Sunday, September 19, 2010

Another Family Gathering

I have been really down on myself and struggling in a depression. I have had much better days. I have been in this funk for a long time and I have no idea how, when, or if a shift into a better space is gonna come.

One of the places for me that is tough is visiting with my parents. I have hard boundaries with them about discussing my weight, health, & exercise. My last few visits with them, I have had to defend the boundaries. Just a little bit with my stepmom who always pokes at the electric fence that are these boundaries. She is coming from place of concern and in this funk of mine, I am so tempted to buy back into the fantasy of losing weight making my life better.

So basically, when I do see my parents, there is always a moment of uncomfortability in wondering when my stepmom is going to violate the boundary and I am going to have to defend it. Sometimes, it is as simple as just changing the subject. Sometimes it is just as simple as saying I don't want to talk about it. I feel uncomfortable for little bit, but then we get on to the task of visiting with each other. By the way, I enjoy visiting with them. We share the same politics and that is mostly where we spend our time connecting.

Today, there was a family gathering for the Jewish Holiday. I arrived first (which I rarely do) and the greeting from my parents for so overtly loving it took me by surprise. My father said "You are so beautiful" My stepmom gave me a lovely hug and a heartfelt greeting. There was no mention of my weight. We just sat down and started visiting.

Shortly after, other siblings and their kids started arriving and I was very conscience of how nice it was to be with my family, be part of my family, and see all my nephews, my niece, my sister and my three brothers along with all their spouses.

The den where we were hanging out in has two chairs and a couch. The couch is high up and easy for me to get out of. One of the chairs is low to the floor and not as easy for me. I found myself in this chair and as soon as I sat down, I signaled to my brother that I might need his help to get up. A few minutes later I positioned myself to get up and as I was standing up, I started to stumble back toward the chair but I caught my balance. As I started to stumble, my stepmother let out a shriek of panic that stopped as soon as I caught my balance and I looked at her and exclaimed that I am alright.

A little while after that my stepmother was moving around the room and I asked her to hand me my cell which I had left on the table next to the low chair. As she handed it to me she said something to the effect of …"I look forward to when you can just jump up and get the phone yourself." I took my phone and ignored her comment. On my way out at the end of the evening, we said our goodbyes and she said to me, "I know you know so I m not going to say anything" which was her way of poking at the no weight talk boundaries as I was leaving.

I think the reason that I do not go ballistic apeshit with her when she "pokes at my fence" is because there is still a part of me that thinks I should lose weight. A part that equates weighing less with happier and more comfortable.

I know that losing weight is and has always been a no win for me. So I don't go toe to toe with my stepmother about her comments because I want to have a relationship with my parents.

It is just tough because I am depressed, I am uncomfortable, I am unmotivated and when I think about what my next steps might be to improve my situation, I find myself unwilling to do anything.

I cannot talk to the parents about this because they are incapable a saying anything and all they can do is scream obesity boooga boooga at me.

I do have a few friends and my brother who I can and do talk to about this stuff so I am grateful for that.

I was glad to hang with the family today, even with stepmoms little pokes.


  1. It's tough. It's really, really tough. For me, fat acceptance is as hard or harder than weight loss attempts. Different kinds of hard, of course. And completely different rewards--I like my life so much better when I'm on the acceptance train, but it's tough.

    I would say, be as kind to yourself as you can. You are doing good work for yourself, and it's ok not to be perfect at it.

    I'm glad you can still enjoy being with your family, even with the pokes.

  2. omg so much of my food issues is wrapped up on my mother and her diet plans...she recently lost weight due to drugs (eating ritalin and percocet like candy will take away your appetite and starve you thin in no time) and is simply gloating about how she can shop at real stores ect the meantime i think she looks horrible, like a delfated elephant.

    dieting is a real no win for me...i start a diet, or start to exersize and it works...for about 3 months...then i platea and teh eating disorder begins. i start purging...i start exersizing till i fall over, or black out...ANYTHING to lose another pound to get thinner. and you know what...just chant to yourself life is to short to diet. also, the first part of diet it DIE.

    hugs and hang in there you are not alone.

  3. If you can let those pokes flow over you without it ruining an otherwise good visit with the family, then you're doing great. I keep having to remind myself that I have far more control over my reactions than others actions, and oftentimes just disengaging and stepping past is at least as likely to change the situation as a direct confrontation would be.

    As someone who periodically wrestles with the dark dogs, I can only wish you strength in our fight, and the swift-coming of respite.

  4. Ivan you are so brave with your family. I really admire than in you. Wishing you much strength and determination to add to that which you already have in spades!

  5. You're braver than I am, having set the boundaries with your family. I always just suffer silently, lamenting in private, rather than saying, "I don't want to discuss this with you." I really admire that you stick to that, even if someone chooses to continue to poke at the fence. It's got to be hard to keep it up with depression and doubt creeping around, though. I can't blame you for feeling so frustrated. Of course you know, you're wonderful and insightful just the way you are, though, and worth every bit as much as a human being, no matter your size. *hug* I hope the next family visit is even easier.

  6. I can totally relate to what you are talking about with this post. I am currently trying to get into a mental space where I accept that I can not struggle to change my family... BUT I must maintain my personal boundaries, which is so hard. I am still working on! : ) But the good news is that there are a lot of people out there who are going through what you just described as well. For me, I found it (surprisingly) helpful to get a therapist I can vent my angry and hurt to. Other people find it helpful to go boxing or to draw. Regardless, I think it is important to get the negative energy out. For me at least, the emotions fester and grow inside me unless I figure out a way to get them out.