Yesterday my mother said she had something to show me. She fiddled with her phone and brought up a very blurry photo she took of me right after my husband and I separated, sometime last Fall. She said, “You don’t even look like the same person! You should be so proud of yourself.”
It was true. It’s not just the 70 pounds, it’s the toning that swimming has given me.
I told her that on the rare occasion that I wear one of my old blouses (all of the pants went to the Goodwill) I can’t believe how much extra fabric there is. I simply can’t believe that this shirt used to fit me snuggly.
I’m not saying it as something to be proud of, even though it is. I’m saying it because I can’t believe it.
I remember that nine months ago I felt I was becoming disabled; my knees, hips, and feet were in agony. But I had avoided mirrors for years so really had no idea what I actually looked like. When I did put make up on, I’d narrowly focus on only my face and virtually never saw myself in a full length mirror. I painted my nails lovely colors; in other words I segmented my body and what I could bear to look at.
And, I can’t speak on behalf of other fat people, but I didn’t realize until I began to lose the weight, how much I detested myself because of it. That self hatred manifests itself in terrible and weird ways. Why is it that during my darkest and fattest days I was never able to admit to myself that being morbidly obese was primarily what was making me miserable? I just blamed all the other bad things going on in my life, but the fat was the elephant in the room, no pun intended.
It seems too simple to say it out loud, but when our self esteem is intact, many decisions seem much easier.
Sometimes I feel I should spend more time feeling miserable about my “wasted” life and history of bad relationships with men. (Four marriages is something to be pretty ashamed of!). But it must be something about human nature, or at least my own nature, that is for the most part, just saying ‘the past doesn’t matter now that your eyes are opened. Move forward!’
Living a life hating oneself seems a terrible waste of a life. I don’t plan to do it any more. I can honestly say, in spite of the uncertainty in my life and what I’ve gone through not just in the last year or the eight year marriage, but in 50+ years and several marriages, I’ve never felt so grounded and I often feel peaceful, something I never thought I’d ever feel.
Sometimes I feel that life is in slow motion and I feel so damned impatient. I have to stop now and then to acknowledge what I’ve accomplished and how far I’ve come. In addition to losing a lot of weight, I’ve learned through volunteer work that I am an asset to a business, that I have something to offer and that people like me. I thought I would shrivel and die if I were not part of a couple; I even avoided taking off my wedding band for months; but I didn’t die. In fact I think I might be blossoming.
I’ve realized the importance of my family and how lucky I am to have their support and love. At this point all I want to do is help my family to be together and to live comfortably.
As much as I still enjoy talking to or seeing my husband, I find myself cutting things short. When the business is done, I say, “Ok, then. I’ll talk to you later.” and I hang up. If we’re together, I stand up and leave. The old me would have been clinging to his every breath, word, and glance. What a relief! Especially that it comes naturally and is not forced.
He called me yesterday to update me on the case. Not much to tell me, but he has no other person to tell it to, so he calls me. When we were done talking he said, “Have a nice weekend.” And I said, “You too.” And I know that I won’t be obsessing over what he’s doing or who he’s doing. I’ll just have my own weekend. What a relief to actually feel that for real! (hope the feeling lasts).
I will always wish things could have been different. I said to him for years that I wish we had money so that I could figure out if I really loved him or not. I know that sounds odd, but we had such terrible financial stress that I yearned for a calm period just so I could examine our relationship. I heard someone on Chump Lady refer to that as a “trauma bond” and that fits us to a T.
I really resent that he somehow feels above the rest of us who have worked hard all our lives and that he appears to feel no guilt for “letting” me use my assets to bankroll our life together. Even now, as far as I can tell, he’s doing nothing but borrowing money from friends to just get by. He’ll be paying thousands in back rent when he gets his settlement. But god forbid he try to actually earn some money during this time.
I’ve begun to wonder if this bravado he presents to the world is all a terrible act of a man who is very insecure, and that just tugs at my heart strings, unfortunately. To be honest, while we were not really suitable for one another, if he had not cheated, I’d still be plodding along with him out of sheer loyalty (and because he’s still fascinating and good in bed.)
I believe he’ll give me half the settlement, but I fear he’ll take his and use it up before he can do something to help him change his life. I really fear that for him, yet he’s not my problem any more. For his sake and his daughter’s sake, I pray that he finally does something smart to start a career, business, whatever. I know how fast money can trickle through your fingertips.
I need to wrap this up and get ready to spend the day at this children’s fair. I hope they were able to get a spot in the shade!
My god it feels good to feel good. I almost don’t want to fee this good. I fear that I will just sink low again. But I’ll risk it and enjoy it for today. God knows I’ve earned it.