Confessions of a Skinny Mom

For my 100th post, I figured I’d write about the one thing I hate to admit.   Who am I kidding, there are plenty of things I hate to admit.  This one, however, is a bit, well . . .  difficult.

I danced around it on my Angela Jolie Post, my Adultery Diet Post and I described some of the effects of it with We Thought You Were Dead, Mommy — Almost F*cked to Death and the Twilight Zone posts  but I never really say it.  Even here and now within the constraints of a blog post I’m not going into great detail, not in one post anyway.  Plus, posts are supposed to be short, right?  I can only write so much here.  (Thank goodness.)

There have probably been seeds of it implanted in me from my childhood, and in young adult life when I did a miniscule about of modeling.  Years later  I lost a lot of weight after my children were born, initially as a result of breastfeeding multiples and later from sheer exhaustion. See Fertile Myrtle.

But somewhere in my mind I have had this fear of “getting fat.”

Then there was the negative reinforcement of the world, it seems, when people said,

“You don’t look like you have five kids . . . “

It is meant as a compliment.  But it probably got my psyche thinking, “What if I didn’t look like this?

So, after the children,  I kept busy (as if I had a choice with all those kids), watched how much I ate, and stayed slim. And I’d pretty much given my body to my husband, “Sex On Demand“.

Maybe I was still feeling vulnerable from my his stupid  brief affair with a much younger woman.

Maybe,” I thought, “I can’t get younger, but I can make sure I don’t get fat.”  I don’t know.

Maybe I felt out of control because I suddenly had so many children and was completely overwhelmed yet somehow needed to make it look effortless.  The Superwoman Syndrome.

So I stayed slim, but not yet dangerously so.  I got some new clothes, highlights in my hair and was trying to give myself a home makeover — the new me –  still fabulous after five kids, who were finally out of the diaper, toddler, and preschool grind.  I could see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Maybe we’d be able to leave the house soon? 

But then . . .  my husband left me . . .

. . . and I pretty much stopped eating.

Ironically his love interest at that time was younger and  significantly heavier than me.  My being thin and sexually available was ultimately unsuccessful.  Maybe I just should have become an incredible cook . . . but I digress . . .

At first I was too devastated to eat, and that, simply, continued.

I never used laxatives, or induced vomiting.  (I absolutely hate throwing up).  I just  stopped eating, or really ate just enough to keep from falling over.  I had a lot of other “behaviors” — they call them.  Whatever, I don’t want to think about it now.  Though it never got as bad as those horrifying pictures one sees on the internet,  I admit  it makes me uncomfortable to look at pictures of myself during my worst times . . . and I have destroyed most of them.

I was a bit like Emily in The Devil Wears Prada, except not nearly as glamorous.

“Well, I don’t eat anything and when I feel like I’m about to faint I eat a cube of cheese.” The Devil Wear Prada

I was in the throes of a deep, deep depression.  But I had children, so I continued doing what I had to do for the most part, except . . . I failed to nourish myself.  Or, I nourished myself just enough to continue to take care of the children, short-term.

Was it a cry for help or a form of suicide when suicide was not an option?

Funny thing happens when you don’t eat much or often,when you do eat you are rewarded with pain and nausea.  Hardly incentive for a person who was crying all day long anyway.     So I ate just enough to function, but my resistance was down, physical strength drained and when I started having dizziness and heart palpitations and losing my hair and a couple of hospitalizations and a blood transfusion later?  Well, perhaps there was a problem.   (Ya think?)  Not to mention my historically unhealthy relationship with my estranged husband, see My High School Self,  and the crap I was dealing with when he left.   It was a rough time.  Call me Forrest Gump, but that’s all I have to say about that –  now, anyway.

They say I suffer(ed) from Anorexia.

I actually don’t feel like talking about this stuff.  I mean, I’m hardly the face of —- gulp — an eating disorder.  I’m an adult  woman of color who has been diagnosed with  a disease whose poster child is the face of a 14-year-old white girl. The stereotype for me is either the big mama in the kitchen or the strong, sassy and proud single mother.   Well, I was/am neither.   Food and cooking holds no interest for me and I did not choose, nor do I wave the banner of my suddenly single mother situation, it’s just something I have to deal with.

No matter, “Anorexia”  is in my medical charts, I have been referred to  and evaluated by a facility for eating disorders who determined that because of my family obligations, I should be treated privately.   Whatever.  I don’t feel like discussing it right now.  Wait, did I already say that?  It’s too much for a blog post, anyway, right?  (Thank goodness).

Long, painful, story short, I’m so much better now.  Therapy, medications for depression and medications for my chronic stomach ailments caused by my poor eating habits have helped tremendously.  Though I’m off the daily anti-depressants now, see Getting Off The Meds,  I’ve found that changing my lifestyle and removing triggers — as much as I can — have helped tremendously also.    So I eat now,  not always well and not with enjoyment, but regularly.  I’m at a good weight, or so I’m told –  I never look.   People tell me I look great.  (People in the know are careful not to exclaim that I’ve gained weight.)   To look at me now, no one would know of my “issues.”   Still, when I am down or stressed, I don’t eat.  And sometimes,  I just forget.    It’s probably something I have to watch for a long time, maybe forever.  But whatever.  I am much healthier than I was, which is the most important.

Just Me With . . . well, they say it was anorexia. They say.

Humph.

P.S.  This may be the first post I delete.

Before I get beat up in the comments because I’m a mom and have to take care of myself for my kids, etc. , know that this just skims the surface (I mean people write whole books on this stuff), that I love my children and have worked my behind off for them, have tried to protect them and have provided a good home (a good part of which I built myself), that even mothers can go through a bad time, having children does not make one immune.   I’ve learned that I have to feel good about me. Period. The rest will/has to come from that.

29 responses

  1. *big hug and or high five* Pick your choice :)
    I’m glad you posted this.

    1. Thank you. It was a tough one.

  2. I’ve read several of your back posts and the fact that you don’t care for your children has NEVER crossed my mind. As for this issue, it probably is something you’re always going to need to monitor. I admire your honesty in talking about a difficult subject for you. As long as your healthy and feel good about you. That’s what matters.

    1. Thank you for that. I guess it’s that mother’s guilt.

  3. Thank you for posting – and being honest with you and your readers. Just keep on being the healthiest you can be. For you and your kids.

  4. I think this is the most courageous post you have ever written. I have been there, too, and I thank you for your strength and candor. I hope the healing eventually ups you a dress size and maybe a bra size, too! <3

    1. Thank you. It was a tough one. I’m so much better.

  5. I agree with Annie, this was the most courageous post to date. Please take care of your self and take the time to heal those wounds. It is possible, hon, and many of us here are proof of that. {{{Hugs}}}

    1. Thank you, some things are very difficult to write about. Hell, some things are very difficult to think about. Thanks for your support.

  6. Eating disorders know no boundaries. Men can get them too, as well as women of any age. You are brave and strong, and showing a FABULOUS example for your children – that no matter what happens, you can make it through. When they have to face their own issues, no matter what those are, they can keep your example before them. There is no shame in mental health issues – we all have them, just to varying degrees at varying times in our lives.

  7. [...] Confessions of a Skinny B*tch Share this:TwitterEmailLike this:Like4 bloggers like this post. [...]

  8. [...] Confessions of a Skinny B*tch Share this:TwitterEmailLike this:Like4 bloggers like this post. [...]

  9. One of the reasons I like your blog (though I have never commented before) is that so many of the things you write about ring true with me. I too went through the ugliest of divorces, that left me shaky and scared and drained and broke…and yes, anorexic. It was…bad. Like you, I’m better now. Not cured but better. And I applaud you for the honesty. It’s always good to know you aren’t alone.

    1. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing. It does help so much to know that I’m not alone. I truly appreciate your comment — and honesty. Thanks again. I’m glad you’re better.

  10. Woman, congratulations on your courage! I discovered your blog late last year and I keep coming back because it is an amazing journey to behold. You keep up the healing, transforming, and sharing!!!!!!!

    And alright for 100!!!

  11. What can I say…the more I read of you, the more I like you! You are fabulous, I can relate to almost everything you write about, hello, I am a “decrepit” 40 something year old former ballerina, never professional of course, honestly, never good enough to really do anything about it, and thus, I used it only to stay active through college, both undergrad and grad school, and now use it to stay healthy, when I’m healthy enough to use the darn Ballet Studio I now have in my basement (as “it” wanted “its” pool table back, after the decree and as such, it had left a perfect spot for a small ballet studio as for the girls and I do ballet/tap/funk/ballet tone, whatever it may be, whenever we so choose, again, he wanted those darn balls back, I’m telling you, him and those gosh darn balls, perhaps he too is related to that Dyson fella?), as the RA/Lupus/The Disease of Anemia often gets in the way of my exercise, my good intensions.

    It’s a double edged sword is it not, working out staying fit, watching what we eat while caring for our children, as to stay thin, almost always means staying undernourished. Doing ballet tone daily would help me, would help my joints, yet, when I feel crappy, sore, and not well enough to even do the darn dishes, which by the way never interest me, and thus, do add up before I realize I must, and as such sitting and writing, reading, pondering, drawing, creating folk art, of course after I’ve already done everything necessary for my children, seem much more appealing, as does even watching “Who the Bleep Did I Marry”, which is by far one of my new favorites! And while doing these somewhat inactive things, there is nothing better or more appealing than having some nuts, treats, and/or comfort food to go along with them, right!

    Anyway, I am thoroughly convinced that almost all women have some sort of eating disorder, whether it is over-eating, under-eating, games and deals we make with ourselves as to allow this, and then we can’t have that if we have this, skip this in order to have another piece of that, etc. We live in a time where this is so put upon us, we are boxed in, yet expected to have energy for our children, after not consuming enough to do so? We cannot eat to the same level our spouses and or partners do, we just can’t, because they are allowed to be chubby, well nourished, and we must look thin and desirable, as to what…be more of an extension to their fragile ego’s, as this is what our society deems successful, having a slender and or pretty wife who can manage the children and their own selfish needs without looking exhausted at the end of the day? Only to have such a rat try to jump on our backs at the end of a day/night as to further take from us? When all we really wanted was perhaps to finish the laundry and perhaps have our hair brushed and/or massage and then be left alone to read?

  12. [...] compliment me very highly, noting that I am slim (not the healthiest comment for me to hear, see  Confessions of a Skinny B*tch  and Angela Jolie  posts) and she thinks I’m  brilliant, which, considering our only [...]

  13. [...] Related Posts:  “Confessions of a Skinny B*tch” and “The Adultery [...]

  14. [...] of my history, Confessions of a Skinny Mom, I am no stranger to stomach ailments.  But this was different.  Sudden flu or food [...]

  15. [...] I cooked, for me, for my parents.  Cooking does not give me any joy.  See Confessions of a Skinny Mom.   Still, it was so much less awkward than being at the restaurant.  My Mom and Dad ate my food; [...]

  16. [...] for me and usually a compliment, wondering how I stayed so skinny after having all the kids.  See Confessions of a Skinny Mom.   Still, she noticed when I looked particularly tired (it was a rough time) and would ask if I [...]

  17. theprofessor20032003 | Reply

    Your a hero to me in all honesty. Coping with 5 kids by yourself when he left x

    1. Thank you. The Ex is still around and has visits with the children, but the day-to-day is on me. It can be quite overwhelming especially since the kids are all around the same age and active (which is a good thing). Thanks for the support.

      1. theprofessor20032003

        What was his new wife/partner like?

      2. I don’t know her, though we’d met when he and I were still married. Since this came from the Skinny Mom post, you may be asking about size. The new Mrs is petite. Short and slim. Other than being slim, she and I don’t look at all alike. See Facebook Mutual Friends, Part II.

      3. theprofessor20032003

        The Mutual Facebook friends is a Fascinating port. All the coincidences. I love the Internet, we can have a totally anonymous conversation from one side of the earth to the other and tell each other all sorts of secrets, things one wouldn’t say to best friends one knows in the physical world. It’s like chatting to a friend down the pub
        PS I am from London

      4. Yes, it’s like a nice chat, plus some real support. I’ve made some people I’d truly call friends though we would never have met organically.

  18. […] driving.   I  also hadn’t been sleeping well and had forgotten to eat — again.  See, Confessions of a Skinny Mom.  Additionally, I tend to be “melancholy”  (sounds so much better than clinically […]

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