Monday, September 19, 2011

Filling in some gaps...(a family history lesson)


This post is of a very personal nature.  If you feel you cannot handle it, please feel free to move on and there'll be no hard feelings.  Of this I promise.  However, please note, this is why comments are monitored/screened before being posted.  Any one that feels the need to be hateful or hurtful in leaving their comments they can just go ahead and click the little red x up at the top right hand side of your screen now.

Thank you.

Yesterdays post was to explain some of my self loathing.  How it came to be that I let food be my source of comfort.  How it is now that I have to look at it as a means to fuel my body and to some extent as a poison.  Given what it can do to me, food isn't always a good thing, what it has done to my health and where I'm trying to recover from it is a long arduous process. 

It's only now that as an adult I can look back and see where a lot of my poor eating habits began.  I'm not blaming any one person.  After all, no one held the fork to my mouth and the gun to my head.  It's with open eyes and a clear head and a mended heart I can look back on all the self destruction and see where I fell short and did so much damage to myself in an effort to soothe a broken soul.

When you're 7, 8 years old and moving into a new neighborhood and you're the new kid on the block and don't know anyone, you are the kid that is going to walk around with that bulls eye on your back.  I didn't know I had it there, but it was there none the less.  (Due to all the moving and evictions/homelessness, there are few pictures of me at this age but I'm certain I don't look much different than the picture I posted yesterday, where I'm approximately 4 or 5 years old)  As you can see, I was a normal kid.  Maybe even a wee bit on the scrawny side.  At that time, it was about the time my parents had just split up, the barnacle living on her own for the first time in her life.  She'd gone from her parents house to the Army to her first husband's home then to be divorced, then to live with my dad, and now, here we are.  At 32/33 years old, she had no clue what she was doing.  (Probably explains why now at 71, she acts the way she does.)  It was then that I started spending the weekends with my grandparents who were the barnacles mother and step-father.  That's when I learned a different means to showing you loved someone. 

Grandma would fix dinner and if there were just the slightest little bit left over, "oh you get that last little bit and eat it so I don't have to wrap it up and put it in the fridge" was usually what I would hear.  Every meal, every time.  If she made something that I refused to eat, instead of me going hungry (which let's face it, most kids wouldn't hurt them to learn to suffer through a meal or two...after all liver is so good for you) my grandmother would go to KFC for my dinner.  There were only two meals I refused to eat, liver & onions and beans & ham hocks (with them being "country folk" they ate it a lot) .   **please ignore any gagging sounds you may hear**

While grandma was showing me she loved me, her second husband was too.  Since they had gotten married many many years before I was born, he'd always been there.  He was always my "grandfather".  It was, what it was.  It wasn't until I was about 12 or so when I realized that grandpa's just aren't supposed to show they love their granddaughters they love them like that.  I stood up to him and that was the end of it.  Grandma caught him once, beat the ever loving shit out of him.  Yet she never left him for it.  She was of that generation where you stood by your man no matter what.

Many years later I confronted both of them.  In their way they both sought forgiveness.  I forgave.

If I hadn't, wouldn't I be no better than him when he was committing his sin?

When my father came back into the picture and stirred up the self loathing just a bit more, at that time I didn't know or realize that I even was capable of loathing myself, I just took it for what it was.  Just one more way that the men in my life told me they cared about me.  The Wonder One was the exception to that rule.  Thankfully.  I'd probably be insane by now otherwise, lol.  That's one of the reasons he is my Wonder One, in spite of all of this, he loves me anyway.

I did get to spend time with my father and get to know him some.  When I wanted to go to nursing school he told someone "I don't know why she's pursuing this, she never finishes what she starts."   I did have to drop out of nursing school the first time around because he died.  He died from a massive heart attack two days before my birthday, a week into school. Funny part in all this is, I didn't know he said that until graduation day when I went back and finished nursing school the second time around.  At my commencement ceremony I took part and gave a speech about the lighting of the lamp of knowledge and Florence Nightingale. 

My only regret was that he wasn't there to see me finish.

That's why all of this is so important to me, getting the weight off (so I can get healthy...he was 52 when he died, I'm only 45 I don't want to go out that way), figuring out how and why I got to be this big...get rid of the mental baggage as it were so that I won't put the weight back on (hence the blog)....and hopefully in the end, if I can help someone else through my process with theirs, then I've done my job not once, but twice.

I share this with you, not because it's some sort of big deal, because it's not, there are people who've been through worse, but because you too may have been through your share of shit and think that you're the only one.  I'm here to tell you, you aren't.  The one thing I've had to learn in all this is to let it all go and stay in the past instead of follow me about and hang on my neck like a huge weight.  If I don't shed this self loathing and guilt for self perceived things I've done wrong, when will I be able to get things right?  At some point it's all got to go.

Right now, oddly enough, I've got to go, I've got to go eat, I've spent the morning writing this and now I'm starving!

Talk soon!

Hugs & Toodles


  1. Shannon - your dad was using "projection". HE couldn't finish anything, not you. A dad's job is not finished at the age of 6yrs or so. Your mom sounds like she has some pathology - NPD? Birds of a feather flock together - neither one was healthy...but you seem to come out of this family looking for answers, and I think you'll find them. Self-loathing is what kids do when they blame themselves for how the "adults" act. My guess is it is untapped anger, and sadness at how you were treated. xo

  2. I don't know who Anonymous is (I guess that's the point) but they nailed it, even though I also don't know what NPD stands for. Just be strong and keep going. I'd like you to shed the self loathing and guilt so that you will be able to love yourself as much as I love you.

  3. Narcissistic Personality Disorder. How do I know? I have the same parents. Take care of yourself. Allow yourself space, time, and whatever emotion comes up, love it, allow it to be, and bless it on its way. Many blessings to you- you not only survived - you are thriving!xo


    Characteristics of an NPD mother. Let me know what you think!


    That article nailed it spot on!