Category Archives: Relationships

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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Disappointment continued 

So my “birthday surprise” from my boyfriend arrived today. It was my mum just as I predicted it would be. 

I’m so mad at him and of course he doesn’t see why and I look like an ungrateful bitch (also as I predicted). 

Who wouldn’t be happy to have their mum as a surprise? I love my mum. I always want her to come visit. My issue is the wrong timing (I was home a month ago with her and can’t take any time off work while she is here); the financial implications – neither of us have money; and the fact that my boyfriend is not giving me what I do want and getting us further from our goals not closer. 

I tried to explain to him that something this big needed to be discussed with me. He tried to justify why he did it. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter. He spent a lot of time and money on something that I didn’t want and now I feel like shit for not liking it. 

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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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After

After he has left me at the airport, the messages start. 

It has suddenly hit him that I am leaving. After…He says he loves me very much, he misses me already. He realized how sad he was that I am actually gone. He can’t wait for me to get back. He was so busy planning our future together – our never ending love story – he forgot to think about the present, until now. After….

He calls because he needs to hear my voice. I am oddly quiet on the phone. I have been dealing with these feelings for weeks and trying to tell him how hard leaving him is. He only experiences it after. 

These messages are more of his mixed signals where he talks about how he is planning our life together and can’t wait for me to come back. He is just so sure that I am coming back to him. 

I wonder if he can hear my heartache. 

I tell him that this was the goodbye I was looking for and didn’t get. I tell him “it’s not you, it’s me”. I can’t explain to him now that it is too late, how much more I needed from him in those last couple of hours, in the last minutes. I know he loves me, but he does not understand what I need. 

I roam the airport and look for food. It is the only thing to soothe the pain now. I need to eat and eat and eat and purge. Going home is supposed to be happy, instead, I feel like I am bleeding. It is slow and agonizing. It is destroying me. 

Now I face 5 weeks where the starvation first started; where I learned to eat my feelings. The triggers have not changed in 20 years. I just chose to live far enough away from them. I take my anxiety over our relationship back with me to add to everything else. 

My mother tells me she has bought me rice cakes. She is enabling and she doesn’t even know it. 

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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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Check Up

Yesterday was a check up with my doctor at the ED treatment centre and a meeting with my case manager/counsellor.

I am weighing myself every day at home: 137lbs and not losing. Even after 2 days of not eating from being sick, the scale wouldn’t budge. After restricting then bingeing and purging for a while, the scale has refused to give. I stared in horror at the numbers and the scale stared back mercilessly. I am determined to lose at least 7lbs before I go home. I have 3 weeks.

The doctor and nurse did the medical part first: weighing (backwards of course), blood pressure lying and standing (cue dizziness on standing), heart rate, urine test and a review of my blood work. The doctor asked about why I had been in emergency this week (which you can read about in my last blog post). She asked if my eating had improved, worsened or stayed the same. I told her it was worsening. Then she asked if things were stable at home and I told her that that had worsened too.

She didn’t say much. She asked me to try eat more during the day. Just like that. As if it is easy and/or possible. “Try have a snack earlier than noon. Try eat something between ballet classes. Try to remember to eat after class before you drive home. Eat before the gym. Eat after the gym.”

Eat, eat, eat.

I do eat. That is my problem.

She asked if I had cut down on my alcohol consumption. I told her I had, drastically.

“Why?” she had to ask.

“I want to lose weight before I go home next month,” no point in lying about my real motives for giving up something I love.

“Is that the only reason you’ve cut down your drinking?”

I smile at her, “yes. I like to come home and drink. It takes the edge off the stress of the day and the fight with my boyfriend and crying children and whatever else ails me.”

She makes notes. She doesn’t respond.

After the medical, I met with my case manager. She asked about if my boyfriend was going to be part of my family therapy.

“Is this someone with whom you are going to be spending a large part of your life,” she enquired.

I nodded, “until last week I thought that was the plan. Now I am not so sure.”

We get into the fight we had. I tell her about my expectations and demands. I tell her about how I perceive my boyfriend to cope by avoidance.

“It seems he has a soft heart, that he is very loving,” she comments. I cannot disagree with her. “You will have to accept that he most likely won’t change. You will have to decide what you are willing to tolerate to be in this relationship. Ask yourself ‘do I love this man despite his circumstances. Am I willing to be with him, to choose to be with him knowing that this is how things are?'”

Sometimes if you shut up and listen, you learn things. She had some interesting perspective on our relationship. She confronted me about the “solutions” I offer my boyfriend when I put my foot down and demand boundaries. She reminded me that no one likes being told what to do by someone else all the time. She talked about how I was clear and straight forward and goal orientated. Isn’t everyone with an ED? Then she said this: “it seems to me that you are similar. He copes through avoidance and you do too with your eating disorder.” I had never looked at it that way. She talked about my pattern of self sabotage and of pulling the plug on relationships even when I love them. She said in that way I managed to avoid everything by ending things.

She gave me some things to think about. I feel like some introspection and soul-searching will go a long way to helping me change and grow in this relationship. I am not a nice person. I am intolerant and impatient. I have high expectations in a relationship. I am demanding. I am resentful and unforgiving. I thought yesterday how it would be to be my boyfriend, to be treated without grace for the past mistakes I had made. it was rather soul-destroying, the realization that I can treat someone I love so poorly.

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The Aftermath

We “kissed and made up” as the saying goes. I don’t feel like we effectively resolved anything. We are back to our normal which means that nothing will change, but everything has changed and it can’t go back.

He carries on as he did before. I find myself questioning everything. Why give up a weekend to spend at his son’s lacrosse tournament when this man isn’t sure of how he will feel about me in a year? I looked at the house last night – a disaster as always – and I told him that they needed to clean it up because I wouldn’t. Why am I picking up after kids that aren’t mine when their dad won’t make a commitment to me?

I am loath to invest time or money or effort now that I know there is no timeline. I am withdrawing, pulling back, being selfish. I sleep in and let him get the kids dressed and ready for school by himself. I don’t do their laundry or pack their lunches. I want him to remember single parenting. I want him to realize what he has done and what he has lost in me when I stop doing all I did.

I am still hurt; wounded by words that cannot be retracted. The damage done is immense. It pervades every conversation. I have to keep reminding him that things are not what I thought they were. It’s as if he doesn’t even register the shift.

“Do you want to go look at a new car this weekend?” He asks.

“No. I think there is no point now. Perhaps when our situation is more stable. I will reassess in a few months and then think about it,” is my response. I have said quite frankly, that I made the decision to go look at a new car prior to our discussion when I believed that we were in a more secure position than what we are.

I went to see the ED counsellor and doctor for a check up as part of the program I am in. He asked about it at coffee.

“Am I supposed to be coming to some of these with you?” He seems stunned that I have been to several appointments that he does not know about because I didn’t bother telling him.

“Yes you are supposed to take part in a few things, but I told my case manager that I’ve had new information since the time I brought you with and that things have changed. I told her not to plan on you being part of this anymore,” I am as blunt as I can be. This is not a part of myself I am going to share with someone who is vague about our future. He looks hurt. He says “oh” and I leave it at that.

He brings up the long weekend. We were supposed to go away for our romantic holiday together which I canceled the morning after our fight. He hasn’t asked about it or referenced it since. It’s like he is immune to how disappointed I was after I had been looking forward to it so much. He hasn’t even acknowledged that I canceled it and how devastated I am about it. He is nonchalant.

“What do you want to do for the long weekend? Do you want to make any plans?” He asks, like nothing happened and he didn’t ruin a perfectly good weekend for nothing.

“What I wanted to do went down in flames,” I respond calmly. “I no longer care what happens this weekend.”

Another, “oh…ok”.

He doesn’t get it. Why would he?

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