Love

Post #3

Yesterday, dh and I were texting and he sent me some texts that I need to remember, so I am going to put them here so I can look back at them:

Me: I just have “gotta get it all done” panic.

DH: You don’t. You have made so much progress.

You’ll do a little more work with them, and then come home, wherever you are in your process. And you’ll be OK.

And we’ll take care of you and you’ll continue to work on on things.

And there will be good days and harder days.

For better and for worse…

In sickness and in health…

I love you. And your deserve to be loved and to be cared for.

Me: U r making me cry

DH: I don’t want you to heap unrealistic expectations on yourself.

You don’t have to be perfect, to be “all better,” for me (or any of us) to love you.

I know I’m not perfect, either.

wanna video chat?

I love this man soooo much.

My Family Of Origin And Food

My Family of Origin and Food

I have been a bit reluctant to blog about this because I am aware that it will highlight some of the dysfunction in my family of origin…But I am guessing that I am sort of a walking symptom of that dysfunction and it isn’t really any surprise that my upbringing was sort of fucked up.  And since I tend to lay it all here on the blog…Why not add more?

I am not sure how old I was when I became aware of food as an issue in my family.  You know, you grow up a certain way and you think that it’s normal…You don’t even question it.  So…I don’t know when my awareness slid from “this is normal” to “this isn’t normal.”

My dad was a clearly dysfunctional eater.  He was/is extremely obese and had very odd eating behaviors.  He ate excessively and drank sugared soda like it was water.  That was kind of normal.  Odd things were like mixing brown sugar and water into a sort of slurry and drinking it.  Or drinking salad dressing.  Weird.  Not normal.  I easily understood that!  I don’t know what drove him to his eating habits…he wasn’t heavy when my parents married.  Clearly something changed dramatically for him.

My mom was also obese when I was growing up.  She wasn’t heavy either when they got married…Her eating habits and soda drinking  were excessive, but did not appear to be dysfunctional in the same way as my dad’s.  Except of course her dieting.  She tried all sorts of diets.  She lost weight here and there, but never kept it off.  Not until the early 2000’s when she had a gastric bypass.  She lost lots of weight then…And while the amount she ate changed, what she ate never actually changed.  She kept eating the same old crap.  Subsequently, she has very slowly, but steadily gained weight.  And so she talks about dieting again.

Ever since I remember, my mom has tried to micromanage my dad’s eating habits and weight. She still does it now. It is kind of ironic as she both micromanages him and enables him…She buys crap for food, which they both eat…But then she tries to keep my dad from eating too much of it.  We will have dinner at their house and she will scold him about what he is eating or about him having a second or third helping…She will even slap his hand away as he will pick at the food on the table non-stop.  As soon as her back is turned, my dad will wolf down food…Which my mom will then notice and chide him for.  It is awkward to watch.  It also does no good…She has only driven him to be worse and it has become a sort of game/power struggle to them.

I remember when I was young that my mom even wanted to chain and padlock the fridge shut to keep my dad from eating.  I can’t remember if she actually ever did it, but I feel like when I saw my dad drinking the brown sugar it was because he didn’t have access to other food.  But my memory is hazy on some details.

Now…that was the tone and dynamic in my home.  But there were other really bizarre things too.  There were “special foods” that children were not allowed to eat, basically, only my mom was allowed to eat them.  This ranged from junk food like Pepperidge Farms cookies to actual healthy foods like fresh fruit.

One of the “special foods” injustices that I clearly remember was foods my mom would eat in the car.  My mom would stop at farm stands and get fresh peas, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries….Yummy, delicious, drool-worthy items.  My sister and I would sit in the back seat and beg and beg for some…If she bought a pint of raspberries, we might get 2 or 3 berries each (to shut us up) and my dad would get a handful and my mom would eat the rest. It was never fair.  And my sister and I knew it.  Talk about feeling like a second-class citizen.  We weren’t worthy of having good food.  And how hard would it have been to buy two pints of berries, one for the front seat, one for the back seat? But I don’t think my mom did a good job of looking past her own wants.  (Clearly!)

And as a slight topic shift….The day I went strawberry picking with SS (The event that earned her the Social Strawberries pseudonym) she had Pixie with her.  When we went to the farm stand to pay and SS and Pixie spotted some raspberries and bought them.  And then SS did the most “normal” thing.  Of course, Pixie wanted some raspberries and wanted them right away, so SS found a little container, poured some raspberries in it and gave them to Pixie to eat.  I admit, I felt a little pang when I watched it.  That interaction highlighted how normal people would do it.  I felt a little…I don’t know…That pang was sort of a wistfulness for what I didn’t have.  If I recall correctly, SS even offered me some raspberries…Normal behavior again and even courteous!

K…back to my family dysfunction….So my mom’s dieting…Mostly, I ignored it.  But when I was about 14, I got sucked into it.  My parents decided to go to Nutrisystem.  It’s a diet place that supplies food for you to eat and weekly “support” meetings.  I got dragged along.  I don’t remember if I wanted to go or not…Or if I had a choice or not…But I feel like maybe it wasn’t really my choice.

The program actually had teen meetings for the “support” meetings…But my parents were never big on accommodating/putting effort into meeting my needs (my sister was not part of this diet…I don’t remember why not).  So…I had to go to the adult meeting with my parents.  Not only was it totally awkward and I was totally out of place and not age-appropriately supported, but….I had to be at the same meeting as my parents. (Not a good set-up for being honest and processing eating issues.) I basically remember about three things from that diet. 1. The food was crap (and it frightens me now to think of what kind of fake sugar and processed crap were in those little foil pouches of “food”), 2. I was ashamed, ashamed, ashamed at being part of the “support” meetings and with all those grown-ups, and 3. I knew my dad was going to fail at the diet because he may have changed what he ate, but he didn’t change his eating habits…So, instead of eating a whole bag of chips, he ate a whole bag of baby carrots…Meaning that when the diet fizzled out, he went right back to eating his whole bag of chips.

Did I lose weight? Probably, but it wasn’t enough of an impact that I actually remember it. Did I learn anything? Just more body shame/self-loathing.  Oh yes…and I learned that I was a failure at self-control and dieting. And…by not being accommodated for the teen meetings, it also reinforced that I wasn’t important.

As a kid who had developed emotional eating as a survival skill, basically I spent most of my middle school and high school years feeling guilty and ashamed for what I ate.  Heck…I didn’t even need to produce the shame myself as my parents did a good job of shaming me for it.   Food/eating and being fat was yet another example of how I was not good enough, didn’t do anything right and….Failed at “Pretty is as Pretty does.”

Do you think I could have ever been good enough for my mom? That I could ever be the child she wanted me to be?  The bar was so high.  And every time I tried to reach it…I just got kicked down. I was never ever good enough. Never.

Is it a wonder that I think that my parents hate me?

It’s good thing I was plucky kind of girl…because when I write all these history posts and actually see the stuff I grew up with…I just have no idea how I made it out of my family of origin as an actual functional human being.  But I can clearly see how I ended up with my self-esteem issues and perfectionism and self-loathing and eating dysfunctions, etc.

And then I always think…All of this was on top of the sexual abuse that I experienced when I was little girl.  How did I even survive at all?

Knitting

Since it was so cold yesterday (today is balmy in comparison at -10) and since I am processing the history blog posts, I spent a lot of time knitting.  I got a couple rows done on the striped square.  But…I got tons done on the kimono sweater. I have to finish the second sleeve and then knit the second front panel and the knitting will be done!

0215160650

0215160651

What I Would Like To Tell My Nutritionist and Knitting And More

What I Would Like To Tell My Nutritionist

Another week has wrapped around and I have a Nutritionist appointment this afternoon.  As always, I dread the appointment as this is my hardest appointment of the week.  Yes…Therapy is hard, but the Nutritionist is hard in a different way…And it makes it feel harder.

I do like my Nutritionist and I know she has my best interest in mind and wants to help me to help myself.  And she is always very positive…Which is good, because one of us needs to have some positivity.

What would I like to tell her?

I am not perfect.  Nope, I am not.  I try very hard to be perfect, and I would really like to do everything perfectly, but I cannot.  That doesn’t prevent me from trying…Which is a constant set-up for failure…But that’s a discussion for another time.  Every time I walk into your office, I am embarrassed and ashamed because I did not do my “homework” and meet the goals we made last week.  I would love to just skip my appointments (and I think about not coming anymore a lot) to avoid the embarrassment, but it seems like not coming would be a poor choice in the long run.

I know that I have said that I hyper-focus on my eating to have some control in my life.  And that is true…But it is a funny double-edged sword because somehow my hyper-focus has moved beyond my control.  And I am not sure how to reel myself back in.  I don’t want to admit that I don’t have control because I feel both very confused by the control/no control dichotomy and I am a little bit scared by not being in control and I don’t know what to do about not having control over my eating disorder.

That’s why I never meet my goals, because I don’t have total control over my behavior anymore.  I try to meet my goals.  I really do try. I hear what you say…I am always super skeptical, but I try.  We made a goal of me eating fruit leather before exercising.  I made sure I have fruit leather stocked in my cupboards so that I would be ready to do it.  The next day, when it was fruit leather time, a whole one seemed too much…So I cut it in half and ate half.  I know that the attempt is worth almost as much as succeeding.  But then the next day, I couldn’t do it again.  And the next day, I couldn’t…and on and on. And then I felt guilty and like I have failed.  It doesn’t matter that I tried, all I can see is that I failed.

It has been this way over and over again. Protein pancakes?  Yup…I tried.  I didn’t have ricotta cheese, so I found a recipe for ones with cottage cheese. I made the batter, I cooked the pancakes…And I couldn’t eat them.  As a matter of fact, they became a contributing factor to a huge emotional melt-down. (I don’t blame the pancakes…But they were kind of the last straw.  Sometimes, I am just hanging on by a thread and evidently changing what I eat that dramatically is just too overwhelming.)

But sometimes, I do hear you and I do get there.  Eating more carbs (sweet potatoes and white potatoes)?  It took me a couple of weeks, but this week I have had sweet potato or white potato almost every single day.  You say carbs are important…My body needs them.  Okay…I want them too then (as long as they don’t disrupt my calories for the day) and I worked them in.  It is actually not atypical for me to take a week or two or four to integrate change.  I am like that with lots of things…Sometimes, it takes me months (like 6-9) to work up to a suggested psych med change.  I don’t like change…and it is even harder with changing things I put into my body.

I hope you don’t think I am being difficult when I walk into your office and have yet again failed with my homework.  I am not trying to be difficult.  I am just stuck…Trapped by my own baggage. I feel like I am going around and around in circles.  It is frustrating for me and exhausting.

I said before that I am confused…Lots of things about my eating disorder confuse me.  For example, I like that I am losing weight, lots of it and fast.  On a superficial level, the weight loss itself is very rewarding.  On a deeper lever, the control, the strength, the power and self-control I feel…It is much more rewarding. I am strong. I am decisive. I even have some pride in my ability to deny myself.  It makes me feel good.  But…as I said before, I also know that I have lost control and the eating disorder is in control.  And I know I am hurting myself and that the longer I do it the more I will damage my body.  And I try and try to ignore the symptoms I have like being freezing cold all the time, the heart palpitations and tachycardia, the weakness, feeling faint when I stand up, feeling shaky, poor short-term memory, fuzzy thinking.  All that stuff concerns me and I don’t like feeling all those symptoms.  But, I can’t make my brain decide that the negatives outweigh the positives.  I don’t know how to do it.

When you asked me what my end game is….I didn’t know what to say.  I had never thought of it that way before.  End game?  I have no clue.  I don’t know when I will stop what I am doing…I don’t even know if I can stop what I am doing.  We’ll see what happens in therapy.  I think that therapy success is the key to it all…But I just don’t know if I can get better fast enough in therapy.  Can I get better emotionally before I crash physically?  I guess that is the big question.

Anyway…So, here we are at another Thursday.  And I didn’t meet my goals.  And after the melt-down on Saturday, I have had a back-slide with some of my progress.  I am repeating foods each day…As a matter of fact, I have pretty much eaten the same things for the same meals all week.  It feels safe right now and I need the security.  But…it isn’t all bad because I got those carbs in.  Has it been part of my repeating cycle? Yup.  But hopefully the potatoes count for something.

At this point, I wouldn’t blame you if you just give up on me.  I am not sure I am actually fixable.  But…as long as you want to keep trying, I will keep showing up and trying too.

Sooo…..That’s what I would like to tell her.  Will I?  Of course not.  I don’t want her to think that I am just coming up with excuses for yet another week of failures.

And Knitting And More

I didn’t knit a stitch yesterday. However, I did do a yarn run for my knit-along with Spinnermom.  We cast on today.  I am excited about the colors I picked.

DSCN1626

And here is the pattern we are working…Simple but striking. Instead of white, I am using heather grey.

1114

Yesterday was a sewing day.  I made some more covers, this time for Maternity Leave Mom, J.  I am going over to her house tomorrow to visit with her and her baby.  I can finally see how the soakers fit on a baby!  Oh…And I am dropping off soakers at SS’s house too.

DSCN1624

No More Therapy Talk! and Never Good Enough for Myself

DSCN0876

No More Therapy Talk!

I am completely at a loss after yesterday’s Art Therapy session.  It didn’t seem so hard when I was there, but as I was walking out the door of the building, the “I am so stressed I feel like I could vomit” feeling hit me.  So….something was very triggering.

I think I don’t want to talk about hard things anymore in AT.  I feel totally ripped in two and I can’t take it anymore.

So…I’m not talking about therapy anymore for a few days. I am officially on a therapy processing hiatus.

Never Good Enough for Myself

But, I can talk about the nutritionist!  I had an appointment with her yesterday…I was glad to go as I really needed some gluten-free support.  Since I had such good results from going gluten free, she gave me a 13 page handout which lists lots of things I can eat as well as things I can’t eat.  When she gave the list of okay foods, I felt better, because there is a lot on it, so I can branch out from the limited choices I have had this week.

We also talked about my weight loss, because since the beginning of September, when I really applied myself to the new eating plan, I have lost weight.  She is very excited about it. (She actually is a pretty excited about everything…It’s almost overwhelming to have her be so positive all the time!) She asked me if I was excited…and I said no.  Really, I should have just said yes and been done with it…but I said no because it is the truth.

Of course, she wanted to know why I wasn’t excited…I didn’t quite know what to say.  What I did say was, “We’ll just see if it sticks.”  What I didn’t say is that the weight loss isn’t good enough.  And that I have lost weight before…but I always fail at keeping it off.  That it doesn’t matter if I lost a little bit of weight, I am still ugly and disgusting.  That I am still taking my blood pressure meds.  That I still am not perfect.  Yeah…I don’t even talk about these things with the AT, so I am probably not going to go there with the nutritionist, iykwim (if you know what I mean).  So, when will I be excited and happy?  I have no idea.  I’ve got pretty high standards for myself, and I am nowhere near meeting them.

Perfectionism and Snow and Dreams

DSCN0830

Perfectionism

Have I ever mentioned that I am a recovering perfectionist?

I bring it up because, I am really having a perfectionism relapse.  I am not sure what has triggered this and it is kind of frustrating.  Here are some examples…I was given an Art Therapy project to work on while the AT was on vacation.  I am supposed to be making a book with pictures of “safe places.”  He dubbed it, Heidi’s Big Book of Safe Places.  And so, I started the first picture…It wasn’t coming out perfectly and I was really frustrated and so I left it for a day.  And went back to it and I just couldn’t stand it, so I tore it out and threw it away.  I worked on two other pictures and they are acceptable I guess….but they aren’t perfect and it really bothers me.  (And I started it before the AT forgetting issue, so it was not related to that.)

Pottery class?  Crazy perfectionism.  My projects are not coming out the way I want and it is killing me.  To me, they look stupid and trashy and the farthest thing from perfect.  I totally wanted to scrap them…but I am suffering through it, like maybe the glaze will help them look better?  Or maybe they will just look kindergarten quality and stupid, but with glaze.  Ugh!

And then yesterday, we celebrated my MIL’s birthday and I made a cake with chocolate frosting.  Dh thought it was kind of plain looking, so I tried sprinkling confectioner’s sugar into a cookie cutter, to then lift the cookie cutter and leave the shape on the frosting.  Only it didn’t work.  I was so frustrated because it made the cake not perfect.  So frustrated that I stomped off to the couch and just about burst into tears.  Ds said, “It’s just a cake. It’s fine.”  And I know it’s just a cake…but it wasn’t perfect anymore.  It was ruined.

So…this is all challenging. I kind of thought I had more control of my hyper-perfectionism but I guess I don’t…And I don’t know what changed and what has made it sooo extreme right now.

Snow

DSCN0829

It snowed yesterday. It is snowing right now.  There is snow accumulating.  And I am not ready.  Last winter was sooo awful for me in terms of my mood…Like really, really bad.  And I am pretty much dreading this winter because of it.  Several challenging things happened between just about his time last year and through February and I did not handle it well at all.  And my mood and anxiety just got worse and worse and worse….I am so afraid this winter will be like last winter….I don’t want to feel that bad again.  So…for me, the snow is sort of a harbinger of ill.  And it makes me feel stressed and anxious.

But…I did take pictures for folks who I know will enjoy seeing the snow. And maybe your excitement can help shift my trepidation.

DSCN0825

Probably time to mulch the strawberries!

And the dogs get double layer, extra warm jammies today! ❤

DSCN0836

DSCN0833

Dreams

So, my dreams have been okay for a week or so.  Which is great!  But last night…I had a dream where I was living with a family and I was in charge of their large number of children. The kids were outside playing in the yard and a bear cub came along, and then another cub and then the angry momma bear.  And I had to get all the children in the house and lock the doors and keep out the momma bear.  Only the doors were flimsy. And then the bear tried to come in the window, so I tried to close the window, but the windows didn’t have locks…you could actually see at some point they had had locks, but they had been removed.  And, while doing all this bear guarding, I kept trying to call 911 to get help…but I kept misdialing the number.  Like, I bet I called 15 times in the dream. Of the 15 times,I dialed the wrong number a dozen times and I got through three times, once with a message saying 911 was closed for lunch and to call back later, once I was put on hold and no one ever came back, and the third time, I got someone who didn’t take my need seriously.  Talk about a stressful dream! (And the trying to use the phone to get help and not being able to dial the right number is a recurring  dream that I have had for probably 30 years!)

The dream then shifted to where I slept in the family’s house.  I slept at the bottom of a set of wooden stairs that had a door at the last step. There were bags of trash and old dusty cardboard boxes and junk that filled the bottom few steps to make a place for me to sleep. So, I slept in this nasty, hard, cold stairwell on top of trash.  All the children in the home had nice bedrooms and there were even two empty rooms and I hoped that one was going to be for me….And I talked to the mother about it….But she just took me back to my trash stairs and that was my place.

Nice, eh?  The AT and I have been talking forever about his contention that I matter and I have been telling him forever that me, my feelings, nothing about me matters.  And in my dream…I didn’t matter enough for 911 to help me and I didn’t matter enough to have any place other than trash in which to sleep.  See…even my psyche knows I don’t matter!

Anyway….at least it wasn’t a nightmare, but it was a pretty stressful dream.