I’ve spent the last two and half hours trying to write something for my About Me and Blog section. I’ve gone off on multiple tangents that have gotten me nowhere. Some of these tangents have actually been the beginnings of something great, but certainly not acceptable for explaining me or my blog.
I’m trying to run from what I’m really feeling inside. I’m trying to shut my feelings down. I’ve barely eaten all day. I’ve had thoughts of cutting myself. I’ve been anxious. I had a beer at 3pm before I’d even had breakfast. I just poured myself a large tumbler of vodka and I’m still denying myself food at 9pm. Yes, readers, I’m doing everything I can to beat those pesky emotions back down into the dark abyss of my psych.
Then Beyonce’s If I Were A Boy popped up on my iPhone. That’s what finally made me crack. I was taken down by a motherfucking pop song sang by a woman known only for her ass, husband, and
“Rah rah I’m so independent! Girl Power! Now where’s my ring, bitch?” songs! I’m so eaten up inside by pain that I don’t even know what to do with it. My eating disorder that hasn’t been much of an issue in years has reared its ugly head again in fairly significant ways. Despite the countless desires to cut myself since I was only 8 years old I never did until May. Since then when I find myself in emotional distress it’s as if my head is bombarded with a barrage of vivid images of me cutting myself . This started after my second knee surgery and the end of a relationship.
I’m not the kind of woman who snaps because someone dumps her, but this was so much more than that. It felt as if I were being tossed out into the garbage by everyone I ever trusted and believed loved me. I literally put my health and happiness in this man’s hands. He was supposed to help take care of me after a horrendously painful and debilitating knee surgery. I had my left knee cap realigned in January 2012 and the right realigned in May 2012. These surgeries are more painful, more difficult, and have longer recovery times than total knee replacement. I couldn’t leave my apartment. I could barely get out of bed. I have no family or friends in Boston. I was helpless. Except I was blindly, amazingly, head over in heels in love with someone who I believed with my last breath loved me, every last bit of me, without interpretation, hesitation, or exception. He showed me that love in a million different ways everyday. Until one day, three days after I came home from the hospital to be exact, he didn’t.
He came over to my apartment and told me that he loved me, but couldn’t be with me. I had too many health problems and couldn’t give him the kids he wanted. He swore my health problems would never chase him away and that they weren’t an issue. He promised he’d be there during my recovery. Over night, out of nowhere it all changed. Suddenly I was not worthy of love and a life together because my body was broken.
Five minutes after he left, when the shock wore off and the reality hit me, I grabbed my crutches and somehow got myself into the kitchen. I was sobbing and shaking from the pain of being metaphorically ripped to shreds and from literally being cut open, sawed at, bones moved, drilled into, and held together with a couple of screws. Before I knew what I was doing I grabbed a knife and cut my upper, inside forearm open. I wasn’t trying to kill myself. I just needed control over the pain I felt. I needed a concrete source of my pain that I could turn to and say “See that? That’s why I’m hurting. Ok I can fix that.” Cutting myself, much the way denying myself food does, allowed me an outlet, that I solely controlled, for my emotional pain that is so far reaching that I’m almost afraid to strap on the excavation gear and find out.
About a month later I decided it was time for closure. I invited him over and asked the questions I needed answers to. There wasn’t anyone else. His change of heart came out of nowhere. However, when we started seeing each other he was still in love with his ex and probably always would be. I was merely his attempt to move on.
Two days before he shattered my sense of self and the universe, he looked at me with the sweet, dopey grin he often had when we were together and as if pulling the words from the air he said “I love you so goddamn much.” We were being silly and I was just so, so very much in love with him, when he said those words to me. They made me melt. Today they make feel twisted and knotted up confusion, hurt, anger, and loss.
While we were dating he read some of the essays I’ve written for my book, one of which is about the ex I had an accidental pregnancy with. That ex, will call him Asshole 2, left me to have the abortion by myself. I opted for the medical abortion, commonly known as the RU-486 pill. I was so sick and in so much pain I passed out on my bathroom floor. I was utterly alone. In the aftermath, that bastard never bothered to even followup and ask how I was. Well, this current ex had read the story. I told him that what he did to me was worse than that guy. At least with that guy, we were using birth control and it was an accident and he was moving away and blah blah. Yeah, the past ex was a worthless piece of shit and I hoped he’d get what was coming to him, but this ex, the one who swore his love to me and just left me after a planned surgery, he was so much worse. He broke my heart. He further broke my trust in people, men, in myself. He endangered my health.
Not long after this my surgeon told me that one of the screws in my right knee had cracked and was coming out of place. I had to have another surgery. I needed physical help that I didn’t have in Boston. I would have to spend time with my mom and step-dad, who would only trigger my PTSD and cause me more pain during this “recovery” period. I suffered one more agonizing surgery and then spent 10 emotionally brutal weeks at my mom and step-dad’s house.
I’m choosing to not get into the details of my PTSD or how it was triggered by my mom, but it made the nightmares I was suffereing from exponetionally worse. It also kicked in my eating disorder. Pain and anxiety kill the appetite as it is. Now I just didn’t want to eat because of the emotions surrounding various incidents. I needed to have control over uncontrollable pain. Enter old eating disorder
I finally got out of my mom and step-dad’s place and got back to my home in Boston. My eating got back to normal. In typical cataclysmic fashion that is my life I was hit with another bombshell: Type 2 diabetes. My blood sugar, and blood pressure for that matter, had always been perfect up until the surgeries. My blood pressure sky rocketed after being sliced and diced. Turns out my blood sugar did too.
My mom’s family has a long line of type 2 ‘betes having folks. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, gets diabetes in my mom’s family. It doesn’t kick in until the 50s though. My mom made it to her mid 50s with no sign of it so I thought I might have a chance. She’s always been thin and utterly terrified of being fat (gee, can’t imagine how this might have effected me) and of loosing her health like her mother, my Degee . As a result of this, other than what I consider an unhealthy relationship to food, she’s always eaten pretty healthy. Boom. Enter new health problem.
My mom got very sick with a staph infection and was in the hospital receiving iv antibiotics and steroids for a week. Her blood sugar sky rocketed and she was soon diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. The lucky bitch never had to take medicine, where as I have to take pills morning and night, and she is now considered as having pre-diabetes. My primary care doctor thinks that because I carry the lovely genetic legacy, because I’ve been on high and consistent doses of steroids since I was very young, and had the stress of the three surgeries, that my body finally revolted and that’s why I now have ‘betes. I get the pleasure of having it a whole 20-30 years earlier than everyone else in my family. You know, because I didn’t already have enough health problems.
I told you all of the craptastic diabetes story for a reason. That diagnosis came down around late September. Guess who had a total melt down? Guess who had a panic attack so severe it triggered her asthma and she probably would have died from a damn asthma attack if she didn’t have an inhaler? Guess who freaked out about food again? This grrrl!
I couldn’t get into the nutritionist for about a month so, with trepidation, I asked my mom roughly how many carbs a day she’s allowed to eat. I NEVER wanted to be a carb counter. I NEVER wanted to go back to counting calories, fat, points, or any of that other dieting, Weight Watchers, I hate myself because I don’t conform to bull shit patriarchal, fat phobic society’s standard of beauty. There I was though, asking my mom again how much goddamn food I could eat. I felt like the broken hearted, abused, traumatized, self-hating, teenage girl I was once.
My first grocery trip after that was one giant cluster fuck of a panic attack. I almost broke down crying in the middle of the Whole Foods. Do you know how many carbs are in everything we put in our mouths? Even healthy food has insane amounts of carbs! Of course, like fat and cholestoral, there are good carbs and the healthy food has the good carbs, but for someone with diabetes I have to be mindful of a banana, for fuck’s sake! My mom eats 3 meals a day at a max of 40 carbs each and two snacks a day at a max of 15 carbs each. An entire day of what my mom eats is basically a freaking bowl of pasta.
Most of October I barely ate. I started having dizzy spells. I was lightheaded throughout the day. I had practically cut all carbs out of my diet, as well as most fat. I partially did this out of fear of food and it causing more health problems. My life feels as if it’s been ruined by health problems. I feel like any chance I had at a good life and achieving all of the dreams that I’ve worked my ass off for have slipped away from me because my goddamn body has betrayed me. I don’t need diabetes ripping me apart limb from limb. I watched my Degee go blind from diabetes. I watched her loose the use of her legs. I watched her heart disease get worse. I watched her suffer from what I only just learned was most likely diabetes induced dementia. Dementia people! Dementia! My intellect, thirst for knowledge, and education are some of the qualities about myself that I am the most fiercely proud of. I can’t loose those, on top of my mobility, to health problems. Food has yet again become my enemy, but for a whole different set of reasons now.
Dizzy spells. Light headness. Migraines everyday since October 23-have one right now, in fact. Fear of food.
No one knew what I was dealing with years ago. No one listened. No one cared. No one understood. People freaked out. People got awkward and uncomfortable. They said hurtful things that made situations worse. I finally gave up trying to talk about my pain, abuse, self-destructive behavior, etc. I’ve been good though about talking to people about this all, specifically my medical practioners. Some of them have been great, others have a lot to learn.
A few weeks ago I finally snapped out of the starvation thing. My roommate came home with awful, and I say awful for many reasons, Chinese food. I think it was pork fried rice and an egg roll. It smelled so fatty and so bad, but so delicious. It awakened this ravenous side of me. The next thing I knew I was ordering from my favorite neighborhood Chinese takeout spot, Chang’s Place in Brighton (hey, gotta throw business to the little guys, right? We can’t have the whole world be PF Changs? *shudders*). I ordered way too much food and devoured about half of what I ordered. Other than having a way too full tummy I felt pretty damn good. The next 2 or maybe 3 weeks (I’ve recently discovered that my sense of time, in terms of how I physically feel, is a bit thrown off because I feel like shit every day) I ate healthy meals every day and didn’t have a single dizzy or light headed spell. I also didn’t have any cravings to deny myself food. Until…
Remember how a couple of paragraphs ago I said that some of my medical practioners still had a lot to learn? Well, my neurologist, whom I believe is very well intentioned and worth hanging with for a bit longer, needs some work on this issue. At my second appointment with her on Thursday we talked about the string of migraines I’ve been suffering from since 10/23. During this conversation we of course had to talk about my stress, anxiety, depression, and this of course leads to my life and eating and crap. <Crap? Yes, I went there. I’m emotionally exhausted and “crap” sums up my sentiments nicely. >
I’m trying, I mean really trying, to find a health, happy, stable life for myself. This means being honest with myself, with whatever friends and family I have and that ain’t much, and with my medical staff and boy does it feel like I have a medical staff. I wish people made it easier on me to be honest, but I’m doing what is right by me, which means being honest about my feelings, my life, my behaviors and so forth. I have to talk about things that are holy uncomfortable, painful, dreadful, some days are so utterly unbearable I don’t know how I manage it, but I keep at it because I want a healthier life in every way possible and that won’t happen by denying my past and present.
For the sake of my own honesty and story I feel I should say that during the writing of this post I have been drinking the earlier mentioned tumbler of vodka. It’s not yet finished. I’ve had to take a moment during different periods of writing to stop and sob too. Over the course of my 20s and 30s I’ve had plenty of people tell me that I’m brave, accomplished, strong, successful, and so forth, but this is one of those moments where I wonder what they’d think if they could see me now? Would they really think those things about me if they saw me sitting on my couch in my “sitting room” which is just my fancy way of calling my pathetic excuse for a hallway/non-living room something other than what it really is, all alone, drinking the last 1/4 of a tumbler of vodka by myself while writing, crying, and listening to depressing music on a Saturday night? Brave, accomplished, strong, successful, or whatever is the last damn thing I feel right now.
Seems I lost myself down that trip to pity lane. Hmm. Oh yeah, neurologist. So I told her about the eating disorder and how it’s been a factor again, but how I’ve been OK the last couple of weeks again. She showed concern and was really great. We started talking about next steps and possible other drugs to control my migraines. One of the pills she suggested was Depakote. Depakote instantly plunged me back to the teenage years. Perhaps I’ll elaborate on them one day, but for now I’ll just say I was a goddamn guinea pig. Between the migraines and the mental illness I was pumped full of so many pills that it was ridiculous. I had regular blood tests to make sure my liver functions were normal which is rather ironic considering how much I’d grow up to love my cocktails. I gained excessive amounts of weight around the time I was 13 which is also when my migraines began and also when my mental illness became unbearable. This was around the time I was put on multiple meds. I don’t question the validity of my health problems because they came long before the meds and stayed long after I took myself off them, but I do question how some of those prescriptions made things worse, Depakote being one of them.
I turned down Depakote flat without question. I’m not sure if my neurologist took this as a sign of me being worried about weight gain or not, but we decided instead to up my dosage of Topemax. Towards the end of our appointment, when I was a bit more up-my moods, while fairly well controlled with meds, can go up and down very quickly because I have borderline personality disorder-she seemed to become more comfortable and relaxed with me, as many people do , and perhaps forgot her role as my doctor and made mentions about how we all eat larger portions than we should. It took me a bit aback, but I hid it well, as I often do when I feel necessary to hide my emotions and thoughts. I truly think she just forgot about what I told her earlier. Not only do my moods change quickly due to the illness, but I’m good at smoothing people over with my wit and charm and making them forget things I’ve said regarding my emotions etc . I have no problem putting people in their place when it’s necessary and I can sweet talk you into handing over your last dime to me too. I grew up in a shitty family and was surrounded by abuse. I adapted to live under the circumstances that were in front of me. It led me to the skill set I currently speak of. I also just happen to be a warm, genuine, kind, friendly person. I’ve had people tell me over the years that I’d make an excellent agent, road manager, lawyer, and a candle stick make. Well, maybe not that last one. Now if only I could ditch my morals and use my powers for evil so I can afford an apartment with an actual living room.
I once had a therapist, a psychotherapist to be exact, tell me that she had a hard time pinning me down. She’s the one that diagnosed my Borderline Personality Disorder. We were not a good match and only lasted for maybe 9 months, but I do agree whole heartedly with her diagnosis. She told me that she had a hard time understanding how every week I could come in with such a change of emotions and how my emotions could change so quickly during our sessions. I’ll admit that my emotions were very strongly portrayed with her because I didn’t trust her one little bit whereas with my current therapist I feel completely safe and have opened up a great deal. Anyway, old therapist told me that she had such a hard time figuring me out because I’m so “successful” (apparently most people with BPD aren’t *cough* bullshit!*) and that I’m very good at masking my emotions. It’s not as if I’m sort of psychopath and don’t have emotions. I think my 3 blog posts make it pretty damn obvious that I have LOTS of emotions. I simply had no choice , but to hide them growing up and I learned to hide them well.
Soooo here we are. I’m at home, alone on a Saturday night, finishing off a tumbler of a vodka on an empty stomach. I’m hurting. I’m sad. I’m alone. I thought I was doing better in regards to love and the possibility of being open to people then I met that bastard ex and the little bit of betterness I had was fucked up. It’s not about how he hurt my trust in men or people which most certainly did and I did not need any help in that avenue; it’s about how he hurt my trust in me. I’m back to not trusting myself to make good judgement calls on others. I’m not just talking about romance. It’s lighthearted social encounters, meaningful friendships, sex, dating, romance, family, doctors, myself, everything and everyone. I don’t trust myself to decide whom to trust on the most basic of levels.
My tumbler is empty now. I still haven’t eaten. Beyonce’ is still on repeat-Goddess help me!
I can’t say for certain that I won’t have another vodka. I can’t say for certain that I’ll eat when I sign off. I can say though that I did finally honestly acknowledge and share my feelings tonight. That may not be much to some people, but that is Empire State building huge for me.
And fuck you, Beyonce’ and the ring on your thang! You didn’t spark my emotions; Nnenna Freelon warmed me up!