At least he cares." "At least he cares." "At least he cares.".... this has been rumbling around my brain for weeks now.
Every time I get focused on my weight loss I'm constantly surprised how much emotional crap gets stirred up in the process. I wish I was just unaware of calories and nutrition and my weight was simply a mathematical error. Unfortunately, it's not. My weight is completely intertwined with my emotional issues and quite difficult to navigate.
One of the main factors I fight with is that I DESERVE to be thin, healthy and happy. I have a long history of abuse and crappy relationships, so in theory I know I deserve these things, but it often gets lost in translation. I end up letting people treat me poorly and turn to food for love.
Years of therapy have helped, but it's still a struggle.
I recently went through my pictures looking for full body shots for an inspirational collage. I used to be 150ish. Still overweight, but at this point, I'd be thrilled to be back there. I gained nearly 100lbs from a medication they put me on after a mental breakdown. I realized that I gained the weight so fast and at the exact time they pulled me out of my denial and I crashed; that the weight is like a physical manifestation of the abuse. *ding* light goes off! It is time for me to close this chapter!! I've spent years processing the abuse, but I kept the weight. Evidently, some part of me is still holding on to it.
A few months ago I stopped talking to most of my family. This is a long story, so I'll do a cliffnote version. Family is crazy and treats me badly. I have a baby sister I raised and kept in touch with crazy family to make sure she was being treated correctly. No matter how much I want a family and worked to make things okay; I finally accepted it's not within my control. My sister (who is now 21) is struggling with me deciding to no longer be the glue and the "bigger person". Several weeks ago we were debating this point and she said she understood why I wasn't talking to mom, because mom is crazy and she's even crazier when it comes to you (me). But, she said, I don't understand why you're not talking to dad. Despite him falling short and not really being as good as a dad as he should be to you, at least he cares.
This phrase has been rolling around in my head since she said it. Why is it hard for me to think I DESERVE to be healthy, happy and thin?? Because my own sister, my blood, the most important person in the world to me, thinks I should accept being treated poorly because he cares. I'm not saying she'd directly say "you deserve being abused", but it's obvious that she's used to me doing it. And that makes me very sad.
Focusing on myself is so much more than counting calories. Finally I am placing healthy boundaries. I don't care that he cares. If you are not going to treat me well, to love me in words AND actions, then I'm not going to allow you in my life. Does it break my heart that my immediate family will never be good for me? Yes, of course. But it's finally sinking in that you can't put yourself first partially or only in some situations. If I'm going to take care of myself, then it needs to be in all aspects of my life. From what I put in my mouth to what I allow people to say and do to me.
After three decades of accepting way less than I deserve, I think it's time to take care of me. "At least he cares" just doesn't cut it anymore.