Once more, with feeling!

So. It’s been a little over a year since I wrote here. It was during my come down off a long sugar bender so that I didn’t want any. Following that, I lost about 30 lbs over the course of a few months, but by the end of winter hit, and then a really rough spring and summer followed, I sit here not having gained it all and a few more back to boot and yet again trying to kick the sugar monkey off my back.

*sigh*

I’ve struggled for so long with this. And so many other things. How to make my life better. How to be happier. How to get fulfillment in my relationships that start well but then get difficult. I know that all things have positive and negative, but there have been some massive relationship issues I’ve faced. Then there’s the work strife, both overall of how do I balance working for a place that might fire me if they learn about the other place I work and the other place I work being a combination of mounting frustration and completely open and accepting. There’s the slow push forward to finally make progress on editing and improving my book and knowing I need to read and write more but finding it hard to get out of my own head, get past the fatigue and lack of inspiration, and just to fight the inertia.

I also want to write more. Dance more. Make love and explore kink and poly more. Make friends. Grow. Buy a new car. Worry about money less. Lose weight and get healthier. It’s all tied together. It’s all wrapped up in this complex game we call life.

Right now, rather than figure it all out, I’m just going to post this as is. A starting point again.

I’m also going to post this here, so I don’t forget: http://www.adiosbarbie.com/2015/08/i-tried-to-have-sex-with-a-porcupine-dodging-the-stigma-of-self-harm/

I didn’t write it but I find it immensely helpful and reassuring.

Here’s to new beginnings.

Oh, I gave up wheat and rice on Wednesday. Gonna be giving up more crap I shouldn’t be eating over the next few months. Trying to do it systematically to let my body adapt as I go. We’ll see how it goes.

Hey, sugar sugar.

It’s been far too long since I’ve written here.  Back in February, a friend mentioned that she missed reading my posts.  That touched me and stayed with me.

Life and my brain have blocked me…until now.   The last two years have been a wild ride.  I’ve gone far afield of much of my bucket list but there’s still been tremendous growth, change, and happiness.

There’s also been some incredibly (though thankfully temporarily) soul-crushing pain, more moving than I wanted to do in the span of two years (the count is up to 5!  Whooooo…..), and a lot of confusion and fear.

Through most of it, with a few months of notable exceptions, I turned to sugar.  It’s not good that I did that, I know.  It should be a giant fucking red flag that a) one’s immediate response to stress is CUPCAKE and b) upon eating that cupcake a palpable, physical feeling of release.  Like, whole body relaxing, unclenching, winding down.  I rarely get a sugar high like I used to when I was a kid.  I get a sugar calm.

Yes.

I know.  This is bad.

(Side story that will totally be in context in a moment.)

I can’t eat Reese’s peanut butter cups (or anything Reese’s).  Not only can I not eat Reese’s ANYTHING, I can not eat chocolate and peanut butter together.  You’re probably all, ¨WHA???¨  And I’m all, ¨INORITE?¨   Here’s what happened, in all the embarrassing glory.

My big sister was selling candy for choir when she was in high school.  I ADORED Reese’s peanut cups.  And suddenly, there were BOXES of them, cases of the best, most magical candy god and man even teamed up to make.  I swear, at that point in my life, I thought unicorns had something to do with their production because there was no way such a delectable candy could only be made by god and man.  All attempts to tell me that these were solely for my sister’s choir to raise money for them to go sing somewhere far away and it was very important that I stay away from the box and if I ate any mom and dad would have to pay for it so ask them first turned quickly into blahblahblahblah because seriously?  THERE WERE CASES OF REESE’S IN MY HOUSE.

Not only would I be the most popular kid in the world, throwing parties like a rap star, eating Reese’s on the deck of the pool while ladies dances around me and fed them to me, but I WOULD BE EATING REESE’S OMGALLTHETIME.

So stupid, stupid seven-year-old me stole a box.  Not only did stupid, stupid seven-year-old me steal a box, but she ate it.  All of it.  In the course of a weekend.

Remember that time a few paragraphs ago when I told you I can’t have chocolate and peanut butter together?  That shit’s been going on for THIRTY FUCKING YEARS now, ever since that wild weekend in the crawl space under my front porch when I was mainlining Reese’s.  And it set something up in me, and here’s where we dovetail back into the original post.

Sometimes, if I want to give up a type of food, I overdose on it and then won’t eat it anymore.  Perfectly healthy, right?

(Please don’t all hit me at once.  I may be a masochist, but I also don’t want to be knocked unconscious.)

Well, over the course of the last two years, I’ve gone in cycles of knowing I need to eat healthier and trying various ways to periods of eating sugar because fuck it, I can’t keep going on this stressed and unhappy and right now is All The Stress.

And sometimes when I try to get over the sugar addiction, I eat a LOT of it and then magically, for a few days or so, I won’t want any. Which is enough momentum to ride through the initial cravings and helped me give up sugar for a little about two months last year.  Go me!

However, it didn’t last.

But it’s entirely possible, and scary if so, that my body has come to a lifelong point of my having eaten far more sugar than I should’ve. Because now?  Now I haven’t binged on anything and I still have to think, HARD, about where to get my sugar fix when things are stressful.  Cupcakes are tasting too sweet.  Candy just makes me nauseous. Ice cream leaves me feeling cold. (HA!  No, but really…) I bought unsweetened yogurt the other day because my body wanted it more than all the other flavors.  So this is just a weird place to be.  Who knows if it’ll last, but I think I’m being told that enough is enough.  It’s time to figure out how to cope with life without sugar. This oughtta be interesting…

“There’s a light in the darkness of everybody’s life.”

When I allow myself to see it, feel it, experience it…I can see that light. It’s just not always easy. Or apparent. Or easy.

On September 15th, just over a month ago, I started streamlining out overt processed sugar from my diet. Within the first two weeks, I had two mixed drinks after a burlesque show packed an unexpected from-left-field emotional whallop, a slice of pie, and a chocolate chip cookie sandwich glitter bomb. (Side note: what the FUCK is up with dousing baked goods in glitter? Why would that make you want to eat it? It makes it look like a prom dress, a burlesquers backside, or five year old’s craft party. Not appetizing. The cookie sandwich, however, tasted amazing. Of course, I was vibrating for about six hours after I ate it…but it’s all good.)

Anyway, I’ve been keeping at it. A few weeks ago, I went to my favorite bakery because they just so happen to have the best quiche I’ve ever had in my life. I got some delicious cajun quiche for lunch and walked out without a single craving for a cupcake, cookie, or baked anything. The one time I did get a morning glory muffin (when I went back the following week for my once a week treat-quiche) someone in my house ate it before I could. 😦 Sad. It was sweetened with honey, and had no gluten. I think whomever ate probably didn’t get what they were expecting. The treat-quiches have stopped. Didn’t go this week or last week because I can’t afford it now that I have my own place. Which I am slowly getting more excited about and used to. My landlord/roommate keeps to himself mostly, goes out of town every other weekend, and has been fairly nice lending me a mini fridge, a/c (which, yes, I’m still using knee deep into Oct-fucking-tober…), and tiny TV. Sometime this week, he’s gonna put a loveseat up here so I have somewhere besides my bed to sit.

Part of me is now wishing I hadn’t left so much behind with my divorce from my husband and wife. Things like a toaster oven or microwave (that my family bought for us as wedding presents, I might add) would be nice right now. It’s stupid, but I really miss the balloon wine glasses we got as an engagement present. They were so round. The Kitchen Aid Mixer. That I REALLY miss. The food processor. The crock pot. It’s funny what a difference those things would make to me now. And how, last week, I found myself in Walmart, walking by the housewares section going, “I used to have that and man I wish I still did…and that, and that…” It was a sad time. Having my period a week early also threw me into an emotional tizzy. Now that that’s past and my hormones are more orderly, part of me still misses those things but recognizes the ability and opportunity to start over. It’ll take some time. Especially on my current salary. Working three part time jobs still only makes just enough to pay rent and have $40 a week for food and $40 a week for gas. Not a lot of wiggle room to get things like crockpots or microwaves. But! My sister has a microwave she got that she’s going to give me. And not having a lot of money means I can’t buy a lot of food which means I can’t -eat- a lot of food. The upside to that? I’m down 15 pounds since July 2013 and a grand total of 24 pounds since November 2012. (And I’ll admit it..technically, it’s close to 30 pounds since April 2013…between March and April of 2013, I put on a bit in a short time.) The part I’m happiest is that it’s been consistently going down. Sure I have spurts here and there where it bounces a few pounds up. But then it evens out and drops again. It helps that I work out at least 4 hours a week. And I’m drinking more water.

This is going all over the place but mostly I just want to record the fact that I’m gradually losing weight, feeling better, and am finding the light in my life. And that I’m lucky to have some incredible people on the journey with me to point me towards the light when I’ve lost my way in the darkness.

Going everywhere and nowhere at once.

With the awesome help of my sister, I finally found a place to live. It’s a room in a recently divorced dad’s house. Fairly large, private bath, all utilities included. I start moving today.

I should be more excited.

It’s not that I’m not relieved that this came up so serendipitously. I am. But. It’s all happening very fast. I emailed on Saturday. Saw it, agreed to take it, dropped off paint so my new roommate/landlord could paint it on Sunday. Picked up the key and dropped off the first month’s rent on Tuesday. Starting to move today.

As I said last night to my husband, this is the first time (save for a week and a half twelve years ago) I’ve ever lived with someone I don’t know. Ever. So there’s that.

There’s also the fact that I still don’t think I can be fully me there.

And then there’s the thing that hit me as I was packing up this morning.

This all is just a constant reminder of why I’m here in the first place. And it makes it hurt all over again, almost fresh. I had gotten to the point where talking about it didn’t hurt much anymore, and I could say her name without wanting to puke. But now, packing everything, it reminds me of the last time I put things in bags. Heart blown apart with betrayal, but functioning in numb auto pilot. Preparing to get the fuck away from it and not be hurt again. Anger simmering somewhere beneath the surface but too afraid to look at it.

Just keep moving forward. Just keep going. Just get out.

I was in the middle of doing laundry when I found out. Our laundry. The sheets from what had become our marital bed. I wanted to cut them into strips. Set them on fire. Leave them out on the lawn and uproot a tree and just set the dirt ball on top. Some kind of physical representation of what it felt like he’d done to my heart. Our marriage.

Instead, I folded them. I folded his clothes, too. I piled them on the bed and got my shit together and left.

It may be part of my PTSD kicking in, or hormones, or just the overwhelmingness of the whole damn situation, or maybe all of the above. All I know is it feels like I just found out all over again. Except this time, I’m letting myself feel it, sob about it, grieve.

When I found out in April, something in my brain shut off emotion. Yes, I had glimpses of anger and grief, but they continually got overrode by auto pilot. Don’t feel. Just do. I talked to my sister before she had an interview for a job she wanted. I couldn’t break down on the phone with her while she was going into the interview. So I auto piloted it. I called my brother-in-law to ask if I could come back and explained the situation. I couldn’t lose it on the phone with him; he was at work. I just kept it together. I just kept going. I felt numb and removed from myself talking to my husband that night. Piecing things together. Getting confirmation. Hearing the pain and anger in his voice.

And telling our girlfriend. Leaving her, too. Knowing I was too broken deal with any relationship. The lack of trust I felt in just about the entire world was staggering. I’ve never been like that. Well, that’s not entirely true. I haven’t been like that in decades. I have had what others have called a sunny personality, but when I was younger, it was an act. Even wrote a song about it. Now, I try to believe the best in people, not feed into the negative. I don’t watch the news. Yes, I know there are murders, kidnapping, pedophiles, rapists, and all manner of other sick, shitty people out there. I try to focus on the good. I spent too much time growing up being afraid. Shutting out the bad, you actually wind up shutting out the good as well. I learned that the hard way. So I gradually opened up. Accepting the light and dark in humanity, even myself. But when smacked directly with the dark, I had a lesson in the practical application of the light and dark we all carry. And I didn’t know how to process it besides self-preservation. Get to higher ground where you can be safe. So I headed to the place where I’d had the closest thing to stability I’ve had in years. And here I am now. Reminded that the place I came back to isn’t mine anymore. Because I chose to leave. Coming back, I knew my time here was limited. My sister says this will always be home if I need it, but…it can’t be. There’s no place for me anymore. So I’m moving out on my own. Except I don’t fucking want to be on my own, really. Yes, it’s nice to think about how to decorate a space that’s wholly mine, since I’ve never had that. Yes, it’s great that I’m getting some independence. Yes, it’s wonderful that I found what seems to be a clean, safe place to live.

Someone dear to me recently said that he found it surprising that I was able to talk about burlesque. Given that I’d put years of my life into it, and the way I left was wrapped up in complicated, he expected it to be complex, at best, to talk about. When really, it’s not. I miss the people. I miss the performing. I miss the preparation. But it’s not…I had already been gearing up to phase more towards becoming a mother. I was preparing for it long before it happened. When it did, it sucked that it was at the same time as finding out about my husband, but it wasn’t really that which made me make the decision. It contributed, don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t planning to leave until I seriously was planning to get or actually got pregnant.

Why do I bring this up in the middle of everything?

Because yes, decorating, independence, and clean, safe places to live are things worthy of celebration. But that independence? Sure, it’s great to push out on my own and all…but I just…don’t want it. I want to be married, dammit. I want children. A family. A unit. To be part of, belong to, feel connected to. This is what I’ve been working towards. What I’ve been hoping and praying for.

I know I can’t have it now. I know this is, though it may not feel like it now, moving forward. I know and have been told that that there is time for children, a house, a solid marriage. It’s entirely possible that my husband and I will come through this and be more solid for it. As evidenced by referencing talking to him above, we are talking regularly now. There are seeds of hope. I don’t know what that means for the future, but it’s where we are now. Seems to be a theme. I don’t know what this means for the future, but it’s where I am now. Since that’s really all I can control, I guess I have to work with what I’ve got and go pack summore stuff.

Home?

It would be nice to find mine.

I gave up the one I had created for what I thought was a better opportunity…love, a bright and shining future. Sure, there were going to be some difficulties. I never expected the path to just be perfect. But things…started going wrong. There were debts I didn’t know about, financial issues that I again didn’t know about, I had trouble finding a job, the landlord responded to the debt by leaving his wife at the house when he was supposed to help her move in with him to another state. And there was the fact that I had about a cubic foot of space for all my stuff in the time I was there. Most of my things stayed packed in my car until my husband took them out in a panic one night, as I was on my way to meet friends. So they got brought down to a basement to stay packed there. Then I found out about the cheating. And everything in me broke. I guess it was lucky that it took less than 30 minutes to pack what wasn’t already packed, no more than an hour to load my car up and leave.

And I came back to the closest thing to a home I’d had in, well, years. Because even in what was supposed to be my apartment that I shared with my now exhusband and exwife, the last few years especially…it became less and less mine. Gothic horror art was going up. I wanted to downsize and they kept collecting books and DVDs. For these and other reasons, I felt like I was being edged out.

So I came down South to start over. My sister made me a wonderful offer of a finished basement. I was starting to decorate. I had my stuff unpacked. And then I made the decision to move. After trying to convince my soon-to-be husband to move down here, where it would be relatively free to live and go to school, he said he wanted to stay. So I went. So hopeful. So much in love.

Coming back, I found that my niece had moved into the basement, her sister and husband had moved into her room, their son had moved into their room and…that was all the rooms. All taken. The first few weeks I was here, before my niece left for a part-year job in Alaska, I slept on the couch or in a twin bed in my two and four year old great-nieces’ room. My bed I had left down in the basement until I could come get it. Which was where my niece was living. She left about two weeks after I got back, so I could then move down to the basement. The first few nights were like heaven. I had my bed back. Sleep came almost naturally. I’ve been down here for nearly five months and now she’s coming home. And we’re trying to figure out where to put me.

No matter where I go, I’m displacing someone. Or inconveniencing someone. No matter where I go, it’s not mine. I won’t be able to unpack my boxes. All of my stuff’s scattered…some is in the garage, some is in this closet, some in the attic. I know they’re just things, but…damnit, they’re my things. The only place I feel completely at home, and have for the past few years, is my car. It’s the only space where I can go that’s mine. I thought of going back to my dad’s, but a) I don’t know if he’d have me and b) it’s not like it’s a perfect solution. I’d be leaving my sister and her family, the gorgeous lake, the church and choir, the Y (which, besides my sister is the biggest thing for me, since they are paying me to exercise and I need that activity.) and some good friends I’ve made here. But I’d be going back to a place where I have many friends and some family, my childhood home, which there are two rooms that are just mine. I’d be able to take care of clearing out the clutter of my old life, my childhood, and physically moving on from it which I’ve been needing to do for a while. I’d be back in a place where I felt comfortable in my bones.

But is comfort the key? What makes a home? What brings that feeling? For me, it’s somewhere, a bit of space where I can be me. Completely me. Decorate the way I want to, put things where I want them to go, inhabit the space how I see fit. I haven’t been that free, that expressive, that confident in years. I don’t even remember the last time it was. Probably the last time I lived at my dad’s. I was starting to get it here, before I had to go and screw everything up. But even then, I was still staying in a space that predominantly my sister’s. Now I’m staying in a space that’s my sister’s but my niece moved in on top of that, and then I moved in on top of that.

Goal: I’d really like to find myself a place to call home.

“I’m not an addict. (Maybe that’s a lie.)”

So, what do you do when you wake up in the middle of the night, worrying about where you’ll be sleeping in a month, concerned that you don’t make enough money to move out on your own, plagued with conflicting thoughts about your marriage and what to do about it, reeling from family opinions telling you you’re not mature enough, berating yourself for not doing more than you are even though you’ve pretty much packed your schedule tighter than a duck’s ass, still mourning the loss of people you love and thought would be in your life forever, head swimming from the sermon your minister gave today about how fragmented we’ve become, wondering if you’ll ever find a place where you felt like you fit in as much as you did when you first found Rocky Horror or started a burlesque troupe, missing the Northeast yet feeling a slow, spreading love for the South, questioning your ever-evolving ideas about polyamory vs. monogamy vs. open relationships vs. dear-god-please-just-hold-me? Wait…you don’t eat half a bag of Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips? But…

It’s not a habit, it’s cool; I feel alive.
If you don’t have it you’re on the other side.
I’m not an addict. (Maybe that’s a lie.)

It’s over now, I’m cold, alone.
I’m just a person on my own.
-“Not An Addict” by K’s Choice

Yeah. I’m totally an addict. A sugar addict. I fought the label for years. Justified it. Hid it. Beat myself up over it. Lied about it. Spent money I didn’t have to get a “fix”. However, comparatively speaking, it is cheaper (in the short run) than antidepressants.

Sometimes, I don’t even realize I’m addicted because there used to be such a steady stream of sugar into my system that I didn’t pay much attention to it. That’s just the way it was. Grab a doughnut (or two, if you order the special at Dunkin’…plus coffee, light and sweet) for breakfast (because eating something is better than eating nothing, right? Justification much? Anyway.). Have a soda with lunch. Pile on the salad dressing. Eat some cookies as a snack. Dip (and dip and dip and dippity dip) the chicken in BBQ sauce for dinner. Nom upon a cupcake for dessert. Enjoy girly “adult beverages” while late night TV-bonding with your sister. There was a time this was a pretty accurate snapshot of my daily sugar intake.

Currently, I don’t do nearly as much of these things on a daily basis. I’ve weaned myself off soda and sweet tea, and rarely do coffee drinks anymore. I try to steer away from doughnuts for breakfast even though my niece is a terrible, horrible person for telling me about the local place that makes them just like Krispy Kreme. I have an “adult beverage” 1-2 nights per week. I tend to enjoy my salads with far less dressing these days, and most times will do the “dip the fork in the dressing then spear pieces of veggies” rather than slather.

Modifications are good. That and the 4-5 paid hours of exercise a week I get these days have helped save me from ballooning to an even unhealthier weight. But let’s face it. I’m already at an unhealthy weight. Sure, some of the things I’ve told people over the years are perfectly true. When I was younger, I was in tap, jazz, ballet, gymnastics, musical theatre, and modern dance. Not to mention the fact that I rode my bike or roller skated everywhere and if I wasn’t doing that, I could usually be found at the park running around or in my or a friend’s pool. I was hella active and as such, I’m much more limber and strong than I look. I still dance and love to teach water aerobics and can kick ass when taking an aqua zumba class. On the rare occasion that someone wants to know my weight (and I tell them), they are generally surprised. They knew, of course, that I am overweight. They just didn’t think it was that much. Someone once told me that I carried myself so well that no one would ever know I had self esteem issues about my body, nor what I really weighed.

It’s great to know glamour spells still work sometimes.

Underneath it? Fairly toned, fairly strong (and getting stronger every time I work out), fairly obese, fairly addicted to sugar to even me out. Fairly scared to show my naked body to anyone. In the past, people I thought were supposed to love me and accept me said some fairly hurtful things about my body. That’s hard to get past. Even as I know there are people who’ve expressed appreciation for my body, ranging from my husband to the date I had who wanted to know my thoughts on going to a nude beach (My answer: not favorable, thanks. I mean, I don’t have a problem with other people being nude, I just don’t have enough self confidence in my own body to do it. Also? I hate beaches in general. Now skinny dipping in a pool with the right people…I might could get my head around that some day. But I digress.)

As I’ve said above, I’ve tried to gradually decrease my sugar intake, especially as I’ve been doing more research and reading lately (including starting to read the book called Deep Nutrition: Why Our Genes Need Traditional Food by Catharine Shanaham, M.D. and Luke Shanahan that a dear friend bought me a few months ago) about sugar and healthier diets.

Speaking of, how’s this for mind-blowing? As a woman, I’m supposed to only have up to 25g of sugar a day. That’s 6 teaspoons. The bag of chocolate chips I’m all-too-quickly making my bitch? 220g of sugar per bag. If I’ve eaten half of it (Fine. More than half by now. Shut the fuck up.), that’s at least 110g of sugar just for that one snack. FOUR TIMES the amount I should have. And that’s not counting the mostly healthy fruit smoothie I had (because natural sugars count, too), the salad dressing I had on my chef’s salad for dinner, or the cherry lemonade I had with lunch.

Seriously, my name is Genevieve and I’m a sugar addict.

One of my favorite authors said in her book Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie Is Not the Answer:

“To whom the fat rolls…I’m tired of books where a self-loathing heroine is teased to the point where she starves herself skinny in hopes of a fabulous new life. And I hate the message that women can’t possibly be happy until we all fit into our skinny jeans. I don’t find these stories uplifting; they make me want to hug these women and take them out for fizzy champagne drinks and cheesecake and explain to them that until they figure out their insides, their outsides don’t matter. Unfortunately, being overweight isn’t simply a societal issue that can be fixed with a dose healthy of positive self-esteem. It’s a health matter, and here on the eve of my fortieth year, I’ve learned I have to make changes so I don’t, you know, die. Because what good is finally being able to afford a pedicure if I lose a foot to adult onset diabetes?” -Jen Lancaster (last sentence emphasis is mine.)

I closer to 40 than 30 these days, and while I can barely afford to keep myself afloat without living on my own so I definitely can’t afford a pedicure (although I never thought I’d like them as much as it turns out I do!), I still need to worry about losing limbs to adult onset diabetus. (Which, btw, I used to think was just a comical way of saying it but living in the South I’ve learned that people really pronounce it that way.)

Because really…I’m addicted. I get shakey when I haven’t had sugar in a few hours. I physically and emotionally relax when I eat chocolately goodness. Within the first bite. It doesn’t matter how much I love vegetables and fruit if I eat more sugar than I do fruits and veggies. If I eschew an apple in favor of a brownie sandwich at Taco Bell. If I almost finish an entire fucking bag of chocolate chips in a 12 hour period.

Thankfully, I know what I need to do. I’ve done it before. Quite simply, stop. Cease eating processed sugar in the obvious snack/drink/dessert forms. Then start cutting out the hidden sugars like sauces/dressings/prepared foods/white starches and carbs. It’s going to be hard. Especially living where I do. I love my sister’s house, but there are at least 4 different kinds of white bread in the house at all times, not to mention the adult beverages, ready supply of chocolate, clearance baked goods, pasta, and impressive array of delicious sauces. Yes, I recognize these things as the excuses they are. No one is force feeding me any of these things. However, it is a slightly easier to begin a new dietary regime when the people around you do as well to limit temptation. But again, that doesn’t make the poor choices I’ve been making anyone’s fault but my own. There was part of me that was waiting until I moved out to really attack my addiction head on. I had dreams of leafy greens and bowls of fruit, nary a processed granule of sugar anywhere in the vicinity of my enlightened abode. Which basically boils down to buying into the “Arrival Syndrome” of “I’ll be able to do this once all the conditions are right. I’ll be happier and healthier when things are exactly as I want them, some time in the nebulous future.” Bullshit. If I’m going to make it happen, I need to just fucking make it happen. I’ve got to learn how to handle myself when it seems like everyone in a ten foot radius of me is mainlining sugar. How to make healthier choices regularly, instinctively and not just after a binge. How to put on my healthy girl panties and stop letting “well, my family made pasta for dinner so I just have to eat that” be an excuse and cook my own damn food if I need to. (And suck it up and deal with the fact that yes, I’m creating more dishes for myself. Bright side: whooo, more standing and movement is better than sitting on my ass!)

So it’s going to come down to picking a day and just doing it. Like I said, I’ve done it before. On October 1st, 2010 I threw myself into paleo. Gave up sugar (except for a once a week “treat”) and cut wheat from my diet. I did it successfully for many months and lost a little bit of weight. Not nearly as much as I thought I would’ve, though. I have to keep in mind that I’m also fighting with my thyroid and PCOS. But those can’t be used as excuses for why I can’t get healthier. They need to be further incentives.

I know it’s coming soon. It has to. Because there are things I want to do that I can’t right now: jump into the arms of someone I love and wrap my legs around his/her waist, be fucked up against a wall, shop in “normal” stores where clothes are less expensive, and be a good role model for the kids I still distantly hope to have one day. Also, at some point, I will be able to afford (or be treated to) pedicures regularly, and goddamnit, I want to have both my feet so I can get both of ’em painted up pretty.

Okay. Fine. Saying it’s coming soon isn’t changing anything. Saying I have to isn’t doing it. So. September 15th, 2013. That is the day. I will change my life, my eating habits, and make consistently healthier choices. It’s about fucking time to, once again, Go For It, Genevieve.

“Can the child within my heart rise above?”

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

It was pointed out to me that everyone I’ve expressed interest in or who has expressed interest in me, relationship/dating-wise, lives about 1,000 miles away.  A very astute observation.  The same person also pointed out that I’m where I need to be.  Another astute observation.  However, the latter was actually made before the former, so I’m not sure if that denotes a subtle shift in opinion regarding where he thinks I belong or not.

Yes, the people I actively have feelings for all live 1,000 or so miles away from me.  Which is probably for the best.  Because right now?  Not a good time for me to be a in a relationship.  I feel too weak, too damaged, to scared, and honestly too ambivalent (on some days) to be a good partner.  My baggage is poorly packed, my heart is making a bloody mess on my sleeve, and I’m not at home in myself anymore.  Not a good partner in any shape or form.

My minister, when I first went to see him a few times before I had a therapist, asked me what in me makes me think I deserve to be treated the way I have been.  He recommended that I read Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood by Wayne Muller.  To be frank, while I did plan to give it a look over, I really thought I had healed from the shitty childhood I had and wasn’t expecting much beyond blaming and shaming poor parenting, and really, I’m just done with that.  I’d had the requisite years of therapy, some stellar and some sucktastic.  I am (mostly) able to write about painful things in my past without breaking down.  Talking about horrendous episodes had gotten much easier.  I was fine.  I AM fine.

FINE.

Then I started reading the book.

You know what really sucks?  When you’re not as fine as you really want to believe you are.  Not nearly as fine as you think you should be after all this damn time.  That some scars may’ve stopped hurting but that’s not because they’ve healed but because they’re kind of numb.

It also really sucks when you read a book that exposes the coping mechanisms you’ve gotten so good at they almost felt like they were just normal, healthy parts of living, all the empty spots that you’ve tried to fill in various ways unsuccessfully, and those myriad ways you feel inept, unwelcome, and unworthy:

“When we doubt our own belonging, we grow desperate, and we learn to grab almost anything – a job, a sexual partner, a lifestyle – and make that our place of belonging. In our desperation we lose both our serenity and our sensitivity to the needs of others. If I need your company to feel that I belong, then I am more concerned with how I impress you than I am with your particular needs and desires. You become merely a vehicle for my belonging, an agent to my comfort, no longer [someone] with your own hopes and dreams. As I approach you, it is not you that I touch, it is my own desperation.”

And it’s simply amazing how painful things that happened long ago can translate into adult lives:

“When we are convinced how little is a available for us, we feel confused about how much is enough.  How much can we ask for, what can we hope for?  When we resign ourselves to a life where love and joy will never come in abundance, we reduce the depth and breadth of what is possible for us,  making our lives small and sparse.  ‘Ask and you shall receive’ rings hollow in the heart that has grown to expect less and less.  There will never be enough for us; why bother asking at all?”

These passages both hit me like a hot pink brick truck.  I’m too desperate, hungry, and raw to be a good partner.  I’ll either wind up giving everything (or simply more than I should) away again, trying frantically to phoenix my way through it, and be left wondering why I’ve been reduced to a smoldering pile of ashes, or I’ll go in selfishly, aggressively trying to get everything I hadn’t gotten in the past, ruthlessly making demands, and being disappointed at the inevitable shortfall and fallout.  I have things I need to sort out, one of which is not being afraid to ask for what I want.  Yet also finding a balance between my desires and those of a partner.  There’s so much that goes into maintaining a relationship that right now, the thought of doing it again exhausts me.  Of course, I just have to think about a hug, a look, a tone of voice, a gentle surprise, a touch and I’m reminded of why it’s all worth it…once I get my head and heart back on straight.