Monthly Archives: February 2014

Now For Something Completely Different

I was at what I’ll call The Center (for victim’s privacy) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and my head is spinning and I’m tired. There’s nothing uplifting about hearing how domestic violence, child abuse, and child sex cases are handled, but it’s amazing to see what resources are available and how all these highly qualified people go out of their way to make the experience the least awful it can be.

The Center provides services under one roof, that without it would cause the child  and non offending parent to have to go to six different locations to get various things done. Pretty much everything, from forensic interviews, medical examinations, all the way through the Grand Jury is done at The Center. Once there is an indictment, all events move downtown and they have different advocates there.

We heard from the local women’s abuse services, an experienced detective, and an assistant district attorney today. Every one of them was full of amazing information. It’s good to know that at least in my state (Oregon) laws are really tougher and sentences are longer than ever before on these types of cases. The only “3-strikes” rule Oregon has is for child sex cases. They refer to child sexual abuse cases as “child sex cases” which some readers may find offensive, but it is what it is.

We watched a forensic interview with what looked like a (at most) four year old boy talking about hearing his mother get beaten up by her partner. It was amazing how articulate he was. They have special interview rooms that are decorated in an age appropriate manner.

We heard actual phone calls from jail from the accused to his spouse. All phone calls from jail are recorded and many are listened to. They are told many times that their phone calls are not private, but they say things they shouldn’t anyway. Everything they say can be used against them, and is.

I am the oldest volunteer in this group, and the other six women are all embarking on careers in social services or law enforcement and I wish I were them because it’s an amazing world to be a part of. And I see now why Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit has always fascinated me.

I am still quite nervous that I will not pass the background check and that I’ll be in for some embarrassment. They probably will not have the results until Tuesday which is the next day of training. If I find out that I can’t pass a background check due to me being nuts for so long, I’ll be so disappointed. Again, I’ve never committed a crime, but I have attempted suicide many times. The supervisor said you never know what will show up on a background check. I’ll be nervous until that is behind me.

It was so weird to be doing something for a full nine hours. I’m glad to have the weekend so that I’m not completely overwhelmed.

I got a quick tour as the day ended and saw shelves filled with beautiful, colorful quilts. I’m told that they are given to older kids and teens who need a medical examination. They said they put the quilt down on the table and then the paper over that, so that the child feels special with their own quilt to take home. The younger children take home teddy bears that have also been made in town by the quilting group. I was explaining that to my parents and began to cry. I did read yesterday that the exams are noninvasive, thank goodness.

I don’t know if I can do this or not, but I’m just going to keep moving forward with it until I know. I have heard that the courthouse does have their own advocates, so if I would prefer that environment, I can also explore that.

The advocate volunteers basically shadow the paid staff or experienced volunteer as they do their job interacting with the victim and their families until they feel comfortable to take on their own case. Depending on how much shadowing you are able to do, it can take months until you’re ready to do it on your own. That’s why volunteers are so precious there.

I understand that their funding requires them to use volunteers.

The most challenging part today was listening to the women’s abuse facility talk about spousal abuse. It’s a place I have used a couple of times in the last year as I tried to leave my husband on my own. It reminded me, without a doubt, that I was a victim of abuse and that my husband is a master at it. She spoke of women being brainwashed and I knew I was also brainwashed and I still am.

I thought to myself that if he hadn’t finally cast me aside, I probably never would have been able to be rid of him since he always pursued me relentlessly. Interesting that someone else came along and took his complete attention which got me out of a situation I was not able to get out of on my own. Even though it hurt, it’s probably for the best, no matter how it happened. I’m left wondering if he ever cared for me, which is a sad place to be.

I felt crappy today again, I guess I’ve got a head cold. It’s just as well I didn’t swim yesterday or today, but I am going to make myself go tomorrow.

I hope this subject matter isn’t too much for any readers I have. I doubt I will go into much detail in the future as I am absolutely sworn to secrecy about actual cases. Also, if I am accepted into the program I will be required, as a representative of the District Attorney’s office, to report any case of child abuse I might suspect. If I don’t, I can get arrested. It’s something they’ve put into place to hopefully prevent cases from slipping through the cracks.

I feel that if I pass the background check, that this world, or the world of law enforcement in general, will be a part of my future.

Looking forward to swimming tomorrow!

Do I Need To Know About The Other Woman?

Late yesterday I received a call from the woman who trains and organizes the volunteers for the child advocates in the court system. Turns out they had a deadline in which to apply which I wasn’t aware of. They had already had their first day of training yesterday and won’t be training again until Fall. But, she said providing I pass the background check and providing she gets the ok from her supervisor, she would interview me today and allow me to join the other trainees tomorrow.

There is 32 hours of training in all so I’d be busy all day tomorrow, next Wednesday, and the following Friday, plus get some catch up on what took place yesterday.

My interview is at 3 p.m. today and I’m really nervous about it. Not sure what to wear, but I believe the iron needs to come out. And because I get nervous when a police car is behind me when I’m not even doing anything wrong, I’m paranoid about the background check even though I’ve never committed a crime! I just wonder what else shows up on those checks. I have called the police a few times to come and make my husband leave me alone so I can pack. But they just came out as peace keepers. I can’t imagine any surprise that might come up and I know it’s ridiculous of me to get anxious over that!

I feel even worse than yesterday physically and do not plan to go swim today. My ear is becoming more blocked and more painful and my nose is plugged up. I figure a shower and some Tylenol will get me through the interview and I hope to take a nap before then.

I’m so glad she’s trying to fit me in, apparently they have several more slots so it’s worth their while to try to add me to the group. I really hope I get in!

It’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve had an interview of any kind. Thank goodness it’s just for a volunteer position or I’d be even more worked up.

I have to feel that I will probably be accepted and do just fine. After all, my application got there in less than 24 hours and I wasn’t even aware they had planned training coming up. It seems like it’s all meant to be. I hope.

Every single day I end up thinking about my husband and the woman he is now with (and was with before I left him) and I wonder who she is and what she’s like. It’s such an overwhelming and wasteful feeling and I resent having it so much. Even yesterday I struggled with the devil on my shoulder saying, “Just drive over there and see. What’s the harm in that?” But I predict there is great harm in that for yours truly and I know I need to protect myself.

I also have a fear that information will be leaked to me accidentally by his children or one of the few mutual friends we have. They may think I know and say something nonchalantly and then I’ll be forced to pretend I’m not shocked or hurt until I’m out of sight and then fall apart. You can see that I’m taking this too far and thinking it out too much.

I would love it if anyone who has been through the experience of “another woman” would reinforce my feeling that it won’t do me any good to know and in fact might set my progress back if I were to know more about or see the other woman. I need the support, so if you have any for me, please leave it in the comments below.

Whatever she’s like, it’s not important. What matters is that my husband abandoned me for her — the fault is with him.

I’m probably going to get an angry call from him today. I sent him an email this morning asking him to write an email to his daughters saying something to the effect of:

Dear _____ and _____,
K_____  has asked me to tell you that I promise to give her half of my settlement money when my lawsuit is over because it is right that we share those proceeds evenly as we shared all of K___’s assets while we were married and she now has no money at all and no way to start her life over. She feels insecure that I will keep my word and asked me to make this promise in front of you so that she has some peace of mind.
I will keep my promise to her.
-Daddy

I think he won’t want to do that, and even if he does he still might break his word. He comes from a culture where it is normal to lie about something you feel is just and have no guilt about it later. He thinks his own cause is more worthy than mine. He thinks I’m happy to live the rest of my life in my parent’s guest bedroom while he uses all “his” money to bring his family to America and start his own new life. I can’t allow him to cut me out. I have to be assertive. My future depends on it.

I’ve mentioned before that it would appear my husband plans to now make a career out of suing people. He said he plans to ruin the man he is suing now and then turn around and sue the first attorney he used who flubbed up the case, cost him a lot of time, and then billed him a huge amount for it.

Meanwhile he sees this first attorney and socializes with him in order to give the man a false sense of security, but he’s told me he has no intention of paying him at all.

I’m not sure why my husband thinks I should take his word at anything. I’ve watched him for eight years. I know how he thinks. He would leave me out if he could because he has justified that I just don’t deserve it.

Once again I feel such shame that I was ever with such a dishonorable man. Especially on the heels of a relationship with an utterly honorable man. I feel dirty. My next relationship is going to be with an honest man who keeps his word or it will be with no man at all.

I will redeem myself.

But it will make all the difference in the world if I have some money to help me get on my feet. If you’re new to the blog, I had more than $200,000 worth of assets and a great credit score when I met him, and now all I have is a huge amount of debt. He owes it to me.

Oh no. Sure enough he just called and left me a message to call him. I’m too nervous. I want to keep these conversations to email or text where they can be proof of our conversations.

If you have any advice on how to handle these temptations to find out more about the other women, please comment below.

— Later —

Spent over an hour in an interview with the child advocate people. They can’t say definitively that I will be accepted as a volunteer until my background check is complete, but they’ll let me join the training that is underway. So, tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. I’ll be busy learning about this agency and other agencies in town that help child victims of abuse.

Next week I’ll have 16 more hours of training. After that, providing the background stuff is ok, I’ll volunteer at least eight hours a week. The more you are able to volunteer, the more you will learn, which will make you more valuable. The volunteers actually conduct interviews of victims and their families so it’s a position which takes a great deal of training. Amazing, isn’t it?

They asked if I thought I could handle it given the heavy subject matter, and I said I thought I could, but I won’t know until I try it. I told them that I am a walking example of someone who has been helped by this community and that I’d like to give back what’s been given to me.

The romantic idea of this taking place at a courthouse was way off. They have their own facility so that the families can come to one place for several of their needs. Still, it sounded really intriguing and I am eager to find out more.

Wish me luck!

What Would Lady Grantham Do?

I sat and read my ACT book last night, but wasn’t absorbing much of it. I’ll just give myself credit for trying to concentrate on it.

I received an email that my husband forwarded to me from him and his attorney. He asked his attorney to explain why the letter won’t be ready until next week and said his “ex-partner” was accusing him of delay tactics. The attorney wrote that he’s in a trial and the letter will be ready at the end of next week.

I thought, oh how very English. I’m his ex-partner now. And for some reason it just stung. After all, I am still his wife. I guess I’m his estranged wife.

Didn’t sleep well and dreamt disturbing dreams. My ears, glands, and throat were hurting so much last night that I got up and took a pain reliever. I was pretty sure that I should not go swim today, but I did anyway.

Once in the pool I realized I just didn’t have full strength but I gave it my best and lasted about 50 minutes. I figured it’s better than nothing, plus I may feel worse tomorrow and I don’t want to miss several days swimming due to a cold, or whatever I’ve got.

When I was done at the pool I texted my husband because he had packed up five plastic bins of my stuff and I asked him if I could stop by for them. He said to come on over so when I pulled up, he was right out front with the bins. We loaded them together (they smell like ashtrays inside) and I left.

It felt so weird to see him. He’s looking trim, his hair cut recently, and he had on new skinny jeans. He was as matter of fact to me as I was to him. His accent seemed foreign. I actually wanted to get away as quickly as I could.

He said he needs another three bins, so I stopped on the way home and bought some. Most of what’s left there is furniture and now I have to decide if I want to get a larger storage unit now, or wait until he’s ready to leave the place. The main bummer is that my soft furniture will now be ruined from cigarette smoke. He never used to smoke inside. His girlfriend must be a smoker.

On to a better subject.

After I stopped writing here yesterday, I did what I said I was going to do and filled out the volunteer application to be a child advocate in the court system. It took me an hour due to supplemental questions. But eventually I printed it and stole an envelope and stamp from mom, and put it in the mail. Done.

Now I’ll be so curious if they call me. If they don’t then I’ll figure there’s something seriously wrong with my resume! I hope it works out. It’d be a nice place to meet people and do something good at the same time. I’m really curious what the position entails. Perhaps if a child has to testify, they use a volunteer to show them around the courtroom and make them comfortable? I have no idea.

Being able to do this will help me to find out if I’m at all ready to re-enter the job market. Also, they would be a good current reference for me. And, who knows, maybe it’ll help me get a paid position with the County eventually.

It’s the first step towards getting me in an environment where I interact with people. I like the environment of the courthouse. There are police, sheriff, lawyers, and judges milling about, plus all that security. I hope they don’t discount me because I have no legal experience. I’m really insecure about this!

I’m going to have to baby myself a bit. Try to get some rest, eat well, find my vitamin C, because I feel pretty punk. But I’ll get up and swim again tomorrow as long as I’m no worse.

I’m really stumped how to find a way, when I’m sinking into despair, to remember to breathe, to visualize, and to know that it will pass. I am honestly tempted to write it on my damn hand!

I had an idea that you might find amusing. I find Downton Abbey pretty entertaining and came up with “What Would Lady Grantham Do?” because she’s always so calm and composed. Do you think I could market a gold rubber bracelet with WWLGD on it?

WWLGD (What Would Lady Grantham Do?)

WWLGD (What Would Lady Grantham Do?)

I have to find some way to help me behave the way I want to behave. I’m being silly, of course, but I’d do it if it works!

Being Grateful for Mediocre Days

It’s interesting being in smaller size clothes because on one hand it feels great to have clothes fit me, and on the other hand, I feel fat all over again. Technically I know I am still fat, I just expect to look better than I do (for some weird reason).

The one other time in my life that I lost significant weight was when I was in my late 20s. I think I went from about 190ish to around 140. I was in (yet another) really bad marriage, and I decided I had a problem with alcohol, so I gave it up and joined a gym, and when I reached my goal I walked away from him.

So it’s hard to fathom that I’ve lost almost 52 pounds and still look bad, but obviously I am much bigger this time. I don’t want to yo-yo anymore. I’m going to work hard to never be fat again. Losing the weight is not the hardest part, keeping it off is.

I’m not even to the halfway point in my weight loss. I have about 65 pounds to go if I want to get to 150. At this point I don’t know what’s realistic for me as a goal weight so I will wait until I get closer, but at 150 at my height, I recall looking fairly slender. I’m older now so I may never get to 140 or 145 again.

If I keep losing two pounds a week it’ll take me 32 weeks to be near goal weight. That’s such a freaking long time. I think I need to try harder to lose closer to 3 pounds a week, especially now when I’m still large.

Okay, that’s enough scale talk.

I was slightly sore this morning from swimming yesterday, and my body said, “You don’t need to swim again!” But I knew I did need to swim again and I ended up having a good workout for about an hour and fifteen minutes.

My routine seems to be 20 warm up laps of freestyle, followed by six laps of breaststroke, two of sidestroke, one of backstroke, one dolphin kick on my back, and then I begin the laps over again, but with a bit more gusto. In the second set I try to increase the freestyle laps to 26 or 28 (this is the set where I feel warmed up, strong, and sometimes feel that swimmer’s high), then I do the breaststroke, sidestroke,  etc. Then back to laps, at least 20 of them, more if I can.  And then finish up with several cool down laps. Unless I’ve missed a set in there, that takes anywhere from an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.

Sometimes I purposefully try to forget how many laps I’ve done just so that I have to do the lap again. Sometimes I do more slow laps, other times I challenge myself by throwing in a hard lap. My main priority is to work out as hard as I am able to for a minimum of 60 minutes. At the beginning of the week I have more stamina, near the end of the week, I’m noticeably tired.

After I swam I drove to Lane Bryant again to try on bras and I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money. No one is seeing me in my undies anyway, so I’ll just keep my old, ill-fitting bras on for now.

I’ve decided to apply for that position as a child advocate in the court system. It will give me something to do and expose me to other people. Also, I saw that the Obsidians (a local outdoor group) are planning a bus trip that sounded mildly interesting, so I might sign up for that — I haven’t fully decided on that one yet. I have to meet new people which is the hardest thing in the world for me.

I suppose if I were a different sort, I could make “friends” by going to bars, but that’s not my thing and I know that would be unbelievably bad for me. I’ve always called myself “shy” but I don’t know if I am that or if I’m introverted. Or socially retarded. Certainly in the old days when I drank, I was friendly enough!

In trying to deal with not knowing how to be alone, I was thinking while swimming today that I should simply look at what I’m doing now (fitness, weight loss, emotional health) as a year long commitment. Take a break from even thinking about meeting a new man until at least October. I think somewhere near the end of this year I’ll start to come out of my fog and I’ll have some self esteem and pride in what I’ve accomplished. Perhaps I will have been volunteering for a while by then. Maybe my website will be up and running.

Best of all, perhaps I’ll have a couple of people I can call friends.

So even though I often feel ancient and that I will never find anyone at my age, I simply have to put the idea out of my head or I will simply blow it. I will do something stupid. I need to be careful this time. And since I’ve been royally burned, it’s stupid not to be very cautious.

I sent my husband a text today asking if he had that letter from his attorney for me, and if he had some of the bins packed that I took to him. He took an hour to respond but said the letter and some bins will be ready tomorrow. He’s told me so many times for months that the letter will be ready “tomorrow” that I simply can’t believe him. He wrote that he has been slow because he hasn’t felt well. I resisted the urge to say, “Hope you feel better. Call if you need anything.” As I would have done in the past. I said nothing at all. And all I could think is, ‘Why isn’t your girlfriend doctoring you?.’

The pain of that is still so brutal. So inconceivable. Still so raw.

Not only that she existed, but that she’s living in the apartment we shared which is filled with my personal belongings. All I can wonder is what kind of loser she must be! Who would do that?

I don’t want to know. I can’t bear to know. Please don’t tell me.

Today is another one of those meh days where I am just grateful that I’m not profoundly depressed. I am going to fill out that volunteer application now and then sit down with my ACT book.

It feels like Spring is right around the corner.

Admitting I have Stockholm Syndrome

Yesterday I ended up going to the movies because it began to rain quite steadily. I saw “Her” and enjoyed it, but it hit close to home with the breakup of a relationship, loneliness, and how much we rely on technology to take the place of real live humans and fill holes in our lives.

I met my husband online. I am very familiar with the evils of chatrooms and the vile behavior of chatters. I left that world several years ago, but it really showed me an ugly side of humanity that I will never forget and never return to.

On the way home from the film I stopped to buy groceries and I was envious of anyone who was with another person, whether child, mother, or spouse. I want to share experiences with someone. I want to hold someone’s hand. I want to feel their masculine form under their shirt as we embrace. I want to laugh with them at movies.

I have never really been alone in my life and I am finding it so difficult. I am extremely resentful that my husband’s life is full and mine is not.

Because of how I met my husband and the shame involved I pulled away from what few friends I had until I had no one. The one actual friendship I made with a woman online even died this year, because she hated my husband and wanted me to leave him. The last time I went back to him she stopped talking with me.

How is it possible that in this crowded world I am alone?

Great. Now I’ve made myself cry.

I came into the house with bags of groceries and before I could even shut the door my mom is talking to me and telling me that my brother is ready to FaceTime with us. It’s the only way we can all see my new nephew. So I plop the groceries on the counter and go get my computer to call them. My mom is utterly clueless about other people’s wants and needs. She could’t even give me two minutes to settle in.

And mom said that dad didn’t feel well so I went to him and asked him about it. He said, “I’m just sick of it.” My heart broke. Of course you are. Why wouldn’t you be? Dependent on oxygen. Very little independence left. Anyone would be sick of it.

I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be anywhere. I am so hurt and lost and alone.

I am exhausted. It’s been a long time since I got a decent night’s sleep. I’m sure that is having an effect on my mood and outlook. I also have not exercised since Thursday, so I’m hoping that now that I can swim again, things begin to not look so bad.

I enjoyed the break from thinking about my husband when I was with my daughter. In the following three days I didn’t exercise, and I had no distractions, I became miserable. I must find more to do with my time. I desperately need a distraction. I saw a posting on Twitter that a local agency needs volunteers to be victim advocates for children in the court system. It requires an extensive background check and training, plus you must commit to a minimum of eight hours a week. I am trying to work up the nerve to apply.

I have to find a way to meet other women. I can’t stay in this vacuum any longer. I need some friends and I don’t know how to make them.

I saw that one of the community centers near me has a large and active table tennis club supposedly for all skill levels. I thought that would be a way to meet people. But I got scared and didn’t follow through.

All my life I’ve been frightened. It’s the bane of my existence. I’m so tired of it yet I never learned how to be normal. I’m clueless.

I wrote all of the above first thing this morning. Thankfully my outlook is better since I finally got back in the water.

It felt so good. Within a half of a lap I felt I was home and being embraced. I will never go three days without exercise again! I hope the pool is open all the normal days this week as I want to get six days of workouts in.

I had a realization while I was in the pool today, which won’t surprise any of you normal people. I realized I am shellshocked. I have PTSD from a very volatile and violent and traumatic marriage. I am in love with my captor — I have Stockholm Syndrome.

That’s why it’s so easy for outsiders to scratch their heads and wonder why I would  ever consider staying with him or going back to him — I know no other way. I should be grateful to him that he is being so mean to me and hurting me so badly. There’s no other way I would leave him. I am utterly dependent.

That realization doesn’t really make things easier for me, but it reminds me that this is a process and I will have good and bad days. Last night and this morning were so bad, however, and I wonder why on earth I can’t remember in the heat of the moment to breathe and know that the horrible feelings will pass. The pain simply overwhelms me.

Thank God for the pool. Thank God. It’s the only thing I can do on my own to soothe myself.

It doesn’t help at all that my husband constantly put my family down and made predictions about how pathetic my life would be without him in it. Of course he never takes into consideration that if I hadn’t met him, I’d still own my own condo. I’d still have a 401k and some money in the bank.

He has to live in a world of denial because he’s almost 50 and has never accomplished a thing and has always lived off his family or someone else. He has to be full of false bravado just to live with himself. In spite of all that, I miss him and mourn him.

Yes, I fear I will spend the rest of my life alone and that terrifies me. But I must let go of that thought and just live a day at a time, improving my body and my mind and trying to make friends. In spite of how bad he tried to make me feel about my life, I’d rather live a life of my choosing instead of the insane one we lived together.

I Pass The Fifty Pound Weight Loss Mark

I awake on Sundays with a combination of dread and excitement because it’s the day that I weigh myself. Because I’ve been very unaware of what I’ve been eating this week I felt that I might not have a loss this week, but to my surprise, the scale read 215.5 today. I was about 218 last Sunday, so it’s roughly a 2.5 pound loss.

Two pounds is the minimum amount of weight I want to lose each week, so I’m perfectly happy with 2.5. As I get nearer my goal I naturally expect to hit plateaus and lose less each week, but I’m still so overweight that I don’t expect that now.

It’s finally here. I have crossed the 50 pound weight loss mark and that feels good. Total weight loss as of today is 51.5 pounds. When I saw “215.5” on the scale, however, the first thing I thought of is that I’m creeping near the 199 mark, so I can’t celebrate, I must get under 200 pounds!

I cannot recall when I last weighed as much as I do now. Possibly 10 or 12 years, maybe more. I am one of those fat people who almost never weighed themselves because it depressed me. In fact when I was weighed at the doctor’s office I often told them not to tell me what the scale read! I was really out of touch and in denial about my weight and I avoided mirrors at all costs. From here on out I will always weigh on Sundays to keep myself in check, especially once I reach my goal weight.

I’m also one of those fat people who ran from cameras or was the one always taking photos of other people. I haven’t yet begun to search for a “before” photo of myself.

I began to read my ACT book last night and feel that I will get something out of it. I have a problem where I read paragraphs but my mind is somewhere else and I can’t recall a bit of what I’ve read. It’s so annoying because I am a fast reader, but I have to re-read often two or three times using all my concentration to make sure it has sunk in. I guess I’m what you’d call a reluctant reader, or a reluctant absorber.

I wrote a short note to my husband last night telling him he had until this Friday to give me the proposal from him and his attorney and that he’s the one who has put me in this uncomfortable position so “don’t get mad at me.” To my surprise he responded with “sorry” and promised again that he’d get it to me. I absolutely HATE playing hardball with him or anyone. And when his tone became apologetic, I began to feel so sorry for him.

I’ll never know what happened to the man I love, the sometimes vulnerable and needy man, but this hard, unfeeling person took his place. I do feel love for him, or perhaps it’s just human compassion. I probably should not call it love in the husband and wife sense, since he’s done so many cruel things to me I could never take him back. But I miss who he used to be, that is, when he was a good man.

Even at the best of times he was a very complex person, but he did have his sincere moments and I like to think I knew him better than he thinks I did. He was always adamant that he knew me better than anyone, but would not give me any credit for knowing him.

Even though I mistrust him now, it wasn’t always that way. I think the more things went badly for him, the more I felt pity which I thought was love. I know at his core he’s a man who wants to be generous, who wants to be the patriarch of his family and provide for all, he wants to be well known and respected in his community. That core has gone into hiding as of late and there’s no telling if it’ll ever return. In some ways I hope it doesn’t. If he started behaving again like the man I loved, I wouldn’t know how to react. I could never say no to him.

What’s even sadder is I might be the only person who knows that side of him. It’s terrible that that vulnerable person can no longer be reached. I pray he does move away when he gets his money. It would be too hard to run into him in town. For heaven’s sake, I already have an ex-husband I try not to run into, and he was a good man until the end and we were married 18 years. This town is too small for me and two ex-husbands!

At the same time, if he goes, I’ll never know a thing about him or his daughters and that is so bizarre. I don’t know what I want. It’s out of my hands anyway.

My face is becoming drawn from the weight loss. My round chubby face no longer has some of the fat that kept me looking sort of youthful. I now have those lines from the corner of your mouth to your chin and I’m so focussed on them. If I look in a mirror that’s where my eyes go. It’s so dumb! I’ve actually entertained the idea of a facelift if I could ever afford it and I’ve always been against that stuff!

I saw Sharon Stone on the cover of Shape yesterday and she’s my age. She’s 56 and has the body of a 25 year old. She has no lines from her mouth to her chin! I know, I know, she’s photoshopped, but still, she’s gorgeous and slender.

I think more than not liking how these lines look, when I see them I feel they betray my sadness. I feel they represent the suffering of the last 10 years and I don’t want to be reminded, I just want to move on. I am fairly certain that as I continue on my weight loss, fitness, and mental health journey that I will focus less on them, especially when my life becomes more meaningful.

I also feel that the smaller I get, the better people treat me. But I am not sure if that’s actually happening or if it’s because I like myself more. I’ve said on this blog more than a few times that I was (still am?) a resentful fat person. That my outer shell did not convey who I really was and that drove me mad. I felt trapped in that body and I knew no one could see who I really was. I’m sad that I wasted so many years being fat.

Last night, while reading the ACT book, I also felt sad that I wasted so many years being highly depressed. What a waste of a life. I’m embarrassed that I’m only now taking control.

I was always oversensitive and pouty as a kid and I never really outgrew it. My first lame attempts at suicide were when I was about 15 years old. It was near that time that I began to get into my parent’s booze cupboard to take a sip from several bottles if I felt nervous about a social situation. I was already medicating myself.

I was pretty and had a nice body and I was smart and funny when I wasn’t being ridiculous, and so it wasn’t too hard for me to get the boy I wanted. My claim to fame in high school was that I dated a water polo player for six months who I still feel to this day was the handsomest boy in school. And it was a graduating class of 500+. He was the epitome of Southern California male beauty. I never felt deserving of him, however, and when we broke up due to my jealousy, I never recovered. My life began to go down hill at that time. I was 17.

I began to date (on the rebound) a man (barely) I worked with who was two years older and not very bright and I got pregnant and married two weeks after high school graduation, and two weeks after I turned 18. My daughter was born in January 1976. She’s 38 now. I have a ton of guilt with how I raised her as well. There’s just so much baggage. Everywhere I look, more baggage.

It’s best if I concentrate on the here and now or I get overwhelmed and even more depressed. I don’t want to waste time looking back and seeing where I went wrong. I want to move forward.

It looks like it will be another nice day. I am seeing blue sky out my window! I think, since the pool is still closed, I will go out and do some yard work for my dad.

Overall, I don’t care for days when the pool is closed. It makes me feel I have no purpose My life is still in limbo and I’m still trying to baby myself a bit, I’ve had a lot of reality to deal with this last year. Thank goodness I have the luxury to do that here at my parent’s home. Hopefully in the coming year, my life will becoming more full and more fulfilling.

Sunday Stats
Starting weight: 267 (mid October 2013)
Today’s weight: 215.5
Total weight loss to date: 51.5 pounds
Height: 5’8″
Goal weight: about 150

So Many Loose Ends

I had the best time with my daughter. It’s rare that we have a solid 24 hours alone together and I barely gave my husband a thought. We worked on organizing her small spare bedroom so that she can do crafts and homework easier. I hated to leave, but I didn’t want to wear out my welcome, plus she had to get back to work.

I awoke this morning quite blue and feeling crabby at my mother, which shames me. I’m walking around whispering “be patient, be patient, be patient…” but it’s not working very well.

I think it’s because it’s Saturday and I hadn’t really thought about how I would spend my weekend. The damned pool is closed today and tomorrow and I don’t feel like finding another pool.

The one I went to last week is kind of icky. They’ve given up a third of the lap pool for kids and families to play in, which I think is silly because there are three other pools for them. Consequently the pool is filled with bandaids, hair, hair bands, unidentifiable things, and kids playing basketball in the pool and more than once I had to dodge their ball. I was so grossed out the last time that I determined I’d have to be more than desperate to go back there.

I’m irritated that I’m having trouble getting my household possessions out of the apartment we shared. I took him four bins but he hasn’t filled them yet. Plus there’s furniture and I’m not sure where to put it. I don’t need to take absolutely everything that’s mine because it would leave him with very little, but I want to take most of it. I wrote to our landlord (who is also his friend), to say that I was sure he wouldn’t take off without notice, but when he gets the apartment back, if there are possessions in it, they are probably mine and to please contact me. The landlord is very respectable and probably likes my husband but knows he’s intense so he won’t find my request too odd, and he will be discreet.

Shit. I wonder if I’ll regret that move. After all, my husband hasn’t paid him rent in at least four months.

It feels like a violation that he’s looking over my things (perhaps with his girlfriend) deciding what to take. That’s not how it should be. He came to the U.S. with nothing. I was the one who provided the home. Shit. I’m depressed. If there were no possibility of money from him in the future, I’d just call the sherif to meet me there as I load it all up in a Uhaul. But I can’t afford to piss him off.

You can’t imagine how glad I’ll be when the case is behind me, the divorce final, and my possessions back where they belong. That’s when I can tell him to f*ck off and never contact me again. Oh, and I’ll stop paying for his damned cell phone!

I am sad, too, that I don’t think I’ll lose weight this week. I did have Indian food with my daughter but I didn’t think it was very high quality. I ate a few deep fried things and had a little soft serve ice cream afterwards. Funny, if it had been delicious, I would not have felt as bad about eating it!

Losting a pound a week is not very acceptable to me, especially considering I’ve still got about 70 pounds to go. I have to get my act together.

I wonder what really has me feeling so insecure today. I think I will need to shower and go out for a movie. Sitting around here won’t do me any good at all.

I’ve also decided to buy that ACT workbook, so will track down whether it’s sold locally or if I need to buy it online. Ok, I just found it locally and they are holding it for me. Now I have to see if I can afford to buy it.

Perhaps later on I’ll try out that running app I downloaded a while back just to see what it feels like to run for a few minutes. No high expectations there. I have to find something. I don’t want to have to take three days a week off from swimming!

Forget the shower. I’m washing my face, brushing my teeth and getting out of here.

Wait.

I just remembered.

To breathe.

I was reading a self help book of my daughter’s, Andrew Weil’s “Spontaneous Happiness.” He said something so logical but new to me, he said if you are practicing mindful breathing, you cannot also be freaking out, because the two can’t be done at once. Logical, huh?

I took two long slow deep breaths and my mom walked into the room to tell me something and I looked at her with compassion and turned to face her and give her my attention.

I can beat this.

———

A Few Hours Later:

Bought The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Depression by Kirk D. Strosahl and Patricia J . Robinson. The byline is “Using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy to Move Through Depression & Create a Life Worth Living.” The cover says:

A Powerful Step-By-Step Program to Help You:

  • Understand depression in a completely new way
  • Recognize the depression traps in your life
  • Use acceptance to move through painful life situations
  • Develop a mindful, values-oriented lifestyle
  • Commit to acting in ways that promote vitality, purpose & meaning.

And it comes with a CD with guided imagery and mindfulness exercises. I am excited to begin reading it and learning some new skills. My counselor said she had heard of it but has not studied ACT and she said if it resonates with me then that’s the one for me. She also thought she’d look into it more.

This is the power of the internet. A commenter recommended it to me. I mention it to my counselor. Who knows who she might tell about it or how it might help them or others. It’s a cascade of ACT!

I went to Macy’s to check out some clothes. I’m not joking when I say I have one pair of pants that fit. The sun is out today and I realize I can’t hide under my raincoat much longer.

I did not see one thing at Macy’s that I wanted to buy which I think is due to the fact I don’t find their clothing in the “women’s” department to have much style. So I went to Old Navy and for the first time in years tried on some jeans. I was really nervous because they do carry plus sizes, but only online. In the store they often go up to size 20 so that’s what I grabbed and I went to the changing room.

They were too big so I got the 18. They were too big so I got the 16. Now don’t get excited, they didn’t look good on me; I think I’m odd shaped due to working out and in one style I ended up at a 16 and the other an 18. I went with the 18 in a “rockstar skinny jean” which sounds so too young for me. But the price was right and of the six pairs I tried on they fit the best. All jeans were $19.95. The miracle is that I WAS SHOPPING IN A NON FAT STORE.

I don’t quite get it. I’m completely out of practice with trying things on and sizes. I’m guessing that sizes have gotten bigger since I last tried on a 16 or an 18 in a normal shop. I wonder if I could have gone to Macy’s normal section and looked at their biggest sizes… hmm…..

I weigh around 219 or so, so there’s no way I can claim to look like I’m average weight in my new jeans. I’m really rather baffled because to be frank, I look really bad without clothes still, and I may always. But (and I swear I’m only being honest and not being mean to myself) I am still as puffy and lumpy and bulgy as ever. So all I can conclude is that I must have looked that much worse 50 pounds ago!

This is the kind of motivation I needed to keep on going and lose the rest of the weight. I look bad, and that’s okay. The point is that I feel good and I’m proud of myself, and I will continue on my weight loss and fitness journey.