Saturday, December 15, 2007

Nutritionist expectations

I posted something similar on my private blog (if you'd like an invite, please email me!) but I thought I'd post it here as well.

I have an appointment with a new nutritionist on Monday morning and I want to make the most of it. What I'm looking for (what I believe I need right now to get back on track) from a nutritionist is the following:

a) give me structure (aka a plan to increase how much I'm eating on a gradual basis so as not to freak me out completely (and thus get obstinent.)) [With no calorie counting necessary.]

b) give me challenges (like you need to eat x before working out; or when you go out to dinner, order y; etc.) so that I can enlist my hubby, friends, fitness pros - all people who are willing to help me get back on track.

c) and hold me accountable for said plan and challenges.

Those of you who have experience with nutritionists (especially "good/helpful" ones,) does this sound reasonable? Or am I hoping for too much?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Reminder - digging me up in the dark

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to remind you that I do have a private blog as well which has more of my life in it. If you are interested and would like to continue digging with me, send me an email to diggingmeup at gmail dot com or just include your email in the comments.

always,
jeanne

Monday, December 3, 2007

I love Love (Hewitt, that is!)

"To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist," she wrote, "put on a bikini — put it on and stay strong." - Yahoo news story

Rock on, Jennifer Love Hewitt! Rock on!

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mindful eating

Dr. Stacey has a great exercise for mindful eating.

As I was about to comment on the post, I realized that my response was all about me. So I decided to post here instead.

My initial reaction to this exercise (where one selects food on what one wants to eat rather than what one should eat) was that I want to try it tonight.

But then, I often have this response when I read similar mindful eating exercises.

And I never follow through.

Why?

I jump to excuses:
1) I don't eat meals at work - I eat lots of snacks throughout the day which keeps me from feeling stuffed and sleepy.

2) By the time dinner rolls around, I just want to get it over with as quickly as possible so I can have a few minutes of quality time with my hubby, son and myself before bed time.

Both bogus really.

I eat lots of snacks throughout the day because I'm afraid of feeling "full." On a scale of zero (being ravenous) and twelve (being overcome with nausea because I am SO STUFFED), I usually hover around a five or six. Never really starving, never really full. My safe zone.

For me growing up, dinner time was rarely enjoyable. My whole family ate together. Supposedly good, right?
Wrong.
Paint a big red target on my chest because I was a huge target for my brothers and their often cruel "teasing." The faster I ate, the faster I could go back to the sanctuary of my room. Add to this the fact that I was less than fond of many of my mother's choices for dinner. Is it any wonder that when you fast forward to today, I am still overly anxious about sit down meals. Pots and pans of food on the table in front me... just the thought sends my pulse racing. Dinner is something that I just want to get through - even now, when I have thoroughly enjoyable conversations with my hubby and son. Even now, when almost everything on the table is something I enjoy (and when it isn't, I can make something else. Because I'm cooking. I'm in charge.)

I do try to work on that. I slow down when I realize that I'm shoveling the food in. I focus on the conversation or start one up. Funny how I rarely remember to breathe... Maybe that could be my next step?

The other reason I shy away from trying mindful eating exercises is that my ED often used that as a ploy to get me to restrict even more. "Jeanne, think about what you're eating before and as you eat it. Chew each morsel. Savor it. You see? You don't need to eat so much..." as I finished a crumb of something or other.

That voice still seduces me... Lures me with the sweet sound of keeping my hunger level closer to two (rather than the five or six where I have taught myself to hover comfortably.)

So instead, what I try to do is mindfully eat those foods that are "treats" - that my body doesn't necessarily need to function (like macro- and micro-nutrients) but that my body, mind, and soul do need to survive (my comfort foods.)

Someday, I hope to be able to tackle a complete meal, a meal that is eaten in a state of awareness and full of thought.

But for now, I do what I can. After all, just as the road to paradise starts with one step, the road to complete mindful eating begins with one bite.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another chance to rally!

Rachel brought my attention to another tragic death among fashion models. I agree with her that eliminating the skeletons who pose as models from the fashion industry will not cure eating disorders nor prevent them, I do agree that it is a step towards promoting healthy body image in all women.

I just sent this message on the Council of Fashion Designers of America's website:
"I urge you to adopt and embrace regulations that will make fashion reflect reality, like using the body mass index to screen models. Women are not clothes hangers, models shouldn't be either. Fashion should be worn by women, otherwise it's called art and should be hung in a museum. Please, stop the insanity."

Please add your voice as well. Let our voices be heard!

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Now you can see who you can be" - oh really?

Has anyone else seen the commercial (aimed at pre-teens, tweens and early teens) for DigiMakeover? Their slogan is "Now you can see who you can be."

The idea is that a girl takes a picture with the DigiMakeover camera and then uploads it to the TV/computer where they can digitally retouch the photo. In the commercial it shows the girls changing the hairstyle, the hair color, etc.

But will it stop there? Will there be a button to eliminate zits? Will they add on a feature to show a girl what a rhinoplasty would look like on her face? Or botox or whatever else plastic surgeons get paid to do these days???

Whatever happened to playing "beauty parlor" when little girls do each others' hair in different ways, just for fun???

Why does one need to "see" who she can be? To me, that shouts that a girl's worth is based on her looks.

Am I the only one who takes issue with that?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

If everyone jumped off a bridge...

I probably wouldn't.

But I have to add my support of NEDA's "2007 Every Body is Beautiful Auction" which is going on as we speak!

Bid often.
Bid high.

And even if you don't win, you still helped raise money for NEDA. 8-)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Appointment went well; worrying about trolls, redefining this space

My appointment with John went well. I found the place just fine (even though i couldn't find the directions and map I printed out.)

Note to self: when one way streets are involved, always be sure to print out directions to get home.

I drove around the city for a few minutes, trying to figure out how to get on the major route that would get me home. Eventually, I found the visitor's center and asked and made it home safe and sound.

My appointment, as I said, went well. We recapped the past few months and he reassured me that I'm doing well.

And that's what I needed to get out of the appointment, for the most part.

Oh, and John apologized for being hard to find. He had left on the original phone number I had for one month after he moved to the new place - which meant it got turned off this week. I told him not to worry - I'm a librarian! 8-)



So now, I have lots of details to my appointment which I plan on posting in my private blog. Because I'm worried about being attacked like others on the culdy have been recently.

So far, no one has bothered me. Of which I'm grateful, believe me. But I also need to be comfortable. And I'm just not comfortable having my very personal encounters on full view to mean-spirited anonymous trolls who may be reading this post right now, silent for now, but lurking in the shadows waiting for that moment when my guard comes down to strike.

What I'm getting at is this:
Digging Me Up will now be reserved for my public displays of defiance. For when I need to use my voice against the injustices of this eating-disordered world. For when I need to shout my accomplishments to the rooftops.

My private blog will dig into the nitty gritty of me and my issues. If you aren't already invited and you are interested in reading the week-to-week (I just can't do daily posts consistently,) send me an email (diggingmeup at gmail dot com) or post your email in the comments here.

Thank you all so much for your support!!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

A little off kilter...

I allowed myself to give in today.

I worked out with my personal trainer this morning, then went to a half hour basic metabolics class at noon.

The class was relatively easy - it was basic forms that the instructor will build on as the class moves on each week.

But I feel off balance.

I feel guilty for taking an extra half hour today - when my work is piling and piling up with no relief in sight.
I feel guilty for being completely unmotivated to work today.
I feel guilty because my workout with my trainer seemed easier. And Mike (my trainer) admitted that he went easy on the strength work in favor of more cardio to test how much pounding my ankle could take. (The ankle that I sprained over the summer.)
I feel guilty because I wanted another exercise high. I've been so tired lately.

So what lies beneath all the guilt?

I feel anxious about my appointment with John tomorrow. And not necessarily because I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to say (I have a general idea - recap me telling my mom, how I compartmentalized it all in order to handle my husband's crisis, how I now feel like I'm on square one with some things (not with my ED, that I've kept at bay (for the most part) throughout this all.)

I'm anxious because I'm going to his new office. In a city that is over a half hour's drive from my house. In a city that I've only breezed past as I made my way north to visit family.

And even though I'm planning to leave over an hour before I need to be there (which is 15 minutes early so I can fill out paper work for the office,) I'm still worried about not getting there in time. Getting lost amongst the one-way streets.

And so, I used exercise to lower my anxiety levels - if only for a little while.

How do I know that's what I did?

Because when I got back from class, I wolfed down my lunch and then panicked.

And got out a scrap of paper to write down everything that I ate so far and everything that I had brought with me. To make sure it was enough, but not too much.

I threw the paper away after I realized what I was doing.

I don't need to obsess over calories.

I am able to trust my body. I've been doing it for months now (more or less) and my body hasn't acted any different. My clothes still fit the same at all the same places on my cycle.

So, I'm taking a few deep breaths.

And I'm going to plunge back into work. And get as much done as I can. And if that means that I only organize my desk (which has become overrun, like it does by Friday every week,) so be it.

I can only do my best.

And that is ALWAYS good enough.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pays to be a librarian

John is a hard man to find.

I tried calling the number that I had for his private voicemail (one that he assured me would always work no matter where he went.)

"This number is no longer in service."

I knew that he had joined a practice (he had previously been freelancing.) I knew where. I just, for the life of me, couldn't think of the name of the practice.

Google failed me - because John doesn't list his phone number.

So I turned to my insurance, hoping to find a clue to the practice that he joined. I never imagined that my insurance's doctor finder would have updated information.

But it did.

So I called John's new office.
The practice he's with now is large - has many therapists. And has an on-call therapist as well.

I made an appointment for Saturday. He has Saturday hours now! Unfortunately, his new office is at least a half hour drive away from where I live. Ugh.
But on the other hand, maybe that will be good - give me some drive-time to decompress before returning home.

I'm a little nervous about my appointment - I mean in some ways it seems anti-climatic and totally after the fact to talk about telling my mom.
But I also know that I slammed the entire event (feelings included) into a box and if I don't take them out in a safe place, they will haunt me. Like ghosts on Halloween...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Guilty Pleasure

Well, life is good.

For the past few nights, I've been indulging in one of my guilty pleasures - watching "Dancing with the Stars" on abc.com. I LOVE the player the fact that they are posting the whole shows. I FINALLY get to watch a season of it!!

And, I'm addicted. Part of me would love to watch Grey's Anatomy and get into Samantha Who? and all the other shows that they are posting, but besides there being only 24 hours in a day, I don't need to escape into TV shows anymore.

When I was younger, I escaped from my life every single chance I could get. I watched TONS of TV and read HEAPS of books. And when I wasn't reading or watching, I was pretending I was a part of the TV life or the novel. I needed to imagine people showing me that I was loved and cared about. I needed to pretend that I was accepted.

I don't need to live life vicariously anymore.



So why do I watch "Dancing with the Stars?"

Simple. To refine my dance movements!!

8-)

My husband is buying me a pole for my "all-year-round" present. I pick it up at the studio this week and install it next weekend.

I can't wait!!!

8-)



Oh, and on Friday night, my son fell asleep early (like dinner time.)

So what did I do most of the night?

Watched "What Not to Wear."

I usually hate reality shows, especially the makeover shows. But this one, I like overall. Clinton and Stacy emphasize that every body is beautiful; that you need to dress the body you have, not the body you want. That when you dress to fit your body, you FEEL better about yourself and thus exude confidence which is infectious.

And as I watched three women become transformed over the three episodes that I watched, my own new-found love of my body increased.

We are all beautiful!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pole divas don't need ED

Once again, I apologize for the delay. Work has been crazy lately and the last thing I've wanted to do when I get home is type. lol

But, I can't leave everyone in suspense any longer.

My graduation and recital were awesome!

Graduation night (Thursday) was our regular class night. The only ones there were my classmates and my teacher. We warmed up to all of our favorite songs and then jumped right into performing. I went second that night. But anyway, I nailed my routine!!!

Pose where I hold onto the pole with one hand and my inner thighs - check!
Peter pan spin into a flying body spiral - check!
Rollerskating spin - check!
Handstand to the pole with flirt and pose - check!
Invert with one leg out, then switched to have the other leg hang down, then turn around and slide down (upside down) - check!
And all the spins and moves in between - CHECK!

What a rush! All my classmates cheered and hooted and hollered and at the end, some even stamped the floor for a thunderous applause!

When I finished, my teacher told the class that I'm her most special student - because I was with her from her very first Intro class at the studio (even before she officially taught a class!) She also added that after the class I had said that I had to sign up for her class (which was absolutely true!) She then presented me with my camisole (she gave each of us a personalized one) with the letters O. G. on it - for Original Gangster. I was beyond touched.

Since I got my routine out of the way, I hooted and hollered for everyone else. Everyone looked awesome!

So, after everyone performed, we all stood in a line and while we made a massage train, my teacher asked each of us to say what was the best thing about our time at the studio. We all said, "besides every one of you, ..." For me, I said (paraphrasing,) "besides everyone of you, it's the fact that I no longer look in the mirror and cringe. I do a little hip circle and love the sexy beast I see."

Then my teacher passed out the black thongs and champagne! I didn't stay to drink - partly because our class had run over and I didn't want Todd to worry; but also because I don't drink.

All week, I had been planning for the recital. I organized a gift from all my classmates and me to our teacher, arranged to have a curtain call (so that we could surprise our teacher with said gift,) and I even composed a poem. Unfortunately, I couldn't get anyone else to recite the poem and present the gifts.

So, after class on Thursday, I was more nervous about being the "spokesdiva" than about performing my routine in front of a) Todd (who has never seen any of my moves, since I don't have a pole in our apartment... yet) and b) in front of strangers.

I got to the studio early - because I couldn't hang out in our apartment with my parents and Jack - I was way too nervous to sit still. I stretched and warmed up and then we had an "official" warm up. My teacher called all of us into the office. With the door closed, she pulls out a bottle of Goldschlogger (spelling?) and tiny shot glasses and starts pouring while she goes over the details of the evening. She reminds us, as she passes out the shots, that the recital was all about having fun. No one except the ladies in that room knew what our routines were "supposed" to be and we love each other anyways. I tried to pass on the shot saying that I haven't had a drink since before Jack was born. (That shocked everyone.) They responded that it's about time that I had one. So I accepted a half a glass. We toasted and I sipped. Whoa, nelly! It singed my mouth!! That's when I was told, "You need to down it in one."

Call me a prude, call me square, but I've never (until last Friday) had done a shot. Ever. So I downed it. In one. And felt warm and giddy over my accomplishment. Because I did it.

So then, my teacher kicked off the public part of the evening by introducing the first dancer. I came next - and my introduction was a lot like the night before. My routine this time was amazing - even though I didn't nail my routine. My teacher told me that I covered well though. I threw in a few extra spins at the end to make up for the few things that I missed.

In the middle of my routine, I heard Todd yell out, "Holy Sh*t!" (Remember, he had never seen any of my moves before.) It was the best thing - because even though I missed my handstand and a few other things, I was still amazing the hell out of almost everyone in that room.

After that, I wasn't anxious anymore - I knew I'd recite my poem just fine.

And I did.

Once I was finished and we passed out the gifts (the group one to our teacher, and a framed copy of my poem to the owner of the studio,) we group-hugged. Then I passed out copies of my poem to all my classmates. The owner of the studio (who hadn't opened her gift) came up to me and said, "I have to have a copy of that." I told her she already did.

Afterwards, we all went out to a new restaurant (that has 4 or 5 bars!) and celebrated. People I didn't even know who had come to the recital to support others came up to me to compliment me on my routine and my poem!

8-)

And that night, once Todd and I came home and got into bed, I relived the night.

And not the mistakes that I made - which is what I would always do in the past. I relived the confidence I felt as I recited my poem; the pride that I felt when I heard Todd's exclamation of awe. I was jazzed and couldn't stop smiling at myself.

And since that night, I haven't been able to stop smiling at myself.

For the first time. ever. I feel RECOVERED.

I'm a Pole Master now. A black thong. I accomplished that. All by myself. In this body.

So yeah, I may never lose my "baby" pouch belly and I may have muscular arms that look bulky, but ta-damn*! I'm a sexy beast!!!

I love me. And damnit, I'm going to nourish my body and soul.
8-)



[I'll post my poem to my private blog (Digging me up in the dark - just email me for an invite.)]

* ae - was this your phrase? Because I used it in a quote for the recital program and all the women LOVED it! In fact, the owner is incorporating it into her vocabulary, she loved it so much.
So thank you!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Stay tuned...

Just a quick post to say that I am doing okay - just been a busy weekend between my recital (I was great!) and my parents' visit.

I will come back and give you all the details of my recital. So stay tuned...

8-)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Upon graduating

I'm extremely anxious and nervous.

I graduate from Level 6 in my pole dancing class on Thursday. (Friday is the recital where we can invite family and friends. I invited my hubby, obviously. lol)

It's hard to believe - I started out at the end of January in Level 1, learning the Fireman (and variations like the Martini and Ballerina) and the Showgirl. I was hooked. My teacher was amazing - always saying how beautiful we all were, how sexy.

I moved on to Level 2 - I learned the Half-Pint and Chair. I went through my first thonging ceremony (at the end of each even level we earn a thong. At the end of level two, I was a nude thong.)

Level 3 got a little more challenging - with spins called the Black Widow, Corkscrew and Peter Pan. Level 4, we went inverted - upside down, kids. Up that's right. At the end, I earned my red thong. (and a pretty one it was! lol)

In level 5, the inverts got more complex. Let go? Let go with my hands and hold on by my what? No way - my inner thighs aren't that strong. Nuh-uh.

And now, here I am, almost at my graduation from the final level. After Thursday, I'll be a Pole Master; a black thong. I've selected music ("Have you ever really loved a woman" by Bryan Adams,) choreographed my own routine with my favorite moves (like the open-legged corkscrew) and one that I created (a Peter Pan to a Flying Body Spiral.) I've nailed (most of) my handstands to the pole; I've gotten comfortable enough with my invert to let go a little; I've even tried a new move (the Superman pose) that I'm going to try to throw in my routine.

And yet, before I wrote all this down, I felt like a clutz and the dumpiest, fattest woman in the class (if not the world.)

Now, after writing all this down, I still feel dumpy and fat, but damn if I don't sit in wonder at all that I've accomplished.

The women in my class nicknamed me "Scary bitch" - because I'm the first one to take off a layer of clothes (of course, I also am the one that usually has the most layers on...) and I'm also the first one to try any spin (just not the inverts. I get woozy when my head is closer to the ground than my butt, you know?)

I'm not exactly sure what i meant to get out of this post. Sometimes, it feels good to ramble, I guess.

I'll ask my hubby to snap some photos of me at my recital on Friday. I'll post some on my other blog (the new private one - just send me an email to
diggingmeup at gmail dot com
and I'll send you an invite.)

well, off to check on the culdy...

I'll leave you with my level 6 song.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A second blog

I have created a second blog - a private one where I can freely "talk" about those things that happen that I'm not entirely comfortable sharing with (potentially) the world. (Or that family/friends are uncomfortable sharing with the world.)

If you would like to read "Digging me up in the dark," please send an email to:

diggingmeup at gmail dot com


Never fear, I will still continue to post here. 8-)

Thank you all for supporting me!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Doomed to dumpiness

AE most recent post mentioned about her feelings of being unconventional.

I can't remember a time when I felt conventional. Normal.

I rarely feel that I belong.

Most recently, on Thursday night in my dance class. I felt outside. The other women get together for purse parties and happy hours, sushi and dinner. And while I was invited to the purse party, I couldn't go - my family needed me.

And when I dance, I feel like the fattest one there. Wait, that's because I AM the fattest one in class.

I feel short and dumpy next to the tall and elegant and the petite and adorable.

Short and dumpy. It's how I've felt my entire life. Even next to people who are my own height.

I feel like I always say the wrong thing. It seems like I'm the only one who farts, the only one who can't do certain moves, the only one afraid.

And it only is magnified in class. Maybe because in the level that I'm in (6 and last) we work on solo routines. so instead of being able to fade into the crowd, I'm in the spotlight. And the spotlight burns.

Last Thursday, I watched most of the other women's routines. All of them were beautiful. Some more so than others, but all seemed to move smoother than me.

When I danced, my thighs skidded down the pole (making a completely embarrassing noise) instead of gently (silently) sliding down. I plopped onto the ground instead of gracefully landing softly. After taking my t-shirt off, my camisole rode up and the top of my shorty shorts flipped down a bit revealing my bulbous belly.

In short, instead of feeling beautiful and elegant dancing around the pole to "Have you really ever loved a woman" by Bryan Adams, I felt like a herd of elephants plowing into the pole.

All through my routine, I heard murmuring from my classmates. Only once did I hear what they said. It was while I was taking off my T-shirt or maybe my outside pair of shorts. It was something like, "We love that about her." (meaning the fact that I'm usually the first one to strip.)

When I finished my routine, my classmates all applauded (some even pounded the floor.) A few told me that my routine was awesome.

So why do I think that they are lying to me in the "let's make the fat girl feel good about herself" way?

Ugh. And I had been so "good" the last few nights - not having dessert if I wasn't really hungry and here I sit tonight with ice cream curdling in my tummy. Okay, so it was a serving size portion with a little trailmix cereal and some whipped cream on top. Hardly anything that will break the bank, but still. I can't stand that I succombed when I wasn't really hungry.

So what's really going on? Why am I focusing on food? Why am I berating my body?

I'm nervous about performing my routine in front of my class on Thursday and then in front of my husband (and lots of other spouses and invited guests) at the recital on Friday.

I'm scared that my husband will take seeing my routine as an invitation to things that I'm not ready for. Especially after the month that I've had (and am still having.)

Life has gotten in the way of my dealing with my issues. Specifically the ones I have with intimacy. I've had a month's reprieve, so to speak, and now, my husband is giving me signals... Signals that i'm not ready for. Signals that I don't want him to give. Not now.

I feel so fat. So ugly. So disgusting. I wish... I wish I knew how to throw up the ice cream I ate.
***

I have to say. I love my apartment. We're on the third floor and have an awesome view of fireworks. There's an amazing show going on tonight - in October no less!

But, it's bedtime for my son (and me.) May you all have sweet dreams!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Protecting the father

A few of you brought up the fact that I am the gatekeeper. I am the keymaster. I am the keeper of the keys. I can tell my dad if I want to. This is my story to tell to whomever I need.

But I don't want to tell my dad. I want to protect him. He's been through so much the past few years - his mom (and close friend) suffering (and dying) from cancer; his father spewing venom at him constantly (blaming my dad for every bad decision my grandpa has made.)

But then there is a part of me that wants him to know - who wants everyone to know.

But then, telling him doesn't mean that it will be out in the open. Telling my mom and oldest brother (JJ) proves that.

So I've set a realistic expectation. My mom knows. My other brother knows.

For now, that's good enough.

And if my dad brings up brother, Tom, and it bothers me, I can say something then. I reserve that right.

And it is my right. One that I'm choosing not to exercise, right now.

It's okay.

I don't need to tell him right now. I'm sleeping better (perhaps because I'm exhausted dealing with other things, but still.) I am still managing my ED well - not restricting, not overexercising, not stuffing myself beyond full.

I'm okay.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Am I ready yet???

I'm not sure.

I'm not sure if I'm ready to talk about the conversation with my mom. I've had to bury it and keep it buried for so long now, it seems like it isn't worth the effort.

But then, I think, "Jeanne, if you don't, it will bite you on the ass someday. You know it will. You have to close the circle to close the door on this event."

So, here we go...

My parents arrived on Friday night. I waited until Sunday to bring up the subject. My parents and I took my son to his elementary school's playground and as my dad and Jack were playing, my mom and I sat on a bench to watch.

I don't remember exactly what I said - I know it was similar to what I had rehearsed.

My mom was stunned.

She asked a few times when it happened, who was in the house, etc. Understandly, she felt guilt and worry that this bad thing happened to her daughter on her watch. I tried to reassure her that there wasn't anything she could have done, even if it did happen when she was downstairs.

I explained what I did remember. I explained that this is why I reacted the way I did when she brought up my brother and his family visiting around the fourth of July next summer. I explained that I am still angry and will be for a long time. That I don't want to hear about Tom, I could care friggin' less about what happens to him.

I told her that I needed her to know, but that I was leaving it up to her to decide how much (or if) dad could handle.

I felt relieved after telling her.

afterwards, my mom, the woman who rolled her eyes when I told her that I was dancing with a pole, let me show her a few of my spins and even teach her how to do the Fireman.

8-)

Later on, when my mom and I had run into the grocery store for something (I can't remember what now,) she told me that she decided not to tell my dad anything. "It happened so long ago, not to minimize what happened. And while you had to tell someone, I don't think he needs to know. And besides, he did apologize." (or something to that effect.)

I agreed, reluctantly. It's my mom that I talk to every week (or so.) It's my mom that would have brought up my brother to me. I don't talk to my dad very often and usually, when I do, it's about pictures or cooking or something. And I figured I could always tell Dad myself later, if I didn't feel better (meaning if my dreams continued to disturb my sleep, or if my ED got worse...)

I have to say that I was (and am) angry that my mom minimized what happened to me. (Anytime anyone says, "Not to minimize it," s/he IS minimizing it.) I think I understand why she did it - it's my mom's M.O. really. Minimize or ignore it and it will cease to exist. Brush the crumbs under the rug, shove the clutter into the closet, close the door on the pigsty. Her hiding imperfections has always annoyed me.

And I'm angry that she is accepting his (my brother's) apology. As if saying, "I'm sorry" somehow heals the wounds in an instant - the twenty years of pain that I've survived. The twenty years of self-loathing. The twenty long years of punishment I sentenced myself to, thinking I was the one who did wrong.

Forgive me, but "I'm sorry" doesn't slice the marmalade in my book.


So, where do I go from here?

At some point, I want to see John (my therapist.) If nothing else, to close the circle there.

After all this, I feel fat. And ugly. And not being able to workout, dance and walk as normal the past three weeks hasn't helped me feel lean and beautiful either. And neither has my "binges." (Definition of binge for me is eating whatever I want (usually sweets or nuts or breads) until full. I'm working on realizing that that isn't a binge, even if I "feel" disgusting aftewards.)

And I realize that all of that means that I'm depressed. And only part of it is due to repressing feelings around the conversation I had with my mom. And much of it has to do with why I had to repress my feelings. (Feel free to email me at diggingmeup at gmail dot com for details that I'm not able to share here.)

Well, that's all for now.

Thinking of everyone here on the culdy...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Apologies...

I'm sorry to be silent for so long.

One of the members of my family was in a medical crisis and needed me. We finally got some answers (after a lot of advocating and pushing on my part) and, while we aren't out of the woods, we at least see a path out.

I'm happy to say that through this almost 2-week crisis, I only restricted for a little over a day. All things considered, I'm pretty damn proud of myself. The rest of the time, I took care of myself and my family in the best way I could.

I still haven't let out about my talk with my mom yet. When I have had a few moments, I've pushed it back down because I wasn't sure if I'd have enough time to do it justice. Once I get enough rest for a few days (and when I'm sure the worst is over with my family member,) I'll recap what happened.

Thank you all for your thoughts over the past few weeks.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quickie...

I can't write much right now - too much going on for me to be coherent.

I'm okay though. I did tell my mom and it went as well as I expected. I haven't had time to process any of it though. As soon as I do have some time, I will come back and fill you all in. (writing helps me to figure out my thoughts.)

Thank you to everyone for all your support and encouragement.
8-)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Taking care of me

On my recent post, hayley commented that I seem to very good at taking care of myself.

Yup.

But I didn't always.

I used to be the very last person I would ever consider taking care of. Everyone else's needs came before mine. Not just my son's needs (which naturally come first until he is ready to take over,) but everyone's - even our dog's needs came before my own. I thought I deserved to be everyone's slave; needed to be punished. And when I failed at meeting someone's need, I hated myself even more and found more creative ways to punish myself - restricting food and sleep (the later so I could get more done for other people.)

I was miserable - all of the time.

It took me until I was almost 30 years old to realize that if I continue to restrict more and more of my needs, I will die.

I didn't want to die. (Still don't.)

So I found help for my eating disorder - the most obvious sign that something was wrong with me.

Learning that my needs were valid took a long time. A very long time. I started small. Feeding myself some bare minimum of nourishment each day progressed to staying home from work when I was sick.

I practiced these things for a few years all the while I dug into my psyche for the whys - what did I ever do to think that I needed capital punishment. Did I murder? No. Did I pillage? No. Did I maim or abuse? No.

Over and over again I thought about these things. Digging, digging deeper and deeper.

Until I found that I was the one who was wronged. I was the one who was abused.

And I didn't want to believe that.

But I was miserable enough to talk about it with a therapist (John) and I found out that it was true. All of it.

That was my true turning point. To realize that I was a victim. I never deserved the torture I gave myself for so many years.

Ever since then, I've been almost incapable of harming myself. At least not for long.

For the same reason I can't kick my dog or take the food away from my son.

I deserve to be loved.

And I have found that the most reliable person in my life, the person whom will never ever ever desert me - is physically unable to leave me

is

me.

So who better to rely on for my care? Who better to know my needs and see that they are met?

If I don't do it, who will?

That isn't to say that I am an island, because I am far from it. My husband is always there waiting to help. I just need more practice in asking for it (and not feeling incredibly guilty about needing.)

But then, I'm still a work in progress...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Places, everyone! Places!

My parents are coming to visit this weekend.

Usually, I'd be completely excited, especially since the weather sounds like it will be warm and sunny and there are lots of festivals to go to around the area.

But this time, I face the weekend with trepidation.

Because if I'm ever going to tell my parents about my abuse, this is it.

On my walk today, I rehearsed (and rehearsed and rehearsed) what I'll say to my mom. The basic spiel is:

Mom, I have something that is really hard for me to tell you. It's really hard for me to talk about. But keeping it secret is hurting me. It's the main reason I have an eating disorder, which I'm managing very well now.
When I was 11 or 12 years old, Tom, my brother, sexually molested me a few times. He confirmed it and apologized for it last fall. But I'm still angry.
I need you and dad to understand and respect that I am angry at him. And while he and I can be civil (like my visit in July,) it hurts me deeply.


If necessary, I'm prepared to elaborate:

"Yes, he apologized. Yes, I accepted his apology, but that doesn't mean that I'm not angry for what he did to me. He could have ruined my life. I almost lost my marriage. I developed a disease that could have killed me. I've hated myself and my body for as long as I can remember. That makes me angry. And I have every right to feel that way."

"True, it happened over twenty years ago, but for me, it's like it happened last fall, when I was strong enough to handle the memories."


If she asks, "What do you want me to do about it?"
"Just understand that it hurts me to hear about Tom right now. Respect that I'm angry at him."


And if she struggles with this information, I'll say,
"Mom, I understand that this information is a lot to take in. There isn't really anything you can do, other than realize that I don't want to hear about Tom right now. I've talked with Johnny about this, asked him for advice on how to tell you. He didn't seem to think I should tell you any of it, but I thought that gave you far too little credit. I don't want the family broken up, but I also can't live with this secret pain anymore. I don't deserve that. I didn't do anything wrong."


I can't think of any other questions she may ask or statements she may make.

And I do realize that not once have I thought about how I would react should I get a supportive reply.

And I do realize how sad that may seem, however in my recovery, I've learned that 'tis better to lower one's expectations than to constantly be disappointed. Better to stop banging my head against the cement wall.


So, I'm extremely nervous about doing this. I'm worried that I'm missing a potential scenario (like the world blowing up in my face.) A voice in my head keeps saying, "You're making a mountain out of a molehill. Why are you stirring all this up? Why are you going to break your mother's heart over something that happened so long ago?"

But then I remember the weird, disturbing dreams that I have every single night.
And I think about how tired I am all the time. And how I've been fighting my eating disorder and depression and bad body image.

I don't want to hide anymore. Not from myself. Not from my husband. Not from my parents.

Not anymore.

So I drown that voice by practicing my "speech." And I focus on the relief I will feel after I tell my mother.

Because no matter what her reaction is, I will have done it. The truth will be out in the open.

And it will be a relief. At least on some level.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Can I boot Barbie into the 21st century already???

Last night, I saw a commercial for the Barbie Fashion Fever Shopping Boutique set.

Like watching a B movie, I sat with my jaw dropped. Stunned.

I couldn't believe it.

Load twenty-odd outfits for Barbie into the spinning rack (tops on top, bottoms on bottom) and spin the rack to choose an outfit.
Then swipe your credit card... and to boot, it tells your daughter her balance.

I'm speechless.

I looked up the description:
Shoes, shades, and stylin' outfits! This is the hottest boutique in town, and it's yours to run! Set up shop, choose your fashion passions and spice them up with the trendiest accessories. Your boutique even has a register to swipe your Fashion Fever™ card and send your dolls home with the latest head-turning looks!


I suppose I should be glad that Barbie is now attempting to teach girls the meaning of a dollar.*

but am I the only one who takes issue with the stereotype that Barbie perpetuates?

Actually, I shouldn't single out poor Barbie. Have you seen all the toys - both for girls and boys? I walk into Target and it saddens me. The "boy" toy aisle is filled with toys with various weapons (guns, blasters, light sabers, batarangs, numchucks.) In the "girl" toy aisle, well, I need sunglasses just to get near the neon pink and purple bedecked shelves.

Then, in between, are a few rows of the "gender neutral" toys. The ones that are almost always child-free.

Why is that?

When Jack was a baby, I had thought about providing him with lots of "gender neutral" toys.
Until he turned 6 months old.
That was when he started sleeping with cars instead of a yellow rubber duck. (Jack never got into stuffed animals. Still doesn't like them.)

I never pushed cars on him. It was like cars were in his blood.

From that point on, I gave up. Toy guns? We've got'em in various sizes. Action figures with grenades and blasters? Got'em.

We also have lots of blocks.
Which my son turns into a) weapons, b) vehicles, or c) all of the above.

When I was his age, I turned blocks into houses - complete with kitchen table and chairs.

Are these differences in our genetic make-ups? Does it have to do with the missing leg of the Y chromosome?

Or are the stereotypes in our culture so pervasive that they have infiltrated our minds at such early ages?

And if it's the later, what hope do we have to change, not just the gender stereotypes, but the unreal body image ideals???


* I just saw the commercial again. Scratch this. The credit card "never runs out of money." ::rolls eyes::

Friday, September 7, 2007

The voice of a princess; the roar of Mama Bear

I'm sorry that I've been incommunicado lately. I took some time off - mainly to spend lots of time with my son and husband. We bowled, we shopped, we watched movies, we swam. It was an amazingly relaxing long weekend.

I did have a rather scary "feeling my feelings" moment last Friday night which left me incredibly raw and numb for a few days (another reason I stayed away.) But I lived through it. It didn't kill me, so perhaps it made me stronger?

Anyway, as I was trying to catch up on the numerous blogs I (make a poor attempt to) follow, I came across a post on The Disordered Times about Princess Diana. I left the following comment:

Diana has always held a special place in my heart. She is my role model (although I just realized it after reading this post.) I strive to be everything my son needs me to be (which includes healthy in mind and body.) And I'm not afraid to use my voice anymore. Only good comes when one speaks eloquently on topics one feels passionate about, as Diana did many times in her life.


My latest foray into the world of passionate speaking brought out the bear in me. Tuesday was Jack's first day of kindergarten. I had planned for it to be a bittersweet day - a day when I expected to smile as I said goodbye to my son at his classroom, then cry a few tears once I got back to my van before going on my merry way to shopping, lunch, and a movie.

Best laid plans often go awry.

The best way I can explain it is to share with you the letter which I wrote to the principal of Jack's elementary school (and which I copied in the school board representatives.)

Dear Principal,
I have just returned from the elementary school after dropping my son off on his first day of kindergarten.

I am appalled and too angry to speak to you over the phone.


I also couldn't speak because my voice was raw and hoarse as I emitted primal screams of RAGE when I returned to my van.

I pulled onto school property on time, 7:38 am – 2 minutes before I was told that I could drop my son off.

The parking lot was a disaster area: cars parked on both sides of the fire lanes; inconsiderate people not yielding the right of way to oncoming traffic. Five precious minutes I sat motionless in my vehicle, waiting for an accident to happen in this "safe environment" that the school's mission statement purports this to be.

I arrived in the school at 7:48 am with my son. I was told that I needed a visitor’s pass to walk my son down to his room. Once I received directions as to how I could obtain said pass, I was ONE minute past 7:50 am by the time I got to one of the two people at the front desk in the office. I was unable to walk my son to his classroom because I had patiently waited in line both in the parking lot and in the office. My son was frightened and scared, rightfully so as he was in a school building that he had seen only once in his life for barely an hour. His fear increased into tears when a stranger had to walk him to his classroom because the parking lot was in chaos. Never before when I have left him at new child care centers has he cried like he did today. His exciting first day of kindergarten was ruined by fear because of a rule that doesn’t allow parents to walk their kindergartners to their classroom. His first real experience with the school ruined by a rule that caused me to leave my son in a stranger’s care; a stranger to this minute because this office person never introduced herself to either my son or me.

I mentioned to this office person that the school needed more parking. I was told by this person that the lot has never had enough parking, had been that way for years. If this is the case, why have you done nothing to alleviate the problem? Why haven’t you hired parking lot attendants? Why haven’t you redirected some of the volunteers to direct traffic? Why haven’t you converted the soccer field into auxiliary parking for the day? Why haven’t you placed volunteers with visitor passes and a sign-in book at all entrances, front and back, to the school on especially the first day when you should know there is more confusion? If it is such a known problem that the parking lot is inadequate, why are you unwilling to do anything to fix it? Why are you so complacent to allow the chaos to continue? Why are you so willing to risk making our children's first day a negative and unsafe one?

I am sure I am not the only parent who left your school today in anger and frustration. The parking lot monstrosity ruined my son’s first day of school. Completely and utterly ruined it. Not only that, the parking planning ineptitude ruined any good feeling or school spirit I had about this school.

What will you do about this situation going forward?

May I be the last parent to regret entrusting my child to the care of Newton-Lee Elementary due to the atrocity that you call a parking lot.


I wrote this letter after I returned home, at the beginning of my three hours of torturous worry about my son. When I left him in the office, he was starting to cry. Was he having a good time? Was his teacher able to comfort him? How was he doing? Did this ruin his day? Will it scar him for life?

I was able to talk to Jack when he arrived at his daycare around 11:15 - and it turned out that he had a good time; he hadn't been crying when he arrived at the classroom. Thank goodness.

However, my morning was completely ruined. I did still manage to get to a movie (I saw Becoming Jane - very good, if you are into period movies and/or Jane Austen.)

BUT

My letter certainly lit some fires. The principal tried to call me all afternoon (unfortunately, they mistyped my phone numbers.) Both school board members replied to my email (and forwarded my email to the superindendent.) One mentioned that he will make sure that designs for new schools take the parking situation on the first day of school into account.

The next morning, there was a staff member directing traffic in the parking lot. The morning after that, there were staff members at another entrance with a visitors log book and passes.

I felt my rage - I let lava explode out of me, but then I put it to work for me. I used my voice and I was taken seriously. I made a difference, not just in my life, but in the lives of so many other parents and children.

And it feels good.

So while I may not have speech writers to string words eloquently together, I am able to induce change.

One little voice.
One mother protecting her child.
An entire school's processes changed.
A whole school district rethinking how elementary schools are designed.
All from one letter from a concerned parent.
All because of me.

Definitely a lesson worth temporarily losing my physical voice over.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Need to purge (in a healthy way)

I need to get some things out...

****Warning****

The below may include triggers (food with some amounts, urges, etc.) Proceed with caution and care for yourself.


****End Warning****


I've been sitting (knitting furiously while watching Charmed DVDs) with the urge to throw up all night. Not that I know (or have ever known) how to make myself throw up at will. I physically can't do it.

It's not that I really binged either. Granted, I challenged myself today. I gave in to my craving for really good steak fries and a chicken wrap (I highly recommend Red Robin.) And I still ate dinner and I still had a homemade sundae with 2 scoops of ice cream and whipped cream and sprinkles and almonds.

And now I feel full. Not stuffed. Just full.

And I hate it.

But what I hate more is the incredible sadness that I'm feeling.

My son starts kindergarten on Tuesday. We (Todd and Jack) met his teachers today and saw (and played in) his classroom. And then we went out for lunch (afore-mentioned Red Robin) then we went bowling. We had an awesome time, despite my son slipping and whacking his head. (Did you know that the reason you stay in front of the line on the alley is because the lane is oiled for about half of the way to the pins? I learned that today... I had always thought that the fould line was just to keep things fair among competitors. Whoddathunk?)

So anyway, all day, I've been fighting back tears. I called my grandma and talked to her for about a half hour. She sent me a card and I wanted to thank her. My grandma is 94 years old (well, at least for another few weeks...)

Until around 4 when I couldn't hold them back anymore. I went to the bathroom and cried.

My son is going to school.

Time is going too quickly. Way too quickly.

If I'm lucky, I'm about a third of the way through my life.

One third gone.

Never to return.

And how did I spend this time???

Up until recently, I've spent it hating myself. Torturing myself. Punishing myself with feelings of shame and disgust for something I didn't do. For something that happened TO me. Was done to me.

And I feel incredibly sad.

I just want to cry.

As I mentioned, I've been watching episodes from Charmed. One of the Charmed Ones* (Piper) had the power to freeze time.

How I envy her sometimes. Sometimes I just want to freeze everything but me, if only for a few minutes, to give me time to truly experience everything. Give me time to cry when I'm in the moment of feeling sad (without anyone else seeing.)

I'm embarrassed by how sad I feel. I mean, really, what happened to me happened over 20 years ago. All kids start school. Everyone grows up; it's natural. the way of things. Everyone gets older...

I have no intention of ever wishing for Jack to stay small. And yet, I can't help but wish that time would Slow. down.

Give me time to process. Give me time to feel. I'm new at this feeling all feelings thing. It takes me a long time to process what I'm feeling, let alone let myself show it.

Give me time to live. After spending 30 years frozen.

and what really sucks. The thing that makes me so angry?

I never got to enjoy the time when one can let her/his feelings flow and everyone else be damned. That time, as a kid, when you can cry when you are hurt and sad, laugh outrageously when you are happy, stamp and kick and scream when you are angry. Like today, when my son whacked his noggin on the floor at the bowling alley... He seemed to carry on and on. I held him and rocked him (Todd sat next to us and held his hand.) And I just let him cry. He was scared more than hurt, really, but you know? That was okay. Eventually, he stopped. (after only a prompting from Todd and me to take a few deep breaths.) And he felt so much better. Because he let it all out. He wasn't worried about people staring at him or what someone would think. He felt and let it out. And then it was done.

I was proud of him.

And Todd and I, too. Because we let him. Even though we were brought up to think that "one shouldn't make a scene."

We did good.

***
Sorry... brief pause there (not that you noticed. lol) My son wanted a hug. He asked me, "Does everyone close their eyes when they hug?"

I never noticed before that moment, that I always close my eyes when I hug or am hugged. I asked Jack, "why do you think that is?"

"I dunno."

I told him that I think people close their eyes so that they can focus on feeling the hug without being distracted by sight. For me, I focus on feeling the love flow between me and the other person.

Okay, I admit, it's rather cosmic, karmic, metaphysical. But if you've never tried it, try it. It really is amazing the glow you feel when you imagine the love flowing back and forth. Strengthening. Comforting.
***

My son is tired... Time for bed. For mommy, too...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Spades are trump

I just had to post.

I'm proud of myself. Shocker, I know!

I got a cruddy night's sleep last night between weird dreams (no they haven't gone away, they are just more restful now, thankfully) and a dog that wouldn't shut up. This morning, I worked out with my personal trainer (a day earlier than normal, since I won't be at work tomorrow.) I had planned on going to the kickboxing class at noon in addition to my dance class tonight.

At 11:50, I opened my cupboard and started shoving my (still sweat-soaked from this morning) workout clothes into my bag. And I sighed. I asked myself, "Do I really want to go to kickboxing?"

The dialogue that ensued went thusly:

"Not really."
"But I should try to use the class to connect with my anger; and I told my trainer that I had planned to go."
"But I'm tired. And I really don't want to be exhausted at my class tonight. We perform in groups for each other tonight - I'm "graduating" from level 5 after all! I'm going to need my strength - the routine is strenuous, after all."

So, I'm not going to kickbox today.

And I feel GREAT about my decision!
For the most part, anyway.
ED, damn him, is always there to whisper (but you should, you should - mentally, emotionally, and physically... And you have been eating and eating, you know...)

But you know what?

Fork you, ED!

Fork you!!!

I'm almost done reading the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. Many of the principles are things I've already been incorporating (or trying to) into my life, like rejecting the diet mentality, honoring your hunger, making peace with food, challenging the food police, feeling your fullness, discover the satisfaction factor. Pole dancing is helping me to respect my body. And I'm really working hard to only exercise when I feel up to it and to only do what I truly enjoy. Today, I scored massive points!!

It's hard for me to give up those "shoulds," though. Damn hard.

But I see it as this - I'm not getting any younger. I must take care of me.

Must trumps should.

Has to.

Every time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Instincts? Use 'em if you've got 'em...

So, I saw John tonight (Tuesday.)

I told him about my conversation with my brother, Johnny. My thoughts/feelings about it (see previous post) as well how I think my brother is underestimating my parents' ability to handle things (details.)

Basically, he told me that my instincts have been right all along in this process; there is no reason to think they would be wrong this time.

He told me that I was brave. That many people wouldn't have fought this hard.

He said that anytime someone goes into something knowing its the right thing for that person to do, the outcome is usually good. The fact that I know that I need to tell my parents is enough to bet on a good outcome.

We talked about why I need to tell my parents; what I need from them. I said that I just need them to know. It would be nice if they understood - especially if they understood my anger towards Tom. I don't need them to believe me - I know that the abuse happened; Tom confirmed that. It would be great if they hugged me and said that they loved me and all that, but I know that's a fairy tale. And I'm okay with that. I don't expect emotional support from my family anymore. Sad? Sure, it is, but it's healthy for me.

He taught me how to break bad news to someone - just like cops are trained. John confirmed that telling someone this kind of thing is all in how you spin it.

So, basically, I tell my parents something like:

Mom, I have something difficult to tell you. I talked to Tom about it last fall and he confirmed that it really happened. I talked with Todd and even Johnny, and now I need you and dad to know. [pause]
When I was around 11, Tom sexually molested me at least twice. It's the reason I have an eating disorder, the reason I almost lost my marriage.
I just need you to know.

From here, I can tell her my feelings - anger at Tom which is normal and may last a very long time; I can explain how Tom and I can be civil when necessary. And if needed, I can remind her that eating disorders are deadly diseases - I could have died. I almost lost my marriage because when Tom did that to me, he caused me to lose trust in others, in myself. I have every right to be angry.

So, now, I wait til my parents come to visit me. (John agreed that face-to-face would be best for this kind of thing.) Hopefully, that will be sooner rather than later... I'm the kind of person who likes to get things over with as quickly as possible. Especially when the things stand in the way of my health and happiness.

One disease to diagnose us all?

The Washington Post ran an article today by Maia Szalavitz called, "So, What Made Me an Addict?"

The article is long and involved (and rather convoluted, in my opinion.) Here is my thought:

What if alcohol/drug abuse and eating disorders are merely different symptoms of the same disease?

The more I read about sufferers from alcohol/drug/etc. addictions/abuse and eating disorders, the more similarities I find. Most sufferers find a behavior to use as a coping mechanism. Most sufferers need to find other ways to cope to recover (usually by reaching out and connecting with others.) Most sufferers start out with low self-esteem which needs to grow in recovery.

So my next question is this: why is the medical community spending lots of time and money trying to figure out the details of each "symptom" separately? Is anyone investigating the whole disease?

Personally, I think changing the name of the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the National Institute on Diseases of Addiction would be wise, perhaps they could "prove" that there is one disease which encompasses all these things. And then, maybe with the combined numbers of all sufferers put together, treatment options will open up for everyone, especially for those whose insurance won't cover at all or not enough of the treatment needed.

Just a thought...

Monday, August 27, 2007

My journey, thus far - what recovery means to me*

J.L. posted some very thought-provoking questions on her blog today. Instead of filling up her comment box with lots of "me, me, me," I thought I'd post my answers here.


"But when do you get to say that you’re fully recovered? Is that ever something that happens?"
I don't know. For me, I'm not sure I'll ever be "fully" recovered. However, I do think that I *am* recovered now. Although I pine for the days when I could use my ED behaviors, I don't use them. I find another way. I suppose, for me, "fully" recovered will be the day when I don't consciously have to talk myself down from my gateway behaviors (like keeping a food journal, using exercise as a way to compensate (punish myself) for eating...)

"Will there ever be a time in my life (for longer than a few months) when I will be 100% happy with my body, and eating/working out?"
To be honest, I don't know of many people who are 100%, 24/7/365 okay with their bodies/eating/exercising. That doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. For me, my goal isn't to be always okay with my body. My goal is that on those days when I don't feel okay with me, that I still take care of myself - by eating what I need, by moving how I need, by resting as much as I need, by being gentle to myself.

"When will I not turn to my ed if I’m stressed out?"
For me, I still turn to my ed when I'm stressed, I just end up turning away immediately - for example, today at work. I have a zillion projects with various deadlines. As I started to pick one, I had a sudden and strong urge to write down everything that I've eaten today. I pulled out a sheet of paper, got the pen, hunched over both on my desk,... and stopped.
I wrote in my private diary instead - about the stress that I felt and why. I reminded myself to breathe, to stretch. That it will all get done in time. I had (and have) plenty of time.
I think someday, I won't turn to my ED anymore - I'll know to breathe and stretch and cope in other ways without turning to ED first. I'll know all the reminders that I don't need my ED to deal with my feelings. Even the emotions that seem overwhelming.
I'm still practicing. Everyday. Sometimes every minute. Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don't. But the point is to keep moving forward, keep striving to be better.


This isn't a question, but...
"[Talking about events in the past is] not going to change anything. It’s only going to make me think about it more, and that’s something that I’m trying NOT to do!"

For me, when I am feeling a lot and trying not to (whether the feelings come from here and now events or ones that happened decades ago,) that is when I want to use my ED the most... I've learned that letting some (if not all) of the feelings out does help. Sure, thinking about events in the past won't change them - the events are done and over, but the feelings are in the present. Those feelings are HERE and NOW and they won't go away until they are given "the light of day."

And that is incredibly scary. Bringing feelings out in the open. Sharing them. Feeling them.

I'm still working on that - my anger, my sadness - especially surrounding my abuse, especially letting others (and myself) in on the rawness of my emotions. And that is probably why I still turn to my ED in times of crisis (even though I don't use it anymore.) I'm looking for comfort. For numbness. For oblivion.

But oblivion doesn't cut it anymore. Not for me. Not now.

I've found so much more strength in the arms of a loved one, in the words of a friend (that includes everyone on the cul-de!,) in the thoughts of my true self. I just can't go back to ED's cold and empty promises. That incredibly lonely existence that I lived for too many years of my life.

I won't.

Recovering, for me, means learning to enjoy life in the gray.**

Living, for me, is about sharing myself - my real self - with those who love me (myself included.) My true thoughts. My heartfelt feelings - whatever they may be.

I'm learning that people who truly love me, who truly care, won't run away from me. The real me isn't a hideous beast after all.

She's just human.






*okay, so the title sucks. I can't be clever all the time.
**And now that I think about it, "fully" recovered is awful black and white, isn't it? Why do I have to be "fully" recovered? I'm getting better, not striving to be best. And isn't the point of recovering to get better?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Baby kicking my way to anger...

Well, I kickboxed yesterday.

It's really hard for me to use the moves to emote anger during class. There are mirrors everywhere so whenever I kick or punch, it looks like I'm hitting myself.

And for once in my life, I don't want to hurt me.

Shocker. I know.

So after class, I found a corner in the upstairs aerobics room without mirrors (and away from the glass wall that looks down upon those in the fitness center) and shadow-boxed.

And felt a tiny nibbling of emotion.

So, I imagined Tom standing against the wall (in 2D) and I kicked. Punched. Repeated.

For a good five minutes, I wailed at the imaginary picture of Tom. I saw my crescent kicks hit near his chin, my side kicks connect near his solar plexus, my punches near his chest.

And felt the nibbling turn into niggling.

And stopped. It felt wrong. It felt weird. I was uncomfortable.

So I stretched, enjoying the feel of my body as the muscles lengthened and relaxed. And practiced my handstands against the wall (pole class move - but there is no pole in the fitness center, so I use the wall instead.) I gloried in the strength of my abs as I controlled my legs up to the wall and let them move one at a time away from the wall and back again before coming down, gracefully.

I was gentle with myself.

All in all, I think it was a good first attempt. I know the anger is there, I just need to slowly work my way past the discomfort.

I just need more practice. Maybe when the fitness center is completely empty and I can vocalize my grunts and shouts...

Oh, and I tried kicking the punching bag. Uhm, bad idea when no one is holding it still and the bag was not positioned in the center of the hole in the drop-ceiling... Luckily, I wasn't directly underneath the fine powder snow fall, or it would have looked like I have dandruff!


Anger is such an unnatural feeling for me. Okay, so maybe unnatural is the wrong word. Uncomfortable is better, but doesn't get to the intensity of the feeling I have when I try to get in touch with anger.

"I'm a lover, not a fighter."

I often think that describes me well, except that lovers often get angry. Lovers are human, too, after all.


I'm proud of myself for realizing when I had enough. For being gentle with myself afterwards - luxuriating in my body. It was almost as if I was letting my body know that I'm not trying to hurt it. Like I was reassuring the little Jeanne inside that the anger isn't meant for her. That I will protect her and keep her safe. That I understand that she is innocent. She didn't do anything wrong. She doesn't deserve punishment - in any form, be it restricting, stuffing, or nasty insults.

Maybe that's why I felt the need to go shopping for a new outfit for my dance class that very night (after I nourished myself with dinner. At which, I'm also proud to say, I veered from my safe foods and tried a new sandwich.) A little bit of pampering to show me that I'm proud of me.

Make no mistake though, guilt still finds its way into my life. After my dance class, I had a snack - I wasn't ravenous, but knew that it was a long time til morning and I danced hard that night.

And I immediately wished I hadn't eaten. My stomach hurt. I wanted to get rid of it (not that I know how to do that, despite the numerous times I had tried in the past.) So I distracted myself, found safety and comfort and love in my husband's arms.

And today, after working out with my trainer, I've been eating almost continuously. It still scares me - this trusting my body, intuitive eating thing. So I furiously wrote down everything that I've eaten and everything that I planned to... And then stopped before I finished the list. And crumpled up the paper. Threw it away.

I don't need to do that anymore. I can be okay with feeling uncomfortable with my emotions. I can trust myself. I can feel pride with my accomplishments (and yesterday, I had a few what with attempting to channel my anger and then nourishing my whole self (body and soul) afterwards.)

[Deep breath]

I'm okay.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Apple's faux pas

While I've been digging into myself these past few weeks, Apple came out with a new slogan to market the new iMac.

I wasn't going to post anything about it, but today, I came across this post at Apple Gazette. I read through some of the comments and got angry. Michael (the author) as well as many of the commenters believed that the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness went too far in its press release about the influence of Apple's slogan on those with or having the potential to have an eating disorder. "I have to say that I’m a little disgusted by these people," Michael writes.

I left this comment:

True - this one ad may not push a person on the very precarious border of an eating disorder over the edge.

The problem is in our society - where people are obsessed with weight and appearances. With this slogan, Apple is reinforcing the culture's message that one must be thin to be accepted and beautiful, powerful and desired.

And that is where the danger lies. Not just to those genetically predisposed for eating disorders, but for everyone. For all the children who grow up believing that they must look a certain way, be a certain size to belong, to be accepted, to be loved.

That IS dangerous.



I, for one, do not think the AEDA overreacted or were being hypersensitive. I see them (AEDA and NEDA and all the other associations who are trying to change the world for the better) as standing up to a society gone mad. Where normal is equating size with worth.

I am glad that Apple has taken this seriously. I applaud them for changing the iMac's slogan to "All-in-one."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sometimes the sun rises at sunset

I feel better.

I figured out that part of my depression came from more than just the conversation with my brother and the future conversation with my parents.

Tonight, I spoke my fears (about another event unrelated to the abuse) out loud to my husband. And not only that, I actually cried in front of him. Before he cried. And I didn't stop myself.

Okay, these probably don't seem real kudos-worthy, but for me they are HUGE steps.

Usually, I only cry when someone else cries first, and then only for a few seconds before tamping them down and "getting a hold of myself."

And this was the very first time that I talked to anyone (aside from my T), about my fears - as I was feeling the fear.

And the most amazing part of all this for me is that I didn't give into my desire to binge the last few days. And while I stayed away from mega sweets (because those are my entry into binge mode foods,) I didn't restrict either - I didn't skip lunch or breakfast or snacks.
I didn't use my ED to cope. I felt the depression, allowed myself to scratch through to the fear underneath, and then exposed it to the light of day by telling my husband.

And he was incredibly supportive and understanding and wonderful!


And while I am still depressed (as everyone has reassured me that it is expected after all I've been dealing with (and continue to work on,) I feel better.

I almost feel ready to try facing my anger (at my brother, Tom.) Tomorrow, I'm taking a kickboxing class at work. And they have just installed a punching bag in the fitness center at work. If I get into the class, maybe I'll linger for a few minutes and work on my anger at the bag...

Thank you so much everyone - really, I don't know how I would get through this without all of your encouragement and support, love and friendship. You all are amazing people. Thank you!

Gloomy, both in and out

Depress.
According to American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company,) To depress means "to lower in spirits."

I am depressed.

My sleep is back to normal - which for me means being woken every now and then by my son or nature. I still dream weird and wacky dreams, but at least I feel like I've slept.

But I'm still tired. I'm still down. I'm still...

depressed.

That horrible, awful word.

That terrible, horrible feeling.

When I'd rather be curled up at home, preferrably in my bed, and dozing in and out of dreams. Trying to let whatever it is that is bothering me surface, swirl, become illuminated. And perhaps fit nicely into other pieces of the puzzle that is my mind.

But alas. I have no time for such meditations... no matter how beneficial they might be. At least, I don't have time right now. (I'm on a short break at work, before I dive back into the mess on my desk.)

So I compartmentalize once more. I put my feelings into a box - not to get rid of them. Not this time. Now it is more of a place holder, to be retrieved when I have more time.

But I never seem to have more time, do I? Until I'm overwhelmed to paralysis and non-function that I make time.

The urge to stuff (binge) is so strong today. And the gloomy weather isn't helping.

So I take lots of deep breaths.

And try my damnedest not to obsess about food.

***
I wrote this post yesterday - just never published it.

The same is true today though.

I hate that I feel so glum. And yet, I don't want to put on a false-happy face. I won't do that anymore. Not for anyone.

So I sit with these glum feelings, and feel quite morose and melancholy.

Maybe later, I'll give myself some time...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Therapeutic walk...

I went for a walk this morning after breakfast - just around my in-laws' sub-development (which has a few cul-de-sac's. ;-)

Anyway, I started thinking about what I'll tell John at my next appointment. Of course, I'll start by recapping my conversation with Johnny.

And then I started processing my thoughts/feelings about it.

My brother gave me the family line - "Hide everything that isn't perfect; protect the family before yourself; preserve the status quo at all costs." His qualification, "Well, if you need to stir things up, then do it," is a nod to the fact that I am an adult and need to decide for myself, however he would prefer that I keep this between Tom and me. Don't upset the status quo - no matter the costs to you. Sacrifice yourself for the good of the family.

Well, I'm done with doing that.

Besides, I don't think my brother is giving my parents enough credit. I think that if I spin it right, my parents can handle it. If I make sure to say that:

-> Tom confirmed that this did happen.

-> I didn't do anything wrong and yet, my life was nearly destroyed by it - I almost lost my marriage; I could have died from my eating disorder. (And, no, I'm not being melodramatic here, mom.)

-> I hate that I feel like I'm living a lie. It hurts too much to have to keep this secret.

-> I talked to Johnny about this - he advised me not to tell you both, not to upset you, not to stir things up over something that happened decades ago between Tom and me. But I don't think that is fair to any of us. I don't think he is giving you enough credit.

-> Tom and I are civil when necessary - I don't want to destroy the family over this, but I am very angry at Tom and probably always will be. And I wanted you to know why.


And then I need to ask them what I need from them... support, understanding, whatever it is that will help me (I haven't given it a lot of thought yet.)

I still need to mull this over some more - and definitely talk to John about this at my next appointment (a week from Tuesday - since he's on vacation next week.) John has a wonderful way of seeing other options I may not have thought about and he is definitely my go-to man when I need to spin things carefully.

I wish he had been my therapist when I told my parents about my eating disorder - I may have gotten a completely different reaction from my mom if I had worded it differently... *

Oh well, I have John on my side now. That's what matters.





* I don't think I ever wrote about this experience... When I first got into therapy, I called my mom and read her a letter that I had written about how I seeking therapy for a relapse of the eating disorder I had in college (but was undiagnosed back then.) She asked me why I couldn't "snap out of it" like I did in college. Then I told her how I had always wanted to please her, be loved by her, be perfect. She told me that I misinterpreted everything.
I caved at that point - and gave up.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Made the call...

I did it. I talked with my brother, Johnny. I called not long after Todd (my husband) left for an appointment. He would have stayed, but I needed to do this alone. I don't know why - I guess I just felt better not having someone listening in.

I left messages for johnny at his home/office and on his cell. He called me right back. I feel like I bumbled through (so many things I would have said differently, more composedly, but maybe it was better this way.) I started by saying that he knew I had an eating disorder and was seeing a therapist. Well, I remembered some things from our childhood and Tom confirmed them.

"what things?"

"Tom molested me."

"Who?"

"Tom."

And then in typical Johnny fashion, "I didn't do anything, did I?"*

I reassured him that he didn't.

"Well, I didn't know anything about it."

Yeah, I know. Tom and I were alone when it happened.

So then I told him that I feel like I'm living a lie and I'm sick of it. And then I asked him about how I should tell mom and dad.

I could see him rear up from 400 miles away. "Why do you have to tell them? You should talk to a counselor, I'm not a counselor. What did your counselor tell you to do? You're just going to stir things up. But if you need it to be stirred up, ..."

I said that I am talking to a therapist and that he won't tell me what to do - he just helps me figure out what I'm feeling and why. I said that it hurts every time that mom and dad talk about Tom. Understandably.

"Well, they probably talk about the girls more." "It happened years ago; it's between you and Tom. They don't need to know."

True, but they bring up Tom.

"Well, then tell mom and dad not to talk about Tom. Or whatever you want them to do. But don't get into the details."

Then I asked, "But what if they ask why?"

"Tell them you don't want to talk about it."

I told him that he wasn't telling me anything that I didn't already think about.

He said he'd call me back later when we could talk some more (it sounded like someone was coming or one of his dogs needed attention or something...)

And then, right when we were about to hang up, he said, "Take care of yourself."

I replied, "You, too." And I really meant it.

And then I started crying. Sobbing. I walked into my room and laid on my bed and hugged my pillow and cried. And for once, I didn't try to figure out why. I started to, but then stopped myself. I just let the tears come. Let the sobs rack my body.

Then I got up after a few minutes, grabbed a few tissues and then asked Dusty (my furry canine son) if I could hold him. He's a Lhasa Apso - almost 10 years old and rather crotchedy most of the time. He imprinted on Todd, not me; he doesn't often cuddle with me. But with some token protest growls, he snuggled with me on the couch. I pet him while I let more tears come. More sobs out.

And after a few minutes of that, I took a few deep breaths and started to write this post. I needed to get it all down while it was fresh in my mind, you know?


I was right - Johnny is a great guage for how my parents would react.

He took it better than I thought he would - he didn't tell me that I was nuts or anything. He took what I said seriously.
And he didn't tell me anything that I hadn't already thought about - what good would telling mom and dad do? etc.

But I feel better having told Johnny. Someone else in my family knows besides Tom and me.

I feel a little lighter - like a tiny bit of this burden has been lifted.

And I have to say that I'm proud of myself for letting myself cry - and especially for not trying to figure out why. I just felt the wave of emotions and rode the tears that came with it. [That was something else that John mentioned last night that would be good for me to do more often. (Although he specifically said that I shouldn't bottle up my emotions in front of others, particularly Todd. He said it would be healthy for me to feel my emotions fully in front of him.)]

Anyway, "the first transport is away.**" I took another step.

And I think I'll wait to talk to John again (in two weeks) before taking any more major ones.


*****ADDITION******
I didn't send the email to Tom yet. Not sure I'm going to, at least not until I figure out what (if anything) I'm going to do about my parents. Johnny won't say a word to anyone, I know that - he doesn't tell anyone anything ever (more or less.)



* I'm paraphrasing for most of johnny's quotes - I remember some things exactly, but most I remember the jist of what was said...

** Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back reference.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pieces of the puzzle are fitting...

I saw John tonight. I feel better. (Not all better, not even remotely, but clearer.)

I walked into his office and the first thing he asked was, "How was your weekend up North with your brother?"

To put it clinically, I described to him my symptoms (restless sleep, compartmentalizing, etc.) I told him how I felt a hole when I saw my brother - because this was the brother that I liked the most (which isn't really saying a whole lot since both of my brothers treated me fairly rotten over the course of my life.) I told him how I am afraid to feel, that I don't want to feel these things, but I'm miserable holding them in. Everything I could think of.

Through our conversation, he fit the pieces together.

Since I had been doing really well (living a healthy life, for the most part*) for months before my visit up North, so he said that my anxiety has to do seeing him again. He said that I dealt with my abuse the best anyone possibly could - he said that I have no reason to relive it.

John figured out that I feel miserable because I'm keeping a secret. That I'm taking responsibility to protect people (my brother, my nieces, my sister-in-law, my parents, etc.) who it is not my responsibility to protect. I didn't do anything wrong; I don't need to protect anyone but myself (and consequently, my son and husband.)

He also said that I am trapped - Tom is family; there is no way around not seeing him, not having some kind of relationship with him (even if it means that I'm angry at him.) If it had been a friend, I could tell the whole family, everyone (in theory) would rally around me and we'd cut off relations with said friend. But since Tom is family, if the fact of the abuse leaks out (and John said that inevitably it will slip out someday,) people will take sides - possibly (probably) not mine. It's messy. And it sucks.

So we talked some more. I emphatically stated that I can't live life like this anymore. Stuffing my feelings in boxes and shelving them. I just can't. It's like I'm living a lie by keeping this secret. The stress and anxiety of keeping this secret is killing me.

He said I can either keep what happened to me a secret from my family and live with feelings bottled up (which means that I probably end up coping by using my ED once more) or I can tell my family.

"Either way sucks," he said. An understatement to be sure.

I remarked that it was funny that he said that. A few nights ago, Todd and I were talking and Todd mentioned that he would love to reenact the battle of New Caprica with my family. I said something along the lines of, "If there's fighting to be done, it'll be me doing the fighting." While I had always said that this is my fight, this was the first time that I said, point blank that I would actually fight (and not find a peaceful solution.)

I also mentioned that last week (before my parents came down for a visit,) I thought about saying to my mom, "So, Mom, suppose I tell you that I remember being molested when I was younger. What would you say?"

John asked me what I imagined her response would be. I said that I didn't. I stopped it right there because I couldn't imagine going through with it (which I didn't.)

We talked about who would be a good starting place. My parents? No way. I figure at best my mom will shake her head, tell me that I misinterpreted it all, roll her eyes, and remark, "Crazy Jeanne again."

So, I figure my oldest brother (Johnny) would be best.

John said again (and a few times throughout the night,) "I know, it sucks." Yup.

I asked John, "So let's assume that I am going to tell my oldest brother. Because, knowing me, that is what I'll do. What do I say? 'Hey Johnny, I know I never call, but I just wanted to tell you that Tom molested me when I was younger.'"

John and I chuckled. He advised me to start by saying that I have something serious to talk with him about and asking if he had time to talk. Once we agreed on a time, John said it will be easier to tell him. The other thing he said was to be sure that I told Johnny that Tom has confirmed that it really happened.

I said to John, "My reply to Tom (after I had confronted him, after he apologized and validated my memories) was that no one else needs to know. So I should tell him that I'm telling Johnny."

John said, "After you talked to Johnny."

I look puzzled. Shouldn't I give Tom the heads-up?

John replied that you don't want to worry that Tom called Johnny first and poisoned the waters. He said that it would be fine to send Tom an email right after talking to Johnny. "Write the email and as soon as you hang up Johnny, click Send."

Deep breaths.

John said that I had all the pieces when I walked in the door. I knew what I needed to do. I said, "You give me too much credit. I had the pieces, but I needed you to help me figure it out."

Towards the end of the hour, John said, "You are very brave."

I said, "I don't feel it right now."

He replied, "You're in a difficult situation." He said that a lot of people would just continue to shelve these feelings.

I nodded, "Yeah, but six months from now, I'll look back and realize how brave I am."


So, I left his office feeling better. I have a course of action that feels like it's the right thing to do. For me - because as John said, there is no right or wrong answer here.

I'm hoping to get a hold of Johnny tomorrow - maybe leave work early. Because like every other step in this process, once I figure out what I need to do, I want to do it and get it over with. With the hope that I'll feel better - some relief from the hell (depression, anxiety, stress) I'm in.

I don't want to hide anymore. I am not my abuse, but it did happen. It wasn't my fault. And I deserve support and love. I didn't do anything wrong.



*John said that I'll always have residuals - all survivors of abuse do (for me it's my negative body image, the reactions I have when I'm touched in certain ways, etc.); the residuals don't have to disrupt my everyday life though. When they do (like these dreams,) it means that there is something else happening (and most likely, it'll be something in the present. Since for me, I really did deal with the past and that the past isn't what seems to be bothering me.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rehearsing...

I see John tomorrow.

I'm scared.

Scared that he won't be able to help me, that I won't be able to start a path towards relief (and restful sleep,) that he'll shrug and tell me, "Your life is good, learn to live it."

I'm scared that he will be able to help me, that I'll have to face the memories, the feelings, that I might lose control of myself or that I won't and thus, won't move forward.

And yet, I can't imagine not going through with this. I won't live this way for the rest of my life. I refuse.

Sure, my life is good - I have a wonderful husband, an adorable son, a lovable (even though he is old and crotchedy sometimes) furry son. I have a good job, a beautiful apartment, health care to beat the band, etc.

But I feel broken. I still compartmentalize just about everything in my life. I try to live in the moment, feel what I feel, but I don't often succeed. I can acknowledge what I am feeling (which is a big step for me,) but I'm not really feeling most emotions.

I'm still not really feeling my feelings - especially over the past few weeks when my dreams have disturbed more than my rest.

So, what am I going to say to John tomorrow? (aside from the common pleasantries.)

"John, I'm not done dealing with what happened to me - the abuse. My mind and body are telling me through the disturbing dreams that I can't remember but which rob me of my sleep that there is more I need to do. More I need to process.

"I need your help. First to work through my fear of letting my guard down - giving up control; then to work through actually feeling the feelings around and about being abused.

"I can't compartmentalize this anymore. I won't.

"Can you help me?"

I think that sums it up fairly nicely...
Short and I think covers the ground.

I feel a little less frightened, now that I have an idea of what to say.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Somebody spot me

As I read this post from h4h, I realize that I'll never be ED-thought free, I'll never be completely comfortable in my skin, until I resolve (? is that the right word) the feelings I have about and around being molested.

So I wonder, if I hadn't been abused, would I have had an eating disorder? Interesting question...

Does it really matter?

Not really.

But it is interesting to note that the most progress I've made in recovery has been since I opened up about the bits of abuse that I remember. Once I told Todd about it, it was like a weight lifted from my shoulders - I wasn't hiding anything any more. I was me - and someone loved me no matter what had happened. And that knowledge made it easier to eat when I was hungry, to trust my body's signals. To then trust a nutritionist when she told me that really, my body does know what it needs. I was able to let go of numbers - calories, weights, bmi's, grams.

Over the last few weeks, I've found myself wanting to count calories, to restrict, to binge. Anything to feel less exhausted. I haven't. I don't plan to. Because I don't want that life anymore. I don't need my outsides to match my insides for others to know that I'm hurting.

And I know that the only way to feel less exhausted is to face my memories - head on, no chickening out.

Of course, the thought frightens the hell out of me.

Facing my memories means letting my guard down. I'm not one to relax easily - physically or mentally.

In high school, I was in all the musicals as well as in chorus. Part of the warm-up would be to make a neck massage chain. I have a talent for giving neck massages - friends would line up at rehearsals for me to massage their necks and backs.

I hated receiving them. I used to say that I was terminally tense because about five minutes after my muscles would relax, I would be in serious pain as my muscles tensed right back up.

I've had similar experiences with the few massages that I've had as an adult. It's like my mind rebels against relaxing.

And if my mind doesn't want my body to relax, who thinks it will allow itself to relax?

Meditations, visualizations - never work. I end up disconnecting myself. Fear stops me. Fear of what might pop up once my guard is let down.

Maybe this is why I'm not getting a restful sleep? My mind is fighting against the relaxation that my body needs, for fear of what may surface. Maybe this is why I seem to have more energy than I had all day right before I go to bed?

But what am I afraid of? What could possibly be worse than what I have already remembered?

Answer: my feelings. Rephrase: feeling my feelings fully.

For me, that's a nightmare.

So, here is where I'm at right now:
I need to truly face my feelings/memories.
This thought scares the begeesus out of me.
I need to find a way through the fear of first feeling these (powerful) emotions, then allowing myself to show them.

But maybe finding a way through the fear is to just do it (ugh, hate that nike slogan.)

Seriously though, maybe it's just about saying, "Okay, I don't like this, but damn-it, I'm doing it anyway" and doing it, over and over, until it's not so scary.

Like in dance class, we have spotters to help us with a new move before we are cleared to practice on our own. And we do the move over and over with the spotter, until we're comfortable with it. And the we repeat it on our own, until it feels almost natural...

So, hopefully, John can be my spotter on this.

Although, I'm beginning to wonder about my spotter - he hasn't returned my second voicemail yet (the first he answered - with a time I couldn't make, so I called him back and left another message to try again. He hasn't called me yet. So, this morning, I left another message... I guess this is the main problem with seeing a therapist whose private practice is his second, part-time job... [sigh] I hate phone tag. But I'll keep trying, even if I have to call everyday.)

***
Update:
John called me back and we set up an appointment.
8-)
And yet, 8-( - because now I have no more excuses...