This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday Sadness.

Yesterday went well until I got home. There was homemade pizza. I ate a little. Then I ate a little more. Then I ate a cookie. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I have this cloud that hangs over me sometimes? I've struggled with depression forever. Since I was a child I suspect.

I remember being about 6 years old and laying on the sofa, just crying all day. For no reason. My grandmother would ask, "What's wrong? Why are you so upset?"  I would just cry and cry and say, "I don't know." And I didn't. I still don't. It's weird and crazy. I have so many wonderful things in my life. I feel guilty for being down, but sometimes I can't help it. Usually I pull myself out after a day or two. Today is one of those days I'm trying to pull myself out.

 I had nightmares last night. Silly things and scary things. I woke up feeling sad and down. My husband left to go to Oklahoma to the football game with a friend. He needed to pick somethings up for work. So I'm here with the girls. Son is at boy scouts and I pick him up at 10pm. Me alone feeling down. Not good. I wasn't going to post. I wasn't even going to read blogs, but I knew that would only make things worse.  So here I am.

Last week got me down. I am still having trouble with asthma. I can't breathe very well. My throat is sore. I think I'm getting a sinus infection. I have an infection in one of my incisions. It hurts when it is touched and looks gross. It woke me up several times last night.  I am tired of feeling bad. Tired of it.

I was great last week. I ate well and I had finally made it under my pre-surgery weight. I was feeling back on track. Then...I gained 1.5 pounds for no real reason and I started feeling down. I've followed the challenge all week. I am still up in weight. I'm not weighing anymore for a while. It really set me off.

My brain chemistry isn't right. I know this. I know it is genetic. Both of my parents have mental health issues. My Dad is really sick. That's why we have no relationship anymore. There are times. Like today when I wonder. I don't see him or speak to him. It's better that way.

My parents divorced when I was 2 years old. He was abusive to my Mom. Not physically. Mentally. She left just before the physical part started. I think she is very brave for realizing it. Especially considering her childhood. It isn't my place to tell her story, but she's been through things that many don't survive.  I didn't know the whole story on my Dad until I was old enough to understand. My Mom never bad mouthed Dad.

When I was little around 4 or 5, my Dad started telling me I was too fat. I shouldn't eat this or that. He'd tell me how pretty I'd be if I weren't fat. I only saw him occasionally. It was very hurtful. I was always so excited to see him and he would comment on my weight every time when he greeted me.  As I got older, I was hurt more and more.

He is Lebanese. That added to our conflicts.  In my experience, women are not valued in that culture. His 2 sons, my 1/2 brothers, got everything their way. I was supposed to cook and clean and be quiet. Well, this didn't mesh too well with the independent ideas my ERA supporting Mom was teaching me. When I think back, I realize we just didn't get each other and he never really put a lot of effort into making sure he knew me.

He lived in Colorado. I lived with my Mom in Oklahoma. We went for months without speaking. Months without seeing each other. Then, I guess he'd get guilty and he'd send me a big box of clothes and money. I found out later he never payed child support. He was remarried with 4 kids. Twin girls and 2 younger boys.

The last summer I visited was the worst. I was 15 and just starting to find my way and independence. He kept telling me he wanted me to stay with him. He was talking about moving or going to Lebanon. He was physically abusive to his wife and the girls. I've seen him beat them with shoes and belts and sticks and whatever was handy. I saw him hit my step mother in the head with a frying pan once because she didn't cook something right. He would shout in Arabic, which I couldn't speak. He never hit me. He knew he couldn't or he wouldn't see me again. But I would watch and I would spend my time trying to keep the twins safe. 

That summer I got the chicken pox a few days after I arrived. I had babysat for a baby that had them. My mom thought it was safe since I'd already had them. Two days after arriving I had a high fever and the rash came. My Dad said my Mom and I planned it to ruin his visit with me. He was so angry at me for being sick.  He didn't want me in bed. He didn't want me calling my Mom.  He wasn't going to give me medicine for the fever, but my step-mother fought with him and he finally gave in.

For those 2 weeks, he came in every morning and work me early, sometimes before the sun was up. He would make me and the "fat twin" walk around the block. Every meal, he'd give me some food and then take it away after a few minutes. Once there was a family dinner where all these people I didn't know and couldn't speak the language with were there. I knew he was talking about me and pointing to me. Finally he came and in front of the whole room he says in English, "See. I tell you she is fat because she eats all the time. She would be pretty, but she won't stop eating." They laughed. I just sat there. Soon, I was sent outside to walk around the block. I cried the whole way. I walked down the block and sat down and cried.

I didn't tell my Mom about this stuff. I think it's because I so desperately wanted him to love me. I also had come to believe him in some ways. That I was a fat failure. That I was a loser and not worth anything.

The last days were worse and worse. He told me if I didn't stay with him I would not be his daughter anymore. I called my Mom and she heard the fear and sadness sin my voice I guess. She asked what was wrong. I told her he wanted me to stay with him and that he was going on a trip and wanted me to go.  I told her I didn't want to. She told me not to worry about it. Everything would be fine.

The next morning she and her best friend arrived to pick me up. I had no idea, but Dad thought I'd asked her to come.  She knocked on the door, said she was taking me home and I should get my stuff. My Dad was furious. I went down stairs and started packing. I was so relieved. The twin girls were in my room crying and begging me not to leave. Then he came in. He told me that My Mom was deliberately making me fat so that no man would ever want me and I would have to stay with her forever. He told me I was going to be fat just like her with no man. He told me that if I left that day, he would never speak to me again. He would never call me. He would no loner be my father.  He told me that all I wanted him for was money. He took out his wallet and shoved all the money in it at me and walked out.He wouldn't let the kids or my step mother say good bye to me.

I cried and cried. I told my Mom what he had said. She was so nice. She said he was just mad and didn't mean it. I have this big wad of money and I was in shock. Just sitting there crying and not speaking. Mom said, "Hey I thought you said you were going to the mall to buy that watch." She took me there. Then we went and ate a HUGE meal. She said I could eat whatever I wanted. This was new considering she tried to make me eat healthy. I had a big burger, fries and a giant ice cream sundae. And I learned I can bury my sorrow with shopping and food.

I didn't hear from my Dad for 10 years. Just before I got married I called him. I felt like I was ready and I wanted to forgive him. My husband, bless his heart, drove me there. We met him. We reconciled. He came to my wedding and my half-siblings did also. He was furious that I didn't let him walk me down the aisle. I didn't feel that he'd earned the right.  That started the end.

We stayed in touch every few months I'd call him. We'd talk a little.  He asked me when I was going to give him a grand child and said a lot of the old hurtful things again. I told him I didn't know.  At the time, I didn't. I was in residency and very busy. I decided that if he wanted a relationship with me, he could call me. He didn't. A year later, I had my son. I felt bad for not telling him. I sent him an announcement. I received the meanest letter from him telling me that I was never a good daughter to him. I never called him or tried to know him. He then said that my son didn't look like me only like him and that I didn't deserve a son like that. He was angry that I didn't choose an Arabic name.

After that it was over. I never responded. I never spoke with him again. I didnt' want him anywhere near my son. When we moved, I didn't tell him where. A few years ago, before I'd had the girls, he found me. He called and wanted to come see me. I met him at the office as I didnt' want him knowing my home address. My mom and husband were there. He was very apoloetic. He wanted to meet my son.

My husband said no way and I agreed. We agreed that we'd see how things went. If he really was trying to show me he'd changed, we'd see with time. Until I was sure, he wasn't meeting his grandson. We were parents and we had to protect our child.  A few weeks later he called again. He got angry. Said I was punishing him and not being a Christian by not forgiving him. I told him I had, but I wasn't ready for him to meet my son. He started yelling. I hung up. I sent him a long email detailing all the things he had said and done and why I didn't want him near my son. I told him that unless he got some mental health treatment, I didn't want to speak with him again. I haven't heard from him again.

And that is that..I feel better. I'm sorry I went on and on. But, I actually feel better after pouring all that out of me. I am still down, but less. I went over my calories for the DDDY challenge yesterday by about 200. I had eaten less though twice this week, so over all I'm OK as long as I reign it in the rest of today.  I think I can. Maybe I'll take the girls for a walk or just play Wii for a while. See y'all tomorrow!


  1. Wow that is quite a story. My mom had a very traumatic family life, and it really is something you never leave behind. I sure don't have any advice, but I bet you will find a way to stay on your road to better health.

  2. Your mom was strong and smart to get away when you were two. The mental abuse is hardest to see, at times. I used to wish my ex would just hit me, so I'd know it was abuse and I could leave. Instead, I kept wondering what was wrong with me that I couldn't make him understand...

    And the kids are the worst part, because the damage is there. It's just a matter of how it's going to come out.

    You are awesome, and I'm so glad getting this out helped you. Have an amazing Halloween!

  3. I bet that was a great catharsis getting that all out. What a relief. People can be so MEAN! And to their own children, too, it's disgusting! Maybe him being such an asshole helped you to be the loving and empathetic beautiful woman you are, though. You are surrounded by love even here in the virtual world. I hope this week is better for you. Take care of yourself. :)

  4. Wow, that is a crazy story. It reads like a story in a book. Just know you're in a better place now. Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger.


  5. Wow. While I hate that all that happened to any human, much less a child...I can see that it has made you the strong individual and wonderful parent and wife and co-worker and good citizen that you are today. If he gave you one thing - it was how NOT to parent. Your feelings are valid...please take care.

  6. That's quite a rough journey you had as a kid doc. Still, that being said, you went to medical school, became a doctor, got married and had kids - sounds to me like you took all that bad and focused it into something good. Why do we sometimes yearn to be loved by people who simply do nothing to deserve that love? That's the human condition for ya.

    Have a virtual hug from me doc. All the best.

  7. hang in there - you know this passes...now hide the cookies or go to the movies - maybe a sad one, get the tears flowing (will that speed up the cycle?)

    Check in tomorrow!

  8. There's a hurting 5 yr old in some of us. I can very much relate to what you wrote. If she's sad, love on her, she's precious and didn't deserve anything that he said, did or thought about her. You're a good mom and she knows it. But sometimes we have to be sad for a while to honor how brave she is/was.

    I agree with LL, check in tomorrow.
    Hugs, Friend.

  9. Mental cruelty is just as severe and painful as physical cruelty. I am so sorry you went through that. You should be very proud of what you had made of yourself, despite having a parent who made you feel bad about yourself. You are a strong person. You went onto medical school, became a doctor, have a nice husband and wonderful children. Be proud of yourself. I don't even know you and I am proud of you :)

  10. I often find articulating the thing that has been unsettling me helps immensely. Good that you got this off your chest - perhaps your asthma will clear up now too. :)

    I have asthma too, and whenever I'm emotionally not right, I get a few breathing problems.

    And Doc, you're cracking on with that Hot 100, and you just out of your sickbed! I'm in awe :) You rock!

  11. Wow - its amazing that wonderful people can come from a parent like that.

  12. I hope it was helpful for you to write that. I read every word. Keep up the amazing job you have done with your health and fitness - it can only help. P.S. Hope the Rangers game helped. That Colby Lewis/Neftali Feliz combo is pretty amazing.

  13. Were here to hear your story, it feels good to get it out there. Not something you can easily explain to someone so it's great to blog it out. Take care and next week will be better... :)

  14. I find that family can often be so much crueler than strangers!
    It's always good to be able to share your story.
    Big "hugs" to you!!

  15. I hope you pull yourself out soon, Doc. And while I would never wish what you went through on anyone, at this point you can't seperate it from the person that you've become and you are amazing, with a great family and the life that he could never have imagined for you.

  16. I hope you feel better just writing it out and clearing your head. Mental abuse is a sad situation, not only affecting those directly in it, but others around it, for a long, long time. You have come so far and have a successful career, a wonderful marriage and three beautiful and intelligent children. Be happy for your blessings and accomplishments, and let the sad parts go. They are over and cannot be changed. Spend time with those who love and understand you, especially your mother.

  17. Hey friend, I too read every word, though it was hard reading all of that. I just want to say I think you're amazing. You've made a great life for yourself and even lacking to model of a typical mom-dad-kids family, you've managed to have that for yourself and your children, and a not-to-be-scoffed at profession. Kudos. Let the sad parts go. You've found a much better place. Hugs.

  18. I am so sorry you have been through so much. You have a great life now so you have to let go of the past and live your life and embrace all the good things!

  19. That was so honest and real. I hope putting it out there like this has helped get some negative feelings out. I can't imagine going through all that. I'm sure wounds like that are slow to heal, but I also am sure that you're strong and smart and capable. It's sad, and sometimes it's okay to let yourself feel what you feel. I believe you're dealing with it in a mature and healthy way. You've come so far, and I applaud you!


Progress to TouchDown and GOALLLL!!