Thursday, June 24, 2010


I feel like it's been weeks since I have blogged when in actuality it's only been three days. There is so much going on that I don't have time to think. I sit down at my desk and go, "what do I need to do now?"

It seems like at least once a day I am having a panic attack. Not full blown, just enough anxiety to make me start talking fast with worry and/or crying. Sometimes a thought crosses my mind that makes my stomach drop. Most of the time it's the thought of me being on a plane. I hate planes. I hate them so much. I have been on three flights my entire life, and two of them were trans-continental. It's the turbulence that freaks me out. I've tried to explain this to my husband a million times, but I guess he doesn't understand the anxious mind. When a bout of turbulence hits, I don't think, "okay this is normal". I let my mind and anxiety get the best of me and let myself visualize the plane going down, or an engine catching on fire or something. Seriously. I have a game plan set up so far. The plane leaves at midnight, so I plan on waking up at like 9 a.m. that morning so I'll be super tired come flight time, then pop 2 or 3 Xanax and (hopefully) sleep away a chunk of the 13-hour flight.

Speaking of anxiety getting the best of me, I am convinced that if I leave my grandpa will die. I know that's a morbid thing to think, but it crosses my mind all of the time now. I understand that he's almost 84 and will probably die sooner or later anyway, but I feel like the minute I leave something bad will happen and I will be stuck in Australia. Could I forgive myself? I'm also convinced my mom's cancer will come back. Just last week she had knee surgery and a cracked tooth, so she is at home miserable. She told me yesterday she was depressed. My mom is like Superman. I've seen her cry maybe five times in my whole life. She told me she was depressed after my grandma (her mom) passed away, but that's a given. Right now she's depressed because she hates her job, is struggling with money, and her body is all out of whack. Plus she has an upcoming appointment with her oncologist to check on another suspicious mole. I feel like I'm going to get a phone call from her saying this time it's inoperable or incurable.

We are still looking for a home for our cats, but on the bright side we have family that will take the both of them if we can't find anyone near where we live that would want both of them. That's a huge relief. It's still going to be so hard to say goodbye, I don't know how I'm going to deal with it. The family lives in Washington so we will have to take a 16 hour drive up there, which I don't mind. I have to sell my car by the time we leave, and yet another thing I am convinced of is something will happen to my car when we drive that far. A car accident, or overheating, or a new belt is all I need right now when I'm trying to sell it for a decent price.

I'm still separating things into "sell" boxes and "keep" boxes. I have a lot of "sell boxes", surprisingly. I thought I would want to take all of this crap that means so much to me, but in the long run it will just cost too much to ship. I keep looking around and making tallies: sell the entertainment system, the engraved wood chest, the bookshelf and the matching furniture. Everything. I am leaving everything. A lot of people feel possessions are just material, that they can be replaced, but sometimes the thoughts or memories that come up by looking at something makes you sad you have to give it away.

What usually comes out of my mouth when I start talking to my husband in a panic is "how did you do this? How did you leave everything behind and move here??" J moved here within three weeks of getting his U.S. Visa approved. He packed a big suitcase with only clothes, some pictures and books, and started living here. The end. He didn't have bills. Furniture. Knick knacks. He went from a town of 7,000 with one McDonalds in a two-hour radius to an area with about a million people in it. You can get anything in America. He usually replies, "don't you think I went through the same thing you're going through right now?" I think in comparison, he didn't. I'm not trying to negate his feelings or anything, but when he came over, we were in love. Anyone in a long term relationship with someone knows what I mean. Back then, I would have swam the Pacific to be with J. On our vacations we would spend hours in bed just happy with each other's company. Now that the love drug has worn off, I have to sit with the reality of what is happening.

When I move over there, even though J's parents are helping us out, I will be alone. At square one. I will have zero money, no job, no comfortable private time, no friends, no family. I wish my husband could understand this. He tells me that I have his family now, but it's not the same. I still have credit cards that need to be paid off. How do I go about asking someone that's not my family for money? I can't, I'm too embarrassed. But I also don't plan on defaulting and getting a terrible credit rating in America. I will have to eat food prepared for me, and that makes me extremely anxious. I don't like to eat around other people. I don't like picking at my food while someone else watches. I also know it's rude to not eat food given to you. Even typing all these things are making me shake and breathe faster thinking about them.

Although I have been described as "dependent", I actually am very independent. I have always had my own money and my own bills. My adult relationships have usually ended up with me paying everything or keeping money separate from my boyfriend's. I've also made my own decisions and am very headstrong. If I want something, I get it. When we move I am going to be 100% reliant on my husband, and that scares the crap out of me. We started this relationship with me wearing the pants because of the situation we were in. I pay all of our bills and make 95% of the money. I'm not concerned if my husband will be able to do it, I know he can. I'm concerned about me not having any power or say anymore. I have never had to rely on a man for anything, ever. Maybe I would feel better if we had $5,000 saved up and knew what we were getting ourselves into. But I don't and we don't. It's a jump from a cliff so high you can't see the bottom.

I do believe in fate. I was expecting a roadblock to keep us from moving. So far, everything has worked out in Australia's favor. I'm not imagining a "happily ever after" there. I will turn 30 a month after we get there and I will have no friends or family to celebrate it with. No big sushi birthday dinner. No trip to Las Vegas. Nothing. I'm trying to be hopeful though. Hoping my husband gets a good job that will make him happy and set us up to find our own place. Hoping a change of scenery might be something, anything to get me out of this funk and get me productive. Hoping my husband and I can actually start our life together with no stress or "what-ifs". And especially hoping no one dies anytime soon.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Unfinished Business.

We're moving. We set it in stone, bought the tickets, and it's full steam ahead. I had a major meltdown last night due to missing all the things I wrote about in my former blogs (My grandpa, cats, California, etc.) I mean straight up sobbing. My husband brought me a Xanax which helped. I had a couple of dreams last night which prompted me to write this blog in particular. The subject is something I have been thinking about for a while now because of my own demons. I would really love advice on whether I should try and "bury the hatchet" or "let sleeping dogs lie". I'll begin.

When I was in junior high there was a new girl. I liked her, she was really shy but very friendly. It seemed like we would have stuff in common, so me and my then-BFF welcomed her and the three of us hung out around school and stuff. At the time, I didn't realize my BFF would eventually become a grade-A backstabbing bitch. Anyway, she would talk me into acting really cruel towards the new girl. My brain is foggy with the details, but I can remember that we really just weren't that nice to her (Think the movie "Mean Girls". It's true that all us girls do everything that is portrayed in that movie). Towards the end of the school year my BFF had stolen every boyfriend I had, and even lied to get a girl to try and beat me up. All the friends I had gained had shunned me and spread terrible rumors about me. I was terrified. I didn't want to go to school anymore. It felt like my life was over. Eventually someone new befriended me and she is one of my best friends to this day. She and her group of friends made me not afraid to come to school. By this time the new girl had made some of her own friends, and we became acquaintances. I promised myself never to be like that to anyone ever again, because I knew what comes around, goes around.

Fast forward three years later. I am in high school, and I just swallowed a handful of pills that landed me in the hospital on a "5150" (look it up). The reason I did this is because a month earlier my boyfriend, the love of my life, my everything, and I had broken up. He continued to come over and sleep with me, then leave faster than he could put his pants back on. I rationalized with myself that even if I couldn't have him fully I could at least keep him around by enticing him with sex (something I continued to do later in my adult years). One day he was supposed to come over, and I had talked my mom into making his favorite meal. I put a sundress on, got all dolled up, and waited for him to show up. And waited. He finally called me an hour late and told me it wasn't a good idea if we even hung out anymore. I was crushed. Numb. Devastated. The day we had broken up I had secretly hid a combination of pills in a jar that I knew would interact and a small bottle of water...just in case. Well, today proved to be that day.

It took me an hour after ingestion to fall off my bed and let my parents know what I had done, and they rushed me to the hospital where they stuck a tube down my throat and pumped my stomach. I saw my mom watching through the little window in the door and it broke my heart. Since this was the third (!) suicide attempt they had to commit me involuntarily for 72 hours. The same week my ex was graduating from high school, I was in a psychiatric hospital. A close guy friend, who is still one of my best friends to this day as well, would call to check on me and I would always ask about my ex. He informed me that at his graduation party he hooked up girl. By this time new girl wasn't just pretty she was stunning. She definitely grew into her looks. I was crushed, but I also gained the resolve to move on and not look back. When I got out I didn't hear from my ex for about two months. He and new girl were official, and I was busy preparing for my senior year. One day out of the blue, he called me to see how I was. He had told me he missed me and wanted to come over. I didn't want him to but, I admit, I missed him terribly and would do anything he asked. He came over and...we slept together. As soon as it was over, he told me he regretted coming over because he really liked new girl and said he wouldn't see me again. I wasn't hurt. I was MAD. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

A week or so later I was ready to execute my plan. I called my ex and invited him over by using my feminine wiles. He was more than happy to oblige. He came over and we chit-chatted, talking about how hot this August day was. He started kissing me and one thing of course led to another. When it was over, he told me it was a mistake coming over, that he liked his girlfriend a lot blah blah blah. I told him okay, I understand, no problem. He started to leave and I shut my screen door and locked it. He said "see you around", and I said, "no, I don't think you will". I held up my tape recorder, rewound it, and pressed "Play".

I'd like to interject into this part of my story and tell you that until this day, I never had a mean, sadistic, vindictive bone in my body. If someone didn't like me (just like how I feel today), I would be devastated and would do anything to make them see I was a good person. I had gone through so much over my ex that I snapped. I wouldn't let him take advantage of me anymore. I wouldn't let myself be sucked in by his power and my love for him. I look back and have to tell you this incident was the only time in my life I a)constructed a great plan, but b)had the balls and hatred to actually do something this heinous. Most of my ex-employees would hear me after going back into the kitchen area say, "I am going to stab that bitch at table 54", but those are just words. I've never punched or slapped anyone. I've never spit in anyone's face. I don't have it in me. Except this day.

My ex was furious. He threw a full soda can at the door and screamed at the top of his lungs every expletive in the book before he got in his car and sped away. I knew where he was headed, he was on his way to do damage control after I dropped the bomb on his girlfriend. Like I said, new girl and I were acquaintances by this time, so I had her telephone number. War always inflicts casualties, and unfortunately that was new girl. I called her up and before I could even get it out, I started to cry. This wasn't her fault. My intention was never to hurt her, I wanted my ex to feel as bad as he had made me feel. I apologized over and over again as I told her what had just conspired. She was devastated. She asked me to play the tape. I did. She hung up on me. I deserved it. That was the last time I would ever see her or hear from her again.

They stayed together for only a couple of months after that, and without my ex I had the best summer and winter of my life. I was happy, I hung out with friends that I had set aside for my ex, got a new boyfriend that lived in San Diego (I would secretly ditch school and drive two hours to see him-best memories of my life), and was full of life. Six months later my ex called me and told me I was the best thing that ever happened to him, that he was so sorry for putting me through any pain, that he would do anything to get me back, and after a month of groveling I gave in and it really was amazing. Three months later I got pregnant, and the rest is history.

The thing is, it eats away at me. Some of my best friends are her friends as well, and when I know she will be at an event I won't go. I'm too chicken. I would like to think that the past is behind her, but it's not. At a party my best guy friend was at (the one that would call me when I was in the psych ward), he ran into her and my ex talking. They are still friends after all these years. He said hi to her, and the subject of my son popped up. She called me a "loser", and a "terrible mom" because I don't see my son that often, that my ex has full custody of him. My friend, the wonderful guy that he is, tried to explain it wasn't like that, there are circumstances other than me just "not caring" (namely my bipolar), but she didn't buy it. If I was in her shoes I would hate me too. Venomously. Like wish her dead hate me.

I've gone on to her Facebook. She's married now. She's beautiful, like oh my God you could be a model beautiful. That's all I know about her. I've wanted to talk to her for a while now, to tell her how sorry I am, to try and explain my side of the story, that she was just in the crossfire, but I can't bring myself to do it. I feel like now, saying goodbye to my friends and family before I live overseas, may be a good time to talk to her but I don't know if I'm ready to hear the reply. I don't want to dredge up old wounds for her. For all I know she could have completely forgotten the incident and I'm the stupid one who hasn't. I'm really conflicted. Just in case I never muster up the courage to do so, I'll do it here.

New girl, I know that you probably think the absolute worst of me. I don't blame you if you saw my name and deleted this message before you even got a chance to read this. I've thought of you for a long time now. I know some of your friends are my friends and you may hear my name in passing. I know you still talk to my ex and hear the things he says about me regarding our son. I'm not writing to you to defend myself or change your mind about me. What I am here to do is to tell you how unbelievably sorry I am if I ever made you cry just one tear. What I did to you in high school with my ex, your boyfriend at the time, was unforgivable. It was not meant to punish you in any way. The only reason I did it was because I was selfish. I wanted you to know what a terrible person your boyfriend was and I wanted to hurt him in the worst way possible, which meant going through you. If you have forgotten about this, I'm sorry to have brought it up. I also know you have a very poor opinion of me regarding my son and our relationship. Due to his issues and my issues, it was better for him and everyone involved if he lived with my ex and not me. A lot of things happened during the years that cemented that. You can think what you want of me, I don't want to sway your opinion, but please know that I do love my son with all of my heart, and that's why I know he is better off without me. I don't expect a reply or forgiveness, I just wanted you to know my side of the story and apologize to you. Take care.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

America! F*ck Yeah!

So yesterday my husband and I made our final answer to go to Australia. It's funny because we were driving, and I burst into bitch baby tears. He says, "are those happy tears or sad tears?" and I said "both". Happy because we are entering a new leg into our marriage, and sad because well, this is my home. Up until five years ago, it's the only place I have ever known and cared about. I always daydreamed about moving to Australia, but I don't think the reality ever took over until now. Of course now I'm driving around going "I'll miss that. And this road! I'll miss this road. Look at the view! I'll miss that" etc. I decided to compile a list of what is awesome here, the stuff I will truly miss. Since I am a pessimist at heart, I'll post what makes me want to leave ASAP as well.

The good:
*My family-We are a solid bunch, and no one in my family lives more than 30 minutes away from the other. My brother and sister moved to our hometown as soon as they got married and settled down. The house my grandpa lives is the house he and my grandma bought when they got married in 1950. The biggest thing in my mind is my grandpa. I can talk to everyone through video chat on the computer, but he doesn't own one. And...he's almost 84. I want to think he's invincible, but ever since my grandma died I always have the thought in the back of my mind that he will die sooner rather than later. All I ever wanted was to be successful and know that he is proud of me. He has dug me out of so many holes. I know in my heart that when I say goodbye to him physically, it may be the last time, and that kills me. My son, my nieces and nephews-I will see them grow up through pictures. (P.S. Yes, I am leaving my son here. He belongs here, and he has a wonderful life and family without me that he has had since he was 3. One day I'll have the courage to write a blog about him, but not today.)

*My friends-I always write that I am a terrible friend due to my depression, but they keep on chugging along with me. Everyone around me at the moment is popping out babies, and like my family, I will only see them grow up through pictures. I will make myself have the strength to say goodbye to everyone before we leave. I don't care if I'm fat, scared, self-conscious-I will find a way.

*My cats-Oh, this one breaks my heart. They don't have a computer. They can't call me. I won't know if they are taken care of, or separated, or dead. Yesterday I got an amazing break in the clouds because a family member said they will take them if we can't find a family for them. It lowered my stress by about 92%. But still, I will never have two cats as amazing as Sam and Portal. They really are our kids.

*The American system of weights and measures, and the language-I am five feet eight inches tall. My husband is one hundred and seventy eight centimeters. WTF? I can't even remember how many centimeters are in an inch. Who even uses centimeters? I say "it's half an inch" or something similar. And even though Australians speak English, it's very different. Lets use this American sentence as our example:
"I am headed to the neighborhood gas station for three gallons of gas and to check the air in my tires" becomes:
"I am headed to the neighbourhood petrol station for twelve litres of petrol and to check the air in my tyres".
Tomato? Toe-maw-toe. Produce? Praw-juice. Theater? Theatre. Vomit? Vegemite.

*The food-New York Cheesecake, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I am aware that they actually have food in Australia, but no matter what my husband says, it does not hold a candle to the melting pot awesomeness of American cuisine. There's a reason bigger than stress and depression on why I am so fat. I'm not going to lie, there has been more than one time I have walked into the chinese food shop, gotten shrimp fried rice and cream cheese wontons, walked out, walked next door to the mexican chicken shop and picked up a rotisserie chicken, then walked next door to that for some Coldstone ice cream. Yeah. I can imagine sending a picture to my mom in six months and having her exclaim, "oh my gosh you've lost so much weight!" and me replying "I want to eat! The food here is AWFUL!". On that note:

*America has everything-For a minute I have to put on my better-than-you hat. Everything that other countries have we have x 1,000. Our landscape is vast and different in every nook and cranny. There is a reason why other countries' tired and poor, their huddled masses yearning to break free came to this place: it is the land of opportunity. It's also why we have the problem of illegal immigration, but still, after watching the "America" mini-series on the History Channel, I was ready to put on a "God bless the U.S.A." bumper sticker on my car. We.Kick.Ass.

*California-I am honored that I am a Cali girl, born and raised. I live in a place where the mountains and skiing are an hour away, the beach and surfing are an hour away, amusement parks are an hour away, wine country is an hour away, and foreign travel is two hours away.

*Las Vegas-Two words: fuck yeah. A four hour drive to decadence on the highest level.

*Big cities-Where my husband and I are moving to there are 7,000 people. My hometown that no one can find on a map and is tiny to me has 60,000. California alone has 1.5 times the number of people than the entire country of Australia. I like freeways! I like having everything I need no more than twenty minutes in any direction!

*Freedom-No, not the "Home of the free" type, the "I am an adult and do what I want" kind. When we move we will be shacking up with my husband's parents for at least a while. Borrowing their car. Eating their food. Don't get me wrong, I love my in-laws! But I'm a night owl. I 'm bipolar. I have furniture and crap that I have to sell that I have had for years. Everything is going to be back at square one. It's kind of exciting because then my husband and I can buy things together as opposed to him just moving over here and what's mine is his.

*Television-Yes, Australia has T.V. But I don't know if they have my shows! Is The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on in the middle of the night? My husband never seen Three's Company until he moved here. Television is a small routine, but it's something that I've gotten used to. House. Mad Men. Grey's Anatomy. Intervention. Desperate Housewives. Meh, I'll just buy the DVD's lol.

*Concerts-any band, no matter how small, plays a show in Los Angeles. World-famous bands may come to Australia every few years, and even then it's in cities like Brisbane, which is 14 hours from where we will be living.

*Starbucks-Also 14 hours away from where we will be living. To all my friends, any time you get a caramel macchiato, you need to pour a little on the curb and say, "this is for my homie Hed".

The bad:
*The government-I know the same thing happens in all countries, and we're not as bad as some who have complete dictatorship, but our government is so selfish and corrupt. What benefits them and their pocketbooks matter the most. They have no intentions of trying to pull our more-polarized-by-the-minute country together. There is so much mudslinging covering America that we are sinking in it.

*Health care-I have to pay over $200 for nine migraine pills. My best friend broke his leg from a hit-and-run and it bankrupted him. Our people (mostly) work to bring in taxes and keep commerce flowing. If our government turns a blind eye to a fallen American, what's going to happen when our strongest workers all become unworkable?

*Religion-God? He's a cool guy. I think he lets you be who you are and as long as you choose a good path he's supportive. So it pisses me off royally that the bible-belt, religious-right is just sucking the life out of everything in this country! Our forefathers came to this country to be freed of religious persecution. Our constitution and our money talks about "God", not a Christian God or a Muslim God or a Buddha God, but GOD. Stop cramming your beliefs down my throat, and stop blaming every freaking thing that goes wrong in this country on the lack of God. On that subject:

*Ignorance-we are so bubbled in here. It's so bad. Our school systems are some of the lowest in the world, yet we are one of the foremost first-world countries. So many Americans have their mentality set on "if it doesn't affect me, then I don't care". People don't vote, whereas other countries make you (I don't know if that's good either, because face it, lots of people everywhere are ignorant!). My nephews couldn't find Australia on a map. I don't expect all Americans to have a "Jeopardy"-like memory about everything, but opening their eyes would be a good start.

*Guns-Yes, I am scared of guns. Just recently there was a news segment about shootings on one of my local freeways. People sit up in the hills with a rifle and randomly shoot at cars. WTF? School shootings are on the rise. "Guns don't kill people; people kill people"-sure, but it's a hell of a lot easier with a gun in your hand!

So yeah, its six one way, half a dozen in the other. My husband simplified it for me and said, "wherever you are is my home". Aww. I just hope that our new home is the right decision.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

F*ck This!

"I spent my entire 20's being overweight, and I'm tired (literally!) My goal is to be healthier by my 30th birthday (September)."

(my weight graph, Oct 09-June 10)

This is the quote that greets me on my diet tracker web site. I joined it October 1, 2009. That was just before what we can call "Hed's Great Depression" that occurred the next month. I actually did well. I joined a gym (and went!), tracked everything I put in my mouth, and focused on healthy items that would fill me up instead of give me a quick burst then drop me. At the time I had just started working at Starbucks, where I could drink my glorious caramel macchiatos every day if I wanted to. When we would sample pastries I would have a sample bite without going ape-shit and eating an entire piece. I miss working around coffee sometimes, because seriously, the anorexic models were onto something! I get coffee right before I start grocery shopping, and all (okay, most) impulse buys are gone. Now we are dirt poor and usually scramble to eat what we can. I've been so depressed lately that spending an hour in the grocery store planning meals is the last thing on my mind. I want to run to Del Taco, get food, and go home. Two things yesterday made me look at myself, my situation, my fat, and see there has to be a change.

My husband and I went to the local drugstore to get updated passport pictures-I had to change my married name and they needed new pictures since mine were from 2005. I had done my make-up and hair, which I haven't done lately unless we are really going somewhere I would be uncomfortable without make-up on, like dinner with the family. And I love make-up, so not wearing it should show you just how crappy I've felt lately. Anyway, I look straight at the camera and it's done. We walk around the store while they are getting processed, and I overhear a clerk asking another clerk, "do we have any wheelchairs?" I brush it off and wait for the photos to finish. I look at them and These aren't my pictures. That's not me. This person has this face with no structure and is a fat blob. She has a bowl haircut and the color is dirty brown. Her make up looks terrible. Never have I taken a picture of myself and have truly been shocked at how I must look to others. The guy asked me if I wanted to redo them, and I sheepishly said no. I thought, no camera in the world could cure my ugly, so why bother. They were awful, not self-conscious girl-type awful, but awful like I wanted to soak the pictures in gasoline and light them on fire awful.

We walk the 20 steps from the photo booth to the cash register, and J forgets to pick up soda, so he runs to get some and I wait in line. A lady slowly passes me with a cart of only three things; what looked like gauze, ointment, and something else. She had to be twice my size. She was a big woman. And she was exhausted. She was breathing like she just ran a sprint, was all sweaty, and started hunching over the empty cart like it was a cane. I didn't want to be a hypocrite by looking at her because I hate when others do that to me, but it was a wake-up call. I'm tired when I walk up the stairs to my apartment. I see the sad beginning of cankles. I gasp for breath when I fall asleep. When she got to the cashier, she kindly asked the clerk why they didn't have wheelchairs or motorized carts, and I realized the clerk in the back of the store I had passed was asking for one for her. She walked in the store, went through one aisle, walked back to the front of the store and she needed a freaking wheelchair. I don't want a wheelchair someday. Unless I break my leg, I'll walk, thank you. I felt sorry for her, and I hate that I did, because she was once my size and nothing stopped her from getting larger. I saw myself in five years in her.

There are always articles I read about obesity, and the comments are shocking. Some say "they should be able to control themselves, they are disgusting, vile people". Others make fun of fat people lightly, and even more say they should "do themselves a favor and kill themselves". I don't want to be made fun of. I don't want people to snicker at me. I am so aware of my movements, how my clothes are fitting, my facial expressions, how I talk etc. when I am around strangers. Just like with everything else I want them to only see me as a nice, kind person. I don't want them to know I hate myself. I don't want their pity. I want their approval. And obese people are unacceptable in the minds of many. My home is my comfort zone. I can do what I want there with no prying eyes. I sometimes even have to ask my husband to leave the room if I'm getting dressed or feeling miserable. The thought of moving to a new country is terrifying. My main thought is if I'm out and about, the minute I open my mouth someone will think, "heh, a typical FAT American" and automatically dismiss me. I think the ratio of me thinking about what people think of me versus me thinking of me is 95/5. I'm so sick of it. It all boils down to all the stresses in my life and what I can do to change them.

I'm no good about taking care of myself. I do what is the easiest and what is the path of least resistance. In any avenue of life when I hit a wall, instead of climbing it or breaking it down, I just run the other way. I have to get out of this pattern, or I will die. Die from either something weight related, or something depression related. (I've always pictured my death as driving on a freeway overpass trying to eat a cheeseburger and *BAM* fall off the bridge. Seriously.) I didn't plan on waking up this morning and saying to myself "okay, today is the day!", I just did it. I'm not going to be excessively detailed this time. I'm going to go with the flow. No power scooters in my future. No more back pain from walking from a parking lot to an office building. I' done. I'm DONE.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What's your definition of "fat"?

First off, I'd like to share with my readers that I am typing this naked in the middle of the day. Because my brain never turns off, my mind wandered to the look of my own body while I was in the shower so I sat at my computer in my towel and started to write. In the shower, I came to this conclusion: I think there is an invisible weight limit for each individual where you cross the line from-
"skinny" to "trim"
"trim" to "healthy"
"healthy" to "curvy"
"curvy" to, gosh, there's so many, "plump", "chubby", "chunky", etc.
"chubby" to "fat"
"fat" to "really fat"
and finally, "really fat" to "I can't lift my legs out of bed fat"

I am the second to last one. Really. I'm not some tabloid mag that shows Beyonce with jiggle and proclaims "FAT!!!", I'm the one you would say to a friend, "I can't believe she got so big!" or "she always had such a pretty face". I do have a pretty face, damn it, it's just hard to see the actual shape of it.

I'll lay out the grim, uncomfortable details: my thighs don't just touch, they stick together. I'm starting to get stretch marks on my knees. My knees! The stretch marks I was blessed with when having my son have actually risen upward and backward. That horrible back fat near the bra area some of us are plagued with? Mine actually rests on my lower back fat. My ears are fat. (No, not really, I just wanted to break the gross visuals with some comic relief.) It's hard to lift up my body, like when you pull the blankets out from under you when you are lying down. I walked the other day to our mailbox and by the time I got back my back was aching. The worst part about my fat is that I got passed down an apple shape via my grandmother. I'm all stomach. My ex said I was "shaped like a boy", because I carry all of my weight in my middle, as opposed to actually hot fat girls who have boobs and booty. I'm still a C cup. I used to have to buy jeans that were tight up top but baggy everywhere else because I didn't have big legs. Now I wear track pants, which is ironic because I've never been to a track in my life. My feet are fat. I wear slip-on because tennis shoes are too tight.

By the way, I'm not writing this for you to feel sorry for me. I heaped this on myself. Mr. McDonald and the Colonel and Jack were merely accomplices. The thing is, I want to be invisible. I want to walk somewhere out in the open and not have one person lay eyes on me. When I am in the grocery store, I make my husband go with me because I can make him be the culprit if we put Oreos in the basket. People may look at him and pay no mind, but I feel like if I grab cookies, people are like, "doesn't she know how she looks?" I only go through drive-through, because you are anonymous and people can assume all that food you are buying is for a family of six waiting for you at home. I feel instantly guilty whenever I say "and one Reeses McFlurry". I refuse to eat a hot fry or take a sip from my milkshake in the car while waiting for more food. Even one fry in public means I am a fat, lazy cow who belongs in Wal-Mart on a Jazzy scooter. Of course this is the main thing we talk about in therapy, because my outside is what I convey to others. I can be whomever I want on the inside to anyone, because that is what I do. I can't hide my outside. I can only hide inside-I mean, in my house, away from any eyes.

When I was younger, 130 pounds was fat. See how fat I was?
(Face covered to protect the innocent fat people. Namely me.)

I wanted to slap my 90 pound friends when they said they were fat. Where??? I used to work in a plus-size clothing store, and I loved it, even though I was a size 12-14. So many insecure girls would walk in and it was like the store was a safe haven. It screamed "look at everyone around you! You are not alone!!!" I wasn't the smallest girl that worked there and I wasn't the largest. Other than my stomach, I was okay with my body. I still had food issues back then though. I would try and hide the food I would eat when I had to leave the store on lunch and go to the food court. Us big girls always had plenty of snacks to go around, and I would make sure I would only eat either in private or when another girl was eating the same thing. After that job I started in the restaurant business, and as a manager I got all my food for free. For free. I would buy the massive desserts all the time because I knew that my servers would offer to split it or I could half it right away so I wouldn't seem like a fat pig. That way, instead of them looking at me eating, it would be like a reward for them and take the emphasis off myself. Fried foods were a daily indulgence. The cooks were so awesome, and I could ask them to make special stuff with the ingredients they had that weren't on the menu, like patty melts or crunchy fish tacos. Even after a ten-hour shift, I would still pick up fast food on the way home. It's like it was never enough.

I've tried to rationalize to myself that overeating is self-destruction, so it wouldn't be a big deal if I became bulimic or started to starve myself. Bulimia is out-I can't believe some people get a high after they puke, I feel awful and shaky and just want to lie down. And starving myself? Fat chance (pardon the pun). If I don't eat after eight hours *BAM* instant migraine. If I block out foods they become all I think about. If I only drink liquids I crave solids. I can't take ephedra or fat-burning supplements because of my medications and my somewhat bum ticker. I don't know what is scarier: walking into a public gym or being in the same room with a cockroach. They are both paralyzing.

I'm not gonna lie: I want the surgery. I want something that forcibly says, "you want that slice of cheesecake? Oh hell no! *Puke*". I know the drill people. I can't expect to succeed even with surgery if I don't change my routine and eating habits. When I buy a candy bar, I tell myself, "just today. Tomorrow I will cut out a sugar item". Then I eat another candy bar. It sucks. I have an addiction. It's not like crack, where you can learn how to recover from the dependency. You have to eat to live. And I live to eat.

Monday, June 14, 2010

There's no "I" in "We".

I think I write my best blogs when I'm alone. Most of my ideas spring up when I just dropped my husband off at work. I get to actually be in solitude in my car, listening to whatever song I want, and my brain starts to get off of auto-pilot. I'll sit down at my computer and start typing out my stream-of-consciousness writing and by the time I'm done, I have to go pick J right back up (that makes it sound like my blogs take like nine hours to type; he works four hour shifts). I'm typing this at 4a.m. with my husband next to me playing Pokemon of all video games (funny observation: Pokemon is in the dictionary because when I typed it out, the red line under it didn't show up as a misspell or an unknown word. Huh.). We have been having heart-to hearts all week relating to our upcoming "Decision 2010" move to Australia. We also have fought more than we ever have before this week, and also got to go back to how we operate individually instead of as a unit. Let me elaborate further...

One of my first long-term relationships was with the sweetest guy in the whole world. We would spend hours laying on the grass near his house, content with the fact that the two of us were together. A rift came regarding our relationship, and we had to choose each other or family that wanted us apart. We, of course, chose each other because we couldn't imagine not being together. We started off well, functioning as a unit. I had been at my job for awhile, and I had already accumulated my own bills and routines as an adult. In the beginning he was a beacon of light, working at a low-pay job and helping out around the house and being there for my emotional outbursts. Then he had gotten fired for something he swore he didn't do, and, of course, I believed him. We fell behind on bills, but it was okay because we loved each other enough to survive any hardships we came across. Since all of the bills were in my name, when we got too far behind I was the one who had to file for bankruptcy. Seven to ten years of rebuilding credit was okay because we were together and we would make it through. My boyfriend seemed to get fired from every single job he had, and there would always be a reason (always their fault, not his). I started to get sick on a regular basis, so I went to a doctor that put me on temporary disability so we could figure out my stomach ailments. After a bit my boyfriend would be M.I.A, coming back home in the middle of the night reeking of pot. He wasn't supposed to be driving my car, but he would ask and I would tell him just to make sure he was home by a certain time with it. He never was. After a year of going to the doctor every couple of weeks, they told me my stomach problems were all stress-related. One day I just literally woke up and told him, "I'm done", and never looked back.

Love is a drug. Doctors have proven it triggers the same brain areas of cocaine. I can still look back and remember how happy and carefree I was lying with him in the field, that no one else on Earth mattered except he and I. Once the drug effect wears off, that's when you're confronted with the cold, hard facts of your significant other that you may have denied looking at or accepting that they could possibly be flawed. I still happen to think my husband is perfect, but this week has really tested my limits on the subject of love.

Being a unit, an "us", is a HUGE undertaking, especially if you have different opinions on a subject. When you get married, even small things become a big deal (I hate that he leaves his wet towel on the bed after he takes a shower; he hates that I never replace the toilet paper roll). When we first fell in love, our journey involved a massive game plan, considering we lived on opposite sides of the planet. Our love got us through, and we were able to come together and live happily ever after. Right? Well, yeah, up until this week for the most part. Our biggest decision has been where we are going to get dinner from that night. We rarely argue, which is odd because I can have a temper and usually sulk if things don't go my way (I'm the baby of my family). We are both non-confrontational, so when we do fight, we make up usually like an hour later. The first big life decision we had was getting married and country-hopping, and we were so infatuated with one another and knew that everything was going to be alright because we would be together. This time around I want to strangle him!

Australia's motto must be "no worries, mate", because if my husband saw a car burst into flames in front of him he would be like, "did you see that! Wow". He's so laid-back. Not only am I a Virgo, but have been a manager almost all of my adult life. I'm built to set-up plans and lay things out on the table. When the offer to move to Australia came up, I instantly got a piece of paper and started listing the main concerns we would have to deal with, like bills and visas and our cats. By the third day, I found out what my car was worth, what visa I would have to get, how to update my passport, and the best way to ship boxes. He's been sitting on the computer upgrading his Poke people (I know nothing about Pokemon). I'm asking him questions about Australia like, "do they have Excedrin in Australia? What about soy milk?", and he says "I have to wait for later on to finish playing Pokemon because the one I need only comes out at night". I'm figuring out our budget and international banking, telling J the cheapest time to fly is in August, and he's playing POKEMON. I'm starting to get a stomach ache.

By the middle of the week I popped my top. I was asking him about setting an actual date so I could be more aware of when I should start giving 30-day notices and letting friends and family know, and he tells me, "let's just see how it goes, okay? Let's wait and see if maybe your disability gets extended another month, that way maybe by next month I'll get a part-time job, and then maybe I could still try for a full-time job. Let's wait until we have exhausted all of our options here". Oh my God, cue the steam coming out of my ears. I start screaming at him that I'm not going to screw up my seven-years-in-the making credit and getting evicted because we took a "wait and see" attitude. I told him I don't need him, that I can do this all without him, and if he's not going to "man up" and start weighing the pros and cons of this decision, then he can GTFO. Once the psycho-bitch smoke cleared out of the room, we were able to talk rationally.

We still are giving it seven days until we make a solid choice, but every minute that passes I'm unbelievably stressed out. J has been much more helpful (he probably doesn't want a chair thrown at him), but I can't do anything until we decide. We. I've never felt more married than I have this week. I read a quote once that said something along the lines of, "love is the residue left over when the effects of being in love have washed away". So I've sobered up, kicked the in-love addiction. I'm in it for the long haul.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

G'Day Mate? or "Will Whore for Australia", part 2.

(This is a continuation of my previous blog because my previous blog was not what this blog was supposed to be about! Damn it!)

After 6 arduous months of being apart, J's visa was approved and he moved here three weeks later. No muss, no fuss. I ended up supplementing bits and pieces of what he left at home, like extra clothes, DVD's, his computer, etc. During our long-distance talks I would grill him about leaving everything he's ever known behind. Would he resent me? Would he miss his pets? What if a friend or family member died? How do your parents feel? He answered, in his laid-back tone, that:

No, I wouldn't resent you, you're my family;
My pets will still be taken care of and we could get more pets later;
We'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it;
My parents want me to be happy, even if that means far far away.

(By the way, if turned around, my answers would probably be:
I may resent you! What if it doesn't work out? Then I'm stuck here?
We are taking our cats with us, or no dice;
Omgomgomg the minute I leave someone will die and I won't be able to say goodbye and I will cry and never forgive myself and omgomgomg;
My mom asked me, "What if I die and you're over there?")

After twenty months of us both living (and struggling) in America, we now have an option to move to Australia. The country I was born to live in! Let's go! A part of me is 100% gung-ho. Leave this smog-ridden, overzealous religious, politically polarized, horrible school system, illegal immigrant-laden country? Where's my ticket? J and I always planned on living over there in the long run anyway, who cares if it's a few years early? We said if we ever had children it would definitely be in Australia (the kids there wear "Harry Potter" type school uniforms! My kid would call me "mum"!). It seems, on the surface, so easy. Yes, it would be a pain to sell my car and break my apartment lease and transfer credit cards, but it is doable. Yeah I would miss my friends and family but it's not like I'm going overseas alone; plus international communication is so easy nowadays. But, the more I prepare and research the move, the more I realize how much in America I take for granted.

First off, the only thing I think about leaving that makes me burst into tears is the loss of my cats. (Crap, now I'm crying while writing.) You're allowed to move animals to Australia, but not after a minimum 6-month quarantine for rabies and other U.S diseases they may have, and every day your cat is quarantined is $30AU. Times two for both cats. And flying them both on a plane. We are talking probably around $1500. We can't even afford groceries! I am seriously considering writing Oprah a heartfelt letter. Seriously. (Ooh, then being on her show and she's like, "not only are your cats COMING WITH YOU but you are ALL being flown FIRST CLASS! YEAH!" *applause and tears*) I plan on selling everything not nailed down, and I'm still debating using that money for the cats instead, oh, I don't know, a savings account for beginning our lives in Australia?

Yeah, I'm selling everything that's not nailed down. I have four piles: Yard sale pile, Ebay pile, Storage in US pile, and Coming with me pile. Every single item I own I have to look at and say, "do I really need this?" Pictures. Snow globes. Art supplies. Gifts. Clothes. Anyone who knows me knows I am completely obsessed with Paul Frank. Over the course of 10+ years I have collected hundreds and hundreds of stuff with Julius branded on it. My oath to God is I will never get rid of any of it, ever. I still have Paul Frank purses from the '90s with broken straps. Now I'm making a list on what I will Ebay. Pure blasphemy! Oh, and electronics? My $100 flat iron, hair dryer, ipod alarm clock, DVD player, "A Christmas Story" leg lamp? THE PLUGS DON'T WORK IN AUSTRALIA. Yard sale.

Other than my cats, my biggest American sacrifice is all the food I am leaving behind. Come on, I'm obese for a reason. Yeah, they have ice cream, but not Haagen-Dazs. I'm going through Reeses Peanut Butter Cup withdrawal. Mexican food in Australia is a can of refried beans and ground beef in a taco shell. I'll be closer than ever to China, but furthest away from Panda Express. Australia's bacon is like an abomination from God. Starbucks. No Starbucks! I am so fat I am writing an actual list of food items down to send to my in-laws to see if markets carry the items. Oh, and J swears up and down my horrible salmonella poisoning I got three days after coming back from Australia has nothing to do with the food in his country. It was just a coincidence! (Isn't it awful I'm actually thinking, "at least I lost weight that week"?)

I love my friends and family, but I rarely see them due to my depression. Maybe I'm in denial, but I know I won't be homesick for them. I will probably talk to them as much over there as I do over here. Plus, they will all have a vacation home in Australia, right? The one big blow, though, is my grandfather. My grandmother passed away four years ago, and I'm still not over it. To think that my grandfather may die and I won't be there is heart wrenching. To think that when I say goodbye to him in America, that will be my last contact with him. (Okay giant tears and sobbing. Give me a minute.) I haven't custody of my son for nine years, and as he's grown, we have grown further apart. It's a long story, but I know he is better off without me. That's not to say I won't miss him-I just know he will be okay with his father. It's funny, my mother was diagnosed with Melanoma last year and is now in remission, and I'm not worried about not seeing her again. She's got superhuman strength. She'll be fine, with or without me. I'll just have to come back to see her, as she really does swear she won't fly over the ocean ever. (I tell her, "that's what Xanax was created for!" Best know that I will be on about twelve of those bad boys on my flight. I hate flying. Haven't you seen "La Bamba"?)

Lastly, Australia is a whole other culture. Yeah, we're both descended from the English, but Aussie descendants were raised to loathe pompous, bloated, stupid, ignorant "Yankees". I'm terrified that I will be judged or looked at differently because of my accent. Trust me, getting attention is the last thing I want. What if I can't get a job because I'm American? What if I can't make any friends? My husband assures me that Australians hating Americans is a stereotype, but even I hate the stereotypical American! Plus, I can't fake an Australian accent to save my life. It always ends up sounding British.

So, to all my American friends: Expand your horizons, but don't forget how much we have in the United States. (Except Universal Healthcare, thank you Uncle Sam.) J and I have eight more days to make a final, set in stone decision about our future, so I'm completely stressed out. I'm going to go eat a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup dipped in Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream now.

G'Day Mate? or "Will Whore for Australia", part 1.

I was born to live in Australia. Okay well, that's not entirely true. Until 2004, I was living in the happy bubble we call the United States. I didn't care if the people in Rwanda were dying-what the hell does that have to do with me? I never bothered to vote because, to be honest, I would listen to the news or TV commercials and decide who I wanted as president based on the facts they laid out in 30-second increments. Then I'd just forget to vote that day. (I almost voted for Bush. I ALMOST VOTED FOR BUSH!!!) I became closer, in the biblical sense, to my male best friend and hung on his every word. He talked logically and rationally about current events, politics, the environment, religion, etc. Most of the time I'll admit I turned on the happy music in my brain to tune him out when he started to go on and on about something like gun control, but he helped open my eyes a little bit when it came to "real" news. My news was Angelina Jolie adopting Maddox or a celebrity dying. One day it dawned on me that I wanted something more from my best friend then a friend, and laid it out for him and spoke from the heart on why we would be a great match. His response? "You're not girlfriend material". You're not girlfriend material. That sentence has forever been branded into my head. I asked him why, and he compared me to his ex: She had a bookcase full of books, she was an English major at a University, she cared about what was going on in the world. Hopefully you have at least read one of my blogs to know I like to mold myself into whatever shape the other person needs me to be, so I tried to become everything he told me I wasn't. At the doctor's office, I picked up Newsweek instead of Entertainment Weekly. I subscribed to MSNBC news feeds on my computer. I volunteered to be an election officer at the 2004 elections. Something funny along the way happened: I actually liked news. I liked knowing about global warming. I liked being able to have an opinion about Republicans vs. Democrats. And I know in my heart the guy I was doing this all for liked me more because I cared about what he liked. I'm still annoyed he refused to watch "America's Next Top Model" with me, though.

Damn it, this was supposed to be a blog about Australia! Let me get back to that (damn my ADD!). During the time I was trying to be Ms. Perfect-to-Him, I met a guy online that lived in Melbourne, Australia. At the time we would just chit-chat about video games and he would rib me for being American, and I would drool over his accent. I didn't know much at all about Australia, let's see: Koala Bears, Vegemite, Kangaroos, Shrimp on the Barbie, Sydney Opera House, Heath Ledger, G'Day Mate, and the stupid "u" they added to all their words. The guy, by the way, wasn't my type at all; I have a 5-year boyfriend age limit up or down, and he was older than my brother (9 years). He smoked pot. Listened to death metal. But he was a good guy, and he liked me, which automatically got me interested in him. He was the first guy to ever send me roses (at my work no less! Women, you know when other girls fawn and hate you for flowers, it's the best feeling in the world!), and at that point I was all-in. He offered to fly me over, and I was able to get a week off of work. My poor mom was terrified: What if he is an axe-murderer? What if the plane crashes? What if you die, we can't afford to ship your corpse over! Thanks, mom. I had never taken a chance, so I held my breath and crossed the Pacific.

I fell in love the minute I landed. To the country, unfortunately, not the guy. Melbourne was so... contemporary! People on cafe sidewalks drinking espresso (2005 was long before my coffee addiction), a tram that carried you around the city, art galleries. We made spaghetti one night and didn't go to a supermarket: we went to the butcher, the produce stand, the bakery, the mom and pop shop for noodles. One other giant difference, though, was that their "world news" really was World News, not "how this world event affected America" world news. They were very aware that there were, in fact, other countries/wars/people/events out there other than only their countries struggles. I would sit and muse that I would just stay here and not take the return flight back. I could always get my clothes and things shipped, right? Well, reality set in. Where would I live? What about my job at home? What about friend/boyfriend in America? I took the flight home and cried and cried on the plane. I would never be back to Australia. I'm incapable of saving that much money for a trip. Ever.

When I got home, I would yearn and cry over my dream country. I realized how closed-minded and exceptional a lot of Americans thought they were. I would read blogs online how every other country was inferior to the United States, and how no one would ever be better than us. I joined a video game circle where everyone was Australian (but me), and I loved it. I fit in. I would ask them questions about Australia, they would rib me for being American. In late 2007 I started talking to an old friend from the circle and he ended up being my husband a year later. Hmmm...

I ended the previous paragraph early. I re-read my story and can only assume the title of this blog should be "Will Whore for Australia" or "I Caught Another Aussie!", or something to that effect. It reads like I was waiting to spring my claws into some poor mate and ride his coattails into the land Down Under. I have to admit, there is nothing sexier than an Australian accent (I'm still privy to English or South African as well). The reason I started talking to my now-husband (J) is because around Summer of '07, I was in a hole. Not like the hole I am in present-day, but everything fell apart around me and I was sitting around thinking, "who am I?" I never talked in online chats, but I did give my e-mail to J who had quit the video game circle. I remember him as always being friendly, courteous, and really funny. Anyway, one day J popped online and I vented to him about all the things that were going wrong and he listened. The end. Three or so months later he saw me online and said hi, and asked me about all the things I had vented to him about in the summer. I thought that pretty decent of him to remember and genuinely care, so I decided to continue to talk to him online. J could have very well been a little-brother type, honestly: He was five years younger than me, lived at home in a town of 8,000, and had very little real-life experience. We started talking via voice and although his accent was very Outback/Crocodile Dundee (Melbourne guy's accent was so...contemporary! Like he drank out of a brandy snifter and had eaten caviar before), he was incredibly funny and kind. I would talk and talk and talk and he would listen and remember little details. One night, I was bitching about my new cell phone not working and he Googled it for me and walked me through the set-up like a sweet Indian tech support would. At that moment I told him, "this is going to sound cheesy, but I just developed a crush on you". He told me he felt the same way.

The level of communication we shared was the deepest I had ever shared with someone, perhaps even more so with my best friend. By the time my best friend became "kind of boyfriend", I didn't talk to him as much about fears and stress because I wanted him to see me as perfect so we could one day live happily ever after. The way I saw it, my best friend loved me for who he thought I could one day be; J loved me for who I am. J never judged me, and his wisdom was that of a man much older than 22. I was working at my brand new restaurant job and every day I would come home and look forward to telling him about my day. Around Christmastime, we started talking about visiting one another one day. Australians happen to have awesome vacation benefits (thanks for my one week a year Uncle Sam), so we decided since I had been to Australia before, he would come visit me in the States. (So to everyone reading that thinks of me as an Australia slut, I gave up a chance at spending a week in Australia!)

As soon as he landed I fell in love. With the guy fortunately, not his country. He was what I expected. No doubts, no lies or fallacies, just J. We had an amazing holiday all over California (FYI-if you EVER go to Las Vegas, go on St. Patrick's Day. Best.Vegas.Trip.EVER!). It took him nine days to ask me to marry him, and nine seconds for me to accept. We immediately started discussing our trans-continental relationship. We decided since my job/assets/established life was better than how his was in Australia, J would move to the States. (So to everyone reading that thinks of me as an Australia slut, I gave up a chance at LIVING in Australia!)

Damn it, this blog was about MOVING to Australia, not my Australi-an! I'm going to make a "Part 2" of this blog, so keep reading (Damn my ADD!)...