Birthday, Change, Clean_Eating, Fear, forgiveness, Grateful, gratitude, Habit, Happiness, Journey to happiness, joy, kindness, LIFE IS GOOD, Loss, Mindfulness, New Beginnings, Pain, Sadness, Uncategorized, What If's

Happy Birthday to Me

I have always thought families who go to exotic vacation places or Disneyland had all the luck…that was until last year. My daughter and I took a 10 day trip to the coast and mountains and it was the best time I have ever had. I wish I had appreciated the family vacations we had when I was young. We may not have gotten to go to an over crowded Disney or beach but we had fun. We stepped out of our comfort zone and made memories that will never leave me. I am not a fan of water and even less a fan if there is a snake in it but we swam in the purest clearest water right after seeing a snake.

We drove in the mountains, drove to the very top of one of them on a road that was very narrow… another thing I am petrified of is heights! We rode the tram to the top of the mountain and we sat on the edge of the cliffs and looked at the ocean. We sailed the ocean blue, we met a wonderful woman and Kayla introduced me to her friends who in turn introduced us to a wonderful man that had a yacht that we hung out on another thing I am not comfortable on. I got to meet the man and woman who treated my daughter like their own. I saved my daughter from the clutches of Sasquatch and the virgin sacrificial alter. We collected so many sand dollars we could barely carry them. We saw a herd of Elk on the beach and laughed like never before.

I got to test my ability to stay true to my new healthy lifestyle and did a pretty good job of it. When we did have pizza it was fresh and made with butternut squash and fresh made cheese etc.

Life got in the way and we were not able to do it this year. Money, a messed up back and hip that do not allow me to travel and just life in general. But you know what….next year we will enjoy it even more since we have to wait for it.

I love the city I live in, although the biggest in Oregon it seems small. It is quirky and full of amazing kind people….and full of some really horrible people. The last few weeks have been so difficult for the community. We have had so many murders and hate crimes, the most recent were two men who died and another young man who barely survived. 3 heroes who stood up against evil and wrong and did not waiver from their beliefs. They stood up for 2 innocent 16 year old girls who were being verbally assaulted by an aggressive and dangerous white supremacist/terrorist. A man who openly calls for the murder of police and anyone he deems not good enough to be in this world.

I guess for me that is my final line in the sand…. I have drawn many since #45 took office but this…this is different. I can no longer tolerate people I know that support him or call for hate or intolerance against Muslims or anyone else. I stand up when I see things, I have learned to be a bit more careful in how I address it but I will not be silenced I will not let those men have died or been injured have it be in vain. The mother of the young man murdered came to town for a memorial and she was captured lovingly holding the face of a Muslim woman with her hands and a smile. That is inspiration and I am going to try my best to be that kind of human.

My friends from work got me beautiful flowers from one of their gardens, my buddy bought me these awesome measuring cups I had been admiring and held them for me until my birthday! I do not need expensive bouquets or gifts. I decided to give myself several birthday gifts this year. I love coffee and hate spending what it costs at Starbucks. I have tried in vain to make good coffee to no avail. BUT I heard great things about the Chemex carafe and treated myself. My first cup was a success!! My friend Pam made me promise to take my birthday balloon with me if I did anything over the weekend and take pictures! We went to 3 different creeks, a farmers market, saw an abandoned church and hung out on my deck.

It has been a tough year for me health and emotional wise. My best birthday gift to myself this year will be to spend less time on social media, it is toxic. To work on getting healthy both physically and mentally and not let other opinions of how I do it affect me. It is my journey and mine alone. I will keep those who support me in my life and likely say goodbye to a few who just have vastly different ideas of what is right and wrong.

I will try to be less angry and judgmental. I will stand up for what is right and just. I will not sacrifice my happiness by staying silent any longer. I will try very very hard to see the other side of the picture, to rationally look at it before rushing to judgement and I will try to not let guilt rule how I choose.

Allow yourself to be a beginner.  No one starts off being wise.  Do the best you can until you know better.  Once you know better, do better.

**Marc and Angel Hack Life

Change, Clean_Eating, Fear, forgiveness, Grateful, gratitude, Habit, Happiness, Journey to happiness, joy, kindness, LIFE IS GOOD, Loss, Mindfulness, New Beginnings, Sadness, Shakeology, Uncategorized

Forgiveness & Breaking up with Starbucks (day 4 of 30)

I am a notorious grudge holder and beater upper of myself. For as long as I can remember I have been that person who never forgets and rarely if ever forgives. Of course little offenses I can let go of but if in my mind it is heinous I will never ever let go. It is a huge flaw of mine. Although I know it can be painful for those on the receiving end of my anger it is probably more damaging to me. It eats me up inside… I know in my head that forgiving someone does not mean what they did is ok but for your own well being you have to let it go or it will destroy you… I know that in my head but my heart just struggles with it. I draw a line and I think perhaps I think they will think they can cross that line if I say I forgive them… I know you can forgive in your heart, you never need say a word to the offender but if you do not let it go and move on it will destroy you and those around you.

I am also riddled with guilt for past things. Things that I have either been forgiven for or have been told there was no need to think I need forgiveness as they never viewed it as being something that bad. I hate people being angry at me or hurting, I will to my own detriment smooth things over so they are not hurting. Again it is a flaw… it is not good for me or them. My mom and I were having a conversation the other day and she asked if I saw her comment on my blog. In it she said I did not need forgiveness and even if I did I had been long ago forgiven. I feel such guilt for so many things, it eats me up inside.

So on my way into work I was thinking how she tells me over and over I have no need to feel guilt, but in our conversation, and many other conversations we have had, she tells me how much guilt she feels for having been a screamer when we were young. Honestly I do not recall it, I think she had a stern voice, she definitely did the spanking or grounding if it was needed. My dad never ever spanked us, he rarely ever raised his voice and he made my mom do all the punishment. That does not make him a bad father or husband but it really put my mom in a bad spot. Instead of standing with her he was standing behind her. So mom…. even though you do not need forgiveness and even if you did I has long ago been forgiven I forgive you for what ever perception you have of being a screamer. Let’s pinky swear to try and let it go. We did the best we could and we both did an ok job!

So you ask what the heck does Starbucks and forgiveness have to do with anything…. I just decided that I am going to try my best to break up with Starbucks… it is expensive, I use too much cream, I have a coffee maker and can make my own. BUT they are so sweet to me… I know it is their job and damn it works really good. They know my name, they see me in the mall and stop to chat with me, they engage me in conversation and all for the cheap cheap price of $4.05! My friend watched a special on how tech companies are hacking our brains…. and damned if it is not true! STARBUCKS and their barista’s are doing the same thing GIVE ME BACK MY BRAIN!!! Ok so maybe that is a stretch but it is so ingrained in me that even when I have no intention of getting one I find myself driving right to one. He equates it to a slot machine… It really is an incredible article, here is the link if your interested. STOP HACKING MY BRAIN

“…every time I check my phone, I’m playing the slot machine to see, ‘What did I get?’ This is one way to hijack people’s minds and create a habit, to form a habit.”

So my goal is to try to do a week without buying a coffee or tea. I am also going to start doing my smoothies again. I think I use the excuse I do not have Shakeology anymore and so I just avoid it but I am slipping back into so many bad habits. I am bloated and miserable. When I first started this 2 years ago I went for 6 months with no coffee. I know I can do it, it is rewiring my brain and creating new habits again. It’s been wonderful Starbucks but our time has to end, you are not good for me, you are an expensive habit with no reward… parting is such sweet sorrow…

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I am thankful for clarity even though at times it is horribly painful to realize you know what needs to be done and you just cannot get it done… mental blocks suck! So here is to a week with no buying coffee, if I want it I have to make it, to a week of at least one smoothie a day. It is such a great way to get my veggies in. I am tired of being tired and bloated and feeling like crud. I am likely going to have issues with my back for life so I have to get this weight back off, focus on healthy eating that will help with swelling etc. I need to get to where I am not in so much pain that I cannot get home to see my sweet little grandbaby. It is killing me to not get to know him. So there ya go!

What your daily struggles are teaching you.

Challenges are what make life interesting; working to overcome them is what gives life meaning.

Failure and struggles keep you humble, success and achievement keep you glowing, but only faith and determination keeps you going.  So stay focused, and celebrate your efforts too, not just your outcomes.

Remember that the opposite of failing is not succeeding; the opposite of failing is trying.  Your daily efforts are what make it all possible.  Appreciate what they teach you, even when they don’t lead you to an ideal outcome.

 

Change, Exercise, Fear, Happiness, Journey to happiness, joy, kindness, LIFE IS GOOD, Loss, Mindfulness, New Beginnings, Pain, Sadness, Uncategorized

Be a Chive & Never Give Up (day 3 of 30)

I am cheating today and re-using a blog I did a year ago today. The sentiment is much the same so will just elaborate on it a bit.

The original intent of this blog was to be honest about my struggles, victories and everything in between in my effort to heal and find myself. Somewhere along the lines (actually from almost the start) I put all this pressure to be positive and only post positive upbeat things. But my reality is I am far from Ms. Positive, I struggle with being happy, I put on a fairly good front but it is just that. I need to be more honest about what I am feeling and going through. I am always so worried that I will hurt someone or disappoint and only end up hurting and disappointing me.

Not sure why I am in a funk but I am. I am eating what I should not eat, I am not sleeping, not exercising, not doing much of anything but crying and working. It will pass it always does.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I have not been a good friend to those I love. They have suffered losses and setbacks and just life in general and I have been stuck in this … whatever THIS is. I need to work on being the friend I know I can be and should be. Hug your loved ones and friends, tell them they matter… I miss my babies and grandbaby so much, I hate that my body is not allowing me to go to Burns.

I am tired and part of why I cannot sleep is I just cannot shut my brain off.. It just rambles on and on and on. I just want one night of my mind being shut off. I try yoga but between my tailbone I broke, my hip and my back sitting does not work and then….there is the not being able to focus because my brain won’t shut down. Nothing spectacular to blog about. I am sad, it will pass… I took a picture of this one lone little chive. I bought these planters 2 years ago and after the first season never bothered with them but every year in spite of the snow, rain, freezing ice, this one lone little chive pops back up…. I guess in a way I am like that little chive.

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Every single experience that led you to today.

Life isn’t about a single moment of great triumph and attainment.  It’s about the trials and errors that get you there – the blood, sweat, and tears – the small, inconsequential things you do every day.  It all matters in the end – every step, every regret, every decision, and every affliction.

The seemingly useless happenings add up to something.  The minimum wage job you had in high school.  The evenings you spent socializing with coworkers you never see anymore.  The hours you spent writing thoughts on a personal blog that no one reads.  Contemplations about elaborate future plans that never came to be.  All those lonely nights spent reading novels and news columns and comics strips and fashion magazines and questioning your own principles on life and sex and religion and whether or not you’re good enough just the way you are.

All of this has strengthened you.  All of this has led you to every success you’ve ever had.  All of this has made you who you are today.

From Marc and Angel Hack Life

LIFE IS GOOD, Loss, Mindfulness, New Beginnings, rape, Safety Pin, Trump, Uncategorized, What If's

I WILL NOT STOP FIGHTING

I have never felt so unloved, alone and abandoned as I do right now. I am tired of being told to get over it and to put my big girl pants on. I am tired of having to try to explain why this election is so different. I am tired of wanting to go back to that person I was who hid in my mind. This is my story and I am but a blip in the world of these stories. I am not going to shut up and I am not going to stop talking about it. This election has empowered people to think they can be openly cruel to anyone deemed inferior and some people I know and care about will never get that… I cannot keep trying to help them understand I just no longer have that energy. So remember my story when you defend those people. Pray that your daughter or son never suffers this indignity. If you have a friend of color or a different religion or is gay, reach out to them, hug them and do not stop because this pain and fear will not end anytime soon. If you are tired of me talking about it feel free to move on it will not hurt my feelings. I am not going to be quiet anymore out of fear or reprisal of losing someone. For the first time in my life I am ashamed to be a white entitled woman. 
I was 14 when I was raped, as I fought him in the back of his car screaming and crying I looked up and saw 2 men looking in. My heart was so relieved…and then they took pictures and laughed and a part of me died that night. I never told a soul what happened until 38 years later. In order to survive my shame I looked at the barrel of a gun or the razor at my wrists… the only thing that saved me was my feeling that I was such a loser that I would not even be successful at killing myself.
 
Instead of suicide I turned to drugs and alcohol. I broke my parents hearts by no longer talking to them, I ended up dropping out of school and stole so I could keep my “boyfriend” high or drunk so he would talk to me or love me. My parents eventually made me a ward of the court and that saved my life. I decided when I was sent away that I would make myself fat so no man would ever hurt me again.
 
I ended up pregnant and married at barely 17. It was not a good marriage. I loved my boy but it was not fair to him I was so damaged I was not the mom he deserved those first few years. I had a daughter with this man as well, spent 14 years married. One day he went to the store and never came back. Neither of us was ready for that marriage. We were better parents separately than together.
 
I spent the next 3 years working multi jobs and spending my time with my amazing children. They were my life line. I ended up marrying the most narcissistic man. In the year we dated he left me at least 6 times and I welcomed him back each time. He made it clear to me I was lucky he was with me, he would call me a crack whore, fat and ugly. My self esteem was so non existent I took him at his word. He cheated and mentally and verbally abused me to the point of my fighting the urge to cross the yellow line on the freeways. When I received the call from a friend that my son was critically injured and they did not think he would live he offered no support. My daughter and I drove 4 hours at midnight to hopefully get to him in time. He did not offer to drive me regardless of the fact I was in shock.. I spent 6 weeks at my sons bedside while he was in the CCU, he came once and only because he wanted to, as he put it, fuck me. Thank God for my daughter who held me up… Eventually he left….
 
14 years later I am still single, still have never had an orgasm and likely never will. The damage done to my insides from my rape and the mental flashbacks to that night anytime a man touches me just does not allow for it. I have been celibate the last 14 years I am not sure I can ever date again. I thought I could I really really thought I was at a spot where maybe I could but that has been taken away again.
 
I gave up drugs and drinking when I was pregnant and made myself a 300 pound “happy” woman. In my mind that was my safety net. A year ago I was told I was going to be a gramma and my doctors said I was going to die if I did not do something. I lost 110 pounds, the equivalent of that 14 year old girl. I shed that sweet innocent victim and now I had no clue as to who I am.. I decided to blog about my journey and be completely honest. It was painful but helped me be honest. My friend supported me, they held me up when I was down, they commented on my blog or posts. They gave me advice and liked my posts. They comforted me when I was broken… and then… the pussy story came out. In that instant everything came rushing back. All the pain and memories were raw again. I saw friends defending him. I was told by some people that I only have gotten to know on here that women are not raped they can simply say no.. I tried to write about why it is dangerous and painful. I got comments but most not in support.
 
And then what little support I did receive stopped on 11-8-16. I am talking people who have felt the need to offer up advice, who held me up in my lowest all of the sudden because of a post regarding why people need to understand voting for Trump is telling many people they do not count. Nothing just crickets on my page. Of the 370 people on my page 3 commented on that post. One is a married gay friend with a child… One is a friend who I used to work with. The ones who get it, who are living it or know someone who is are all I have left and that is enough but man it is painful.. For the first time in years I thought of that yellow line.. my children, mom and grandson are what keep me going. I would never kill myself so do not worry.. But I have never felt such loss as I do right now.
 
I HATE facebook and yet I have a group that supports my weight loss journey that I cannot bare to leave… and I have another group that truly hurts as much as I do. I feel empowered, I am still struggling and I know that life is never going to be the same. I held my friends who were not of the Trump norm, I still hold them and cry with them and likely that will not stop anytime soon. I was walking through the mall on my lunch and there was a homeless girl on a bench sobbing into her hands, a boy was next to her ignoring her. She said something about she is my mom how could she… and I did not hear the rest.
People who did not blatantly ignore her looked at her with disgust. My friend and I walked past and I started crying it broke my heart she is someones daughter. I had to go back. I knelt in front of her and touched her leg, she looked up scared. I took her hand and said I do not know what is hurting her but that my heart hurts for her. That as a mother it breaks my heart to see her so sad. She mouthed thank you but looked back down. I took her beautiful dirty tear stained face in my hands and looked her in her eyes and said I love you, I am so sorry you are hurting but you matter. She asked if she could hug me and we held each other. She gave me such a gift in that moment.
 
So to those who are walking this path with me thank you for giving me a lifeline because I need it… we all need it. I do not know all of you but I love each of you, you are my new family and friends and we are going to make a difference and I am not going to shut up anymore I am not going to let someone shame me and tell me I asked for rape as a 14 year old virgin.
To my friends who are trying to understand and maybe just do not know how to say it or how to respond thank you… 
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21 Day Fix, Beach Body, Change, Fear, gratitude, Habit, Happiness, Journey to happiness, joy, kindness, Loss, Mindfulness, New Beginnings, Uncategorized

Changes

Change has never been my thing…it scares me I mean REALLY scares me. Stepping outside my comfort zone is terrifying. I remember when I decided to move to Gresham how utterly lost and frightened I felt. My son was 18 but still in high school, he had 6 months to graduation and I had initially decided to stay until he graduated but things happen and I needed to leave. Having to make the choice to leave him behind was heart breaking and I to this day wonder if I had stayed if things would have turned out differently for him. I also had to leave my 14 year old daughter behind for a month while things got settled up here.

I remember the tears saying goodbye to my children, having to say goodbye to my dog and my friends. I had lived in Burns my entire life. I cried telling my mom goodbye, I stopped by Sentry Market to say goodbye to my dad..he was having his morning coffee and donut and we both cried. My entire adult life was packed into my car… I left so much behind emotionally and physically. I sobbed the entire drive to Gresham. I was never so alone or frightened in my life and although I think the decision to leave hurt some I needed to do it. That is the first time I truly stepped outside my comfort zone and made a change.

The move ultimately has been the best thing for me but the twists and turns it has taken have forever altered my life, some have been heart breaking and some wonderful. Although I left behind friends I have known my entire life I have made some of the most amazing friends since moving up here. I love it here.

Since July 2015 my life line and comfort zone has been 21 Day Fix. It saved my life and a few days ago I made a really difficult decision to walk away from it. A large part is due to finances, part because I am so lost and need to focus on finding me. I cannot lie I am terrified… although I will the eating plan I am losing a good chunk of life line and that worries me. As I said I love living here but the down side is it is expensive, it is 6 hours from my children and my grandchild. I do not get to see them like I would want to. But this is where I belong I can never move back to Burns nor do I want to. For me and so many others I know it is toxic.

I am scared…I am tired, I am sad, I am happy, I am so many many things but the biggest thing I am is blessed. Since my post “My Story” my friends have reached out and they touch me in so many ways. I am going to be ok I know that I am going to make that happen. It will be a process and likely this process of healing and finding me and my happy will be a lifetime journey. I find this blog so helpful and yet I do not use it as much as I would like. I will also be cancelling my internet…that will make blogging difficult at best. Perhaps that is for the best, perhaps it will be detrimental..time will tell.

So here is to my continued journey.

 

Change, Fear, gratitude, Happiness, Journey to happiness, joy, Loss, New Beginnings, rape, Uncategorized, What If's

My Story

I have spent the last 2 years writing this particular post. I start then stop then start and then copy and paste and share what I think won’t make people too uncomfortable. If you are uncomfortable by what I write that is on you not me, you can choose to simply move on… I know nothing I say will change some people’s ideas and that is not the intent. The intent is to no longer hide behind shame that is not mine to bare, to perhaps help someone else who is struggling with this self-imposed shame.  A wise friend told me she thinks I am finally ready to work on moving on. That truly was my intent all along when starting this journey. Let me make it clear the only persons who shoulder the guilt are those 3 men. THEY alone are the guilty parties.

The flurry of comments surrounding Trump and his behaviors have set forth emotions I have hidden for years and some emotions I did not even know I felt. It brought forth memories I had buried deep. I am tired, I am heart broken, I am damaged and I want to heal…some scars will never disappear no matter what I do. I guess I just want to stop hiding and I want others to understand how damaging words and actions can be. How far reaching they are, that sometimes no amount of therapy or talking will erase that damage. I realize for the first time how truly deeply damaged I am and it has broken my soul. I want to have the day get here when I no longer feel I have to whisper the word rape. I do not want to have it define my entire being but reality is it is a huge part of me.

I have never been comfortable in my skin. At a very young age I had large breasts and an hour glass figure, well before many other girls. I did not understand why men looked at me or made comments. I spent most of my youth being stared at or having comments made. I was nicknamed jugs, tits, bongos, I was told to not run to hard or I would get a black eye, to not sit down to hard I would get a bloody nose. I would walk through a parking lot and have comments yelled at me, it was not flattering it was uncomfortable. It was never that someone considered me pretty all they saw were giant boobs and hips. Sadly my precious daughter experienced the same issues when we moved to the city.

I went for a ride that fateful day with someone who I trusted. I did not truly know them but they were related to another person I knew very well, they were simply in town visiting. He had been introduced to two local guys and they spent time together. They told him a place he could take me…they showed up shortly after and as I begged and pleaded and cried and turned away from my attacker I was relieved when I saw 2 people outside the car. I thought they would save me instead they stared in the windows laughing and smiling. One even took a picture. A part of me died a little in that moment and my trust of men completely dissolved.

I want people to understand that actions and words hurt. That saying it is not big deal to be spoken to in a demeaning fashion is inexcusable, that allowing that behavior plays a part in why judges give out slaps on the wrists of those abusers. Comparing real actions to those of a novel or movie is ridiculous at best. That one act and words said to me over the years took something from me I will never get back. They defined my interactions with men going forward. It formed who I chose to have relationships with and that was men who I knew were not good for me because in the deep depths of my mind I thought I did not deserve someone who would love me.

The scar tissue damage left me feeling like a virgin every single time I have sex, I am incapable of orgasms, I am incapable of relaxing and enjoying because the pain is always there. I am left fighting to not scream or throw up when being touched. I am left with so much baggage that I cannot allow myself to get in a relationship because it would be unfair to my prospective partner. How do you explain why you cringe or cry when they touch you? Those men took an innocent virgin girl and spun a tale that left my reputation in tatters. I have been with 4 men in my life one of which was my attacker and 2 that I was married to. I did not deserve that reputation. I was not “easy” nor did I sleep around. I had high school guys that would lie to their friends that they slept with me. I grew up in a community that can be amazing to its citizens but there is a side to that community that people do not want to see. That side nearly killed me.

That day eventually let me to using drugs and alcohol to ease my pain. It left me off and on for the next 38 years pondering if it was worth sticking around. It left me for years looking at a bottle of pills, a razor, a gun, or the yellow line on the highway. Thankfully my lack of thinking I could do anything right did not allow me to follow through, I thought I was so worthless that I would not even be able to kill myself. Then I had children and they became my reason to live.

I ended up dropping out of school, I will never forget the day my parents signed the papers for me…my dad had tears in his eyes, their hearts were broken by me that day. I ran away and moved in with a boy whose parents were never there. We drank, we did drugs and he could have cared less about me. In order to touch me he had to be drunk or high and in my desire at the time to be loved I stole so he could be loaded and pay attention to me.

I ended up a ward of the court which is the best gift my parents gave me because it ultimately saved my life. Even though that led me to getting pregnant and marrying a man I met when living with my foster mom that child also helped to save my life. We had so much fun at first, for the first time in a long time I was enjoying life again then I got pregnant and all that shame came flooding back and what joy I had went out the window. My shame at being a pregnant teen was overwhelming (self-imposed).  My sweet precious son paid a price that he did not deserve. I loved him beyond measure but was so incapable of being the kind of mom I should have been to him. Eventually I had two children with this man and my sweet daughter also did not get the life she deserved.

We did not have a good marriage. I was young and had so much baggage it really was not fair to either of us. He tried I did not, I tried he did not, that was the story of our marriage. The lesson I taught my children regarding marriage and relationships was not what it should have been. I spent those years making myself even more overweight thinking that would protect me, when we got divorced I set about keeping anyone at bay.

Then I met and married the single most narcissistic man I have ever met. One who systematically emotionally and verbally destroyed what little bit of love I had for myself. I did not believe I was worthy of love and he drove that point home daily. He cheated and he rubbed it in. He reminded me constantly that I was lucky he was with me, that people would look at us and wonder how I ended up with someone like him (in his mind he thought he was a good thing). I spent several months at the end of that marriage barely able to get out of my bed and to go to work, my depression was back at suicidal levels. In my depressed state I subjected my child to the horror of this man and I will forever live with that guilt.

That marriage ended and I successfully made myself the heaviest I have ever been. I walked slumped over never looking anyone in the eye. Avoidance was my best friend for the next 11 years. Many things led up to me deciding to take control of my life. I was diabetic, on the verge of a stroke or heart attack and found out I was going to be a grandma. Something clicked and I finally decided to do something about my weight. Never did I think it would be as painful a process as it has been. Losing that weight was basically losing that 14 year old girl. I no longer have an identity. I am no longer scared rape victim, I have no idea who I am. I lost that protective layer and now people look at me again and that scares me. I never used to share pictures of myself and now I likely overshare. Not because I am proud of the person I am but because it forces me to go outside my comfort zone. That is part of this healing process, forcing myself to step outside my norm. It is frightening, uncomfortable and unpleasant. It is opening myself up to ridicule and attention that I have spent decades hiding from.

I have spent the last year pretending that my life is finally amazing and the truth is it is not. It is better in some ways but it is frightening in so many more ways. My depression has returned and not talking about it or pretending all is ok makes it worse. 38 years later and I still cannot shed that one act on that one day. I still cannot imagine a day I will be ok being in a relationship, I still think I have no self-worth, I still feel as if I deserve every single bad thing that has happened to me.

That one act on that one day not only messed me up but that trickled down to my innocent children who deserved so much better.  So next time you think words or actions do not have lasting ramifications please think about the overall picture. The next time you think about making an excuse for someone’s horrific words or behaviors remember not everyone has walked in the shoes of an assault victim and will never understand how it feels. Not every assault is physical, nor are some of the worst scars physical ones.

I have been asked why I did not speak up, people condemn the women who are just now coming forward. We have all seen how the victims are made out to be deserving of what they got. Most are women whose attackers are normal everyday people. Can you imagine if your attacker is a billionaire or a famous actor who has unlimited money and lawyers at their disposal who can publicly destroy you….that is why we do not speak up. Being physically brutalized is horrific but being publicly brutalized is even more painful.

Last night I did something I have not done in a very long time. I bought 2 bags of pita chips and I laid down and I ate both bags…. I made some mashed potatoes and smothered it in crappy packaged gravy and I ate myself stupid. I thought I had combated those issues in my life….

The emotions of the last week have snuck up on me and I sunk back into the depressed going to eat myself fat habit again. I will take it day to day and pray I do not sink lower. I am not asking for sympathy, a pat on the back or advice I am asking to be respected for what I feel and to be allowed to speak of it without fear of reprisal. I am hoping one day the past will be just that, that is will stop rearing its ugly head. I will never forget what happened but one day I hope it will stop being center attention.

 

Fear, gratitude, Happiness, kindness, Loss, Uncategorized

Mental Health Awareness Month

September is Mental Health Awareness Month. I would like to talk about that and I would like to take it one step further and add bullying…
 
Today as my friend and I went on a walk at work we passed a young girl sitting just off the sidewalk. She was dirty, and she was tweaking and swatting imaginary bugs off her face and arms. She was rocking and trying her best to not flail about… Her little arms and legs were twigs and I wanted to sweep her in my arms so badly but knew that it was not a good thing to do given how bad off she was. My friend and I just looked at each other and fought back tears… we both said at the same time “she is someones daughter”.
 
Her parents could be terrible people, they could be amazing people who wonder every second of every day where their daughter is. They could have tossed her out in frustration. I do not know what her prior life is but I can guarantee you she is and has been abused on the streets. We spoke of how terrible it was to think of what she has to do to get the drugs. I have never seen anyone that badly strung out. Of course we assume she is on drugs but she could just as easily be mentally ill or both.
 
Portland has a disgustingly huge homeless mentally ill drug addicted population. We walk past them not looking at them because we feel above them. We walk past them not looking at them because they smell, they make us uncomfortable and we make ourselves feel better by saying it is not our problem or OUR children or loved ones will never do that. We walk past them… we ignore them or say things to them or laugh at them or assault them.
 
I cannot read an article on James Chasse and not break down in tears. He was a mentally ill local man who was bi polar and his family struggled to help keep him on meds. He was walking down the street in The Pearl and someone decided he looked like he was peeing on the street (I guarantee you any other part of the city but the Pearl and no one would have cared). Reality is he was not peeing he was paranoid and scared and the police started to chase him. First let me preface this with this is NOT a slam of police I appreciate and respect them BUT we do not train them on how to deal with the mentally ill. I also am not going to debate bad cop good cop here. Bottom line is he ran they had no idea he was mentally ill and in the end this poor soul was beaten and slowly died of his injuries. Very few people tried to help him…. He was someones son and his mother died with a broken heart a few short years after his death.
 
Every single mentally ill person is someones child… someones parent or sibling or friend. There but for the grace of God…. We pretend that it will not touch our lives. I have been on antidepressants most of my life and likely will the rest of my life. We live in a society where it is taboo, the dirty dark family secret if someone is mentally ill or depressed and because of that we do not take care of our mentally ill. They end up on the streets or worse they end up murdered or having committed suicide. Mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes, colors and religions… There are mentally ill people who should be institutionalized and their are those who can mostly function in society if they have the support they need.
 
Can you imagine living in a world of constant fear, where your only hope in your mind is to flee and end up on the streets and on drugs. I am just as guilty as the next guy for passing judgement at times about the odd person talking to themselves or acting weird. But living in this city and seeing the level of homeless mentally ill has made me see a different side… and today, that beautiful damaged soul sitting on the dirt with her eyes so scared broke my heart and as painful as it was to witness I needed to see it. I needed to be slapped upside my head and I needed to be reminded that my life is damn good and I am damn blessed.
 
I spent years staring at a gun, holding a blade to my wrist or looking at a bottle of pills. I have friends whose parents, children, siblings or good friends have committed suicide. Is it selfish…maybe the rare occasion is someone trying to get back at someone but mostly it is people who are so deep in the depths of depression it is all they can do to breathe. That the only light at the end of their tunnel is a freight train bearing down on them. Many of them truly believe they are doing their loved ones a favor by ending it. I will never make those who refuse to believe it is anything but selfish change their minds. I pray they never walk in my shoes or anyone else who has struggled with this level of dark and I pray they never get that horrible phone call… If you really want to get a deeper understanding of it there is a documentary called The Bridge. It is heart breaking but eye opening.
 
Then there is bullying… we are bullying adults raising children to be bullies. The level of mean is so much that it is driving children and adults to kill themselves… Have you ever been on the receiving end of bullying? Have you been blatantly day in and day out ignored or mocked or poked fun of. Have you walked into a room and suddenly you hear crickets because they were talking about you? Have you ever had your child come home in tears because they have no friends and are teased at school. Have you ever been brutalized emotionally or physically, had people look at you and snicker and whisper. Have you been told you should kill yourself, or that you are a loser, you are ugly, you are a whore, you are a fag, you are disgusting. Have you ever done or said those things to someone else. IF you have never been on the receiving end of that you need to thank your lucky stars. If your child has not you better be happy. IF you have never experienced that but do it to someone else then you should go talk to someone whose loved one has killed themselves because of it. Could you live with yourself if you were the straw that broke the camels back? Do not think for one second that you are not capable of breaking someone…
 
I have been on the receiving end of bullying and so have my children and my sister and too many friends to count. We are a society of cruel people. We mock people on social media, our politicians are bullies, celebrities, media, athletes etc are bullies. I hate this election I HATE what it has done to my friends, society as a whole and it scares me. I do not know what the solution is.. I can make an impassioned plea but it is not going to matter to some people. We live in a world where making ourselves feel better know matter how we do it is all that matters.
 
I just ask if you are doling out this behavior stop it… stop and consider how you would feel. If you do not like someone that is fine but you have no right to make their life hell… if you know someone who fights mental illness do not hide it in shame. Help them help themselves. If you see someone on the street who looks so lost and vulnerable or even weird…. smile, say hello it costs nothing and means EVERYTHING and that one simple act could save someone life. If could give them hope be it mentally ill people or just the odd or homeless person.
21 Day Fix, Beach Body, Clean Eating Recipes, Clean_Eating, Exercise, Fear, gratitude, Habit, kindness, LIFE IS GOOD, Loss, Mindfulness, New Beginnings, Shakeology, Soup, Uncategorized, What If's

CHOICES

Life is all about choices and we are free to choose whatever we want however with choices sometimes come consequences. Life is also about learning to deal with the hands we are dealt…sometimes they are amazing and sometimes they are heartbreaking hands.

I have done a lot of thinking this past year or so since starting this journey. I have made some good choices and some not so good choices in my life. I have paid for some of those choices dearly and I have been blessed beyond measure for some of them. What I do not regret is any of them.

I made the choice to not tell anyone about my rape and that decision altered my life. Do I regret that choice? That is so hard to answer… had I told someone perhaps I would have gotten help and not went down the drugs/alcohol/drop out school path I took. And although that would have saved my family much heartache I never would have been made a ward of the court, met the man I met and had the amazing children I had. I spent years punishing myself for that rape and the choices made after it. In fact it was not until a little over a year ago that I began to truly forgive myself for those bad choices. Let me make it clear I did NOT ask to be assaulted and did NOT deserve it. You could drive yourself crazy trying to figure out if you would have done it differently. So why do that, you cannot change the past but can going forward make better choices. I made the choice to have a healthy life. And that is hands down one of the best decisions I have made.

I choose to go from obese, lazy, in constant pain & depression that was overwhelming at times to the happier, healthier, less depressed & less in pain more active person I am today.

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I have gone from hiding under baggy clothes, never letting my picture get taken, worrying about what others think of me person to the over sharing, acting goofy, belly laughing dork I am today!

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When I decided a year ago to take back my life and health I had no idea the twist and turns it would take. I never in a million years thought I would love to walk much less love to hike up hills and climb over things. Never thought I would show my body in a swimsuit much less go swimming in the mountains in my bra and undies! Who knew I would end up really liking exercising even the ones that make me feel every muscle the next morning! I never figured I would approach people I did not know. I was not a smiling happy person. Today I love engaging people in conversation, I love smiling at others and seeing their smiles back. Today I popped by the store on my way home from the farmers market. The checker was a young boy and he asked me how my day was going….before I knew it I blurted out that is was OUTSTANDING and I was feeling BLISSFUL (where did this come from!!!!)! He broke into the biggest smile and told me he loved that answer! We chatted a bit and I told him the me a year ago would never have said that. He asked what was different today from a year ago so I gave him the short version. What an absolutely wonderful experience I had talking to him. Less than 5 minutes chatting with him and I was still smiling ear to ear when I got to my car! I have noticed in my recent pictures my mouth is always open and I thought to myself why do you always do that…then I realized looking back at older pictures it is because I am genuinely happy! That is a real genuine smile going on right there!

So back to choices and I think where this blog post started but I am like a dog with a squirrel sometimes! I made the choice to invest in me. I decided that given it was expensive to do Shakeology I better fully invest in my 21 days. I have always felt like I cannot eat that more healthy option it is so spendy. That is utter BS! I eat smaller portions so the food goes much farther, I eliminated 10 medications 10!!!  I no longer spend the amount I used to on crappy food or expensive coffee… yes I still do the coffee occasionally but not like I used to but I am no longer spending money eating out all the time. Eating healthy is not too expensive. Let’s be real, eating at McDonald’s is not cheap at least not anymore and add the health issues it creates you are costing more. I choose to eat organic and as healthy as I can but you can also buy regular produce etc. Not buying boxed processed food is totally affordable. I make huge batches of soups and chili using fresh produce and for less than $15 I can get 4 gallons or more of healthy soup to freeze. The one area I will not scrimp on is my steel cut oats or faro I have kind of become a snob! I only use Anson Mills, he is organic, no pesticide, totally heirloom products. The taste is beyond amazing. And did I say I have eliminated 10 medications by living this new lifestyle that is a huge savings!

Today I spent $20 at the farmers market and got a ton of great stuff that will last me the week or longer. These pictures below are my normal way of eating. I love this new way of life. I made a choice to make me a priority and I am blessed that my friends and family fully support me in this lifestyle. I never feel I am putting them out by this way of eating. They love me enough they want me to be successful and they in turn have made changes in their lives.

21 Day Fix, Beach Body, Change, Clean_Eating, Exercise, Fear, gratitude, Happiness, Journal, Journey to happiness, joy, LIFE IS GOOD, Loss, Mindfulness, New Beginnings, Shakeology, Uncategorized

The last couple of weeks have been pretty trying. Family members with serious health issues and just some heart breaking personal family issues. One of the things I found was not everyone understands the journey I am on. I made it clear upfront with people that I was going to be honest and that includes the good and the bad. I also made it clear that I would not be offended or hurt if you choose to not follow along on my journey either on this blog or on my Facebook page. And I will no longer censor myself for the benefit of others.

Reality is life can be great but it can also be tough and if you act is if nothing bothers you well you are not being honest with yourself. I lost someone I thought was a friend.. If she had addressed her “issues” with my posts etc in a different way it would have not had to happen. Sometimes not saying anything is better than saying something you know will hurt them. Being brutally honest at the expense of another persons feelings is cruel if that person is not hurting anyone else. My posts are just that… mine… my feelings my way of seeing things. I am not now nor will I ever be someone else’s science project. I never asked to be her project and honestly I feel lighter having her made it easy for me to say goodbye. I felt I really had to be careful what I said because I allowed her to have power she never really had.

I am the reason for my success in this journey. Yes some people have helped along the way but I am the one who put in the hard work. I have said before that the hardest part of this journey has actually been addressing the feelings that have come up. I have always dealt with pain and anger by running. I lament about people who cut me off in traffic or for some other reason put a damper in my day. I see others do it as well, it is human nature, did I let it destroy my day… no but it happens and sometimes it just plays into things that have gone on through the day. Part of my personality is snarky and some people do not get that and that is ok I cannot be responsible for their seeing something as serious and not in jest.

I won’t lie and say her words did not hurt or sting, they did. A simple I no longer can follow you would have been kinder and worked. To tell my that my woe is me attitude is too much and then make a rambling long winded email on all the bad that is going on in their life (while telling me shit happens and I need to quit feeling sorry for myself) seemed a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. I had decided that maybe it was time to stop sharing my journey but then like every day since I started this I got a personal message from someone I do not know. I had comments on my posts from both people I know and people I do not know and they all told me they appreciate my honesty. That they like that I share the good and the bad, that they need to be reminded it is not all rainbows and lollipops. I am not saying this to be arrogant because honestly it is still hard to accept that anyone would find me inspirational. I have never felt that I had much to offer this world and honestly I still struggle with it.

I did take a few things from the online friendship we had and they will and have helped me but I will not regret saying goodbye to it. One of things I have been doing was sharing the memories from a year ago that pop up because they show just how much growth I have made. Be it different eating to how I handle stressful things. Again if someone does not take the time to read that it is a memory from the past that is on them not me.

So that said I spent a good week off and on in tears. I do not like when people do not like me or are mad at me. I beat myself up if I think I have hurt someone (another reason I tend to censor). I had good conversations with my friend from work, looked at pictures of my sweet lil grandbaby, said prayers and meditated and felt a bit more zen. I hiked and I sat on my deck and pondered what exactly it is I am doing with my life now. I still need to lose a bit more, I need to work on toning my body and my mind. I need to figure out who I am now and I decided I will no longer stress if people do not want to be in my life or go along on this journey. I also realized I am not done on this journey in fact I may actually just be starting and because so many have asked me to continue to share I will do so.

My daughter brought my grandson and his mommy to Prineville for a day visit. It was wonderful. He is the sweetest happiest little guy and it was great seeing Kayla and Megan. I cannot share pictures of my beautiful grandbaby online but trust me he is handsome! We hiked around the lake while Megan and Kayla attempted to fish, all Kayla caught was the end of her pole. I have done two dog sitting gigs and lots of hiking which always make me feel better. I am 10 days from my one year and I am DAMN proud of what I have accomplished.

21 Day Fix, Fear, Loss, Uncategorized, What If's

The Not so Warm & Fuzzy Truth

Feeling so frustrated and I am tired of putting on a smiley happy face at the moment. This is not going to be a warm fuzzy blog but part of healing and this journey is being honest as painful and embarrassing as that can be.

While I love and appreciate and can never thank my friends and others who support me enough, I am frustrated that is expected of me to just be thankful and happy for the good that has come out of this journey. I am thankful, more thankful than words can ever express, I am thankful I am no longer considered diabetic, I am thankful my body does not hurt like it used to, I am thankful I can buy clothes at a normal store now, I am thankful my overall health is great, I am thankful I can walk and run, I am thankful for some new opportunities that have come my way. I am thankful that I am happier and more social, I am thankful for more than I can ever say.

But I also earned the right to be down sometimes, I earned the right to voice my sadness at what my body now is. I earned it. I do not wallow in it but I need to voice it sometimes. I have people who are following my journey and saying it encourages them and they have the right to know that it is hard as hell, that it can be incredibly painful and frustrating. That for all the ups there are some downs. With the exception of my mom, daughter and few friends, I have no one to talk to about this. That is partly why I blogged this path I have taken. I need it for accountability but I also need a place to talk about the ups and downs. I earned this right, I earned every blister, sleepless night, tear and joy.

What I struggle with (am not happy or thankful for for lack of a better word) is my body has new pains, my skin is raw in spots, it sags and gets caught in zippers, or just hangs and pulls, I lay in bed at night aching because I am walking so much to try to keep from ever gaining those old habits or body again. That said I love walking and enjoy it but I know I push it herein lies my addictive personality problem. Walking is my new drug. Or when I look in the mirror and have to figure out how to not have all the excess skin bulge and show (I am very good at containing it with spanx so when you think I am being to hyper critical because you do not see it that is why). I am not happy that my charge cards have balances because my clothes are falling off and I have to replace them. It is not always an option to buy second hand and if you have gone to Goodwill you know prices there are no longer cheap. I am not happy that in order to get underwear that will hold my excess belly flesh the back end looks like I messed my pants. I am not happy that I am afraid to eat cheat meals for fear I will slide back to my old ways or the fact I feel guilty if I eat off my norm. I am not happy that my friend got me into a water aerobics class but I cannot find a suit that will hold my saggy boobs in. Or that my belly looks like a butt. Or that I have had to replace expensive walking shoes multiple times because my feet have lost weight but in order to continue to walk I have to have decent shoes. I am not happy that I am obsessed with all this and that I am scared. I am not happy that I feel like if I cry I am being ungrateful. I could keep going on but what is the point.

For the last 38 years my entire identity has been wrapped around what happened at 14 and how I could keep from ever getting hurt or violated again. I spent all those years forming who and what I was about. Those pounds are gone, that reason for my existence is no more. I had a conversation with my mom the other day and we got to talking about my feelings. She made a good point.. I have not only lost the weight but I now have to find who I am..it is a little scary. I can create a whole new me but how do I do that and what if she is no better than old me was. I am scared, I am happy, I am sad, I am obsessed, I am angry and elated. My whole mindset was I was not worthy of love or respect. I cannot shut my mind off so I walk.

I am Theresa… but I don’t know who that is anymore and that scares me. And what happens when I lose what I need to… what then. What happens when I no longer have weight loss and health to focus on.. Losing this weight has been hard, losing my identity even harder but the hardest part to come is finding out who I am… what is my purpose, how do I tackle the demons I buried so deep and are now coming up. What if the person under all the weight is not who I thought I was. The what ifs are what scare me. I am going to do what I seem to do best these days… go for a walk and for a moment maybe forget my fears.