Category Archives: Parents

16 Days And Counting (Warning: Foul Language Ahead)

As I count down the days until surgery (it’s really just days left, omg!), I’m trying very hard to put the negativity of last week behind me. I have been a complete mess as I’ve been trying to get my head back in the game (I really should have scheduled an extra therapy session this week), but rather than rehash all the bullshit with her, I’ve got to let it be. I’m too emotional, too hormonal, and honestly, have much bigger things to worry about than one set of toxic voices. I just wish those voices weren’t still so powerful in my life.

I have a couple of theories to share about her true motivation for being a complete shithead and getting my dad (who was overweight forever and ended up with diabetes and painful neuropathy in his feet and legs) so worried and worked up about the risks of this relatively safe surgery that he actually told me not to go forward with it at all.  That’s right, he thought it would be better I stay fat, with all the worse long term risks, than choosing to be healthy at 33 because of whatever it was she put into his brain. Then, she actually tried to blame it on him, claiming HE did research on all the surgeries and told HER! Yeah, my dad, who is rarely on the internet, told my mom, who is always on the computer, supervised the medical department at the detention center she ran, and has always been a wannabe doctor for everyone and everything since I can first remember, about the horror story complications of the gastric sleeve. Right. Okay. Does she seriously think I’m an idiot?! Come on!

Goosfraba.  I digress.  Back to my theories.

1.  She wants to claim the glory of my success as her own (like she has tried to do with my career). Let’s face it, if I actually changed my mind, went with the lap band and lost a ton of weight, she’d be able to hold it over my head that it was her idea and, in her narcissistic logic, that would mean she was the reason I did well. Not all the hard work that I would still have to put in, but her. Fuck her.

2.  She wants to keep me fat. At my young age, I have outshined her in almost every area of life: intelligence, education, career, friends, personality. Being thinner (she’s about 140) is really the only thing she has to compete with me. Getting me worked up enough to change my mind to have a surgery I don’t think I’ll be happy or successful with, or even better, decide not have the surgery at all, would keep her on top. When I lose weight and am a tall, thin, gorgeous redhead dominating the legal scene here in Vegas, she’ll have nothing to lord over me anymore. She won’t have anything to subtly demean, manipulate, and berate me with. I’ll say it again, fuck her.

Of course, since she’s made her opinion well known, if I have one ounce of complication or fail in the long run with the gastric sleeve, she’ll have that to use against me.  But you know what? Yep. Fuck. Her.

Unfortunately, she did accomplish part of her asshat goal – to put unnecessary seeds of doubt in my brain just three weeks before surgery – but that’s where it has to end for me. While her bullshit admittedly had me swinging from the rafters emotionally this week (at one point I was convinced I was going to die in surgery, because anxiety is an effing bitch), I’m turning my back on those thoughts, because they’re not really my own. 

My thoughts are these:

If I stay fat, I will die an early death. If I stay fat, I will never have children. If I stay fat, I will continue to exist in the misery of avoiding booths at restaurants, hating photos, turning away from reflective surfaces, and generally being unable to live life the way I have always wanted and deserved to live it. If I stay fat, I will keep missing out. If I stay fat, I will likely end up as miserable as she is now. If I stay fat, she wins again. I’d be an idiot not to have this surgery, and I’m no idiot.

Am I nervous, scared? Oh hell yes! I’ve never had surgery before and there is a small risk of death in every surgery, so there’s that. I live a busy and stressful life and worry I won’t be able to get my protein and fluids in. I still, and will continue to, struggle with eating my feelings and living a food focused existence. I am terrified of failure in all aspects of my life and this is no exception.

But I’ve got so many things that get me excited and keep me looking forward to being on the VERTICAL SLEEVE losers’ bench. Shedding this fat suit I’ve been hiding behind since I was a kid. Things like crossing my legs like a normal woman. Increased confidence, physical ability, stamina, beauty. Hiking farther than I ever have. Zip lining. Horseback riding. Doing one of those parachute flights behind a boat above the water. Rollercoasters. Getting rid of my airplane seat belt extender. Keeping up with my nieces and nephews. Having the chance to have children of my own. Loving myself more. Learning how to live a healthy life. Not fearing an early heart attack, diabetes, and death. Getting to onederland someday. Putting myself first, finally. Cheap fashion (plus size clothes are effing expensive)! Not feeling invisible. Not feeling like I have to prove myself as capable even more than the average sized woman. Mirrors. Photographs. Living life with more zest, energy and vibrancy than I already do.

I’m so thankful, overwhelmingly grateful, for all the support I’ve gotten here and on Instagram and in real life so far. Everyone, except a few shitty ass people, have been fully supportive of this life alteringly glorious decision I’ve made for myself. Or, if they’re not, at least they’ve been smart and respectful enough to keep their damn mouths shut. And for all of that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

16 days y’all!! Eek!

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


A new (and very supportive) Twitter friend of mine, the @RealMattEaton, and I have an unfortunate common bond: childhood abuse by our family. Matt and I “met” in a Monday night #sexabusechat and have shared a few meandering conversations since.  For some reason, he always seems to be around in the Twitterverse and responds at just the moment when I need to be tweeted off the ledge. After my last therapy session, I was processing a few of my thoughts via Twitter and definitely needed to talk to someone who *gets it.* There was Matt again, ready to lend an ear. I am in awe of and very grateful for his repeated selflessness.

Anyway, as we messaged about my past and my tumultuous relationship with my parents, he asked me a question that, while I have certainly pondered in general terms, have not really been asked or asked myself so pointedly:

Why would you want to remain in a relationship with them?

I don’t know, friend. I don’t know. Except, how could I not? This is my mother and father we’re talking about, after all.

Everyone wants, needs, craves a supportive, healthy, functional relationship with their parents. I, like Matt, and like an unconscionable number of other child abuse survivors, however, have never had real parents. Sure, we might have had adult human beings who cared for us, that we loved deeply, that loved us back, that we shared good (even joyous) times with.  But when adults abuse an innocent young human being, they simply don’t qualify for parenthood anymore, IMHO. Parental status, revoked.

The parental absence and abandonment leaves a void, an emptiness, a wanting, a lacking in the abused child’s heart that will be present with them for the rest of their lives. The abused child is left confused, stunted, and reckless. They desperately try to fill the chasm in their souls with addictions to mood altering substances (in my case food – dessert especially), anger, cutting, crime, anything that makes them feel something other than that sheer desperation or simply helps them forget. Without hard work, grit, and a little luck, some never make it to the other side of their grief from the ultimate betrayal by the adults in their lives.

Why do I want to keep them around? Why!?

Some days I really don’t. I have wished they were dead, just so this internal struggle, this insatiable desire for an impossible and unattainable functional relationship with them would be over (and I feel incredible guilt because of it).  I’ve gone through periods of no contact. Right now, in fact, we’re back to not speaking while they decide if our relationship is worth the effort of individual and family therapy. With the distance and time away, my heart usually softens and I welcome them back, hoping for better. Hoping for what I’ve been missing. It’s hard not to.  My real hope this time is for the strength to maintain my bottom line. It’s the only way we can ever achieve something close to normal.

Even Matt recently admitted that all the “child support” he needed was for his parents to be together as a unit rather than fighting over him and the money he generated in child support payments for his mother. He has chosen to cut the dysfunction from his life completely and I respect, understand, and applaud that, but I haven’t fully been able to. I may never fully be able to.

I don’t want to get married without my dad to walk me down the aisle. I want to have my mom there to help me through child birth. I want to be able to have dinners, share laughs and conversations. I don’t want to miss the last years of their lives and carry guilt for the rest of mine (like I do about my Gram) because I wasn’t capable of being the bigger person in the moment.

Despite everything, I love them, I miss them, I continue to want actual parents. I have seen the potential for greatness in my relationship with them and hold out hope that we can make it through this season in our lives better people, together. It would be easier in many ways, to turn off the switch, to forget it. But I’m kind of a hopeless romantic about life (I had to be to survive) and I just can’t let them go yet. Call me naive, a fool, whatever you like; I just can’t.

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

Learning, Moving On

I have had some really dark days the last month or so. It was taking everything within me to function as a human being and, honestly, I failed at even accomplishing that much for a solid week in the worst of it.  Then, because I’ve been away from you so long, I started feeling anxiety about where to begin, what to say. That anxiety only perpetuated my absence here. It’s a sick cycle, anxiety and depression. Sick, indeed.

I feel tender and wounded as I come out of the bleakness of the past weeks, but I hope coming back out into the world will help me keep turning it around. It’s certainly worked in the past. I need to release things, but I’m afraid of overwhelming people with my sadness, with my shit. I have a lot of it, and it’s really heavy sometimes.

I’ve missed writing you, though. So, here goes.

For the few weeks after she showed up at my house unannounced and uninvited, I couldn’t bring myself to speak to her. What could I say? Her visit triggered my anxiety like crazy. I had flashbacks of exactly what I feared most when I was in the deepest chasm of my psychotic break.  Before I could begin to say anything healthy to her, I needed to talk to my therapist about it. I needed his help to figure out how I even felt about the situation, figure out what I wanted to say, figure out how I wanted to move forward.

After talking with him, I felt more confused than ever (like that’s never happened to anyone in therapy, right?). I knew I didn’t want to keep going through the dysfunctional rollercoaster. I knew that I still so desperately wanted my parents in my life. I knew I had to set boundaries.  On this last point, I really thought I had. I mean, changing my locks, telling her not to show up at my work without telling me, I can’t specify every single fucking thing. Come on!

During the three or so weeks of not talking to her, to them, I started to have these intense waves of anxiety, sadness, anger, depression, deja vu symptoms like I hadn’t felt in over a year. I didn’t connect the dots that the situation with them was why I was having those feelings at the time, but I should have.

Anyway, I didn’t know, and I certainly wasn’t prepared for contact. When she called out of the blue and left me a voice mail saying that she wanted me to call her and not say anything, to let her know I’m alive, I didn’t know what to do. Her tone of voice was what got me. It was an attempt at nice that turned sour at the end. She’s always that way and it gets under my skin in a way that you wouldn’t believe  (or maybe you would, I don’t know). Either way, I was really tempted to continue to ignore her, make her worry. But, that’s not what I’ve learned to do in therapy, and that’s really just not me. I had to rise above it. Again. Such is life, people. It’s the only way to grow.

I knew I couldn’t risk a call. I still didn’t really know what to say, much less in the way that I needed to say it. Plus it felt like a bit of a trap. I’m pretty sure she’d answer and, although she’s no danger to me now, I still freeze around her, when talking to her, when thinking about her.  She’s my childhood boogeyman, after all.

So I texted her, “I’m alive.”

I had initially meant it to be just that. Leave it, done, call it good. But once the door was open, it couldn’t be closed. In a series of texts, I set my boundaries in the most loving and accountable way I possibly could.




I almost ended it there, but felt like I wanted to keep the line open, even still.


With that, it was done. I said my piece and put the ball in their court.

I wasn’t at all prepared for just how hard it would be on me to say those things to her, though.  The next morning I was absolutely sick to my stomach and for the four days that followed my texts, I quite literally couldn’t make it out of bed. Looking back, it seems so obvious why I froze, why I went to my darkest of dark places, but it still took me another three days until therapy and a semi-major meltdown at the office, before I figured it out. Oops.

After sending those texts (which my therapist applauded me for, btw), I felt like I had given up the power to her. She had it all again, all the power I have been working so hard to reclaim for myself. I still can’t quite shake the feeling, because now it really is up to them whether or not we continue forward. That’s a vulnerable and scary place to be in any relationship. The feeling is only amplified when it’s your own parents and you have the sordid history we do. So yeah, I knowingly walked into a place of extreme vulnerability with the people in my life it’s hardest to be even remotely vulnerable with while keeping myself feeling safe. The anxiety hit me like a freight train.

I also felt an intense sadness that it had come to this point again. We were making progress. Slow, but progress. I thought we had hit a major milestone during my trial. But her invading my private, safe, space was more than I could bear. I really just can’t deal with the dysfunction while I put myself first and focus on my weight loss surgery journey. That comes with a whole host of emotional issues in and of itself and my progress is only going to continue being impeded if I’m having to deal with their shit on top of it all. So, yeah, what I said had to be put out there and I didn’t  (don’t) regret it; but, oh, the depression.

On the deepest level,  the level that my therapist really had to help me get to, I am questioning questioned my own self worth. I wonder, am I good enough?  Do they love me enough to make this work? Do they love me like I hope they do? If they say no, if they balk, I can’t help but feel like I’m not worth the fight. Like I’m not worth it. If I’m not worth it to my own parents, I’m not worth anything. How could I be?

Really. How could I be?

Thank God for therapy, let me tell you. It was an intense session last week and I’m definitely still recovering. I still have more to flesh out next time (an hour goes by way too fast), but he helped me see some light where there was none. I’ll say it again, thank God for therapy. 😌

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


After I was feeling so great that we had what I thought was a real moment, a genuine break through, she showed up at my house unannounced on Sunday. Yep, she blew through all boundaries to show up on her estranged daughter’s doorstep expecting a warm and happy welcome.

Keep in mind that she’s been to my house less than ten times in the six years since I bought this place. We spent nearly half of that time not speaking. I’ve seen her in person all of maybe half a dozen times since we started talking again.  Oh yeah, and let’s not forget that she abused me in ways I can’t fathom abusing anyone, ever.

I don’t have the capability, or the guts, or whatever it is that I need to ignore the doorbell or the knocks (driving my dog crazy). I don’t have the power to just tell her I don’t want to see her and that she needs to leave. I’m not assertive enough to answer her truthfully when she asks me if I don’t want to see her. I don’t have it in me to turn her away, despite the fact that all my alarm bells are ringing, my entire body is immediately buzzing, and inside I’m screaming at myself and at her that this is bullshit.

I let her in after I take a minute to hide a few personal things (like my open book on healing daughters of narcissistic mothers – oh the irony).  She is now in my safe space. Why did I let her into my safe space? She is tainting my safe space. I have no more safe space.

She tries small talk, but it’s forced and I’m not prepared. It ends up being the most awkward 30ish minutes you could imagine.

Finally, I get my wits about me and tell her that she can’t do this again. That she’s ruining our shot at a relationship by taking these liberties. I calmly explain to her that it’s awkward and uncomfortable because of our past. I let her know how I respect her space and need her to respect mine, reiterating that this can’t happen anymore. I remind her of the time I changed the locks after she threatened to come sit on my couch to force me into speaking to her again (she did actually come over and I got the bitch out of the century for being a bratty, ungrateful, spoiled child that would do such a thing), to give her a concrete example that if it wasn’t appropriate then, it’s not appropriate now (she claims not to remember, but I call bullshit).  I try to be nicely stern. Meanwhile, she’s visibly upset, on the verge of tears. I feel bad and tell her I don’t mean to upset her, but I continue saying my piece. I couldn’t stop at that point.

Her responses are so out of touch with reality.

“Well I called.” I didn’t hear the phone, but regardless, in what fucking world does that give you rights to come over unannounced?! 

“It’s rude not to answer.” I didn’t hear the phone, but regardless, in what fucking world does that give you rights to come over unannounced?!

“You said you wanted us to come over more.” Regardless, in what fucking world does that give you rights to come over unannounced?!

It ends with her declaring that she’ll never come over again. I throw my hands up in exasperation and tell her that’s not the point.  She’s even closer to tears as she walks put the door and down the front walkway towards her car. As I close the door behind her, I stand there, reeling. I’m confused, ashamed, fearful, sad, and so many other emotions that I can’t even put a name to. Days later, I still don’t know what to make of it all.

I’m afraid that the apology I remember from just days before was not what I thought after all. Maybe I was just so wrapped up in the mixture of wonderful feelings about trial and exhaustion that I heard something she never meant. Maybe she’s actually sick enough that she really just doesn’t get it. 

Either way, I’m left to pick up the pieces of my heart again. 💔

I had been getting my hopes up that there was some functionality to our relationship. I always get my stupid hopes up. She always finds a way to dash them. It’s an awful cycle that I’m tired of repeating.  I don’t know what to do anymore.

This book I’m reading says, “Before you can grieve, you have to accept the reality of what you have gone through. … Most narcissists lack the capacity to give significant, authentic love and empathy, and you have no other choice but to deal with this reality. Accepting that your own mother has this limited capacity is the first step. Let go of the expectation that it will ever be different.” I hope that the book also tells me how to give up hope without just giving up, because that feels like my only option at the moment.

I don’t feel at all equipped to navigate through this. I don’t know how to be the adult child of abusive parents. I don’t know how to keep myself protected while maintaining some semblance of a relationship with them. I don’t know how to get rid of the crippling guilt over losing my Gram’s final years (among other things) that makes me continue to cling desperately to this dysfunctional woman.  I don’t know how to release the hope that she can, on some level, just be a good, regular, mom. I don’t know how to rid myself of the desire that runs to the core of my being that she will someday love, respect, and support me in all the ways I wish she could. It’s killing me inside. It’s killing me.

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

A Little Peace

We had a breakthrough of sorts.  We showed each other mutual respect, she actually acknowledged a large chunk of things in a meaningful way.  I’m so grateful for it.

I told her something along the lines of, “I always respected and admired your career.” Totally true. Career and education she has been my 100% cheerleader for in so many ways. In many ways not.  But still.

She was successful.  She worked her way up from the very bottom to second in command of a local governmental body.  She had no higher education, her parents couldn’t afford it.  But she was smart, she worked hard, and she, well, she fought her way there (more on that some time later).  I idolized her in so many ways.  She took advantage of it.

Growing up, I was always telling her how proud of her I was, so she could succeed (it always should have been the other way around).  Not to mention, some of the lessons she handed down were sick and twisted.  She was severely abused herself and took out all of her anger and her feelings of inadequacy on us.  She also, as happens, reenacted a lot of her abuse with us.  But I digress.  You’ve read some of my story, so you know by now (I hope).

Anyway.  She actually said before I could even get it out of my mouth, that her “career came at a high cost.” An incredibly high cost.  She said so much by saying so little in that moment.

We agreed that we can’t change the past and we both want to move forward how we can.  I explained to her that I’m just starting to work through a lot of things and it’s going to be hard sometimes, but we’re on the right track. 

I’m still hella guarded,  but we’re willing to work on it.  That’s good. 

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

Affection Affective

Interesting that one person’s touch and affection can be incredibly soothing, comforting, and make you feel safe while another’s is repulsive, makes your skin crawl, and your stomach turn.

Saw my parents tonight and both tried their hand at affection.  I never shy away from a hug or cuddle from my dad.  My mom, on the other hand, I try to avoid except for a pleasant hug before I leave.

If you’ve dug into my blog at all, you know exactly why I feel the way I do about my mom.  So when she tried to rub my neck and I stiffened up, it’d make sense to you. Thankfully, she quickly stopped.  When my dad was stroking my hair, though, he put me at ease and made me want to fall asleep.  I could have stayed that way for hours.

Honestly, I think my mom was jealous because I was responding favorably to my dad; she wanted to get in on it.  Not only do I find her repugnant as a human being, it’s too little too late, and it feels fake as hell. 

You don’t get to abuse me unmercifully, not apologize or own up to your bullshit,  continue to insult and shame me to this day, and then get my love returned. That’s not how this works anymore.  I spent most of my life being forced to love you without condition, forced to lift you up, forced to be your emotional lover, to the point that there was nothing left of me.  Not anymore. I won’t ever let you into my inner circle again.  Never.  I wish it weren’t so, but it’s your own damn fault, not mine. 

So, yeah.

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