I’m going to bed right after I finish this and a little wine to calm my nerves. I spent the past two hours trying to figure out what the fuck just happened and why… and then trying NOT to think about why too much before I put myself right back into that position. Vicious cycle, and a shower did just enough to quiet the noise in my head and let me be for a bit as my chest stopped hurting.
Off and on the past few days, trying to figure out what to do, I’ve ended up going around the internet and going into a few forums and whatnot (not saying where, and there were a lot of ’em). It’s been a stressful few days with storms and power outages, things like that. And other than the excitement and anticipation regarding my birds and their babies (up to 2 out of 10 now), nothing’s really gone on, like something was around the corner.
Just wasn’t expecting it on a damned forum and out of nowhere.
I think I’ve jumped in to lend advice or ask questions on many a forum over the past several years. Not too many have dealt with weight, though, or if so, only in the most general sense.
I’m essentially obese, though many don’t think I look it (baggy shirts and comfort wear are pretty helpful with that, but I don’t care about fashion either, it’s just a perk). I admit I am, and that it’s not healthy, it’s just taken a lot of trying to get started and make good habits to start the slow decline of the scale and an increase in energy. Working outside last month sure helped with the weight a bit. It’s funny because I can talk about this right now, and I can mention I’m fat to anybody, and it doesn’t bother me. I say that I’m fat all the time to take that awkwardness out of the equation if there’s a limitation, or I want to make someone laugh a bit. I’m not gonna pretend I’m not, because I’m trying to work on it.
I admit, I don’t really subscribe to “body positivity” completely, but some positivity and assurance and just behaving a like a freaking human being toward someone who may have a weight issue is definitely needed. But I digress.
What got me was a response to something I said a couple of days ago. Someone had been complaining about their new husband constantly making little jabs at her weight, even though she had lost quite a bit and was still losing, and she felt he went too far this last time. Naturally, the responses went all over the place as she asked advice, and I gave what little I could. Someone wrote a short remark that I felt was not very helpful at all, and seemed rather dismissive. I wrote some details back to maybe help them understand (for all I know it was a troll, but I had to say something–probably shouldn’t have) something to the effect that the journey means as much as the destination and hubby wasn’t being supportive of what she’d done so far.
The reply was short, curt, and really damned dismissive.
I don’t want to read it again, and I hope I can sleep it off and forget it because all of a sudden, my face grew hot, mouth was dry, chest ached, my fingers felt like the blood was pulled from them, and I felt nauseous while a rush of anger went through me like I hadn’t felt before.
It only took a few seconds to start. And it was scary as hell. I was a minute or two away from calling my neighbor and asking if I needed to go to the hospital.
I still can’t believe that some abrupt, annoyed response from a stranger could do that to me. I sent a short final response back (while fighting that feeling) and shut it down. I doubt I’ll ever go to that forum again, even for an update.
I didn’t realize something like that could trigger me, but apparently what the person had said suddenly sounded just like all the callous, dismissive, pointed jabs my father would make toward me while I was trying to lose weight. The way he acted helped me develop the eating disorders I fought against for the past 25 years, and am still having to manage.
I just didn’t realize that dad’s ignorance of my struggle and attitude toward it became a trigger. It just didn’t make any sense, but that’s the best way I can figure it. I never felt more like a failure than when it came to my weight and my relationship to food, and his method of lecturing me about eating better, giving little jabs at me, and just that look of utter disappointment as I tried to explain how hard it was (and the way his eyes glazed over sometimes, no longer listening to my “excuses”)…
Yeah, I can see how it happened now.
I’ve never felt two inches tall more than when he was giving me those lectures. It made me furious because he’d use himself as an example of health, but he had a metabolism that could probably start a car if you hooked his heart up to the ignition. He was also always underweight, never over. He also worked an outdoor job where he was constantly on the move, so that metabolism was keeping him going. He’d brag about just having one meal a day and he wouldn’t get hungry and eat all day (but he sure grabbed the junk food and ate it all night when he got home).
I, on the other hand, always had mostly sedentary jobs. Kinda hard to burn calories when you have to sit down all day, or when you’re a klutz and it’s not recommended you work out for a while because you twisted that particular knee for the hundredth time.
He berated me for getting fat and unhealthy, but he wasn’t terribly healthy himself with his diet, either. He bought junk and then wondered why I gained so much weight. He hated when I cooked (except for my bean soup, but that gets tiring after a while). If I tried anything new, he’d get annoyed that I was stinking up the house or making a mess. And when I did make some progress, tried some workouts and the pounds started coming off, he’d make fun of how I was doing it (yes, I know, workout videos look stupid, but dammit, they could motivate me when I was starting).
I couldn’t win for losing. And he’d keep complaining.
I think that’s what struck me most–even when I did improve, he was like “oh, well you got a lot more to go.”
Weight loss is a fucking journey, dad. It’s not gonna happen overnight. His derision would lead me to seek comfort in food, the very thing I was supposed to avoid.
Yeah, Homer obviously enjoyed food. I couldn’t anymore.
And I’m still trying to tell my body that we’ve gotta improve, but it’s gonna take time. And to eat better.
I got used to junk and lots of preservatives. Trying to train my taste buds to want healthier fare now. I’m very glad I didn’t go to the grocery store earlier, but I’m going in the morning with a fresh shopping list that I’m going to stick to no matter what. I have to penny pinch anyway, and I don’t need any other crap. Gonna get my recipe book out and find some new recipes to play with and a strict no eating out rule. I did pretty well when I had that before, then I forgot about it. So easy to slip back into awful habits.
But with my newly cleaned kitchen, no excuses (hee hee).
Maybe I was a bit low and run down today and that’s why the trigger was so potent. I kind of ran out of things to just keep me busy busy busy as a bee (and not eating much,) and I started to slow down, as did my progress. That remark was just the last straw.
I just can’t believe that’s how triggers can work. I knew people could suddenly withdraw and get upset, but I almost felt like I was going to have a stroke or something. It was scary as hell. I just can’t believe some stranger’s remark could make me feel like I was right back talking to my dad again, trying to explain how he wasn’t helping me but hurting, and then his indifference because he thought I was being dramatic. He never believed I had an eating disorder because he said that people with eating disorders got skinny and I was still fat as ever.
He apparently never heard of the binge-purge cycle and how it doesn’t work that way, just releases the pressure valve to give you a bit of a feeling of control, even if it’s harmful. Then again, he thought clinical depression was a joke and a lame excuse because everyone feels depressed at times, so these folks were just pussies (even though I’m sure by the end, my old shrink would’ve told you he was the poster child for depression, but you couldn’t tell him that).
The fact that my dad acted like he would’ve preferred I had anorexia so I’d drop the weight quicker just made my heart sink. I remember that once it got past high school and he started on weight, I’d change the subject abruptly or leave the room. In other instances, like after being at someone’s house for Thanksgiving, he’d glare at me if I went for seconds, even if the hostess was plopping it on my plate without me saying anything. I was taught young not to turn down food when offered because that’s how they showed their love. I was taught to be a card-carrying member of the Clean Plate Club (and it is damned hard to break that habit of not leaving anything on your plate–thankfully now I have mid-sized plates I eat off of to avoid the big ones and I consequently put less on there, which helps a lot).
It takes a lot of doing to get rid of engrained habits, but positivity helps. Dad’s jabs never did help, and just made me angry and resentful and seeking to feel better somehow. And how? Usually with food.
Thankfully my chest has stopped hurting, and I just have a dull headache now. I just hope that never happens again, but perhaps I can alleviate the issue next time. Now I’ve got a mini research project to work on, and a book about bees to get back to, if I can stand being up another minute. I’m gonna have to force myself to calm down and sleep this off.
3 thoughts on “I never thought there was something in my life that could “trigger” me, & then it happened…”
The original poster in The forum was asking for advice and so many offered it. I think what you said to her was most appropriate. When we go into these open forums we have to prepare ourselves to be attacked also if we make a comment. There are people out there who are just waiting to inflict pain and suffering on others. Unfortunately that person found the key to make you feel bad. I hope you’re able to relax and know that some stranger does not know you does not know what you went through. They found the crack in your shield so it’s time to repair the shield and try to move on. But I think you have to find out why this hurt you. And try not to let it hurt you again. You didn’t ask for them to take a jab at you. It’s easy for me to sit here and say let it go but that’s what you have to do. They are nobody. I hope you get some restful sleep and take care of those hatching eggs.
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I basically deleted my search history to ensure I don’t accidentally run into that again. I just found it so weird that I can talk about weight issues and loss and no problem, but the fact that whoever it was sounded exactly like my dad at his worst just floored me. I had no idea it could work like that. Maybe it hit me because I’d been trying to find some positive (pre-Trump era) memories of my dad and this kinda put me back at square one in an instant. Talking over it with my neighbor this morning helped. She knew him well and had been through the same issues, so it helped.
Sleep knits up the raveled sleeve of care.Shakespeare. Feel better, girlfriend.
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