Thursday, October 15, 2009
Early yesterday morning I was having a cup of coffee when I noticed 2 deer in our yard again. They were both curled up in the grass under a big oak tree. As I watched I saw the most amazing thing happen. They stood up, and the fawn approached her mother and started nursing. It was SO beautiful! I felt blessed to have witnessed such an incredible sight. Then the phone rang, and I saw on the caller ID that it was my MIL. I did NOT answer, but I felt like I was 'hit up side the head'. In a matter of seconds, I went from a feeling of joy to dread.
Last night while writing an email to a Spark friend, a few things dawned on me. I told her that just because I've tolerated something for years, does NOT mean that I have to continue to do so. My late FIL once told me how his wife treated him the same way she treated me. He said that "she does NOT stop until she wears you down". I asked him why he tolerated her behavior. He said "it's easier to go along with her than stand your ground, because she will NOT stop until she wins". This man drank himself into total numbness every day, and was literally a shadow of his former self. I was 24 years old when he told me this. I wondered if Doreen today is a shadow of the 24 year old me?
One of the great things about the input from Spark friends is that you can see things from a different perspective. Whether it's one word, a comment, or something in someone else's blog, you can see things in a new way. Different words from yesterday's comments stuck in my head, as well as a quote from Yvonne's blog that states-'fall 7 times, get up 8'. I'm not one to stay down, I always drag myself back up! So thanks Spark friends for the input.
I don't know why, but after I sent last nights email, a book that I haven't read in YEARS popped into my head. This morning I woke up thinking of that book again. Was it some kind of divine intervention? I always think that my mom is watching over me and my hubby. I pulled the book off of the shelf and sat down to flip through it. It's called 'Journey to the Heart', and it's a book of 365 daily meditations. I opened it to October 14, which was yesterday, to see what the title and subject were. It was "Clear out the clutter", but it was about deeply embedded emotions and their impact on our lives. The author wrote about the undercurrents of old emotional energy and how we don't see the anger, the fear, and the sadness. She went on about how these feelings stay with us until we consciously acknowledge and address them. Well, I can say that after venting yesterday, I've DEFINITELY acknowledged the problem and my feelings. Now I have to address it, make changes, and let it go! I don't know why that booked popped into my head, but I'm sure glad that it did.
I usually wake up every day feeling happy, glad to be alive, and grateful for the little things in my day that bring me joy. I want to keep those feelings ALL day. I do NOT want to feel the joy being sucked out of my day by the toxic vampire anymore. I deserve to be happy, NOT stressed out and overwhelmed by someone else's toxic negativity. My friend Ruth referred to it as toxic quicksand-and that's a good way for me to look at it. I don't want to feel dread anymore!
As I looked at the meditation for today, I got chills! The kind that start at your head and go through your body. She wrote "the sooner we become honest with ourselves, the more quickly we'll grow and move on to a new place". I know that I have a lot of work to do, but it's okay, because I'm READY! I'm responsible for my own life and happiness, and only I can make the necessary changes to have the life I want and DESERVE! I think that the universe is speaking to me, and it's up to me to move forward! Feel it, release it, and continue forward on my journey.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
A couple of weeks back I was very pleased with how I handled the TOXIC VAMPIRE. aka my MIL. But I was too cocky! I should have known what I was in for with my MIL 26 years ago. We were dating and DH took me to the Jersey shore for a day on my future MIL's boat. I was sitting there in my bathing suit with HER and her friends, when out of the blue she asked me "have you ever thought of getting your boobs done"? I wore a size 10 at the time and was not flat chested, but she felt the need to embarrass me in front of her friends. After the shock wore off, I replied "NO, because your son LOVES them just the way they are"! She glared and her friends laughed. That shut her up!! I showed her that I wouldn't take her crap, but it also let me know what I was in for. And it has never gotten any easier. It's been a battle ever since. Even though my mom raised me to always be a lady, this woman has pushed me to the edge!
When we were planning our wedding, which my father paid for, she did her best to make things difficult. She would make her comments about me being a girl without a mother, and how I took charge. When you lose your mother as a teenager, you have no choice but to be strong! We were to be married in my church, until SHE said that she and NONE of her family would come to the wedding. Me being young AND naive, felt that I should give in to keep the peace. Which I still regret to this day! I should have said 'oh well, we'll miss having you'. But instead we were married at the country club where our reception was held. Before the ceremony she eye-balled me up and down in my gown, but never said one word. After the ceremony I had people coming up to me telling me what an evil bitch SHE was. So many people heard her as she approached my husband when the wedding march started. SHE said "it's NOT too late". So at our reception, this is what I kept hearing from people.
Before our wedding SHE told my DH to set up a DIVORCE FUND!!!! When he and I started our business, SHE told him that he was an idiot for putting BOTH of our names on everything. We were partners and worked together. Recently with the way things are with the market, some of our investments have taken a hit. I do NOT discuss the nitty gritty with her, but she does know that we have stock in certain companies. SHE recently told my sister-in-law "GOOD, let them lose all of their money"! Despite years of DH trying to keep her in her place, she has only gotten worse.
I could fill a book with all of the nasty things that this woman has said to me over the years. If you've read my previous blogs, you know that we moved to Florida to put distance between us. SHE followed us! I did cut her out of my life in the past, and yes it was peaceful. But after health issues with my husband's late stepfather, we had contact with her again. She knows that I have compassion, and that I can't turn my back on someone that needs help because of an illness. And despite the fact that I feel that she hates me, when she was sick, I was the one there for her. NOT her own daughter. She has literally picked me apart from head to toe! She even tries to start her crap with me by bringing up old wounds regarding my late sister! Even though I put my foot down, and will NOT allow her to go on-SHE will try again and again.
A couple of weeks before last Christmas she started more crap, out of the blue! She said that "ALL men cheat". I told her that I don't agree, and that you can't make a blanket statement like that. I told her that I trust my husband because I KNOW who he is, that he loves me, and that I AM the center of his life! SHE told me that I'm VERY naive. So on Christmas Eve at our house, in front of ALL of our guests at the dinner table-SHE said it AGAIN! Her companion and ALL of our guests looked SHOCKED-their mouths were hanging open. My DH was SO angry. HE told her "NOT another word"! HE said " you said this to my wife 2 weeks ago, and I didn't like it then, and I don't like it now"! So right after dinner, while my husband was in another room, she grabbed me by my arm and starts on me about "the way he spoke to HER"!! I told her that she's lucky that he didn't throw her out of our house. It got nasty with raised voices, and I went off on her! My husband heard me getting emotional, and rushed back into the dining room and let her have it. Everyone was uncomfortable, including her companion. Why would she do this?
So fast forward to a few weeks ago, when we were all invited to a birthday party. If you remember, the hostess emailed pictures to all of the guests. DH said that she noticed my weight loss and that she would go into overdrive to try and knock me down. SHE told me that "people forget just HOW BIG YOU REALLY ARE"! To make a long story short, I laughed at her and caught her totally off guard. She tried to hurt and anger me, but I did NOT give her the power! My DH warned me that she wasn't done with me yet, regarding her comments. He felt that she was surprised by my attitude, and that she would regroup, and come back and try to zing me again.
Sure enough, like a dog with a bone, she called and brought up the photos again. She started by saying that she doesn't have any pics of hubby and me. I told her that we've emailed plenty to her over the last year. Her reply was "well, there are NO GOOD pictures of YOU that I would want to put in a frame". In a moment of stupidity, I let her engage me and I told her that we sent her some good pics of the two of us from DH's birthday, last month. She said "YOU look funny". Feeling SO confident in how I left her speechless, I did NOT listen to his advice. MY mistake! You would think that after 26 years of dealing with that waddling cesspool of negativity, I would know better!
We've tried everything! Talking to her, setting boundaries, moving away, and limiting contact. But NOTHING works! I feel like I constantly must keep up my guard. Dealing with her is like ingesting a little bit of poison every day-for 26 years! Her constant put downs have left my self esteem wounded. DH thinks that it will get worse as she sees me losing more weight. She leaves me constantly feeling drained. I often worry about what all of the stress of dealing with her is doing to me. I say that she's evil because she gets pleasure in causing pain. I know that I'm venting, but it's SO difficult! How do you try and focus on your health and moving in a positive direction when you have this ALBATROSS around your neck? I know that I'm a strong woman, but I'm feeling worn down and drained!
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
After reading some of the comments from yesterday's blog, It opened my eyes, so to speak. So thank you all of my Spark friends! I realized that I need to be more pro-active. I should have called the hostess and asked what was on the menu BEFORE I nibbled on 2 pieces of cheese. And I should have asked her if she could have left the breading and cheese off of one piece of chicken parm. I was SO mindful of NOT offending her by not scraping off that stuff from the chicken, that I put what was good for me last. She DOES know about my problem with too much cheese. To be honest, I was disappointed because I expected her to have the same consideration for me, that I have for her. I know my friend's food preferences and always have lots of choices when I entertain. If someone doesn't like something, I don't make it. And I certainly wouldn't make something that a guest couldn't eat. I even make sure that we have the wine and beer that they all like. I know that she hates fish, so how would she have felt if there was seafood in the entire meal? Okay, so I learned that sometimes consideration is a one way street. Taking care of my dietary needs is MY job! Next time I'll be prepared.
As for the food intolerance issue, I've learned what works for me over the last few years. I had to do a total elimination diet and cut out everything that I tested positive for. I didn't eat cheese, milk, bread, or anything with yeast or gluten for over 1 year. Not ONE bite! I slowly added some of these items back into my diet one at a time. I probably will never be able to put milk in my oatmeal, so I learned to use almond milk instead. I learned that I can tolerate about 6 TBSP of milk/cream, about 2 TBSP of cheese (which I love), and plain yogurt ONLY if I strain out the whey first, so it's like Greek yogurt. The best part is that I no longer feel like I have to live my life near the bathroom, and the migraines are also a thing of the past. So having cheese in my salad, chicken, and dessert was a triple whammy! I felt bloated and it took a couple of days for my system to get back to normal.
I'm fine when we eat at a restaurant because I ask questions and order carefully. So I need to take that same approach when I'm invited to someone's house. I will ask the hostess about the menu, and if I feel that it would be an imposition to accommodate me, ask if she would mind if I brought a dish. If she's not comfortable with that, I can decline the invitation. Since I entertain a lot at our house, I usually enjoy being a guest when invited to someone else's home. I've realized that there have been many times that I put my needs on the bottom of the list, so to speak. This was an eye-opener! So, what I've learned is that I need to speak up and be more pro-active. Lesson learned!
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Saturday night we were invited to a dinner party at a friend's house. Everything was really nice, the hostess set a beautiful table and prepared a delicious meal. But there wasn't much that I could eat. I skipped the alcoholic beverages and stuck with sparkling water with lemon. Appetizers were cheese, crackers, and some kind of mayonnaise based dip. I nibbled on two pieces of cheese. As for the main course, she made caesar salad (with lots of cheese, croutons and dressing), garlic bread, chicken parm (breaded, fried, and covered with cheese), and pasta. All delicious, but not the best choices for me.
As everyone loaded their plates, I got a knife and cut a piece of chicken in half, and took a small portion and a LITTLE pasta. The salad already had the dressing on it, so I took some, picking out the croutons. My dinner plate looked very empty. I even noticed one of the so-called friends (that was also invited) eye-balling my plate. I felt that I did the best I could with what was there. Dessert was cheesecake, which I ate 3 or 4 bites of, then stopped. I felt pretty good about how I handled the food minefield.
However when I jumped on the scale to take a peek, my weight was up by 3 pounds! I knew that I was holding a lot of fluid because my wedding ring which normally slips off easily wouldn't even TURN on my sausage like finger! I tried to compensate by eating lightly before the party and the day after. I also made sure that I drank PLENTY of water and rode my bike for over 10 miles yesterday. I know that part of the problem is that I have food intolerances. I tested positive to 28 different food items, and when I eat stuff that I shouldn't, it really causes problems with my body in the form of digestive problems and migraines. Despite the fact that my friends know how sick I was in the past from this, they have never asked me what I can or can NOT eat. There were days that I couldn't leave the house, or stray too far from the bathroom. Until I had the testing done and eliminated all of the foods that I tested positive for, things were pretty miserable with my digestive system. I now have this under control, if I'm careful. At least in restaurants I can order things the way I want them. And in the past, when I brought my own food to a get together, I was the source of jokes.
As of this morning that 3 pounds is still hanging on for dear life, and I can't budge my wedding ring. I've been drinking so much water, and I'll try to put this delicately--I feel like a human Brita filter! I find myself not enjoying going out to eat so much. I have no control over how something is prepared, what's in it, or how much salt was added. How could 1 meal negate a week of being so careful? I don't want to be anti-social, but it's just NOT worth it! So what do I do in the future? I feel like I'm a pain in the @ss, but how would the hostess have felt if I scraped off all of the breading and cheese from the chicken, or brought my own food? I certainly don't want to offend anyone, but what is the right thing to do?
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Early this morning I was sitting in the kitchen enjoying my cup of coffee when I noticed something out back in our yard. At first glance I thought that a large limb must have fallen from the big oak tree at the corner of our property, but then it moved. It was a fawn in the grass, curled up next to our bench under that oak tree. It looked like a postcard. She was beautiful! I watched as she groomed herself and chewed on the grass. Then I noticed another one taking a rest in the grass about 20 feet away. The two deer stayed in our yard until almost noon, grazing on the grass and nibbling on the leaves of our hibiscus tree. This isn't something new, we've had up to 5 deer in our yard at a time. I can be on the patio and get within 20 feet of them, and they just watch me, unafraid.
But as I thought about it, I realized that I've watched the same scene for years. So I wondered, what feels SO different? The answer is -- I DO! I always try to find pleasure in the simple things during my day. But something has shifted, and I feel a lightness in body AND spirit. I NO longer feel SO burdened by this extra weight and the negative factors in my life.
My husband and I were invited to a party Saturday night to help a very sweet man celebrate his 70th birthday. After I got dressed my husband said "wow, I can really see a difference". I wore an outfit that I liked and I felt good. There were about 20 people at the restaurant, including my MIL. She eye-balled me up and down and watched EVERY morsel of food that I ate. She kept leaning forward around the table decorations to see my plate. I was very careful with my food choices. The hostess ordered about 8 platters of appetizers to pass around the table. I had two pieces each, of both broccoli and calamari, and that's it. I ordered cedar plank grilled salmon (which was delicious), a dry baked potato, and salad. When the birthday cake was served, I peeled the frosting off of my slice and had 3 bites of the cake, and stopped. I felt really proud that I stuck with my food plan. WOW, a new feeling--pride!
After the hostess emailed the pictures to all of the guests, my MIL called to discuss it. This is something that she ALWAYS does. Her usual comment is "wait till you see how terrible YOU LOOK, you'll want to delete them all"! But this time she said " you look a little smaller". OH MY GOD, a compliment from HER! This is a first, but wait, here comes the PUNCH--her next comment was "people forget how BIG YOU REALLY are". There it is!!!! To be honest, in the PAST this comment would have floored me and hurt my feelings. And I would have given my power away by letting her engage me. NO MORE! A new day, a new Doreen!!!
This time I waited a second and LAUGHED at her! With a chuckle in my voice I said "BIG isn't really the RIGHT word, you must mean tall, after all I'm 5'10" barefoot". There was total silence! I think that my response and most of all, my attitude took her by surprise. She repeated my ENTIRE response back to me in the form of a question. "You don't think that BIG is the right word, you think tall is, because you're 5'10" barefoot"? I said "yes, that's what I said, and I have to go now". And I left her speechless as I got off of the phone. I felt good as hubby and I headed out on our bikes. We had a great ride together, talking the entire time. We did 10.5 miles together, then he headed home, and I continued. I did 14.5 miles and came home feeling great, despite having a numb keister!
So this morning while I watched the deer, I thought about what a difference 2 months can make. That's how long I've been here at SparkPeople. I feel SO different! For the first time in quite a while, I feel proud of myself! YAY!!! I also feel like I've taken control of my life, and can steer it in a new positive direction. I've worked through some of the negative factors in my life, which made me feel burdened. I then 'released' those feelings by writing about them in my blogs. I realized that I've had the control ALL along. I ALONE control my life and the choices that I make. I now feel a strength and determination that was buried for far too long. I feel a lightness in myself from the inside out--for which I am SO thankful for! It's a new day, and a new me is emerging!
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