Daddy’s Little Girl

“You and your brother are the worst things to ever happen to me.”
“Well then maybe you should’ve kept your pants on in the 80s”
“You’re right, maybe I should have”

It was a year ago today, that I had made the decision to walk away from my father completely. To most, it’s because of a car.   To me, it was so much more than that.

Capture.JPG

 

As far as I know, this is the only picture of me and my dad when I was young. I think I’m about 4 or 5. It was my cousin’s wedding, and I remember that night solely because of this dance, and that dress. There was another picture, taken later that evening, of me spinning around and around.  Unbeknownst to me, my dress had lifted in the air, and there I was, flashing my tiny white underwear to the entire crowd. I remember the embarrassment on my grandmother’s face.  I remember this dance, because it’s the first memory I have of dancing. He was the first man to ask me, ‘can I have this dance?’ and he was the one who taught me how. This is the only honest and pure memory of happiness I have with my dad. 25 years of disappointment is what followed.

My parent’s got divorced when I was young. We had moved to a new house in the summer and I remember him walking out on my mother Christmas day. On New Year’s, they pulled my brother and I in from outside, sat us down, and told us they were getting a divorce.  They asked us if we had any questions.

“Can we go back outside and play?”

That was my brothers response. They said yes, and we went back out to play.  I spent a few years after this day regretting not asking questions. Albeit, I was a child. What questions was I going to ask? What questions could I have known to ask? I didn’t know what that meant, ‘divorce’. They said dad wasn’t going to live with us, well he was only ever home on weekends as is- what was changing? He moved in with my uncles down the street.

I think that if my dad had decided not to move out of town, life would have been different. Maybe I tell myself that, because I need to believe there was a choice he made wrong. I understand him leaving my mother, at the time maybe not, but now- I do. They weren’t good together. They were young, and dumb, and got pregnant.  It wasn’t what either of them wanted for their lives.  My parent’s got married in August 1985, 7 months later my brother was born.  I understand he needed out of his marriage, and I’m at peace with that. He told me once that my mother forced him out of the house, forced the divorce because she wanted more money from the government. Sometimes, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt in that situation. I mean, it’s possible. That’s his side. Whether that is true or not, is between him and my mother.  But he chose to leave. But he also chose not to be more active in his children’s lives.

Over the last year, I’ve really started to look at the core beliefs I have. Everyone has them, the beliefs about you that makes you, You.  Like Inside Out’s core memories. One of my core beliefs is that I’m not enough. That’s what I grew up believing. I’m not smart enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not athletic enough, I’m not funny enough, I’m not clean enough. I’m not healthy enough, skinny enough, fat enough, driven enough, sane enough, happy enough, just never enough.  Nothing I did was ever good enough, not for anyone. But when I look back on it now, I wonder…  To whose standards? I don’t know.

But I knew the only way I was going to start believing that I was good enough, was if I stopped letting people make me feel like I wasn’t.  After 6 months of battling over a stupid car, and being treated so poorly by the paternal side of my family, I said enough was enough. I was choosing me. No one else had ever, or was ever going to chose me, so I had to do it.  I had to draw the line, and say no more. I was removing myself from a situation, that I no longer wanted to be in. I was no longer going to be affected by their choices.  All I wanted was an apology, and at the end of it all- I didn’t even get that.

Sometimes I look back and wonder if I made the right decision.  Maybe I was the one in the wrong. Maybe I always have been. Maybe I had been bias, maybe I needed to let go of all the hurt and hate from those 20 odd years.  But he has not once tried to get in contact with me over the last year. He hasn’t tried to make it better. And sometimes that hurts me more, because…

If he wanted me in his life- wouldn’t he have fought to keep me in it?

Even if you completely disregard the first 29 years, his actions – or lack there of – over the last year, are still shit, and only validates my thoughts or feelings about the first 29.  Because I am certain that at someone point over the last year, someone said to him ‘Fix this with your daughter’ and he didn’t.  And if no one did say that to him… well- I guess that speaks volumes too.

I don’t regret my decision. It was the best thing I could’ve done for myself. I stood up for myself, I empowered myself. I achieved so much over the last year, every goal I set out to achieve.  And I don’t think any of it would’ve happened if I didn’t take that first step.

There are lots of things I regret in my life, but disowning my father is not of them.

The Memory That Started It All [TW]

For the last week, I have come and sat down at my computer. Looked at this blog, and have wanted to start writing, but I can’t seem to find the words.  My goal was to have the first posts be about the main focus’s of the blog. My mental health/personal growth, my weightloss, and this.  And it occurred to me, that I’ve never been able to find the words, not completely. Not when talking about this.

There are so many things that I can easily talk about. I can easily talk about my dad, and my ex boyfriends, and my family. I can easily talk about my self hatred, my old ‘friends’, all the hard times in my life.  And even in a lot of cases, I can easily talk about my sexual abuse; I can talk about when it happened, how long it lasted, how it ended, what transpired after. But what happened during… I don’t think I’ve ever been completely honest with anyone about that, most of all myself.

I’ve spent the last week delving into that a little. There’s so much of that story that is locked down deep away. There’s so many emotions that I feel, or don’t feel. Which, consequently, causes more emotions when I feel guilt or shame or frustration over the lack of feelings that I have towards it. Towards him.

My name is Stephanie, and I am a victim of incestuous sexual abuse of a minor.

I was molested from the approximate ages of 3-15 years old. I say approximate, because I honestly don’t know when it started, but my earliest memory of it, my parents were still together.

In the memory that started it all, I was in what we will call “The Pink Room”.  Which, was just a bedroom that had a lot of pink.  The walls were a light muted pink, with white trimming. In the middle of the room was a 4 Poster bed, the bedspread was white and pink.  The carpet was pink. The surrounding furniture was white with gold accents, with a large oversized window. Just Pink and White.  It used to be my mother’s room when she was growing up.  I still remember the smell of that room, it lives with me always.

One night, many years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night.  I remember it being dark, really dark, and I remember seeing the blankets raised much higher off the bed, then a large shadowy figure come out from under the blankets, stood next to the bed over top of me for a while, then leave.

Doesn’t sound like much, but that ‘dream’ haunted me for years.  Because that’s what I believed they were. Dreams. And they happened a lot.

At the time I was too young to realize, these dreams only happened at Gramma’s house.

Frozen Moments

Wednesday July 10th, 2002. 12:42 am.

1 phone call.

A single phone call that would unknowingly and undeniably change my life forever. I don’t even know how long the call lasted. 10 minutes at most.

That single moment in time has haunted me more than any other moment before, and any moment after.

This was my moment. This was the moment that set me free and killed me at the same time.

I dont think I understood how bad it was about get, although to be honest, I also don’t think at the time, I truly understood how bad it had been. How could I? I only wanted someone to talk to, instead I was pleading with a police officer to please not to have their lights on when they pulled into the driveway to take me away.

It’s funny the things I was worried about.

The Before

Today I stepped on the scale, it read 297.4 lbs.
And I fell to my knees and cried.

And to most of you who may come across this blog, you’ll read that and think I was crying because of something negative. Crying from shame, or disgust, or guilt. But these weren’t tears of sadness.
img_20170102_102845
I cried because the last time I remember being under 300 lbs, was probably 7 years ago. I cried because I was expecting to see 340 or 350 lbs, because I have never felt so heavy in my life, I haven’t felt so unattractive, I never been this absolutely disgusted with myself, my actions and how I got here.  This is the lowest I’ve ever been about my body.  I was expecting my number to be high, And I knew it was going to hurt to see it, But I was going to suck it up, come onto my blog, post that number with some photos, and really hold myself accountable.
This isn’t what I want anymore.

This is my before.

But truthfully, I cried because I was so happy. Because it blew my expectations out of the water. Because I wasn’t going to have to fight to get under 300 lbs, like I had been for SO LONG, it was already here.  This huge milestone happened in my life, and I wasn’t even aware of it- I was so caught up with everything else, I never stopped to think that what I was doing was working. Because I’ve been trying so hard lately to get my shit together, but it felt like the more I got my shit together, the more I started to fall apart. And here was this tiny, gigantic moment for me, where I’m not over 300 lbs. Me. ME!

For the last 7+ years it felt like I had plateaued with my weight. It didn’t seem like whatever I did, good or bad, I never left the 320-330 range. Infact, for about 5 years anytime I stepped on a scale it read 323. A part of me thought, yknow, maybe this is where scales stop working. Crazy right? But that’s how my brain rationalized it.  Either I was 323, OR I was heavier but the scale wasn’t showing it. Because despite the fact the number on the scale never moved, my weight was shifting all over the place. One day I had DD boobs and couldn’t fit in my bra, the next day I had C’s and my bra was too big, where the fuck did the cups go? Took a journey straight to my ass.  Next month, I was back to DD boobs. It was like my fat didn’t quite no where it wanted to rest, so it just moved all over. Some months I could wear a size 22 pants, some months I barely was fitting into a 26. All the while, 323 never left the scale.

The heaviest I ever recorded myself at was in May 2015, I was having a surgery- and the ER doctor gave me a whole song and dance about being overweight and surgery complications yadda yadda yadda. I’ll never forget his face, the way he looked at me when he told me I was overweight. Like it was some shocking revelation, like he was telling me about some 3rd arm I didn’t know I had.  Bro- you’ve known me for like 5 minutes. I’ve known me for 28 years.  You don’t need to tell me I’m fat. I own mirrors.  I didn’t walk through your door and suddenly gain 100 lbs. This isn’t news.

But here I was, on the floor, tears streaming down my face as I stared at the number. 297.4.  I didn’t believe it at first. I got back up, stepped on it again. 297.4.

And Again.

297.4

This was the greatest gift I could start 2017 with. I believe in myself now. I believe I can do this. If I just keep my goals simple, and I keep everything simple, I can do this.  This was just 1 more thing that I accomplished in 2016, it was one more thing where I can say- look what you did girl.

Dear Self,

You did this. You earned this. You deserved this. Stop feeling like you’re wasting your time, like you’re wasting his time. Stop thinking that nothing is working, and nothing is changing.

It is.

You are. 

 

New Beginnings

In video games, whenever I’m having a bad run, I’ll just hit pause, and restart.  Life doesn’t work the same way.

As 2015 was coming to an end, I was at a tipping point in my life. The entire year was just pain, both physical and emotional, filled with disappointment and feeling so completely detached and alone.  And while a lot of great things happened, like meeting both my boyfriend and best friend within weeks of each other, a lot of shitty things happened too.

After witnessing the shitshow that was my father’s wedding, and subsequently finding out that my grandfather, a man had molested me for 10+ years, was diagnosed with cancer, I was filled with a lot of conflicting emotions.  The scenarios that played out from September to December changed me.  I entered 2016 crying about my father.  And I remember looking at myself in the mirror on New Year’s Day 2016 and thinking this isn’t what I want for myself. This isn’t what I want for my future. I don’t want to be sad forever. I realized I was going to be 29. This was the last year of my 20’s, and boy… My 20’s sucked. I don’t even remember most of it, because I did nothing. I don’t even know how a decade has passed. So I decided to change. I was not going to waste my 30s, and I was going to spend the next year making sure my 30s could be as great as possible.

I didn’t know at the time where my life was about to take me. I didn’t know what choices I was going to make, I didn’t know what paths I was going to go down. I didn’t know the people I was going to hurt, or who would hurt me.  All I knew was that I wanted something different, and I was going to get it somehow. It was going to be rough. It was going to be painful. I was probably going to cry a lot, but I knew- at the end of it, I would come out better on the other side.

So where do you start?

Step 1. Figure out what’s wrong.

This wasn’t that hard to figure out. I was unhappy. I had been suffering from severe maniac depression, anxiety, and PTSD.  I found out later in the year that I was going to be digging deep to get to the root of the problems.
But initially it was easy. I dealt with the biggest situation causing me unhappiness at that time: My Dad. Now, my father will mostly likely get several of his own posts, so for this one right now- we won’t delve into too much detail here.  

All I knew was that I wanted it to be over. I just wanted to part my ways and be done. I deserved better. The war was over. I was walking out of his life, I was drawing the line in the sand and I was putting up my boundaries and saying enough is enough. People are always saying you gotta remove the toxic people in your life. And my dad was toxic.  He was a man who I had been chasing for over 25 years to love me. And I wasn’t going to let that control my life anymore. My daddy issues defined me. And I had no interest in spending the rest of my life feeling like I was worse than 3rd place. Because I was never 1st with him, I don’t think I was ever even 2nd.  A lot of my issues with self worth are derived from this relationship.

I was shocked at how easy it was to let him go. But then again, he was never really present at all in my life.  The only thing that was changing was my perspective.  Instead of missing him, and wishing he was there- I just didn’t think of him at all. I removed the possibility of disappointment. My last conversation with him was January 30th, 2016.

Step 2. Get to the core root of the problem.

This one was a little trickier.  I had to go back to therapy for this one.  I decided to take some CBT classes, because I figured- if my issues were mental and how I thought, then maybe I needed to change how I thought.

Throughout 2016, I came to the shocking realization that the way I thought about things- to the degree of which I thought about things, is not how everyone else does. I have an overactive mind, and it’s always thinking of too much shit all the time. I didn’t even realize how bad it was- it wasn’t until the moment I ‘Woke Up’ that I really truly understood how harmful my thought processes were.

After a few sessions with my therapist, I really started to do some soul searching. I made a lot of self discoveries about myself, I started identifying issues I had, and where they stemmed from. I was remembering conversations I was having when I was a child, and how things people said to me really impacted me. It was like I was tapping in to my subconscious and it was fucking scary. 

Step 3. Make a Plan.

I’m always planning. I love to live in the future. But when it comes to my plans- rarely if ever do I follow through. That was something I wanted to change about myself. I wanted to set goals. I wanted to complete tasks. I wanted change, and I needed to identify all the changes I wanted to make.

I wanted to go to a doctor and find out if there was anything medically wrong with me.
I wanted to see a psychiatrist and find out if there were any other disorders I may have (I’ve been beginning to suspect ADD).
I wanted to lose weight: which is something I always want to do but never follow through because of the pain I get when I walk.  So how do we fix that? We find someone to remove that darn pin out of my foot so there is no more pain.
I wanted to work on my relationship.
I wanted to confront my grandfather, and finally put that chapter of my life to bed.

I believed that if I did all these things, the pieces of my life would start to fit back together. But I wanted a new puzzle. I was going to hit pause. Press restart. And I was going to recreate the life that I wanted, and not the life that I was settling for.

I was going to tear down the foundation of my life, and rebuild a new one. And these goals- they were going to be the stepping stones to a brand new me.