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    RAYLINSTEPHENS
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Not a love-hate problem, more one of understanding.


Friday, May 27, 2011

I received such an outpouring of love this past week when I had to say farewell to my daddy after assisting him these past 7 years after we lost mom.

( I hate that expression - always makes me think I took Mom to the mall and lost her! )

My dad despised fat. I cannot remember a time that he didn't harangue me for my weight; me and mama both. I felt unworthy for most of my childhood and felt I was undesirable as a mate.

7 years ago my father's only brother came to visit and as I sat there in disbelief I heard him utter these words to my dad, "you were so fat as a child, Paul." I thought to myself, "well crap!"

3 years ago I discovered I am the only sibling to share type A+ blood with Dad - we are chock full of platelets! Thick blood!! Stroke & Heart Attack People!! I returned to SparkPeople and worked the program with a vengeance.

How many times my dad said, "you won't do it; you can't do it" and I always replied - "wait for it!" My dad saw me reach 175, 150, 125 and finally 115 in amazement. How can it be that I was having to eat so much to lose weight he would tell people. He'd shake his head and brag on me to anyone foolish enough to sit and listen, lol. It turned him around.

I remember telling him 7 years ago that a thin person could not take better care of him than the fat person I was. I had accepted myself and if being fat was the worst people can say of me, I was "good to go!!"

I cannot hate my father for handling my weight problem the way he did - he didn't know any better. But now I can understand that he too suffered for his being pudgy - he wasn't even fat!, just a little pudgy - and at 82 years of age he was still being reminded of it. More's the pity.

I just didn't want anyone to think my daddy had abused me - it was 'only' mental abuse about my size. But I am a bigger person for it ( sorry, couldn't resist ) and I understand now. He was proud of me for losing all this weight - but he was proud of me for more important things than my outer shell - he was proud that I could be a caring child assisting him daily but still allowing him his independence and his pride.

**I really do understand - I actually felt sorry for my dad when I realized he had been abused verbally. This brave man who suffered antisemitism while fighting to keep this great country free in WWII - who was shot in action but refused to report it or put in for the Purple Heart because he simply couldn't accept a medal for living while so many of his buddies died - really was just trying to help me/us. We all know that doesn't work, only makes it worse, but he did the best he could. As hurt as I ever was, he never failed to show his undying love - it just came with a price. Life is like that, life isn't fair and we're not all goddesses & Adonis's on the outside - but we all have the capacity to be goddesses & Adonis's on the inside!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
COOKWITHME65 6/1/2011 1:27PM

    Such a wonderful outpouring of love and understanding. emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 5/30/2011 8:19PM

    Linda, thank you for this beautiful blog. You are beautiful inside and out; you show so much understanding and acceptance of your father. And I truly admire the physical transformation you have wrought in your life. Thanks for being here to inspire us to have greater understanding for others in our lives.

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WATERMELLEN 5/30/2011 7:51PM

    What a thoughtful and moving blog. You truly understand the situation and that has brought you peace and acceptance. Good for you.

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SLENDERELLA61 5/30/2011 5:50PM

    You are wise and insightful. Your understanding and forgiveness are beautiful. That is a great way to live, Linda. I admire you so very much.

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EUPHRATES 5/29/2011 11:43PM

    emoticon

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DINGALLSTOO 5/29/2011 9:10AM

    My family has done similar things so I totally understand. Right now they seem worried that I might lose too much and yet I am the same weight as when they called me EllieEliphant as a teen. In my family's case, I'm the only one who was obese. (NOTanymore!) Glad you have an understanding of the root cause. AND WOW thanks to your Dad for his service. Or freedom this special weekend is because of men like him. (((Hugs))) meant OUR freedom

Comment edited on: 5/29/2011 9:12:44 AM

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SOULOFADANCER 5/28/2011 10:04PM

    emoticon

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SISSYB3 5/28/2011 5:48PM

    Dear Linda, my heart goes out to you on the loss of your father. Bless you for your compassion and your understanding. I am dealing with my father, a WWII vet who was one of the soldiers who were the first into Dachau. He's 85 and recently lost his second wife. Dealing with him has been challenging and your example helps a lot. emoticon Renee

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LYNNE311 5/28/2011 3:24PM

    I am sure my son will remind me of all of my mistakes, just like I did with my Dad. My Dad was always pestering me to lose weight, too. He was so preoccupied with my outer shell, that I truly believed I was unlovable. Of course he loved me greatly, he just didn't know how to handle the situation without doing more damage.

My son is at a perfect weight for his height. I know how to handle him and his eating, because I've had to reparent myself on this issue. But I fear I am making mistakes in other areas. He is very argumentative and I don't know how to help him improve his communications. So now the shoe is on the other foot, and I realize how hard it must've been for my Dad to see me making mistakes, and be so unsure of how to help me fix it.

None of us knows all the answers. I'm happy for you that you seem at peace with your yourself and your Dad. Thanks for sharing yourself with us.

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SPRINGBREEZI 5/28/2011 2:51PM

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings as you cope with the changes grief brings. Sending a hug to you. emoticon

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DESTINYE 5/28/2011 10:55AM

    So sorry for your loss (I was out of town) and hope you have reached a place of peace with everything, it sounds like you have done a lot of thinking about it all though.

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CLEVERSPIDER 5/28/2011 12:44AM

    good points. Very thoughtful.

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LILYBELLE8 5/27/2011 9:27PM

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderfully insightful thoughts about your Dad. It helps me remember to keep working on my muddled relationship with my own father, now many years passed, for what I perceived as a child to be unforgiveable - an alcoholic. I'm coming to grips with it, slowly but surely and your sweet comments about your own dad remind me that, just like your dad, mine did the best he could with what he had to work with. I appreciate hearing your sweet analysis of a complex issue that first forms in our childhood minds - and knowing that forgiveness it is never too late to understand the power of forgiving.!

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ITS_MY_TURN_NOW 5/27/2011 8:47PM

    Wow...
Your father had an amazing daughter! He was a lucky man. You are an inspiration. Thank you.
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Julee

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JSMILE50 5/27/2011 7:28PM

    Beautiful thoughts.

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GERMANIRISHGIRL 5/27/2011 6:41PM

    Great blog! emoticon

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LIZABETT 5/27/2011 5:22PM

    emoticon Linda. We live and learn, and become more understanding and caring. emoticon emoticon

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QTEALADY20031 5/27/2011 4:37PM

    Yes, you are very kind hearted to understand that your father did the best he had with what he had to work with....obviously he did not want you to be fat because of his obesity. Congratulations on your weight loss and thank you for sharing. June emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 5/27/2011 2:37PM

    Great blog....thanks for sharing about your mixed feelings about your dad. You are right...he did the best he could with the knowledge he had.

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MARTY19 5/27/2011 2:27PM

    I was always harder on myself for my weight then my parents were. Neither of them had a weight problem but they were never critical to me. I suffered in school - never had home. All people have faults. I older I get the more I understand this simple fact.

Love you
Marty

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MSLZZY 5/27/2011 2:04PM

    emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 5/27/2011 12:39PM

    emoticon

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VIRGOTEX 5/27/2011 11:05AM

    Thanks for giving of yourself in this post.

It was good for me to read this today. Like most of us, I've gone through multiple weight loss experiences, a couple of them where I lost a great deal of weight. As I've started out on this NEW journey this time, I've been thinking back to those times, and how much they taught me about other people, good and bad. How rare it has been to get the exact kind of support I needed from others at the exact time I needed it, how imperfect people can be, how insensitive and clumsy, etc. when they treated me so much better the thinner I got, how they said things about how I used to be that told me they didn't realize I was the exact same person I'd always been. How I (we) have to struggle not only with my (our) own issues about weight and food and appearance, but sometimes have to do that extra work of being understanding of other peoples', at the very time I (we) need them to help us.

And how difficult that all is. And how there's not much we can do about it because all of us humans are imperfect and flawed. It's just the way we are. It's the way the world is.

I needed to be reminded about acceptance of all that. And your post did that and I'm grateful.

And on this Memorial Day weekend, I'll be thinking of your dad and all the others who sacrificed for us.

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MAWDOT35 5/27/2011 10:14AM

    Too bad that an instruction manual doesn't come with the baby! Parents just do the best they can in raising their children. I, for one, have made many errors in raising our son. I wish I could take back some of the things I've said and done.

You are so right about the forgiveness thing! It is so freeing to just let go of it!
Wishing you God's blessings as you go through this time of mourning.
Dorothy

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MARTY728 5/27/2011 10:08AM

    Great blog!

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LESLIES537 5/27/2011 9:41AM

    Great blog! Your forgiveness is inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story. You are one amazing lady! emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 5/27/2011 9:25AM

    You are right, our parents did what they thought was the right thing to do! I don't think they had any idea how hurtful some of those off the cuff remarks are to growing children. We all deal with it in our own personal way. emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 5/27/2011 9:07AM

    YES... exactly what your friend, Dottiejane1 says... your example is fantastic, Linda! People don't understand why I'm kind to my bio dad after all the crap he did to us kids... but... he did not know any better no matter how much money he made, or how educated he was. Forgiveness is the most healing, freeing thing I've experienced in life... well, besides kicking the Underdog's tail in a challenge, that is! emoticon

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DOTTIEJANE1 5/27/2011 8:50AM

    Linda, you understand to forgive . WOW if only most people only could/would what a difference in life it makes.You have joy in know who you are .

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MEADSBAY 5/27/2011 8:43AM

    We just have to forgive all those people who, through pure ignorance, thought they could somehow change us through shame or criticism.
They just plain old did not understand the hurt they were causing.
You, my dear, are the light at the end of my tunnel.

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 5/27/2011 8:34AM

    I'm really sorry to hear about your father's passing. You are in our thoughts. It must of felt so wonderful for you to hear him praise you like that.

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SPOKENWORD 5/27/2011 8:22AM

    Wow! What a beautiful blog! Thank you for sharing! To Sedonacat, no it doesn't sound strange. I get it! :) All well said!

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ERIN1957 5/27/2011 8:17AM

    Power in understanding enough to forgive.

They did what they did, because much to do with their generation, and losing their power and feeling powerless in a world of perfection in the eyes of another.
In reality they did what they knew. Today we have many tools to not do what we knew or know. We are not better than any of them, we are different and we have so much more tools and can admit we need these tools and pride does not get in our way, when we do not allow it to.

Evolving to this founded understanding is true healing and maturity in your life journey.

Love you,
Erin

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/27/2011 8:14AM

    Linda I think many of us have those voices from a parent or a sibling telling us something unwanted, but thankfully Sparks can throw a light on what we need to know and how we can achieve what we want to and deserve to be. You are an inspiration to so many of us; to show us your humanity only allows us to know that we are all capable of overcoming the history that we all carry. Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 5/27/2011 8:14AM

    Linda I remember being bullied by parents and so called school chums so far back and I remember not feeling worthy and continually worried for my health too.
It's time to put those feeling to rest with the old you you've left behind
Your are lean and healthy and you have a wonderful life ahead of you. Appreciate each day.
You've shown much courage recently and I'm sure your dad is so SO proud of the you you've become.
Look forward- not back! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEDONACAT 5/27/2011 8:04AM

    This is going to sound strange but maybe it was his way of trying to keep you from the verbal abuse he'd gotten as a child. You know, if he pointed it out to you all the time, well, you'd just go off and lose the wt and his "plan" would have worked. I know it sounds weird & I'm probably not getting it across.

You did a great job with your wt. loss and as a daughter. I wish you peace and healing.
Deena

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SUSIEPH1 5/27/2011 7:26AM

    Ohh Sweetie, I too had to listen to my parents harague me to loose weight .. I was so skinny all my childhood from constant illness (Asthma Attacks) it wasn't till I was older and I put the weight on ..This was mainly due to steroids .. I was on 15 mgs a day of Cortisone It saved my live but left me so huge at 145 kilos ...
they made me feel so unworthy and a freak .. and no matter what I did to try and loose the weight, I just couldn't until the doctors changed my meds to a new drug that came out !.
So I do know where you are coming from ...
Try to put it all behind you !! it is in the past ..
You now have future to take care of.
I know you are strong... as you looked after your father for so long .. so I know you can do this ... Love and Hugs Susie

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