In the beginning………….
So this blog entry may not be all about weight loss or fitness, but it is something I’ve had on my mind for quite some time now. I will have to split this up into several blog posts. I don’t want this to come off as a “woe is me”, “feel sorry for me” blog post. It is just something I have been feeling I need to write about. Maybe by writing this and getting it all out, I can get some pointers or figure this out. It just seems like I am stuck in a rut and I am sick of living for others and not myself. And maybe when “B” reads this, she’ll understand a bit more.
So anyway, I thought I would share a bit of why and how I got here. And what to make of it all. I will insert pics of different times so you can get a feel of what I looked like back then vs now. Who knows, if I see it in print and in pictures, maybe it will jar somewhat of a motivation for me. Read or don’t read, that is entirely up to you.
Just shy of my daughter’s 3rd birthday, events happened in our lives that would change us forever. I will call her “B” as I have in the past. After living with a husband and father who was bipolar manic depressive (later diagnosed, I had no idea at the time), things happened where we were on our own. My now ex-husband tried committing suicide by getting his shotgun out and shooting at our local police department. He first had the gun on me, our daughter was sound asleep in her crib at the time. But then decided to have a shoot-out with the police instead. The police won. It was surreal, like a dream, like I was floating above watching the whole thing. I was actually ducked behind a police squad SUV’s tire during the whole mess. It was August 18, 2001. It was ‘showtime’ to our apartment complex at 1:30am on a Friday night.
Looking back on it now, I knew it was coming, I should’ve seen the signs. Our rocky relationship started about a year after we got married in 1995. We met in 1994, I was on the rebound, and my ex-boyfriend who I thought I was so madly in love with, had become engaged and I thought I was doing the right thing by marrying the first man who paid attention to me after that. I had recently lost almost 50 pounds with Jenny Craig. I was in a size 8. I had an up and down weight since junior high and was feeling really good about myself. I was 27 years old and my biological clock was ticking. He was 22. And “wouldn’t amount to anything” as he was told by his aunt. He was clean and sober after treatment a couple times, had been in trouble with the police once as a juvenile. Had been clean since.
He moved in with me almost immediately. I was living by myself. I was always one to support myself after high school and since then. He worked odd jobs and we struggled to make ends meet. He wanted it all, but yet had no money to buy anything. He thought my $12 an hour job was “good money”. He wanted me to buy everything, but I was struggling to keep a roof over our head with all his spending. Basically, with MY money. But he would say it was “our” money. I should’ve known, when I bought my own engagement ring from JC Penney. I tell people about that now and they just look at me funny. What was I thinking? I don’t know what I was thinking at the time. I guess I just wanted to feel loved and was afraid to be alone at that point.
We got married on September 9, 1995. I basically paid for the wedding with credit cards and my salary. I had slowly been gaining weight over the year, and by the time it was time to buy my wedding dress, it was a size 16. That’s how fast it went back on. I told myself I was happy and in love. It wasn’t long into our marriage that he started to be very controlling. I got him a job he didn’t like, my brother got him a job, his sister got him a job, my nephew got him a job, etc. So you see where this is headed. He never wanted to work. I supported him. I bought his shotgun. I got a loan for a motorcycle for him, I bought another motorcycle for him. We were big bikers back then and that is a part of my life that I do miss. We would go every weekend and ride everywhere. I think back now and do realize that it wasn’t ALL bad.
When I got pregnant in the fall of 1997, he was working at a local video store part-time, and had held that job the longest of any. This whole time I was bettering myself and moving up, by then making $35,000 a year. I was the bread-winner. I had a very easy pregnancy and only gained 12 pounds. But those 12 pounds put me up to 207 pounds. I’m 5’3”. You do the math. We decided to stop at one if we had a girl, since he had a son from a previous marriage. We got him every other weekend when hubby wanted to, basically. He was a very sickly child, full of his own problems. ADHD, OCD, you name the acronym, he had it. Hubby owed a ton of money in back child support to his mother. I put my foot down and did not pay his child support. People questioned, I made up excuses. Because I loved him. Or so I said.
“B” was born in my favorite month, October. She was the highlight of our lives. My love for her covered up my own inner struggles I had with him. By the time she was two, I got to an all-time high weight of 220. I was in a size 20. But I was happy. Wasn’t I? “B” was oblivious. She loved her daddy and she was the apple of his eye. For the first two years of her life, daddy took care of her during the day while I worked. He worked part-time evenings and I worked full time during the day. Soon he was offered a full-time manager job at another store. We had to put her in daycare. I chose a good home daycare and she thrived. Things were going well for a time.
This is me at my biggest, 220 lbs.
Then he started drinking again. He became increasingly agitated, very susceptible to injury and put on weight. This eventually led to him quitting his job. Once again, we struggled, he got another job, and things continued until he hurt himself. He couldn’t work and we were broke. They shut off our phone, he got angry all the time and drank more. He was controlling before, but got worse. I would go to my sister’s 5 miles away and he would call “when are you coming home”. My dad was in the hospital, he called me there. He started showing up at my work during the day and we would argue. He called me on the phone and we would argue. I almost lost my job. He screamed at “B” one night that really scared me. And that was that. I told him one night I wanted a separation. He broke down and cried. And I cried, and I gave him a second chance. Sometimes I think back and wonder how things would’ve went if I would’ve just bailed. But I realize you can’t spend your life thinking “what if”.
One night shortly after that, it came to a screeching halt. I had a scrapbooking get together with his cousin at our place. He proceeded to drink almost a full bottle of Jim Beam and several beers. We argued, he wouldn’t go to bed. That’s when he decided to take his shotgun and blow my head off. But apparently he realized killing himself would be better. He went out to the garage, and I had to borrow his cousin’s cell phone to call 911, as our phone was shut off. Long story short, cops came, he took a shot at them, then there was ‘BAM, BOOM, BAM, BAM’.
I thought for sure that he was dead. They shot him. The bullet went through his belly button and came out his side. He was very lucky. He was sent to jail, then prison. First degree assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon. 10 years. With good time, 6. It was a blow to me, and to “B”. “Where’s daddy?” She wasn’t even 3, I couldn’t tell her that daddy was in jail. Did she even know what that was? We had sheltered her so much, and I think I still do to a certain extent. That will be the point of this entire story when I am done. If I ever get done, LOL. There wasn’t a book “what to do when Daddy goes to Jail”. A friend of mine told me to write one. At any rate, at the time I was the good little wife and thought I would keep the marriage together for the sake of “B”. I got kicked out of my apartment and lost my job. And I had to get rid of my two beloved cats I treasured so much. We moved in with my nephew and his fiancé. I struggled emotionally, and wondered how I was going to do it all on my own. But if I really thought about it, I had been on my own for a long time before that. Under the stress I lost 20 pounds.
Around "B"'s third birthday, 2001.
To be continued.......