Friday, December 22, 2006

Off to celebrate an Imperfect Christmas!!

And I wouldn't want it any other way! I am heading out to my Mom's for the whole holiday season, so you won't see another post here from me until into the New Year. Don't forget to subscribe to this blog and then you will be informed when the new posts start in January.

Thank you to all of my loyal readers for the support I have gotten on this journey so far.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Label: not well liked........

Not well liked......

What does it mean to be well liked? I supposed it is different things to different people. Does it mean that you have many friends? I am not so sure.

I have a lot of acquaintances. People I work with, people whose children go to school with mine, patients I have cared for in the hospital, people I have met online, people who were friends in my youth, whom I have limited contact with anymore. All acquaintances.......none really friends.....none I would share my intimate details of my life with.

That wasn't always the case though. I used to have a lot of friends. People I considered trustworthy enough to tell everything to. I learned the hard way that this is not necessarily the best thing in the world to have. I found out that even though they people called me "friend", that I was not well liked by them. Why??? was my burning question. What is it that I had done that caused them to dislike me so?

For example, in 1997 I was expecting a baby. I was not thrilled with the news of the pregnancy, it came at a time when my husband and were having a lot of difficulties in our marriage. I was in a state of depression still from the birth of my previous son barely a year before. Then, I found out that the baby I was carrying had a birth defect that was incompatible with life. I shared this story and my pain with a lot of people who were my "friends". People from a chatting community where I had always felt "well liked". Friends from my youth. Even in my own family. The reactions were underwhelming. The online friends really being the worst. They were so supportive to my face.......only to doubt my story and talk about me behind my back. Actually accusing me lying about this horrific experience. I was obviously not well liked to have my "friends" use my personal tragedy as fodder for their gossip. I am still in contact with a few of those people, one in particular who still puts up the facade of caring and friendship, only to cut me down behind my back.

Where I work, I used to always feel that people did not care for me. I am not sure why that was either. I always do my job to the best of my ability, always ready to lend a helping hand when I can. There were a few that could make me feel so very unwelcome. I always let that overshadow my whole day. Until I went on maternity leave. When I came back, I was making a bed with a co-worker. She said to me, "We are sure glad to have you back here, we missed you". In that one instant, my whole outlook changed. I realized I was well liked, by a lot of the staff anyway. I was appreciated. That revelation for me made all the difference. It makes going to work easier, I feel that I actually have people there who care about me. Makes work so much more enjoyable.

So, in your dealings with people, be careful what you do, as you never know when you could be shattering the very fragile psyche of someone. Treat others with respect, you never know what you make get back in return.

I feel I have shaken the label of Not Well Liked fairly well. A lot of it is making sure you surround yourself with people who do actually like you, and block out the ones that only want to gather the dirt on you.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Labels: Unattractive...........

This one goes along with the first ones. In my head, being chubby, fat, "big boned" or whatever moniker you put on it, is just not attractive.

I know I am pretty. At least I feel pretty when I look in a mirror, after I put on my makeup and do my hair. But being pretty and being attractive are two very different things. I feel that being attractive means that people will actually stop and take a second look at you. That never happens to me. I attribute it to my body shape. It seems to me that if you have blond hair, big boobs, and skinny waist, you are considered attractive, even if you have a plain face. Any girl who is chubby, no matter how pretty she is, is just a "fat chick".

I don't come by these observations arbitrarily either. I have heard it. I have overheard guys talking. I have heard guys talking in conversations where I am included. The media portrays it all over the place. I felt the sting of it when my ex-husband (pick either one) would turn his head and watch a thin, blond, big chested woman walk by, forgetting that I was even in his presence. Every time he would drool after some movie star on TV. I used to hear from them, "its just a guy thing"....but they didn't seem to understand the damage it did, even though I would tell them. The constant feeling of not being good enough.

I have had one relationship in my life where the man was not like this. He treated me with respect, love and kindness. He told me several times a day how beautiful I was. Always begging for pictures, not just the ones where I was all "fixed up" but every day pictures, no makeup, etc.....he loved to look at me. He loved ME. He made me feel beautiful. I remember actually feeling beautiful when I was with him. The funny thing about that, I remember OTHER people taking that second look at me then. It really is about how one FEELS. I have been fortunate to have been able to reconnect with this man recently. He still thinks I am beautiful. How wonderful is that????

Friday, December 15, 2006

Label: Not Smart Enough; Not Able to Learn New Things

not smart enough.........

This is one that plagues me from time to time. It is a strange one, since, I know I am smart. I know I am intelligent. I pride myself on that intelligence. Yet, there are times, in interacting with other people, that I feel I am not that smart....or not smart enough.

This most frequently occurs at work. And there are only a few people who seem to be able to have this affect on me. They are co-workers. I am not certain if they have this affect on everyone they interact with, I have heard rumblings of the such. I do not know if they do this intentionally, sometimes I think they do, sometimes not. I try not to let it bother me, but I tend to walk away from these interactions feeling less than adequate. This then leads into the next label.

not able to learn new things.......

In my job there are several extra courses that one must take. Being that I am in a rural setting, I don't only have courses for my specialty, I have to do courses for all specialties. I am currently enrolled in the MoreOB course for obstetrics, NRP for neonatal, I am considering the ACLS course for cardiac emergencies and have many of the nurses saying I should be taking the TNCC for trauma nursing. I feel incredibly overwhelmed by all of this, and I feel that there is no more room in my brain for anymore knowledge. I am afraid of failing. So I tend to not try.

I am certain the only way to really shed these labels is to actually enroll in the courses, do well, apply the knowledge and then, only then I will feel that I AM smart enough and I AM able to learn new things.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Label: Old Woman

Old Woman

This is a label I have been using a lot lately. I am not sure why exactly. I certainly don't feel like I am an old woman. Maybe I use it as an excuse for not paying much attention to detail, and excuse for being tired or just not wanting to make the effort to do much.

In my mind, I think I am still a 25yr old. I think like a young person, I usually act like a young least the good parts of a young person. I like to dress young, not midriff baring, butt crack showing young, but jeans and shirts young. I don't understand this need to qualify things by saying, "I am an old woman you know"

Turning 40 was not a difficult thing for me. Not like it is for some women. I have always embraced my age. The year I turned 20, I was pretty down. My boyfriend (whom I would later end up marrying) and I had broken up just before my birthday. I was no longer a teenager. My father, who was 59 when I was born, sat me down and gave me some good advice. He said to embrace each birthday, celebrate each one. It is proof that we have fought the battles and are here another year to show for it. This man's family mostly had died fairly young. For him to give me this advice was just wonderful. He lived to the age of 95. I have always lived that way. On my 40th birthday, I celebrated and enjoyed my day. I have never let another birthday get me down. I love being 40, especially when people say, "40?? You can't be 40!!"

I am hereby shedding this label. I will no longer call myself an Old Woman. Even when I am 95, I will think of myself as young and vibrant. Age is only the number of years you have been on this earth, it has nothing to do with what you have done with those years. At 40, I have done and seen much. I have not travelled, I have not scaled a mountain or swam the English channel. But I am raising 4 children, raising them to be good people. To be loving people. I have seen a lot of life and death, both in my job and in my life. I am soon embarking on a new life journey, one that was started several years ago and halted. I have found it again, and am picking up where I left off. This in itself serves to keep me young.

I AM NOT AN OLD WOMAN!!!! I am not. I never will be.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Label: Chubby Girl

Chubby Girl, Fat Chick, Chunky Monkey, Big Girl

all labels that I have given myself. I call myself these things, to show others that I do not hold some false idea of myself. I know I am not thin, I know I am not society's idea of sexy and beautiful......I don't want people who may judge me, to think that I am not aware of this fact.

I want to feel sexy and beautiful in this skin. I am just not sure how to change my thought process. I see other large women, and I have those same negative thoughts about them. "Who does she think she is wearing something like that?" "Doesn't she know that isn't attractive?" But who am I to say what is or isn't attractive to her. To her mate. What things have happened to her in her life that tell her it is okay to look like that, that she can be proud and not hide herself from the world? What things have happened in mine to tell me it ISN'T okay??

I want to get into her head and see what she thinks, how she perceives herself and others. I want to know how to get this kind of self love for myself. I need to get my own mind together and be able to accept myself for what I am........and love myself for it. I am a good person, I am a healthy person, I am an intelligent person, why can't I just be happy with myself?

This is not to say that I want carte blanc to be able to gain and gain and gain more weight, that is not what I want at all. I want to be able to love myself enough the way I am, and maybe then in turn I will stop hiding myself from the world. If anyone has any good suggestions as to how to get this task accomplished, I would gladly embrace them.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


In a lifetime people have many labels that are put on them, either by themselves or by others.

Step mom

These are but a few of the labels I have carried over the years. Each of these can be described further. I was either or Good Girl or a Bad Girl depending on the situation or the person involved. I was a Baby Sister, I suppose I still am in the eyes of my siblings. Perhaps I was considered more a Spoiled Baby Sister when I was younger. I was a good wife, an indifferent wife, a common-law wife. Each of those bring visions to your, the readers, minds of what that means to them. I am a Nurse, and even without the descriptors, that brings to mind certain visions of what that makes me.

Labels can be put on us by others, their judgements, their perceptions, their own experiences in their lives. These labels have the ability to make one feel less of a person. The more they are put on you, the more they can become true, if we let them. A self fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

There are many many negative labels I have put on myself. These are labels I need to start to shed.

chubby girl
old woman
not smart enough
not able to learn new things
not well liked
not good enough

Those are just to name a few of the more prevalent ones. Those are the ones that seem to be weighing most heavily. I am going to explore in the next few posts, ways to shed those labels. Being told that I am not those things is not really the point of this exercise, it is learning to tell myself I am not those things, in hopes of truly believing I am not those things.

Here are some of the positives that I do believe about myself already, just so you don't think I am a depressed loser who doesn't at least see some self worth.

I am intelligent. I know I am intelligent.

I am a loyal friend. Sometimes to a fault. I held onto a dying relationship for probably two years too long, just to prove my loyalty. Even when my own self respect was being attacked by that relationship, I was loyal.

I am a fair and compassionate nurse. I treat all of my patients with the same level of compassion, no matter how sick or how irritating they may be.

I am a good mom. I am not the perfect parent, I don't believe there is such a beast. I am a good mom because I discipline my children, I love them and tell them I love them all of the time. I have rarely had opportunity over the years to co-parent my children with a spouse, since most of the time there has not been one either physically or mentally present in this home. I have always had to do all of the discipline, and all of the love. I have done it well.

Tell me some of your labels. Which ones are negative? What would you like to learn to shed? What are your positives??

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Violation of Soul..........

This is how I feel. Violated. My self esteem has been raped, violated in some unspeakable way. To look in a mirror at my own image and feel unworthy of even living at times. I cannot even imagine the horror a rape or molestation survivor must feel.

My spirit was broken, allowing further attack on my soul. Taking me to a place that is so dark and cold in my head. And there are still people in my life that have the ability to put me back in that place, even if only momentarily. I am learning to resist the force of that, keep myself from going to that place, but I still do from time to time.

Recent conversations with my second ex-husband (and trust me, having two ex-husbands does enough of a number on my soul) have shown me that I am changing. I am becoming stronger in my own conviction and resolve. I have had to be firm and stand my ground. I am refusing to allow myself to be subjected to anything further. But more than that, I am realizing that the reason that I was subjected to attacks against my self esteem in the past, was because I allowed it.

I allowed people to make me feel like less. I allowed other people's perceptions of me to shape the way I felt about myself. For a long time, I didn't see it. Now I do, and I am trying to find ways to overcome that weakness in myself. I cannot change the world's perceptions of me, but I can change my own perceptions of me. I am finding that the more I write here, the less this becomes about my feelings of being overweight, and more about how I have allowed myself to be treated in the past. I am starting to see that losing weight is not going to make these feelings any better. Only I can make them better, in my head. I am not exactly sure how to accomplish this fully. I fear it will take many years to finally be able to look in the mirror and not have to go through the mental inventory of finding what is good, that I will just see it. But the fact remains, it took me 40 years to get to this point, I cannot, nor can anyone else, expect me to be able to fix it overnight.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Toxic Relationships

I have come to realize that for most people, toxic relationships are the precursors to poor self esteem. Let me first give you the definition of toxic.

Main Entry: tox·ic
Pronunciation: täk-sik
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin toxicus, from Latin toxicum poison, from Greek toxikon arrow poison, from neuter of toxikos of a bow, from toxon bow, arrow

1 : containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation

2 : exhibiting symptoms of infection or toxicosis

3 : extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful
- tox·ic·i·ty /täk-'si-s&-tE/ noun

The last definition is the one that relates to relationships. I am sure anyone who reads this will find that they have been involved in or subject to a relationship that was or is somewhat toxic. Unfortunately a lot of these happen in childhood, where one either does not even recognize the toxin, or does not have the power to overcome it. The poison that is accumulated in the mind from this can last a lifetime. And a lot of the time the offending party is not consciously aware of what they are spewing forth.

As an adult, toxic relationships come in the form of parents, siblings, other family, friends, spouses, partners, bosses, co-workers. It can be anyone you are involved with who has the ability to impact your life or your thoughts. The toxins that are let forth poison your mind and soul. It eats away at your self esteem and slowly your mind starts to attack itself.

This is what I believe to be true in my case. I am not saying that those in my life ever meant to cause this irreparable harm. I believe that often things said and done were done so under the guise of caring and concern. But the fact remains, especially for someone who may have already been suffering from a weakened state, the attacks were swift and brutal.

A psychiatrist I was seeing for treatment during the worst period of my depression told me that I likely had been depressed since I was a young child. In examining the events in my life, I had to agree. This was not because of some horrid life-altering event, it was just from my physical brain chemistry. As I was sad to learn I had passed on to one of my own children. Since the start of the attacks on my self esteem started when I was very young as well, I have to ascertain that it was because of the weakened state of mind that I was not able to filter them and fight them off.

But now back to toxic relationships. When one finds them self in such a situation, decisions need to be made. For the most part, the poison and toxicity has probably already started to cause a bit of a breakdown in the victims mind and soul. One can either distance themselves, thus limiting exposure to the toxin, giving ample time to repair in between. Or one can choose to sever the ties with the toxic person in order to never be exposed again. The closeness of the relationship and other intertwining relationships may play a major role in how one deals with this situation. Severing those ties is difficult. But in some cases, that is exactly what needs to be done. And one cannot feel badly about that.

I have had toxic relationships in my life. Both of my ex-husbands were toxic to me. The first one I have now only begun to be able to tolerate in smaller doses. The second one, until last night, I hadn't even heard from since he left. Both were toxic to my self worth. In different ways. The first never wanted me to be anything that could be seen as better than himself. The second, felt so poorly about his own self esteem, that he systematically broke what little I had left, down to almost nothing. Last night was definitely the last straw. I had made the decision to sever that relationship the day I finally asked him to leave for good. That was almost 7 weeks ago. He never tried to contact me, until last night. Then, he wanted to come to my home, to talk. I told him no. It was late, I was in no mood to talk. He got angry. Accused me of many things that just were not true. This man had never gotten angry with me like that before. He never raised his voice or his hand to me. He would never have said the things he did last night. It was vile, and it cut me to the core. Even though he apologized, the damage was done. I realized in that instant, that I hadn't loved this man in a long long time. I told him I did, I told myself I did. I was hoping that it was just a passing phase, a feeling. All marriages go through bad patches, don't they? But this was different. This had been going on longer than I cared to admit. There were big red flags, but I chose to ignore them, not wanting to admit failing at another marriage. In that instant last night, when he was trying to get me to feel some old distant emotions, I knew it.......I knew I had fallen out of love with him a long time ago. I told him I didn't love him anymore. And I know that hurt him deeply, and in a way, it hurt me too. It hurt because I didn't want to hurt anyone. But it was the not wanting to hurt him that got us to that point. The pretending that I was still in love that caused the shock and dismay when I finally had had enough.

I have a feeling he may be reading this. I can say I am sorry, and I am. I am sorry for causing pain, for giving false hope, for lying to myself and to you for all this time. I am not sorry that I have finally stopped being that doormat you accused me of being. I am not sorry for deciding I deserved more in my life, something you had been telling me from the first day you came into this house. I am not sorry for having our son, I love him to death, and I hope we can at least share in parenting him some day. I am not sorry for bringing you to the realization that you need to fix yourself in order to ever hope to find happiness with someone else. I am sorry that I couldn't do that for you before our relationship died. I tried, I really tried, but you didn't want to hear it then. And the fact remains, the relationship is gone, it is over, it was dealt some very fatal blows, there was no real need to call me to finish it off the way you did. It was already gone. I wish you well. I hope you learn to see the goodness in yourself....the goodness I told you was there for so long. I hope you find happiness and love someday. I hope you find someone who is your soul mate. It isn't me. I know that now. A soul mate does not tear the other down. Does not say hurtful, demeaning things. Does not use the others love and generosity without returning something. Even if that something is only a kind gesture. You are a good man, just not good for me. And I am not good for you either.