Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Olympic Twizzles vs. OCPD

Figure Skating Queen YUNA KIM
Figure Skating Queen YUNA KIM
(Photo credit: { QUEEN YUNA })
As I write this, I'm enjoying the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Years ago, I fell in love with figure skating and ice dancing. I attended actual in-person ice shows. Watched the Nationals on TV, and every bit of the Olympics for these sports. Bought videotapes so I could watch performances over and over again.

I admired all the other Winter Olympic sports, too, from short track racing to ski jumping and moguls, even the weird stuff like the biathlon, because doesn't everyone need to ski, then target shoot?

I'm reflecting now, about the very first Olympics I remember watching as a child. At some point, as I watched the Opening Ceremonies, as I watched the tears roll down the face of the athletes from other countries on the medal platforms when their national anthems were played, I realized that they loved their native countries as much as I loved the USA.

Up to that point, I always "knew" that the best country in the world to live in was the USA, and I felt a kind of smug compassion for all those unfortunate people in inferior countries who couldn't also be Americans.

Suddenly I was faced with the idea that were people who believed that they lived in the best country in the world  (however mistaken they might be).

And I realized that my perspective was just that: MY perspective.

One that others didn't always share.

Four years ago when the last Winter Olympics were held, I was still "with" my OCPD ex. As I was for the 2006 Winter Olympics.

It's okay that my ex didn't love ice dancing.

I fell in love, some years after their incredible performance, with Torvill and Dean. I always loved (and never felt competent at) dancing, in any form. But the two of them left me breathless.

But ice dancing, and in second place in my heart, all the other artistic ice sports: individual female and male competition pairs figure skating, I couldn't get enough of.

I "got" that he didn't want to watch it, 24/7, as would have made me happy.

The problem was, he wouldn't let me watch any of it.

When I wanted to enjoy these programs, something always came up. sex; he "wasn't in the mood" for it right now; he had something else he wanted to watch (like a "Cops" rerun he could've watched any time).

It was like Alice at the Mad Tea Party: Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, but never jam today.

When I pressed to watch ice dancing, or figure skating, on "our" TV via the cable I was paying for, that never happened.

Because, not knowing any better, I initially gave in... Certainly he was more important to me than watching some sports program on TV. Even one I loved. Even though I put up with and tried hard to love the NASCAR races that he loved, and it seemed only fair that he would try to like something I loved, or at least, to tolerate it.

Cropped transparent version of Image:Olympic f...
Cropped transparent version of Image:Olympic flag.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I'm happy, now, watching these competitions. And I'm sad.

I still think ice dancing and figure skating are breathtaking and beautiful, and I love watching them. But I am sad, too, thinking of my ex.

I don't know why my ex couldn't "let me" enjoy something I loved. Did he feel that he was robbed of something, was he jealous? Was it demand resistance - because he knew he "owed it to me" to be as tolerant as I was of his love for NASCAR, did that unspoken expectation get in the way? Did he have some secret ice skating trauma he never shared with me?

Ashley Wagner skated her short program to Pink Floyd's Shine On, You Crazy Diamond. He loves Pink Floyd... you'd think it wouldn't be that far a stretch for him, for anyone who loves music, to appreciate an artistic interpretation of some of his favorite music.

But it was.

OCPD, its rigidity, control issues, and demand resistance, means those who suffer from it - and their loved ones - miss out of so many of the pleasurable things in life, because they are not on the list, not permitted, too frivolous...

And in other news...

My sister is in the middle of her chemotherapy. Although my brother-in-law has been diagnosed as being in end-stage liver disease (in addition to his stroke), we hope he'll be discharged this week. Family well-being has occupied much of my time and energy, but this blog is NOT abandoned.

Thanks for for love and support.

Your thoughts?

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Neglected, Not Abandoned

Greetings, my long-neglected friends.

I have not abandoned this blog.

I have, however, been dealing with some personal issues, from frozen shoulder (still healing) to more serious family issues. Just days after my sister underwent major surgery for gall bladder cancer, her husband suffered a major stroke. He is still hospitalized, and she begins heavy-duty chemo-therapy later this month. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And another family member experienced his first bi-polar manic episode, a baddie. Yep, it does feel like it's all being piled on for our family right now. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, it's putting us all to the test. Have enjoyed, even in this rough time, a sense of family cohesion and support that is truly beautiful and a blessing.

I can now don a disposable hospital gown and a set of gloves in seconds flat, and discuss the good and bad points for both USC-Keck and UCLA-Ronald Reagan ICU and regular hospital rooms. Staff at both facilities has been both skilled and supportive.

Lessons I've learned and shared here will continue to help me, and I am making sure to get enough water, as much rest as possible (lately having a lot of dreams, some good, some horrifying), and eating well, and drinking juices full of anti-oxidants.

Hope you are likewise taking the best care of yourself possible. I'll be back when time/energy permits.


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Thursday, October 31, 2013

What Did You Get in Your Bag?
A #Fat-Shaming Letter!

Everybody who's ever been an American kid can remember the thrill of Halloween: the excitement of deciding what to "be," the fun of dressing up and showing off to our grandparents and teachers, the excitement of going door to door "in disguise" to get treats from the neighbors.

And remember this part? Comparing the goodies with our friends?

This year, there's a nasty letter circulating on the 'net, that some woman calling herself "Cheryl" purportedly claimed to a radio station that she intended to hand out to those children she deems "moderately obese," instead of candy.

My hope is that "Cheryl" really enjoys cleaning TP and eggs off the side of her house.

What makes the Charlie Brown clip funny, is that we know and trust that adults wouldn't really give some kids candy, and give another child a rock. The inherent unfairness is obvious.

Now, there is some chatter that "Cheryl," and the letter itself, are a prank and it's not going to be passed out to kids after all. This is a good thing.

But here's what I find disturbing and a sign of sickness in our society.

That while most people are in agreement that the idea is horrific and cruel, a minority are openly expressing their support for "Cheryl" and this letter. They think the way to solve childhood obesity is by shaming fat children.

Basically, fat people in our society are treated much like Jews in early 1930's Germany - it was not only accepted, but expected you would harass them. (Mind you, I'm talking about the time before Jews and many other people were rounded up and sent to concentration camps, when they were "only" being spit on and beat up.)

Like Jews wearing a yellow star, or people of color living in a primarily white-skinned community, or those in a wheelchair, fat people never "pass" as "normal" people.

But unlike being a person of color or Jewish, being fat is a choice, right?

Actually, scientific evidence is pointing to many signs that obesity is very complicated. There are genetic factors, environmental factors, links to the influence of various poisons and chemicals that now permeate our bodies in a way they didn't a few hundred years ago. And there is also substantial evidence that people on various medicines "blow up" or lose weight, and it has nothing to do with willpower, diet or exercise. In a poignant rant on my other blog, TL Hamrick said:
As a person who was painfully thin until my early twenties, and struggled (and still struggle) with weight, especially at about age 30, when my PCOS went into full swing. I spent a good part of my 30's overweight or obese, lost weight, kept it off for about 2 years, received a treatment/implant that caused my diet/exercise to fail and gained it all back, plus... and lost it again. Now I am on the too skinny side due to a serious health issue that I am recovering from, and will I ever be morbidly obese again?
I hope not. But... if I am, I will continue my striving for health at any weight, and the body comments? Do. Not. Want.

Shaming People Doesn't Work - But Let's Do It Anyway

Let's put aside medical issues, and all the other reason people may be too fat. Let's accept (for a moment) the premise that there are many people who CHOOSE to be overweight because they are lazy and undisciplined, yada yada. Let's accept the (now scientifically disputed) premise that being even moderately overweight is unhealthy.

Therefore, as a society, we want to help these people lose weight.

What's the best way we, as a society can do this?

Scientific studies (I know, again with the science!) point out that shaming, whether self-shaming or shaming by frenemies and outsiders, not only doesn't work for long-term weight loss, it actually has been proven to have the opposite effect.

Okay. So when we point out to people that a) people are fat for many different reasons, and b) fat-shaming doesn't work, they stop, right?

That Would Make Sense, But No

I have found, though engaging with people on places like FaceBook and various chat boards, there are some people (OCPD? who knows?) who insist on their right to continue bullying fat people, even fat children, because "they are disgusting." Because "it's for their own good."

They express every intention to continue to hate on fat people, even fat children, who are at the mercy of genes, medicine, and parental control, for being fat. While at the same time, they want to assume the high moral ground. They want credit for being "good people," they are deeply offended when people call them even mild things like cruel or "willfully ignorant" or bullies.

But they are bullies.

My ex was like this, too, and that's one of many reasons he is my ex. He thought he was doing me a favor when he would tell me that I would look really good "if you lost another ten pounds" or when, if I dared to eat a modest lunch, he'd curl his lip in disgust and make a comment about me "pigging out again."

Even when I tried to talk to him about how harmful what he was doing was, to me and to our relationship, he could not adjust his settings.

If you are one of those people who feels justified in making negative comments about fat people (or skinny people, or white people, black people, people of a different religion, whatever), it's not because THEY have a problem.

It's because you do.

Have you ever been bullied about your weight?
Are you aware when a fat-shaming message comes out of your mouth?
Your thoughts?