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...

14 comments:

Sarah said...

Oh Jeanne, this is beautiful. So much hope.

I'm thinking of you and will be around this weekend.

xoxo
Sarah

Charlynn said...

Reading this post was so inspirational, so full of hope. You've come so far and you're an example to the rest of us going through the same journey on our own paths. You're proof that life is better on the other side from whence we came, and to keep going.

hayley said...

jeanne

this post was just wonderful. I am so glad you are now so good at taking care of yourself .you are really spreading the hope around (to me).

I'll be thinking of you this weekend.

with hope and love h.x

Eve said...

Dear Jeanne,

I loved this post! So much hope, so much determination, so much love, for yourself and for other people. I am so glad you began taking care of you and realised how important you are.

Love, Eve

Sarah said...

Hi, I'm here Jeanne.

xoxo
Sarah

Carla said...

You not only deserve to be loved, you ARE loved.

lauren said...

I love this post Jeanne, remember we are all works of progress but I can honestly tell you I am so impressed by your hope and knowledge of knowing what is best for U!!!
Love Lauren

æ said...

Hi Jeanne,
I thought of you throughout the weekend, how brave you are, how you inspire me to be brave with my story too.

Thinking of you, and eager to hear how it went and how you're doing.

Take care.

love,
ae

zubeldia said...

HI there!

I just happened your blog tonight and I wanted to thank you for writing something so self-nurturing. I am struggling with that a lot.. the whole thinking I (and the ed) really matters. It was helpful to read this!

Alex

em said...

I love this post... T asked me today "what do you see in your children that makes them so miraculous and lovable to you and why can't you see it in yourself?" I think the greatest challenge for many of us with eds is to treat ourselves with kindness and love and respect...

emxx

Faith said...

Hi Jeanne. Just checking in with you! Good morning!

Faith

Sarah said...

Hi Jeanne -- thinking of you with love.

xoxo
Sarah

æ said...

still thinking of you.

love,
ae

Jeanne said...

Sarah, charlynn, hayley, eve, carla, lauren, ae, alex, em, faith,

Wow! Thank you so much!


And I'd like to especially welcome Alex!