THIS TIME.

USE THIS TIME has been my mantra for the past two weeks.

Immediately, day one, I noticed I wasn’t hungry like I normally am.  That all-consuming constant nag that says “EAT SOMETHING RIGHT NOW” was and is gone.  It has been, dare I say, EASY to stay under 1,500 calories, even 1,300 most days.  The hardest thing for me in the past is now suddenly a non-issue.  I can see why this works temporarily for people.

I don’t want temporary but I’m not sure where I’m going just yet either. When I start to spiral or shame talk myself I start worrying about the end of this 3 months and how much I’ll put back on. Are these pills a crutch?  Can I unlearn this behavior?

I haven’t set a weight goal or anything, because I don’t have a tangible goal like that yet.  Mostly I want to fit into my clothes again.  I want to be active for my kid.  I could give two shits about a size in a piece of clothing.  I can’t even fathom being lower than a 14, so I’m just going by “how much can I lose this week.”  I know this will change, but I can’t get past day to day right now.  It’s also dangerous for me to do so, I’m learning, as I spiral quick. Day to day.

December 1 I started logging my food, every bit of it and continue to do so.  If you know me, you know that I absolutely HATE this.  It’s why I resented Weight Watchers, etc.  But I haven’t hated it.  It’s felt like a science experiment on myself.  Day to day.

I rejoined the YMCA the next night and swam laps, weekly, for 45 minutes.  I walked my 292 lbs. ass across the pool and swam in the lanes next to the high school swim team practice.  I didn’t waiver.  I have a set workout routine at home and the Y that I use almost every day (except Wednesdays) that includes weight lifting and cardio, plus yoga that I do every morning before my family wakes up.  I am planful and I don’t miss anything, so far.  I even sleep in my workout clothes so there are no excuses.

I also haven’t told a soul I’m doing this.  My boyfriend knows I’m eating better and working out and it’s important to me, but I haven’t told him about the pills.  I’ve told none of my friends or family.  I do not want to even post about any pounds I’ve lost or will eventually lose on Facebook, etc.  I feel protective of my body and where it’s at.  Everything feels very fragile and I don’t need approval or input for where I’m going or how I’m getting there.  I am also scared that people really don’t have faith in me, like I always fear.

I trust myself enough to know that if these pills start making me act weird, I’ll stop.  I’m in contact with my doctor weekly about progress.  I have had no real bad side effects other than I can attest that the dry mouth is NUTS.

That nagging hunger being erased has given me a freedom to really start examining how I got here and where I’m currently sitting.  I’m only two weeks in here, I’m not naive enough to think I’ve conquered some hill.  There have been a few victories mentally that I can claim though.

Not having this all-consuming hunger has made me realize I don’t really need to eat as much as I did.  I was WAY under estimating just how much was going into my body and I was eating for reasons other than hunger.  I eat when I’m not hungry, when I procrastinate, when I’m tired, when I’m anything emotion and I eat enormous portions.  After work one day last week I went directly to the pantry to look for a snack and realized “Wait, I’m not hungry” it was just that time of day where I check the pantry.  I’ve caught myself doing this numerous times.

I also listen and watch those around me.  My mom came up and spent a lot of time talking about what she was eating or wasn’t eating, how “good” she was being, how much weight she was losing etc.  I sound exactly like her yet I watched her eat garbage, exactly what I had been doing.  My boyfriend eats terrible and constantly.  Mounds of food, snacks on a constant rotation to his mouth and never much greenery.  He has the luxury of moving all day at his job vs. me where I sit, but still, how long can that last?  Have I been trying to keep up with him when we eat together?

I didn’t really ever taste food as much as I thought I was.  I’ve shared the memes on Facebook that were all “fuck this, i want chocolate” and yet I’m sitting here turning down cookies for strawberries because I actually don’t like how sugar tastes in my mouth after I’m done swallowing. This Sunday I made my famous chili that I normally stuff a half sleeve of Saltines in.  I ate it without crackers, measured by a measuring cup, and I was a little nervous I was going to have to power through it.  It tasted amazing!

I have also almost completely erased alcohol.  I drank fat free hot chocolate Friday when my neighbors brought over Not Your Father’s Root Beer.  I’ve turned down cocktails when out to dinner with family.  I drink iced tea when we watch hockey at the bar.  I don’t exactly miss that either.  After two weeks my skin looks way better, as well.  I’m canceling my wine club membership in January with no regrets.

The spiraling is still going strong, but I’m trying to learn from it as I go.  Yesterday we had our office xmas party at lunch and there were a ton of cookies and brownies, etc.  I indulged in 5 cookies and half a cupcake and felt that binge mentality come on quick, like I couldn’t get enough.  I stopped, pounded water and had a very sensible dinner later but the guilt and fear that I had after it stayed with me until this morning.  I had to tell myself that I’m working out today not as punishment for yesterday but because it’s good for me.  I made myself work out when it’s normally been easy because giving up over one bad day wasn’t an option.  I’ve had to tell myself that if I don’t lose another 7 lbs. like last week, it’s OK as long it’s going down.  I cannot believe (well yes I can) how much guilt and fear and shame is ingrained in me over this.

When I start to tell myself this is just another phase, that my boyfriend has no faith in me that I’ll be successful, that I’m setting myself up to gain 30 more pounds after I eventually stop I have to really adjust.  As in, it’s a physical hard stop I have to make.  During work outs when I’m tired and want to give up, I just keep saying “use this time, use this time.”

For all the body positive work I have done over the past 3 years, I completely forgot about a huge chunk of my brain that still holds on to 13 year old chubby Lulu with new big boobs, 5’9″ sudden frame and hips and thighs that don’t look anything like her tiny sister’s.

Mostly, in a nutshell, I’m amazed at how I’m doing and how different this feels.  Did I hit rock bottom?  I’m terrified to tell anyone that I’m doing this.  I’m in awe of throwing away half a small salad because I’m full.  I’m proud that I can turn down booze or grab a protein shake instead of burgers and fries.  I don’t get sad when I think I have to do this life for the rest of my life, instead I’m excited to see where I go.

That all-consuming hunger I had that died, hopefully forever, but maybe temporarily until I know how to work with it, has left me with a clear head for the first time in my life.  I’m scared of it, but I’m hoping to replace it with something else.

Wish me luck.

-Lulu

Bi-Bi-Bi

Yesterday I was discussing how we use language in front of conservative people to let our kids know we think differently.  One lady gave an example where she always says “Wife or husband, whoever you do or don’t end up with is fine by me…” to her kids.  I promptly responded:

“I am bisexual and I would have LOVED to have heard this as a kid versus just hearing about me and men….”  Hit POST and boom.  Done.  No big whoop.  I say it all the time to my kid too.  We agree, neat!

Then I reread it and though “oh.”

My entire life I have been pretty fluid with who I was attracted to, not really putting a label on it and let’s be honest, who the hell knew about all these cool labels in the 80’s or 90’s or felt comfortable enough to put one on themselves?  ESPECIALLY in small-town Indiana.  I had a 2 year relationship when I was a young teenager with a girl.  She looked like a boy, was older than me, and she did most of the sexual things to me vs me in return, so I never really believed or said I was a lesbian.  Plus, I was threatened with losing my job, being sent to a mental institution (thank you mom and also the hospital for not accepting “gay kids” as a treatment plan option), and thrown out of her house by her parents so I stayed FAR AWAY from that label and lived in secret.

I went immediately into a relationship with a guy when this went south (and oh how South it truly went – restraining order notwithstanding).  I never really looked back.  I’ve also never really been attracted to another woman in that way since so I figured “eh, I was just confused because she looked like a boy.”  Plus, I was married to a man at 20.  My dating history was not that rich.

However, when it comes to porn or fantasies, TOTALLY different scenario and women are my thing.  Always has been my preference quite frankly.

As a 38 year old, I recently figured out something: Being attracted to some women is just like being attracted to SOME MEN.  You aren’t attracted to every one of them just because you are gay.  I’ve always known that not all gay men will hit on all men, I mean, that’s just crazy Uncle Steve!  I just didn’t do the math in real life and apply it to myself.

I’m a monogamist, I’m also starting to realize I’m very much bi-sexual and I’m also seeing how I can be completely both.  I can see myself having a relationship with the right woman should she come along and my current relationship end.  I can see myself being with a man for the rest of my life.

Mostly I want a partner.

Feels like a good time to come out with this on Bisexual Visibility Day.  Huh, who knew.  I guess I always did.

-Lulu

 

 

Freedom

Last night’s session was based on my feelings about my ex-husband’s wedding and my boyfriend.  I didn’t think we’d go there but we stayed there for another week, and in hindsight I think it was the right place to go.

I told her quite honestly I want a wedding.  I’m jealous they got a wedding and I don’t know if I will ever have another one, or a man that will want to marry me.  I’m still not convinced I should marry my boyfriend, but I know I want a wedding and I have it all planned.  We basically narrowed this down to wanting to feel wanted.

The theme of my life, apparently.

Marriage to me is security and completeness and crossing a finish line.  Even though I know it’s not, it’s just what I have been taught.  I have a mother that can’t stay single, 5 big white weddings in her lifetime, who taught me that my value was in if I was loved by a man.  Strangely this is a belief even though she didn’t provide that by marrying a good father.  When I decided to divorce, she took my ex-husband’s side, along with my sister.  My value was in if I was dating and how fast I was committed.  My value now that I live with my boyfriend is in when we get married.  Her rationale is I need to marry to have a man take care of me financially even though, I take care of me financially now.

Another way in which the people in my life do not know me, trust me to be me or let me be ME.

My therapist reminded me that security does not exist.  People change.  She said she doesn’t believe that all people should get divorced and she’s not against marriage, but to live an entire life in one relationship and never expect to change or grow in different directions is ridiculous and unrealistic.  Just because I get married or have a good wedding does not mean anything.  It doesn’t mean I will always have a place to live or money or security.  It means I’m married.

Mostly I want to feel wanted.  It’s a basic human need but with my past full of abandonment and abuse, it’s natural for that need to be present and show up front and center a lot more frequently.

We delved into our house.  It’s not mine, it doesn’t feel like mine.  The decorations, the paint, the mess, the stuff in it.  It’s his and my things fit around where they can.  When I made the suggestion last week that I would buy a shed and convert it into a studio, I was told he’d just help me clean up a bit.  Which we did, but it’s still his stuff we cleaned.  He doesn’t get it.

I want to feel like I exist and I’m loved for me.

I talked to her about my first apartment that I got as a newly divorced woman.  It’s right next door and I stare at  it when I am outside.  I refuse to go back in it because I fear I may move right back in.  Not because I don’t love my dude, but it was my first taste of me.  I decorated it, I fixed myself food I wanted in it, I had fabulous sex in it, I paid for it and I lived in it.  All me.  I found it, made it mine and it was home.  My first home.  She told me to use that as my measuring stick.  If something going forward doesn’t feel like that level of happiness, get rid of it.

At the time I was in that apartment I didn’t always appreciate it because i was grieving my divorce and dating men to fulfill the hole, but on a lot of levels, it was all mine for me that I created.

I’m supposed to tell him how I feel about our house and I will.  I came home and asked if we could go out so we did, we got tacos, I bought us some ice cream cones for our walk home, we read next to each other then watched a documentary on Vivian Maier.  It was wonderful to be together last night and I know that he just doesn’t understand, but the difference is, I found a man that wants to try.

I’m hoping to dig more into my past next visit.  I feel like I’m behind a bunch of walls to get to the other side, she mentioned this as well.  But at least the point I’m at now, I can see the walls and know they exist and are not permanent.

-Lulu

Reception

My ex-husband got married on Saturday.  I knew it was coming.  I wrote about it here.  I prepare myself and my daughter all week.  I laid out a day of no plans whatsoever to deal with whatever surfaced.  Mostly I was okay.  Until I saw the pic of their rings and then I cried.  I sat on the couch and sobbed for a good 30 minutes.

I started to feel sorry for myself.  That no friends had called to check on me, no family checked on me.  My sister was still mad at me for not wanting to babysit her kids all weekend, but I don’t normally look to her for support ever anyways.  My mother stopped by and when she was reminded of the wedding, thought it was a good time to ask ME about when I’m getting married.  (I’m not engaged.)  That her ring was beautiful and it was official.  I went down the spiral of sadness and why me.

However, my boyfriend was perfect.  He was petty about her ring, checking for clarity, he was astounded when I wondered aloud if she had to buy her own ring like I did, he was sweet and there for me and helped clean the house and took me shopping all day.  He also didn’t hesitate to buy me a pint of ice cream, as well.

But something between seeing it was official and having him be so sweet to me, I just lost it.  Losing it though ended up being a good thing.  I sat with myself and told myself to cry.  To just feel it.  When my dude asked me what was wrong, I told him the truth.  That I lied when i said I was okay if we never married, that I wanted it.  I was sad that my ex wasn’t as scared as we were to try again.  I was jealous that he will get another wedding to remember vs. just ours.  After writing all of my memories of our wedding here I realized how awful it was and how many red flags were there.

He listened, hugged me when i asked and got me Kleenex, then got me ice cream later as we watched a comedian on Netflix to end the day.  Then I had a friend texst me to see if I was okay.  The next day another friend texted me petty things about the pics on Facebook of their rings and made me laugh.  (Yes, I know being petty is not a great quality, but I allowed a little this weekend.)  I do have good friends, I have a great boyfriend and a fantastic kid (who looked amazing in her wedding outfit and tinted lip gloss-a first!) but most importantly, I’m reminded that I have the skills and a great therapist to help as well.

I am jealous, sure.  And did I feel better when I saw pics of her dress and the event and relieved when she didn’t have a wedding I have imagined for myself?  Abso-fucking-lutely.  Did I die a little when my daughter texted her dad last night and told him: “Good night to my perfect mom and dad.”  And when I asked her about the mom thing she said “well, she is my step mom now.”  Yes.  Yes I fucking died.  I have stuff to work through and pain will always exist, but mostly I know I’m actually feeling this and it won’t kill me to feel it.

It won’t kill me to be sad or jealous or mad for a little while and it will end.

-Lulu

 

Betrothed

Me: “So my ex is getting married this Saturday.  I don’t feel anything and I don’t know if I should.”

T: “Well, what is going on inside you when you think about it?”

Me: “I just don’t care.  At least I don’t think so.  I mean, I feel like I should but I don’t.  Sure, I’m jealous they are having a wedding and I’m not on that path, but I feel nothing for him or that I’m losing him, etc.  My daughter is sad though.  I guess I just don’t trust that I’m not just numb.”

Seeing how I’m sitting here eating my weight in rice crispy treats as I put off writing about this.  That I’ve woken up around 2:00 a.m. and been unable to go back to sleep every night this week.  That I have had vivid dreams every night when I do sleep.  I think I’m becoming less numb or something is breaking through.

Here’s the thing I know to be true:  I’m not in love with my ex-husband.  I’m not grieving our relationship any longer.  I’m not grieving what we could have had, I’ve actually moved through that process in the last few years thoroughly and my therapist agrees.  She said I seem to have issues from the actual marriage I need to resolve, but not feelings for him.  So that I take comfort in.

I don’t have any real issues with his new wife.  She loves my kid and quite honestly, takes better care of her than he does.  I’m not jealous of her in any way shape or form, mostly I pity her.  I did have a chat with my therapist about her, because she seems so different than me.  She’s a bit abusive with him emotionally and controlling, but she thinks it’s textbook narcissism.  They leave the doormat Empath for someone to control them.  Makes sense.  I have my boundaries in place for her pretty set, so that’s fine too.

So what’s my freaking deal?  Well, my kid is not happy about it at all. She was in tears this week because she said it means we won’t be getting married.  So I know some of my anxiety is for her.

Thinking about her in her light blue dress and flower crown that she will be wearing makes me tear up.  Is it because I wanted it to be my wedding she was in first?  Perhaps.  Is it because I can’t give her what she wants nor do I even want to?  Perhaps.

All I do know is I’ve set aside the entire day on Saturday for self care and let my boyfriend know of my plan, of which he supports.  I’ve turned down my sister and I’m not watching her kids (another story for another day) and taken the abuse for that decision.  I’ve turned down my mother’s offer of a visit, though neither of them are aware that the wedding is Saturday (or at least they don’t care about the impact on me).  I have a hair cut scheduled and drinks with friends on the plate.  I’m not doing a thing except what I feel like all day.  It feels safe to have that freedom ahead of me.

You know, I’m still having troubles with memories, but my wedding day I can remember quite well, however it occurs to me it’s all negative for the most part.  I remember planning the event almost completely by myself, thinking he’d decide at the last minute he didn’t want to go through with it.  I remember our proposal a month before our wedding date, in the factory parking lot where I basically convinced him to marry me because Halloween was on a Saturday that year.  I remember picking out a plain black dress one afternoon hastily by myself at JC Penney, though I don’t know why I was alone.  I remember a planning meeting we had with our mothers and mine was being a psychopath so I stepped outside with his and she told me, “They are all crazy.  You can elope if you want too.” I remember loving her for that so much.

I remember my mother changing my flower order to white roses from Calla lillies because that’s what she liked and me being surprised the day of when they were delivered.  I remember the night before we had a sleep over at our apartment.  I think he went out to eat with a buddy and I stayed home.  I remember having a meltdown because my dad’s barn looked trashy and maybe we should just use a church, so he stayed up and cleaned it all for me and surprised me the next day.  I remember when we went to the mall to get rings and bought the cheapest things we could find.  Then our family surprised us with nicer rings at the altar, though I secretly always hated them because they weren’t our style at all.  The cheap ones were lost when we cleaned up the ceremony, however, because I looked many times to try to recover them.  When he lost his and I lost mine years later, I wasn’t really sad about it.

The day of I remember being so nervous, and the day dragged before the ceremony.  I remember my sister doing my hair and make-up.  Where was my mother?  I don’t have a lot of memories of her. I remember rolling up turkey and lunch meats with my mother-in-law and grandparents.

I remember our grandparents got us a hotel room but we cancelled the night of because he didn’t want to go.  He wanted to stay home.  I felt bad because they had to pay for the room anyways.

I remember seeing my biological dad walk up the driveway and being shocked.  I remember the man I call father surprising me by dressing as Elwood Blues and giving me away as such.  I remember telling my mother to “shut the fuck up” right before I walked down the aisle because she was rushing me as I hugged my sister and best friend, Jordan.

I remember my great-grandmother bawling in the receiving line when she came up to me, but I’m not sure why.  I remember the local newspaper took photos of us because we were having a Halloween wedding and those were the only real photos we ended up having.  I remember not wanting to open our gifts in front of everyone but my mother made us.

I remember going through the drive-thru at Arby’s on the way home, then having sex with him for the first time that night and then the next day and how it was just okay.  Mostly relieved it was over.  I remember thinking waiting for my wedding night was idiotic, yet strangely something to be smug about.

I remember that we planned the ceremony for 5:30 and I spent the weeks before checking the sun location to make sure it wasn’t going to be too dark, since we didn’t plan for lights.

Mostly I remember it being rushed and not mine or ours, but he had little input anyways.  I remember wanting to have an anniversary party one day to make up for the whole thing.

I don’t know how to end this post, but I need to go.  These memories are mine and they are the truth and reflect how i feel about the day.  I wonder if I would have described our wedding the same way a year after it vs. now.

Perhaps.

-Lulu

Memories of Made of These

“There is a good chance that somewhere in your life, there is a champion. She will be an older student. A teacher you have never had. The secretary. Someone else’s mother. But that person will have a car, and she will make time for you, and she won’t judge or ask questions. Finding her might be hard; you might never have spoken to her before. If you’re lucky, she’ll find you. Trust her when she does, even if no one else has ever stood up for you.”

I knew it.  I went into therapy last night thinking I had no idea what I was going to talk about, and no idea how it would end other than maybe some light conversation.  I drug my feet, though I’m now to the point where no amount of feet dragging will get me to miss it.  I knew I was going to admit I’ve been lying to myself about how numb I am and how I don’t feel anything, or that I live in my body as me vs. an observer.  That was all I had.

Then I went in and boom.  One of the most shocking and revealing sessions I’ve ever had.

I did reveal that truth, that was I have been prideful and not willing to go deep.  I say I will and I think on things and write, but I didn’t admit to myself how numb I really live until recently.  My homework last week was to go through childhood pictures and look in the mirror, in my own eyes, and I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I had a medical scare this week where I was sent to the ER for a massively heavy period.  We talked on that a bit, how my body is overall very healthy but it likes to grow weird shit in weird places.  She thought that sounded like my immune system was not keeping up and being depressed weakens your immune system overall.  Interesting.

Then we got a little deeper and now I am blown away.  I asked her how to feel things from my childhood or my past, really feel them and sort it out, because I admit I’m numb and I thought I was doing so well but I don’t actually feel things. When I think about the past I think things happened and I watched but it wasn’t happening TO ME.

She said, “Tell me what your favorite outfit was or your favorite pair of shoes when you were little?”  I couldn’t answer. I have absolutely no memory of any of that. Everything I did remember, like my favorite stuffed animal, was all stuff I had at my grandparent’s house.  I admitted I wouldn’t take my yellow bear stuffed animal home to my mother’s, I left it at my grandparents.  She asked me why and I told her I guess I didn’t feel safe with things I loved at home.

I ask her if people were supposed to remember details like that, favorite dresses and clothes.  Who bought them for me, etc.  She responded, “Absolutely. You were a girl, those things were part of making you, you.  How did you figure out your style or what what you prefer and what color was your favorite?  Who bought you things you love?” I couldn’t answer.

Legitimately have no memories like that at all.  I can remember going into Payless Shoestore with my mom, at some young age, because I needed new tennis shoes for school and I had to buy “Pony” brand and I hated them, but I knew it was all we could afford so I said nothing. I can see the white shoes and remember thinking “they sorta look like the name brands…” That is my only real memory of anything like that.  I have no idea how I got my clothes or toys or anything, especially anything that I loved.

I laughed nervously because I was just shocked.  I told her as such.  She told me that she was so sad for me right now, more than I was for myself.  She said, “I bet it wouldn’t have occurred to you to even know you should have a favorite dress, would it?” I said “No!!!!”

She asked me how do you think you got your clothes, or your shoes, or your toys?  How did they come into your life?  What did you feel when you woke up in the morning?  In your bedroom?  When you went to sleep at night?  I couldn’t tell her. I have no idea.

Then when I told her my main fear is raising my daughter to have the same life and she asked, what is your experience like for your daughter?  I smiled.  Now I know I’m not 100%, raising her like I was raised!  I don’t buy a thing for her unless she is there and approves.  My kid likes foxes, so she wears her costume everywhere.  She is fine.

She said if you can’t remember your favorite pair of shoes or where you got your favorite dress, what else do you think you have suppressed?  Then it hit me. It could be a whole shit storm and I have no idea. No wonder I feel like a woman inside of a suit of armor or cloaked and weighed down.

She said you weren’t allowed to feel and you were clearly protecting yourself, and probably depressed from a long time ago.  I basically only remember my grandparent’s houses because I was allowed to exist as me then I shut it off when I had to go back to wherever my mother lived at the time.

You Own Everything

I’m supposed to write out memories and really dig into remembering details.  She wanted me to start by thinking about my ex-husband and how much control I had over my life or what I didn’t have control of, and really get into the details of things and how I felt.  That’s my homework.

To let the sadness come and the fear, because though it will feel like never-ending waves and that it will never end, it will.  Emotions won’t kill me.  The other side of processing them will be beautiful.  I can believe that.

I told her quite clearly that I don’t care what the scale says one day or today.  I am just tired of carrying this weight because it is a visual representation of emotions I do not deal with properly.  I’m carrying this and lumbering along and I feel like I’m stuck in a fat suit.  I’m not talking about cellulite or what size my clothes are, I just feel weighed down and slow and I know it’s emotional vs. physical.  She had no doubt that when I start dealing with emotions and really living, I won’t have any issues with my weight.

I’m terrified and yet, I can’t wait to get started.

-Lulu

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