Friday, 5 December 2008
Denial is not just an Egyptian River!
Yesterday, I drove out to TK Maxx (this is a sort of designer outlet store in the UK wherein you can get famous brands for about 60% less than in the High Street shops) to buy some jeans for myself. I knew they had a sale on and jeans were available for around £7.00 (about $12.00) from the likes of Diesel, Guess and FCUK. I do like my designer jeans, but NOT at designer prices! As it stood, I had only one pair of jeans which fitted me; all the others were my eldest daughter's cast-offs and cut on the 'skinny leg' which is not a flattering look for a 38-year old woman, I don't think.
I purchased all sorts of wrong sizes for myself. Not wholly intentionally - a bra I thought read at 34A, according to the section it was in, was actually a 36B and dropped off my chest when I put it on! But the jeans were intentionally mis-sized. I have dropped to a size 6 (US 2) and don't like to admit to it, verbally. So, I bought size 8s and they hang from me.
Why have I done this? I simply couldn't bring myself to acknowledge that I am officially a size 6. I was completely in denial that the weight is not coming on; it's coming off. I refuse to believe the girls and Ian when they say they can see my ribs, that my arms are skinny, that my legs are like sticks and that I have no backside. I fob them off - particularly Beth - and joke about it all. It doesn't cut the mustard. I know.
Ian told me yesterday that I was starting to look 'ill'. I don't know if I am or not. I don't seem to look any different, facially, to how I looked a few months ago, complexion-wise. Certainly less spotty, for some odd reason, though.
I have noticed that if I do any leg exercises, while lying on the floor, the skin which sags downwards from my thighs, pulled by gravity, looks like an old lady's. If I bend over the bath, naked, my breasts hang like two thin pieces of veal. Most unattractive - 'withered' as my doctor described them.
Yesterday, whilst out at the shops, my mind wandered and I lost myself thinking about anorexia and what harm it is doing to me. I wracked my brains, repeatedly as to why I continue with this behaviour, why I cannot simply let go of it, why putting on weight fills me with such dread and why the low self-esteem manifested itself in this particular way.
Self-esteem is a big thing for me at the moment. The terrible blushing has disappeared again, thankfully, but there are too many 'labels' and insults flashing around my brain. I wrote this, as part of a letter, two days ago and the more I return to it, the more it hurts me:
Deep down, I guess I am quite a bitter person. I feel selfishly hard-done-to. Little things make me cross – stuff which shouldn’t. I feel angry that nobody bar Maureen has attempted to communicate with me from work. I feel petty anger that, twice, I have told my friends in Oman about my marriage yet received nary a Kiss-My-Ar*e or nothing. I feel cross that I worked so hard at Rowlands and was called a f*cking tw*t when something screwed up, which was a complete accident on my part and ultimately, perhaps similarly to you, I feel as though I have missed out on a healthy parental relationship. As a teenager, I was so bitterly jealous of my girlfriends who got on with their fathers. And as I got into adulthood, I started to become jealous of those women who rang their mothers on a regular basis, went shopping, had fun and laughter, and were not just related, but were friends. I miss having a Mum. I don’t have a Mum – I have a Biological Mother who despises me for me doing my own thing. She despises me because I haven’t followed her every footstep and dictat. And that is a hard lesson to learn and assimilate because I know very well that this is extremely wrong. One doesn’t have children in order to mould them into something you wish you could have been…I don’t know why I was born to be honest – and that isn’t a ‘suicidal’ or self-pitying thought. I just query, in my own head, why? Eight years difference between me and my brother? Times of severe hardship financially? Being told that labour was horrific and not wanted ever again? Being told that if it wasn’t for me, happiness would abound? I genuinely don’t think I was a wanted child…There are many studies performed of babies in the womb and how they pick up on things from the mother. Do I self-destruct because I have never felt as though I should be here? Maybe that sounds histrionic, but it does run through my head from time to time. Why, when under the influence of NLP/hypnotherapy, did I suddenly get a traumatic image of abortion when my timeline was drawn back to the womb? All conjecture, I know. And I apologise for any hyperbole or melodrama. These are simply my meandering thoughts.
My brother moved out of the parental home, at the age of 44, he didn't even tell our parents. Little by little, he just shunted out his few belongings and that was it: never seen or heard of for a long time. My mother was bereft. My father was disgusted. He is a very accomplished carpenter and had crafted a solid mahogany table for Paul for his own home. Paul walked out and left it. Months of hard work and graft, just left. Each Mother's Day, Mother's Birthday, Christmas and Wedding Anniversary which passed, without a card, left my mother more and more depressed. When she was admitted into hospital for a hip replacement, I called my brother at his place of work and asked him what was going on. He refused to speak to me, and refused to visit. My father then decided to cut him out of the family will. Although this never actually came to fruition. When my mother was taken into hospital with pericarditis, in January 2007, Paul finally came to visit as it was life-threatening. I couldn't bear to look at him and was thus harshly berated for my attitude towards my brother. My mother told me that all she wanted was a happy family. Paul made that choice to detach from his parents without any indication of what had sent him over the edge. I know for a fact that my only misdemeanour is to have married Ian, yet I have been damned for the rest of my life by them, in some ways.
My father has been in touch with the girls again. My mother is making it patently clear that she wants nothing to do with them. They couldn't care less and cannot understand why I ask them questions about the contact. I guess I am like a dog with a bone, gnawing away at something which takes an eternity to wear down and splinter. I am glad that my mother's ostracism of the girls doesn't bother them (or doesn't appear to, fundamentally) and I am so glad that they are sensible enough to realise that she has more problems than the four of us put together. So, if two young girls can do that, why can't I? Why don't I adopt that type of detachment?
Beth once asked me if I would ever punish her for doing something I disagreed with like her Nanna did to me. I roared laughing, and firmly said, No! But it's not actually funny, is it? Why did I laugh? Did I find it so utterly ridiculous that she could think I would behave like my mother, or was I laughing because I didn't know what else to do?
Everything in the garden ought to be rosy at the moment. Financial worries have been utterly lifted; the girls are calm, happy, hilarious and amusing; Christmas (one of my favourite times of the year) is almost upon us; the house is warm, inviting, beautifully decorated and furnished and things, on the whole, despite a few blips from time to time, are much better between Ian and me (touch wood! *pats herself on head*!).
So why do I feel so much unrest and dis-ease? Is it a chemical thing? After being in hospital a week or so ago, I had to come off the anti-depressants (Citalopram). Ian had given them to the orderlies who proceeded to lose them. I then had to reorder a prescription upon my discharge which took a few days, and thus, I was six days without the drugs. It's almost like my body is learning to get used to them again and so, by mid-afternoon, I feel slow, sluggish, laboured, yet agitated in my limbs and nauseated. When I went to bed last night, and after I heard Ian breathing deeply, my buttocks went into overdrive. I jiggled, shook, rattled, battered and felt like screaming out with frustration, anxiety, anger and pain. I could not stop. And it was driving me bananas. I so wanted those muscles to relax, ease off, be still and quiet - and they would not give me a moment. So, I have woken this morning, feeling, once again, like I have trained for a marathon. Why isn't my backside as taut as Kylie's at this rate??!
Does it sound like I miss my parents? Believe it or not, I don't. But I do struggle with confusion, co-dependency and fears. I still fear my parents terribly. There is a lull for me at the moment, but each day, a quick thought will pass through my head, when the postman has been, is this going to be the delivery which contains that letter? That letter of vitriol, condemnation, hurt and recrimination?
Only time will tell, I guess...