how to get unfat...step one, ask for help

What made me fat, part 2.
Okay, so yesterday was the post traumatic post. Now is the first step in how I found myself back in my body. It was no easy task and was as messy and ugly as you would expect.

You see, when it comes right down to brass tacks, everything in life is where you draw the line. When I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to draw any. I was told I didn't have the right. I was also shown that I didn't have the right. I had no say over my own body, my own space, my own feelings. I was raised to believe I needed to keep as small as possible, because getting noticed would get you into trouble. Then, if I was noticed, I needed to make sure I wasn't a 'burden' and that i wasn't 'in the way'. I carried this attitude into adulthood and it nearly led me to a nervous breakdown.

I got married at 19. I wanted my marriage to work. My standard answer to everything was "No problem, I will take care of that". I fixed everything. If my husband said he had invited someone to dinner at the last minute...it was 'no problem'. He volunteered to move us cross country and we had to be there in one month, I am pregnant and he will be going on ahead so can I handle it?...I would say "no problem". Gone eight to nine months out of the year with noone to watch or babysit my kids, no family and very few friends. "No problem'. Now, did I really have no problems? No. I just stuffed down all my problems, I explained them away. His job was Very Important. I had to be a Good Army Wife. I decided that I should shut up and take what I could get. My stress never abated, because I never admitted to having any. I was essentially a single mother with a husband who was in Special Forces and was gone constantly. On top of this, my husband was an alcoholic on a team full of alcoholics. He spent much of the time he did have at home, at the team room getting drunk with his team mates. It was the 'norm' in sf. That is probably why the divorce rate in sf is 70 percent and up. I never put my foot down with my husband, I never said no. I never complained to my friends or my family because they all had their own problems. I never let anyone lift my burden. I handled everything alone. I was a control freak and couldn't admit to needing help.

Then, a bunch of things happened that I couldn't control or fix. The first was September 11th. My husband geared up and began training like crazy, In February of 2003, he was in Northern Iraq..one full month before we went to war. He was training Kurds and was part of a contingent of sf whose job it was to confuse the Iraqi army by making them believe the invasion was coming from the North. It worked, when 3rd Id (I think) came up from the south, the majority of the Iraqi army was looking the other way. I knew for a month and could tell no one. Then my big brother was diagnosed as having Aids. I can't tell you how that messed with my concept of a fair and just God. I have seen God's grace bear out, but it took awhile, back then, all I could see was the blatant unfairness. My husband came back and then deployed again in 2004; Then, when hubby returned from his second deployment, I got pregnant...and miscarried. These three things: My husband continual going to war, My brother's Aids diagnosis, and my miscarriage...they were things I couldn't control and I couldn't fix. I still remember coming home from the hospital crying after the docter couldn't find a heartbeat and saying "I am fine." I wasn't, the doctor has said that I could probably carry a baby easier if I lost some weight, and in my mind that became, I killed my baby. I said nothing, I couldn't ask for help. I simply stopped talking. I would just go for these long drives in my car. I could feel myself going further and further away. The kids would talk, and I would just look at them. I didn't feel anything. I knew something was WAY OFF. But I couldn't seem to make it right. Then one day, my husband was cleaning out the garage and threw away my art desk. Now, I hadn't drawn or painted in a few years, but I still felt like he was throwing the rest of me away. But by this time in our marriage, I had built up so much resentment because I had never bothered to tell him anything before. Boy, howdy...out it came. Every snub, every time I hadn't said no, every time he had overlooked my birthday, wedding anniversary, time spent at work when he really could have been home. You name it, it got flung. All the hurt I had been burying, up and out...right there in the garage. When I was done, he just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. Then, I asked him what he wanted for dinner. When I realized what I had said, I just started laughing hysterically. He looked at me like I was crazy. I was a little.

Then my little brother called and asked me to come out to las vegas for his wedding. This was in 2005. So, my husband had been to Iraq twice already and was getting ready for a third deployment,. I knew this was what I needed. I needed to go away. I told my husband who said okay, but I could tell it wasn't..and so I asked for help. I called my mother in law. She came out and helped him deal with the kids for the five days I would be gone. I was so tired that even though this was the first time I would be leaving the kids, I just wanted to go. I remember thinking as I left, Oh, I will have a lot of time to sort through all of my thoughts and I will get myself straightened out and be back on track....back to my old self. What I didn't realize was that my old self was the problem. I can't fit this into one post. I will say this, The best thing I did do to start was to ask for help. If I hadn't reached out to my mother in law, I would have never went. If I wouldn't have gone, I don't know where I would be right now. Certainly not right here, typing this out. I wouldn't be 22 pounds lighter than I was two months ago. I would probably still be walking around, half dead emotionally. Step one was asking for help. Do it daily. Don't do everything alone. People want to help. Your friends want to help, and if they don't then they aren't your friends.
For years I was known as the dependable one. I had an even keel. That's good to a point, and that point is when you buy the bull that you don't need help and you don't need a shoulder to lean on. Tommorrow is step two. Start speaking the truth. Until you acknowledge the reality of your situation, of your relationships, of where you are in life, you won't know what is wrong and you won't be able to fix it.

Tommorrow is also my first day of one pound, one hundred times. My first step to a healthy BMI. I hope everyone is on their own plan and working it.


Amber said...

I'm here!
your friend,

Hanlie said...

I'm so glad you learned to ask for help.

Reading this is quite painful, since you touch so many nerves, but I'm glad you're writing this all out, Chris.

Patty said...

I am on the edge of my seat when reading your last few posts. You really should write a book.

You are right. We all need help at times, and people really do want to help.