Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stripped Bare

Ness in 1983 ~ a year or so before breaking my arm

I feel heartbroken for Christchurch and her people. I am heartened by the spirit of the Cantabrian people and those throughout New Zealand (and the world) that have rallied to help them; be it with rescue teams, police, financial support etc. As one person I am doing what I can to help in my own way with words of support, donations.

On the morning of the 22nd of January things were going well. Then Limpy passed away. I was devastated. He was such a beautiful little kitten and given what he had been through absolutely deserved to live. My emotions were completely raw and I drove from Te Atatu to Forrest Hill crying hysterically; I could barely even see through the tears to drive. Colleen gave me a huge hug which helped immensely and both her and Kathryn offered words of support.

I then had to drive to an appointment with Mel and there were more tears. I thought that the tears would never end. As Mel talked to me about things I started to cry; what she said touched my soul and in the coming weeks I would think back to her words. I remember the tears streaming down my face; as by that stage I could not even stop them.

For the record…I do cry. I do feel intense emotion. I feel empathy. I feel for people. I feel for animals. My heart breaks for our world that is in turmoil. That is who I am.

In the following days I felt ‘stripped bare’. I felt that every single emotion or feeling that I had was worn for the world to see. I cried in private a lot and the tears would stream silently down my cheeks as I thought about different things. These tears were cleansing tears and I needed to get them out so that I could move on.

What I realised is that my self-esteem and confidence in myself and my opinions/thoughts/feelings is at the lowest it could be. I hate mirrors and feel disgusted with myself and often shocked when I see myself in large mirrors or photos. I only like looking at myself in the car rear vision mirror. Why? In the rear vision mirror I cannot see anything from the neck down. I think in my mind I do not feel that I am as big as I look.

I hate being overweight. Why can I not switch my mind over to seriously lose weight? As Mel pointed out that sometimes weight is a protective thing. I have to say that in some respects she is right.

Before all the haters jump on the wagon and say “you are lazy, you eat too much blah, blah” please understand that while I am overweight (actually probably Obese by the BMI measure) there are a lot of emotions tied up with why I am this way as well. I am going to the gym and am looking at what I eat, and the volume that I eat. I do not eat takeaways like I used to and considering I used to have a Wendy’s chicken burger combo every single day I think I have come a long way.

I dislike blaming my past for things in my present or future; nevertheless my past has shaped who I am today. I grew up with amazing parents who loved me and a roof over my head and I experienced both good and bad things. I have been thinking a lot about why I have struggled to lose weight over the years. While some of it is because of energy in (food) and energy out (exercise) there is another wee emotional component.

When I was in standard 3 (possibly year 4 now) I broke my arm. I was climbing up a cliff face in beautiful Omapere and I lost my grip and fell backwards. I am amazed what the human brain can do in a few seconds and as I fell I remember thinking “if I fall backwards onto these rocks I am going to crack my head open”. So I twisted my body and ended up with my arm jammed between two rocks. I managed to pull my arm up and as I walked (crying) towards where we were staying I straightened my horribly bent arm. I remember crying for my father who was in Auckland and also my cousin being a bit of a drama queen (nothing new there). I remember the drive to the hospital and being given a local anaesthetic while they straightened my arm and reset it. My mum could not be in the room and her friend stayed with me. I think that parents just cannot bear to see their babies in pain. Anyway they did not put my arm in a cast in Rawene. When we came back to Auckland they did and when my arm came out of the cast it was bent.

Prior to breaking my arm I was an extremely active child and I swam a lot. With a slight bend in my arm I started to swim crooked and would often end up swimming into the lane dividers. Gradually my swimming decreased (so "bam" there goes a lot of my 'energy out'). Yes, I know there are other sports I could have played, but I did not. I played a little netball, but I did not love it like I loved swimming. Even to this day there is something so healing about the water, and I find that even now when I am down I just want to be in it. I had smaller friends who did ballet and were able to eat whatever they liked (well this is how it seemed to a 9 year old) and still remain small. What I realise now is that they were burning huge amounts of energy when they were dancing. We never really had biscuits (if we did I would eat most of the packet) or chips in the house and we had healthy, whole food. So overeating is nothing to do with my parents and everything to do with me.

Then from 14 my life really started to unravel. In retrospect turning from a child to a teenager and all those hormones going “crazy” probably did not help. Secrets came out in the open for the world to see. I had family members (not my parents) insinuate that I was lying and they questioned my memories. (At the end of the day two people in this world truly know what I happened and I am one of them). We had a family meeting which I attended for about an hour and then I walked out. I walked out because I was unable to deal with the fact that I was being called a liar and things were just going around in circles. Basically things just got fucked up and events got jumbled and some people stopped believing everything that I said. I found out later that the other person involved said something along the lines of “I did not do that because I am not attracted to her (me)”. So perhaps in some strange way I have kept myself in a state of “unattractiveness (i.e. fat)” so that no one will hurt me again because “I am not attractive”.

I figure if I can finish healing some of the old hurts (and combine this with good eating and exercise) that perhaps I will finally be the woman that I am meant to be; strong, healthy and confident. For the record I have barely cried since January and I feel stronger and better equip to deal with things.

I am a very open person and am happy to talk to most people about my life and experiences if they ask. I do not write my blogs for attention, but I write to get my thoughts out there in the universe. I write because sometimes when I speak my voice is not heard, or my words come out wrong.

The last word: I strongly believe that some dark secrets only have power if they are kept a secret.

1 comment:

  1. I think there is always a huge emotional component in weight / eating issues. I've done a LOT of personal work on these things over the past 5 or so years. I have lots of book recommendations if you're interested.

    I can totally identify with so many of the things you have written here. Hugest hugs!! You're doing great just getting it out for the world to see.

    (p.s. it's Kate - I found your blog through twitter)