Every day I walk. I never take a day off. Most of this week was spent fending off headaches because my sugar intake fell of so sharply, but by the end of this week, five pounds were gone. Really gone. Already my clothes are looser. Lisa said my face is a little leaner. You could say I'm doing this. I'm doing something. Right?
But I find it interesting that I'm only taking sips from the deep well of spirituality I'm finding is available on this path I'm journeying on. Oh sure, every Wednesday and Sunday I show up at the feast, partaking of the tender lamb of God who takes away the sins of the whole world, and every time I eat of him, he nourishes me. This is the truth. But I've found that God always asks me to give him a little more than I want to. I rarely giving all I can, but I want to.
The thing Jesus seems to be wanting from me now is a box I've stored away so deep within myself, I almost convinced myself it wasn't there. But it is, and the effects it has on me, body and soul, have been toxic to say the least. Within this box are four terrible years, in which I was abused in ways I find unimaginable, and cannot bear to write about, nor even think about. I've bound the box with chains. I've locked it with locks. Spray painted a skull and crossbones on it to indicate to anyone who might stumble upon it, this is poison. Do not touch.
And now he wants it, this Lover of my soul. He's wanted it for a long time, but I kept making excuses. "I don't know exactly where I put it." Or, "It's hard to get to." Or my favorite, "What box?" And he's been very patient, as he seems to be with me.
I'm going to be as honest as I can with you, because that's part of my recovery. I know where the box is. And I still don't want to touch it. Last night I was talking to my sissie, Carly, and she said something sobering. "You didn't have all these eating problems before Raphael. And now it's critical that you deal with this stuff. You left him so he wouldn't kill you. Don't let him kill you twenty years later." He beat me, fractured my bones, starved me, and choked me until I collapsed in a heap on the floor several times, but I lived. Am I going to let the eating habits I developed during that time destroy this life God has so kindly given me?
Before we get to that
This is what I looked like in 1981 or so. That's me at the bottom on the left.
Oh my gosh. What was I wearing??? Is that a tie? And Lawd, Lawd, Lawd! Could my hair be any worse? Not to mention I look I'm trying to make the photography burst into flames with my mind. Be that as it may, I was not an eating disordered person. I was small, a mere 98 lbs, and that weight stayed consistent despite being able to eat like a typical active teenager. Back then I never worried about food. I never hoarded it. I never binged or purged. Food was just food. It was energy. Not comfort or shield.
The only reason I can show you that is because a friend posted it on Facebook. I don't have any pictures of me from this time, or my childhood. There isn't a single baby picture of me in my home. I'm not sure why this is. I think I some part of me was trying to erase my entire past. I guess I put more in that box than I intended to. Or maybe my childhood has it's own box. Sigh. We'll just take this thing one box at a time, if it's all the same to you. And that isn't the box Jesus is asking for. Not right now.
I may not have pictures from my childhood and teen years, but I do have a few from the time that I was abused. Raphael took lots of pictures, especially of himself flexing his muscles. He took pictures of the children, too. But I tried to stay away from cameras. You'll see why in a few moments.
This is me at 28.
I weighed 89 lbs. Raphael used to tell me my perfect weight would be 87, but I couldn't lose those other two pounds to literally save my life. I think he wanted my body to look like a prepubescent girl's. I was breastfeeding that fat pretty girl on my lap. I breastfeed the boy, too, but he was done (mostly) by that time. Every day Raphael weighed me. Every damned day. I wish that was all he did every day. It doesn't even scratch the surface of the horrors.
I'm finishing my ninth book this week, but I have no words to express this picture makes me feel. It's hard for me to breathe when I see it. I fight to keep from crying, and then I put it away, like I did the box that holds the crushing grief of that time, the box that Jesus is asking for. I wouldn't mind giving it to him, but I know he's going to want to open it. And I can't right now. I just can't. I'm sorry. I don't want to think about it. I don't want to write about it. I wish it never happened. I can't believe I let all that stuff--things too horrible to put words too-- happen to me.
So that's why I'm stalled, and in fact, I want to quit the whole project. I want to curl up somewhere with some SWEETS and eat when I see this. But I can't let him kill me with diabetes. He's done enough.
But I will say this, I don't care how fat I am, I DON'T EVER WANT TO LOOK LIKE THAT AGAIN!!!! EVER!!!!!