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Don’t call it a diet–call it a lifestyle change

By Ox Drover

I slipped into an unhealthy lifestyle after my husband died six years ago. Slowly I let things deteriorate until I had gained a significant amount of weight, about 10 pounds a year. I started to feel bad and wasn’t really sure just why, but in the back of my mind I knew I had ignored the “red flags” of that needle on my scale creeping up. I had been in “denial” with, “Oh, it’s just a couple of pounds.”

Many times I have realized that my life has been “out of whack” just a little bit at a time, that I have been doing unhealthy things that didn’t immediately impact my life dramatically, but just a “little bit at a time.” Like a bucket filling up one drop at a time, eventually it gets full, if we don’t stop the dripping.

With my weight and my health problems beginning to become apparent, I realized I couldn’t continue to do the unhealthy things I had been doing and continue to enjoy good health. I started to have a little swelling in my feet, and I had always eaten a great deal of salt. It couldn’t be the salt, could it? I was discussing this (really, arguing with) my young physician and I told her, “Well, I’ve always eaten a large amount of salt and it never hurt me before!”

She looked at me and laughed and said, “Well, you’ve never been this old before!” I laughed too, but she was right! I had to quit being in denial that all the little unhealthy things I was doing in my food and exercise lifestyle were not adversely effecting my life and my health. I needed to alter my lifestyle, not just my “diet.”

I realize that I have done other unhealthy things as well. I have allowed others within my circle of family and friends to contribute to this unhealthy way of doing things. It isn’t just a matter of “going on a diet” and shedding a few pounds and then going back to the way things were. It isn’t just a matter of telling a person to stop treating me the way they were, and then go back to the way things were. It is a matter of lifestyle changes that are consistent and long lasting.

Stop and think

With the matter of my nutritional intake and my exercise regimen, I had to actually stop and think every time I went to the kitchen. I had to make plans in advance of how I would fix a meal and had to shop with more forethought, rather than just “grabbing” something out of the pantry and throwing it on the stove.

How many calories, how much sodium, did I have the ingredients I needed? It wasn’t quite as easy any more to put a meal on the table. It required me to actually meal plan days in advance, to shop for those items, to rearrange my budget to take these increased costs for “low sodium” products into account instead of cooking the way I had and following the habits I had for forty years.

I had to do the same thing with my relationships, taking into account the behavior of others in my life—what I would tolerate and what I wouldn’t. What would my boundaries be? Just like I don’t want to take all the taste and enjoyment out of my food in order to “eat healthy,” I don’t want to take all the enjoyment and pleasure out of my relationships either, but at the same time, I can’t tolerate a lot of substances that are toxic to my health, or relationships that are toxic to my soul.

Balance

I have to come to a balance of enjoyment and toleration. There are things I have to eat now that are not my favorites, but I know they are good for me, so I eat them. There are foods that I really enjoy but I know are not good for me at all, so I must entirely avoid them. There are foods that I can enjoy in moderation, or in small amounts. The same applies to the relationships and in people in my life.

My son and I have a friend we dearly love, but who is married to a woman neither of us can stand. While we want to maintain a friendship with him, and visit with him, we know that we must have some association with his wife as well. I sort of look at it like eating my favorite biscuits and gravy. I can have small amounts once in a while, but can’t take very much or very often.

In the past when I had weight problems, I would change my eating habits temporarily, but as soon as I lost a few pounds, I went back to eating in an unhealthy manner. I think I have done the same thing when dealing with people in my life who were unhealthy or toxic. I would get them (or people like them) out of my life for a while, sort of like a “crash diet,” but then when I felt better, go back to the old dysfunctional and unhealthy lifestyle.

Now, in my emotional and relationship life, I have made a commitment to a LIFESTYLE CHANGE, just as I have in my dietary and nutritional status. I’m not just on a “short term diet.” I am making healthy choices for life. I am working on living a balanced life, a healthy life, and not “slipping” off of a short term change, back into the old unhealthy habits.


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108 Comments on "Don’t call it a diet–call it a lifestyle change"

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Oxy,

I like the analogy of unhealthy diet and unhealthy relationships. We think we can eat an extra cookie or have some potato chips and not worry about our expanding rear ends! Same with toxic people, we think we can deal with them and not be affected adversely. Wrong.

Those toxic relationships are LOADED with sodium and sugar, they may taste good at first, but eventually you’ll get high blood pressure and diabetes. Best to stay away as much as possible and if you need salty sweet things, do so in moderation.

Thanks Hope4,

Yea, I’ve let problems with unhealthy life style creep up one cookie at a time—and I am a wonderful country cook so just started digging my grave with a spoon and a fork! Same with relationships they “feel good” at the time, but then they are like erosion and eat away at your emotional health the way the extra fat eats away at your physical health.

Like with quitting smoking, I had to quit “trying” to quit smoking and actually DO IT! I had to quit trying to have healthy relationships and DO IT by learning to set boundaries on others and on myself.

I’ve always joked that “I can resist anything except temptation” and that’s a cute one line comment, but it’s not true…I CAN take control of my life if I really set my mind to it. I AM in control of my decisions and my choices, and I also get the CONSEQUENCES of those choices and decisions…so if I WANT TO I can go on eating like there is no tomorrow and have all the cake and candy I want to stuff in my mouth, but if I WANT to be healthy then I have to do what it takes to do so.

If I only SAY I am wanting to be healthy but keep on eating like I have been, then I am fooling myself and trying to fool you….and we know how that works, don’t we? Not worth a darn!

The psychopaths SAY they want to “be nicer” but they are NOT NICE FOR LONG, so we know how sincere they are….NOT! People show you what they WANT by what they DO over extended periods of time….not by what they say.

Dear Oxy, thank you for your article! I believe it is all about starting with fixing our souls, fixing our beings and the rest will fall into place! This is a theory of course as I haven’t fixed my soul yet lol and I have put on 15 kg.

Being in a long association with Personality Distorters we are the masters of denial!
We hope the cream puff wont leave an extra pound on our bodies the next day, like we hoped that the Spath was going to wake up and be normal the next day.

Being alone after trauma is difficult as you have time to question ourselves and it is easy to feel weak and alone and food can became a comfort, well it did for me.

I didn’t want to feel attractive because the truth is I really didn’t want to attract the opposite sex but as the extra kg’s kept adding on I was feeling, weak, alone and now fat! lol well not fat but I could loose a good 10kg!

I am moving house in the next couple of days and that has kept me very busy, I am taking the kids on a holiday at the end of the month to some Theme parks and I am feeling very positive and looking forward to starting over again…Only when we can really heal our souls then can we heal our bodies…. Our bodies are only our vehicle to get us around that encases our souls, our true being and our body reflect what our soul is feeling!
All the best for nurtured souls and bodies that follow.

I have just got rid of a toxic, draining friendship with a girl friend and not only at the moment I am cleaning out the cupboards to move, I am cleaning out the friendship, relationship cupboards as well…. I am so sick of looking after myself second!!!!!! xo

Dear DaniS,

Moving house is a great time to clean out the cupboards. I’ve not moved house truly in years (decades almost) except partly when we fled in the RV, but have cleaned out the cupboards of things I don’t use…If I can’t wear it now, or eat it, or use it then I don’t want to DUST IT!!! LOL I’ve been on another clean out binge lately too and throwing out tons of old papers, sentimental keepsakes from my grade school years and all that junk. Figured I’d throw it out now so son D doesn’t have to burn the barn when I die to get rid of it all!

A lot of items that belonged to my husband I am gathering up and going to let the kids and grandkids have or throw them away if none of them want them. Just tired of looking at the boxes. It’s a good thing to do I think sort of “clean out our lives” and our souls.

You are so right, our bodies are just vehicles for our souls, but just as we maintain a car in tip top shape it runs better and longer, we should do our bodies as well. Until I got my head together I allowed that part of denial to continue on.

Of course too, DENIAL IN THE SHORT TERM is BENEFICIAL…the thing is that if we have 100 problems we can’t work on ALL of them at the same time, so we have to pick the ones that are most critical to take care of and sort of be in denial about the rest to keep from being too scared by HOW MUCH WE HAVE TO DO. Denial lets us put those issues on hold.

I had a BIG BUNCH of things to take care of and I’ve been clicking them off 1 by 1, and now I’m down to the life style change, but for the LONG HAUL not for just “trying” to lose weight, but ACTUALLY DOING IT! I really didn’t want to face the issue of the high sodium diet I had eaten all my life, but my doctor, bless her skinny arse, made me laugh when she said “But you’ve never been this OLD before!” when I argued with her about the salt! LOL She’s right! I haven”t been this old before! If I don’t get my chit together about the life style changes then I may not get much older either, at least not and feel well.

So get your chit together DaniS and be my “buddy” on http://www.fatsecret.com you can find me there under OxDrover. I’m also in the diabetic group there…not a very active “group” but maybe I can get it to be! (((hugs))))

AHHH Well Done Oxy! I just love your spirit! I will look you up and lets do it! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Oxy it looks really good but I don’t know where to find you! I am DanSym 🙂

Oxy great analogy!
it helps put things in perspective, but do you have an anology for CHEESE? I have a weakness for it and it’s the source (I think) of these 15 lbs I’ve added in one year!!!!

Sky, You are allowed all the swiss cheese you can eat,BUT you can only eat the holes!
They are HOley satisfying! {feelin g in a silly mood today!}
By the way Sky, no, I didnt think your comments to the other blogger, re grammar and sentence construction were in bad taste. But maybe thats because Im an ex teacher, and you know what they say,”Old teachers never die, they just lose their class!”
Love, Mama gem.

Dear Sky,

I also have a weakness for CHEESE, and I love my home made cheeses, and ohhhhhhhhh any cheese will do….Gem’s suggestion of eating the HOLES IN THE SWISS CHEESE is about the best one. LOL But seriously though, it is a matter of moderation.

In order to lose weight you must burn 3500 more calories than you take in. Exercise doesn’t burn many unless you are REALLY getting up there with running for long distances, but the thing that exercise does do is it ramps up your metabolism so that it is burning more calories even when you are lying on the couch.

So, say a person who didn’t exercise was lying on the couch, he might burn 80 calories an HOUR, and a person who DID exercise regularly, he might burn 90 calories an hour. Also you do get points for carrying around all that lard, as a bigger person uses more energy to carry it! LOL I get LOTS OF EXTRA POINTS for carrying lots of lard.

So cheese is doubly bad for me with the high calories it usually contains in a small portion AND the sodium from both the milk it was made from and added salt in the cheese making process.

Well, any way, “there’s no fanatic like a convert” so now that I have quit smoking and I’m on a diet approved of by the American Heart Association, and losing weight, I am going to be so fanatical that you guys won’t be able to stand me, I will be so darned near PERFECT I will even make the narcissistic Ps envious at how I can admire myself!…..LOL ROTFLMAO

DAniS

Go to community and do a search for members. Your registration may not be up yet. I am there under OxDrover or it might be Ox (space) Drover I can’t remember which but you ought to be able to find me that way. I found my step son there by searching for his last name. We will get together as life style change buddies and lose all our excess weight!!!!

Ox: Good article! I’ve had to revamp my diet because I’ve come out of this long marriage to the P with a blown gut and nerves. I’m celiac and my problem is I am thin. I’ve been told to put on a few lbs, but haven’t been able to do so. Can’t eat sugar, any type of gluten, oats, tea/coffee, soy, nightshade veggies, very much fat; cannot digest it and it also stresses my adrenals, which I’m in adrenal stress from all of this. So, my diet is healthy by force. Chicken with no steroids/ antibiotics, organic eggs, organic veggies, organic long grain brown rice, organic fruit, nuts, seeds, wild tuna, sardines, very low salt and reverse osmosis water is my diet. Occasionally I splurge and eat some American cheese. I also make cultured veggies to help heal my damaged gut. I’ve got a hiatal hernia from years of chronic stress.

You know, I can adjust my diet to benefit me, but my family association is another story! I feel TERRIBLE limiting or avoiding my adult children, especially when they need me. My younger daughter’s husband is gone two months at a time in many far away countries [he’s a marine biologist and in Africa now], which leaves my daughter and granddaughter alone the entire time to fend for themselves. My older daughter is single with no children, so she’s alone. Neither of their P fathers will come to their aid or even have a relationship with them, so that’s out. Many times they need me, if nothing else to talk to. But, they wind up unloading on me, of course NOT agreeing with my advice. I’m just a ‘listening post’, and sometime ‘whipping boy’. Still, I hear the need in their voices and I feel awful! I think life is so short, how can I not be in contact with my children! Yet, they BLOW me out quarreling with each other, competing, drama, drama, drama! I don’t know what to do!!!!

You know, on a side note: my mother finally told me about 15 years before she died, to leave her alone. Said she could not take all the problems I had with my PX. Told me to go away and don’t come back. She passed away on my BD two years ago and I had not seen her the whole time. I felt terrible we were alienated all those years. But, lately, I’ve been thinking…..probably the most peace she had in her whole life!

Dear TB,

Glad you enjoyed the article.

I know you “feel” you must “be there” FOR YOUR DAUGHTERS–but what I am HEARING in your post is that they are using you for a “kicking boy” and the STRESS of it is not doing you any good….or them either.

You talk about the DRAMA of your GD’s mother and the advice you give her making her ENRAGED at you. And when you kept the GD the other day the limits she set on you being able to control the child, etc.

TO ME, just my opinion and take it for what it is worth and what it cost you, is that you are in a dysfunctional enabling relationship with them. You FEEL that you are obligated to “help” them and they enjoy “asking for help” and then when you try to “help” them by giving them advice, they REJECT THE ADVICE, get angry at you and BOTH YOU AND THEY WALK AWAY angry at the other ones and frustrated.

HOW DO YOU STOP THIS DYSFUNCTIONAL DANCE?

You stop it by NOT GETTING INVOLVED IN THE DRAMA-RAMA.

You “hearing the need” in their voices is the SIREN SONG of “come on Mama, come over and let me be hateful to you and make you feel back and then I can throw a fit because I don’t like what you tell me.”

STOP IT. DROP the DRAMA. QUIT PLAYING this game. It is NOT HELPING THEM, and it sure as cheet not helping you!

It sounds to me from what you said about your mother telling you to go away and not come back 15 years ago that your mom was opting out of the drama-rama with you and your P Xes.

Well, it sounds for all the world like this is HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF.

If you WANT a relationship with your daughters, my advice, again, for what it is worth, is to STOP the DRAMA. Now, they may try to keep it up, but you must STOP going along with it./

If they say “Mom, what would you do?” YOu reply “Sweetie, it is your decision, I can’t give you any advice on that.”

LISTEN ONLY—but NO advice.

If they need money and you want to give it to them, that’s fine, but don’t expect it back and don’t expect them to take your advice in EXCHANGE for the money or favors.

Your comment “I hear the need in their voices and I FEEL AWFUL”

That “feeling awful” is YOUR CHOICE ON HOW TO FEEL. You are not requred to “feel awful” when someone wants something from you if you don’t want to do it.

Learn to SET BOUNDARIES.

I’ll give you an example. I had some elderly friends who had some medical problems that were STRANGE and they were havingf problems getting a diagnosis and I went with them a couple of times to their doctor’s appointments and helped guide them through the maze of medical stuff. BUT, it got to the point it was taking 2-3 days a week all day every day and I started realizing that I didn’t want to invest that much of my time into it even though I know they APPRECIATED IT and were worried (he turned out to have a rare form of brain cancer) but it was just getting to be TOO much so I set a boundary with them about I couldn’t do this EVERY time they went to the doctor any more. I “felt bad” but then I realized I HAD TO TAKE CARE OF MYSELF FIRST and it was WEARING me out. Using energy I needed for MYSELF.

You have got to put YOURSELF FIRST!!! You can’t even help people you want to if you use all your energy and STRESS yourself out and make yourself ILL caring for others instead of yourself.

That’s what the point is, we have to PUT OURSELVES FIRST and NOT “feel awful” for doing so. Your kids are ADULTS and you do NOT OWE them to stress yourself any more.

You don’t have to completely go NC with them but I do strongly advise you to SET SOME LIMITS on the being their whipping boy. Let them find their own solutions (even if you think those solutions are NOT good) If you give them advice and it turns out BAD, then you get the “fault” and “blame” and if you give them advice and they don’t take it and their choice turns out bad, then YOU get angry because they didn’t listen to you.

So stop the DRAMA it ain’t worth the stress! You’ve already got enough problems with stress and physical things, so TAKE CARE OF YOU. And, if you DON’T LIKE MY ADVICE, YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO TAKE IT! LOL ROTFLMAO ((((hugs)))

Ox: your last sentence is hilarious and priceless!!!! LOLOLOLOL!

You are pretty much right on target!

None of my kids need money, they all have way more money than I do. So, thankfully, they don’t ask for that.

Mostly, they all just want a ‘listening person’. And of course, it stresses me. Hard to explain, but just like my PX’s, they want me to ‘manage them’ emotionally. It seems these X’s and my kids just don’t understand emotions! And when I do not agree with their behavior/actions and just disengage, they really come after me in a needy way, causing me to felt guilty if I do not respond. I don’t get mad at them, I’m too exhausted emotionally from them draining me. My younger one has that little girl, so I fear she might flip a lid and make an irrational decision that will put she and the child in danger, so I feel obligated to ‘pull her’ when she starts skidding sideways mentally and emotionally. Sigh. Once again I am in the position of ‘management’. I always likened it to being a roadie on tour with a rock star. I’m the roadie of course.

My mom was the kind of person that forced someone else to manage her[ my brother was her slave]….so she was not going to put herself in a position of having to give to someone else. Her job was to sap your energy and if you required much of anything, she was ready to dump you. Yes, all the drama was tough….but she saw only a sliver of it. And I needed some food for my kid at that time….and she had given all she intended to give. Enough to satisfy her conscience and the door was then slammed on me. I don’t blame her….really. I’ve pretty much come to terms with it all now.

Thanks for responding, Ox. I really appreciate it. I know, when we give, people just expect more and more……just the way it is.

Dear TB,

Your “feeling guilty” is something you CAN control! It isn’t something outside of your control. Set some boundaries and take care of YOU. Let them “manage” themselves. I had to do that with my son C last dec/jan and he’s on his own now, no back up plan and no safety net. His choice, but I am not going to be upset any more when he makes bad choices because he didn’t want to be up front and honest with me, and I sure as heck didn’t need the stress of him lying to me over his choices.

It makes me SAD that he works that way and that his choices are going to lead him to a bad financial end. But it is HIS CHOICE and MY choice is that I will not allow him to lie to me. I won’t give him the opportunity to lie to me, and SINCE he has decided to make poor financial choices (spending his available money on TOYS) when he gets into a financial emergency which HE WILL EVENTUALLY and has no back up resources, his mommy ain’t gonna come out of the wood work and even LOAN him money. I’ve not given him money in the past, though I have LOANED HIM MONEY which he DID pay back, but since he lied, and violated good sense in my opinion, even the LOAN WINDOW is closed. He doesn’t have to take my advice, but the consequence is that he isn’t going to have me for a safety net either. I am only willing to HELP THOSE WHO TRY TO HELP THEMSELVES FIRST….not bail out people who make poor decisions that come back to bite them in the arse! LOL

I agree, Ox! But, you know, I couldn’t live with myself, if I had it in my power to help my GD and I didn’t. I don’t exactly know what all that entails and haven’t really defined it in my mind, but I’m working on it! My daughter I can let take some hits, she’s an adult. But, the kid is a victim. And I do know what that feels like!

Great post Ox. Great.

I think of it like feng shui of the soul. It is about lifestyle changes. The thing I have noticed since my unfortunate experience with a pathalogical relationship is just how much you have to go deep within and do a lot of work on yourself. It’s pretty exhausting to do, but a valuable exercise if you want to make those changes and avoid those same old patterns.

I’ve noticed how when you start making changes, and you start seeing results, it has a knock on effect in making more changes and feeling better about everything. There are times when you slip – find yourself spiralling back into some of those old patterns, but at least you are now in a position to see it, be aware of it, and put the brakes on.

I gave up smoking in January. This was a pretty massive change for me as I was a smoker who liked to smoke, and it was always my emotional crutch. I had given up before I met Mr. Evil. When I began to realise I was in trouble, and an emotional basket case, it was my friend the cigarette I turned to. I was back on my 20 a day habit before you could blink. This was over 4 years ago now and it took me all that time to give up again. I watched my father die from emphasema earlier this year, and I was so glad I had made that life change. I felt at last I was letting go of an old me, and embracing a new me.

The road to recovery isn’t an easy one by any stretch, but making the choice to change the way we approach things, understanding our own part in everything that happens to us and choosing to stop it happening again and making those life changes to empower us is part of the process.

LJ

Dear EllJay,

Congratulations on the stopping smoking! That is great! TOWANDA for you!!!

I agree with you! It is difficult, but I am taking one step at a time, working on one thing at a time….I too “liked” to smoke and had quit various times for as long as a year but always knew in the back of my mind that I would “go back” because I didn’t really WANT to quit….now I do want to quit and I know I HAVE QUIT….I will not go back. I will be tempted from time to time, but I will NOT allow myself to go back. This past week I saw someone smoking and I wanted just a “puff.” But didn’t allow myself.

The same way with the food, and exercise, but I can’t quit food entirely! Oh, DARN! LOL But I’ve gotten pretty OCD about sticking to the calorie restriction and to the low sodium part as well, and I’ve lost 16 pounds now and have no edema in my feet or legs and blood sugar and blood pressure perfectly normal. So I got on the band wagon before it had gone too far and I am determined to stay on it! I’m determined to die of old age in perfect health! LOL Even just the loss of the 16 pounds gives me energy, positive feed back and a little bit of “success” to spur me on. Between that and the stopping smoking, I think I’ve made some good decisions and some good choices. Not sure exactly how long I’ve been quit smoking but I know it is over a year, hasn’t improved my memory any though! LOL ROTFLMAO

It amazes me how many of us put ourselves, our health and our own well being on the back burner while we work so hard to do for others! Now, I’m focusing on me!!!

Dear TB,

You said “you know I couldn’t live with myself if I had it in my power to help GD and I didnt.”

The thing is TB, you do NOT have it in your power to “help” your GD.

First, your daughter has effectively sabotaged any chance of a relationship between you and the child, she has shown the child that you are not allowed to set restrictions on the child’s behavior.

Secondly and the child has learned how to “get your goat” and take control and manipulate you even at this young age.

Thirdly, see the “first” reason to help your GD is NOT in your power, your daughter doesn’t want you to have a relationship with this child. I’m not sure why (and maybe even she doesn’t know why) but you have mentioned that your daughter has refused to let you “keep” or baby sit for the GD and rejected your advice about keeping her away from LOUD sounds that will harm the child’s hearing, so my guess is that your relationship with your daughter has some serious issues that are very likely to keep you from even having any significant relationship with this GD child much less be able to “help” her.

I can definitely understand you WANTING to “help” this child, and to have a relationship with her, and that is why I am so glad that I don’t have grandkids to worry about, to grieve over, etc. Wanting Grandkids was my biggest wish after wanting kids, but now I am content not to have any grandkids because I don’t want to be in the situation that you are in….or Gemini is in, loving those kids but not able to have a healthy relationship with them. At least you have a good relationship with one of your son’s sons so that is better than nothing for sure! But Having one I know doesn’t “make up” for the worry you have about the GD and the ADHD grandson.

You have my prayers and my empathy, TB, but I do hope you will focus more on taking care of YOU! You deserve it! I thought I would “die” last Dec/January when my son C let me down again, and I told him to march out of my life. I thought I couldn’t stand the grief of losing another relationship because of unacceptable behavior (lies) but I cried, I grieved, and I’ve moved on. I didn’t die. I just realized I can’t help him, and he isn’t going to help himself. He isn’t a psychopath but he sure isn’t someone I can do anything for either. I don’t hate him, I don’t think he hates me, but what kind of a relationship can you have with someone you can’t trust, and don’t really like? Not much of one, I’m afraid, but accepting the way things ARE not mourning over how I WISH they were is my new “mantra.” (((hugs)))

Oxy, you are right!

My daughter would never let me have a real relationship with my GD until now…that she wants to go do her thing musically. And she had this big discussion on the phone when I had my GD this last week telling me I could now keep her any time I wanted and she wanted us to have a close relationship=she wants to go do her thing. Well, gad, she’s four now and really ONLY wants to be with mama and daddy. Not raised around me and doesn’t want to stay away from family and home for very long. I guess she would/could possibly become more content with me in time. [She seemed confused and asked if she could call me mama, then said no, you’re not mama, bless her heart] Who knows? I can’t take it either way! She’s a handful!! I’m willing to pitch in if something comes up or do whatever I can for them, but I can’t do that overnight/extended care again. Too much for me with my health issues and shot nerves. Oh, I can have a ‘relationship’ with my daughter if it’s all on her terms when she chooses. If she sees/feels me backing up, she will smooze me to reel me back in/under her power, using my love for her and the GD as bait and leverage. Like her father……

I don’t really have a relationship with my grandson. Just around him at family situations. His mother is a control freak and never allowed him to be with anyone but them. He’s a sweet boy too. The other one, bleh!

You are actually very fortunate you don’t have grandkids to worry about! You’re right there!

VERY good advice, Ox and I really appreciate you taking the time and using/sharing your wisdom to help me and I know others are grateful for your always willing spirit!

I’m going to try and take care of myself, like you said, because my body just shuts down now. I have no choice but to rest, because I can’t go. My eyes shut, my energy goes and I am flat out exhausted. Just can’t beat this dead horse any longer. I’m blown. God knows my family and X’s knocked it out of me all they could and my daughter would like to knock some more from me. But, I don’t have it to give…

Yeah, good mantra, hope it rubs off on me! ((((hugs!))))

TB,
the great thing about 4 year olds is that they are watching and absorbing everything and everyone around them, (just like a spath does!) They are determining what they will become, who they will emulate. (JUST LIKE A SPATH DOES!)
But they don’t do it consciously or with intent to decieve, it’s just what a baby naturally does. So you have an opportunity to influence her just be being a good role model. Whatever happens, whatever she does, just remember that she is absorbing how you are and will incorporate your good behavior into her future self. It may be hidden, but little bits will be there, so let your light shine.

Dear TB,

TIRED!!!! TIRED!!! That is what we get when our stress levels are HIGH CONTINUALLY FOR SO LONG….and rest, physical and mental and emotional are needed.

That’s why I stress over and over and over to BE GOOD TO YOURSELF.

I had people on a blog another one and here as well tell me to GET THE FARK away from my egg donor, but I kept trying to save her, to help her, she needed me, I was responsible for her, I was an only child….blah blah blah!

Well, I TRIED and I TRIED and all I got for my trouble was a kick in the teeth….I was out of energy to devote to saving others because I WAS DROWNING MYSELF.

Years ago my husband was in an aircraft that was upside down in water, and the guy in there with him had actually caused the crash, my husband swam out and tried to go back for the man, and the man was crazy, so my husband swam up to the top and waited until the bubbles from the man stopped (the guy had passed out) and THEN he went back for the man and got him out and the man lived—then tried to blame my husband or the crash. Fortunately the FAA proved that my husband was NOT at fault.

We can’t save someone else while they are drowning if we let them pull us under as well. I thiink you have allowed others, including your daughters to pull you under—and you still (like I did) want to save them, feel like you are obligated to save them from themselves. YOU CANNOT DO IT.

As long as you allow her (your daughter) to use the GD as BAIT to get you to play into her games, you will use your energy to try to “save” them, but YOU WILL DROWN.

I know you say you want a relationship with this D and the GD but the thing is, WHO IS BENEFITING from this “relationship?” From what you have said for months about this daughter and her hateful behavior toward you, I can’t see that it is YOU.

Frankly this daughter of yours sounds as toxic as the other D.

Believe me TB I know how it hurts to realize that ALL your kids (and Grandkids) and the relationships thereof are TOXIC.

Look at Gemini–both her daughters are TOXIC and the one set of grand kids she’s never even seen and the others are strangers. NOTHING she can do excpet TAKE CARE OF HERSELF and make a new life and a new family of choice, people who love you for who you are, not a blood family but a family of love and care. I hardly have a blood relation left that gives a rat’s behind if I live or die, but my adopted son is also my best friend…and I have a good life with lots of good friends, and people who are FAMILY by choice, by love and care.

I’m a lot better off now than I was when I THOUGHT I had this much larger circle of “family and friends.” I don’t have the drama and pain. I have really severely pruned my Rolodex, but the ones that are left are PURE gold.

The thing is though, I realize now that I AM MY FRIEND, and I will not allow anyone to treat my friends badly, so why am I allowing someone to treat ME badly?

I need people who treat anyone badly like I need another pound of lard on my arse! I sure don’t need someone who treats ME badly! And neither do you! Grow a back bone, darling! Set some boundaries on your relationship. I grew one and it is amazing just what it does for me! Wish I’d grown one 40 years ago! LOL (((Hugs))))

Oxy—,Everything you have just said to TB is so true! And you are absolutely spot on re my kids and Grandkids. !Im FINALLY learning the lesson that I CANT change my biatches of daughters, or beg to see my GKIDS. Cant do a darn thing about any of it so m finally GIVING UP TRYING and will now from now on concentrate on healing myself, an d spending my time on people who DO love me, and dont just us e me as a cash cow! In a way its a mercy anda blessing that the second bitch daughter has NEVER let me meet any of her 3 kids, as I havent bonded to them. The other biatch Ds kids, I havent seen on over a year. I was hoping mySIL would bring them over sometimes, nope, hasnt happened, so I guess he could care less a bout me too.I refuse to end up like poor NewLily, existing on crumbs that fell off the table of her adult kids lives. No way will I live on crumbs,Ive got my self respect back, I WONT DO IT!! And I wont play their sick push me pull you emotional blackmail games any more.If this means I wont ever see the GKids again,SO BE IT! Im finally TIRED of all this sick twisted Drama- rama, and my body wont take it any more.
“Im mad as hell, and I jest aint takin it no more!!
Love, Gem.XX

Dear GEm!!!

TOWANDA!!!! Darling you are right on!!!! We are better off without the drama-rama. I would rather live on a desert island or in the outback in a hut than put up with the emotional abuse of the drama queens and kings!

I’m glad we have both grown a back bone!!!! I am sure that Lily is up there applauding us right now!!! She is our Angel now! Watching over us both! (hugs))))

Thanks Oxy!! Im getting there! I couldnt have done it without yours and everyone elses help!!And Im still learning every day!
TOWANDA to us all! Ive finally thrown away my wish bone, and grown a BACKBONE!
One more time====

“AHM MAD AS ALL HAYLL AND AHM JEST NOT TAKIN IT NO MORE!”
Love,
Mama GemXX

I like that, “thrown away my wish bone, and grown a BACK BONE!!”” GREAT!!!!!! I’ll have to steal that one, a GREAT one liner! ((hugs)))

ps are you making fun of my aksent? LOL

Yea just thought of it! You can call it a Gem quote if you like!
About yore accent?
Now, Missy Oxy, wha would I go an do a thing like thyat?
Well, Hush ma mouth and hope to die! LOL!!
Hey, I had a holiday in Texas some years ago, so I know some of the way these folks talk!
Love, GemXX

Sky: Thanks so much for your encouragement! I greatly appreciate it and it means so much to me! [[[hugs]]]]

Ox: yup, I am TIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And you are so right…rest is all that works and is needed along with peace and quiet.
That’s interesting on your husband having to knock the guy out and then he blames your husband. How typical is that? Glad he was proven not at fault! But, sorry for your tragedy! [[[hugs]]]

Guess I could do like my sister said she was going to do years ago, when she got cancer and her husband, whom she had put thru school to get his PhD deserted her in her illness……she said she was going to the Greyhound Bus Station and get herself a family. AHAHAHAHA!

Dear Gem, the problem is I may be able to remember the quote by my swiss cheese brain won’t let me remember who said it. The quote is a GEM though. (get the pun?) lol

Dear TB if I get desperate for a Boy friend or a husband I’ll go to the wino shelter and pick me up one. ROTFLAMO

And you know what, chickie, I think we would do just about as good finding “family” members at the bus station or the wino shelter as we did selecting them from blood relatives, or maybe better! I’m done selecting from my DNA group, maybe I’ll do better with another DNA group, this one seems tainted!

ox: funny=wino shelter. Well, you’re right….LOLOLOLOL!

I think it was Will Rogers that said: “You can choose your friends, but not your relatives.”

My brother always warned me to be cautious with whom I married/had children. LOL Course he made my life such living hell, one reason I married right after high school was to get away from him. And…..my mom asked me, didn’t I realize something was wrong with my hub. On what did I have to base that? Heck, seemed like just a normal day in torture land for me. Sheesh.

Dear TB,

You spoke above more truth than I think you intended to….”normal day in torture land” and that IS SO TRUE. We get used to these things and we don’t realize that there is any other way to live. We get used to the drama and think that everyone lives that way.

I used to say “Union Rescue mIssion” which is the “wino shelter” in Little Rock but not everyone knows what it is so I just say “wino shelter” now, but essentially that is what it is a shelter for homeless winos and mentally ill. It isn’t a joke though that we COULD go get us a “man” there if we set our sites low enough on what we want in a companion/mate.

Lots of them are mentally ill, substance addicted, have no job skills, no assets, and/or do have criminal records and/or a history of abusive behavior. So if we are willing to accept a “flawed” individual into our lives, where do we draw the line?

I only have a FEW close friends and family left but you know, I have kept the cream of the crop, the gold standard, and I have gotten rid of the rest…so I think I am VERY blessed with quality over quantity. TOWANDA!!!! GO GREYHOUND!!! Thank God and Greyhound she’s gone.

Ox: You bet I know where that Union Rescue Mission was in Little Rock. I drove past it several times a week regarding work. I’d nearly faint if I got stopped by a train. Who knows, my Prince Charming might have been sprawled out there on the concrete! AHAHAHAHAAAAAA!

LOL=Greyhound! ;P

Dear Ox,
Great post! About 6 years ago, I started having problems with low energy, getting easily out of breath and was just plain tired all the time. I could sleep all afternoon and still be in bed at 8, sleeping through to the next morning. I had an appointment with my doctor for a checkup and I remember that the morning of my appt., my doctor’s office called and said he was out for the day and wanted me to reschedule. Something in me knew something was wrong and so I insisted that I see his partner. I was still with the spath at the time and I had an early appointment, so I hauled his sorry butt out of bed and told him he had to take me to see the doctor. Long story short, I went to the doctors, he did an EKG right in the office and told me to go to the hospital immediately.
I was scared at this point, very scared. I went to the hospital and was immediately hooked up to any and all machines. I was tested in every way and told I was in heart failure. I was in shock! I was only 48 and had been healthy. Still, something in me told me I HAD to see a doctor that day and thank God I listened to that inner voice. The news was bad; heart failure and a heart attack. I was in shock about that as well. A heart attack!?!? At that age? The spath called my children and I learned later that my poor daughter and son had to pull over to the side of the road because they were crying so hard. The following morning I was scheduled for a heart cath, a test in which they insert a wire and put dye in to check your arteries, etc. It wasn’t a heart attack. I had contracted a virus from having had a cold and the virus had gone to my heart. Many people die from this. I had all of 19% of my heart working and was immediately scheduled to go to the Cleveland Clinic for a further workup for a heart transplant.
I will NEVER forget this: I was hooked up to all the wires and IV’s and when my daughter got there (she was 4 hrs. away, in college at the time), she crawled right into bed with me. She and I cuddled up and she put her head on my shoulder and cried and cried. I still tear up to this day when I think about that. I remember crying with her and reassuring her that Mom was NOT going to die.
I was closer to another hospital but I chose the clinic because all of my kids lived in that area. That’s my hometown. It took 8 weeks for me to be seen there and in the meantime I was put on more meds than I could ever have imagined. Salt was my enemy, I was allowed no more than 2 liters per day of fluid to drink and I had to follow a very strict diet. So much for the Big Macs! I had ALWAYS loved those. What I had was exactly what killed Jim Hensen, the creator of the Muppets. I started learning, reading as much as possible, taking the meds, changing EVERYTHING in my life. Funny as I look back; would have been a good time to get rid of the spath too! But at the time, I honestly thought I needed him around to take care of our son.
Something inside of me told me that I would NOT need the heart transplant, that I would be OK, at least to some degree.
My oldest son drove down to where I was living at the time and picked me up for my day at the Cleveland Clinic. The day was jam packed, with one test after another. They also have a counselor on staff that sees all of the patients and their families. I now know this is to determine how much support one will get from their family if a transplant is indeed needed. It was the last appointment of a very long day. My mother and one sister had driven to the clinic to be there as “support”. Well, it was a disaster. My mother spent the entire time telling her what a mess my life was, how I had never done this or that, told her about my divorce and so on. The counselor actually stopped her and asked her to leave. She also had my sister leave as well. My other son and daughter were there and they were visibly upset at how my mother had behaved. Finally, it was me and the counselor. She asked me if I had good friends. My answer was YES and it was NOT my family. She saw it. She understood that there was a fractured relationship there. I told her I knew I could count on my children. They were the ONLY ones I could trust and she agreed. To be honest, the counselor was horrified at my mother’s diatribe. She told me to count on those friends who are PURE gold and my children.
The good news was that the heart meds along with the diet and lifestyle change had been working. In just 8 weeks, my heart had gone from 19 to 28% and I was too healthy for a transplant! Of course, I could still easily spend the day sleeping, get up for just a couple of hours and I was back in bed again. In all of this, the spath had started his drug thing again, was not showing up and I had a wonderful neighbor who pitched in. (To this day, I still adore that woman.)
One of the side effects of the meds was that you gain a lot of weight. A LOT. I had always been slender and quickly went from 125 to 182 lbs. I hated it! The healthier I became, the more I hated the way I looked and felt. Of course, I had to continue the meds. There was no other choice in this. Here I was, following “the rules” and still gaining weight. I was far more active than I had been just a few months before and I forgot one thing in all of this: gratitude. I SHOULD not be here. If one looks at the percentages for those who have what I’ve had, many don’t live.

I started thanking God every morning and every night. I knew that I was alive for a reason and while I could not see that reason right then, I trusted in Him. I knew that while I didn’t like how I looked, it was a necessary side effect of my meds and that didn’t mean it would be forever.

Gradually, my heart grew stronger, I started working more and more, I was on lower dosages of my meds and as the dosages dropped, the weight started to come off. I found something out, however. As I grew older, it was FAR harder for me to take off the weight. I had never, ever had problems losing weight. This was a whole new thing for me!

I realized something interesting. My mother, who has always battled weight issues, was HAPPY that I was heavier than I had ever been. She would make open comments on my weight, comments NOT acceptable. I was shocked by her comments and her behavior. I was ALIVE. Was that not enough? And then I thought back to what she had said and how she had acted with the counselor. She was critical, no matter what was happening.

Fast forward to today: I, like you Ox, changed my entire lifestyle. It isn’t just a “diet” in terms of food. I am also changing my life in terms of who I allow in it and I have just recently let go of my own mother. She is hyper-critical and always has been. She won’t change and I’m not trying to change her. I made a choice to not allow her in my life. She is the drama-rama queen. She is not a healthy person to be around. It took a long time for me to realize that if she was so willing to criticize me when I was looking at having a heart transplant, she will criticize until the day she passes.
It has been an hard choice, but honestly, I do not miss the drama. I am still receiving nasty messages from her. We are in a mess at this point because she co-signed for where I live (and am in the process of leaving) and she gave the spath permission to move in here with me AFTER I had moved clear across the country to get away from him. She didn’t consider MY point of view. She didn’t consider my feelings about any of this at all. I am fighting this slumlord on my own terms and she is furious she is in all of this. I certainly understand her not being happy but she has been VICIOUS in what she has said to me and about me. In the last few months, I had actually been seeing less and less of her for the very fact that every conversation is filled with negativity about one of her children and if not one of her children, then someone else. I have chosen not to be around.

I have learned so much and I have to give a lot of thank you’s to LF because it is here that I have learned that a true change of lifestyle involves ALL parts of our life; emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially and family as well. Simply because someone is a blood relation doesn’t mean they are good for you. Letting go of her was sad for me, but the farther away from her I become, the better I feel about myself. It’s EXACTLY how I felt when the spath was finally gone. I do NOT have to listen to nasty, snide remarks because she is my mother. I do NOT have to allow her to be a negative part of my life. I am done with that. And it feels great! I have owned any and all mistakes I made and still do. That is not an open invitation, however, to criticism.
I have been told it’s a miracle I’m alive. I recently went through an intense set of tests to see how my heart was doing and it’s almost back to normal again! I DO have some damage to a part of my heart muscle, but given where I was at one time, I am so lucky to be alive.
And I will NOT spend this life that has been given to me again living in negativity or being around it. I have “thinned out” my Rolodex as well, Ox. And I’ve let go of other family members as well. And I feel great!
Just as I have slowly let go of those not healthy for me, I have also lost weight. It didn’t happen overnight and I even allow myself a Big Mac now and then. REAL change truly does not happen overnight. At one point, that’s exactly what I wanted. Immediate loss of weight, miracle cure, blah, blah, blah.
I sincerely believe that when I remembered to be grateful for what was at that point in time, things started slowing changing in me. It’s been a voyage and I know I’m not done.
My “diet” has changed in all areas of my life. My Rolodex and refrigerator have a lot in common…both have been refilled with good people and good food. Sometimes, I forget that gratitude and then I get “snarky”. And then I remember where I was. I’m open for whatever is out there that is new and good, be it a good partner in life, a new REAL friend or whatever God has planned.
It’s interesting to me that once we start to change in one area of our life, it leads to changes in other areas as well. It’s all or nothing for me and I went for the “all” and don’t regret it a bit. We can “die” in more ways than one and I’ve learned that as well.
And I now know I’m alive because my son needs me. I am the one he counts on, trusts and knows I won’t let him down and if something happens, he knows I will try to make it OK for him.
It’s awesome to be alive!
Hugs to all,
Cat

Cat
Thank you for posting your very inspirational story. It’s so true that gratitude is our strength. And gratitude comes from humility that’s why the narcissist can’t be grateful. Sad for him because gratitude is the key to being happy.

Dear CAt,

WOW!!! You had a difficult road to walk, and I am glad that you are able to be grateful for the fact that you managed to survive! It is the old “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw someone with NO FEET” way of thinking. No matter how bad we have had it, it could have been worse.

If you have never read “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Dr. Viktor Frankl, get it and read it. He wrote it after he got out of the Nazi prison camps in WWII, about how we find meaning in life…a great book and was a great turn around for me.

My health went to hell in a hand basket with infections and the summer of the chaos 2007 I got rocky mountain spotted fever, and was critically sick, got it again in 2008, had a facial infection in my mouth that spread to my face and almost died in spring of 2005, etc. one thing after another—stress plays with our immune systems and everything else! Like the virus attacking your heart.

Getting rid of the things that cause us stress, and the PEOPLE who cause us stress is the BEST thing we can do for ourselves.

My “life style” change and my diet are both working, and the weight is coming off at a steady and realistic rate, no fancy-smancy “eat-nothing-but-ants-fried in coconut oil and drop 20 pounds a week” diets, or any other “short cuts” just eat smaller portions (calories DO count) and cut the sodium down to a reasonable level (less than 1500 mg per day) and I’m doing both of those things. Calories less than 1500 per day, sodium less than 1500mg per day, and upping the exercise. Started some different work outs for upper body today, just SLOWLY, nothing big or heavy, and keeping motivated.

Just like the stopping smoking…I should have done it decades ago, but had to get the MOTIVATION GOING. Same with the weight gain….but got the motivation going and I will reward myself once a month with a dinner out. I’m fortunately not to the point that I have heart failure, in fact, all that tested out very well for my age, even my lung functions and kidney functions were GREAT for my age! But they would NOT have continued to be if I hadn’t gotten serious about the sodium and the food intake! So, glad you are doing well, CAT, keep on keeping on!!!!

I am glad that you have distanced yourself from your mother, it is a shame you have to, but I don’t see any other choice you had. PEACE. (((hugs)))) Love Oxy

Cat: So glad you are doing so much better and thank you for sharing!

Sky: Good post!

Cat,

I grew up in Bay Village, OH (a suburb of Cleveland, OH). Your mother sounds similar to my mother (critical of others, causing me to be hypersensitive to other people’s feelings.) – she can be a difficult person (for my siblings and I) to be around, embarrassing us with her words and actions, totally understanding wanting to avoid your own mother. You have had some tough times, but you’re still going, getting to higher ground. God Bless.

Hi TB
I loved your and oxy’s jokes about winos. I used to say that if I’d married a slug that I’d scraped from the bottom of my shoe, I’d have been better off!

Hi Ox!
I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people in the world and if others aren’t going to celebrate life with me,then I have to let them go. I HAVE read some of Dr. Frankl’s writing and he is just amazing! To have gone through what HE did, I told myself I was very, very lucky. I’m fighting it out here with this slumlord and I am doing it because I SHOULD have done it long ago. I understand all about the MOTIVATION to change. It has to come from within and it sounds to me like you’re doing a good job! That’s a really reasonable amount of sodium and sometimes hard to stick to! And the same with the calories. I remember days when I DID go for those fries and I had to learn to not beat myself up when I did. Besides, I had my mother around to do that! And while it’s sad, it’s life and if I have learned anything, it’s that we cannot change others, only ourselves. What is amazing is that as we do change, certain people, attitudes and ideas are no longer acceptable. And I am finding the more I change, the more truly GOOD people come into my life and of course I go through the trust thing. I really do make people PROVE they deserve my trust. I don’t know if I will ever stop doing that but for right now, it works.
YOU have had a whole lot of health issues yourself! Isn’t it interesting that when you have one health issues, others just seem to follow and follow and on and on?? I’ve found that to be the case and then finally you get to the point where: ENOUGH. And we start doing all that stuff that was “suggested” because the alternative is not that rosy. I HATED some of the stuff I had to start eating, but I ate it and then I got used to it and it wasn’t so bad. I always think of the alternative…and I could still go there. I’m far more susceptible to getting a virus again then most people because I’ve already had it happen. I do take vitamins and try to make sure I’m not around people with colds if I don’t have to be.
YOU have walked through it just as I have and you’ve made it!

bluejay, Bay Village? Nice area if I recall! I’m really from a small town just south of Cleveland, right down I-71. Yes, my mother is like that. She never ceases to amaze me; give her half a chance and she’s criticizing one of her kids and she does it even with strangers! She taught me something important: to never, ever do that to my own kids. I wouldn’t dream of doing to them what my own mother has done in public. My mother goes for the “victim”, “martyr” roles. I can see how easy it is to go there and I can honestly say I played those roles myself at one time. But I’m past that. It’s all about drama, drama, drama. I just want peace and more peace. And strangely enough, I’ve felt sad, but I don’t feel guilty. I just finally reached the point of “enough”.

sky: I hear you! LOL

Dear Cat,

Yea, I’ve always been relatively healthy and physically active, but the stress has really done a number on me, especially since the death of my husband in July 04, the chaos of the psychopaths from early 06 and all the other stuff, it just mounts up, like a bucket filling up from even a continual drip drip drip of water!

I’ve whined about the diet and the low sodium, LOL but over all I am really doing well, and the weight is coming off slowly and in a healthy manner. The low sodium diet is totally effective too, and again, I was probably eating 8-10,000 mg of sodium per day in addition to too many calories and not exercising enough, but sticking to the lifestyle CHANGE is going to be like sticking to not smoking—JUST QUIT WHINING AND DO IT. LOL I may continue to whine a bit, but it is necessary to make those changes to live a healthy way and I am determined to do what I know is RIGHT–whether it is getting a toxic person out of my life or getting rid of excess lard off my arse!

I really like the little web site http://www.fatsecret.com and it helps me keep on track with recording the exercise I do and the calories I eat as well as automatically tracks the % of carbs, fat, and protein and I’m getting pretty close to the American Heart Association recommendation in the % of the things I eat, as well as the sodium, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure.

I started out with good genetics as far as physical health is concerned, and that is a good thing, but I have abused my good genetics as long as I can and so now it is high time I start being good to myself and quit abusing my body, spirit and mind.

I wish I could go back and do a “do over” with what I know now, but can’t do that so have to start where I am and go forward from here.

Like this article.
Wish I’d read it before.
Was just making an analogy to chocolate cake and dieting..ha ha
It makes sense.

Dear Ox,
Don’t we all wish we do do a “do over”? And do it in so many parts of our lives as well? I know that’s certainly the case for me at times. It’s never too late to start, right where you are, to make changes. Some, such as myself with my heart, had no choice. Then again, I see the spath being gone as a no choice. Either we went or I went crazy. Pretty simple and yet so hard to do. I came to understand that being with the spath was a HABIT. I came to understand that it was an addiction and I was addicted to him just as I was a few other things in my life that weren’t healthy. Bit by bit, just as I let go of my mother, I am letting go of unhealthy foods and relationships. I think they have a lot in common; immediate gratification with a horrific payoff later….

Dear Cat,

I’ve come to see that I had several unhealthy things in my life from tobacco to people and some of them I KNEW were unhealthy and I deliberately continued to do them, KNOWING they were bad.

Just as an alcoholic or drug addict continues to drink or use, I just happened to be addicted to a LEGAL (but still toxic) substance, nicotine. I wasn’t even ignorant or even in denial really I KNEW and still chose to engage in that behavior and addiction…..I think on some level I knew with my P son at least that I should have to let him go completely, just like I did with my P-sperm donor, but I didn’t do what I knew I really should do and that was “denial” because I openly refused to believe what my eyes saw and my hears heard.

Jesus said “they have ears and hear not, they have eyes and see not” and boy what that a great description of MY DENIAL! I did not want to accept the truth of what my eyes and ears saw and heard so I blocked it, and sometimes it was difficult to block but DENIAL is a powerful thing, and actually SHORT TERM is a good thing because it keeps us from being overwhelmed by some big loss, but if we don’t accept ti and stay on in denial, the corpse starts to STINK after a while and it takes more effort to deny that it is stinking.

There are times now I am starting to feel comfortable in my own skin and in where I am now and those times are getting more and more frequent. In fact, most of the time I think of myself NOW as a “non” smoker rather than a “former” smoker if that makes any sense. I don’t crave the cigarettes, but do get a twinge once in a while, but I have set my mind firmly against giving in to that temptation, so it is much easier to keep from allowing myself to give in. I don’t worry about giving in. I KNOW I will NOT. So I feel safe actually going around people who ARE smoking even if sometimes it does tempt me.

FOOD though is still a BIG temptation as I can’t give it up all together but I do know I have made up my mind that I will NOT go over 1500 calories per day or 1500 mg of sodium. So far I have only gone over 1500 cal on two days and one of those was by 63 and the other 62 calories (like one half of a small apple) so I am very proud of my OCD about the diet, I’m sticking to it. The sodium is also 100% on target or less.

Last night I was “starving” after dinner and I wanted something to chew so I got a bowl of shreaded cabbage which is essentially little or no calories and gnawed on that! LOL That is desperation too as I don’t particularly LIKE cabbage! LOL But making myself do the right thing, the healthy thing, even when I don’t want to has a reward of its own, proof to myself that I can do whatever I NEED TO DO to take care of myself! That even though in the past I have not take care of me, NOW I WILL PUT MYSELF FIRST even when it is difficult.

Like EB says, when you face up to the fact that the worst thing they can do to you is kill you, you realize that living in terror is worse than dying and we do THAT to ourselves when we give them control over our fears.

WE can take back OUR CONTROL!!!! TOWANDA!!!!

Oxy,

Loved your article! right on! it’s so what I’ve allways said about dieting…there is no such thing… it’s all about a life style change!!! & ATTITUDE CHANGES…..and so it is with toxic relationships.

When stuck with N/S/P’s in our lives that we can’t completely eliminate, either because we have kids with them or they are family members, or people in our social or work life it is a bit harder to do. But a balance of surrounding ourselfves wth spirit nurturing activites, people that trully love us and support us, healthy foods, good excersize and most of all BEING AWARE AND CONCIOUS OF WHAT WE DO, can become life style changes that can help our health and save our lives.

My anxiety attacks got so bad at one point I thought I was having a heart attack and thought I was litteraly going to dye of a broken heart. The minute I changed my life style which meant NC and altering my activites for a while so that I wouldn’t run into the S……along with all the mentioned above, the anxiety attacks subsided.

Even now as I am learning more and more of the betrayals and abuses I suffered before I could identefy them, now, when I occasionally run into the ex-S (as we travel in the same community)….my attitude is one of APATHY …my health comes first.

Dear Aeylah,

Good for you!!! TOWANDA!!! The Nirvana of INDIFFERENCE is the pinnacle of where we want to go. To be totally indifferent to them. Hate is NOT the opposite of love, it is the other side of love and it is still ATTENTION, but apathy and indifference are the OPPOSITES OF LOVE because we could care less, we wouldn’t walk across the street to pee on them if they were on fire, we just do not care. Don’t wish good on them or bad on them. Just indifferent.

Hard to get there and maybe I never will completely, but I am working toward that goal and I think someitmes I am truly approaching it at least with some of the psychopaths. I am no longer grinding my teeth off to the roots at least! LOL

Good to see you around. Aeylah, I read one of your older posts the other day and wondered how you were doing! Thanks for checking back in. Don’t be “gone” so long next time! (((hugs))))

Dear Oxy, thanks for another of your great articles! Yes, it is really a life style change, not just a “quick fix”!

My mum always says: after the 40th birthday one has to choose between body or face (slim curves and wrinkles or fat body without wrinkles). She turned 80 and still cannot decide mentally, but the body has won, I am afraid. LOL

I learned recently that sodium has effects on people’s blood pressure only who were of low birth weight (<2,5 kg), all the others can eat salt in reasonable quantities and have not to pay too much attention to it regarding blood pressure. But you are right, one can get adjusted to too much of a good thing, and eating raw veggies without any condiments can enhance the taste buds qualities, along with no smoke 😉 Congratulations on that too!

For me, at the time when I was younger and in all the N/S/P-turmoil, the bodily fat, AKA "gold of the hips" (German Saying) was very beneficial as it served as a harness against all odds. It protected me from men approaching me for things I was very afraid of, it gave me a opportunity to feel bad about myself, enhanced my selfdepreciation, gave my family constant reasons to tell me what to do as I did not know it for myself (dress better, eat less, do some diet, cheer up! wear high heels to look better).

Food was my panacea for boredom, solace, anger, loneliness, reward, consolation, joy, revenge. And whenever I lost it it surely came back soon, and even more, as the underlying problems were still not solved. Now as I do not need my childhood harness anymore I have far less difficulties with discipline maintaining the new lifestyle.

My body is my wonderful efficiently working castle, and I want it to be the home for my precious soul, so that I AM the castle and I AM the soul, as a whole unity I am proud of and feeling comfi with ALL of it.

So I chose my eating mantra: "if it has to stay on my hips, it must be first class". This prevents me from all the junk, transfatty acids, salt- and sugar loaded fast food. I read lables, and when there are too many E-numbers or "hardened vegetable fats" I will not eat them as they clutter my arteries. Fortunately it is in almost all the cookies one can buy. When I want cookies I bake them myself. And then I eat without remorse. I have joined an online "food and weight diary" and keep track of my calories and weight, and when the weight is above a limit I switch to intense control. But it is as with LF, setbacks and falling off the waggon at times of stress happen quite frequently, and it is constant work and trying to improve and "fail better" (S. Beckett)

Have a peaceful evening!

libelle,
LF does make you fall off your good health wagon! I put on the 5 dress sizes I had lost before spath proprosed. I lost my joy for life that I had b4 spath! I had worked hard for balance in every level of my life… and I had it… Oxy says they mke you think up is down and down is up! this so true and when you feel like you are riding their rollercoaster the last thing you do is take care of yourself and get blance on those things in life.
I LOVE YOUR STATEMENT: So I chose my eating mantra: “if it has to stay on my hips, it must be first class”.
I hope you will alow me to use your quote:! Keep up the good work!
soimnotthecrazee!

Good Evening All…. have been busy last few days but read all comments when I could. This is all so new to me. I feel like I have been in an absyss. In a past posting someone talked about their s/p always trying to BOND with them. The s/p I was dating continuously talked about a way we could bond????
Now I know that was is code word for MONEY. My grandson wants my attention. Catch up with you guys later. Thanks for all your help. I’m Seeing Clearly Now.

Dear hens baby,
Howr you going?I lost your reply to me ,re getting the book “Meaning from Madness” on another thread.
Just like to say thanks, for recommending it. Its a very interesting trip into the disordered mind of the Narc/Socio/Psycho
They say” to Understand all is to forgive all. ”
Its going to take a while before I forgive them, but am willing to be made willing. This is NOT to say I will ever trust either of my spath Daughters ever again.It just goes to show you have to be VERY careful who you marry!!. Id no idea my ex husband was either an alcoholic or a spath. and Im still not sure he IS a spath, but both my daughters sure are!!
I think I can finally let myself off the hook re their upbringing, I did the very best I could, and they were NOT neglected, beaten up, ot verbally abused. They had every advantage, growing up, and my ex was sober for almost 10 years, and in that time he was a GREAT dad to them.I think I have to forgive MYSELF for giving birth to such disordered creatures, I dont think they are suffering, they only make others suffer!
What Im aiming fo now is the “Nirvana of Indifference.”Hard to do with your own flesh and blood, but I know they dont love me, heck, they dont even love themselves.According to this bok, they secretly LOATHE and DESPISE themselves, and have to create a cast iron mask, a false mask, to survive, and maintain the false illusion of Perfection.
Im going to have to read this book many times before I REALLY get it!The facy that they have NO empathy, NO consciense, NO remorse, NO finer feelings at all, really, and well NEVER get any form of apology or closure from them. I “GET” that my ONLY closure fom these sick, twisted bitches is NC forever.
I really believe they are DEEPLY jealous of me, and my achievements, and did their best to destroy me.Very chilling stuff to realise of your own adult children!Love, and Thanks,
Mama GemXX

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