Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2010

Hi Ranboians!

I was just thinking about you, as I had a tiny exciting bit of recovery progress to report. And this seems like a place to report it.

The photo to the left is my shadow, and while I look at it and think it looks funny (mostly my hair) — it’s such a cool picture I need to take my ego out of it and use it here. I’m getting better at composing photos and this is such a great time of year for picture taking.

Back to the subject at hand: Here’s what I noticed today. My therapist, who I’ve just recently concluded seeing regularly and now am moving to an as needed basis, would always point out to me that my “I wish I were beautiful” thoughts (or Bad Body Thoughts, as AGR calls them) happen with much greater frequency and intensity when I’m sick, tired, extremely stressed or overwhelmed. AGR discussed this beautifully in the previous post and earlier posts.

Today, I was getting progressively sicker with each passing hour, and I noticed an “amping up” of those thoughts, and I reminded myself, just as my therapist has done, that those thought happen much more often when I’m not feeling well. And somehow, I saw these thoughts as a symptom of being ill, like a runny nose, or a fever, or aches and pains. The thoughts are sort of the aches and pains of my brain, so to speak. So, then, it wasn’t for me to fix them, make them go away, address them, any more than I can banish my runny nose or fever or aches and pains at will. I can choose to treat those symptoms or live with them, but the fact that my nose is running is not a global commentary on the state of my nose.

There was this lightheartedness and compassion in that freeing moment, and my self-talk became, “ah, so, that’s what happens, poor kitten, when you don’t feel well. Awwwww. Cute little sick kitten.” (lower lip protrudes at this point, baby talk may commence) “Poor widdle cute widdle sick widdle kitten.”

And suddenly, the BB thoughts themselves are as annoying and tolerable a runny nose — they won’t last forever, and they most certainly aren’t “true.”

I’m glad I’m still able to post here, because it felt like this just plain belonged here. Y’all are awesome.

Read Full Post »

After a good while of feeling immune to the bad body thought (BBT) struggle, I have been struggling lately.  I didn’t even realize I was struggling until hubby brought up some of the manifestations of my struggle within that he has noticed lately…

What is interesting to me is the causes of this flare-up.  As I have posted recently, I have been feeling good – very good.  My automatic thinking about feeling healthy and strong was that I felt “thinner” than I ever have before – even than when I really was thin.  At first, this thinking didn’t shake me.  Then, all of a sudden, I would look in the mirror and be disappointed to see the obese me that I am in reality however “thin” I feel. 

Perhaps, even this was just a symptom though.  I have a history of eating disorders and BBT’s, for me, are often a signal that there are things going on in my life that are shaking me, maybe making me feel insecure.  It didn’t take me very long to compile a whole list of those.  It’s been a tough year in terms of emotions.  My step-dad died.  I realized my mother has many traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder which inspired a complete reframing of her behavior, my reactions, my childhood, etc.  I have had some realizations regarding my own happiness and ways to achieve it.  Thanks to my depression/PTSD/ADHD/and whatever else I have being well medicated, I am feeling more functional than I knew was even possible.  I seem to be making breakthroughs into healthier behavior in terms of self-care and patience with myself and life every day… it’s just astounding.  But, all these growth-spurts come with growing pains.  I have been having nightmares every night for weeks now.  It is exhausting.  Most of my dreams are so disturbing that no matter how tired I am when I wake up from them and no matter how early in the morning it is, I have no problem running from the bed just to escape more nightmares.  Last night, my nightmare was so bad that my dream-self became suicidal and it took me a few hours of being awake this morning to shake those feelings off.  How do I know these are growing pains?  I’ve been here before.  I cannot remember a time when major breakthroughs in my waking life did not cause weeks or even months on end of really disturbing nightmares.  It’s strange how I can be so much happier (most of the time) in the waking world, only to have the worst dreams of my life every freakin’ night.  I can’t wait for this bit to end…  Bleh!

So, yes, my stress is high and is probably not helping my body image at the moment. 

At least, I’m feeling better today.  After a talk with hubby on Saturday, I have been challenging myself.  At this point, what is helping in a strong stance in it being none of my business what my body looks like in terms of fatness or thinness.  If I cannot handle this information without abusing myself with it, it’s none of my darn business.  Second, it’s none of my business how my husband sees me.  The last few weeks, I’ve been worried a lot about how he sees me… if he sees me as feminine enough or pretty enough or cute enough or whatever.  I tried to see myself through his eyes when I looked in the mirror and what I saw was never good enough.  But, it’s none of my darn business.  The fact of the matter is, he is attracted to me – however horrible I think I look.  It is not my job to read his mind.  It’s my job to be myself and take good care of myself and share what a lovely person I am with him… not to worry about my image to the point that I make us both miserable with my self-loathing. 

Hmmm… interesting that I’ve been stressing myself out over mind-reading…  I’ve been processing a lot of abuse stuff from my family of origin and I have been remembering a lot about feeling so pressured to be a mind-reader for my parents.  They were constantly changing the rules, so that I would lose (I was their scapegoat) and yet they demanded that I should know what they wanted, what they were thinking and all that.  I wonder if I have been re-enacting some of that lately.  It is possible…  I’ve noticed that sometimes processing old wounds can lead to small re-enactments in the hear and now, because sometimes I get lost in that old mind-set… that old way of living that I ran away from just as soon as I was 17.               

On top of all that, I had a good cry over the loss of my step-dad Saturday night.  It’s Monday now and my eyes still feel tired from the tears.  Since getting to know my step-siblings (that he abandoned), I have been feeling mostly angry at him for all he did to them.  I have been feeling sad for all they went through… and sad for all I went through that they were able to validate for me by confirming similar experiences.  The sadness at his passing was on the  , but it’s back now.  I’m still angry at him and sad for his biological children, but there’s now room in me again to also be sad that he’s gone.  I think of his face when he laughed his mischievous laugh and it hurts deeply that I’ll never see that face again.  My poor dad… I wish I could’ve made him life forever…  Here come the tears yet again…

Today, I’m feeling better about my body after a weekend of challenging the unhelpful thoughts I’ve been stewing in for too long.  Given all the change this year, I predict this may well be an emotionally tumultuous year and a year I also struggle with old thoughts that don’t help anyone – least of all me. 

Ironically enough, I’ve been happy this weekend for my struggle in one respect – it has given me something to post about.  🙂  I spend an awful lot of time wracking my brain for post topics, coming up with nothing and then feeling sad for this poor blog that I don’t post on as much as I’d like. 

Right now, in this moment, I want to celebrate the good things that I’m grateful for:

 – my lovely, mischievous kitties

– my ability to take the car to the mechanic today for some maintenance without having a panic attack over a) leaving the house, b) being fat while leaving the house and c) having a change in the routine

– my education and intellect

– all the beautiful greenery outside

– the daughter of narcissistic mothers website… it has changed my life

– the fatosphere 😀

– my friends and commentors

– and last but so not least, my hot, sweet husband who lets me cry and ramble and process away without taking anything I say too literally and just lets me be me

–AngryGrayRainbows

Read Full Post »

… never been fatter.  😉

This is ironic to those who are wrapped up in a thin-obsessed, dieting mindset, but I have little doubt that this is a reality many of us have realized who have ventured along the road less travelled – body acceptance and self-love. 

It was no difficulty to accept that my latest anti-dep (that I started last November) isn’t helping me take the weight I gained on Prozac.  I suspect it is keeping me at a size larger than I would be without antidepressants.  Thankfully, happiness and health is more important to me than image, so the fat bit isn’t bothering me… and I went clothes shopping.  I was able to shop at Lane Bryant, meaning that I have out-grown my in-betweenie status that made it hard to find clothes in conventional or plus sizes.  I was just happy that there was clothes out there that fit me.  😉 

I am going to abstain from giving my jean size, because I know there are those out there who are still so triggered by such things and comparisons just aren’t helpful anyway.  What I will say is that I, personally, have never been fatter.  Nor, have I ever been happier, felt so healthy or even felt this “thin” before.  Now, in eating disorder treatment, I learned that fat is not a feeling… hence, neither is thin a feeling.  But, living in this culture that not only things fat/thin are feelings, but also states of morality (or immorality), I cannot help but fall into these descriptions at times.  In this case, I find it is actually useful for the sake of analysis. 

What does thin even feel like?  Well… when I ask myself where the automatic thought of “I’ve never felt thinner” came from, immediately a feeling of health and strength comes to mind.  I have energy I have never had before.  I think more clearly than ever.  My body seems to strong and reliable.  I have fewer health complaints than I can remember since I was a pre-teen and all my depression/stress/PTSD-related illnesses started popping up. 

And yet… fatter than ever.  😉  In fact, obese.  Take that, fat-fearers!

I have been thin before and it never felt this good.  I don’t know if my body can even do thin without some serious eating-disordered behaviors in place (which was the case before).  In my experience, thin does not equate to health *for me.*  Oh yes, there are naturally thin women out there who are healthy as the thin women they are – I am simply not one of them.  I am a part of glorious human diversity, whether Self or Cosmo magazines agree with me or not.  I am after more than just image here… I am after real health and happiness whatever that means, even if it means being fat. 

While I haven’t been posting much (I”ve been focusing a lot on the realization that my mother has a lot of Narcissistic traits, if not full-blown NPD, and figuring out where to go from here with my new knowledge…), I have been reading here and there on the acceptance blogs.  I have read how certain polls seem to show that many people don’t believe it is even possible to be fat and happy, thus equating happiness with thinness.  How very sad.  Thinness is just thinness – nothing more.  It isn’t success or happiness incarnate.  It is a state of the body… just as fat is.

Today, I celebrate feeling happier and healthier than ever and marvel at another every day miracle that seems to happen all the time for me now… being able to realize that, yes, I’m still obese, so I might as well go buy bigger clothes to accommodate my body as it is and that isn’t a problem.  In fact, it is an act of healthy self-love and self-care.  Yay me! 

And, no, fat/thin isn’t a feeling.  Neither is thin.  I challenge the automatic thoughts, even as I analyze them to deconstruct common ways of thinking about our bodies in Western culture. 

Soon, I’ll be going for a medical check-up that is long-overdue.  I think I am ready to take on a fat-hating doctor, if that is what I end up with.  I find myself laughing out-loud (and good-naturedly) at people speaking the language of the diet obsessed in the cafe where I work.  My customers seem to enjoy my comments about food being fuel with no moral value and how labelling things as “bad” and “forbidden” can often fuel obsession and binging.  I have never felt healthier, but I have also never felt more secure within my own body acceptance and acceptance of intuitive eating.  Bring it on, docs… maybe I can teach you a thing or two… if you’ll let me.

–AngryGrayRainbows

Read Full Post »

*Edited by AGR to remove needless apology for processing feelings and post length!!  Good grief, Sassy – That is what this blog is for!!!!  :-P*

For the past year, I have agonized over my relationship with my sister.  It’s just the two of us now.  Our grandparents and parents are all deceased leaving just me and her.   We are both married and she has two grown children…I have a dog.

My sister and I are almost 12 years apart with her being the older sibling.  My mom had two children between the two of us but both died shortly after childbirth.  My parents did not raise us to be close.  I remember next to nothing of my childhood until I was 6 or 7 years old and by that time, my sister was moving out of the house to get away from our father.  I saw very little of my sister once she moved out and that was about 40 years ago.

As I said, the last year I have really been thinking about ways to better my relationship with my sister.  The only times we’ve ever spent together were on a few holidays for only a few hours at a time or when my mom passed away for maybe a couple of days at a time.  I’ve always felt a sister-shaped emptiness in my heart though it’s been more pronounced after the loss of our parents.

I’ve made my gestures in the past year to try and get my sister to visit, to write or call.  Most of those invitations have been ignored or refused.  I’ve continued to do this up until this past weekend.

My niece, my sister’s daughter, graduated with a Masters from a fairly prestigious school this past weekend.  My husband and I were invited but I now suspect it was more for show than as a true invitation.  If you think I’ve seen my sister rarely, hearing from my niece is even more rare.

I got the invitation in the mail and almost threw it away but the more I thought about it, the more I thought I would go to the graduation.  The  graduation was 2 hours away from home so I made a reservation at a hotel and decided to make it a mini-vacation for me and hubby.  We arrived on Friday night and I emailed my niece to give her my cell phone number so she could contact me if she or my sister needed to.  I heard nothing from the family until I saw them walking up at the graduation on Saturday.  Even then, no “I’m glad you came.  I’m glad to see you.”  Nothing.

As we were leaving after the graduation my brother-in-law said he would like for us to get together later that evening so we did.  We ate dinner and then walked through downtown and enjoyed some live music.  It was a fun night but nothing earth shattering.  As a matter of fact, after spending the evening with them, I’ve decided I really don’t care for my sister as a person.  Seeing her once every four to six years may be about right for me.

Being with my sister was a very emotional experience for me and one I’m still mulling over in my head and heart. 

If you had been with us that night, you would have been able to tell that we were definitely raised by the same parents.  We both seem to put off this air of insecurity masked by legalism and judgmentalism. 

I don’t know if anyone else can see it but I can see the abuse she has suffered in her face.  I wonder if people see that in my face as well.  Something else I could see in her face…distrust.  She was closed off and very careful of her words and conversation.  I may not be very guarded of my language but I do tend to use humor to diffuse serious situations or when trust might be an issue.

From the outside, my sister looks like this to me:

  • She looks old beyond her years – wrinkles, harsh complexion, thin and worn. 
  • She crosses her arms a lot when she talks leading me to believe that she is being cautious about being around people. 
  • She looks away from me when I’m talking to her as if she might have a secret or she may have something she would like to tell me but decides not to. 
  • She smokes like a freaking freight train, one right after the other. 
  • She drinks to get drunk and to numb the pain within. 
  • Her daughter doesn’t respect her the way she should and her husband “sides with” the daughter whenever a chance arises.
  • She is obsessed with thinness and will starve herself to wear a certain size and then tell me to not eat too so I can lose weight.

When I type all this out it seems to haunt me even more.  Part of me says I don’t want to be a part of this person’s life because she doesn’t seem to want me in hers and part of me says we are so much alike it’s unreal.  We may cope in different ways with the pain and sadness of our pasts but we have the same past.  We have something that only the two of us can relate to.

When I look at her I see me!  I don’t want to see me!  But I’m drawn to her and want a relationship with her because only she understands why I feel the way I do…why I act the way I act…why I believe the way I believe.

I want to treat her as I would want someone to treat me – with compassion, with honesty, trust and love – but she doesn’t want it.

Having said all that and gotten it out of my system I also realize that I want compassion, honesty, trust and love from my sister but she is not able to give it.  She never has been able to give it and until she gets some help, she won’t ever be able to give it – to me, to herself or to anyone else.  I’m wanting something from my sister that she is unable to provide.  My expectations from her are too much. 

A call once a year, maybe an occassional email, those may be the only things I ever get from my sister.  Maybe that’s all she can give.  It’s time to move on and work on me for me.  Dwelling on wanting a relationship with my sister is a waste of time and there are so many other wonderful things in my life that I can cultivate if I’m not devoting time to a lost cause.

I think I grew emotionally this weekend and typing all this out helped me tremendously.  The visit with my sister taught me that I have so much to be grateful for.  I am NOT my sister and although our pasts are the same in many respects, I have taken different roads than her and have sought help and support from outside sources (which I don’t believe she has). 

Although I’m no expert on self worth and self love, it was apparent to me that I am leaps and bounds ahead of her on those issues.  I don’t NEED a relationship with a person (even though she is my sister) if she is going to end up being toxic to my recovery anyway.  I feel that her compulsive/obsessive behaviors would only have me sliding backwards and I’m not prepared for that.

Who’s to say that in a few years she might see the need to have a relationship with me and if she does, I’ll be willing to try.  Until then, I am my priority and I’m just fine without her in my life.

Read Full Post »

ThunderLightning           Tornadoes  Hail

STRENGTH

If you have been reading here lately, you know that I’ve really been struggling lately.

I don’t know why but yesterday I was able to get out of bed and have a somewhat clear-thinking day.  The storms pushed through our area, the tornado sirens went off, we got in our closet with our dog, flashlights and radio and we survived a day of bad weather.  Because of the drop in barometric pressure and the really high humidity, I had a barometric pressure headache.  I mean it was a killer.  It seemed that my head alone weighed 50 pounds and it throbbed like crazy.  I just knew it was going to explode.

Through all the craziness of yesterday I think I came out a better person emotionally.  A couple of times I just simply had to retreat to bed to get away from the constant warnings on the TV and the throbbing of my head.  I guess in those moments I reflected back on what I consider to have been better times for me. 

I realized I have completely fallen away from accepting myself.  I have “allowed” someone else (my dear hubby) to change how I view myself.  Now this is about par for the course for my life because I have a history of letting other people’s opinions of me determine my feelings toward myself. 

I thought back to the few months that I was completely immersed in self acceptance and how good it felt.  I can remember that my self acceptance had me feeling good about myself but mostly it helped me to not give a flying rat’s ass what anyone else thought of me (including my dear hubby).  My self acceptance/fat acceptance/body acceptance allowed me to gain my self respect and see my own self worth.

With that in mind this morning, I got up and went straight for the computer.  I had gotten out of the habit of reading some of my favorite FA blogs (because God forbid you get any support  from society and your work buddies!) and I know when I go to those blogs (see our blog roll) that I will feel like someone knows what I’m going through.  I see hope when I read from people who are struggling as I am or, even better, from people who truly accept themselves and shout it to the world!

Today is a new day and I feel I have a new strength.  Thank you fellow bloggers!

~sas

Read Full Post »