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Confrontation

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Something happened the other day that I am so proud of. I wanted to share it with you guys.

I’m not sure if anyone remembers but I have struggled with an eating disorder for almost 20 years. I have been trying really hard since my illness to stop being so uptight about what I eat.

As a result, I have gained a lot of weight. A lot. I actually am happier with my body than I have ever been. I would love to be thinner, but I am afraid to try to diet. I do exercise, but not obsessively.

Anyway, none of that is the point. The point is that since my illness and weight gain, my mother has made non-stop comments about my weight and size. It is incredibly hurtful to me and rude.

The final straw was when I called her for mother’s day. I mentioned going to a lunch meeting that I was super excited about. And meeting with the hospital where I had my surgeries. And then I mentioned that I was working out more and was even thinking of running again for a benefit.

And that’s when she proceeded to tell me that it would be great for me to run again as I really needed to lose weight. She has told me in the past that I get fatter and fatter every time she sees me (which is true). And that I would be happier if I weighed 150lbs (which is not true, I was miserable when I weighed 150).

In high school, when I was 100lbs thinner, my pediatrician told my mother and I that I needed to gain 20-50lbs because I was unhealthily underweight. My mother told him no, that I looked good. And the pediatrician told her that we were discussing my health, not my appearance.

The other issue is that I am one size larger than my brother, but every time she sees him she acts like he is one meal away from starving to death.

So, I called her the other day and told her I needed to talk with her. Then I told her off.

I told her that I didn’t appreciate her constantly putting me down. I told her that her rude comments were not helpful. I told her that my doctor, cardiologist, sex partners, and myself did not think I needed to lose weight. So why did she?

I also told her that she was my mother. If she loved me, then she needed to love me at any weight. And that if she didn’t love me, then I didn’t need her in my life.

She claimed that she had no idea she was hurting my feelings. She claimed that she was only trying to help me. She claimed that she thought I was trying to lose weight and she was trying to be encouraging.

But I know she and I have had this conversation in the past.

So I made it extra clear. I told her that I never wanted to hear a word about my weight again. Not if I lost weight. Not if I gained weight. I told her that if I ordered a salad, it would be because I wanted a salad (which I love) and not to lose weight. If I started running it would be because I love running (which I do and always have). If she buys me something that doesn’t fit, it’s because the clothes are not my size, not because I am too big.

It felt amazing. I felt so powerful. And I have decided to cut her out of my life if she doesn’t comply with my request. And I am trying to get my brother to confront her too as he hates her comments on his thinness.

Closed Doors

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I don’t know where I want this blog to go. I didn’t start it for an audience and I didn’t explain anything because it was always for me and I already know the stories and the background. Having said that, there is value in writing this stuff down. I was able to cry about it for the first time in my life. And I feel, in getting it out and sharing it, I am lessening the burden of remembering. And I don’t want to carry it around anymore. So there will probably be a lot more of this type of thing to follow. Fair warning.

I’m going to share another personal story on here. There was no awful backlash from the last one. Thanks to everyone for being so supportive. Your comments mean a lot.

I was 15 or 16. It was right before I got a job and had my own money and started saving up for my first car. I was still sharing a room with my sister.

My sister and I had always shared a room. My parents used to promise that when my older brother moved out, I would get his room. But when he finally moved out, my mother decided to keep it as her sewing room. Because “everyone deserves to have their own room” except, you know, me.

My sister and I could not have been more different growing up. She was outgoing and popular. I was shy and reserved. I was an OCD neat freak (due to my mother’s negative influence). My sister once left a cup of water in our room for so long that it grew mold.

And I liked to sleep with the door shut while my sister always wanted it open. My sister wanted it open because our house was stuffy and it improved air circulation. I wanted it closed because then I could hear my parents opening the door.

The latch turning was loud enough to wake me up in my heightened state of awareness and exaggerated responses. It gave me the few seconds I needed to prepare myself for whatever was coming instead of being surprised by it.

My sister and I were having a heated argument about whether to leave it open or closed. I guess we got too loud.

Suddenly my father was in the room. He ripped the door off it’s hinges. My sister and I were immediately struck dumb. Violence has a way of catching the attention of a room.

I was older and the responsible one. I protected my sister. I was always willing to suffer extra to spare her some of their anger and abuse. But she wasn’t on his radar this time.

My father immediately turned to me. He grabbed me and yanked me out of the bed and my mattress off the frame. I quickly stood up and moved away from him. I was taller and faster than him and could sometimes stay out of his range. But he wasn’t letting me go.

He pushed me out of the room. My sister was already crying by this point. But I wasn’t. I was too busy trying not to lose my balance and fall. Falling was unsafe.

I looked down and behind me, then I looked at my father. I had the presence of mind to know his intention seconds before he pushed me. It possibly saved my life.

He pushed me hard down our stairs. I fell only for a few steps. I had been ready for it. I caught myself on the railing. I landed hard and caught myself hard.

But he was angrier now that I hadn’t been hurt. I had thwarted his plans. That wasn’t safe either. He came for me again. I hurled myself down the remaining steps and out the front door into the night.

And I ran as fast as I could. I was a good runner. I still am. I thought for a minute about my sister. But I couldn’t go back. Not yet anyway. His anger was still too fresh. She was safer there than I would have been.

I had nothing on me. I was only dressed because I slept fully clothed. I didn’t have a dime on me. I was barefoot. I didn’t have a cell phone or even a jacket. It was after 10pm on a school night.

I didn’t know what to do. I ran for several miles. Just trying to put some distance between he and I. Watching traffic, searching for his truck. Wondering if he’d come after me, try to find me.

Luckily, it was a pretty safe town and a mild night. At one point a cop drove past and I hid in some bushes. I didn’t want to get picked up. They’d be obligated to take me home. My father could fool the police. He’d done it before.

I wandered around my home town that night for hours. I finally decided I had no choice but to go home. All of my friends lived miles and miles away. None of them knew about any of this stuff anyway. And I couldn’t call them for help even if they did. I was stuck.

When I got home, I saw that it was 2am. I didn’t even have a watch to realize I’d been walking around for four hours. I was exhausted. The next day at school my friends and I joked about my tiredness. My insomnia, always keeping me awake.

Nobody had been looking for me. Nobody was waiting up for me. At least they left the door unlocked so I could get in. I never cried during the whole experience.

My sister and I never fought about the door being open or closed. He didn’t fix it till after I moved out. Our fighting had lost us our right to the privacy of a closed door.