Stuffed animals and old dolls……

•February 8, 2012 • 2 Comments

I was cleaning out one of the rooms in my house, a room that was once my office but had just become a storeroom that I never entered. Things got stacked there and stuck there to be “out of the way,” but it just became a very scary room, especially after we had rats get into the house one year. I know. How disgusting and awful. They found that room way too homey.

It had been homey for me once upon a time, too. I had decided I was an adult and could decorate anyway I wanted to, so the room sort of had this baby blue, teddy bear theme. It was sweet, and I loved it once upon a time. I used it as a place to keep a lot of my old stuffed animals. As I clean out the room, I’m coming across them. I’m trying to clean them up after being in the dust and dirt and, well, rat mess. I’ve vacuumed them and washed many of them, although they don’t wash that easily. Some are close to falling apart and need repairs. In that room, it’s mostly the old ones, the ones from many years ago. I remember who I got it from or the story of where I got it or just having had it forever. Each one seems to have it’s own personality and evokes a unique feeling in me. Each one is its own “person” in my mind.

If I was the child in The Velveteen Rabbit, there is no way I would have ever let them take my favorite toy. No matter how sick I might have been, my hands would have clung to it. I would have sneaked outside to rummage around in the garbage pile before it was burned. I would have found it, or at least looked.

When my brother came to help clean out the garage years ago, I told him to make sure to save my toys. I also made sure he did not get rid of any of the Christmas decorations. In those decorations, there was a creche, an old nativity scene I’d grown up with. It was not a fancy set, but I loved that the baby Jesus was not “stuck” in the manger, but that he could come out and be put back in. I’d spend hours looking at it and playing with it each Christmas. My mom would tell me that I should not get too attached to it. My brother had apparently given it to her, so she always thought it would go back to him. He didn’t even remember it. It somehow ended up in the “throw away” pile when he came to help. That pile filled up the side of the yard where the trash cans were put and half the driveway. I realized that the creche was not among the things that I had kept, and I could not stand it. I even awoke early the next morning because I was so upset and felt lost. I dug through that huge pile of “stuff” trying to find it. I never did. It still pains me every Christmas, every time I think of it.

So, that’s how I know that as a child I’d have torn up the world to find a favorite toy that had been thrown away. My Panda Bear, something my father gave me at the one time in my life when I ever felt he even noticed I existed, was something (someone) I slept with until a roommate’s dog tore him up. He’s still in my hope chest, and it always will be.

I understood the story of that rabbit becoming “real” all too well. It’s what I’ve been trying to do my entire life. I still wonder what “real” is, but I love what the Skin Horse said about it.

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

When I read about temperament, work based on Jung’s theories and written up by David Keirsey, it makes some sense. I am what they call an NF, and intuitive feeler. Those types of people constantly seem to be in search of themselves. They often are a bit of a mystery to other types who feel maybe they should be involved in this “search for self,” but it just doesn’t make any sense for most people. When I read about NF children, something very interesting comes up. It’s the idea that for these children, their toys become something “other” in their mind. They have a rich fantasy life, and they begin to feel that these toys, especially stuffed animals and dolls, have their own personality. They weave stories around them. My mom would always get on to me for asking for more dolls and animals but not playing with the ones I had. Yet for me, I was always talking to them, interacting with them. I did not play with them like “normal” toys necessarily. I sot of thought they had their own lives to lead. I remember when we landed on the moon, and i was going to get to stay up and watch it. Mom would not let me bring all my dolls and animals into the living room. I could only choose a few. I felt so guilty leaving the others behind. I pretended that there was a TV in my room and that I turned it on for them. Still, I felt bad for choosing some over others. It was so difficult for me. I felt horrible for picking some and not others. I tried to justify my choices to myself, but there was no way it seemed fair or right to me. That is probably what I remember best about the moon landing.

So, now I have even more. I have ones I’ve bought myself because I just wanted to feel loved, ones I’ve gotten at special moments, ones I just fell in love with. I’m packing up a lot of them. Mom did put some out in the shed, and they are ruined, beyond help. These won’t be put somewhere where they won’t be ok. I’ll put them away while I’m working on this house, getting it sorted. But, there will be a place for them somewhere. I won’t have a room like this one was again, but I’ll make space for them. I have a child in therapy who scares her psychiatrist by claiming her stuffed animals “talk” to her. I think she’s projecting parts of her personality onto them, both the good and the bad parts that she can’t quite “own” yet. She might well be delusional and shows other signs of it at times, but I don’t feel that this is one indicator. I think she’s an intense kid who is often lonely. Sometimes, some of her animals suggest negative things to her, but she can tell them “no.” It gives her a way to deal with her more negative impulses. Her favorite will tell her to do the right thing and encourages her to not hurt herself, to do what she’s supposed to do, and basically “listens” to her. I can’t think that that is a bad thing. I have no problem diagnosing delusional behavior, but I am more open then some about unique beliefs and thoughts. If it works for them and doesn’t hurt someone else, I don’t necessarily worry about the thinking being delusional. Is it functional is probably my first thought.

In cleaning out my house and my life, I have to take into account who I am. I can’t do it the way others would do it necessarily. I can’t just scoop it all up and throw it out. Yes, it’s “stuff,” but it has meaning and memory attached to it. It’s a part of who I am. I will let go of what I can, and I will make room for what I need to keep. I may need to put some of it aside for a time, but I will keep the things that mean the most, that help me remember who I am, that are tied to my sense of self. It makes it a bit harder to accomplish this massive task of cleaning out and fixing up the house. However, I have to find a way to clean it up, fix it up, and yet be true to myself. Some things will go, and that will make me sad, but I will keep the things that tug at my heart. Many are worn and old and barely recognizable, much as “real” things are described by the Skin Horse. I don’t know if the Nursery Fairy will ever come along and make them “real,” but they are “real” for me.

Now, if that Nursery Fairy would just make ME “real,” or at least feel like I am occasionally.

Where’ve I been?

•February 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

When I started this blog, I was so excited. I wanted to write and write and write. I was ready to take off. I wanted to share my experiences. But, then an odd thing happened. I got worried about sharing, worried that you would be bored. I was worried that what I had to share would be so ordinary, yet at that same time, I wanted to hide out. I didn’t want you to know too much about the grueling, boring, day to day part of coping with, well, with ME. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I fight it. I medicate it. I don’t experience all the effects all the time. At times, I even feel like a fraud because I go on with my life. I work. I even play. I don’t get much accomplished, and I beat myself up regularly. That would be where the depression really creeps in. When you read the diagnostic ramblings that we’re supposed to go by in my profession, they talk about “atypical depression,” meaning a depression where the person’s experience of depression is impacted by what’s going on around them. The depression can lift a bit. There can be experiences of fun, although I’ll admit that it’s hard even at those times for the experience to sink all the way down into my solar plexus. One reason I’ve always loved dance is that is sort of breaks me past that, if only for a moment. Unfortunately, my body has trouble going to that point now. I will dance and dance, but I feel the pain. I feel the ankle almost give way. Those things make me feel disconnected from the music, the beat, what’s going on around me. I’ve been trying to cope with the fibro as well, but the exhaustion and the brain fog really get to me. I feel upset with myself for not “pushing through” and doing more. I know that “pushing through” can be very tricky. At times it works. At other times, it backfires and causes a flare that may take up a week of my life. The new year came, and so few things seemed to have been accomplished since last year. My house was still a mess. My financial situation was overwhelmingly complicated and negative. My health was not improved. I’d lost a bit of weight, but not nearly what I’d wanted to lose. I hadn’t improved the problems I have with the business end of my practice, and I hadn’t fine tuned the things that needed to be tightened up a bit. I could make a huge list of things I had not done, things I’d failed to do, things I did not have. This list included things that were obvious to others and also those things that were more obvious to me. I have long range goals for growing into the person I want to become, and I seem to have been struggling with this forever.

So, I stopped writing. I could not imagine that anyone would want to read these struggles. The more I feared it and put it off, the harder it became. I have at least one other idea for a blog, and I’ll try to get to it in the next few days. I do have things that “have” to be done in order to get paid, but it’s so important that I begin to grow as a writer.

I don’t have much of an audience, and I know that. But, I won’t ever have an audience if I don’t become more consistent in my writing. Sure, quality needs to become more consistent. But, first there has to be something out there. I can’t grow as a writer or as anything else just sitting here with good intentions. I have to do it, even fail at it, in order to grow. That’s incredibly scary.

I’m sorry I abandoned my blog, even if it’s just for me at this point. I apologize to any audience I might have. Maybe more importantly, I apologize to myself. I feel this blog is important for my growth but also that it might be leading me somewhere else. If i don’t keep at it, I’ll never get to that “somewhere else.” I don’t know what that means. I just know that I need to write. I’ve been told I have some skill, and I need to use it.

So, Dear Blog, I’m back. I don’t want to feel “guilty” about not writing. I carry enough guilt with me, and I’m weighed down enough by so many things. But, I do want to feel excited to get back to the page, even when I don’t feel I have anything that interesting to say. Maybe I have to risk being boring at times. Maybe to grow into a more interesting person, to myself and to others, I have to risk being boring as well. So, here we go. I have no great wrap up, no solid ending to “stick” like a gymnast right now. I just have a promise to come on back to the page, over and over, until we grow something interesting. And, when I disappear or screw up, I promise to start again. That’s become my new theme. Sure, screw up. But, start again.

Interesting, that was a part of the theme in church today as I crept in half an hour late. It was a baptismal sermon

Dear Santa,

•December 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment
English: Thomas Nast's most famous drawing, &q...

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Every year I want to write you, and that “list” of things to do before Christmas, the one I never even get close to completing these days, just hovers in my mind. You’re on the “list,” I just don’t get to everything. I’m sure you don’t read blogs, especially ones that are little known and rarely read. I know you’re supposed to know when we are naughty or nice, but I’m sure you can’t keep up with grown folk nearly that well. And, besides, I probably am on some list for people who aren’t necessarily naughty, because they just don’t do enough to be naughty, but on a list of those who don’t accomplish much of anything, either naughty or nice.

But, on to my request. I have so much that I need and want right now. I worry about the health of my furbabies, and I need to have better health myself so that I can participate in this world more fully. I worry about money and about the fact that my house is a hoarder’s nest right now, oh, and falling down, too. I worry about my business and about what I really need to be doing in this world. I yearn to be happy again. I want to find true love. I thought of asking for all those needs, but I’m not sure you can do much about them. If you can, please go ahead.

I think it’s really the wonder of both Christmas and just life in general that I’m seeking when I think about writing you. You, “little old elf,” remind me of that sense of wonder, that whisper of magic, that I would feel when I came into the living room on Christmas morning to see the tree all lit, presents from you standing below. There was once magic in my life. I’d sit at night after my mom went to bed and just look at the lights on the tree, filled with wonder. I was able to find that feeling at times since she died, but as the years have worn on and life has worn me down, I find it less and less. It was always Christmas that renewed that sense of wonder in my life, and it was then easier to find it throughout the year. I don’t just want that in my life. I need it. It gave me hope and a sense of purpose. I felt that connection with all of life when I experienced wonder. I believed in possibilities, even possibilities that lay hidden within me.

I want to believe again that maybe, just maybe, you could help a child find all they dreamed of like in that movie “Miracle on 34th Street.” That remains one of my favorites. You were challenged. You were given something that seemed impossible. You proved you were real, that you resided in the hearts of people, and that you could actually do something in the physical world. I’d like to believe in that again. I never thought of you as God. Make no mistake. But, I have always believed that there were other “beings” that functioned in a way beyond human understanding. I believed that the fey were there, that elves wandered the forests, that magic was real. It was smaller than a belief in God, but it was almost a step towards that. If I could believe in the little things, I found it easier to believe in the big. Not that you are little, but in comparison to God, perhaps. I always loved the figurines with you honoring the Christ child. That made sense to me.

All my hope, whether in people or in things beyond people, has been challenged again and again in my life. I’ll find myself drawn to hope again, and then find it shattered. It’s not just that every person lets us down at sometime. It’s that hope and belief always seem to be an outright lie. I need those to sustain me, but I am not one who can easily live with a lie that goes that deep into my soul. It would not take a lot to lift me up. Just a little magic. Just something wonderful and unexplained. Something you supposedly can do.

Santa, I need magic back in my life. I need my sense of wonder renewed. I know you were once a real person, someone who heard a need and met it out of your own sense of devotion to God. You became something else as myth added to myth, the mixing of cultures and peoples. You became the elf at the North Pole, the one who gave children presents and drove a sleigh. I still look for that sleigh in the Christmas skies. I’ve looked for it my whole life, and there were times I suspected that I saw it. I just need that childlike wonder back. I need to have my skepticism blown apart. I need my rational mind to take a break, to go on holiday. I need wonder. I need to see it in the small things, yet I need it in a big way.

Santa, surprise me. Come into my life this Christmas and give me just a sparkle, a twinkle. Do the extraordinary, even just a tiny bit. Make sure I really notice it. Wait for that intake of breath, that lightening of spirit, that sigh of relief releasing the pains of this life. Bring me wonder. Fill my heart with it so that it can carry me into my life in a new way. Renew the child in me.

How Did I Do This to Myself?

•December 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m trying to write my way out of a lot of things, and honesty has become important in that journey. I somehow created a mess in my life, in so many ways. I know that much of it is simply my fault. I also know that there were things which happened that were beyond my control, and some of those things remain beyond it today. I love that Serenity Prayer because it focuses on knowing the difference between what can be controlled, what cannot be controlled, and knowing the difference. When you know the difference, you can put your attention where it will do some good. At least that’s the theory. I find it easier said than done personally, each part of it.

I know I’m not completely honest with anyone, even myself. I know that because I do catch myself in lies little and big. I don’t mean when I just tell a good story and “embellish,” either. I have Celtic ancestry and live in Texas. Of course I embellish! Telling a story in a vivid fashion is an art form, a gift, a real joy. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about other things. There are, of course, the white lies that I tell to try to stay out of trouble or get out of trouble. You know, when you tell them at the motor vehicle place that no, of course you haven’t driven your unregistered car that is in the parking lot as you speak. Yep. I’ve done that sort of lying. Lies of omission and commission both. I have lied about things having to do with personal issues and even with work. At times it was out of fear, believing that it wasn’t just necessary, but essential for me to do so. Doesn’t make it ok. And, as I tell patients, if you lie, you hear it. You know it. And, there goes your trust in yourself. You either become semi-delusional like some of my patients, believing your own lies more and more or else you live with the fact that you cannot trust yourself to be honest, especially in the crunch times. You have to live with the knowledge that trusting yourself is just a little bit dangerous.

Lying does a weird thing to the mind. It makes it hard to know if what I think and feel are the truth. Is my life really a mess because I’m a horrible person? Probably not. It “feels” true, but it’s not true. Is part of the mess “my own damn fault,” like the lyrics from Margaritaville? Most likely. So, how do I figure this out? How do I know that what I can control and what I can’t? Can I really control illness? I know that the fibromyalgia grew out of a predisposition to something like that induced by chronic stress. Can I change that? Perhaps some of it, but I can make it worse by turning that into a stress, too.

This post is difficult to write. I’m unsure of my direction, of my purpose, my goal, but I want to write, to reach out, to find some answers. So, I’ll slog away and share my ramblings with the world. Lucky world, huh? Maybe it’s a good thing it’s a tiny little blog that barely anyone reads. So, shhhhh. This one is fine just sneaking past everyone. Maybe. Or maybe it’s the one I need read the most. Who knows.

It’s one thing to have somehow covered myself up in fat. Sounds atrocious, and yet that’s somehow what I seemed to have done. I look around where I live, and I seem to have covered myself up not just with “stuff,” much of which I love, but yucky, dirty stuff. I don’t know how it got this bad. I want to go put a bunch of stuff by the curb since a charity is coming tomorrow to pick up stuff from my neighborhood, but I’m tired. I don’t know why I’m tired. No patients today because of cancellations, and only did a bit of paperwork. Ran around with Gwynn, showing her things I want to do with my bedroom and every other room it seems. Oh, and took Lilith, finally, to get her geriatric puppy blood work done. After three years of wanting to do it. Procrastinate much? Luckily, she’s doing great, but I can’t believe I didn’t get that done sooner. Maybe just the cost I had to pay today was enough to wipe out my energy. In any event, none right now. So, no real work accomplished, and an opportunity to make more progress and get rid of some things in a decent, recycling type way passing me by.

If you knew me 15 years ago, you’d be shocked at how awful my house is. People say theirs is bad, but it’s not. They really don’t know. Mine is getting close to what you see on Hoarders, that show. I know that a little over a decade ago, I was out of work and trying to find a path to a new career. I did that, but I ended up working crazy hours. I even worked at more than one job at a time. That started it. Maybe it started it. It pushed my body over the limit. I think there was a bit of the fibro there when I taught school. I remember days when my arms were just suddenly weak, too weak to do what I normally could do then. I hated my entire life much of the time. I was secluded, hiding away after Pete left. I worked at a job I hated. Then, I finally got the strength to quit.

In the past decade, working so much and trying to create something for myself that I didn’t have before in my work life, I really tore myself up. I developed full blown fibro, not the kind that was gonna go away easily. And, yet I had to keep pushing or I’d lose what little I had. Then, problems with the mortgage and other money pressures just loaded on all of that. I was more than a bit stressed all the time, and getting sicker and sicker, so there was less and less I could do. I love the actual work I do now. Not the paperwork, office part which I now suck at, but the therapy? I love doing that. Truly love it. I just tore myself up getting to this point in my career. I don’t make the money I need to make because of the lack of organization and because I don’t know how to build a business, but I don’t hate life all day every day when I’m at work like I used to do. I just blew out my nervous system and have fibromyalgia now.

So, here I sit. Trying to push through. Trying to rearrange my life yet again. Trying to make all the pieces fit.Trying to have a home and a life into which I can invite others with ease, trying to build that part of myself and my life while improving my business, too. My best friend, a bundle of energy, has moved back and is willing and able to help. But, it seems the more little tasks we do, the worse it gets. I sort of knew it would get worse before it got better. Damn. I hate all those sayings. I really do.

I don’t know how to dig out of this crap. I have a house full of stuff, much of which could/would be nice if I could take care of it. A lot of it is family stuff, stuff I want to keep. There is stuff I bought to turn it into my “dream home.” There is stuff all over stuff.

I sleep on an air mattress in the living room because I got to where I couldn’t stand my bedroom. I felt trapped in there. Something just wasn’t “right” about it. Sounds so weird, but I just would not sleep there.

What am I even talking about? Do you know, cause I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’m confused and overwhelmed and tired, so tired. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who to be. Let me let you go. What an idiotic blog, but I promised to try to tell the truth. Not that I won’t edit and rewrite, but I’ll leave the crap. I really will. It’s the only way to sort through it all.

I dance in chaos and feel the pulse of creation swirling within me. I am creating myself anew, giving birth to a self that is yet unrealized.

The Answer.

•November 28, 2011 • Leave a Comment

It was supposed to be private, that first letter. And, I actually was supposed to tell my truth, at least that version of it. I suppose the answer is private, too, but might as well put it out there. My emotions are in turmoil as I try to face this all, and I need to move forward not just through a book but into my life.

Dear Darling Nameless Searching One,

You don’t know why I came? I take up space, but I came to give you space. I came to keep a clamoring world a bit at bay so that you could have a moment of peace. I grew so large so that you would have a safe space in which to grow yourself. You wanted to hide away, to read and think and grow. I gave you some of that opportunity to do so because you would not, could not, take it for yourself.

I know you are Nameless and Searching, trying to find the “you” that fits. I was the defensive end, the one who covered your ass literally, so that you could begin to work your magic.

I did come born of sickness as well, but I’m a clear visual reminding you that you need to find a way to care for your health. You want so much. You want to be so much and do so much. You cannot if you are not healthy. You will ignore headaches and even try working when you are throwing up, but you will stay home instead of going out to play because you are fat. I know you’re scared of not having money, and that often you don’t. You’re scared of everything, and I keep it all away.

I protect you, give you space to grow, and let you know that you need to focus on your health if you are ever to become who you are meant to be.

By the way, you will discover your true name, and soon.

I sometimes resent you because you got so much attention once upon a time. I would really like some of that attention, but I know that until you can take time and space for yourself, you need me. You might be a person who just needs more time and space than most. You are, after all, more of an introvert than people realize. You’ve had me to help you remain that way. I’ve loved you and hated you, but I’ve always protected you.

You are tired and not listening to this body of your today. Go get something to help your runny nose. Go eat something healthy and satisfying. Go do something even though the sun has set.

I’ll always be here, but I won’t always need to physically take up space in order for you to carve out space for yourself. I won’t always need to be so in your face about taking cafe of your health. Who cares if you don’t work hours as long as others? You have to find a way to take care of yourself, appreciate yourself, and know you are enough.

I’m kind of a joke, but not a fat joke. the joke is that if you don’t feel like you are “enough,” I am a visible reminder that you are more than enough. When you no longer need that, you won’t see it manifested the same way. Know, in that stubborn heart of yours, that you are enough.

I know you have been abandoned over and over. Being big keeps people at bay. It also keeps others engaged. You take up so much space in their lives that they aren’t going to forget about you. Yet, they do. You don’t have to physically take up that space, and you can also make sure to give them their own space. Give what you need to receive, but also give what that person needs if their needs are different from yours.

Love me, hate me, whatever. I’m hard to be indifferent about. So are you. You don’t see that about yourself, but it’s true. I’ll be here as long as you need me, and I’ll physically manifest as long as you need that visual. (Remember, you learn better auditorily, so this may take some time.) Just, deal with me. Love me, if and when you can. Recognize that I’ve kept relationships away, but that you needed that. I kept you safe. I also reminded you over and over to take care of yourself. That one has not been as successful. Go do that now.

Love from Fat Me.

Letter to my fat self, Part I………

•November 27, 2011 • 2 Comments

I was working through a book by Marianne Williamson called A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever. I was working on it months ago, but I got pulled up short with the second lesson. Yep. I couldn’t even get past Lesson Two. The assignment was to write a letter to your Fat Self. I thought that would be no problem. I have a lot to say to her for sure, but then I read the lesson. I’m supposed to write a loving letter? That seemed so false. I HATE Fat Me. So, how do I go on from here?

Well, I’m going to do two letters. First, I’m going to write the letter that is actually in my head. I’m going to share this one with you. Just to warn you, it won’t be pretty. It will be full of harsh imagery, swear words, and rage. I don’t at all believe in prettying up your real feelings, but perhaps as I work through the negative ones out here in the light of day where anyone can stumble upon them, I’ll eventually be able to write the kinder, more gentle and loving words to myself that I need to hear.

Marianne says that to “judge an aspect of yourself as ugly is to abuse yourself.” Really? I’m not sure about that. But, I also don’t know that “tough love” has really worked for me in the long run. So, how do I reconcile all of this, all my conflicting feelings not only about my weight, but about the very fact that I’m supposed to”honor” a part of myself because it does seem to be strengthening that aspect of myself. She would contend that “Not-Thin” me is in my life because she bears a message and that once she is heard, she will disappear. Well, I’ve been struggling, and have had some limited success, with the whole “tough love” approach. I don’t know how much longer I can go with it. Maybe I ought to give her approach a chance. But, not before “Queen Bitch Me” has been heard as well. She’s the one who really HATES that I am fat. HATE, even in lovely capital letters, just does not completely express what I feel about that part of myself.

When I was in college, I was notably thinner. I know that now, but it was not what I wanted to be. I did not want to gain that “freshman 15” or whatever. I had an extremely overweight roommate, and yet I completely lacked any sense of sensitivity about this issue. I tacked a sign on our mirror that stated, “Jan, you dipshit fat pig.” I thought I could shame myself into losing the weight. That never exactly worked, although I would contend that I’m trying to make it work now. We’ll see. I wasn’t embarrassed until one of my favorite professors came by for a tour of the dorms and saw it. I wasn’t embarrassed by having that up in a room I shared with a truly overweight person. I could be understanding about her weight, but when it came to my own, I was so ugly to myself that it spread to others. That was not the only occasion that this was the case.

So, without much further ado, cause you know I can “ado” all day in avoidance, here’s the letter I would write first. Bad words, bad grammar, and just rage all around….

Dear Fatty,

I loathe you. I wish you would die. I feel like all my hopes and dreams died when you sauntered into my life. I wish I could gouge you out of me. I imagine sharp knives slicing through fatty layers, layer upon layer, and ripping them to shreds. I imagine blood flying everywhere as I tear your horrid carcass from around me. I would flail with those blades like a warrior of old, like some TV ninja, tearing at the very flesh of my body.

I cannot believe how you let this happen. All the damn fucking excuses. You don’t exercise. I know. You can’t go out because of the smoke, and dancing on tables and partying used to be the easiest way to stay relatively in shape. You’re afraid of walking out into the country because scary men stop to ask for directions while masturbating. Really?? That might have happened, but when it did, you kept working out. I know you are sick. I do really know that, and I can be kinder about the fibromyalgia and the depression. I know they contribute to weight gain in some people, but I also know being so fucking fat means that you actually make those conditions worse. I know some of the very drugs you take to try to help with those conditions make it worse. Who the fuck cares? I don’t. Deal with it and quit the fucking whining. That’s all you are and all you’ll ever be.

And, forget about ever having sex again. I’m not sure anyone would want to wade through all that fat to find the appropriate parts, and I know for sure you would not like it because of how much I hate you, Fat Me. In my fantasies, I am not fat. That would not work if I was. I try to push you so far from my mind and imagine a self very different. I really do hate you. I have feared you my entire life, worried that you’d become a reality. And, like some monster out of a dream, you just stepped into my world, an almost unreal aberration. You are like a monster. You ARE a monstrosity. An embarrassment.

I wish you dead. Simple as that. I remember when I looked in a store mirror and wondered who that poor, fat, middle-aged woman was and rejoiced in my heart that I wasn’t her. Oh, but then I realized the woman I was pitying for being fat and unattractive was me. Me. Of all people. I was stunned, but still you continued to hang around, to grow, to overwhelm me.

I can remember my cousins wedding and feeling very pretty. I look at those pictures now, so nicely taken by my skinny sister-in-law, and I wince. I did NOT look pretty at all. I looked fat. And, maybe old, too. However, I think the old goes with the fat. I know that as I lose, I get more wrinkly, and that may be something else I have to deal with. I don’t like being old much, either, but being fat is worse. Being fat says something about you, or so it seems.

It does not mean that you live affluently, like perhaps it once did or like it does in some cultures. Fat people make less money. I could go on and on about the facts of being fat, but the one fact that matters to me is that it is ugly. It is weak. It is horrid.

I touch you, Fat Me, and I feel disgust. You are a filthy, messy, overwhelmed, overwrought, false thing. You walk around like you matter, like you used to do when you were pretty. And, instead, you are pretty disgusting. Revulsion would be the better word.

I would really like to cut you off. You’d suffer that way, and maybe die forever, not just physically, but psychically as well. You need to be gone from my reality and from my thoughts as well.

I so want to be beautiful, the heroine of the story. And, yet the mirror tells me this is not the case. I’m am the fat sidekick to my own life. I hate you and wish you dead. More, I wish you suffering.

I am trying to get out all of it, all the rage and anger and shame. Ah, yes. Shame. A favorite of mine. Thank you, Mom, although I probably have far surpassed you in this realm, for those initial lessons. Without proper shame, how do you know what you’ve done wrong? There is some truth to that, and those with no shame are dangerous. But, I carry it around me, wrapped in layers that may never fade away. Even if I lose weight, there will be that skin hanging down. How ugly that will be. It’s worse with the huge scar on my stomach. Fat and scars. Now, that’s a combo.

I cannot believe how fat I look in recent pictures. Friends post that I’m looking beautiful, and I thank them. I then make a mental note about how crazy they are because it’s so clear that I am NOT beautiful. I look fat, old, weighed down, unattractive.

Fat-Me, could you, would you, go away? I don’t think just wishing you away would work. And, how can I possibly love you? Really? You are disgusting. I don’t go to college reunions because I don’t want certain people to see me “fat.” I want certain people to either regret how they hurt me, how they lost me, or remember how unkind they were. That later is more for high school.

Hell, it’s simple. I want to win. Being the thinnest is winning. So is being famous or rich, but those two aren’t coming in quickly. They might someday. I sort of hope they do. But, being thin is attainable. Or at least it should be.

I’m rarely attracted to fat men. I see them much like I see myself. There are some exceptions, especially when I get to know them, but for the most part, I am disgusted with them as well. They can be famous movie stars, and if they are fat, I am disgusted. They can be kind and good to me, and if they are fat, my brain just cannot conceive of being with them. I tend to like skinnier men rather than big one, the soccer player as opposed to the football lineman. How could I even stand next to one of them if I knew I was so fat that I’d stick out on both sides if I hid behind him? Gross. Simple. Gross.

I don’t want to deal with Fat Me. I don’t like her at all. I don’t want to be compassionate. It’s what I do all day, and there are times when it just wears on the nerves. So, being compassionate to a part of me that is so completely out of control, so disgusting, seems almost impossible. It’s also not the only out of control part. I don’t seem to get out of control in fun ways, either. It quickly becomes an emergency, something urgent, something that is the elephant in the room. Literally. And, the elephant in any room I enter is ME.

I could write and write and write. No matter how scathing the words, I just am not sure I could explain how much I hate being fat. Someone reading this right now is saying, “Well, then lose the weight.” Fuck you and Fuck off! You skinny bitch, you don’t know a thing!!!! It’s not that easy. Truly. It’s a scary road, too. Change is difficult for humans. Other animals seem to adapt. We have adapted our personal environments so much that maybe we’ve forgotten how to adapt ourselves. Single-celled animals learn to avoid negative stimuli; they learn from consequences. Not us humans. We can do things over and over and over, getting into trouble again and again, but we don’t seem to learn very quickly. I know that’s true of my patients, and I know all too well it’s true of me as well. What the fuck is wrong with humans? We will indeed go extinct if we lose the ability to actually learn from our mistakes.

So, how do I learn from this one? How do I learn from carrying around more weight than I want? What is the fucking lesson you are here to teach me? Is it just your purpose to keep me safe, to keep me home, to keep me from venturing out for few of people seeing Fat Me? Is it a means of keeping men at a very cottage-cheese looking arms’ length away? What am I supposed to learn from you? If I learn it, will you really go away?

I can’t imagine that you would. I think you prefer torturing me, and that you enjoy it enough that you don’t even think of what’s going on. You get perverse pleasure from ruining my life, shaping my dreams, changing everything. And, I do mean everything.

As I write this, I am exhausted. Just worn out. Another fucking excuse even if it’s true. Don’t fact it. Don’t dare know that Fat Me is here. You really can’t avoid her, either. She’s you. Is she all of you or just a manifestation of a part of you, of your thought patterns?

I can’t get to the end of my rage. I can’t get to the end of the page. The slicing and dicing metaphore is good enough. Who am I kidding? That’s not a metaphor exactly because it is what I really, truly wish I could do. Let me go now and try the assignment. How do you even begin to find love for something you hate?

Two Glasses……..

•November 13, 2011 • 2 Comments

I stand under the moon, a bright glowing autumn orb just past her prime. Light streams around, and a blue of indescribable depth seems to glow as faint clouds drift across her face. I hold two glasses of wine, one for me and one for, well, I don’t really know.

Is it a glass for my mom, who I’m missing so much this week? I mark her death and in so many ways the death of who I once was. I see children lose their parents in one form or another frequently, and it seems compared to them I was old when she died. And, yet that’s not quite true. I was so unformed. I think I still am, but not like that. I was only 27. So many experiences I hadn’t even had yet. So many I’d never have, perhaps because of that moment when I told her I understood, that moment when I said, “I might leave God, but He’ll never leave me,” that moment when she wept and left me there alone in the hospital. I was still in graduate school. I wasn’t living what many would have considered an ‘adult life,” and I still don’t. I’ve never married, never borne a child, never known real security and safety, never known who I could really be. Her death freed me, too, though. The darker side of that story. Parts of myself I held in check because she would not have approved, she would have known, she would have been disappointed.

I toast the moon. Perhaps that glass is for the Feminine within the Divine. (Yes, I studied Jung a tad more than maybe I should have!! The dangers of this other side of the couch…) I’ve remained a Christian, but my perspective has broadened. It’s become so important to see that Feminine within God. It’s there, if you know to look. And, I’ve needed to look. I can’t quite understand the Divine as only “father.” That would have mortified my mother perhaps, but it’s the truth. My truth at least. “Father” is not associated in my head and heart with love or caregiving or even protection. It’s associated with estrangement, being cast adrift, not belonging, loss. As much as I associate with my father’s heritage, I remember him as large and imposing and frightening. I remember him as someone who demanded my love and affection, who expected me to remain the same over the course of years and years so that he could just pick up with me when he got around to it. By the time I was in junior high, that was about every 5 years or so. I think I loved him once. I have pictures of when he came back to me once as a child, pictures of me wearing pajamas he bought me, riding my trike with my beloved Panda he brought me, following him onto the roof as he made our patio. That little girl looks like she has a “daddy” and maybe loves him and needs him, or at least was willing to give this “daddy” who just came home a chance. Before I knew it, he was gone again. I was about four, and I remember the day. I remember nagging loneliness and this sense that something huge had changed forever in spite of what the adults might have said. It’s not just my resentment of my father that has caused me to seek the Feminine in the Divine. In order to know myself, in order to have a real connection, it has been necessary. I believe God is beyond the male/female dichotomy, but it is part of creation, especially human creation. In order to know myself, I must know God. In order to know God, I must recognize that God is beyond that distinction but includes it as well. I do believe Jesus was who he said he was and that he did what I’ve been told he did. However, he was more than merely human. Like all humans, he had both masculine and feminine traits, but he was something beyond that as well. Still, when God chose human form, he chose masculine form. He chose to come through the Feminine, but he came as a man. So, I borrow from my ancestors a bit and toast the moon, remembering that the Feminine is just as Divine as the Masculine and that both are a part of me.

I pour the second glass on the grass, offering a bit to the fey. I look about to make sure no one sees me. I worry that this might be a “sin,” but it seems right. I don’t know what else exists even right here on this planet, in this plane of existence, but I suspect it is way more than I’ll ever know. And, I’m already pretty sure there is a Pooka in the house, so why not just appease any fey that might be about. Perhaps that extra glass is for them.

Maybe that glass is for the sister I never knew, the older guide that left me, too.

I look back at the moon, two empty glasses as I finish mine. Empty. What a word. So often in my life I have felt empty. I felt longing and yearning, often for something intangible and unknown to me, even as a very young child. Empty. Room to fill. Life to live. I look back at the Goddess and smile. I walk into the cluttered maze of a house, knowing I don’t have to fill up all the emptiness. It will be filled in its own time, in its own way. I live with two empty glasses, a moon past her prime, and yearning. I move into the future through the door of the past.