My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, December 27, 2008

because of you / you are what you eat

I spent last night searching for a blog background and finally decided I wanted something fresh, open, uncluttered... I wanted to be able to display my pictures easily... and that's why I have the plain background. The theory is that I will decorate it with my words and pictures!

It's funny how life goes on even from my nest. I'm resting... not moping... just enjoying a morning where I don't have to rush around and do anything. Even though I had two days off last week - they were action packed. Sunday mornings are busy. I needed a day where I could be lazy... and I'm having a blast chilling out, talking on the phone, emailing, watching tv (Little House on the Prairie and Scott Baio is 46 and pregnant and country music videos).

I'm also reading this fabulous book that my brother and his girlfriend gave me for Christmas. Likely, it was chosen by Candice and financed by Bryan, which is fine... she knew exactly what I needed and I am really inspired by reading it! The book is "You Are What You Eat" and it's essentially about a healthy diet - including one of my favorite topics - healing foods. I am a big believer in healing with foods and herbs rather than medicine. I believe in it - but haven't been living that way for the past few years.

You know... what happened with me in that respect... I'm very interested in nutrition and if you read my early weight loss blogs, you will remember how I used herbal/natural remedies to finally heal from a bad case of cellulitis that antibiodics would not heal. I had hoped that in moving to Jacksonville I would be able to finally work on furthering my education and getting some type of degree relating to that passion and interest I had in nutrition. That got shot down because I was told that I would never make enough money by doing that.

When I look back and do an autopsy on what went wrong in Jacksonville... I can pinpoint different things like that which eroded my sense of self and my sense of wonder and hope and expectation. I withered on the vine. It started with not having internet (although we certainly could afford it) and being cut off from my global community right at the exact moment in time that I was losing my usual ties to my local community. And what internet contact I did have... I had to censor myself and not discuss things as they really were... I had to lose that sense of honesty and frankness that is just who I am...

It was a loss of my spirituality... because I wanted so badly to share that part of my life with a husband who mocked and made fun of my faith... and yet who wouldn't really welcome me in his faith. He would go to church on Sunday mornings, never letting me know he was going. I didn't completely understand his church but I was open to learning, just to be able to understand him better, just to have SOMETHING that we did as a couple. Eventually he told me he didn't WANT me to try to participate in his religion because he knew I didn't believe it and would be doing it just for him. Well... I think marriage is a basic process of doing things for one another... and I think you have to seek spiritual intimacy above any other kind of intimacy... your spirit is the only immortal part of you...

Looking back, I also realize that was part of his inability to achieve emotional intimacy. He couldn't let me into his life... whether it was knowing about his spirituality, what was going on at work, letting me know what was in his bank account, letting me know what debts he had or what medical conditions he was worried about... one of the biggest fights we ever had was because I went to his doctor. I had to find a doctor in Jacksonville and I figured as choosy as he was, he would have found a good one. I wanted a good doctor. Heaven knows I needed one over the past year! He was furious about it... felt it was a huge invasion of his privacy for the same person who was privvy to his deepest darkest medical secrets to also know me - his wife... and I imagine he still resents it. I was in the dark and excluded from so much of his life. The irony of it is that she seems to have found that intimacy with him. That may be the part that hurts the most... not any physical intimacy they may have... but that he opened a part of his heart to a stranger that he would not allow his wife to enter.

While I was in Jacksonville, there was a loss of my natural curiousity. I'm a person who is constantly evolving and reinventing myself. I was told that I run ideas up the flagpole to see if they fly... so what if I do? I am a girl with big ideas and big dreams. I'm sometimes a little weak on the follow through... but I am always having realizations and epiphanies. That's who I am! I am a wide eyed "golly gee whiz" kind of person who is amazed at the simplest things - a sunset, flowers, laughter of children - I was teased about not being able to stick to things... and discouraged from pursuing new things... I was told, "Act like you've been here before"... and received no support or encouragement to continue to evolve. I really wanted to go to college and for the first time in my life it felt remotely possible... but when I was told that I couldn't go... and the door slammed on another aspect of my community. I wanted to take belly dancing classes. I was flatly forbidden. So many things... so many times I tried to find SOMETHING to pull myself out of the pit I was sinking into... only to be denied.

I did find a church that I really liked at one point. I was excited about belonging there, building community... I was excited about taking Bobby because I knew it would help him with the boredom he felt when he would spend time with us and it would be a continuity of the the foundation of faith his mother was giving him. But I wasn't allowed to take him to "that place". When I tried to talk about what happened at church... I got a response of a grimace and a groan. I wanted to share my heart, you see... and he didn't want to be there. I think on so many levels he was embarassed by my simplicity.

Simplicity, though, is a special ability to find joy in the common activities of daily life. It's being awed by a sunrise... it's appreciating little things... One of the best gifts he ever got me (besides the laptop!) was a collection of Seuss characters. He bought Horton for me and I was so thrilled about it that he went back and bought me the rest of the characters. It was such a beautiful gesture... and that's really all I wanted... to be thought of, considered, a part of his day, a part of his heart. I didn't need big diamonds or trips or nights in expensive hotels or meals in fancy restaurants. The best meals we ever shared were the breakfasts he would make... omelets... time at the table as a family... We lost that simplicity.

Marriage should be about compromise... but both marriage partners should compromise. It should never be just one person giving up who they are and the basic tenets of their faith and character. Especially if the other marriage partner is incapable of replacing what is lost. When you make someone your everything, it's a huge responsibility on them. These things that slipped away from me... they took me away too. I would look in the mirror and not even recognize myself. I was just a shell of who I used to be. Part of the painful process for me now is finding me again, deprogramming myself... being reminded that it's ok to be a "golly gee whiz" girl... being reminded that who I am is infinitely ok.

I didn't start this post with the idea of talking about the failure of my marriage and the reasons (beyond the obvious) that I think it failed... but ultimately I think the only way I can find my way back is to figure out how I got there... to that dark place... in the first place! I spent a full year in complete isolation... completely regressing from all the positive dietary and fitness changes I had made in my life over the past four years. My blog started as a weight loss tool... and it will be again... So much of weight loss is emotional - especially if you're an emotional eater! I have to figure out which things I am avoiding because of the emotional damage that happened... the areas of my life that I shut down to try to assimilate in a world that didn't accept who I really am... and part of that was my interest in nutrition.

*I hope it didn't seem like i went all the way around the world to make that point... sometimes it's just a matter of me talking it out for my own understanding!*

You Are What You Eat is a great refresher for me of the place I had grown to in early 2006... and now... three years later... I'm excited to be finding my way back! I'm excited to reintroduce myself to those foods and that lifestyle that I had not been able to maintain. It's really hard to live healthy when you don't really want to live. I'm working to find joy in the things that brought me joy before... I'm determined to heal without pills, without numbing myself with comfort foods, without sleeping away the pain. I'm ready to rejoin the world.

Ironically... the song playing on tv right now is Because Of You...

I will not make the same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery
I will not break the way you did,You fell so hard
I've learned the hard way
To never let it get that far
Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I lose my way
And it's not too long before you point it out
I cannot cry
Because I know that's weakness in your eyes
I'm forced to fake
A smile, a laugh everyday of my life
My heart can't possibly break
When it wasn't even whole to start with
Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid
I watched you die
I heard you cry every night in your sleep
I was so young
You should have known better than to lean on me
You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain
And now I cry in the middle of the night
For the same damn thing
Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I try my hardest just to forget everything
Because of you
I don't know how to let anyone else in
Because of you
I'm ashamed of my life because it's empty
Because of you
I am afraid
Because of you
Because of you

There was a time that I desperately wanted to talk to her to warn her... to encourage her to hold on to herSELF. To not change what kind of person she is, what kind of mother she is... to continue to be the person she was on day one. It may seem like making those sacrifices will build a relationship but ultimately, it just keeps you from having enough left to participate in a relationship. Misty never stopped looking for love. She was married when I met Michael and during the brief time he and I were together - two and a half years - she lived with at least four different guys, including Sean, who she had baby Brennen with. Our last conversation before she died was about how alone she felt with Michael... I think she spent the rest of her life trying to never feel alone like that again. I almost died searching for that love. I don't know how long it will take me to recover, to heal the hurts from losing mySELF in that way. As angry as I am sometimes at her for the role she played in the end of my marriage... I hurt for her... I hurt to think that she may someday feel what I have felt. I hurt for what she will lose in the process.

This post may get me "in trouble" but I needed to say it. Detox. Junk out. Making room for good stuff.

Love and hugs! Happy Saturday!


Anonymous said...

Don't worry about getting "in trouble" . . . he doesn't, and shouldn't, have any control over you anymore.

As far as the nutritional aspect of your blog . . . I so totally agree with good nutrition and have seen its effects first hand. When Doug went through a 5+ year health turmoil a few years back, orthopedists, rheumatologists, neurologists (and we're talking top-notch physicians at UAB and Emory) couldn't figure out what was wrong with him and what was causing so much pain ~ we found a holistic doctor who diagnosed his mercury poisoning and food allergies in a relatively short period of time. It is amazing that the things we put into our bodies can have such a huge impact in our we feel . . . and this is a guy who has never been a junk-food junkie ~ he's always eaten rather healthy. Just figuring out his wheat allergy was a huge step in helping him combat his debilitating pain (of course, having those silver fillings replaced helped bunches, also).

Take care and enjoy your weekend. Have fun at Jamie's birthday party!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are dwelling again. You really ought to move on. It is apparent from your writing that you and him were not meant for each other. You seem to have the ability to attract men, I am sure that there is one in your future, not these guys from your past.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your going to have a nice relaxing day! Same as me and I LOVE those kind of days! I am looking forward to losing my weight also and returning to the size I once was. I can understand why you gained the weight back in the last couple of years because I also am a stress eater. Although I don't know all that went on with your life in Jville I can tell that stress was on the menu daily.
I agree that appreciating the "Simple" things in life are what counts the most. It will get you thru tough times. Times that you have to do without. I try and teach my kids that. It is easy to become materialistic. Have a great lazy day! Julie

Myra said...

It never hurts to reflect on what went wrong, and learn valuable lessons. We must acknowledge that it is not others that make us happy, it is we who must find it within ourselves.
If "in trouble" means MJD will read this and be "mad"...don't give him that power over you. He has none unless you allow it. Have a great day!

Remo said...

I find myself prone to a little professional introspection in that I tend to deconstruct events like a crime scene and figure out where things went wrong. I'm also a strong believer that any failure, regardless of what it is, is a lesson and sometimes you just have to reverse-engineer the result to find out how it got so screwed-up in the first place. It's not about blame - it's about putting the pieces together so you have a blueprint for what NOT to do in the future.
I like the new background - it goes with the fresh start of the New Year.

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather,

I have a confession to make. I was once a "her". Not the "her" in your life, but a "her" in another woman's life. I let him convince me that he and his wife had a marriage of convenience, that neither of them thought of it as any more than that, that they slept in separate rooms, worked separate hours, etc. His wife was extremely overweight and he told me that made him feel like she'd never loved him enough to take of herself. He had a long litany of complaints about her and actually got me feeling sorry for his being "deprived" of the closeness he seemed to long for.

They ended up getting divorced, largely because of me. He had made it seem like she'd probably be relieved when he asked for the divorce... but she was devastated. When she asked him why, he said, "Because I can really talk to her about things."

Fast forward a few years. He and I are living together. From the day we moved in together, he started pulling away. No more intimacy, physical or otherwise. He'd rather have long talks with friends on the phone... from a distance... than talk to me about anything. I've begun to really identify with his ex, even to the point of gaining a large amount of weight. He uses my weight as further reason to distance himself; I know my weight is a symptom of my feelings of guilt and rejection.

Karma is a real thing. I often wish that I could talk to his ex, to tell her how sorry I am for having misjudged the situation, for having been so morally reprehensible, for thinking that I was more "meant for him" than she was, and that I had the power to make him complete and happy even though she couldn't. I don't think she has any interest in hearing from me, though.

He seems so hungry for intimacy, but pushes it away when it gets too close, and then blames the other person. I have to keep reminding myself that the issue is his, not mine, but emotionally it's hard not to feel "not good enough".

I'm so sorry for what you've been through. I can't apologize to his ex, but I can apologize to you. We were both deceived.

JennBand08 said...

Your feelings are your own. If you want to talk about them out in the open that is your business. Doesn't seem to me he ever used much consideration when it came to YOUR feelings.. Oh.. and if he isn't filing for divorce, then don't you still have health insurance under his plan too?
Learning to control emotional eating is a hard one. I battle it every day! The book sounds like a good one. Enjoy. Too bad we don't live closer, I would so take a belly dancing class with you. I describe myself similar to you.. you used 'golly gee whiz' girl. I call myself a Pollyanna... :)

Tina of Moon Shine said...

well, if that happens, you just tell him to kiss your simple ass.
when I found out about my ex's "friend" I was heartsick. One of the things that was eating at me the most was her achieving a closeness I hadn't been able to. As it turned out, they had all the same problems that rob and I had. But I suffered a lot before the truth came out.
SHE isn't getting anywhere with him. just wait...
and hugs to you. It sounds like you need one.

Beth said...

"Marriage should be about compromise... but both marriage partners should compromise. It should never be just one person giving up who they are"

Heather, for those who are strong and confident in themselves, NEITHER should have to compromise. As long as both people feel good about themselves and about who they are and where they're at, they will respect each other and trust each other, and there won't be any of that "if you loved me you'd change" crap. Be strong in who you are and never believe that you have to change in order to be loved by someone!!! If you have things you need to work on, you already know that, and you have to do that on your own.

I noticed that you usually wrote "she" in a different color when writing about your husband's girlfriend. Why are you giving her AND him that power over you? Why does she get a special color? Does she really deserve it?

I don't mean to get after you about some of this, but I see a smart and kind young woman who is selling herself short and has too much going for her to be down about some of this stuff. If you get mad at me for saying this, it's okay, but I'll say it: Heather, it is okay to be alone for a while. I'm a big fan of marriage and I love it that I found my best friend, but it took me over TEN YEARS to find him. There were times in that ten years when I felt really freakin' lonely, and it was not fun. But I learned from that time, and learned to enjoy books and movies and other interests, and finally came to realize that I was a pretty okay person all by myself.

And that was when I was ready to find someone I wanted to be with, and who wanted to be with me, just the way we were.

Sorry if I made you mad, but maybe you need to get a little mad! Get mad about the situation, do what you need to do, then stop being mad and move on. DON'T BE A VICTIM!!!!

Hugs, Beth