Food, forgiveness, and letting go

I have an appointment with TM today and it cannot get here soon enough. After that, I may do a second gym practice or take a yoga class. Something to burn off some of my present level of negative energy.

Like everyone, there are a few things in life that genuinely upset me to a distraught degree. It happens rarely – the Very Bad Incident is an excellent example – but there are certain triggers that may result in complicated and messy emotional responses.

I am in the midst of one of those right now.

Something thoughtless was said to me yesterday, and while it seemed innocent enough on the surface, the consequence ripple is still being felt this afternoon. And I have no idea what to do about it.

Since I began this blog it has evolved into my safe place to talk about anything and everything. Only rarely do I ever regret sharing its existence with my nearest and dearest, because what is said here is never anything that has not been stated directly.

Today, however, is one of those even rarer occasions when I wonder if going private might be more appropriate. I reject the idea almost instantly, because I would miss the opportunities to meet other people, gain valuable perspective, and explore other blogs, but it says something about my shaken state.

I skipped dinner last night in my distress. I rarely to never skip meals, because it wreaks havoc on my blood sugar and makes me feel lightheaded and weak. My practice this morning kind of sucked because of it, and the “weak” aspect of my skipping a meal definitely showed. Or maybe my anger was not as focused as I imagined? Whatever it was, I struggled with the weights and gave up worrying about using my “normal” dumbbell weights and used something lighter and focused exclusively on maintaining impeccably good form for 4 sets – J would have been so proud.  Maybe it’s my head simply thrashing myself, but even with that minor success I feel as if I just concluded the sloppiest practice I have had in weeks. Ah well. It is but one practice out of several more this week; I will try again and do better.

But back to the latest in this string of harsh-my-self-improvement-positivity-buzz events. Accidents happen, people are thoughtless and say and do stupid things all the time. I completely understand that, having been there, done that, and have a whole closet full of t-shirts to commemorate those occasions. Majority of the time I am forgiving, as I feel I am or will be in time in this case. But it feels like such a gross violation of trust in a bid for attention or something that I am having a hard time letting it go. Granted, it has not yet been an entire day.

Trust is only 5 letters, yet it is such a loaded word with big giant connotations and consequences.

I know I have trust issues; one does not have the childhood I endured and come out the other side an adult without real hang-ups and issues. But I do try hard do put forth the effort to be a good and caring person and responsible community member. The trespass was inadvertent and to anyone else not that big of a deal. Except it is to me; I simply do not tolerate disrespect of me very well and I absolutely cannot tolerate it for my family and my tribe of adopted family. I have a headache today trying to let it go and get back to my happier place.

I am terrible about relinquishing friendships long overdue for pruning. My feelings get hurt, and I can forgive and get over it. I understand that there are degrees of hurt to be inflicted, degrees of pain I can and will endure. But trust? Breaking that is like snapping a twig; there are now 2 separate pieces that are separated forever, or at least cannot be put back together again in the same way.

So I am wondering what it means to just accept that trust is broken, a life-long challenge for which I still have no clear answers. If I am the good, decent, better person I always wish to be, I forgive and let go of this as a single ugly footnote in a very long book. Truth is I don’t know that I am there yet in my good personhood timeline. I know the regret is genuine, the apologies sincere, yet I have this big cement wall between my accepting the apology and my inner gut-check knowledge that I may never again look at this person in the same way again, nor trust them to the same sort of intimate degree.

It makes me feel terrible about myself. And I so want to get past the part of my life where I feel terrible about who I am and that I have limitations and boundaries that are real and should be respected by anyone who professes to know and care about me. I want to claw and scrape and do whatever it takes to get back to where I was yesterday, in my so happy to be me state of being.

I feel I am regressing. TM will help me make sense of it and come to a better conclusion – he has never let me down in sorting my shit out. I am guessing he will say to give it time, not to make any irreversible decisions, to forgive myself in my inability to react with only frozen composure that may last forever toward this dear friend.

A thoughtless, tossed off comment. Until I expressed my mounting distress, it was not even seen as much of a big deal. Until I made it such, and I was so shocked by the initial cavalier attitude that I could not say “I am very angry about your thoughtlessness toward me and mine” in the moment, because another little foundational pillar within me was crumbling. I completely understand this seems like an overreaction, because people make mistakes. However, I have learned to not dismiss my own feelings in favor of keeping the peace or maintaining facades of relationships.

When I was a little girl, my parents would send me off to spend time alone with my abuser and allow him to hurt me, several days per week, for several years. My tears, my fears, my anxiety about it and about him fell on deaf ears for years, and it taught me how to stuff my feelings with food, isolation, perfect behavior, and to beat myself into a bloody pulp when none of that worked, seemed to matter, or made the hurting stop. I lacked words to make them understand what was happening. But I grew up believing if I were good, if I were good enough, if I followed all the rules and did everything they wanted and said it took to be good, the pain would stop. But it never did, not until we moved. Because what they said to me in their actions is that my feelings did not matter. I did not matter. Other people’s expectations and needs were more important. The lesson imparted was what I think, how I feel matters only in service to others, because that is what determines my good personhood and worth.

The legacy of that haunts me to this day.

I am fiercely protective of my family and those I adopt as family (whether they are aware of that adoption into my tribe or not). It’s like a mortal wound when someone within my realm mistreats another in hopes of a laugh or as attention seeking behavior. My reactions to such tend to be mama grizzly type severe. It’s hard to hear shortcomings about yourself from others you like and respect, but if it comes from a caring place I can accept and cope with it in a relatively rational manner. But when it comes to my family or those in my tribe, our private discussions can be as joking or as serious as appropriate, but they should always be harmless fun or at the very least respectful. But there is a big difference between a private disagreement and reprimand and a public derisive or insulting comment; all bets are off if the injury occurs in a public forum. It is rare for me to choose to end a relationship and it is not a decision I make lightly, but right now I am in such a state that I need to maintain a safe distance in order to not rain an escalating level of pained anger over a few seconds of unthinking words.

TM will likely counsel to give it some time, to allow my feelings to settle down. I don’t disagree with him on that course at all, and I will take his advice to heart in whatever context he frames it. But there’s the searing sort of pain that says while I do not want to let go, my self-destruct pin has been pulled and I either put some distance between me and this grenade or I blow myself up with it.

So how does all this relate to food, you may be wondering?

This is supposed to be my 5 day food logging for the dietician. I have thus far skipped dinner yesterday (definitely an anomaly), had my pre-workout protein shake before going to the gym this morning, and since it’s nearly 1:30 p.m., I need to eat something for lunch. I have been studiously avoiding the office kitchen and the ooey-gooey brownies on the table – my ability to resist is nonexistent at the moment. The little bag of almonds and orange on my desk do not constitute a typical lunch for me, but it’s getting late enough that it will tide me over until after I see TM and can get home for a decent dinner. So this has not the best start to meal tracking. Therefore, I am making an executive decision to restart the tracking clock to tomorrow and try harder to be better about it. At least I avoided the sugar trap; surely it should be gone by tomorrow.

The urge to eat crap is all around me today, but thankfully I am both working at my part-time office job and handling matters for my self-employment clients. It’s a crazy time tracking day, but I am making it work.

I feel all Debbie Downer today and am so sad about that. I need to repower my happy and bring on the more meaningful suck. Like single legged deadlifts or anything yoga. I would much rather be frustrated about my present physical imbalance than my off-kilter emotional balance.

4 thoughts on “Food, forgiveness, and letting go

  1. Good for you on the gym and the starting food tracking tomorrow. I am so sorry to hear this about your friend. I understand all too well the foundational issues that lead to your reaction. Breaking someone’s trust is such a serious thing (to me) that I can’t go back when it happens. We may remain friends at some level – but never again the same way. It is too critical – too important to me. It is hard to believe that something that was said that would deal such a blow to your trust of them was said inadvertently. Those who we are closest to know how to hurt us the best. And consciously or not they may use that knowledge to hurt us. And that is why once that injury has happened – I can’t go back to that level of relationship. Because I armed that person with what they used to harm me – I don’t dare risk “re-arming” in the future.

    TM sounds wise and will give you great direction on this.

    Remember this above all: you ARE a good and decent person – better than you believe of yourself. You and your feelings matter.

    • Thanks, SAK. For sure, there is no Baskin Robbins in my immediate future. If I can turn away from homemade turtle brownies (OMG – I had to practically run from the kitchen when I saw them and lock myself in my office) I can resist the allure of other junky foods.

      I feel like some gigantic bird is following me around the neighborhood dropping great steaming piles of poo in my pathway as I make some progress on improving my self-image and overall outlook. TM is a mere 28 minutes away at this point, and while all will not be well after that hour, I should have some clarity.

      I just wish it had never happened and that I was not in this particular headspace. 😦 But it will improve. Whatever else I know right now, it will be better soon.

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