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I’m a Binge Eater

I’ve written about the night my daughter died. I’ve gone on and on about my depression battles. I’ve even written about a suicide attempt. Yet this is the most difficult post I’ve ever written. Because I’ve never told anyone. I just made the connection a few weeks ago. My “aha” moment, Oprah would say.

And Oprah could probably relate.

Deep breath.

I’m a binge eater.

I’ve never typed those words, or even thought about telling anyone.

I’m ashamed. The stigmas attached to this disorder, painful. I’m the fat girl. The one you judge. The one you think should “just go on a diet.”

I used to lie to myself. Tell myself excuse after excuse. For a while, I went to the other extreme. I stopped eating for over a year, and the weight fell off. I became so sick. I was “normal” weight for probably under a year.

When my daughter died, the weight gain was so fast. I told people this or that. I lied to them and lied to myself.

The truth is I’m overweight because I eat an outrageous amount of food when I’m sad. I eat too much.
I’m so ashamed. I’m ready to get rid of that shame. I’m ready to eat like a normal person. I’m ready for my husband to not ask “Is the ice cream all gone?” or “Did you eat all the XXX?” He means no harm, but I feel so bad when he asks. I feel like a fat ass.

I think coming to this realization is important. I think it will be key to changing this. It’s not going to be easy though, The Band, not easy at all.

I’m scared to hit publish. I don’t know if I should do it anonymously or not.

I’m scared people will think of me differently.

I know that coming out about this publicly will mean that I’m fully ready to admit to being a binge eater.

I just don’t know that I’m ready. I can continue to deny and go on eating to provide comfort if I publish this anonymously. Or if I publish as me, it will be the catalyst to change. I know that from my experience with other demons. I need to own this as both part of me and something beyond my control.

I’m a binge eater.

A letter I Can’t Send

Dear Dad,

It’s been almost three years since you died. I miss you. Until you died, I can honestly say that I did not carry around much regret, but since you passed I have one big regret. I am so sorry that I could not take better care of you in your old age, when your health was failing. None of us realized how bad you had gotten and I thought you had more time left.

See, you came to visit me for two weeks. Shortly after I left my job to stay at home full time with my then one year old daughter, I had hoped that the visit would go well. We even toured a senior care home that was so nice and I knew we all liked it. But having you here for two weeks was hard. And we found out that since you had a felony on your record, you would not be eligible to live in a nice senior care facility, even though it was so long ago. I was barely keeping it together with my own family. I had been dealing with postpartum anxiety (though I didn’t know what that was at the time), we had just switched to one income, and I was an emotional wreck. I didn’t know that would be the last time I would see you.

When you stayed with us, you were scared to do simple things on your own, like changing the toilet paper roll or putting food on your own dinner plate. It also seemed like many of the usual social graces people use escaped you as I had to remind you of things like using a napkin. We thought you had been spending too much time alone. I knew being in new environments was stressful for you. I panicked when you told me you were starting new medication a few days into the trip. I was afraid that there would be a lag-time until the new meds kicked in and that you might have a manic episode. I was scared, and overwhelmed, and grumpy. Although I had always wanted to take of you, I was afraid of exposing my husband and daughter to your psychotic episodes and just could not handle taking care of you in my home.

After your next breakdown, you went to live with my brother in LA. It was hard to tell over the phone, but he said that you didn’t come back to normal after that one. I know you hated living in the city & in a noisy house with no where to walk to. We didn’t understand why your psychiatrist kept taking you off of your medications, without talking with any of us. I am sad that you died so soon, but I am beyond infuriated with the mental health care system and the shit they put you through all those years. That time, your case workers finally talked you into checking into the behavioral health center, but it was set up for short term care. Your psychatrist took you off of all your psych meds, so the hospital didn’t give you any & you were completely out of it. When I tried to talk to you on the phone you put the receiver inside your mouth. It was impossible to have a conversation. They put you in a wheel chair because you kept falling down. They couldn’t send you home & there were no long term care facilities available for you to go to. We finally fought for you to go to a medical rehab place and argued with them long enough to have you (finally) evaluated by a psychiatrist…which took two weeks. They put you back on psych meds and you improved enough for J to take you home.

But you weren’t all the way better and you had a hard time adjusting to J’s house. He managed to get you into a retirement home that didn’t do a comprehensive background check. When you became agitated and confused again, we thought it was related to your mental health, so J took you to a nearby emergency psychiatric hospital. The doctors there didn’t know you. He waited with you all damn day and they couldn’t tell him how long it would be to get you in to see a doctor. They told him the only way to get you seen was to have you brought in by police. So he called the police, explained the situation and a very understanding cop escorted you in the back of a police car to the hospital. It breaks my heart that he had to put handcuffs on you to walk you into the hospital “in custody.” They explained to you that you hadn’t done anything wrong, but didn’t think you really understood. After all of your experiences,I know that was scary for you and I feel horrible that they had to do that to get you into a doctor. Horrible and pissed beyond belief at this fucked up mental health system that would put a 72 year old man with severe mental health issues though that just to get fucking treated by a doctor. Anyway, it seems like we should have been taking you to a medical doctor, because you died within hours of being checked in. Supposedly they gave you a physical exam, then something to help you sleep because you were tired. When the nurse checked on you 15 minutes later, you were gone.

My other regret is that you had to deal with a system that was so incompetent and frustrating to deal with. That your health care added to the hardships that you faced in life & that I wasn’t a better advocate for your care during your life. I love you and I miss you, and I am glad that you are no longer suffering.

My Situation Does Not Define Me

I’m so glad I found this place.

I was feeling so alone. I freeze when I meet people I don’t know. My parents have messed me up big time. My mother, who I no longer have anything to do with, is a bisexual, bipolar mess. My father is an alcoholic who gets in touch to ease his own conscience. I’ve been doing it alone for years. Some days, I am strong for my two girls; others I’m a mess and feel like a failure who yells.

My brother, who is now disabled after being attacked in jail, cannot speak: he can only say yes and no. My mother decided to kill him “for his own good,” or so she says. Her only punishment was home detention and supervision.

I’m getting off track….

I feel I’m the only sane one in a big storm that’s only just starting to subside. I get lost in the mess or drama at times. I am more than that. I am not just a product of two alcoholic parents. I am my own person. I am a young woman who has endured too much in her short life. I want to be free of it all. I keep myself going by keeping busy with cleaning, gardening…I’m an artist who has an opinion.

I want to say to anyone out there who has a messed up family life that you are not alone: it does get better. Your situation does not make you who you are. I would love to talk to anyone who feels the same in this life. Please
feel free to share, too.

Left Fielder Not Taking it So Well…

So, let’s talk about my youngest.  He is one of the sweetest most loving caring kids you will ever meet.  He has autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression, asthma, and EDS. EDS Elhers Danlos Syndrome.  It’s a connective tissue disorder.  It sucks.  I have it also and right now we are both having major pain flares.

Readers Digest version: last Wednesday, I think it was, my husband and I and our youngest went to our foot doctor because my feet are horrible, my husband’s are from the army and back in December, my son fell and sprained his ankle, and we thought he was ok but he was still limping.  With EDS, you do not walk it off, and I have two surgeries on my feet to prove that.

So, the doctor gets x-rays, and comes and gets my husband and me to come look at them.  She points at a spot on his ankle and says, “I don’t know what that is, I don’t like it.  I want an MRI immediately!”

Ok, so I’m freaking out inside.  She puts my son in a walking boot and he’s fine; he’s none the wiser. He walks with a cane daily because his knees are really bad.

So, we learn it could be dead bone, dead connective tissue, the C word, malformed bone or connective tissue and I forget what else.  He will probably need surgery.  I’m not handling this well at all.  He’s my baby and I know he hurts because I gave him the blasted syndrome.

The “immediately” is not happening because apparently it’s a special kind and even though my son has 3 insurances, they have to sign off first. I’m just beside myself.  My anxiety is not happy.  Thank god for happy pills. Any suggestions on how not to obsess?