Wednesday, October 26, 2005

In hiding

I haven't been around because I've been having breakthroughs that have been way too much to deal with.  They really have "broken" through, and it's been painful and scary and a wee bit too much.  I've just sort of filed them back and would do anything and everything else to keep my mind off of them.  It hasn't been pretty.

Coming here meant I had to talk about them, so needless to say....

Saturday was a sucky sucky day.  My best friend's brother died unexpectantly on a day where I had to come face to face with past demons.  So I had the Mortality Card played right along side all this other crap I've had to deal with.  Lynn was only 45, and no one could have predicted that he would die.  In fact, my best friend's mother has cancer for which she's not getting any preventative treatment, so the whole family has to deal with her mortality on a day to day basis.

This was a total suckerpunch.

But that's how life is, isn't it?

That morning I had a fight with my 15 year old son.  It's not an unusual occurance, we fight all the time about everything.  I just chalked it up to his fighting for his place in the adult world like all young bucks.  I now know it's a much bigger deal than that.

Of all of us, Timothy and I got the brunt of Dan's illness.  We were the ones who actually endured abuse and anger, and both of us felt helpless to stop it.  For Timothy, it's meant that he will never back down from a fight again.  He doesn't want to feel that helpless again, and he feels a lot of self loathing giving himself over to pain instead of anger.

Which was what Saturday morning was about.  The fight was so intense I was afraid we were going to come to blows, and I had never before worried about him striking me.  It was a complete throwback to when I would face Daniel at his sickest and worry that he was going to kill me. 

Ever since Dan went through all he went through with the meds, I've sort of canonized him - especially with the guilt I suffered because of the divorce.  I felt like I abandoned him when he needed me, it wasn't his fault he was sick.  I go back and forth between thinking that I'm beating myself up or letting myself off the hook.  I did stay, and I dealt with all the things his sickness entailed - from the rage and abuse of being untreated, to being catatonic and unresponsive medicated to the gills.  He was hospitlized several times and I was there for him, praying for him, loving him and doing all I could to make the marriage work.  I did not divorce this man for lack of love, even if we had such a turbulent past. 

But this wasn't cancer, this was an emotional illness that could affect my kids and I for a long time to come.  It resulted in the kids getting taken away, and that's when I emotionally checked out of the marriage.  I knew that I had made a choice (choosing to stay married to Dan) and it had sacrificed my kids.  In fact I resented Dan a lot in those days, and I guess that was how I could condone looking outside the marriage for an escape.  Basically I was punishing us both.

I didn't do a whole lot of things I was proud of in those days.  I hate to say but I probably victimized Dan as much as he victimized me.  That is why I can't deal with the abuse, because I feel like Dan doesn't deserve that on top of it all.  He doesn't deserve to be immortalized in that way.

Especially when he was so much more than his disease.  Though he could be a very scary guy back in the day, he was also the kindest and most loving and most emotionally tender people I'd ever met.  His heart would break for total strangers, and he lived his life - especially his last years - in service to others.

That's how I want him remembered.

Apparently Timothy has the same issues.  He reveres Dan and places him up on a huge pedestal.  Neither one of us want to look at the abuse because we feel so damn guilty for how we treated him after he got treated and ceased being that scary guy who impacted us so much.

Basically we fought back when it was safe to do so.

Anyway, the fear I felt in my confrontation with Timothy - who is nearly 6' now and if he struck me it really would have impact - made me realize why being fat works for me.  That's been the question.  Dr. Phil says we don't do anything that doesn't pay off for us in some way, and I never could figure out - satisfactorily - what fat does for me, aside from the superficial way it isolates me from others.

Digging deeper than that, the isolation works because ultimately I don't have to meet anyone else or deal with any variables but the people I already know, who have proven that they will not hurt me.  For everyone else it's a deterrant.  They're not going to get close enough to hurt me emotionally OR physically.

Therefore, ultimately, fat keeps me safe.

Being big means no confrontations.  No one is going to try to bully me ever again, because I'm big enough to bully back.  In that way I'm very much like Timothy.  If someone threw a punch, I'd wipe the floor with them simply because I will never ever be beat down again.  Even though I feared going to blows with Timothy, I was ready to meet them with blows of my own.

And I think that's what scared me most.  All the anger I have regarding my helplessness and my years of being the victim has always been focused inward.  Just one violent confrontation with someone else and I'm afraid it would all pour out.

Because I will not live in fear.  I will not render control of my life to anyone completely, for I cannot trust anyone completely.  Being fat means I don't have to.

So needless to say I've had a lot to think about.

For the record, the situation defused with Timothy and we both talked it out.  But it wasn't after I broke down into tears and vocalized that I wish it had been me who died instead of Dan - because I don't know how to deal with this. 

The therapist is going to get an earful when I go back.  I haven't gone because of my foot, and trying to stay off of it while it heals.  That's not an excuse btw - I haven't done much of anything anywhere, and the two rare occasions I went out it immobilized me the following day.  I've had to let everyone else pick up the slack.  They have to do the cleaning and the shopping and all the other stuff I've gotten so used to doing since I started driving again.

Needless to say, this is hell on a control freak like myself.

I'll go back, don't worry.  I'm going to need to with the book I plan to write in November, dealing with some issues I just absolutely do not want to deal with.

I guess that's all the more reason to deal with them.


onetoughcookie43 said...

(((((((((YOU))))))))) Hugs Ginger. That was a brutally honest piece that you just shared. It is almost like we are in a similiar place emotionally. Therapy is causing some very painful breakthroughs for me right now as well. But I asked my therapist not to let me out of it.  I need to do this to heal. Please hurry back to your own therapist when you can. We can't heal what we don't face and I am learning that the hard way.
I think you are one brave lady to share your life as you do. Your words are like salve as you go to places many would not be able to in a public place. Kudos to you for that.
I hope that your foot gets better, as well as other things for you. Continue to keep up your courage. And thank you for sharing.

nslieder said...

Hi Gin, I really feel for you :-( My first husband was abusive, too, I left him when my oldest daughter was only 2-1/2 yrs. old (she is now 18) and my son was only 5-1/2 months (he is now 16). When I left, I felt I was fleeing for my life, if I had stayed he probably would have killed me. I was 30 yrs old, I'm 46 now, and it's taken me all this time to work through the issues surrounding going through such a thing. I won't get into it here, but suffice it to say, I loved my ex-husband dearly, it was such a painful thing to have to leave when I did. It's been a long healing process for me and the kids, a process that still is not over.
I will keep you in my prayers, and write more soon ...
Theresa (aka ~terry :-))