Sunday, April 24, 2011
It should be called: A course in pain
Last night, after my husband was asleep and the house was quiet, I sat down with my book, A Course in Weight Loss. I was determined to tackle chapter one, tearing down the wall. The wall being all the things that are stopping me from losing weight.
With a heavy heart and a feeling of dread, I picked four words that reflected emotions or feelings that I I feel very strongly. I chose the ones that were the most important to me. Ironically, they were the first four words in the list of twenty-six.
My choices were: Shame, Anger, Fear, Unforgiveness.
I sat at my computer and went conscious (versus going unconscious). I wrote out everything I could about those feelings. I cried. I felt sad. I remembered some things about my past that I had forgotten and had put away because they were too painful to deal with. According to lesson one, I need to deal with them now in order to lose weight.
The most powerful emotion in my list is Anger. The anger I hold in my heart stems from something that happened Easter weekend seventeen years ago. It was 1994. My husband and I had been married five and half years. We had married in 1988, the first time for both us, and both of us 33 years old. Both of us were very set in our ways.
Looking from the outside in, we appeared to have same the same values and were very much alike. We seemed perfect for each other. Looking from the inside, we were, and still are, very different.
What happened on Easter weekend in 1994 is a source of great pain for me. My husband left me, for three years. He moved out of our home. He didn't even tell me he was leaving. We hadn't discussed separation or divorce, although we had been arguing continually over everything. He just didn't come home from work on a Friday night, Good Friday 1994.
All weekend I had no idea what had happened to him. This was before cell phones. I found out later he had spent the weekend with a friend, a female that I didn't know. He claimed they were just friends, but after examining our phone records where I saw he had spent hours on the phone with her while I was at work, I was sure they were more than "just" friends.
When he came home early Monday morning, the day after Easter, he said he was moving out. I asked him why, he said he couldn't live with me any longer. It was too stressful, I was too "difficult" to live with and he couldn't talk to me. I asked him where he was going and he simply said he didn't know for sure. I asked if he wanted a divorce, and he said he didn't know.
He came back that evening and packed up his suitcases and left. I remember begging him not to leave me. I asked if we could try marriage counseling. He said no. I asked him how we could work on our problems if we weren't even living together. He simply said he had to leave.
We barely spoke for the next six months. I can't even begin to tell you the pain I went through during those six months. To add insult to injury I was the heaviest I had ever been in my entire life, 200 pounds. During the next year I managed to gain another thirty pounds and my weight shot up to 230. I thought that was probably part of the reason he left me. He was thin, a runner, lifted weights and he was very physically fit. I was fat and forty and now I was alone. I knew I'd be alone the rest of my life.
I remember many nights of weeping, curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor. Dramatic? I guess, but I remember feeling like I was dying of a broken heart.For some reason curling up in a ball on the bathroom floor seemed to calm me. I cried the hardest I had ever cried in my life.
During the three years we were separated I filed for divorce twice. Both times he talked me out of it. Sometimes I wonder how much different both of our lives would be now if I would have followed through on a divorce. Would it be better for both of us, or would it be worse.
The second time I filed for divorce, I was dead set on following through iwth it. We'd been separated three years, and I had lost over 100 pounds. I weighed 126 and was happy and very self-confident. Even though I was 42, I was getting a lot of attention from men. I wanted to date, to fall in love again and live my life, but I was still married. If my husband didn't want me, I wanted a chance to find someone else.
As we sat outside the courtroom for the second time, waiting to go before the judge to tell him that yes, we wanted a divorce, my husband pleaded with me for another chance. He said he could tell I'd changed and he loved me and wanted to make our marriage work. That was August 1997. I thought it was what I wanted at the time. Sometimes, I'm not sure I made the right decision.
I'm still angry at my husband over what happened seventeen years ago. I'm angry not only that he walked out, but I'm angry how he handled it. To this day I can't believe he did something so incredibly cruel and heartless.
We've discussed it over and over, and even though he says he's sorry that I feel this way, he still says he did what he had to do. To this day he denies there was anyone else.
According to lesson one, the last section is called "Reflection and Prayer". Supposedly you hand these problems over to God, and He will help you understand and feel the pain. Once this happens the pain will disappear. I feel the pain, I understand it, now I'm waiting for the "disappear" part.