In the last episode of Sex Love and Obesity (Part 6 – Finding the “u” in weight loss) – I introduced you to the man I loved before my husband. I think we need to give him a name. In the spirit of protecting the innocent (and the guilty) I’m going to call him Clark. Why Clark? Because to this day, he is still my Superman.
Let’s pick up where the story left off. He dumped me when I admitted what I looked like. He said it wasn’t about my weight. I didn’t believe him. I got depressed. Really depressed. I used food to comfort me; to numb the pain. It was the only thing I had that made me feel better. NOBODY in my life knew what was going on. Why I was so depressed. Nobody knew that my heart had been that broken. I was too ashamed of what I had done, lying to him for over five years to share it. How was I going to tell my husband, my friends and my family that I was in love with this man who broke my heart and I didn’t know how to deal with the pain?
A few months later, my best friend in the entire world decided to have lap band surgery. When she made this decision and started to lose weight, for the first time in my life I thought “Maybe there is hope. Maybe there is a cure to my obesity. Maybe I can have weight loss surgery too.”
At this point, Superman believed I was the girl in the photos again.
He regretted losing me. Maybe, if I could lose the weight, go back to him with real photos of the skinny me, he would love me. Motivated by my desire to try to be the woman in the photos that I knew he was capable of loving, I investigated weight loss surgery. My insurance wouldn’t cover it. The $35,000 price tag on a gastric bypass was a financial impossibility. The $9,000 lap band was out of my reach as well. Remember my career was tanking and I was married to someone who made a full-time career out of not working.
I went to my Godfather and asked for the money. In a rare instance of not providing what I asked for, he said no, largely because he didn’t feel weight loss surgery was a safe alternative. My husband, who remember controlled me as the Dominant party of our BDSM relationship, refused to allow it even if we could afford it. He too felt it was an unsafe answer and that the risk of my dying on the table or having complications was too high.
I kept turning to food to make me feel better. I lived in this space for the next two years. I gained back another 95 pounds. Putting my scale back at the 420 pounds I weighed when I first met my husband. Superman remained a friend. An internet pen pal. Someone I spoke with here and there and I continued to love a man I knew I could never have.
Now let’s fast forward. If you’ve read the previous blogs in this series, you know what happened next. My marriage went into epic failure mode. My depression and my health plummeted. I was suffering from a plethora of co-morbidities due to my struggle with obesity. My father came to me and voiced his concerns. Championed by my love of my Father, the only man in my life that unconditionally loved me, rather than by seeking the love of men that didn’t ever really love me at all, I started trying to lose weight. My insurance company changed their policy. I had weight loss surgery.
Now, there was a chance that I could be the woman Superman loved.
When I made the decision to have the weight loss surgery I started talking to him more. Confiding in him the way I had when we were much closer. That door was there, I just needed him to walk through it. He still had no idea he was dealing with fake photos, he didn’t know about my weight or my surgery. But at the time, other than my best friend, he was the only person in the world I felt knew me. Knew who I really was on the inside. When the weight started coming off and our conversations led us back to a place where he told me he loved me, had always loved me, for the first time in a long time, I was hopeful again. Hopeful that I could lose the weight, and we could have the life I wanted for us.
He was one of my heroes when my Father passed away.
I didn’t have many people in my life at this point. None of my friends could come and physically be with me to help me through the loss I was experiencing. My husband was working, a rarity in our marriage, and though a part of me was still wavering about whether that marriage could be fixed, the part of me that couldn’t forgive him, that resented him, and that loved another man more, made me not want him there anyway.
My best friend had an 11-month-old baby to take care of. She couldn’t come. I was alone and I was faced with going back to the house, the mother I never got along with and the dysfunctional and generally abusive family that came with her, to say good-bye and watch my father die.
My best friend, her mother, my husband, my Godfather, and Superman were the heroes that got me through. Phone call after phone call, me gasping for air through the tears and ugly cries, with a pain inside me that I had no clue how to begin to heal, their voices where what got me through. My world was caving in. But there was one voice, that no matter how bad things ever got, calmed me, grounded me, helped me catch my breath and figure out how to move on. His.
You might be asking yourself, why I didn’t tell him the truth. Why I didn’t tell him how I felt and give him a chance to love me. I asked myself the same question at that point.
It was July of 2011 I weighed about 260-280 pounds. I had lost 150 pounds and I was confident that I was going to be able to lose the rest of my weight. But. Because there is always a but…
I was starting to see all the loose skin on my body.
If I lost another 100 pounds, which is about what I needed to lose, it was only going to get worse. If he couldn’t love the 420 lb. version of me, how the hell was he going to love the shrunk down, wrinkled, hanging skin, I looked like I went from Stay puff the Marshmallow Man to E.T. version of me? I still wasn’t going to look like the woman in the photos. The woman he loved.
So even though I knew I loved him. I couldn’t tell him the truth and risk the rejection again. I didn’t have it in me. I had just lost my Father. I couldn’t lose him again too. Even though I didn’t really have him to begin with. He was an integral part of my life. Our telephone and internet-based relationship was the only thing even closes to love that I had left.
I continued letting him believe that I was the girl in the photos. I continued living my everyday life, staying in an unhappy marriage and continued telling myself that although I would always love him, this was the only way I could ever be with him. Letting him love the version of me I had created with all my lies.
My father passed away. I went back to my unhappy marriage. We added a third person to our relationship. Superman continued to be an online-telephone relationship I could use as an escape from unhappy life I was leading, and life went on.
Stay tuned next week for Sex Love and Obesity Part 8 – Ten years of lying to the man I loved.