Day 1 - How I Got to Be Here
Thursday, March 12, 2015
It didn't happen overnight. It took many years and a lot of trauma to become the person that I am today. I've been hiding behind food and a computer screen for far too long. I need to let it out in order to heal. My trauma really does run deep but I acknowledge this and I finally believe it's time to truly let it go. I need to send the demons away and clear out all the skeletons in my walk in closet.
I could say I am obese because it 'runs' in the family. While it's true that obesity can be a genetic thing, I also know there is so much more than that. Genetics do not put the buttered roll to your mouth. It's not surprising to know that researchers have connected childhood trauma to obesity. At least not to me. I discovered long ago that I am an emotional eater. I am also the woman who felt that being fat protected her from being a victim. Unfortunately, being obese has caused me to become a victim of another type.
I probably should go back to where I think it started but there are things that just aren't appropriate for the world to see.
We moved a lot when I was growing up. And I mean a LOT. One of my experiences was when I was around 9 or 10 and we lived in a great neighborhood. Lots of kids and we all had a lot of fun. I don't remember their names. Just the event. It was in a tree house. Playing truth or dare with a girl my age and her slightly older male cousin. It was truly innocent at first and then I remember he started asking about how we felt about boys and going into more detailed questions. I remember for whatever reason my friend went inside and I was left alone with the male. In as few words as possible I will just say that a lot of my innocence was lost that afternoon. It wasn't forceful but I was scared and wasn't even sure what to do about what went on in that treehouse. It was more like he wanted us to explore our anatomy than have sex but I was still very unaware of what sexuality was and I guess in my mind, his touching me and having me touch him was not rape (or what I knew about it which wasn't much to be honest). Shortly after this event, my babysitter began letting me smoke cigarettes with her. She also talked about sex a lot...sometimes in great detail.
We moved away. Not because of the event but life circumstances out of my control. We moved to the middle of nowhere. There was one other trailer but we only saw the family a handful of times in the few years we lived there. I hate that trailer. So many memories, the most of which I just want to block out. Another event happened while at a friends house. This friend was who I aspired to be. She had a belly button ring and that was so taboo back then. It was after school and my first time ever smoking weed. I don't even really know why I did it. The friend said it would take my worries and pain away. She had a way of seeing right through me. I now fully believe that she could do that because she had endured the same type trauma. Her brother was there. He was a lot older. My friend fell asleep. I was alone with her brother. I thought he was cute. I remember I had a headache so I went to lay down. I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember, he was on top of me. This blog isn't where I need to go into details. I remember walking back to another friend's house when it was over. The rest of those details are really foggy. I don't even know how I got home. I felt so dirty. I didn't tell anyone. I felt guilty because I had smoke weed. It was my fault I was raped.
Another move. Another place to live. So much was going on around me. I was surrounded by people yet so alone. I was a holy terror to my mother. I know she didn't understand my anger. I didn't understand it myself. I wasn't really mad about moving, not more so than any teenager would be. It was everything else I was dealing with. My craving for more weed. Needing to smoke cigarettes. Trying to deal with my emotions was more than I could take. I couldn't get away from certain things that just wouldn't leave me alone. I so desperately wanted to get out. I was hiding but nobody even knew. I was changing. I met some friends. Soon life was full of smoking and drinking and staying as far from home as I could as often as I could. The attention I was getting from the males in my circle felt good. Instead of turning away from them, I was drawn to them like a fly to a trap. There was one though that I loved. Still to this day, he has a place in my heart. He saved me. Did he take advantage of me? Maybe. Did he fully realize it? I doubt it. He was a teenage boy. I trusted him like no one else in my life. We were best friends. He knew how I felt but he always said he didn't feel the same. I got myself in a lot of unfortunate situations that didn't always turn out the way I wanted. I went along with it. I never said no. I didn't always say yes. I don't know if I was great at hiding it or what because it seemed that nobody noticed. I was spiraling out of control.
My friends were still smoking weed and I went on to harder drugs. I liked pills. I liked snorting drugs. I loved the high. I felt free. Drinking mellowed me out and helped me function during school. My favorite was Gatorade and vodka. Again, who knew? Maybe I really was one hell of an actress. I was the good girl on the outside. I was so thin. I was not eating and constantly on the move. I had learned the easiest way to make myself puke. I became addicted to the control this gave me. To the attention my new body got me. I began to not care about my life though. Or consequences to my actions. I know my family cared but I don't think they knew what to do. They didn't know the extent of what I was doing. One person saw it all. He tried to help me. I loved him like a brother. And then he was killed. Viciously ripped away from my life. After that I did try for a while to do good. I was depressed but I wanted to get off the drugs and stop drinking for him. It didn't last long. I went to a party for New Years. I tried to jump off a balcony. It wasn't the first suicide attempt or the last. A guy pulled me away before anyone could see. He knew a little about me, he took advantage and forced me to do sexual things with him. Then my brother showed up and he just thought I was drunk. If he knew. He would have killed the guy. I got home sometime in the morning and my dad and other brother decided it was a good time to make a trip to another state to see family. I am fairly certain my older brother knew I was still drunk/hungover...could be why he suggested the smelliest places to eat. That was the longest car ride of my life. I remember while there I finally let everything out. I was upstairs in the playroom with my cousin V and I just spilled it all. Everything from my earliest memory to what happened the night before. She held me while I cried. She told me it will get better. I wanted to believe her.
It wasn't long and we moved again. My life changed. I no longer had access to any drug. To cigarettes. To alcohol. I found out a consequence to an action and it was terrifying. I told one person and she cried with me. But then that consequence changed. With that change came a change in me. It's like my eyes were opened. What have I done with my life? What almost happened? I think for a while my mom just thought I was sick for a while. Or depressed. Or both. I remember I started hallucinating around the time I stopped doing drugs and drinking. I had imaginary friends. "They" were nice at first, a comfort to me. It wasn't long until "they" turned dark and took me right along with them. I had "them" in the back of my head since I was young but suddenly I could see them. Was I crazy? I don't know. Was it a coping mechanism? I honestly can't tell you.
I met a guy...surprised right? Yea, me either. I wasn't in love but he was. He spoiled me which was fun but I didn't care for him like he cared for me. I broke it off. He was clingy. He wanted more than I did. He bought me a crappy ring at Claire's and told people we were engaged. I told him he was nuts. He was controlling. And jealous. He asked for a second chance. I figured why not. He gave me an ultimatum. Marry him or loose him. I told him to get lost. Part of me knows I was only with him to fill a void.
I went to college. I was 16 years old. A baby. I met another guy. He turned out to be a great friend for a long time. We would go to my house after class and just lay on the floor side by side and listen to Peter Framptom. There was a sweetness and innocence about our relationship. We did try at a later point to date but it just didn't feel right. I wish we had stayed in touch. He was a good friend and really tried to help me heal from all the things that happened to me.
I met two people that would change my life forever. There isn't a day that goes by that I do not think of one of them or both. They found me at a time I was ready to give up on life. Nothing was going right. I was slowly being consumed by all my demons. School was overwhelming. I didn't have many friends. My old friends were in high school still. The night we met was the night I asked God to come into my life. I will never forget that night. These two men gave me the chance at a new life, a happy one. They talked. They listened. Held me when all I could do was cry. Held me when I woke from nightmares. They showed me that not all men would hurt me. Our relationship was different. The 3 of us. Others were in and out but it was always us. We all were healing from different things. I had a very sexual relationship with one of them. He wasn't taking advantage. It was a comfort to the both of us. As new Christians, it wasn't something we should have been doing but it was a connection we couldn't ignore. I loved him so much yet hated him at the same time. He was convinced he would die young and didn't want me hurt. That was what he said. His reason why we couldn't have a real relationship. At one point I thought I was pregnant and we both freaked out. I wasn't, but the scare was enough...for a while. He confided in me though that though he was scared, a part of him wanted that. A family. I've never told anyone that. I don't think he did either.
He introduced me to another guy. Said he would be good for me. If he had only known what this new guy would be capable of...
The new guy was great on the outside. In private he was a monster. Pure evil. But the person I trusted with my life said this was good for me, this new guy could take care of me and be with me forever. He didn't see the evil residing in new guy, the flames behind the blue eyes or the coldness coming from his soul. I didn't love him. Not the way I told myself that I did. I had to convince myself that this was what I deserved. When new guy asked me to marry him, I didn't want to but I said yes anyway. I sought advice from the two men I knew would tell it to me straight. Conflicting advice had me confused but one told me to do it. Said it would be okay. He wished it was different but it just wouldn't be. He was killed a few months after my daughter was born. Then a few years ago my other friend that led me to God, committed suicide.
The best part of that marriage is the two amazing daughters I have.
The whole marriage was miserable. I tried to love him completely but he was mean and verbally abusive. Everyone saw him as a good guy. They didn't see him behind closed doors. It wasn't long until verbal became physically and sexually. Yes, even a husband can rape a wife. No means no. Always.
When he left me and I moved back home, I was a shell of my former self. I was so ripped apart that I didn't even know who I was. But I had this toddler to care for and a baby in my womb that needed me. Those little girls saved my life. If not for them, I would have succeeded with the suicidal thoughts that ran rampant through my head. I struggled but I did my best. My family helped. We survived.
I spent my time trying to rediscover myself. But I was trying to be something I thought others wanted me to be. Someone I thought I should be. During that time I met a wonderful man. I questioned God because I saw and felt the direction our friendship was going. This man was so much older than me. I couldn't be in love. Men couldn't be trusted. But he didn't give up and finally broke through my walls. It was shortly after moving in with him that my weight went absolutely out of control. I was happy. I was safe. And I was loved. Mark has shown me what total love and commitment is all about. My health took a major dive. We had a miscarriage. We live in crisis mode.
My change came after a dream a few weeks ago. My best friends came to me and we sat down in the living room just like old times. My head in one lap and my feet in another. And we talked. They reminded me of how far I have come. How much I have lived through. That I am a survivor and I should no longer be ashamed of that. It was so real and when I woke up I cried. I miss them so badly. But that conversation played over in my head for a few days. I felt like turning my phone on and listening to music loudly and dancing. Something I haven't done since B and I danced in the kitchen so long ago. I felt happy dancing. The music reached inside of me and watered the flower that was beginning to blossom. I started to workout each morning. Getting up before anyone else and doing a little routine. It felt good. Another dream a week later. Same scenario but our conversation was different. We were talking about how much I've changed in the time since we lived together. I told them that person was still in me, just hiding. She was afraid to come out. Afraid of what everyone would think of her. I wasn't so sad when I woke up. I was determined. Motivated to be the person I am on the inside. Let the inner me shine through! That weekend my sister took me to get a haircut. I love it. I needed this. She gave me a makeover. Makeup and perfume that she didn't use anymore. For the first time since I was 18 I felt confident and sexy. A word I never thought I would say about myself especially at my current weight! I started doing more during the day. Taking care of my own needs.
I've only had one more dream so far. They told me they were proud. I am finally finding myself and I couldn't be happier. I know I will have bad days. I know some days my illness will flare up, my depression and anxiety will push me to the ground BUT I know this time I can get right back up or ask for help.
So this is how I got to be here. How I got to be in such a lonely and desperate place. Everyone has a story and this is part of mine.