My girl was released last Monday (2/17). She was happy to be “out” and said it felt like she hadn’t been in the real world for months. Appointments for follow-up care were made through the facility. Today is her first appointment with a facility that provides the DBT treatment recommended for BPD. She will have two weeks of one-on-one therapy/counseling to assess if she is serious about therapy and learning new skills. If it is deemed she is not serious, we are back to square one. If she decides she doesn’t want to be in treatment, she is back to square one. At this point I have no clue if she will go to this first appointment or not. If she doesn’t, I don’t know what is next.
Her first night home she came to me later in the evening and asked if she could go to a friends house for the night that lives in our town. She doesn’t have to ask my permission, she is 19 years old. I asked all the questions, who, why, where, etc. She told me she was worried about being alone all day the following day and having nothing to keep her mind busy. So, she left for the night.
What pissed me off the most was the following day, she never bothers to contact me until late in the afternoon. But, I get over it (again). She was home Tuesday by early evening. Wednesday, she left for a friend that lives in the same town that drippy lives in. Now, supposedly this friend despises drippy and is very against my girl being involved with him. I tell her all my concerns and apprehensions. But she goes. She returns home Friday early afternoon. I had limited contact with her Wednesday – Friday, but did ask about drippy and if she was going to be seeing him. I was told she did not yet know what she was going to do, but if she did decide to see him her friend would be there so she was safe (picture me modding my head with a very disgusted look on my face). At some point Friday I asked her if she saw/talked to drippy. She said she talked to him on the phone. Later that evening I notice a mark on my girls neck. How I remained calm I do not know. It was a hickey. I called her out on it, to which she replied she only saw him for a few minutes…………at that point I could actually feel the tiny amount of hope I was holding onto seep from my body. I was a pile of sludge on the floor, no bones, no feelings – just sludge. I sent my girl a text late Friday night when I was tossing and turning. I just realized I deleted it, but basically said something like – He is claiming you by marking you with a hickey. He is showing us he is back in control. Dad and I don’t want to control you, we want to help you on your path to recovery.” I got no response.
This is now the me part. This may contain little bits of information about my past and my emotional hang-ups.
I haven’t slept an entire night for a long time. Since seeing the hickey on Friday, I feel more defeated than I have in a very long time. I tend to be a natural born caregiver. Growing up (and no I’m not complaining, just stating facts) I had to be the adult at times. At times I take on more than I should, but I want to be able to do it all for the people I love and care about. But, I also wish during times like these that the people around me understood how incredibly hard and draining this situation with my girl is. There are nights where I want to go to bed at 6PM and honestly I need to. I’m not good at raising my white flag and admitting I feel defeated. Right now I feel so completely selfish and I HATE THAT. I hate that I feel like I am sabotaging my health and other personal relationships to keep my girl safe. I don’t want to resent my girl and her mental health issues. I guess I wish more of the people around me understood that. I wish they could see me silently screaming from the inside. But I try to smile and keep up a fake front, so it’s really my flaw and issue to deal with.
I have a bay window in my dining room FILLED with glass balls, all different sizes, shapes and colors. I love that window. It makes me happy. I keep having a dream where all the balls start falling and breaking. It starts slowly and as I am running to the window to try and save them, they start falling faster and faster. I have no control or power to stop them from falling and breaking and I can never replace them. Of course I know what this means, I’m not a complete idiot.
As a society, there is so much information shoved down our throats about practicing self-care, putting yourself first. But is that really possible? To truly and honestly take care of myself, right now, the first thing I would need to do is quit my job. Why? Because five days a week, for nine hours a day I am surrounded by what my life is like at home with my girl. I may or may not have mentioned at one point that I work in a police department office. I’m currently in my 31st year. My hours at work are filled with reminders. The domestic calls. The little spats that after a few months turn into violent assaults. The mental health calls, people threatening suicide, attempting suicide, committing suicide. Every day it surrounds me – at home, and at work – all the time “it” is in my face and in my head. It’s too much and it’s overwhelming. What happens when I quit my job of 31 years and the salary and benefits that come with it stop? I create another stress. Money isn’t everything, but living in this world isn’t free. I need the health benefits. I don’t have a huge pension waiting for me when I can’t continue to work. I need to work or find a way to become independently wealthy. I don’t take tropical vacations, hell I don’t take vacations period. The leave time I have benefits not only me, but my family as well. I am permitted to use my time for family related issues. My girl currently being a family related issue that takes up quite a bit of my leave time. And of course the health benefits that help pay for all the various treatments, doctor appointments, and medications for my girl are invaluable at this time. So, what do I do?
I have not participated in any physical activity that is for my health in over a year. That is all on me and it makes me so fucking mad at myself. In December of 2011, I had gastric bypass surgery. At the time I was just a bit over the 300 pound mark. It was something that I did for me and it was a decision I have not regretted. It was hard, but I did it. At my lowest I was down to almost 140. But that was just not maintainable and I honestly did not like the way I looked. Yes, I could fit into a size I never was in before, but there is more to me than a size – right? I felt very comfortable with myself and my body around 170. I have exceeded that weight over the last 8 months.
One thing I found out about myself going through the gastric bypass journey, food is a comfort to me. It started as a kid. I’m not blaming anyone, that is just the way it was growing up. All emotions and feelings are wrapped around food, happiness, sadness, loss, pain – eat and it will be OK. I also grew up with a sister who always thin and beautiful. That is not her fault and I’m in no way blaming her for my issues, but my family had a way to constantly compare me to her – as far as our physical shape. Anyway, food has again become a comfort. I eat when I’m not hungry. I eat things I know I shouldn’t. I am the only one who can control what goes into my body and I’m failing myself.
As I fail myself in controlling my weight, I find myself revisiting the old feelings of body image issues. I already talked about one of my issues, that of constantly comparing myself to my sister. However, I know it goes deeper than that. Here is one of my dark little secrets.
I know it was a Saturday night in 1984, I was 14. I know it was a Saturday night because I was up late watching Saturday Night Live. If I close my eyes I can picture the living room. I can describe in detail where the sofa, TV, chairs, and plants were. I can see the pattern of the sofa and the color of the carpet. Anyway, a family friend stopped at the house. I was the only one awake, my mom was upstairs asleep and my sister was probably out with friends. I’m not sure exactly how the person became a family friend, but he was around quite a bit. He was 21 or 22 at the time. That would be 7 or 8 years older than me. I assume the door to the house was unlocked because my sister wasn’t home yet. At the time I don’t remember it seeming odd that he stopped by the house that late. Now, I find it very odd. This was someone I always felt very comfortable with. Never got a creepy vibe. Probably considered him like an older brother or uncle type person. I knew at that time that he had a thing for my sister, but she was in no way interested in him. Back to the story. I was laying down on the sofa watching SNL. He came in and sat down on the sofa, closest to my head (I was laying on my stomach). For a little while we just watched TV. At some point his arm/hand end up on my back area. And then he decided to show me his penis and what a penis does. While he is jerking off right in front of my face, his hand works down my back to my ass and under my PJ’s and he starts touching me in places he should never have touched. When he was “finished” he left. Why didn’t I jump up and scream, why did I let it happen, why didn’t I tell my mom? I was scared, I was confused, I was hurt.
Guess what the one thing my 14 year old brain took from that incident? I didn’t need to be skinny or beautiful to get attention. I found out I had other “things” that boys wanted and it didn’t matter if my “things” were covered in a layer or two of fat. This made the 14 year old feel wanted, needed and comforted. Fortunately, my soul mate came into my life a few years later and showed me he could love me for me and not my “things”. There are times I still struggle with body image. I think I felt more comfortable being naked at 300 pounds with my husband than I do now. But he knows that and loves me anyway.
I feel like I am now totally off topic! Sorry about that. I think the purpose of this post is just to give whoever is reading this a little background on me and how all that happens in our lives effects us forever and shapes us mentally, emotionally and physically. So while I face my everyday stresses and struggles, I tend to revert back to old practices of comfort. I am trying change. I will continue to try for all the people I love and care about. I need to be the best me I can be. I owe myself that.