As I mentioned in my previous post, I spent NYE in Alexandria, Virginia at my brother and his new wife Katie's home. The premise we were all brought there under was a New Year's Eve Black and White Ball, but it was pretty obvious from the first invite this was a wedding. And it was mainly for that reason I went, to be there to support my brother.
I would be lying if I didn't admit doing this was one of the most stress inducing things I have faced in a VERY VERY long time. Both from a body image point of view but also from a family dynamics point of view.
As ashamed as I am to admit it, it threw me many steps backwards with my food and my weight. I let the stress of it being on the horizon send me back to barely eating and considering fast track ways to make the scale fall. And in the process of worrying if I was going to look good in my dress gained about 10 lbs from not eating.
As I said I went to be there for my brother, at his request. I love my brother Thom and would do anything in the world for him. He is a very strong young man who has been through a lot in his life and has managed to persevere through it all. He has recently become licensed to teach High School and is starting out on a great new adventure with Katie. Thom has been one of my strongest supporters and advocates in the last year. As he said last night when I pointed out my heels made me almost as tall as him for the first time in my life, I am also as close to the same weight as him as I have probably ever been in my life (I am going to catch him SOON though and weigh less than him).
I think what was even more touching than his compliments though was how much of my journey his friends knew about (ie how much he had shared). I am a big believer in what people say behind your back is a lot more sincere than what they say to your face, and obviously he has shared my story with great pride and that means the world to me.
Beyond my brother unfortunately my family dynamics are not a positive situation, and last night did not change that.
My sister Candi was there with her husband and son Lucas. She opted, as I expected, to not speak to me the entire night and instead glare across the room. The situation saddens me, particularly since she hasn't spoken to me in 20 years over a nickname I called her when we were kids. And I have spent a lot of years hoping we could resolve it, I have reached out to her a handful of times to try, without a response. I know now that won't happen she won't let it. And I have now made peace with that.
My mother was also there, this part of things is not as cut and dry as it is with my sister. My sister I really would like to repair things with, I think the whole situation is stupid to have held a grudge for 20 years over a nickname.
My mom however, I don't see it being healthy for me to step back into that situation. There was and is too much abuse history, too much ongoing head games and I need to do what is best for me. But that doesn't make it hard.
It was hard to be there last night and watch Katie's family all together and our family not even able to sit at a table together and not long for life to have been different, but one thing the last year has taught me is to not lose how far I have come in all that old noise.
It would be easy to say my family was the root of my not eating and stressing the last few weeks over this event, but if I am being honest even if my family hadn't been involved, I still would have had a hard time leading up to this event. Things like this are a battle I am still trying to overcome when it comes to body image.
For as far as I have come I still feel so uncomfortable in social settings where I don't know people. I still feel like the fat awkward girl at the party that everyone is staring at and laughing at behind my back. I will say that Katie and my brother's friends and Katie's family made me feel INCREDIBLY welcome and comfortable last night and that part was a lot better than I expected. I was surrounded by a lot of 20 and 30 year olds and didn't feel like the fat ugly girl. I felt old because of the music but not because of my weight *grin*. Truth, if I hadn't been dealing with the family dynamics in the end it was a good party and I truly enjoyed the people there.
I will also admit, for those who haven't already been drawn into the chaos leading up to the party (thank you btw the my shopping helpers and those who reviewed clothing) I did go a little off the deep end trying to figure out what to wear. I had 3 different dresses picked out at different times, two pairs of shoes, about 10 different necklaces.
This is the first time in my life I have gone to a social event where I truly had unlimited choices, not just wearing the one thing I could find that would fit, and it was overwhelming. Up until minutes before I left I was second guessing what I was wearing, but in the end I am really happy with my choices. Especially the great shoes.
The pink 4 1/2" heels got me more compliments all night than I ever imagined, and I grinned to myself every time someone said " I don't know how you walk in those". I know I make a big deal out of my shoes, but for me wearing those heels all night, not tripping once, dancing in them and just being in them really represents a true victory over not only my weight, but all that was taken from me years ago with the nerve damage. Although I can honestly say, even before the nerve damage I never EVER wore shoes with a heel like that.
I may just have to have them bronzed for posterity!!!