Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Un-Burying the Pain

Yesterday I walked one dog a mile in the morning, and then later walked the other dog about 1.5 miles. Today, I have already walked one dog about a mile and plan to walk the other later. I hope to keep up this pace permanently, adding more distance carefully as I am able. I am babying my feet, putting them on ice afterwards and then sitting with them elevated in the recliner for awhile. So far, there is not much pain. Some, just a bit, but very tolerable. I do notice that I still walk like I am hurting though, when I am walking around the house. I get up out of bed or off a chair and sort of limp/lumber as if my feet really hurt. Habit I guess, but I am trying to catch myself doing it and relax into a more normal gait. I am so used to having to walk gently and awkwardly because of severe pain that even *without* the pain, my gait is abnormal. It may take awhile to reverse over a year of limping. I am working on it.

Last night I read something that affected my deeply. It was this post on the blog 300 Pounds Down, one I have been inspired by for some time. Please go read it.

When I got about halfway through the post, I started to choke up. I got a tight feeling in my gut and my eyes started to burn. The tears just started rolling down my face. Now, I have compassion for people who have gone through trauma. I feel very deeply for those who suffer, and I felt awful for her and what she went through. But I knew and felt immediately that that was not what my reaction was about. The tears, the tightness, the way I had to stop reading for a few minutes and clench my eyes shut and stop myself from bursting out in sobs... it was about me. It was because I related on such a deep and hidden level to what she said about the pounds burying *something.* I have never been raped, but I have had trauma. I have talked here about many of the emotional things that I felt drove me to binge eating. I have worked through much of it... writing, feeling, talking to others, expressing it and finally being able to let it go. But as I have said before on my blog, there is more. And I know it. There are two things I have not talked about here, and probably never will talk about here. One of those things, I have begun working through. The other is too painful. Too painful to even think about, much less bring back to reality by speaking it.

As I read her story, I thought about this sticking point I had been at and still struggle to get much below... 217. I thought about how very long and how many times I have been stuck at 220ish pounds and how even now it is so, so hard for me not to eat my way back there. Every day I have to fight it and it is very emotional. And I started to think about my weight and when the gains began. As that blog post said, sometimes there are emotions associated with a specific event that correlates to certain gained pounds. I know that, for me, all of the weight under 170 was gained when I lost a very wanted baby in my early 20's. I have never been able to break that barrier and lose that weight back to the 140's or 150's that I weighed before that loss. And I knew part of my gain came rapidly as a result of a very painful divorce. However, as I thought about these very specific and difficult pounds that have been so resistant to coming off and staying off.... from 200 to 220... I took that blog post and made myself think about *when* that most painful, traumatic, unhealed, unresolved event happened. And then I looked back at my weight charts and saw... yes. I first put on those pounds when that event happened... in 1998. And it has been nearly impossible to break through 200 - 220 pounds, and when I finally did a few years ago, I quickly gained it back.

I realized by reading that blog post that this one unresolved and super painful thing is what I am burying with my fat. I remembered that when I got under 200 pounds in 2010 doing Medifast, some extremely raw feelings bubbled up and I cried and cried and then spent some time trying to "fix" it. But it wasn't "fixed" and the weight came back and I buried the feelings and memories again.

For well over a decade I did exactly what that blog post talked about. I rewrote the event. It never happened. I made a different ending. I pretended. And actually, in order to deal with it, when I am not busy ignoring it or burying it, I am still pretending. For a few moments in 2010, I stopped pretending, I started to deal with it. But I was doing it alone, and it was too much, and I had to stuff it back down and pretend again. That is what my regain is really about.

I am never going to permanently lose this specific weight until I somehow bring these emotions to light and deal with them. It won't be done here on the blog, and I am really not looking forward to dealing with it at all. It is terrifying to me. But it has to be done, I am sure, in order for me to stop trying to bury that pain.

What are you burying?


Anonymous said...

Are you currently in therapy? I know you were on a waiting list some months back. It sounds like you need a safe place to process these past experiences and the resulting emotions.

Lyn said...


yes. I think that is the only place I would come even close to being able to talk about this. So hopefully I can work through it with my counselor.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lyn.

When you feel yourself tryin gto shrug off the need to deal with the issue that has you stuck, reread this post. :) Really.

If you remember, I'm a counselor. Most of my clients have been adult women who were sexually abused as children. They came to me when it became obvious to them that trying to bury what had happened to them was a problem all in and of itself.

But facing that past, was terrifying. They talked about wanting to put it down, put it away and live their life.

As the client sat there with nothing in her hands, I would ask her to put down what they held in their hand. The woman would look puzzled. She'd look at her empty hand and back at me. Unsure of what she was to do.

At that point, I would say, "You can't put down something you have never picked up. You must pick up the memory of what happened to you, turn it over, look at it, settle it--and then you can put it down."

And we would begin. Healing and freedom followed.

Make sure you counselor is willing to "go back" and look with you. If your counselor wants to give you techniques to deal with your present symptoms without unearthing the past, you need to find someone else.

Best wishes!


Lyn said...


thank you for that. I really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I'm burying:
- a divorce from an abusive relationship
- my brother's suicide
- never having the chance to have children
- my mother's sudden death
- my father's alcoholism

May we all heal and learn healthy ways to cope with our pain.

timothy said...

i'm burying bein orphaned
i'm burying bein bullied
i'm burying NEVER bein in a relationship that went beyond superfial cause I cant trust anyone to be there so I don't let anyone close, if they're not close it wont hurt when they leave right......yep SEVERE abandonment issues!

Kaki said...

I'm so sorry you have such pain. I've seen a counselor for many years, and it has helped me so much. I encourage you to seek help with your issue so you can heal. I think you are will not be able to move forward until you deal with this. It won't be pleasant, but once you walk through the pain, maybe you can find some peace on the other side. All the best to you!

Steelers6 said...

Oh boy, dearie---what a blog for you to read! (Holly's) I'm glad you did though, & so cool how her posts (& yours) are helpful to people.

I too was thinking maybe your professional therapist/counselor is your best bet. I wish there was also a very close adult in your life who could at least be supportive after an appt even without knowing details.

I am rooting for you, buddy! And ima go to sleep praying for you tonight. Sorry the ugly seems to have to be faced again. XO Chrissy

Lou said...

That was some powerful message. Both yours and Holly's. We often forget how much pain another person can be holding. (Just like us.)I'm very sorry for whatever happened to you. I think this was something I needed to hear when I sat down today. I have pain too, though I try to hide it as best I can. I have internalized the message (from my dad) that no one is interested and you better be a good soldier and suck it up.
Here's mine:
Mother mentally ill for my entire childhood. Committed suicide.
Cold, cruel, unaccepting, punishing father.
Teased and bullied mercilessly by kids at school because of my weight and bad clothes.
Neglected as a child
Blamed for the adult's problems
Stepmother bullied me out of home at 17.
Married too young to a man who was too old.
Lost a baby.
Husband demeaning and bossy.
Got divorced.
Husband took custody of children and all possessions.
Married again and was bullied horribly by husband's family.
You see a pattern here. I guess I am a wimp like everyone says. I try to be taken care of, I get kicked, I run away, I try to find someone else to take care of me, they take everything from me and I'm on to the next kicker...
I work really hard and I am a sensitive, gentle person. I eat to forget what a wimp I am. I eat because I am ashamed at how I let everyone take my stuff and take advantage of me and use me. There, I said it. I have never said it before. I guess I have to start developing a harder shell or start talking back now.

Lyn said...

It is so touching and sad to read everyone's pain. But also it is cathartic to get it out, even if it's just typing it in an anonymous comment. I am glad you felt safe to share here. My heart goes out to all of you... I will be praying for us all to heal.

Anonymous said...

I'm taking a chance here and typing what has been "eating" me. I don't have anyone to say this to in real life.

I want a divorce but I have 2 small children, so I am staying for their sake. There is no infidelity, no abuse, no fighting, so I can't justify leaving just because we don't love each other anymore. I want out. I hate the situation. There is no intimacy and no friendship. We just live together, share finances, and raise our kids. I am from a broken home so I know how much a divorce would hurt my children. I can not stand the thought of staying in a loveless marriage for another 13 years, but I have to put the children first, unlike my own parents did for me. I eat to bury the pain of this hopeless situation.

dlamb said...

Lyn dear, so happy that you are finally getting the professional support you need. It was for this reason that some of us have encouraged you to seek out a good therapist.

The work you've done yourself was a really good start but often, it is through therapy that you make specific connections and associations between and among events that affect you and influence your life, long term.
Best wishes, as always.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous with 2 small children -you are not alone. I have one and am in the same exact situation. You cannot believe how common this is. Please read Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser. It may not change anything, but it will open your eyes.

Thoughts and prayers, especially today, for all of us who are grieving, in pain, or hopeless. While we may not feel that our situations are ideal (or may even be bad), let's try to focus on the blessings that we do have - including each other.

Lynn, thanks for giving us some clarity and letting us use your page to seek a little relief, and hopefully begin the healing process.

Anonymous said...

I am very appreciative for the wonderful life I have: I have a loving, supportive husband; two beautiful hard working daughters who are my world; a beautiful home; wonderful friends; I travel; etc.. But it has never before been clear to me why I struggle SO much with my weight. Hopefully I can find a way to STOP burying:
Neglect and homelessness as a child (due to my father's incarceration after embezzling as a bank manager)
Sexual abuse from my father and my uncle;
Discovering that a peeping Tom incident which frightened me severely when I was 13, was actually my own father; my siblings chastising me for not allowing my children to be exposed to my father (although they suffered the same abuse).........
Don't get me wrong, I am a very happy person and I love life, but reading this has put some insight into why I overeat...NO MORE...I WILL NOT ALLOW WHAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS DONE TO ME DICTATE MY QUALITY OF LIFE...I AM LETTING GO OF THIS RIGHT NOW! Love and peace to each and everyone of you reading this!
Chrissy from Canada