Category Archives: Love

Hello From Both Of Us

245491-fetus-ultrasoundAfter a little hiatus, I have decided to write again. I am pregnant again and have made it to the second trimester, so we are sharing our news with everyone. After the miscarriage, this pregnancy seemed tenuous and frought with anxiety. There was nothing anyone could say to put my mind at ease that this baby would stay with me on earth.

In November we discovered some medical complications that resulted in a surgery. The last 2 months have been a whirl of hospital visits: surgeons, radiologists, obstetricians, enodcirnologists, nurses, doctors and of course myriad tests: ultrasounds, x-rays, MRIs, blood tests, weight, blood pressure, heart rate…

The list goes on, but nothing measured the anguish and suffering in the mother’s heart.

Today I am recovering from surgery which went well. Baby is thriving from what we can see on ultrasounds. Through all of this, I have continued in the ED recovery program where I see a case manager, medical doctor, nutritionist, psychologist and occupational therapist. As much as I want this child more than anything in this life, I cannot describe the distress of gaining weight as someone with an eating disorder.

Since we confirmed the pregnancy, I have not once binged, purged, restricted or over exercised. The desire is there constantly, but I felt that I could not do that to my unborn child and live with the consequences. It is strange that not taking care of myself has never concerned me, but I cannot hurt my unborn child by continuing with my ED.

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Birthdays and Disappointments

 
“You never asked me what I actually want,” I tell my boyfriend who is raving non-stop about the surprise birthday gift he has spent a lot of time and money on for me. “Well when you live with someone you kind of get to know what they want,” is his retort. “I’m good at gifts. It’s the one thing I’m really good at.”
I sigh and look at him, “but there are only three things I really want.”

“Yeah I know,” he lists them off: “a diamond, a house and puppies…it’s not any of those.”

“Then I don’t want it,” I say without meaning to be surly but probably sounding it anyway. I don’t want him spending ridiculous amounts of money on something I’m not going to appreciate and which isn’t going to get us closer to our goals (if it doesn’t actually make us break up first). 
“Maybe it’s something you didn’t know you wanted,” is his confident come back. “I guarantee you you will love it and there will be tears.”
I walk away from the conversation. I know I won’t love it the way he wants me too. I know almost eerily that we are going to end up fighting over it. I feel like it is unfair of him to build up this much expectation and put it all on me over something that I’m not interested in. I tell him I am worried that he is so excited over it and has talked it up for so long that I am scared when I don’t like it at all or as much as he is expecting, that it will upset him. He seems unconcerned. 

I think, without snooping which I refuse to do for the tiniest chance I actually will love it, that he is going to fly my family in as a surprise. As much as I love them, there are so many reasons I don’t want them here right now, but I am not going to get into that in this post. 
I find myself in the same position at 33 as I was at 30…living with a boyfriend who has promised an engagement and a marriage but who has failed to deliver within the agreed upon time frame. I wonder how stupid I must be to be repeating this exact scenario only 3 short years later, but this post is not to discuss my (blatantly obvious) stupidity. 
I want to discuss disappointment instead. I want to discuss what it is like to only want an engagement ring and nothing else; to want a token of commitment after everything I have done and sacrificed and endured. I have been waiting 9 months now based on how my boyfriend talks. Based on all the comments about how he can’t wait for me to be his wife or for us to spend the rest of our lives together or for me to become Mrs. (Insert-his-last-name-here). 
So I am at the point where an engagement is no longer going to be romantic or a surprise or this wonderful sweep-me-off-my-feet-moment or the fairytale proposal I have longed for. It is now something that is a constant disappointment as it fails to materialize. It is going to start becoming a source of contention between us and break us down. He is going to spend a ridiculous amount of money on something I just don’t want right now and when I am disappointed it will be all my fault. I will be the ungrateful bitch who didn’t want this “gift”. It will be all on me even though I have clearly communicated what I do want over and over. 
He told me when we met that he was unlike any man I had ever dated before. In many ways he is not, but on this front he is the same if not worse for promising not to make me wait and then failing me again and again. I wonder if I should just short cut to tears and snot and mascara in the bath tub on my birthday like the last one ended up? It is hard not to get what your heart most desires when it has been promised indefinitely by the other. 

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Leaving 

I am sitting in the airport waiting to go home. There is no ring on my finger. He said he would give me a reason to come back. I guess I thought that meant an engagement. I guess he didn’t think that. 

On Saturday he told me he planned a surprise day in the mountains for our last weekend. He told me he thought it would be good for us and would make me feel less anxious about our relationship as I left for home. My heart lurched. It skipped a beat. I knew that the proposal was coming…I just knew it! He had just waited until the very end. I put on a pretty dress and even painted my nails so they would be perfect for when he put a ring on. 

We drove to the mountains and every moment that was just so romantic for a “will you marry me?” came – and went. We picnicked by a lake and lay in the sun drinking wine. We walked hand in hand, we took a long drive on a deserted road and sat in the middle of nowhere staring at the Rockies and the lakes and the rivers. We laughed and sang and I just couldn’t wait for the moment to come. 

Of course it never came. 

I almost had to laugh at my naivety, my stupidity, my disappointment. 

Last night as we fell asleep he asked if I was ready to be his wife. I didn’t know what to say. The comments like that are the reason I believed he would ask me to marry him before I left. Now I’m just confused by them.

Up until today, I still believed that he would have proposed to me by now. Part of me wondered if he would buy a  plane ticket home and surprise me by just showing up. I will go home with that misplaced hope in my heart. He knows how desperately I wanted him to come back with me. He even hinted that he had thought about surprising me. 

Today he picked me up and took me to the airport. I envisioned making love and cuddling one last time before we left the house, but he wasn’t even remotely interested. He was only focused on getting to the airport. 

We checked in and sat in a restaurant where he told me he had looked at flights for him even a week ago. We didn’t look into each other’s eyes or say anything about how we were feeling. He was mostly agitated about time and needing to get back to work. He was waiting for me to cry, to fall apart and I was dying on the inside. It has been too emotionally overwhelming to find out that we are not where I thought we were and to leave without anything I had hoped for. 

He said he would see me in 5 weeks and then added “or maybe less” and I jumped thinking he meant he was coming home too and that was his way of telling me. “I meant that I would see you on Skype”, was his reply. 

My heart can’t take it anymore. 

At the airport, I waited for the epic goodbye. I had seen this moment a thousand times in my mind. Perhaps he would kiss me passionately and hold me tightly against him. Perhaps he would look into my eyes and say something profound about what I mean to him. Perhaps he would reassure me, put my anxieties to rest. Perhaps as I walked away I would hear his voice and when I turned around, he would be on one knee, smiling at me. 

It was, as usual, a complete let down. He was stressed about getting back to work. He put one arm around me as we waited in line and said he loved me and gave me a peck on the lips. It was a nothing moment. He said he had to run and walked away. Just like that. After everything…

I walked towards security and heard his voice. I turned in anticipation to see that last smile directed at me, to have him come back for one more kiss. Instead, he was talking to a girl he knew, her big, fake boobs in between us. He laughed and chatted and then walked away. His last goodbye was to her. His last look was at her. His last smile was for her. And then he was gone. 

Now here I am, with no reason to come back at all. 

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Damaged 

I wish he knew me before I was damaged. I wish he had met me when I still believed in love stories and happily-ever-after – when I wasn’t jaded or bitter or calloused. I wish he could have known me when I loved without restraint, without holding back or guarding my heart. I wish I hadn’t given that part of myself to others or wasted it on the undeserving. I wish he could have known me before the wounds and hurts and heartaches overtook me; before the disappointments and let downs; before the abuse and neglect and rape. I wish he had known me before all this, when I wouldn’t have held back or demanded timelines or been harsh and unyielding. I wish he could see that I want to give him that, but I’m too scared. When he holds me in the night and soothes me and caresses me and my anxieties leave, I lean against his chest – my head upon his heart – and I know this is it. He is my epic love story and I am sabotaging it. I am giving him a hard time because I’m frightened he will not be true to his word – just like the others. Just like the others I am convinced he will mess me around, make me wait for nothing, damage me more. I am convinced in his difficult situation that we, that I, will not survive. I let it come between us because I cannot fight it. Instead I feel like I am fighting him – the one who loves me. He is paying for the sins of the ones who came before him. I wish I could look at him and tell him: I know. My heart knows. I have never been loved this way before. I love him so fiercely it terrifies me. I love his children and the family we have become. When I am not trying to run, I am happier than I have ever been before. When he holds me in the middle of the night as I cry in distress, conflicted, I know I am safe here. I need to remember that moment in all the other moments that overwhelm me. 

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Someday…

   
This is a conversation with my boyfriend saying he will buy gifts for my brothers so that they like him “if I’m going to ask for your hand in marriage someday.”

If…

Someday…

I have been waiting for a proposal since Christmas. I know what these men are like. Someday will never come. This one keeps telling me he is different to any man I have dated before. I am yet to believe him. He is yet to prove it. 

I put my cards on the table when we started dating. I told him I wouldn’t wait around indefinitely. I told him I wanted a marriage and children.  I assumed all the risk and made a huge commitment moving in with him 4 months ago. Now he says “if” and “someday”. 

 I have already given him everything he could ask for: I have taken on his 2 children from 2 different mothers and all the ensuing baggage that comes with. I have tolerated the intolerable for him. It has been nothing but stress since the beginning of our relationship. I have given up a simple happy life for drama and complications because he has no boundaries and hasn’t sorted out the mess he made of his life. 

I have foregone dates, romance, quality time and swapped them for mothering, cleaning, cooking and never ending laundry. I have given up sleep ins and freedom for waking up early to dress kids and make school lunches. I have lost evenings of frivolity and fun to homework, bath time and bed time. I have taken on the financial burden of his children, spending money on them now instead of myself. I have given up a life I dreamed of in Africa with my family to make a family with a man who says “if” and “someday”. 

I must not be worth more.  

I only have myself to blame for giving him everything up front. 

I have put up with things many others would have walked away from because he told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He used to say, “I can’t wait for you to be my wife”. He never says it anymore. Instead he tells me there is a hole in his favourite underpants while we lie in bed and I am thinking of a wedding and children. 

And I know he thinks he is being a good guy buying gifts for my brothers. He would never understand how that statement could do so much damage. How triggering it is for someone with anxiety and an eating disorder. He will never know that I already have a date in mind which I will not wait past. 

“If” that “someday” takes much longer, I will be long gone.  

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Unlovable

We go to the wedding today. I wear 2 different outfits: one to the ceremony and one to the reception. I don’t eat all day so that I might look vaguely acceptable (to myself or perhaps some passers by). My boyfriend doesn’t look at me, or notice me, or comment on my apprearance. Given the horrible things he said a few days ago when I was trying on dresses for this event, maybe it is a blessing – you know the kind they say come in “disguise”.

I starve and I primp and I preen. I paint my face and curl my eyelashes and spritz and tease and my legs are tanned and my collar bones are glittered. I brush and comb and fuss and tuck and pin and change and inspect and criticize and adjust and ruefully accept the outcome. We arrive at the ceremony and he says a blanket “you guys looks snazzy” to all 3 of us. Snazzy…the epitomy of compliments. The truth is he only has eyes for his daughter. When she is around, his son and I cease to exist.  I get compliments from his friends at the wedding. Complete strangers talk to me in the washroom telling me they like my dress or hair. One woman hugs me and uses the word “gorgeous”. My boyfriend barely acknowledges me. He is disconnected, preoccupied and I am just the maid who had fed and cleaned and dressed and delivered his children to him while he has been drinking with his friends. 

He takes his daughter “for a walk” which is code for calling her mother. I sit at a table for ten fat, repulsive and alone, staring  into my appetizer, looking for love. After the briefest pretense I walk away from the table and in my high heels and lace and pearls and curls, I toss back up the disappointment. There is not enough wine to soothe my discontented soul. 

His daughter is sick and whiny. She takes up all our attention. There is no time for “us”. There is no hand holding. There is no smiling into each other’s eyes. There is no dancing at this wedding. I hold her and she fidgets, unhappy. He holds her. She cries for cupcakes. No matter what we do, she is fractious. We are home by 10:09pm on a Saturday night. I wanted to slow dance in his arms and dream of our wedding which we both know (but won’t acknowledge) will never happen. The kind of things you do when you are only 9 months into a relationship. I wanted the overflow of love and happiness from this union to flood out hearts. But there are children to take care of  and his stomach is upset by the Indian food (which I hear about in graphic, unromantic detail), so we go home. I pour myself wine in the kitchen, take out the flower from my hair while my boyfriend puts his daughter to bed. His woefully neglected son comes to me in the kitchen and tells me that he feels like we don’t love him. I wrap my arms around him knowing exactly what that feels like and hating myself for not being able to stop him from feeling it too. 

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Choices and Consequence

Here is a list of things I vowed to never do again in a relationship:

  • date a north American
  • date a non-Christian
  • date someone with no money and/or who wouldn’t pay for things
  • be the one who went backwards and forwards between 2 houses, living out of the boot of my car, during that weird in between part of the relationship when we weren’t living together
  • live together without at least being engaged first (hello, can I wait long enough for some commitment before giving up my maid services for free?)
  • wait endlessly for an engagement/wedding
  • move into his house rather than mine
  • be the one making all the sacrifice and assuming all the risk in the relationship
  • live on his timeline
  • give up the opportunity to move home for a man and stay in North America because of him

I never even thought to add that I would never date a man with kids because that was never part of any equation. In fact the day before our first date, I swore blind it wasn’t a date simply because he had children and I didn’t want to get involved in that kind of situation. Don’t ask me how my big list of DON’Ts is going…

Some days I look at my life choices and laugh at myself because they are just so laughable. Who does these things? Who makes these kind of dumb decisions? Who doesn’t learn the first time around and keeps repeating the same mistakes?

Well…I never said I was smart. After all, I am a fat bulimic. And, on that note, I have started purging again.

I had to. Life is boring. It is mundane and of course I swore blind that the only reason I would stay was for an extraordinary love. Yes, I am waiting for the kind that sweeps me off my feet. The kind that they write about or make movies about. I said I wouldn’t stay if it was just going to be ordinary. Well guess what? It is ordinary – EVERY DAMN DAY And I don’t think it is ever going to be enough for me, in the same way that I will never be enough. I am bored by the routine.

My heart is somewhere else. We all know that. I have never made a secret of it; never hidden it. I am a discontent. I am a dreamer. I am in all likelihood delusional. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that every day is the same: wake up (chronically sleep deprived) to a dirty, disorganized house. Try fruitlessly to clean or tidy or sweep or do dishes or put toys away or stare at the mess and die on the inside. So much for a never-ending love story: it is more like never ending laundry. Nothing I do makes a dent in the chaos. Go to gym or work or both. No matter. I am eternally fat anyway. Come home to cook and clean and clean and cook. Who cares. It never ends. Try to be the perfect step-mommy. Fail. Try again. Fail harder. Give up. Cry in the bath tub. Pull myself together. Have a melt down. Drink excessively. Try to instill some boundaries. Fail, of course. Bake some healthy cookies. Feed the kids candy. Give in. Hate myself some more. Read a self-help book. Realize I am a bitch. Make school lunches. Realize I am not their mother(s). Try again. Fail again.

This is our “dating”.

I have started starving again during the day from the anxiety. I have started coming home longing to binge my way to oblivion. I look forward to drinking the most. What else is there to look forward to? No date nights (no money). No weekends away (no money). No wining or dining or shopping or movies or drinks or vacations or diamonds or roses or who cares anymore. I am obviously not worth those things.

I have made his life infinitely easier and made mine infinitely harder. I thought somewhere along the line there would be some reward, a payoff…something to make it all worth it.

There is the perfunctory “I love you” in the darkness before sleep (no sex – again). It is sad and empty and it sucks the life out of me: not my mistakes, but the ones that I’ve agreed to pay for by being here. That I will pay for over and over again every day of my life that I chose to stay. I try to tell him that I am not meant for this life. That I am not the person for him or his children; that I have made the wrong decision. He doesn’t believe me. It is like he is fighting to hang on to me because he wants someone to love. I would want to be loved if it was me in the situation instead of him. I get it. I keep saying that he needs someone else. That I am freaking out. That I made the wrong choice. He cannot allay my fears or calm me. He is too tired to see that this will not work. It cannot. There is no time for us. There is no foundation to build a life upon together. There is no room in his life for me to squeeze into. I don’t want to be mummy number 3. Third place does not sit well with me. Failure is my biggest trigger.

And yet he loves me, despite my failing. He loves me and I don’t know why. In 32 years I have never managed to love myself. He told me this week, “you are much more loveable when you aren’t trying to run away”. I am always trying to leave…

I sit here alone in the dark on one of our only nights without kids. I am serenaded by the hum of the dishwasher in the kitchen and the washing machine in the basement. At least in the dark I cannot see the mess (I have made of my life).

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Hope and Despair

2014 started off with so much despair. I left home, leaving my family behind, which took me months to recover from. I was rattled and ready to leave the country. I questioned my life here and once again was stuck between staying or giving up everything I have worked so hard for. I never know which one is right.  I dropped out of the ED 12 step program I had been in and once again was purging and overexercising and losing the weight I had gained in “recovery”.

In the summer I started dating my now boyfriend. Having met eight years ago, this was sudden and unexpected. Despite dealing with a lot of anxiety over our relationship and the many complications that go along with dating a man with children, I ended the year with hope. We kissed each other at midnight on New Year’s Eve, tears of happiness trickling down both our faces.

The last few months were not free of ED, despite the happiness I felt, and because of it, I have been very sick. Anyone who suffers from ED knows that everything is a trigger in a relationship. Even now, at peace with the situation and in love, I am not free of anxiety. It is something us ED sufferers contend with on a level no one can understand. I have tried to explain to my boyfriend what it is like. In the last two weeks I ran the gamut of emotions: breaking up with him although I didn’t want to, staying with him, not knowing which was right in the circumstances. A lot of it is rooted in my anxiety which overwhelms everything. After we finally talked on the weekend I felt peaceful. It doesn’t mean I don’t still have moments of anxiousness or fear. For the past few days, I have just wanted to be held, to hold on to him and not let go, now that my heart has decided. He has been there for me; my rock. Holding me in the night when I start to panic, pulling me close and wrapping his arms around me. The other day, I imagined a life free of ED with this man, being healthy enough to enjoy that life together. It was a beautiful thought.

I am looking at 2015 with all the hope we have for that life together. This year has started very differently to the last one. Long may it continue.

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