Prisoner in My Own Body

I’ve discovered recently how deep my self worth (or lack thereof) runs and how it connects to everything I touch. I have known for years that I suffer from poor self esteem and self worth but I didn’t realize how much of an impact it had on my life.

With depression and PTSD, for me, there comes this crippling isolation. The more depressed or triggered I am the more I crawl into my cave. This isn’t a new concept for me as I have been doing this for year. The closest people in my life become strangers, and strangers become monsters. It is a scary place to me. I lose all sense of reality and often I don’t even recognize myself.

I woke up early this morning (which is rare for me) and instantly felt the need to cleanse myself, as in take a shower. It will have been almost a week since my last shower. I wish I could say that was the longest I have been without bathing but it comes with the territory. The more worthless I feel the less likely I am going to care about staying clean. For most taking a showering is a no brainer but when I am in the low place it becomes like Mount Everest.

Every time I shower, especially if it has been a good while since my last one, I feel so clean and fresh. Pure. That doesn’t last very long, usually less than an hour.

Every time I was sexually abused I tried to wash off the dirty with soap but no matter how long or hard I scrubbed it wouldn’t wash away. My outside would be clean but the soap couldn’t touch or reach the dirty deep inside. So it makes sense when I feel the most worthless I allow my body to stay dirty because this is how I feel inside.

When I am depressed everything goes to hell from my personal hygiene to my eating habits, and everything else in between. You should have seen some of the apartments I have lived in, you would have thought it was a disaster zone. I would leave dishes in the sinks for months to the point where I would have to throw everything away. I haven’t gotten better about that but I still allow my living area to go out of whack. Whenever I would have anyone come over, I would go into a panic trying to clean everything. I couldn’t let anyone know the chaos my life was in. I had to give the appearance that everything was okay.

Today I realized that my body is a prison cell. I started to think my mind was the prison but in reality it is my whole body that is the prison. Certainly my mind has it’s own great big, dark cell but everything is contained inside the walls of my prison body.

I desperately want to break free from this cell but I have struggled for years doing so. I have been off my diet since my birthday (july 3) and I have struggled since to get back on track. I use to really struggle with compulsive overeating. There would be times that I would try to medicate my bad feelings with food. I would eat myself into oblivion until all I noticed was sickness from being full. Sweets and soda were my fair weather friends. This week I have noticed myself pigging out to the point where I just don’t care.

The more worthless I feel the more the need to make the horribleness go away, anyway I can. I become very compulsive and I have noticed an increase in my compulsion recently. Food and sex were two ways I used to compensate for my self worth, both always lead me down a dark road.

Sex has also been a struggle for me. I saw myself as an object for many years and gave the people what they wanted. It wasn’t always that way. I grew up believing I could find someone who loved and accepted me. I had dreams of having a family and spending my life with that one person. When that didn’t happen, I took what I thought was the next best thing… not realizing the damage it would cause. When I am triggered my mind tries to go down that road again.

I have been celibate since April 2012, which is the longest I have ever gone without sex. It is one of the few things that I am proud of. I have taken back my body in regards to sex. For me it’s a reminder that not all of me thinks I am worthless. Now that’s not to say that I haven’t had temptation or have had moments where I have tried to look for sex but thankfully I quickly snap out of it. I have caught myself thinking what the heck am I doing??? I don’t want to give my body up for one night of pleasure. I realize not only will I lose all that time of purity but afterwards I will feel like crap.

I went through a period of heavy sexual compulsion. I didn’t care about the risk, I just wanted to feel good but every time I would feel dirty… just like after the abuse. Every time I would run to the shower and try to wash the dirt away and every time I would fail miserably. Usually it would end in my feeling suicidal. With acting out sexually, I’m not proud to admit, I engaged in some very risky behavior. I was playing russian roulette with my health, body and life. I am thankful that to this day I am hiv negative, so many others haven’t been so fortunate.

I’ve thought long and hard about why I didn’t care about the risks of having unprotected sex. Obviously it’s connected to how I feel about myself. When I couldn’t find a man to love me, I gave up and resorted to taking any kind of attention I could find. I didn’t feel I was worthy of love, care and attention so I gave men what they wanted. I learned very early on that a mans needs came before my own. The abuse taught me that my needs aren’t important. Obviously my mind knows that isn’t true but it’s something I still struggle with daily.

It’s amazing the lies your brain believes. Like you deserve AIDS. I didn’t go out looking to become positive but I certainly didn’t turn it away… nor did I want it. Every time I would get tested for HIV I would go into this panic. You would think that being tested negative would scare me straight but that only lasted so long before I started acting out again. I think in part having risky sex was my psyche trying to commit suicide, it certainly was extremely self destructive. I have often wondered why I wanted HIV. Maybe I thought it was the only way for someone to love me and show me attention? Was I so desperate to lose the weight to think having HIV was the only way to do so? Did I really want to die? I certainly wasn’t a bug chaser (someone who actively wants to become hiv positive) but indirectly I had to be trying.

The only correlation to all of this was when I came out of the closet in 1995. One of the many hurtful things my father told me that I was going to get AIDS and that all my friends wouldn’t be there when I was dying alone in the hospital. He also told me that I had always wanted to lose weight and that getting AIDS that would finally come true. Am I still holding on to the hope that my father will love me in the way I need, to the point where dying from AIDS he’d come to my rescue??? It’s been eighteen years since I heard my father spew his hatred towards me and it still feels like he just said them to me. I’m just thankful I have turned down another road but I fear when I get these urges that I will turn back around down that road…

Even recently I have started to walk down that road. I even created a couple of sex accounts, which I quickly deleted… I know that that road is a slippery slide to some dangerous behavior. Thankfully I have realized that is not the life for me, nor the one I want. That is the struggle with being single and feeling lonely. I miss human contact, intimacy. I watched a movie recently about this gay couple and I watched in awe as they made love to each other, as this is something I have always dreamed of but have never obtained. I’m realizing that something isn’t better than nothing. Nothing is better than something that will hurt me, it’s just learning to cope with the indifference.

While I have been able to fend off the sexual compulsion, I haven’t been so lucky when it comes to food. Food is my biggest battle and my biggest addiction. Food has been my biggest friend and defense. I have built this physical blubber of a wall to protect myself and it’s killing me. It makes sense to me that I have been struggling lately with eating healthy. This is really the first time since January that I have struggled this long. I believe in part is that I am getting to the core of all these bad feelings and untruths about myself. All this time I have seen it as digging a tunnel to my core, when I have been digging my escape route to expose it all. They say it gets worse before it gets better. This is the first time in my life that I have been actively working on my body. I am facing the truth in my own time, doing what I need to do to heal… going to therapy, taking my medicine, etc. I might not be moving as quickly as some feel and want me to but I am moving at my own pace… and I will get there. The road to taking care of myself is bound to be bumpy. I have to realize that occasionally I will fall off track, sometimes I will even take the wrong road but the key is to always get back on track… regardless how long it has been.

I’ve been living in darkness so long, that it’s only natural the dark force will try to pull me under. I have been living so unhealthy for so many years, so I must realize the road to healing isn’t going to be perfect. I will fall. I will get scratched. The difference I am no longer in that hurtful place, it is all an illusion. A way to keep me from what I deserve, which is love and happiness.

So I am going to keep moving forward and as a little fishy once told me… I am going to just keep swimming.

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Obstacles The LGBTQ Community Must Jump

Recently George Takei commented on his facebook page about how many people on his page were sick of people talking about gay issues and it brought up something that I have been thinking of for the last few weeks.

Many on this page have commented that they are “sick” of people talking about gay issues, or simply “don’t care” if someone is gay and would rather they would kept it to themselves. I find this disheartening. There may come a day when we need not come out of the closet, and need not remind others of the terrible violence, inequity, and ostracism that LGBT people face daily simply because of who we are and who we love. But that day is not here, and more importantly will never get here, unless people continue to step forward and offer themselves as examples, often at great personal cost. I am called “faggot,” “degenerate,” “queer” and “homo” by misguided people every day of my life, even on my own page, but this does not discourage me. It only reminds me of how far we have to go. Once upon a time I was called a “Jap” and put into a prison for four years with my entire family, for no reason other than who we were and who we looked like. It is my life’s mission to fight against the dark forces of fear and intolerance that could ever lead again to such an injustice. Thank you for taking the time to listen. The next time you feel fatigue from hearing about LGBT issues, ask yourself this: Do we live yet in the kind of society where violence, hate and prejudice is not an issue? Until we do, be part of the solution, and stand always for justice and equality for all people.

As far as we have come, it is a realization that we have a lot further to go. I often wonder why do so many have such a problem with homosexuality? In the end I believe it is the unknown that scares people the most. We live in a world where we feel we must conform to something and for many that is religion. If we are told something, then it must be so. Passed down from one generation to the next.

I was watching The Golden Girls, my nightly tradition, and I was kind of taken aback by the fact that even Blanche didn’t quite understand what being gay meant. I mean dimwitted Rose is a given. Then I started to think what was being gay like before the Internet. I have to think that the Internet helped kick start the gay revolution. It is still hard for me to believe that people back then didn’t have any concept of homosexuality.

I think that is the main problem today. Those who spout off about gay people keeping quiet probably don’t even know anyone who is gay or if they do they are themselves are triggered to face the facts. Once you get to know someone who is gay with an open heart, how could you take away their love and happiness???

People get caught up in the argument that it is a choice. I often wonder how many would chose a life filled full of hate, discrimination and the potential for great harm. Even those who chose to live the straight life, usually end up so miserable they have no choice but to come out of the closet. People would much rather please their own beliefs even if it means making someone living a lie and when that happens it usually hurts everyone around them.

Being gay, you have to give up a lot. Not only do you have to live in fear of being discriminated against but it’s always in the back of your head what if the one time you show your true colors and someone goes ballistic on you. You see it on the news often enough to make you fear that outcome. When I go to a new area I find myself cringing and holding who I am in. Granted I am a big guy but if you have a group of people come at you, I don’t stand the chance. If you don’t think that is possible, look at the recent outbreak of hate crimes in New York City.

Thankfully nowadays many teenagers are coming out at an early age but even now they are faced with reticule and hate. Look at how many of these children are killing themselves. How many others face bullying on a daily basis even if it isn’t extreme. Words can do a lot of damage. They are like little stones, that do their damage one little crack at a time. If you throw enough of them, they will shatter your self esteem into a million pieces.

It is bad enough when we have to face this kind of hate from the world but another thing when it comes from within our own families. You don’t have to be told that you are going to hell that many times before it wears you down. You might can handle hatred from your peers and strangers, and even your own family but God is another story. If that is all you have ever known, how do you know there is anything else out there in this world.

I recently discovered how much I wanted a family of my own and what a great loss that I am almost 37 and am without a family of my own. For years I had convinced myself that I didn’t want or need children, figured it just wasn’t meant to be. I gave up on the idea, especially after I have struggled in finding a mate to settle down with. I have become accustomed to having things taken away from me and what it boils down to is love.

I grew up hiding who I was. People during my time weren’t out in High School and they certainly didn’t take their same sex to the prom. I didn’t get to do the whole dating thing, nor did I get to do the whole bringing my boyfriend home to meet my parents. Holding who you are in, is like keeping a fire within a confined area… all it does is damage. That flame is meant to shine.

Another thing that many try to take away from gay people is our spirituality. Whether you have any personal experience with spiritual abuse, all you have to do is watch the media to see the damage church going people cause. Sure not everyone is as extreme and hateful as the Westboro Church but it all causes harm. At least they are upfront and honest with their hate. So many others do it in silence or sit back and don’t do anything when they are faced with that same hate.

While 12 states plus Washington DC have legalized gay marriage, we still have 38 states to go. Plus with DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) so far in tact, without federal recognition we still will lose out on many rights. Not to mention that in many states gay people can be fired from their jobs and lose their housing all because of their sexual orientation.

With the hate crimes that have been committed recently in Columbus and New York City it also goes to show you how many have had their own security and well being put at risk. Imagine going through life having to watch your back and live in worry that someone might try something.

What it all boils down to is human rights and the lack thereof.

Many gay people lose their biological families for being gay. They are kicked out and treated less all due to the gender they love. To expect someone to change something that is so tied to who they are inside is like telling someone to change the color of their skin, it is impossible. Sure people can hide and repress the feelings but eventually it will come out… usually in an explosive way.

Look at how many teens kill themselves over being gay, as well how many homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. For many the discrimination and hate follows them all the way to home. Everyone has the human right to feel safe but often that is the first thing that gay people lose.

Some will try to say that being gay is abomination, a curse and a sin. While being gay doesn’t always make your life easy, I wouldn’t change it at all. Being gay is a gift from God and those who don’t see that are delusional! They don’t see the true meaning and message of this world. While many of us weren’t born into families that validate and accept us, I have learned that it doesn’t mean we can’t have the families we need. For many gay people they have had to go outside of their biological family for the support and love they need. Their friends have become their family and support system.

Some will try to take away things that aren’t theirs to take, like spirituality and God. These are things they don’t even have the power to take, yet that doesn’t stop them from trying. The key is for us all to stick together and stand up, as a solitude front. They might not listen to one voice or try to drown us out but when that voice gets amplified it will knock them to the ground.

The time has come for us to take back what is our for the keeping and that includes our safety, spirituality and families.

Aren’t We All Just Warm Bodies?

WarmBodies-OneSht21Tonight I went with my sister and a friend to see Warm Bodies, and it got me thinking about a few things. I wonder if I was the only person in the movie theatre to see the deep metaphors hidden behind the story-line of the movie?

The big message I took from the movie is that love can save the world. Hey if a zombie and a human can fall in love, anything is possible right? For me this theme of love conquering all hit me very deeply. Love is the spark that can jump start any dead heart. Obviously life isn’t that literal but it really hits to where our world is at these days.

Sure the zombie Apocalypse is not here but we definitely are in need of some rescuing, mostly from ourselves. We accept things as they are, unwilling to step outside of our comfort zones to change. We go by what we are told and not by what we personally feel. If someone tells us something it must be the truth, well that isn’t always the case.

The other theme that was evident to me was this idea of change, becoming something better. Surely humans don’t eat other humans but so many of them are zombies. They don’t eat brains but they walk in drones looking to feed. They are so unaware of what is around them. Zombies do not communicate, they do not have feelings. They just look for their next meal, digital connection. Personally I have fallen in and out of zombism a big chunk of my life. I would say we don’t know better but I think most of us do. The thirst and hunger to numb out outweighed any consequences that resulted from our kill. As in the movie, not all zombies are bad and even zombies can change. That’s if you want to.

The biggest fears is turning into bonies, creatures who have lost all signs of humanity. There are even modern day bonies in the world we live in today. People so out of touch with reality, so void of love that they go around sucking the life forces out of anyone they can prey on.

I guess the movie also plays on this idea of good versus evil, and shows that the lines sometimes are often blurred. Just as in life nothing is as cut and dry as we think they are. In the post apocalyptic world in Warm Bodies there is no hope for the zombies to ever change. Life has turned into a kill or be killed place for survival. Thankfully as horrible of a world they live in, there are still a few souls who hold onto hope… Those who believe in the power of love. They take a stand and end up saving the world.

Sure our world isn’t in as horrible of shape as in Warm Bodies but we certainly need some healing. There are people who are seen as lost causes or the unimportant. Those who get left behind. If we lose sight of humanity, what kind of world is it worth saving? If you only look in saving and caring for yourself at all costs, even if it means stepping over someone else, how much of a life is that?

People talk about the end of the world. If and when that were ever to come, we would be the cause of it. Just look at the world around us between how we treat the earth and our neighbors. We pollute the earth, bomb our enemies and often don’t think about the consequences of those actions. All we care about is bettering our lives and protecting what we believe is ours. Just watch turn on the news or read your facebook feed, and you will see there is a lot of hate in this world.

That is why it is important that those of us who believe in love, stand up and show the world the strength and power that love has. There is another way. They say be the change you wish to see in the world and that really is true. Change starts with just one heart beat. That is all it takes for a ripple to multiple and touch other people. One faint heart beat turns into two, as the heart begins to beat louder and faster. Until eventually you are brought back to life.

For if you love someone or something, you are willing to risk all to save it. That goes for anything in this life. If you care about the world around you, you are more willing to protect it. If you care, you are more likely to take better care of the person, place or thing. I notice that with myself as I start to love myself. The more I love myself, the more I want to take better care of myself. As I tend to my own garden, the rewards will only multiple… extending far beyond my garden.

I am glad to be a warm body with a strong heart. Someone who see’s the good in people and believes in the power of love. There are some things in this world that are unknown and often times we feel lost. I am confident in the end that love will always find a way.

My head feels so muddled.

So I have had a rather tough week emotionally. While I have made strides with my healthy physically, emotionally I have struggled.

Inside it feels like I am dying… Well maybe that is a bit extreme but still I feel rather down. It has been a week since I have been out of the house. I know that is part of the reason I am feeling the way I am…

I also am noticing myself pulling away from those close to me. I guess the word that describes the state I am in is disconnected.

Recently I have met someone who has brought up a lot of feelings in me. He is a wonderful sweet man. I care for him very deeply. We are taking it very slow and are just friends. I am not sure if I have ever had another man value me like he does, at least someone that there is a mutual attraction with. Keeping our relationship at a strictly platonic level has allowed me to get to know him much deeper that anyone previously.

Getting to know him has also brought up feelings of love and what that means to me. After Mama died I put my heart in this box and put it high up on the shelf. I pulled away from everyone, especially my family. Even being around my nieces and nephew hasn’t felt the same as before. I think  I have done this as a way to cope with the loss. I have had to pull away in order to survive. The closer I am to people the more I have to lose if something happens.

The fact of the matter the people you love die. There are no guarantees. That frightens me senseless.

I have had a horrible track record with loving other men and I am not just talking romantic love. I never felt like another man has been able to love me back in the way I need them to. Started off with my Father, then my abuser… and then the few men I have been in love with during my adult years.

This week I have had these feelings that I am not worthy of love again… from a man. I also have had these copendendant feelings surface, like that I can’t survive without another man’s love… and I will be honest I don’t like that at all!!!

This week I had the realization that I look to others to feel better. I wan’t to change that. This is where I set myself up to fall every time. I am tired of getting my feelings from other people.

I wish I could build this invisible shield around me, so that no one would be able to affect me. I could just go out in the world and not worry about being dragged down. I guess I am working on that shield, it just takes time. I am building the wall back up on my secret garden but I still am allowing bad things come through. It is like I am being attacked by pirates with these huge cannons. Each time I am hit by a cannon ball it takes me some time to get back up…

I wish healing was easier. I wish there was a switch. I am so thankful that I have therapy tomorrow.

I guess I don’t want life to swallow me whole again… granted I allow it… I want to keep my own identity, my ground. In the past when love didn’t work out the way I hoped, I took it personal that I wasn’t worthy of that person’s love… I have to learn to separate my heart from their ability to love. If a person can’t give me what I need, it isn’t a reflection of who I am… more of a reflection of who they are… When you are a child you don’t realize that difference and it becomes apart of your character.

Basically I am having to learn how to love myself. Taking out the parts that are not true. Rewiring my brain to think differently, my heart to feel differently. Learning to look inward for what I need. Pulling back on the reigns and allowing things to happen naturally. That is one thing that my new friendship has taught me. Relationships are like flowers. If you suffocate them with rain or sunshine they will surely wither but if you allow them to grow naturally, giving them rain and light when they need it, then they will blossom into something beautiful.

I guess I am learning to do that as well. Just takes time… patience… and a lot of practice.

Awareness is the Key

So I really didn’t set any resolutions and I usually don’t. It is not like I don’t have anything that I would like to change. It’s just I have a history of when I fail at a resolution feeling pretty bad about myself. So I have learned to not set myself up for failure.

I can see why people do set resolutions being that it is a new year… A new year to a new me. I do like the idea behind it. I certainly was ready to start a new year, after the year I had. Though no amount of time would make me forget what I went through.

One of the last conversations I had with my Mother was her making me promise to work on my weight. I sometimes wonder if she didn’t know she was going to die. I don’t even like to think about that.

So I am attempting becoming more healthy in my life. I don’t like to use that naughty word… DIET!!! Something about that word leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. It feels so constricting, hard to stomach.

My recent discovery of how I view my body (dirty) has helped me with my choices when it comes to eating. One of my main food crutches is Pepsi. There is something about the sweetness that really gets me going. When I consistently drink it daily it does a number on my body, both with the weight I gain and my mobility with my knees and legs. When you drink at least a two liter of Pepsi a day, it is easy to start packing on the pounds. The last year I started to have issues with my knees. It got to the point where I struggled with walking and getting around. Recently I discovered when I stop drinking Pepsi my leg issues seem to disappear. My therapist pointed out that the sugar was probably aggravating my joints. I had never knew that was possible.

It has been over a week since I drank Pepsi consistently. I won’t lie it has been very tough to give up. There have been moments that I really craved the taste but I would think about the paint that was associated with it and it stopped me from buying a Pepsi. One of my weaknesses with Pepsi is whenever I eat pizza, they go hand to hand. I can’t remember the last time I had pizza without Pepsi. Well last Friday night I stopped at Little Caesars to buy a baby pan pizza. Wouldn’t you know that they had a cooler stacked full of yummy Pepsi. It was like I was being tested by the Pepsi God’s… My first thought was to buy a two liter but that is usually how it starts. I will get one two liter, then another… Before you know it I am back to drinking Pepsi. So I thought well I will get a 20 oz. of Pepsi… but I didn’t think that was big enough to quench my thirst. There was a Speedway gas station next door and I said to myself, I can get a one liter there.

Then something just clicked. I remembered I had some diet soda in my car. So I resisted all my urges and had diet soda with my pizza in the first time in years. It felt like a victory, even though I thought Pepsi would have tasted so much better! 🙂

As much as I love the taste of Pepsi it isn’t worth or equal to the pain and lack of mobility that Pepsi causes. So Pepsi and I must go our separate ways. Now I am not going to say I won’t ever have one again because that just sets me up to fail. If I tell myself I can’t have something, I will always do it. Plus this way if I do have a Pepsi I won’t have all the guilt for failing my commandment.

Awareness is monumental for me. Sure there is a lot more I could be doing but having the awareness is one big step forward for me.

Years ago I went to this meditation group where the mediator talked about awareness. She basically said that those who are at the awareness step need to give themselves a lot more credit. That being aware is a huge level of progress and so much further ahead than not being aware. When you are aware you can begin to change and grow. It is at awareness where real change begins. Sure you could be further ahead by taking action but you will get there. Take baby steps. Allow yourself to breath.

The process of awareness is very much like throwing pebbles into a pond, the ripples of which will radiate out positively, far and wide. Your awareness of something will radiate energy throughout your body.

I certainty have had my exposure with awareness but this is the first time that I have really went deep into my issues. I think my biggest struggle with losing the weight is I wasn’t identifying the real problem. I was treating the effect, not the problem. Being able to realize that I view my body as dirty has been revolutionary in making healthy choices.

Being healthy I am finding is rather intimidating. Becoming healthy is going to be a lifestyle change for me. As panicky as it makes me feel, I must do this!!! The consequences if I don’t are severe. Seeing my Mom in the hospital like she was, with the COPD from smoking, seriously has put a few things in my life in perspective. I know if I don’t make different choices I am bound to have a similar situation with diabetes, etc.

So I am not calling it a diet but I am starting to count my calories. Thankfully there is this very easy to use calorie counter app on my phone. I can even scan the item and it will do all the work for me. With my weight I get close to 2500 calories a day, which isn’t bad at all. For me it is about taking baby steps. The bigger step I take, the more likely I will fall. So slow and steady wins the race. I am done with jumping!!!

Being an emotional eater is tough. So to change my habits at a time where I desperately need to eat my feelings away is very challenging. I keep trying to think about the consequences of a choice. Though there are times when my need to bury my feelings are so extreme that I barely can see or feel the consequence attached to the action!

I have ate so unhealthy for so many years that it has become a way of life for me. If it is healthy chances are I will not eat it, for example vegetables. The only vegetables that I will eat are green beans and sweet potatoes. I also like corn and potatoes but I know those are fake veggies! When ever I tell people my list of vegetables that I eat they always say well what about _______? Then I say what about ONLY do you not understand! 🙂 and NO, I do not like salads!

So that limits me on my choices and I am not quite at the point of my life where I can eat foods that I don’t like… I get that as well, why don’t you try them… For me it is working on the things I can like cutting out regular soda. Sure I know that diet soda isn’t good for me either but for the amount of regular soda I drink this is a better alternative. Eventually I will work on cutting out diet soda but there is a time and place for that. I am also working on including water into my diet. Lately I have been drinking these vitamin enhanced water beverages that my sister got, they are pretty good! The moral of the story is do what works for you. Set reasonable and small goals. I have to get healthier in layers or it will never stick.

Hopefully one day I can learn the art of moderation and will power but until then I will work on this.

Whenever I start to count my calories I am surprised with the amount of calories that are in some items. Eating out is at a minimum 1k calories, especially at fast food. Did you know that Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is 1200 calories, if you eat the whole box. KMC is one of my favorite meals. I like quick and easy, and it is just the right amount of cheese for me! Who knew that a bowl full of cheesey goodness was so many calories??? Eating a whole bowl is almost half of my allowed calories for the day.

Vegetables aren’t my only demon when it comes to my eating habits, as you can see by my mac and cheese choice… Pizza, fried food, bacon… OH MY!!! Pizza is my one downfall. I could live on pizza. Again it is about moderation. When I was at Little Caesars the other night I thought about getting a whole pizza but then I thought about all that leftover pizza. That was just too much temptation so I got a baby pan instead. When a slice of pepperoni pizza is around 300 calories a slice, having left overs is probably not a great choice for me right now.

I am trying to eat more healthy even though I still eat unhealthy things like french fries. I took a trip to the local grocery store to try to get some healthy food. I even pushed my cart into vegetable section. Granted I didn’t buy anything but still I looked… I need to incorporate fruit into my diet. I really like fruit but I tend to forget to eat it or it goes bad before I get to it. I love grapes.

The issue I currently have is with my depression. There are times I don’t feel like cooking an elaborate meal. I also forget to eat sometimes. The other day I had forgotten to eat. I found myself starving and over an hour away from home. Finding a place to get a bite to eat that was somewhat healthy became somewhat of a problem. I drove around and around… Eventually I caved and ate at McDonald’s .. Which is probably the worst place I could have chosen. I ended up getting a grilled chicken sandwich with a medium fry and a diet coke. I only ate half of my fry, talk about self control! Though I did have a cherry pie at 250 calories! 🙂 Even though I was well under my calorie limit for the day, I noticed feeling guilty for eating there. Mainly because when I eat fast food it takes away a big chunk of my calories and limits what I can eat for the rest of the day.

One thing I have learned about calorie counting is taking steps to make it easier for me to eat better. Like for example when I get grapes I try to bag them in serving sizes. By doing this it helps me when I am feeling down and don’t want to prepare something. This way I have something ready when I am hungry. I did the same thing with the chicken breasts I got this week. I also am trying to keep around snacks that are healthy, that I like. I notice if I don’t have anything available that is healthier I will break down and eat something unhealthy. So having healthy snacks around are going to be important for me.

Another goal of mine is to start becoming more active. I bowled two games last week and it about killed me. When it gets warmer out, I hope to start walking. Again I have to take baby steps. I have started to park further back when I go to stores. Anything will help, that is how I look at it. I am learning to push myself. I wanted to quit after the first game but I bowled another one. One of the things I use to love to do is going out dancing. There is no way I could dance in the shape I am in now but I will one day be able to.

Not only am I tackling becoming more physically healthy but I am also working on the emotional side to it as well. I am working hard to take better care of myself from the inside to out. I can’t wait for anyone to come rescue me. I have to do it!!!

I don’t have the luxury to wait anymore. The time is now to take better care of myself. Loving myself inside and out. I deserve it!!! I wouldn’t tolerate someone treating someone I loved this way, so why do I tolerate treating myself this way??? This may be new territory for me but it will keep at it until it sticks!

One breath will turn into a lifetime filled full of happiness, laughter and fulfillment. I guess it is all about balance. I am learning to build a strong foundation, one brick at a time. Turning my house into a home, inside my secret garden. A sanctuary that no one will be able to knock down.

Awareness is the seed (key) planted in my secret garden.

Happy Birthday Paige!

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My life would be empty without my nieces and nephew. Eleven years ago my life changed for the better when my oldest niece Paige was born. I didn’t know what love really was until I held her in my arms. My heart grew exponentially that day when God granted me my very own angel. Then even more when Peyton and Grace were born.

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Love is a funny thing. Just when you think you have hit the capacity, your heart grows more room. Well in this case that love exploded my capacity like a volcano. Sky is the limit when it comes to the love I have for my nieces and nephew.

When I call them my angels I am not kidding. There were times in my life where their light pulled me through some very dark moments in my life. I am not sure where I would be without those three beautiful children. Their unconditional love for me has taught me so many important and valuable lessons about love and life.

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Paige and I have always had a very special bond, like we are kindred spirits. She will always be my baby girl, no matter how old she is. She has a heart of gold just like her beautiful mother. Paige is so kind, caring and gentle. She also gets her stubbornness from me.

I have fond memories when was she was an infant and watching her sleep. Growing into precarious toddler that just loved her pacifiers  She would horde them like they were gold, carrying around a bunch at a time…

I was her jungle gym. Her silly uncle who gave horsey and even space ship rides. I would toss her around in the air like she was a butterfly. My love for her was bigger than anything I had ever known.

I am truly blessed.

Now she is on the brink of becoming a teenager. I am both sad and excited. Sad for the years that have passed and excited for what is yet to come.

So Happy Birthday Paige. I love you with all my heart, always and forever! Though things are changing and you are growing up. I will always be here with a hugg and lots of love. No matter where you go in live, I will always be there. ALWAYS!!!!

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I am ugly…

That is what I said to myself when I looked into the mirror tonight.

Ugly. Hideous. Fat.

These are all words that are running through my mind right now.

Unlovable. Worthless. Unwanted.

These are meanings behind those words.

I looked into the mirror and I was disgusted at what I saw. It is a feeling that I don’t care for. It doesn’t make me feel so hot.

I don’t always see ugly, hideous or fat when I look in the mirror but when I do it makes me shiver.

Part of the way I feel about myself is my recent weight gain. I think about having sex with another guy and my first thought is no one will want to touch me. You would think that would be motivation enough to go on a diet but it isn’t.

This has came up in therapy. I wonder if I use my weight as layer of protection. The heavier I am, the less likely it is I will be with someone… making it very unlikely I will ever get hurt.

I also realize that the way I feel about myself isn’t just about the weight.

I personalize everything.

I login to various gay social sites and I am faced with all these guys with muscles, who look nothing like me. Even the ones that say they are just looking friendship don’t even respond back. I obviously am not attractive enough to be their friend. See that is where the personalization gets me in trouble every time!!!

The whole online gay lifestyle is very disheartening at times. It is very much like a meat market especially the sites that allow nudity in your pictures. I mean I am gay but it doesn’t mean I want to stare at penis all the time. Then you have the headless horsemen gay guys. Then on top of all of that you have porno ads all over. Am I the only one that gets turned off by all of this?

I mean is that all there is to life, sex??? I don’t think so…

When you are fat, you become this joke. Often times you are the one starting the joke. I guess it is easier to laugh off the reality then face the truth. Growing up your told your too fat, you need to lose weight. The kids stare and call you names.

Just look at our culture and how we treat a person’s size. All you have to do is turn on the television and see all the weight loss ads. Look at me all skinny and fabulous, you can do it too!!! I am not saying that being healthy is a bad thing but at what cost??? Just look at all the photoshopping that is done to pictures on magazines.

It is all this comparing that does harm.

Even in the bear community lately I have felt out of place. On the bear sites I rarely get a response back from someone not my size. When that happens the wheels of personalizing start to turn. Some will argue that these sites are just for one thing online, hooking up… but I have to believe that I am not the only one out there looking for meaningful connections???

Recently I have heard from gay guys, who are not fat, have the same problem as I do… as in they never hear back from people. So what in the world is going on??? Has the invention of the iPhone and Android made it too easy? I mean it certainly has made it easier to find people, right down to their location. More options means more choices. Is it the whole grass is greener on the other side scenario? I mean you can always find someone hotter, just an icon over…

Being a gay sexual abuse survivor is very tough. You are constantly bombarded by superficiality. Profiles that say no fatties or hwp only. I connected how others think about my body to my self worth. I need to sever those ties because they are harmful to me. I have connected my dating struggles with being overweight… which really means I am ugly… unwanted… unlovable…  alone… forever…

There is apart of being a survivor of sexual abuse is that I have felt that was my purpose to give others pleasure. When someone takes something that isn’t yours, and then as an adult you have relationships that mirror that, you become an object.

I think in many ways I eat away my feelings because it is a way for me to protect myself. I know that it is all connected to the abuse. Often times it feels like a part of me is still trapped in that bedroom. I wish it were as easy as turning off a switch.

I guess the difference is that I am now aware of these ugly feelings and I am working on overcoming them. I have to remind myself that I am not my feelings. Loneliness is a tough feeling for me and often the beginning of my downward spirals. I really need to be aware of these feelings and be careful when I start to feel lonely.

I started to write about lonely and I started to think about it more. There is general loneliness where you miss being around people. Then there is the loneliness you feel because you miss having someone special in your life. I also think I kid myself that when I look online I am not trying to find a potential mate, even when I say I am just looking for friends… Maybe that is what so many guys who say they are looking for friends are doing??? Years ago, before I realized that my weight was a big issue for me, I noticed it was difficult to be friends with other guys who were big like myself. I finally realized that they were mirrors. I have since realized when it comes to friendship it is most healthy when I am not attracted to the person because sex for me complicates things.

Why do I feel I need someone in my life to be happy?

When I get really lonely I start looking online for ways to soothe my feelings. Here is how the cycle goes.

I get lonely -> look for platonic connection -> romantic connection -> sexual connection = feeling horrible, ugly, etc

Regardless if I am successful in finding someone to have sex with me I end up feeling horrible because in one situation I become an object and another no one wants me. There was a time where I was very promiscuous and did this all the time. I am thankful I have moved forward. Though I find myself trying to go backwards.

Tonight a word came to mind when I thought about having sex and my body… pure… I guess I have always saw my body as dirty. That started early on when I tried to wash away the filth from the sexual abuse.

Wow, it just dawned on me how I looked at my body. Talk about light bulbs exploding!!!

Lately I have been feeling particularly lonely with all the feelings of loss. Tonight I had a chance to hookup and I stopped myself. I realized I deserved and wanted more! Afterwards is when pure came to mind. This idea that my body is a temple. I need to start treating it like so.

I have to start looking at my body like a secret garden. Sure I have a lot of weeding to do but the walls are still strong, I just have to keep the door locked. I have planted a seed and soon life will blossom filling my garden full of beautiful flowers. I just need to be more cautious who I let inside my garden because many will try to trample or steal my flowers.

Even thought it has been close to 10 months since I’ve had sex, partly by choice, I still feel inside that my body belongs to others. I think the key to my recovery is letting that go. Just because someone took something that wasn’t theirs when I was a child, it doesn’t mean they still have it. It was and will always be mine.

It is time for me to start thinking about what I do to my body. Is what I am doing to it going to help or hurt me? As for gratuitous sex it usually means something harmful because it is too deeply connected to the sexual trauma.

So from now on I am going to start treating my body like a temple, especially when it comes to sex. I am worth more than a one night stand. The benefits don’t out way the consequences. I must burn that ideology into my brain.

I am reclaiming my body and my self worth. For too long the door to my secret garden was unhinged, stolen long ago… I have since put up a heavy duty bullet proof door with a combination lock that only I have the code for. Now I will control who I let in to see my garden, everyone else will have to look at my beauty from a far… Just because I let someone in it doesn’t mean they have full access to my garden, or control. If they begin to abuse their privileges I have the right to banish them.

I hold the key and lock. No one else does…