Category Archives: Abuse

Knock Knock (Trigger Warning)

Suicide is coming too close lately. I hear it’s death rattle knocking at my door.  No, I’m not suicidal; but it wasn’t that long ago that I was.  So when the news of suicide comes into the little bubble I occupy in our vast universe, it has an effect on me like never before.

A couple of months ago, a person sadly took their life by jumping into morning traffic from one of the higher freeway overpasses in town. That overpass is such a familiar part of home and it instantaneously became the site of an incredibly tragic moment. I pass by that overpass on my daily commute. I have passed by that same overpass so many times in my 32 years of life, that I can’t even count them for you. I was a barely permitted teen that white knuckled through rush hour traffic in that portion of the freeway, terrified of the towering levels of vehicle filled concrete and the median whizzing by immediately to my left, with my dad sitting to my right (probably even more scared). It happened so close to home.

I learned about the suicude before it hit the news because one of my best friend’s husband’s watched it happen on his way to work.  Of course, it wasn’t long before reports spread like wildfire.  The comments on social media varied wildly between understanding and compassion, insensitivity, and obnoxiously offensive and callous (from good riddance, to attention grabber, to should have thrown themselves off the Dam, with a side of eff you for ruining my commute folks – yeah).  The suicide was shocking enough, but the responses from people in my home town were worse (way to further stigmatize mental illness, Vegas). While I was shocked and saddened by it all, the day moved forward. 

The next morning, shock turned visceral and physical as I made my way to the office.  I took the same route as always, on auto pilot as I mentally prepared for the day.  I was not prepared for the way that my breath caught in my throat as I rounded that short stretch of road and imagined a body falling from the sky.  I was not prepared for the overwhelming anger as the vilest of the vile comments came flooding back to my mind. I was not prepared for the incredible anxiety and sadness that I felt being so close to where that poor soul left this Earth. I couldn’t help but weep for them, their family, and myself.

More recently, a very dear friend of mine reached out to me as she dealt with a mixture of shock, grief and guilt after a high school friend’s husband committed suicide. I didn’t know the gal that well, but my friend and I are soul sisters; we have known each other for 20 years; I came back to my relationship with God in the small church she planted in Delaware; we have shared our darkest demons with each other; and I just plain love her.  So, her hurts are my hurts and she’s been going through a lot as it is.  While I have not had the same reaction I had to the last suicide, it’s still too close to home because of how it affected someone I care so much about.

I never thought I would be able to relate in an almost intimate way with a person that ended their own life.  But as my life fell out from under me a few years ago, I became quite familiar with the level of sheer desperation and despair it takes to legitimately contemplate suicide.

When I had a psychotic break after the fraying rope that held my sadness and terror at bay for 29 years finally gave way, when I relived all of the abuse in vivid detail for the first time in my life, when I finally realized that my own mother molested me, I wanted to die.  When I also lost the two most important and supportive people in my life at the time – my boyfriend who I thought I was going to marry and my best friend – because of how I acted as my mind failed me in the worst way, I simply couldn’t stand the thought of being a part of this world anymore.

As I sat for what felt like hours with a steak knife to my wrist, all I wanted was for the memories and emotions to stop. I needed relief, peace, an escape from all of the pain. I had tried everything, I thought and I just couldn’t see any other way out. 

Thankfully, I had hastily saved this adorable little fur face from the pound in a brief moment of (slight) sanity that month.

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Okay, so getting her was also kind of an eff you to the ex boyfriend, because we had talked seriously about getting a dog when he moved in, but I digress. 

Little did I know, my crazy freckled dog would save my life that night.  I’m convinced that, even as young as she was, she picked up on what I was feeling because right as I intended to dig the blade into my skin, she forced her little muzzle between my hands and sat at my feet, insisting that I love on her with an immediacy she had never shown before. The debilitatingly dark trance I had put myself in was broken just long enough for it to dawn on me that it really wasn’t just about me; I had a responsibility, if to no one else, but that little face, not to kill myself. 

I put the knife on the table.

The feelings I had been having that night didn’t go away automatically. I still struggle with all of it, and will continue to struggle. But had it not been for The Spotted Freckledog, I would have given in to my demons.  I would have, in an instant, become an (unreported) abuse statistic.  Though life really is worth living, I was immesurably close to being the jumper.  I was this close to making my own friends and family experience the unfathomable shock, grief and guilt over my death.

I’m eternally grateful that my dog saved my soul. 

Nowadays, when my darkness resurfaces and interferes with my life, even a little, I’m terrified of returning to that hell.  It’s why I stick with therapy, why I write, why I create.  It’s why I have finally decided to have weight loss surgery to free myself of the chains of morbid obesity brought on by the abuse. It’s why I’m here sharing this with you right now. I’m afraid that if I don’t let it out, it will consume me again. 

I know this post might make you uncomfortable, and I’m sorry for that, but I was truly lost and felt like I had no one to turn to (I wish I had been a part of this wonderful blogging community at the time). My hope is that if someone chances across my blog in their own desperation and sees that, although it’s not always easy, life can go on, that there can be joy despite suffering, and that they are not alone in this world, it will break their dark trance just long enough that they, too, put down the knife. Maybe my suffering won’t have been for nothing.

Maybe no one will ever needs my words in that way (I certainly hope that is the case).  But if you happen to be that person, please know that you are not alone.  I am here thinking of you and I am here to talk to.  I can’t make it all better, but I can listen without judging. Please don’t give in. Please keep fighting. Please reach out, spill your guts, and live this oddly magical life with me.  It’s worth it.  You are worth it. 💛

Check out my art and follow my journey on Twitter, Instagram., and in my Etsy shop.

Lost: One Bandwagon, If Found Please Return

Despite hoping to hop right back on the wagon, over the last few days I’ve totally lost sight of the bandwagon and reverted back to my old bingeing habits.

I imagine this feeling is similar to how people with chronic pain and opiod addictions feel (though I imagine that’s much harder). It certainly reminds me of something I read somewhere by a former addict turned addiction counselor.  Was it a blog? A tweet? I don’t even know now.  Either way, despite having gone through the ringer of addiction, they actually felt worse for food addicts.  They made a really good point about why, though.  Alcoholics and other addicts can put their “tiger” in a cage and leave it there, but food addicts have to take their “tiger” out of the cage at least three times a day, pet it, and put it back in the cage without getting hurt. 

The struggle is real, people.  Food addiction is a bitch.

Friday I was in a deposition all day and we all skipped lunch to try to get through it quicker.  Huge mistake. By the time I met my friend for dinner and drinks, I was starving and ate waaay too much.  I was proud that I at least skipped the post-drinking Del Taco binge, though. I did eat when I got home, but it was semi-healthy leftovers.  Small victories?

Yesterday, I was tired, cranky, slightly hungover, and had too much time to think about all the things that I prefer not to think about. I’m still processing my mother’s recent string of inappropriateness.  Talking to my aunt about her when we had a private moment at the buffet is weighing on my mind as well (more on that later). I’m feeling down on myself after that jerk told me that surgery is the lazy way out. The news about the Duggars (that @TruthIsHers wrote such an important piece on here) has also triggered more thoughts of my own abuse.  It’s maybe just a little much at the moment?

I did fairly well during the day, but I hardcore gave in to all my negative thoughts and ordered dinner from one of my favorite delivery spots to cope. Night time is always a struggle for me and my old habits are just so hard to quit. Honestly, I was really just in the mood for the desserts (yes plural), but delivery minimums and all. Rather than enjoy a little of the treat and leave the food for, say, the next day, I ate it all. *sigh* 

What can I say? I’m a fatass that learned early on if you didn’t clean your plate there’d be hell to pay.

I’ve probably shared the story already, but one of my shittiest and most distinct memories is from dinner time.  I was full (or maybe just didn’t want the rest of whatever we were eating or maybe just wanted to be a kid and go play) that night and wasn’t finishing my dinner, picking at my food.  After everyone else was done, I was left in the dark dining room by myself, forced to face away from my dad and brother watching TV in the living room so I could clear my plate without distraction. My mom was hovering in the kitchen, putting food away I think.  When I started to get emotional and said I was going to throw up (I had a sensitive stomach and anxiety over throwing up as it was), she screamed at me and slammed a big Tupperware bowl on the table in front of me.  If I threw up, she said, I had to do it in that bowl and I’d have to eat it. 

Lesson learned, mom. Lesson well fucking learned. 

I’m terrified that I’ll never conquer this beast on my back. It’s true, I have to eat.  I have to pet my tiger and put him back into his cage without getting mauled every single fucking day.  The past few days, my tiger has been really angry and upset and hurting and it took all that out on me.  My tiger is always going to be there, but with a much smaller cage after surgery.  If I can’t tame him before then, this shit is going to be even harder.  How the hell do I deal?

Can’t wait for therapy Wednesday.

Check out my art and follow my journey on Twitter, Instagram., and in my Etsy shop.

Letting The Cat Out Of The Bag (aka Naked Dreams)

I had an evening out with my two best girlfriends from law school last night and it was a blast!  The three of us don’t get together nearly enough. I took the chance to reveal my decision to move forward with weight loss surgery to my one friend (the other I had already shared the news with).  She knows quite a lot about my background and breakdown and is one of the few people I really trust in my life. 

She’s European, thin, dark hair and eyes, olive complexion, beautiful. I have never once felt judged by her, but I was really nervous and just not sure what to expect.  Other than not being totally sure what weight loss surgery was, she was as amazingly supportive as she always is.  What a relief!

I think I was really worried about the possibility of rejection.  One of the scariest parts for me right now about the thought of surgery is wondering who is going to help take care of me afterwards.  If it’s not my friends, I’ve got no one to fill that role for me.

I don’t even want to tell my parents about it, honestly.  That’s not because of a fear of a negative reaction or anything, but because I just don’t trust them with this decision.  This is a very personal journey for me and I don’t trust them enough to be emotionally supportive (in a healthy way) through the process. After all, their abuse and dysfunction is a huge contributing factor in why I started turning to food for comfort in the first place. 

When I was maybe 7 or 8, my mother put a tupperwear bowl next to my dinner plate and screamed at me, threatening to make me eat my own vomit when I said I was too full to eat anything else.  After I started gaining weight around 10, my mother put a lock on the fridge to keep me from eating when one of my parents wasn’t home.  My mother would grab and touch my butt constantly after I started maturing, because she liked my butt and wished she had one of her own (no matter what weight that woman is at, she has a board flat ass).

Needless to say, my confusing and distorted relationship with food and my body started very early.  I’m trying to fix that and feel that they will be more of a hindrance than a help.  So, while I might tell my parents at the point that the surgery is actually scheduled (there is a small risk of death, they should probably know eventually), I’m keeping this decision to myself for now.

Plus, telling my friend left me feeling plenty vulnerable as it is.  So much so that I had my first naked dream where I wasn’t the only one concerned about my nudity.  Naked dreams usually mean youre feeling exposed, but normally no one else knows in my dreams.  It’s my own internal fear of exposure that has driven those dreams in the past.  Not this time.  Everyone else eventually saw it too and it was a disaster.

I was at a baseball stadium, watching a game with a couple of my friends.  It was almost like those two people were all my friends all at once, though.  I was naked and fine being with them.  There was this big blimp drone thing (that was also a huge fan) that was entertaining and added complexity to the game as it flew around the stadium.  On one exciting play, the fan blimp blew a ball into the stands right to me. Not even thinking, I stood up and caught it.  I immediately sat down and tried to cover up, but it was too late. Everyone saw me naked. People gasped, laughed, and started calling me disgusting. One woman got on the loud speaker and lectured me about how I should do some bullshit to lose weight.  Another threw pies in my face.  It was awful.  I woke up and cried. 

I can only imagine the dreams I’ll have after telling my parents.  Ugh.  I hope I’m doing the right thing.  I know all I have scheduled is attending a seminar right now, but I intend to go through with surgery.  I hope I’m prepared emotionally to deal with this.  It seems like that’s one of the hardest parts for people who have blogged about their experience.  Who am I to think that I’ll be any different?  What if I fail and gain the weight back?  What if I tail spin into another breakdown?  But what if it’s the best thing I ever do for my health and happiness? So confused.

Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram @thelawyernerd
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Now You Know

Out of fear and shame, I haven’t shared much at all about one big (BIG) issue in my life: my weight.   It’s so easy to hide in the blogosphere – and is one of the reasons I took to blogging in the first place.   No one has to know what I look like to appreciate who I am and what I have to say.

Unfortunately, this thing I am hiding is obvious (to those who can see me) and is killing me.  Using food as comfort to sooth my broken spirit for nearly 3/4 of my life is killing me.  Walking past a reflective surface and either turning my head or averting my eyes is killing me.  The binge eating is killing me.  Holding myself back from certain things in life because of my weight is killing me.  My weight is going to kill me if I don’t do something about it.

So, now you know.  I can’t lie, it’s pretty effing scary that you know.  It’s more important that you do know, however, because I don’t want to die.  Telling you is my way of moving the process along, of being accountable to myself.  I’m holding myself responsible for this problem in my life, because I’m the only one that can do anything about it.  On the flip side, I’m trying as hard as I can to be gentle with myself about it too, because it’s not all my fault.

There is ample scientific evidence showing that people who have suffered childhood trauma are at a much greater risk for obesity (along with depression, anxiety, and other fun things which I’ve been blessed with as well).  In fact, one article says that “[a]mong those who had been subjected to severe abuse, the risk [for obesity] increased by 50 percent.”

Fifty freaking percent…

It’s not clear how the study draws the line for  “severe abuse,” but I’m pretty certain if you’ve read any of my posts going into detail about the more significantly traumatic experiences in my life (here), you’d agree that there was some severe abuse going on in my home.   Two of the worst events happened at about 7 and 9.  So, it seems to make sense why I started gaining excessive weight at right around 9 (especially considering that a battery of tests didn’t (and haven’t) show any medical justification for the weight gain).

One of the reasons I’m able to share this with you now is because I’m finally really trying to do something about it.  I’ve been talking with my therapist more openly about my weight issues, am looking into extra counseling specifically geared toward eating issues, and have my first appointment with a bariatric surgeon scheduled next Friday.  It’s all so terrifying, because I’ve failed so many times trying to do something about it.  I don’t want this to be just another one of those times.  It’s also terrifying because without food, what comfort do I have?  That’s where the therapy comes in handy, I suppose.  I really just hope this is another step toward being healthiest, happiest, best me I can be.

#ShareTheLove

Auctioning off. Three quarters of the highest offer for each of the clef hearts below before Valentine’s Day goes to a #domesticviolence #prevention charity of my choice. #sharethelove #love

Wanna be an #artist, just a #lawyernerd.

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My Brother

I don’t talk about my brother much. Other than how he was my hero when I had my breakdown. And how I hate that my mom kept us apart. 

Got to see him on this Super Bowl Sunday. He’s struggling.  I’m so happy that we can talk freely about the things we can talk about, though.  He’s really the only one in my life that gets everything.   Who knows how things were.

Our relationship will forever be complicated by our childhood,  unfortunately.  I love him.  I feel bad for him.  I still can’t relate to him most of the time.

Back to all the feels watching the PSA Super Bowl ads. Got the feels!

Take it All

7/23/03

You say that life doesn’t
Revolve around me, but me is
All I’ve got, so please don’t go taking
That away too.