Sunday, May 24, 2015

My Story, Part 4

Welcome to Part 4 of My Story, the final installment. Part 1Part 2Part 3
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I lost my job in October 2012 (5 months pregnant), quite suddenly (I knew it was on the line, but I didn't think they'd find a reason to fire me that quickly). I worked for a horrible, horrible place that loves to chew people up and spit them out--but it was easy to overlook as long as it you stayed out of their crosshairs (and they paid ridiculously high salaries to placate us). 

Losing my job launched me into a tailspin of depression that I didn't even recognize for a long time. I questioned everything about myself, and started to believe that I really was the problem, that I was a horrible person and a horrible worker. Marc had been a stay-at-home-dad while I worked, and losing my job meant losing our primary source of income. I was a failure. I failed my family. Nobody will hire me ever again because I'm such a worthless, useless person

Those thoughts stayed with me for a long time. I thought that if I could just get a job, I'd feel so much better. Marc finally got a job in June 2013 in New Orleans, so we quickly sold our house and moved. I finally got a job in October 2013, and I waited for the sun to start shining again, but you know what? It didn't happen. Finally getting a job was not the answer to all of my problems, and I still felt like a sad, worthless, piece of trash shell-of-my-former-self. So, I did the only thing I knew how to do when the going got tough--I ate.

I ate, and I ate, and I ate, and I ate. I ate chocolate and crackers and french fries and more chocolate. I put bags of chocolate in the freezer thinking I wouldn't go through them so fast, but no, I still demolished them in a day. I kept bags of chocolate in my desk at work and prayed that no one noticed just how many wrappers were in my garbage can. I tried to bury the wrappers so no one would see them, but I couldn't help but wonder what the cleaning crew thought when they emptied my trash every night.

Most of the details from this point forward can be found in my post about the Easter Candy Incident. However, there are some things from my past, from my childhood, that I am nowhere near ready to discuss on the Internet, so this part will be a little vague. Shortly before the Easter Candy Incident, my sister revealed some things that happened when I was a baby which triggered something that forced me to recall some things that I'd buried deeeeeep in my subconscious. In fact, until that very moment, I'd convinced myself that those things were normal and happened in all families--yet, I'd never said a word to anyone about any of it. Not a peep. When I told Marc about it that night, he became the very first person in my life that I trusted enough to share my family's secrets with.

When I told my therapist about this, she said that burying all of these things was my subconscious defense mechanism, protecting my younger self against these things that I simply couldn't process. When I finally allowed myself to fully recall everything, it was because I was finally ready to handle it, to fully process what happened. It was such a weight lifted off of me when I stopped being ashamed, and started sharing these pieces of my past with people. I no longer feel as if I have to keep a part of myself hidden, because there is nothing to hide.

All my life, I've been playing the victim. Every thing that ever happened to me was never a result of my own decisions. I felt I was powerless to live my own life, that it didn't matter what I did--bad things would always result.

But. 

Then I acknowledged and accepted my past and all that I'd gone through and survived, and I allowed myself to feel years, perhaps decades of emotions that had been buried. I felt sorrow, and anger, and disgust, and pure, simple sadness--and then I could finally move on with my life.

I still struggle; oh gosh, do I struggle. But, you see, now I know that it's okay. I also know that food isn't going to help. Now, I talk to anyone who will listen. I write in my journal. I yell and scream and feel angry and let it all out. I roll down the windows in my car and turn the music up loud. I've learned to live mindfully, and in the present. I've learned that it's okay to be vulnerable, and that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but one of strength. I know that my weight does not define me, that it not a measure of my worth. I've learned that I am enough. With all of this, though, I think probably the most important thing that's resulted from all the therapy and self-discovery is this...

I've learned to love myself.



3 comments:

  1. Dearest Christina - Thank you for sharing your story so vulnerably and openly. You are a courageous and strong woman. You are not a victim, but a survivor. You are enough, and you are lovable. I read and re-read these last two posts since I can relate to some of what you say here - especially about the years of shame and sense of worthlessness. My heart goes out to you and you are in my thoughts. It is lovely to see through all your posts how you truly do appear to care and love yourself. You are pushing through the rubble of the past and coming out into the clear!!

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  2. I'm so happy that you finally got to this place- it is a long and difficult road. My heart goes out to you.

    I could feel emotion building up for me in this post- I am at this place of learning how to love myself, but I am not there yet.

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    1. You will get there--I can feel your determination through your posts!

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