When I decided to have a baby, I knew it was going to be a journey. Not only reproductively, but emotionally. I had garbage from my childhood and adulthood up to that point that I carried. Garbage that I could pass on to our child unintentionally. I knew that I was a work in progress, but I knew that I needed to be honest with myself and confront all aspects of myself.
When I found out that I was having a daughter, I screamed and cried in joy. She was on our vision board. Her name, her personality, her outfit it all hung on our vision board. Holy crap, a baby girl! Oh my gosh, a girl. A girl like me? Oh no. No, she can not be like me. I will be damned if I pass my crap onto her, because I don’t want to deal with myself. No. So it began.
I thought about reading books on how to raise a strong daughter, but quickly realized the way to do that was by example. I started to read and learn about ways to improve my self esteem. I learned about ways to change my thinking. I trained myself mentally daily. I would go through lists everyday (I continue to do this) of all the good things not only in my life, but inside myself. My head tells me differently everyday. My head wants to tell me that I am depressed. My head wants to tell me that I want to kill myself. My head wants to tell me I’m not worth anything. My head is a crazy B. So I have to make these lists. I have to see what is real and what is in my head. These lists help me to see my current life so that I don’t wander back to the past. I had to do the same thing in the mirror. I stopped myself every time I was thinking about how fat I was or looking in the mirror disgusted. I changed it over and over. Try not doing that while you have cankles and hormones ranging through your body.
I told myself that I couldn’t let my daughter know this horrible world that so many of us are stuck in with our body issues and self loathing thoughts. I decided my daughter would know different. I wouldn’t be the one to teach my daughter to not appreciate her body. I wanted to be able to show her a woman that works to be the best version of herself. I want to be the one to show her self love.
When I had my daughter, I was in a good place mentally. I felt strong and I felt confident. I really had been working hard on myself for a few years. Then, I was hit with post partum depression. I’ve struggled with depression all my life and had been pumped full of hormones for two years to have a baby. I had my baby and bam, I crashed. I felt horrible. The amount of guilt that followed was unreal. We fought and worked so hard to have this baby girl and I had her, but here I sat depressed and wondering why I ever thought I could be a mother. It was a struggle that my husband and I pushed through together. Poor guy. I’m not sure how he still loves me, but I’m so grateful.
For the first year of her life, I did put myself on the back burner as most parents do. We moved back to Texas and figured our new life out alone just the three of us. I wasn’t taking care of myself physically and it showed. I continued to gain more and more weight. Before I knew it, I was the biggest I’d ever been. I hid. I deleted any and all pictures that others or I would take. I don’t have a picture of just how big I was, but the biggest pair or shorts I had was a size 26 (but they ran small 😩). A few months before my daughter turned 2 years old, I decided I was done. I was done being the fat girl that I had been my entire life. That journey led me right back to my childhood.
I do suffer from memory loss. Whether it’s intentional or because of the drugs isn’t known, until memories start to come back and I sort through it. As a child and into adulthood I hid everything. I hid my fears, my sexual abuse, hell I even hid my period, my rape, my drug use, my self hate, I hid EVERYTHING. Deep inside only myself. When I decided I couldn’t be fat anymore, I had to go right back to where it started. It took me back to things I had hidden deep inside myself. As I started to talk and think about where it started, a memory hit me. It took me back to a nightmare. Literally. As a child and even into adulthood, I had horrendous nightmares. I remember them very vividly. To the point that I’m not sure all were nightmares and some weren’t real. To this day, I’m concinviced some were real experiences. After everyone would go to sleep, I would get out of my bed and sneak into the kitchen and eat. I would eat so much that I would end up sick and in pain on the bathroom floor. However, I was awake and not in a nightmare. Well I was in a different kind of nightmare. So there it began. My journey to becoming physically healthy and losing weight for good brought me right back to being a scared little girl. To be continued…