Friday, December 3, 1999
The Struggle for Control
I find myself struggling in the war against myself...to accept myself, to appreciate who I am, and to see the beauty and goodness in myself. My struggles lately are of self-hatred and loathing of the lack of self-control I seem to have with food, exercise, the things that I prided myself so much on. This time a year ago I had so much more that made me feel positive about who I am. I was independent, I was fit, and I was taking care of myself. And today, well today I feel slovenly and fat, and unable to regain control of my body, my habits, and get myself back to a place that I can be proud of. I'm not sure why it is I've gotten so far from that place of self-confidence and self-assurance. And what terrifies me most is how that is changing my relationship with the man I love. My self-esteem and confidence are low, and I have difficulty believing his sincerity that the weight I have gained has no bearing on how he feels about me, how attracted to me he is or is not. To me, it is all I can see...it is just short of being all that I am. I can't imagine that it isn't first and foremost in his mind. I realize in typing that how unbelievably shallow that sounds, but it's all that fills my mind. That I am not slim, I am not toned, my body is not defined, I'm not something he or I can feel proud of. My body is currently the result of poor eating habits, lack of self-control, and inactivity. I am not the person I was...and I don't know where she went. I am not the person I felt proud of, I am not the woman who felt accomplished and bright and funny and sexy. I am back to being dumpy and frumpy, and emotional and insecure. The word F.I.N.E. comes to mind. And all of this, well, all of this is most unattractive to a partner...at least that is what is in my mind. All of the things Rob fell in love with me for are not there anymore. I am becoming clingy and irritable and quite frankly, I don't think I would want to be around me, so why should he? And the worse my thoughts and moods and predicament become, the more convinced I become that he will eventually leave me, and the more I believe that, the more I seem to become someone who should be left. My actions and my words are not understanding and kind -- they come out sounding harsh and judgemental. I know they come from my fear of being hurt, of being left, of finally trusting someone again to really love me, only to find out one day that he can't stand to be with me anymore, or thinks I'm not worth the work, and he leaves. I'd rather be alone by my own hand than wait for that to happen. And I know this hurts Rob, to hear these things. I wish I could explain to him, somehow, that he might understand that it has nothing to do with him and everything to do with me. He seems to think that I would be better to at least have loved and been loved than to just walk away. And for me, I would rather die than be hurt again as I was before. Sometimes I miss the "comfortableness" of being with my ex-husband. I get trapped in the thought that he accepted me no matter what my weight or fitness. And then I realize that this is part of some distorted reality I'm dealing with. I think about the trade-offs made for that acceptance -- or so it seemed. I was accepted by a man (or is it really more that he would not leave the security of having me?) who was not there, who did things that hurt me very badly, who had so many troubles of his own he has struggled to get his own life in order. I guess I saw it as "you have your crap, I have mine, so I guess it's ok because we're both just messed up." It's as though his problems made my problems ok...neither one of us was really all that great of a catch at the time in many ways. I have a man now who that fell in love with a svelte, fit, sexy woman. A woman who was much more self-confident. I see Rob as normal, healthy, not having these sorts of obsessions and problems, and I feel convinced that the issues I have will eventually drive him away...he will think "I'm outta here lady...you're nuts." I am afraid I am becoming something he cannot and will not love -- and it has nothing to do with him. I am becoming someone/something that is crazy, annoying, irrational. I swore to myself I would never go through this again with my weight and my body. I swore that I would die before I would do this again. And here I am, struggling to regain some sense of control, and am at a loss for how to do that. My eating is compulsive. My knee does not tolerate exercise well anymore, yet I used to be able to push myself to exercise in spite of pain. I liked the results so much...I hated the exercise but loved what it did for me. I am at a loss...I don't know how to fix this...I don't know how to regain what I had, that drive, that motivation. I don't know how to become a woman I feel good about again. My urge and inclination are to push the world away and hole myself up somewhere. The only problem with that is that I know how lonely that becomes. So my choices now are deal with the fear, somehow, some way, or hide away. I'm not doing so well with the fear.