momentary glimpses of bits and pieces of thoughts

This posting may include rambling and disconnected thoughts.

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I’ve just been catching up on reading blogs I follow. There are a lot of them and they are all over the  place. There’s always something, however small, that I’ve connected with in the blogger that has me going back to their blog. In reading this morning, I’ve been transported back years in my own situation to when I was hospitalized and feeling isolated from the world by my “issues”. I’ve remembered a friend’s terrible depression after the suicide of her husband.  I  see joy in the world in some blogs, though photography that I wish I could emulate. Physical medical issues have come up reminding me of years I worked in a bread factory while struggling with depression and bulimia.

Looking at my last post, and the pictures of myself, is not setting well right now. I can’t stand the sight of myself. I know I could edit the post and delete the pictures, but that’s not the point. There I am in my horrible hugeness after feasting (compulsively) my way through Christmas. I know my mom looks at my size with disdain, though she seldom says things directly to me, because of my eating disorder history, but will comment on how big other people are. I doubt she even realizes it, and it probably comes from her own issues with food and body size, but I hear and feel and internalize it all. I’m ashamed of all the weight I’ve gained, how big I am. It’s hard for me to see pictures of myself that are more than just my face. You’ve heard the phrase, “just a shadow of their former self,” well I’m the opposite. I look back at pictures when I was deep in the throes of bulimia. Just my body, not my face, was thin – THIN. I’ve never been able to have that healthily. The holidays – or anytime there’s a buffet or large amounts of food – trigger the eating disorder in me. I can’t puke because it gives me terrible chest pains, though I do still sometimes try. When I can’t puke, I feel worse because I’m stuck with the food in me! Wishing the restrictive behaviors of anorexia upon myself. But I always had to gorge and purge. Anger?

I read about people talking and working with their therapists. I’m jealous. It seems like you’re covering ground. Maybe the few therapists I worked with weren’t the best match. I need someone to push me. Otherwise I hold it all in  and smile up to my top lip. Like my mom. Medications help, but they aren’t here now. I’m not feeling bad right now. But haven’t faced eating yet, talked to anyone or heard how things are going with my son. There’s been no conflict. Those are my triggers. But my chest is already tightening.

Last night, I had a really strong urge to cut because of some things going on with my son who is on vacation. When things go wrong, my fault or not, I turn it all inside. I can’t handle the uncomfortableness of discord. I wanted to talk about it. Somewhere inside I feel responsible for things not going exactly like he had planned. My husband kept saying he didn’t care. (He’s letting our son experience some natural consequences and live with it.) But just hearing the words “don’t care”  and not talking about it, sent shards of guilt through me. Somehow I had done something wrong. I know I dwell, obsess, fixate … I wanted to cause myself physical pain to cover emotional pain. I REALLY wanted to cut. But I didn’t. My sister-in-law gave me two ceramic kitchen knives for Christmas. Very thin and sharp! I can’t say I haven’t had thoughts about the smaller one, the paring knife. Luckily I didn’t go there last night and haven’t for awhile. Let’s hope it stays as ideations and not actions. Life in general is better these days, so maybe it will.

Now I’m older and other things don’t look so well on me either. And I decided, before Christmas, that I would start looking for a job after the holidays. I’m feeling really scared about that. I’m a professional, educated with a master’s degree and terrified about trying to get through a job interview – if I was ever offered one. I’m so afraid of interviewing and how hard it is for me to “sell” myself as being qualified, that I’m likely to take anything, like bagging groceries. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I totally support good honest work of any kind. But I discount myself and if I can’t believe in myself, why would or should an employer? I want to use the skills I have or had, but am afraid that I’ve lost them. I don’t know. And D-Day (post holidays) is only a few days away. GULP! Can I pull the covers over my head until next year?

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Home again, home again. Home again, now!

I had a wonderful two week (almost) visit back to Wisconsin to be with my parents for Christmas. I was also able to see and catch up with a lot of friends and previous colleagues. Seeing my elderly father settling into a daily routine, in his independent living apartment community, and stick to it despite having company, gave me a good feeling. He and my mother are comfortable there and have made a lot of friends. My dad gets out of the apartment for a coffee hour and lunch every day – which means that he is seeing and interacting with people other than my mother. When they were still in their house, he would often go for a week or more seeing only her (or me when I went over.) That was stressful for both of them! We all know what it’s like when you spend too much time with only one other person. Even the best relationships can get ouchy! Although my mom has been able to come and visit me here in California, and will again, I doubt my dad will be able to due to physical limitations. That was why it was so important for me to go see them over Christmas.

my son, dad, mom and me

Peter, Dad, Mom and me

Dad, Mom and me

Dad, Mom and me

father and daughter

father and daughter

I also was able to have Christmas with my sisters-in-law and their families. A long tradition on Christmas day, of rotating homes, will no longer include our house unless they all decide to come out here one Christmas! It was a long day starting with picking my son up at the airport after his overnight flight from San Francisco. Then it was back to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a belated Christmas Eve time (when my family usually does Christmas) before we headed down to the in-laws.

My niece and her husband

My niece and her husband

Anxiety always plagues me over the holidays. I know that the get togethers are all about family, but the eating disorder part of my history and mentalness always kicks in and can’t quite do the food thing very well. I don’t purge, but I do over eat and eat to cope with anxiety, little depressions and any little thing I harbor. I’ve never felt able to talk to others very much about my food issues. And there are so many issues that touch upon it!

Peter and his second cousin  (I think that's what his cousin's son would be?!)

Peter and his second cousin (I think that’s what his cousin’s son would be)

drummer boys!

drummer boys!

Spending all that time away from home also drastically impacted my ability to get any exercise or spend time meditating. The weather didn’t make me feel like walking (cold, snow, gray, wind – all the reasons I moved away from Wisconsin winters!) as well as being in my parents small apartment. LOTS of just sitting occurred. I can feel in throughout my body – like a slug. I desperately tried to meditate every day. I think I was successful only once. Every other time, either the phone would ring, someone would walk in or, if I tried before bed, I would fall asleep.

But I am home now. It was a wonderful visit, but it was time to come home. Seven hours of flight time (2 legs) and a mad dash through the Houston airport have gotten me : home again, home again. Home again, now!

Time to go meditate then go for a much needed walk!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and a little anxiety crept about …

English: Christmas food of Poland, Sanok

The holidays are hard for me though. In addition to the general stress of them and family and trying to be on my best behavior and not argue at all, there’s the food, food, FOOD! It triggers the eating disorder part of me that I’ve also struggled with – failingly – since I managed to stay pretty thin until I went into treatment for bulimia at age 29, but it’s been a downhill battle and increasing weight gain ever since then and my weight is now up about 80 pounds from when I when into treatment! That does a ceaseless number on my self esteem and really makes being around boundless quantities of food distracting. I learned this summer that my bulimia was actually another form of self harm. Unfortunately, my body got to the point that throwing up felt like my chest was being ripped wide open, with no purging results, so I’m left stuck with ingesting food that becomes extra weight.  Sometimes I can kind of forget about my body image … until I see myself in a picture or mirror. And then the self loathing returns. And I want to purge … but I can’t. And I haven’t been self harming (burning or cutting), and know I should keep away from that but would really really really like to – so here I go into the remainder of Christmas Eve and onto Christmas Day with more food, food, food and smiling and not telling. I feel like the size of the Abominable Snowman. I can feel my anxiety bubbling up and ready to seep out or every crevice as if my body was made of porous  building blocks.

I do love my family, every one of them!