Friday, June 27, 2008
I have had a really hard life, though of course, not as hard as some. I'm starting off my blog this way, not to encourage sympathy, but understanding. It's the story of me, and how I ended up the way I have. It will be long, so please bear with me, it will be no longer than it has to be.
My mother always told everyone that I was a happy baby who never cried. She would also inform everyone each chance she got to crow about how I potty trained myself. Apparently I was an exceptional child. My mother had left my father when I was around 6 months of age because while he was a brilliant genius on the piano (he was in demand from the Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey bands to name a couple) as with all genius he had a dark side and it was called alcoholism. Under its influence he was mean and physically abusive. So she left when my safety became an issue. She had bought stock in IBM but when she went to sell it, she found that my father had already done that and so she had little to start our life over with, and yet she did it, and all by herself. No family, they had all passed many years before I was born, and no help from the government.
I was a very highly intelligent child and I convinced my mother to get rid of my babysitter when I was 5 because she really didn't watch me. It was classic. She would come over with all her books, and then her boyfriend would show up...I would be left to my own devices. I wish, in hindsight, I'd never have done that, because later that year I was sexually molested many times over by our neighbor, the man who sold us our house. He had a key, and he used it frequently to let himself in. It started out innocently enough and was fun. A need for a mature male in my life was filled. Afterwards I became silent and withdrawn and my mother took me to a child pyschologist. I never told her or anyone, because the monster told me that my mother would hate me if she found out what a wicked child I was. My mother was all I had, and to lose her love, well that's a lot for a 5 year old to deal with.
My dark side emerged as bipolarism and unstable moodiness, although it would be 30 years later that it was diagnosed.
Without going into time consuming drama and trauma I will just say this wasn't the only man or time in my childhood that I was molested. I was also uprooted many times. We'd moved eight times by the time I was 10, each time changing schools and never finishing most semesters in the same school. So I never grew roots, I never found and bonded with friends, I was a drifter in my own life. Always the new girl, the fat girl to be made fun of and humiliated. When I was 9 my mother couldn't take my tears and pain anymore and put me on diet pills which made me sick and nervous and just a little strange. I wasn't on them long, and looking back, I wasn't that fat. I don't understand why I was singled out. My mother said they were jealous because I was so smart, and maybe so. I talked like an adult, and used bigger words because I'd been reading books since I was 3 or 4 and could read high school level with full comprehension by the time I started kindergarten. I couldn't help that I loved to read could I? It was really my only world outside of walking to the beach and learning to fish, clean them and cook. Yes. I was odd. And so lonely.
My father found us once. I was about 7 then. I was so excited and gave him all my love right then. He took us to dinner, he even gave me a sip of his wine, told me that we would all live together as a family and I could even have a pony. The next day he was gone, never to be seen or heard from again. Not even a card on my birthday. Before that day, he'd always sent me a gift on my birthday and Christmas, but now I wonder if that wasn't my mother, trying to fill the void in my life and making me feel like my father loved me. I've never thought of that before this write, and now I think I've stumbled over a truth.
So adding to molestations that I kept bottled up inside me until I was 30 something, you can add to my lonliness and humiliation, abandonment issues. Being able to cook and prepare rather complex dishes by the time I was 7 I was definately a well fed child. And I turned to food for comfort. I only saw my mother early in the morning and in the evening and on weekends, so I raised myself. I would also make her lunches. Sometimes I'd cook dinner for us. I bloomed early and looked like I was at least 15 by my 9th year. When my (adopted) aunts fixed me up I looked like I was in my 20's. I had no trouble finding work to keep me busy. I had a slew of clients that paid great money for me to mow their lawns and wash their cars, which kept me in comic books, soda, cheeseburgers and candy with money left over. An average summer week was an easy $40 bucks. Back in 1968 that was a huge amount of money. So I was very self sufficent and still lonely. I would have great imaginary adventures though and for the most part I was fairly happy until I got around children of my own age.
When I was 9 I was cleaning the car out so Mom would take me and a classmate who'd become a friend, horseback riding. A neighbor lady across the street backed her car out and into the open side door of our car, crushing both my legs at the knees. The attending ER doctor said it was unlikely that I would walk again because of nerve and tendon damage. I was walking in 6 months, that is how determined I was...I couldn't sit in a wheelchair, I had to be free and my mind didn't accept the impossible. I fell a lot but after I was 16 I didn't fall anymore. I still couldn't feel anything around my knees, but I had more confidence. I must have built up the muscles, I really don't know. I just know I'm grateful to God for my first miracle.
By the time I was 14 we'd moved another 3 times. One of those times I'd made a friend, and a boyfriend and when we moved again at age 12 I was devastated. My mother had no idea why I had suddenly turned into a demon child, but then she didn't really know me or what I'd been through, and when I was finally fitting in and having a taste of a normal life I was painfully ripped from it. I began having insomnia, and sleepwalking. I started sneaking out at night just to walk off the pain. The most traumatic event happened to me when I was 14 and I had a nervous (an untreated) breakdown. Things went from bad to worse when Mom took me out of school for fear of drugs and put me to work in the family printing business.
Episode after episode of mania and depression tore my life apart. I had so much anger and rage and hurt deep down inside that I really wasn't aware of and being bipolar would make them all bubble up at bizarre times and no one was safe. After a agonizing fight with my mother, and going to her on my knees to ask for forgiveness I told her I needed help, that I wasn't normal and that I knew I was out of control. She took me to the mental health clinic and in my first appointment with an older man (the one who'd molested me first had been in his 80's) the therapist asked if I'd ever see a penis. I shut down and never said another word and told mother I was wrong that seeing a therapist had been the wrong answer.
During all this I steadily packed on the pounds.
In 1980 I discovered through a comic book store I went to every week, that we had an annual sci-fi, fantasy, gaming convention and that year I went. It changed my life. For the first time I was meeting and mingling with people just like me. I had found a meeting of the minds that poured a river of joy into the barren wasteland of my heart that catapulted me into fandom. During the decade of my membership I attended every year, ran tournaments of role playing and war gaming. I purchased my own comic book, hobby, gameshop and for almost 4 years had a consistantly great life. By this time I was my heaviest at 360 pounds. Having a failed relationship through me into a depression so deep I didn't eat except what Mom forced me to and in a year I'd lost 165 pounds. It all slowly came back the next decade, even as hard as I worked. See, our town died almost overnight when KAFB cut their on base military down and just had a skeleton crew. So I sold my business at a loss for by that time my mother was 69 and in poor health. I had to start GED classes and find work.
I won't go into all that, nor all the events that would send me spirialing into depression that I couldn't acknowledge because I had to take care of us. I was raped and otherwise abused over the course of the next few years, but never had time to deal with it or heal. I had to go on. I had to push myself to succeed and for each new job to be better than the last because economically the world was impossible to live in without a substantial amount for two people to survive and I rigidly refused the ineffective help of welfare or food stamps.
When my mother passed away after 8 years of battling terminal breast and colon cancer I was suddenly adrift. My only reason for doing anything ever, was for her. I had no friends or family and with the cruelty of my regional supervisor during my mother's critical stay in the hospital...no job. I'd quit and told her where she could stick her job. That night my mother died and I called her and told her I would not be back to work out my 2 weeks.
My Fourth Miracle
I tried to commit suicide. God wouldn't let me. Literally, he supernaturally kept me from doing it and at the same time got me a job...I'd put an application in at a convenience store months before, but suddenly at just that moment they happened to call. Coincidence? The force holding me back from swallowing all Mom's meds down with beer seemed to indicate otherwise, and I wanted, needed to die. But you don't say no to God.
So I worked and then got a better job which led to a better position and at one time I was working four jobs, no days off, 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night...just like when I was taking care of Mom for those 8 years...but it kept me too tired to focus on my problems, I was either working or sleeping. In 2002 at my largest ever, a staggering 400 pounds, I had the heart attack that would make me loose everything I'd ever worked for. That you can read or may have already read on my main page.
God led me to this site 5 months ago. Since then I've lost 30 pounds, probably more, I haven't weighed in a couple of months. I've got motivation again for the first time in a very long time and hope for a better future.
Now I have to really buckle down and commit to achieving that. This last two months with fibromyalgia has really affected my drive to exercise. I'm doing excellent on my food and water, but we all know that it takes real work and exercise to make the food part work.
I'm currently a member of Tough Talk and there is a thread there that daily asks, "What Have You Forced Yourself To Do Today?" Well. I haven't really started forcing myself to get back in stride and that is something I really need to do. It is so hard, after so long of not doing anything but minor exercising to get back in the saddle and start all over again, but that is what I have to do if I'm to be successful in my goals.
My bipolorism, anxiety fueled panic attacks, post traumatic stress syndrome, emotional binge eating disorder, borderline personality disorder and my own self destructive lifelong pattern of self sabotage are all major conflicts that I must face and battle daily to get anything done. So I will have to begin to force myself to work through all of them. This is major, and I need all the help I can get. I am counting on the support of my friends to kick my butt and keep me going. I need more tough talk!
Thank you for reading my heart. It's not easy to share all the negatives and flaws in one's life.