Main » February 2005
February 16, 2005
Background part I
I was born an identical twin in Greeley, Colorado, May 26, 1979. My sister, Heather and I were six weeks early, and weighed in at 4 and 6 pounds. Heather had a heart murmur and was jaundice, while I had a heart murmur and respitory problems. My tiny lungs weren't developed enough to handle the air from the world outside.
We spent our first several weeks of life in the NICU unit of Weld County General Hospital, visited several times a day by our mother, Laurie, and father, Gary.
I was the first to go home; Heather followed about a week later.
Tyler, just over 2 years our senior played the role of proud big brother. Thinking mom was only coming home with one baby sister, he was just as surprised as she upon finding out she was carrying twins.
I have a very small, fuzzy recollection of my (paternal) grandparents, Lois and Bob Akin, who lived in Colorado at the time. I am not entirely sure if it is my memory or if I'm simply remembering a photo I once saw of the two of them sitting on the couch.
My parents were divorced when I was just over a year old. I still have yet to get a straight answer out of anyone in my family as to the exact circumstances. My (maternal) grandmother, usually very reserved and quiet about personal matters, once opened up to me on a car trip home from the airport. She told me she had received a call from some elders of the church telling her that her grandkids (me and my siblings) had been staying there for a few days "for safety", and to come and get them. Mom had left us there. And then went back to Him. My aunt has always been fairly open about things, and has told me my father was abusive and a drug user. He grew up in the 60's-- that's how I've always rationalized it in my own head.
After that phone call, my uncles and my grandmother hopped in the car without a second thought and drove through the night to Colorado, coming to fetch us all.
We moved to Lincoln, Nebraska-- where mom's family was-- and that is where I grew up. Shortly after the move, mom mailed divorce papers to Gary, and that was the last time for nearly 16 years that I ever had contact with him.
In 1981, my mother met, and married my stepfather, Kent, and in July of 1982, my fraternal twin brothers (technically my half-brothers) were born.
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Posted by Wendy at 3:33 PM
February 15, 2005
Will she ever understand?
I don't intend for this to be a rant about my mother, but she drives me crazy sometimes, and I don't always know how to deal with her. I've been seeing the same therapist for 5 1/2 years now, and I actually feel like I can trust her. I finally feel like I am able to be totally honest with her and open up to her... It has taken me quite some time to get to this place, but I'm here. No matter what I've gone through, or what I say in session-- Judy has never given up on me or walked away.
Sometimes I think in the past I purposely kept myself at a distance, and closed off. It was my way of 'testing' her I guess, of pushing her-- just to see how far she'd go. To see if she'd really stick around, or give up on me like so many other people have. But she's never walked away, and that means the world to me.
The problem though, is my mother. At least once a month, I get the "aren't you done seeing Judy yet?" comments. She brings up how many years I've been seeing her, as though I need a reminder of just how messed up I am. She reminds me of how much money I've spent on therapy, and actually had the nerve to ask on Sunday if Judy is really helping at all, or if I'm "just paying for a friend to talk to." She made it sound as though I'm this sorry, desperate little elementary school kid willing to do whatever it takes just to have a friend-- even if it means paying that person.
I could have quit going to therapy years ago. And yeah-- there were times I questioned it, because in my eyes, I didn't see any progress. (Though, I think all along I've always known I'm not the same person now as the day I first walked in there. Even 2 years ago, I wasn't the same.)But I kept going back-- because I wanted to. Nobody made me. Nobody forced me to go, or told me I HAD to. It was my decision. I guess I've always found just enough hope in my sessions (even in the "not so good" session)to want to hang on to that.
My mother doesn't know (or doesn't care, I'm not sure which) that I cut. She doesn't know the depth of my thoughts-- nor would she understand. She doesn't know that each day is a struggle to get through, and I constantly am questioning myself and my decisions and arguing with myself as to whether or not it's really ok to eat something. She doesn't know I spend a minimum of two hours at the gym nearly every day, running mile after mile-- yet never getting anywhere except that "good enough" point in my head. She doesn't know how much self-hatred lies within, and how much I wish I could disappear sometimes. She doesn't know what it's like to look in the mirror some days, and not even recognize your own face. Like you keep staring harder and harder, blinking, trying to focus your eyes... but the image is blurry and out of focus and whoever is in the mirror is NOT you. She doesn't know this. Doesn't see this.
As long as she ignores it-- everything is fine. I should be used to it by now, because that's the way it's always been. Maybe even more-so now than before.
I hate it when she talks like that. I feel like a failure-- like I'm letting her down somehow, for still being the fucked up daughter. She makes it sound as though I'm playing some juvenile game, and "aren't you PAST that already?" If this were just some game, just some childish phase-- I would have stopped playing LOOOOOONNNNGGGG ago.
I don't know why I really care in the first place. It's not like we've ever had that "heart-to-heart" relationship with one another. My therapist knows more about me and my siblings than my own mother does!
We live in this fabricated world of lies and denial and so long as no one comes along to shake that delicate balance, everyone is ok. But it's like looking through a kalieodoscope with my family. Things seem perfect, they have their place and their shape and everything fits together *just right*. But the moment it all changes, shifts, everyone constantly scrambles to get things back to normal. They keep trying on different fascades and different places, as though time and distance will erase the past. But it doesn't. Time is never enough, and distance is never far enough. You can't run away from yourself. I've tried for too long. But no one else seems to have figured that out yet--- though I'm not so sure it's up to me to try and make them understand it. I think it's something they have to figure out on their own-- just like I had to. So we keep dancing around, everyone desperate to get things back they way they were. But no matter how hard or how long we work at it, the picture will never be the same again.
I'm tired of playing the games, and I know I shouldn't-- but I do. I get around my family, and I return to the quiet, peace-keeping, never-cause-a-problem, perfect daughter. I play my part, just like everyone else does. Even though I know I do it-- NOT doing it is so much harder.
And I guess, in all reality, it only keeps the cycle going.
February 6, 2005
It's been a crazy weekend. I am taking a full load of classes (13) as well as working full time, so I've been loaded down with homework and studying this weekend. It sounds crazy, but at the same time-- I need that constancy, that direction. Too much down time isn't always so good for me, because it lends itself to far too much thinking. This in turn, almost always leads to isolation. And from there it goes downhill.
I love my classes though-- Art (drawing), American Sign Language II, American History since 1865, and Advanced British Lit. It's a LOT more work this semester than last, and sometimes I wonder how I'm going to find the time to do it all. Besides not getting out of class until 9 or 10 p.m. Monday-Thursdays, I also have to fit in time for the gym, and time for my boyfriend. I feel bad that I don't get to see him much during the week-- but he's also very understanding about it, which I appreciate more than I can say.
I am a perfectionist--sometimes to my own demise. I feel guilty for saying no to people, and often overwork and overschedule myself in attempt to avoid any sort of conversation that *might* border on confrontation. I avoid THAT like the plague. So I get stressed out by all the stuff I *have* to do (where in reality, about 80% of it is not a necessity). So-- stress is my current state of being at this moment. I feel guilty when I do something for ME, because then I feel as though I'm letting everyone else down.
I've been studying pretty much all day long. I've been quite productive today, but here it is-- 11:25 p.m. and my mind is still going on overdrive, constantly reminding me of all the things I need to get done. I cause the majority of my own stress, and even upon acquisition of this knowledge-- I don't do anything differently.
On a different note-- I didn't cut last night. The desire, the feeling, the *need* to do it was quite strong. Most of the time, when I'm in that place, I avoid everyone. I don't go anywhere, I don't call anyone, I don't even answer the phone when it rings -- regardless of the person on the other end (Thank GOD for caller ID!). But, there was just a big enough part of me that apparently didn't want to do it-- didn't want to add another scar to the railroad tracks already covering my forearms-- that I answered the phone when my BF called. And, despite the fact that is was almost 1:30 a.m., I gave in to his request for me to go over there and stay the night.
He's always told me that his door is open, so that if I'm having a bad night and can't sleep and cutting seems an option, then to just go over and stay the night there so I'm not alone. Sometimes, it's like he just *knows* when things aren't going well, and he knows when I'm trying to sound and act like everything is fine. Even if we're only talking on the phone, somehow he senses it. So, anyway, I went over there last night instead of cutting. [Sarcastically] Yeah, for me. I guess that's progress.
I need to get back to studying, but needed to de-stress for a moment.
Posted by Wendy at 9:13 PM
February 5, 2005
I am excited to start a journal through this website. I hope that other people will see and understand me (and possibly themselves) through my writing.
My name is Wendy and I am a 25 yr. old female from the Midwest, and have had an eating disorder for 15 years. I currently teach special education (elementary level) as a para, and am going to school at UNO to major in elementary special education.
I have an identical twin sister, who also has an ED-- though hers began after my first hospitization when I was 15. I've always felt a bit guilty about that, blaming myself for somehow causing her disorder. I wonder too, though, how much of it is hereditary. Food issues-- for lack of a better word-- are rather common in my family, and weight has always been a huge priority. I still struggle with anorexia on a daily basis. Once a way of living has been so ingrained in your head, it becomes your entire world, your entire belief system, and changing becomes so much harder to do. The "nature vs. nurture" debate is a big one for me, as I think-- due to my own circumstances-- that somewhere along the line there is enmeshment.
I attend weekly therapy sessions with a wonderful, caring therapist who has never given up on me--even when I begin to give up on myself. After 2 1/2 years with my previous therapist, I switched to seeing Judy and have been there for 6 years.
I enjoy reading and writing-- poetry and journaling play a big part in my life. They also have allowed me to open up in therapy, and to explain and understand things about myself that I had never taken the time to look at before.
I am a runner and enjoy the freedom of being out in nature, just running. It doesn't matter where I'm going or how far I run-- just the act of running is inspiring to me.
I know this entry is probably pretty boring, but I'll get more indepth about the reality of my life in later postings.
Current Mood: relaxed
Current Music: Teitur-- Poetry and Aeroplanes