Finally, I was able to get back to the gym. After being so excited about getting back to the gym, everything started to happen. First, my daughter got sick. Then, court-mandated stuff. The days became weeks and the weeks almost became a month. I was at work and a couple of things happened. I just had to get out of there, get anywhere. The gym was the place I went to.
While getting changed into my lousy workout clothes, I looked at myself in the mirror. It finally hit me how big I am now. It’s not that I have not looked at myself in the mirror before. But for some reason, it seems that it has to hit you for you to finally get the real picture. I’m closer to 200 than 190 LBS right now. (For those who grew up or use the metric system as I was used to myself, that’s 90.7 kg and 86.1 kg.)
Before back injury, problems in the marriage, pregnancy, and then divorce, I used to fluctuate between 129 and 135 LBS. (Conversion please! That’s 58.5 and 61.2 kg.) I’m 5’5″ (I promise, last conversion: 1.65 mts.) I was solid muscles, pure joy, and full of life.
Either way, I almost got depressed and walked out of the gym. But then I thought to myself that it took years to put all that weight on. It’s going to take some time to get it off, too.
However, I also realized something else. I won’t be able to lose the weight until I continue to lose my soul weight. What do I mean with that? Well, I tried losing weight before and when I realized that the scale was tipping very dangerously high and that I had become an emotional eater after being served divorce papers. Yes, that’s right. I put the bulk of the overweight in less than a handful of months. And I did it without even noticing it. While I was not eating junk food, I was eating comfort food. I was still eating healthy food… unless there was something sweet handy, as well.
I always had to watch my weight. My entire life since I became a teenager. Dieting on its own does not work with me. I have to also workout. I was able to keep my weight under control with a balance diet and exercise and tons of outdoor activities, until I hurt my back.
Even though I have always been on the healthy side, I grew up in a country in a time where anorexia became a national epidemic. I don’t know how it is like over there now since I haven’t been back in many years. But I know they still prefer women to have a body shape resembling that of a Coca-Cola glass bottle. In their terms, the perfect body had to be 90-60-90 (in centimeters.) I had always been more like 87-60ish-100 and that made me a target for ridicule, bullying, and all the things that many hyper-obese persons in other countries, such as the United States, would suffer.
Therefore, I always had a problem with how I saw my body. I never truly learnt to love myself for who and what I was. I always thought that I needed to be perfect in order to be appreciated and loved.
It wasn’t until I came to the United States that I really got my weight under control. Not that it was out of control before, but I was still struggling a little bit. Then it was years of pure bliss and I started to try all the activities that people used to make fun of me because they thought I was too “fat” to participate of those, even when I was not really fat at all. I just happened to be curvier and more muscular. Nonetheless, I would sabotage myself and not even tried any of those things since the few times I did, people made fun of me and called me nasty names, enough for me to walk away.
I think that my husband might have figured out that insecurity about my body, even when I know that I looked attractive and confident. But now that I’m at my worst weight ever, all those memories and thoughts are coming back, plus the new ones that my husband has added in a very subtle way during the years I was subjected to devaluation in our marriage.
Narcissists point out your flaws often exaggerating them. They prey on your insecurities to erode your confidence.
I do not want to sabotage myself. I have many reasons to get back on track with my weight. The most important reason, my daughter. I do not want her to grow up like I did, feeling inadequate or that she can only be loved if she looks perfect. (This is an area that I still need to work on very hard when it comes to myself and kids pick up on the things we do, even if we don’t explicitly say those to them since we set the example at home.) In my eyes, she already looks perfect because I’m bias, of course! She’s my daughter and we moms like to think our children are perfect, right?
Well, they are! All of them! They are a gift from God! They are a living miracle! If you think about it, it is a miracle that we can procreate considering the biology behind it. But once again I’m getting off the tangent. I need to be able to get up of the floor and play with her without losing my breath and right now I struggle. Me, someone who used to rock climb, mountain bike, kayak, hike, backpack, and so many other things without losing one bit. I need to make sure I can live long for her to have me around. I’m not a young mother. I’ll be in my 60’s when she graduates from High School and the idea of not being healthy by then scares the heck out of me!
So when I looked at myself in the mirror and I realized that I looked like a pack of muffins, my heart broke and I almost broke in tears. I started to think about my daughter and then my mom who will need me more and more as she ages. I also started to think about my husband, the narc. I want to prove to him that I can thrive and succeed without his shadow hanging over me. What best revenge I could give him that show him I got my health back when all I got while being married to him was sickness, injuries, and pain?
However, if I let myself be consumed with rage and hate, I will fail. I can’t allow myself to hate my husband. Why? Because if I do, he wins. He still has control over me. He will be right all those times when he said I was insecure and not capable of succeeding.
Then I realized that I don’t really hate my husband. I don’t love him, either. Therefore, in that sense, part of the battle has already been won by me. Really, I don’t hate him. I actually feel nothing for him. Yes, I get mad at him. Yes, I get frustrated with him. Yes, there are days when I would like to bang him on the head with a frying pan at the best Tom and Jerry style.
But those feelings are out of frustration based on our current situation and because of everything he’s doing to our daughter to get at me. Nevertheless, that’s not hate. Hate is the absence of love, actually. And I no longer love my husband. There, you see? I let go already.
So that’s one part of the soul diet I’ve been doing. Have I forgiven my husband? Hell, no! I’m nowhere near doing that. I don’t even know if I will ever be able to do that. But guess what: I do not need to forgive him to move on with my life. The person I do need to forgive is no other one than myself. Yes, that’s right. Until I can do that, I won’t be able to move on. I still struggle with this, but I have made a lot of progress in probably a very short period of time. I have my days when I think I won’t be able to forgive myself about this or that other thing. And today, I was very close to not be able to forgive myself for having put all this extra weight.
Forgiveness of the abuser is a personal choice, not a necessity. Forgiveness towards yourself is necessary to move forward.
I also need to accept that, even with the progress I have already made, I will have my days when I will fall back. And that’s okay. The important thing is to be able to get up and start walking again.
So I had to swallowed my pride and start all over again. I don’t even know if I will be able to go back again this week. But I have to try. And it does feel good to be able to do something for myself.
As soon as I got out of there, I updated my Days Counter entry for the last time I had gone to the gym: Today. This is the one entry on my Days Counter that I do not want to see growing that much. It is a good reminder to have it in there, to get me back to the gym as soon as I can.
If you made it this far, I thank you. I know that sometimes I just let my fingers jump on the keys of my keyboard and the thoughts pour out. Once again, I want to share my thoughts, experiences, and feelings in the hopes that I can maybe, by doing so, save other people from the pain I had to endure with the narcissist in my life. I also hope that it helps other people feel that they are not alone in their struggle. I hope it gives them validation and, ultimately, hope. Yes, I do write this blog for a selfish reason, too. And that’s my own healing. Writing has been very cathartic for me. I enjoy it. It helps me make sense of my thoughts and, most especially, of the fractioned memories from my marriage. I need to make sense of them and get them out there. Otherwise, I could get consumed by them, especially if not dealt with. Hence, this blog.
Lately, I’ve been thinking that I may need to change the name of my blog since I started to feel that, by calling a narcissist a narc
hole, I could be lowering myself to the same level in which I was treated. I might change the name of my blog or not. I haven’t decided, yet.
Either way, I wish you all NPD survivors the best and please, know that you’re not alone. One day at a time and one step at a time does it. And please reach out. Do not stay isolated anymore. The world misses you, even when you may not believe it.