Friday, March 30, 2012

head vs heart

I do better when I am talking with friends or with my therapist.
I get to verbalize my situation, and in return I hear my friend's stories, or stories from friends of friends, and I am comforted. Other people have loved so hard and lost it, too. But they're ok. They made it. They're making it.

I go back to the head stuff, the stuff I KNOW: Jesus loves me. God wants His very best for me. I will be taken care of. I will love and will be loved again. I'm exactly where I need to be at this moment. It will all work out in the end.
And I have more peace.

The issue is when my heart takes over, drowning in the things I'm unsure of.
I wonder what I'm going to do for Thanksgiving this year? (I will miss hanging out with his grandparents so badly.)
I wonder what he is feeling? (Is he happy without me?)
I wonder when I will be legitimately happy for him when he finds someone new? (Currently, this idea makes me nauseous.)
I wonder how I'll ever be able to one day trust the same words he told me when they come from the mouth of another? (I can't handle my heart being broken like this again.)
I wonder if I will ever find someone who will love me as much as I love them? (I love a LOT. Can it be returned?)

I almost wish we had stayed very best friends – instead of boyfriend/girlfriend & best friends - this entire time so I wouldn't have to stifle the memories we have.

The only photo of us I left sitting out is at work. We are posing in front of a giant NASA logo during our tour of their facilities. We saw the last space shuttle launch only the day before. Some of the best several days I've ever got to experience, and he was with me.
It hurts that eventually I'll have to take that photo down, not because I want to forget, but because you shouldn't have a photo of an ex-boyfriend up in your apartment or office...especially if there is a new boy one day.
It's not fair.

If you think about it, will you say a little prayer for me? UPDATED: Sunday evening, I see Chris for the first time since the breakup. Pray for closure, and possibly even comfort. I need it so badly.
I have to start finding my new normal. I have to stick with the head stuff.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the problem with shame is

Let's face it: I'm a perfectionist. I always have been.
If I did something wrong when I was little, I would go into the bathroom and cry, thinking, "WHY AM I SO BAD?!" over and over.
And by I was little, I mean I was like, six. SIX! And I would think these things.

“Perfectionism is addictive because when we invariably do experience shame, judgment, and blame, we often believe it’s because we weren’t perfect enough so rather than questioning the faulty logic of perfectionism, we become even more entrenched in our quest to live, look, and do everything just right.” - Brené Brown

When my therapist told me that I have a big issue with shame and a fear of abandonment, I only agreed with the latter. Shame? Ha. Shame about what?
Only after I read the psychological definition did I admit that I carry that burden as well.

shame: thinking there is something about you that makes you unworthy of connection with other people
Yes, oh yes. The reason WHY I have a fear of abandonment is shame. "I wasn't perfect! They hate me!" "Someone is going to get to know me JUST enough that they'll get scared and leave me!"

The problem with shame (like Brené alluded to) is that it sometimes gets validated.

A friend no longer keeps in touch.
You trust someone enough to share a secret, only to be rejected by them.
Your boyfriend breaks up with you.
You are never good enough for your parents.
You still can't get a job.

I know shame is going to try to take this breakup for a long ride.
It will keep whispering in my ear: "You thought you were safe after 2.5 years but you were wrong." "You're boring." "You're too fat." "You're weird." "You're not good enough."

These are thoughts I have to fight EVERY DAY. It's exhausting, but I have to do better or else they'll keep winning. They've won most of my life.
Thank goodness I'm learning the tools I need to fight back.

I am enough. :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

so many tissues

This has been my worst day since the night he broke up with me. I even left work a little early because I was about to burst. (I had to have my trusty tissue - okay, tissues - with me during my walk to my car.)

Using my cognitive behavioral techniques, I tried to "squash" my anxious thoughts right away...but I wasn't very good at it today. Everything is making me cry.

A man on a TV show telling his wife how beautiful she is.
That stupid Fancy Feast commercial with a kitten wearing a "Will you marry us?" charm on its collar.
Seeing my own cat and thinking about how well Chris loves her.
Making a two-person meal and having leftovers.
Filling up my dishwasher half as fast.
(And ugh, now they're dancing to "Marry You" on Dancing with the Stars.)


"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" - Matthew 6:26 & 27

I understand that I will be taken care of, that everything will work out in the end. I know this. But...I'm impatient. And anxious.
Just thinking about someone new makes me sick to my stomach.
(I actually had a couple dreams that boys were hitting on me, and I got upset...because they weren't Chris.)

At this moment, I just wish I was married. I just wish I felt safe.

Friday, March 23, 2012

that evening

Chris came over because he was about to leave for a work trip for a couple weeks. Totally normal.
He seemed a little tired and/or sad when he arrived. I never know how to take those kinds of emotions. I feel like I can't tell if something is actually wrong with someone, or if my anxiety is just telling me something is wrong.

I sat down on the couch next to him, and held him.
"I had a stinky day. I...knocked the side mirror off of my car." I admitted, and started to get a little teary, because I felt so dumb for doing that. I had been thinking all day of a good lie to make it not my fault, but I knew that wasn't what I should do. (I just hate being bad at stuff he's really good at - like driving - because I don't want him to think I'm stupid. He wouldn't ever think that, anxiety brain!)

I don't really remember what he said in response, but he was quiet for a while. I kissed his cheek.

"Are you okay?"
"What's wrong?" I leaned back. I already had a bubble in my throat.
"I have to move to Knoxville."
"Oh..." I started to cry. Not hard, just a little.
"Sorry," I apologized for getting tears on him. "I know we've talked about you maybe being transferred to Seattle [or New York City] before, but this is...a surprise. When did you find out?"
"When I was there [these past two weeks]."
"They told me it would always be a possibility..." he started, and then was silent for a bit again.

I was scared of the answer because of the way he was acting, but I had to ask anyway: " you want me to come up there with you eventually?"
"That's what we need to talk about..."

Okay, so there went my REAL tears.
Oh God, I'm awful. I'm gasping and screaming and whining and barely breathing. (I'm sure the neighbors thought someone was getting tortured inside my apartment. It was bad.)

"I still feel the same as I did a couple months ago..." he began to get upset, too.
(Note: when he broke up with me about the spark two months ago, he came back two days later and said he'd made a mistake. We had a great talk and I felt good about everything.)

I went into the bathroom to wash off all my makeup, only because it was becoming a runny mess on my face. I could cry easier now.

He got me tissues and a trash can, and stayed for a while.
When I could talk, we talked. When I needed to cry, he held me. When I got tired and rested my forehead on his, he wiped the single tear from my cheek.

"Everything's going to be different," I said, my voice muffled by how deep my face was now buried in his chest.
"I know, babe," he said, and started to cry.

I didn't want him to leave, ever. I had plans with him.
We had looked at houses, balanced our budgets together, discussed future travel plans...
Now everything in front of me has been erased.

I'm my own person. I have wonderful friends and a career and hobbies and my own place. But, what do I DO now...?

Everything hurts.
Walking to my empty apartment: "He's not here..."
Sitting at work: "I can't text him..."
Trying to make plans: "I can't make them with him..."
Driving to meet friends: "That's where he lives..."
Watching TV: "Chris was supposed to finish this show with me..."

I just wish I felt like he felt. I want to understand.
And maybe it wouldn't hurt so bad.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I watched (mostly listened to) a couple of Brené Brown TED talks yesterday morning, found on this blog post from Emerging MummyThe title, "In which vulnerability is true courage," caught my eye.
(If you have the time, I would HIGHLY recommend watching these two talks, especially if you have issues with anxiety, depression, shame, or being vulnerable. Or, if you are human.)

I'm so glad I clicked.

It made me feel...powerful, almost. Something inside me fell into place.
Yesterday was the first day that I didn't have to use a tissue either walking to my car or on my drive home...during lunch OR after work. Instead of crying over my lost love, I was beaming in the courageousness of my vulnerability.

I'm NOT better. I'm still hurting. I still cry. I still feel sick to my stomach. I still haven't told my parents. (I don't care to have the "I'm never getting grandchildren!" talk again, yet.)
I felt stronger yesterday. I feel stronger today.
Because I was vulnerable.

Yes, it's still hard for me to say the words, to tell some of my stories out loud...but I'm writing about it, and I'm letting everyone read it.
Am I a little upset that I didn't start therapy years ago instead of now? Of course. Do I wish I would have been more vulnerable with Chris than I was? Absolutely.
Baby steps.

Brené Brown said, "When we reach out and are vulnerable, we get the shit beat out of us."

That is true.
But you risk that because someone will also call you brave, or inspirational, or beautiful, or strong.
And you are all those things.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

one week

My therapist tells me that I need to sit and deal with my feelings
It's okay for me to want to be surrounded by my friends and be distracted sometimes, but at some point...I have to feel things.
It's awful.

There are so many things I want to tell him.

I finally got to stop for the duck crossing sign in front of my apartment complex to let a pair of mallards walk by!
I was stopped at a light next to a white C63...and it took off like a rocket when the light turned green.
I had coffee with Stephanie and Bushra, and it was the first time in over two years we all three sat at Starbucks without sending you silly texts...and the first time I didn't get to brag about you.
I passed by your apartment on Thursday, and I cried.
When I visited Rockwall, I found 4 more of my juice glasses that I haven't been able to find anywhere else. Now I have my matching set!
I got a keyboard and I'm so excited! I want to play you some music.

Some of the stuff is serious, some of it is silly...but they're all things I wish I could text/tell him while he is away.
But I can't.

And every time that I hear my phone alert me to a text message, my heart still jumps because it might be him...
But it won't be.
(It just dinged, and it wasn't him. I started to cry.) :(

There are tissues in my purse, tissues in my car, tissues sitting next to me right now. I carry a tissue out with me to my car after I leave work. Just in case.

I miss my best friend.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

waiting for a spark

Basically, what Chris told me was that we shouldn't be together because he didn't feel a "spark." (He told me the same things two months ago, and that he'd been thinking about it for 2-3 months.)
Also, he has to move to Knoxville now...

What is the damn spark?!
Am I not attractive to him anymore? Do I not excite him or am I dull*? Am I too shy? Am I weird because I like cats and sometimes I coupon?

He said we are best friends and that you're supposed to marry your best friend. ("Our personalities are perfect [together]!") But you also need the "spark." So, it wasn't going to work because we didn't have that second part.

I shouldn't be doing this, but because of who I am, I just NEED TO KNOW what went wrong so I can FIX IT. I don't want to unknowingly have some flaw that pushes away every guy that's out there.


Because I'm so anxious and kind of hate myself most of the time, I try to keep a collection of compliments people have given me. I will periodically go back and read over them, to help myself feel better.
I have a running text document with everything nice Chris has ever said to me. (Well, not EVERYTHING, but the things that I appreciated him say the most.)

I started re-reading.
And I cried because...I don't understand.


"I guess what I'm trying to say is that I like you as more than friends. I think you're really pretty. You're a nerd...and I like that. You just really impress me. I think the world of you."

"I don't want a girl that's just like all the others. You're unlike anyone I've ever met. I can't compare you to anyone... It's unfair."

"Someone like you comes along...never."

"I think you're gorgeous."

"[You being here with me,] it just boggles my mind; it really does."

"I can't put it into words [how much I like you]."

"You're the 'one in a million'...and I'm not saying that you're 'THE one,' but you're definitely in the running."

"You're someone that I can see in my future."

"There was one time I was talking to [mutual friend] - I think it was when you were still with [ex] - and I don't know if I actually told [friend] this, but we were talking about girls and I said, 'I wish I could find someone like Kristin.'"

"I don't want to scare you... You're someone who'd be easy to fall in love with."

"I'm not going anywhere."

C: "You really scare me."
me: "Why?"
"Because you could really break my heart."
"I don't ever want to do that."
"If it's up to me, that will never happen to you again. I can't believe someone couldn't see how wonderful you are and treated you the way they did.  You never deserved that.  I know what you're worth."

"You have so much of what I want [in a significant other]."

"I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I was talking to my grandmother...last week...and she was asking about you.  I told her you were probably the last person I was ever going to date.'"

C: "I don't want to scare you, but...could you see yourself marrying me?"
me: "Yes."



What happened?! And can I fix it?

*The first date I ever went on was in high school. The guy took me out, and then told all my friends the next day that I was dull. Obviously, that has stuck with me. (It turned out that he only went on a date with me because his ex-girlfriend said I was pretty...but still. That sucked.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

step one, step one...

Okay, so I said I'd be transparent, right?
I think I'm regretting that now...

Chris broke up with me on Sunday night.
I don't really want to talk details yet. I wasn't ready for this at all, so if you wouldn't mind saying a few prayers for me: for sleep, for the minimal amount of tissues to be used, for productivity at work, and for good times with friends.
I'm trying to stay so busy, because when I'm not, it gets bad. Ugly, red, puffy, makeup-smeared crying face.
(I'm all about sleepovers, too. I've had friends over but then end up breaking down after they leave. Just stay with me forever and I'll never be sad!)

This seems very...cheesy, but this song was stuck in my head this morning, and I think it's perfect for me right now. I can't listen to it unless I'm by myself though, because I will cry. A lot.

reborn and shivering
spat out on new terrain
unsure, unconvincing
this faint and shaky hour

day one, day one, start over again
step one, step one
I'm barely making sense for now
I'm faking it 'till I'm pseudo making it
from scratch begin again, but this time I as I
and not as we

gun shy and quivering
timid without a hand
feign brave with steel intent
little and hardly here

day one, day one, start over again
step one, step one
with not much making sense just yet
I'm faking it 'till I'm pseudo making it
from scratch begin again, but this time I as I
and not as we

eyes wet toward
wide open frayed
if God's taking bets
I pray He wants to lose

day one, day one, start over again
step one, step one
I'm barely making sense just yet
I'm faking it 'till I'm pseudo making it
from scratch begin again, but this time I as I
and not as we

-Alanis Morissette's "Not As We"

PS - Thank you, friends, who have already reached out and kept me busy & positive. I wish I could rewind or fast forward a few months so I'd just feel better, but that's not how this works. Friends are the next best thing.

PPS - Please do not call me or come to me to talk about it at work...I will just cry at you. Sorry. Texts and emails are ok. :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

red flags

These are probably posted all over the internet as warning signs or red flags for potential abusive partners, but it needs repeating.
This is just what I have encountered, some of which I didn't understand as abuse behavior until later.

• Is he isolating you from family and friends, and are you not able to make new friends?
• Does he criticize potential friends or caution you to stay away from certain people? ("She's rude; you don't want to hang out with her.")
• Does he dissuade you from activities because it would take you away from him? ("You can't do that because I need you here doing this.")
• Does he talk you out of leaving him or put undue pressure on you to stay with him? ("I would have never met you if my dad didn't die!" – ACTUALLY SAID TO ME)

• Does he "jokingly" make fun of you? (For me, it was mostly in front of other people and not when we were alone. Ugh.)
• Do other people mention that he is mean to you?
• Does he huff and puff or give you the "silent treatment" when you try to discuss something/when you have an argument?
• Does he tell you that all guys (or girls!) are the same? (Basically, "You'll never be able to do better than me because all guys are the same. We all think and do the exact same things.")
• Does he try to undermine the validity of truthful things you said? ("You never said that," or "You said x instead of y.")
• Have you made decisions you never would have made if not for his intensive pleading?

• Does he pout or whine when you say no?
• Does he do something even after you say no?
• Does he mock you or belittle you for saying no? ("You're just being weird!")
• Does he try to make you drink more because it's easier to take advantage of you/you're less likely to resist?
• Does he give examples of other people who have done it so "it's ok?"
• Does he apologize profusely, but keep doing the same thing? (Like a domestic abuser sending flowers after a beating, only to repeat the cycle.)
• Does he pressure, coerce, or guilt you into giving in?
• Does he complain when he doesn't get exactly what he wants?

Do any of these describe your significant other? (I'm sure many of these behaviors transcend the different types of abuse.)
Be aware that all of the "he's" can be replaced with "she's." Women aren't always the victims.

It took me a year before I felt comfortable enough to leave for good; I wish it hadn't been that long. You do not have to stay because you are scared or because you think no one can help. There is always someone who will be there for you. :)

Friday, March 9, 2012


How did I know Chris was different?

One night before I drove home, he was giving me a hug. He innocently touched the side of my thigh as we pulled away, and I froze. I don't know if I got a flash back or not, but I felt sick to my stomach.

"Can you please not do that?"
"Won't happen again," he said.
And it didn't.

He didn't know my past. He didn't need an explanation. He didn't whine or pout.
Respect is an awesome thing.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

my assignment

I feel really weird talking about anxiety, eating disorders, and abuse.
I don't want people to think:

1) I just want attention.
2) It wasn't "that bad."
3) I want your pity.


Y'all, it totally freaks me out to be writing about these things, but I really, really, REALLY feel they need to be talked about. That's how we can help others. That's how it becomes real to people. That's how some may recognize the destructive or dangerous place where they are.

Please share your stories, too!

Anyway, my therapy assignment for last week was to write down what it felt like growing up not being able to make my own decisions.

My mom likes to be in control. A lot of things I decided to do, she would shut down or say they weren't good enough.

Favorite example: in high school, senior year spring semester, I had raised my GPA AND moved up in the class rankings. This was no easy feat: I was now 7th in a class of 500+ people. I was SO excited.
I came home and told my mom the good news.
"Well, just think of how much better you would have done if you would have actually applied yourself."

My mom also liked (likes?) to dig around in my things. She never thought I looked "hard enough" for something, even if I went through my entire bedroom or KNEW that I didn't have it. She rifled through my backpack and through dresser drawers on several occasions. She never liked when I locked my bedroom door. (If I ever needed to be alone or if I really needed to cry, I would go into the bathroom and lock the door because that was the one place I knew she wouldn't go.)
Recently, my parents' cat took a pen off of the counter and batted in under the couch. My mom was CONVINCED someone in the family had taken it, even after everyone said they didn't. My mom walked in to my little sister's room in the middle of the night  while she was SLEEPING – to go through her things, looking for the pen. My sister rightly kicked her out.

Every time I messed up, it wasn't, "Oh, I did that when I was younger, too. What did you learn from it?" It was more like, "How could you do that? That was not a smart decision. I thought you knew better than that." (Well, obviously not.)

The list goes on.

Note: I was a GOOD KID! I never drank, never did drugs, never had sex, never even had a boyfriend. Made excellent grades and had really great friends.

So, how did it make me feel?
• Like I wasn't able to make good decisions
• Like my opinion wasn't valid or valued
• That she liked my sisters more than me (They were able to quit the same activities I had to stay in, had later curfews, etc.)
• Like I didn't know what was best for me
• That it didn't matter what I liked or didn't like; my feelings didn't matter
• That I wasn't to be trusted, ever
• Like I didn't have any privacy or some space of my own
• Like I needed to be perfect

Now, I'm learning to reverse these ideas I have about myself.
It's difficult, but I have to do it! It's only healthy.

PS - My therapist encourages me to journal! WOO HOO, I love me some validation!

Friday, March 2, 2012



Just because your eating disorder "isn't as bad" as someone else's does not make it any less painful. Just because you never weighed 60 pounds, just because you didn't have a heart attack, or just because you didn't die doesn't make your disease less real.

I ONLY lost 40 pounds!
I ONLY went down a bra cup size!
I ONLY went down 4 pant sizes!
I ONLY went without my period for 3 months!
The worst of my eating disorder ONLY lasted for three years!

If we just went by the physical manifestation, to the outside world, I was probably a sucky anorexic.
Does that discount any of my experiences, fear, or mental anguish? NO.

We all think the same thoughts and are all haunted by the same things, no matter how it shows on our bodies.

"I feel so gross. I forgot to ask for my Caesar dressing on the side when I ordered my salad...and I could just taste the overwhelming amount of fat I was consuming..."
"I hate food. I really really do."
"Blah! I just feel so disgusting right now. I'm really going to have to cut back my caloric intake this week."
"I don't want to be fat again!"
"I can't sleep yet, either. I can just feel the consumables slushing around in my stomach. I'm forcing water down, trying to keep myself completely hydrated; it keeps enzyme reactions at a normal speed in your system."*

Don't you dare think you are less worthy of treatment or help because you deem your illness less than another's.

*All those quotes were taking from ONE journal entry my senior year of high school.