Up to 20 years old…
My parents divorced when I was four and a half due to an alcoholic father. He left around that time disappearing after 10 years , coming back in time for my 15th birthday. My mother resented me for being born and "ruining her life." Of course, I understand it wasn't my fault, but the lack of love on her part scarred me for the rest of my life. Despite my father's alcoholism, I was still "daddy's little girl" so his leaving left an abyss that could only be filled by my "daddy" and no one else. So when my mother's boyfriend came along this void was somewhat occupied by him. When I was 9 he used this by saying, as he touched my genitals, "shh…it's okay…don't tell anyone…they'll take me away to jail." To my little mind that was worse than death, enduring the pain of "daddy" leaving again. That was the key that locked a secret that would be only be let out of its vault just after my 20th birthday, when the abuse stopped.
Yes, I was abused until I was 20 years old. Some may not understand that and for those I feel compelled to explain. See, I've already eluded to him being a very manipulative person. He kept me locked away in a prison of manipulation, brain washing, psychological abuse, guilt-tripping, emotional blackmail, religious abuse (he used the Bible to justify what he was doing…but he did pray for me every day…lol), isolation, fear, control and fostering a wedge between my mother and I. He did not allow me to interact with the "big bad outside world". No, he never held a gun to my head. He never had to. I was under is COMPLETE control for him to do with as he pleased. And he did do with me as he pleased.
You may ask, "where was your mother during all of this?". She was "asleep" in the next room. She claimed until her death that she never knew. But I've realized since and, given the situation, I believe she used me to keep him (our main source of support) around. This is ironic since he struggled to keep a job. But that is another story.
You may ask, "did he do it to my sister 12 years my junior?". According to her, he did not. You may ask if he did this to others. To that I answer "I don't know…probably". He's 39 years older than me so the answer is probably "yes".
Around the time the childhood sexual abuse (around 8-9 years old) began I started putting on the pounds. The fledgling compulsive overeating disorder was to become a serious and life-threatening one. By the time I graduated high-school I was 250 pounds. By the time I was 20 I was over 300 pounds.
20 to 36 years old…
By the time I reached 36 I was over 400 pounds and a very lonely, depressed and unhappy person. I spent, what would be, 20+ years in and out of therapy. I tried so hard to fix all the broken pieces of my life. I endured heart-ache, pain, crushes. I had extremely, extremely little romantic encounters. There were no "boyfriends". In this time-frame I has sex one time when I was 28 with someone I would not consider a "boyfriend". I freaked out and scared the poor guy when I got hysterical. I avoided and did not allow physical contact with me aside from the occasional hug. Yes, I went 16 years with extremely little touch, affection and of course sex.
36-41 years old…
By the time I reached 36 I was ready to make a change in my life. I joined a 12-step program for weight loss. It was during this phase of my life in therapy that I became aware of a lot of the "whys" and "hows" of my psychological problems and the ramifications of the abuse endured in childhood. In a year and half I lost 234 pounds (215 in the 12-step program). I had become sexually active, took dance lessons for the first time in my life and really enjoyed my new-found freedom from all the weight I had put on over the years.
The joy of those moments were short-lived. Within 2 months I began to gradually gain most of the weight back. Within 6 months my knees would no longer allow me to enjoy dancing. I found so much pleasure in those twirls on the dance floor. Ahhh, good memories. There was nothing like the euphoria that came with losing the weight and all the benefits from it.
But all that came crashing down. I found myself continuing the self-abuse with food and with a new and fledgling addiction to sex. See, I had gone all those years without feeling love. There were ramifications from being without touch and affection. For those were irrevocably connected to love because the sexual abuse infused all of them with together. My ideas of sex, love, affection and self-worth were all tied together. The idea of being close to someone meant sex had to be involved. I wanted closeness, affection, love, etc., but the only way my psyche will register love is with sex. In order to get love, I have to have sex. In order to get affection I have to have sex. In order for someone to think I'm anything I have to have sex with them.
I went on all-out rampage to find love. I searched for it in every guy I took home and continue to look for it in the arms of strangers. I don't give any encounters a chance to develop into something meaningful so they are seriously doomed to failure.
I've found extremely little "love" and doubt I will find it at sex sites where I have become addicted to the attention I find at them. I've had 2 relationships which have lasted more than 3 months. Yes, those began as sex-on-the-first-date encounters. The rest of the nearly 100 men I've been with have been mostly one-time encounters. A few of them have been friends with benefits. A few have been total strangers.
I've been extremely lucky not to have contracted any serious std's; although I have contracted HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and HSV1 (Oral Herpes Simplex Virus). I freaked out when I found out I had each of those, but educated myself on them, and now have to tell any potential partner and urge them to educate themselves before we're together.
Turning in the Person Who Molested Me…
In 2008, I decided to turn in the person who abused me. It turns out there is no statute of limitations on what was done to me before the age of 12. I turned him in because he decided to come to Houston from Florida and it unhinged me and caused a serious and traumatic flash back to the abuse.
On 4/25/09 (he was 80 years old) he was put in jail and was not able to make bail. On 12/15/2010 his plea was entered as guilty although he pleaded "no contest" (which pissed me off that he didn't say "I'm guilty…but that's another story). The charges were dropped to a lesser severity and he got a sentence of 18 months. He ended up in jail for 20 months because he couldn't make bail. Ha ha. Yes, we drove all the way to Florida and back to hear him say "I'm guilty"; but I had to settle for "no contest". I didn't have to be there. The import thing for me in all of it was the feeling of JUSTICE. I think it was a missing key to my healing and recovery.
Losing My Job…
Almost from the first day of my first job at McDonalds twenty-six years ago, I received a great deal of self-worth from my job. I sought for my mother's love in every effort and exercise at my workplace. I was driven by a nagging voice in my subconscious "if only I do this or that faster, better, etc. I'll get her love". Employers loved me. I was always an outstanding employee. I was a secretary for many years and became aware of a knack for computers. I went back to college when I was 28 and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Information Systems. After graduation, I got a job with a fortune 500 company and worked there for 11 years. In September of 2009 I was laid off. This precipitated a mental breakdown for which I am on disability right now.
Current Day (February 2013)…
Some would call me a "survivor", yet another word used to describe me. But here I sit, a so-called "survivor" at over 400 pounds again; on medications for edema, thyroid, MAJOR, MAJOR depression; knees that will go out on me any day now, a handicap decal, riding around in Wal-Mart in an electric buggy. I cannot walk 10 feet without becoming out of breath. Considering all these things, I have to ask myself "am I even really a 'survivor'?".
But even still…after hundreds of hours in therapy and countless sessions of "dipping into the abyss of pain", doctors, a plethora of medication, years of various dysfunctions and being completely unhappy I have to throw up my hands, say "that's the best I can do to fix myself". If it 'ain't fixed by now It ain't gonna get fixed'.
Nowadays the depression has truly immobilized me. The least little smidge of energy seems to dissipate with each step I take. Motivation is my main problem. I'm so depressed, it's all I can do to motivate myself to brush my teeth every day. I go days without showering. My kitchen hasn't been cleaned in months…literally. I ignore what few friends I do have. They mostly don't know what to do with me.
I cling desperately to my computer and/or the TV to distract myself. If I'm alone with my thoughts for any length of time my mind veers to death and obsessive thoughts of me dying. I vacillate between thoughts that I couldn't do that to my loved ones and thoughts that they would be better off without me.
I saw my psychiatrist today. He basically laid it on the line. He said, "given your health situation, you are a ticking time bomb". It's hitting me pretty hard despite the fact that I've known this for a while now. I'm suicidal…plain and simple. Not with a gun or knife, but with a fork. I'm eating myself into an early grave. Ten weeks ago he increased my meds again and I had to report a serious dip in the depression despite the increase in meds. For one reason or another my body is no longer responsive to medication. I've been on one type of psychotropic drug or another for over twenty years. We discussed all the types of therapy I've been to including talking therapy, mind/body therapy, various and numerous 12-step groups, etc.
I said halfway joking I've never tried ECT (Electro Shock Treatment). He said he was going to bring it up. I said it seemed so drastic. He went on to explain that it is actually just a faster way to get the job done. He said it takes out the chemicals (medication) and goes right for the electric impulses in the brain.