Thursday, January 28, 2010

My secret

I may lose a few followers over this post, and some of you may not like me anymore, but here it goes....

I know why I ate like a woman possessed last night. I even knew when it was it was happening why I was doing it.

My best friend knows some things about me that very few people in this world know. They're dark, ugly things. Things I wish had never happened.

About two years ago I met someone online. A man. A funny, witty and charming man that lives in a far away city. Emails were exchanged, online chats started, then there were the phone calls, lots of phone calls. I've never met this person in real life, but I thought I was falling in love with him. It became an online affair.

Some people don't believe having an online relationship is cheating in a marriage, and they think no one will get hurt. If that's what you think, you're wrong on both accounts.

My marriage was going through a rough patch at the time. After almost a year, my husband found out about the other man by reading my emails, but he didn't know the emotional attachment I had establish with this person. We talked about divorce and went to marriage counseling.

I saw a therapist on my own and told her everything. She told me I needed to come clean and tell my best friend and be accountable to her. If I felt like calling the other man, I was suppose to call my best friend. The therapist also told me I have extremely low self-esteem (I really didn't need to pay her $150 an hour to find that out...I already knew.).

A little about my best friend. I've known her for twenty years. She's the kindest, sweetest, funniest and most moral person I've ever known. She's not a prude nor is she judgemental. She's what you would call "good people".

When I'm with her, I can't stop laughing. Last night I laughed so hard I was crying and my jaw hurt. She's a very strong Christian, but she doesn't shove it down my throat. She doesn't just talk the talk, she walks the walk. I've always wished I was more like her. I love her to pieces and consider myself blessed beyond words that she's my best friend.

When I told her my secret about a year ago, she reacted just as I suspected. She was shocked, but kind and supportive. I told her things I haven't told anyone. It was embarrassing, but it was a relief.

The last year I have slowly been trying to pull myself away from the man that I was so totally infatuated with. Because of the emotional attachment on my part, I couldn't just stop cold. I don't blame him or hate him for any of the emotions or feelings I've gone through. It was all my own fault. I pursued him, and he reciprocated. He's not a bad person, and neither am I, but we did some bad things.

The phone calls have stopped completely, as well as the online chatting. The emails are fewer and farther between, and these days they're always initiated by me. I think he's moved on to greener pastures, which is good for both of us.

I often wish I could have amnesia for that part of my life. I wish I could forget. It was against everything I believe in. It hurt my husband, it hurt my best friend and it hurt me. The other man, I don't think he really cared about me or even notices I'm gone. I was a slight diversion from his daily life, that was all.

I'm just starting to get back to being myself, to being a wife to my husband, a friend to my best friend. I've been in a strange, and often scary place for almost two years (my crazy period started in April 2008).

Last night my girlfriend kept saying over and over, "it's so wonderful to have you back! It's like you died and have been resurrected!" She must have said this at least a dozen times at dinner. I know she meant to make me feel happy, to feel loved. Instead I felt embarrassment and shame.

She said it was just like when her sister was addicted to prescription drugs and disappeared out of her life for about a year. Even after her sister went to rehab and kicked her habit, it was about another year before she was back to being her old self.

When my girlfriend kept telling how happy she was that I was back, I kept thinking about where I'd been for so long. My dark secret still haunts me. I still feel bad about it. Last night I ate, and ate, and ate some more. I'm not much of a drinker, and I don't do drugs. I eat.

If you've read this far, you're probably thinking I've totally misrepresented myself the past two years. You're right and you're wrong. Even though I did things I regret, I'm still the same person.

I'm the girl from Alaska that grew up on a homestead in the middle of nowhere. I was brought up in the Baptist church, I know right from wrong. I believe in God and in his divine forgiveness. I had the best parents and best family anyone could be blessed with. I'm married to a man that still loves me in spite of all my flaws.

I'm still the same woman struggling day after day with her weight. Speaking of weight, I feel like one has been lifted off me by sharing this with you, my dear readers, my friends. You know me a lot better now, maybe this explains some of my eating issues. I just hope you don't hate me.


Pink Panda said...

I don't hate you Diana. In fact, I give you props for being this gutsy and sharing this part of your life with me and everyone else who reads your blog.

No one is perfect, and no one will ever be perfect.

And honestly, it's not like you went out with the guy or anything.

Aaron Eckhart coined the phrase "morally flexible" in Thank You for Smoking, and if I were your husband, I would have been morally flexible in regards to the "online affair" considering the hostility (perhaps not the right word, but it's 1 in the morning and I can't think of anything better) you guys had between each other at the time.

Rettakat said...

So, you weren't getting what you needed in your marriage, and found someone that supplied that need... which was a feeling, an emotion... and you got emotionally attached. Then you realized what you had done, and chose to wean yourself off.

You goofed up, then set about to make it right. And I am sure you included God in that, because you said you believe in His forgiveness. Me too. Nothing, not one thing on earth, is past being forgiven.

But dear Diana... you didn't mention anywhere about forgiving yourself. I am sure this was discussed with the counselor. If you haven't really forgiven yourself, I could see how the guilt and embarrassment would cause you pain, and push you to ease that pain with the food.

If you were here in my house right now, I would pull you into my arms and smother you with a big hug. I would cry with you and laugh with you, and tell you to give yourself some kindness! To let up on yourself.

You sound truly sorry, you have changed your actions and gone in a different direction. I would tell you to offer yourself some LOVE, and compassion and understanding. That is different than making excuses or condoning... it is coming from a place of healing and restoration. Of remembering that you are precious and worthwhile, even if you have made mistakes in judgement in the past. Keywords: in the past.

I would do something symbolic with you, something of your choice, to help you feel clean and renewed and fresh. LIke...

Draw a line in the ground... step over it, and NEVER look back. It is in the past, and you are free and will leave it there.

Or, jot it down in a few words onto paper, and then burn it. Same deal: it is DONE. You are here, now, and looking forward now, not backward.

Ideas like that, that affirm that you are alive and going FORWARD.

Oh Diana, I just know people here are going to shower you with more understanding and love than you know what to do with! All of us have goofed up in our lives, some more than others. And we understand emotional pain, and the pressure it brings.
I'm sorry to be so long-winded... but my heart goes out to you, and I pray that you will be set free from this, and go on to live a wonderful, joyfilled life.

MizFit said...

You are human.
we all have failings and foibles and I know that I am NOT ONE TO EVER JUDGE!

xo xo,


Roxie said...

So you are not perfect? No one is. We've all done things that we are not proud of. All of us. And in situations like this, because what we think of ourselves is so low, our need for external validation is very high. The good thing is that you know this now and can work on your forgiving and loving yourself.

Recognizing the need I had for external validation was the first time I really understood the whole self-esteem issue and it really helped. I didn't have a weight problem, I had a self-esteem problem. Diana, it's a tough way to live, being in so much pain. Please do what you can to forgive yourself, learn from the mistake and move on.

Hugs to you.

Marisa (Loser for Life) said...

Diana, everyone makes mistakes in life. You are getting your life back and in order and that's all that matters. Unfortunately, we can't control what other people think of us or say, we can only control our reactions to those things :)

Kyle Gershman said...

Confession is always good for the soul. More people have these secrets than don't, but not everyone confesses them like you did. Hopefully this will be an even greater step in your healing process and you'll conquer your eating challenges once and for all.

Amy said...

Nobody's perfect. Sharing is probably a good step in the healing process.

Helen said...

I do believe that these types of relationships can feel very real and be just as damaging as if they were in person. I sincerely hope that by coming clean you will feel not only clean yourself but able to completely move away from it all. That you'll find love and peace and healing for your wounded soul. That you'll be able to lay down the extra food and not let it have any control over you any more. On another note, I was raised a Baptist too. My father was a Southern Baptist preacher. It is said that our twin is out there somewhere. Now I really am beginning to wonder if I've found mine!

Anonymous said...

I think it takes a lot of courage to say what you've said; and I think people would be crazy to judge you for it. We are all human, no one is perfect. It is good that you realize you made a mistake, asked for help, and have been able to move forward. That being said there are still slip-ups, like the eating the other night; but as I said; no one is perfect. I'm going through (well about done) with divorce right now and during the process I went back to some old habits too.

Ella Enchanted said...

You are such an amazing person and I know that no matter what happens, you will be successful and you and your husband will/can pull through anything. I am so glad that you are being so forthcoming and honest with your readers about what you have been going through, I have been reading your blog since you started. Online relationships often fill voids that we have in our lives; especially if the person on the other end is very complimentary and attentive to you, areas our partners may be lacking in :) I pray that your readers have an open mind, I admire both your courage and your honesty. As always, you are an inspiring person and I hope this helps your weight loss journey!

NixPix said...

Diana the truth will set you free. I believe that with all my heart. Secrets eat at our heart and soul. They destroy whether it is by bingeing, drinking, drugs....By repenting/confessing/sharing as you have, you will be able to heal. Not that I am judgeing what you did as so awful, but because of what it represents to you. Like someone posted earlier you are not trying to rationalize your actions or condone them. You made a mistake. You made a bad choice, but you are not a bad person. I kept wondering why you continued to binge and hurt yourself. It was as if you were trying to punish yourself. As you opened up and shared last night, it all made sense. I have a feeling if you continue to journal and start focusing on taking care of Diana, treating her kind and lovingly that the weight will start coming off and the bingeing will not be a problem. It is time to move on. You've cleaned the slate. Forgive yourself and take care of Diana. God and those that love you do not want to see you in this pain. Let it go.

Nix Pix said...

P.S. any one that judges you or thinks you are awful is throwing rocks from their glass house.

Carrieheff said...

You are not a bad person. You are a good person who made some bad choices. I totally get everything you wrote. Before I was married, I cheated on every boyfriend I had. I sometimes think I keep the weight on so I won't be tempted to cheat on my husband. I have no desire to, but every marriage goes through rough patches and if I was skinnier and prettier, a guy might notice me and I'd be tempted.
You will get through this and hopefully your marriage will come out stronger. (Has it?)
I think your readers are the last people who should judge you. We all have problems and we all deal with them in different ways. I totally understand what you went through and I'm really in awe of you that you could share so much and be so honest.
On another note, just remember that your online guy is just like everyone else. Since you never actually met him, you may have built him up to be this "perfect" person who is everything you want. You might have been in love with the idea of him (as Dr Phil would say) but in reality, he probably could not have lived up to the idea you had of him. I only say this because you might miss him and still feel sad from time to time about what "might have been." I got dumped by an online guy once who I thought I loved. In reality, he was probably a regular guy cheating on his girlfriend.

~ugly girl with a beautiful heart~ said...

Hey Di, I loves ya.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been following your blog long, but am so impressed with you for THIS post. The honesty is something few people have the courage to do.

I understand using food as a drug, so eating last night makes sense.

I'm so glad to hear you speak of God's forgiveness. The hard part is forgiving yourself. I know you made bad choices, but you are human. I pray that God will provide you peace and a relief from the pain of regret you're feeling.

I hope this post helped heal a piece of you in some way.

Katie J said...

Nothing to add to the wonderful heartfelt comments that you have received already except that we care about you and do not think any less of you because of your transgression.

Please try to forgive yourself. I am trying to do the same for me.


bbubblyb said...

I love your words and the person you are Diana. *hugs*

Anonymous said...

Here you are expecting us to "hate" you because you're not perfect, well geeee, don't you have to be? No. You are human. You made a mistake. Your husband and friend still loves you. Mistakes happen, but you're making it right. One step at a time, one day at a time. As your friend might tell you God loves you in spite of your deep dark secrets. He thinks your terrific and as someone who's been reading your blog for about 6 months, I think so too. If it was the other way around and your friend had strayed this way, you would forgive her and love her, perhaps you can extend the same kindness to yourself. You and your husband are in my prayers. God bless you both. You can put down the food and just breathe. Newsflash: you're not perfect, nobody else is either! You're set free. Very courageous. I'm proud of you.
Love ya,

SeattleRunnerGirl said...

Yowza, this post struck a chord with many of us! I can identify - with being scared to share with people, of wondering HOW you ever let things get to that point. I have friends who, after a long-term UNHEALTHY relationship finally ended, shared that they were happy to have me back. I totally GET how that makes you feel grateful and happy as well as ashamed at the same time.

The good news? There IS forgiveness. God has already forgiven you, Diana. Have you?

Margo said...

You are so brave! Thank you so much for your honesty-I don't think any of us read your blog because we're looking for someone to judge (personally I have enough people to judge in my own mirror!) We read because we like you and can relate to you and because you are open with your struggles. You continue to inspire. And thanks again for the warning about Claim Jumper. xo

Ron said...

You are one of the most honest and open people I know. I respect you for that!!! You are a wonderful person, Don't ever go away, You provide support and motivation and life
lessons that can help so many in ways you will never know.

Jackie Callahan said...

How could anyone hate such honesty?Such heartfelt, self-reflection? In fact, it only makes you more respectable, not less. I love the recovery saying, "we are only as sick as the secrets that we keep", I believe this with all my heart, it has certainly been true in my life: each time I unload some deep, dark truth I am set free, not only because things look less frightening in the light of day, but also because reaching out helps us to be closer to other human beings, and that's where the real healing begins. God Bless!

Kelly! said...

ha! you call me open?!?!? you don't even realize what an amazing person you are. You can't forgive yourself for these past events even though your husband and best friend have. I think youre right, this is a part of your eating problems but one day you'll start forgiving yourself. I mean you posted this online...thats some progress!! But know that no one hates you and we all support your flaws because we all have them <3

Cheryl said...

I am delurking to be able to tell you "no judgements here". This just reinforces to me that everyone has a story, and that life is one hell of a tapestry of experiences. I think your blog is wonderful and I'm pretty sure, without really "knowing" you, that you are as well.

Katie said...

Hey Diana - I haven't been reading your blog long, but I agree with everyone's comments. It took real courage to share this with your readers. I hope that sharing has made you feel somewhat better about the situation. Take care!

antgirl said...

Sorry, I missed this in my drama of last week.

It does not change what I think about you. I don't see you as 'bad'. You made some choices that you regret. I think this kind of explains a few things about why you see yourself so negatively.

Things happen. I think you need to let it go and forgive yourself. What you did does not make you horrible. You're merely human.

I don't feel like I've met a lie at all. I feel now like more understanding has clicked into place.

I agree, the truth will set you free. Does this shed light in your own mind?

Ida said...

Diane, somehow I missed this. I want to share a chapter of my life with you. Could you email me at ibrich at pld dot com. We are more alike than you know. Thanks. Ida

Tay said...

Being emotionally connected, via online, phone calls, little letters, or even with a person you have met, is addictive. It's that feeling of being loved and connected that drives most people through life. There's no shame in wanting that connection. It's just too bad that you found it with a man other than your husband, because you are right, somebody always gets hurt. You're hurting as you try to let go of the connection.

I hope it all works out for you. Just don't beat yourself up. Acknowledge your weaknesses and your mistakes, learn from them and move forward. You can't change the past. You can only change the present and hope for a better future.

big_mummy said...

how could i hate you.... seriously, it happens, and kudos for you working at your marriage and getting through it

Graciela said...

I'm just getting caught up on your recent posts. I completely understand what happened to you here.

I love my husband, but I got caught up in a pretty intense flirtation with a fellow who works in another city. We'd chit chat on the phone or get together for coffee. It was obvious we really liked each other, and we were a big ego boost for each other. He'd tell me how beautiful I was, how smart I was, he'd compliment me on a lot of things, etc. But after while (about a year of this) we decided we were getting too close. We both got scared about losing our marriages and hurting our spouses, so we backed off. Now we still see each other at meetings, and we still meet occasionally for coffee, but we really are just buddies now. I have no regrets, because this experience actually helped me get that "wanderlust" out of my system.

Anyway, I'm glad you shared your story with us. These things do happen. I think it will help you with your food issues. And it's obvious that no one hates you for it. :)