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Sex Love and Obesity Part 19

In Sex Love and Obesity Part 18 I talked about the fight that Peter and I had that sent me over the edge. At this point I didn’t care if he loved me. I didn’t even care if nobody else ever loved me. It didn’t matter that I loved him anymore. It didn’t matter how much I loved him. It didn’t matter that the sex was once amazing. At that point I really didn’t care if I never had amazing sex again.

The relationship was toxic and unhealthy, and I knew I needed to get out. But pulling the trigger and getting out when part of your heart is so deeply in can be a really difficult adventure.

For the next few days I was passive. I was emotionally withdrawn. I answered questions with short answers. I was emotionally and physically distant. I didn’t hug him. I didn’t respond to “I love you,” – I went out and cut all my hair off. A tale-tale Pandora move when my insides are in chaos and I am trying to figure out how to take control of my life and emotions. A sudden and drastic change to my hair is usually a signal that something is wrong in my world. I was in a constant state of dissassociation, trying to figure out what I was going to do next.

The new haircut had led to an incident where I had gotten upset when I went out with some friends and was asked if I was a lesbian and told I looked like a dyke. Peter saw the incident as a get-out-jail-free card. I was more upset about that then I was about what had happened with us. He used the opportunity to try to console me and try to get close to me.

I wanted to get away. From him, from everyone else. I was broken, and I wanted to run away.

I’m an emotional runner, that is what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. I couldn’t piece everything together and figure out what I wanted to do with him constantly on my heels. I was in the middle of a full-blown mental breakdown and as a result, I was almost completely incapable of making any sort of decision. But I knew that I needed to get away.

The hair cut incident had me twisted up inside. I was hurt and angry. He suggested that I call a good friend of mine and discuss it with him. He figured since I was having issues feeling like I couldn’t be myself without experiencing bias in the conservative little southern town we live in, that talking to one of my gay friends could help. Perhaps he could provide some insight and help me deal with what I was feeling and experiencing.

I honestly can’t remember how the fighting started again. I was upset, emotional and dissassociating too much. I remember talking to my friend about everything that was going on. I remember telling him that I didn’t know what I was going to do next, that I didn’t know if I was staying or leaving. It was Saturday, and I distinctly remember that I already didn’t feel like I was emotionally capable of putting it all together and going to work on Monday. I really needed Peter to give me some space. I felt wounded inside and I needed time to lick those wounds and try to heal.

I remember my friend talking to Peter. Trying to explain to him that he needed to give me space and time to myself. I remember him telling Peter that if there was any chance of me staying he was going to have to give me some time to heal and that if he kept pushing me and engaging me he wasn’t going to like the end result.

I remember Peter leaving the house for a while and me deciding that co-existing in the house with him wasn’t going to work. I decided that I needed some real physical distance to sort through everything. I was going to get on a plan and go to Dallas to visit my family there.

I called my best friend to let her know that I was going to be coming to her place. She is like a sister to me, we’ve been friends for nearly fifteen years. She probably knows me better than anyone in the entire world. She heard the panic, confusion and discombobulation in my voice and she was concerned. But what alarmed her most, was my complete inability to make any sort of decision. “Pandora I’ve never heard you like this. You are usually so independent, when you make your mind up about something that is it. Once you decide that you are going to do something, you do it. I have never seen you so full of self-doubt and incapable of making a decision. I’m very worried about you.”

She was right, this was way out of character for me. But she had also never seen me in the midst of struggling with my Dissociative Identity Disorder. This was something I had flawlessly controlled the entire time we had been friends thanks to my time in therapy.

That’s where I really remember things getting hostile again. When Peter came home, I told him that I was going to go to Dallas he pointed out that I didn’t have the money and couldn’t afford to go. He was right, I didn’t have the money to go. But I was waiting on a phone call from my Godfather to see if he would buy me a plane ticket.

The hours that passed as I tried to get my Godfather on the phone and ask for a plane ticket were full of emotional turmoil. With as toxic as things were my family worried about me leaving my things and my dog with him to get on a plane. This probably wasn’t really a valid concern, but my mind was so frazzled at the time that I couldn’t but rational thoughts together. I kept calling my friends and family gathering their opinions on every decision I tried to make, because I doubted myself so much.

I changed my plan. I decided I was going to drive to my Aunt’s house in Virginia and take my dog with me. My Aunt wasn’t a big fan of his. He worried if I went there, her influence would solidify the end of our relationship. He feared he wouldn’t be able to fix it and convince me to stay the way he had always been able to before. To convince me not to go, he told me that he had been having conversations with my Aunt for weeks. Seeking her help and guidance in dealing with me. He told me unflattering things she had said about me.

This broke my brain even more. I have a terrible relationship with my real family. The family I have now, my Godfather and his sister (my Aunt) are the people I have chosen to call family. They are the people I trust in a world that has taught me to trust nobody repeatedly. Him telling me she had said these horrible things about me drove a wedge in that trust. He had stolen something very important to me; someone I thought I knew I could trust.

Even though now, I believe her, and I know that she’s never had anything but my best interests at heart, the damage he did that day by placing that little shred of doubt in my mind has changed that relationship in ways it hasn’t recovered from. In that moment, my already damaged, defensive and panicked mind didn’t know who or what to believe. So, I looked for another option to remove myself from the situation.

The fighting continued and just kept escalating.

My Godfather offered to put me up in a hotel to get one of us out of the house. Motel 6 is always pet friendly, so I could take the dog with me. I was packing a bag to leave when Peter suggested that maybe he should go to the hotel instead. Leave me at home, where I was comfortable, had access to all my “coping mechanisms.” Meaning I could drink and smoke pot. Such a noble man. However, the concept appealed to me. I just wanted physical distance.

Since Peter had been out of work for nearly two months at his point, this meant my family paying for the hotel. When we went to get him a room he wanted a hotel at the beach instead of the slightly cheaper motel 6 in town. He said he didn’t want to be in an area of town where there were drugs and hookers. My Godfather refused, “I’m not paying for a beach stay holiday weekend for your boyfriend. I’m trying to avoid you ending up in a mental hospital.”

We went in circles, we fought, and my grasp on my mental state got worse and worse. I lost time, I lost track of conversations, I couldn’t make any choices, I was in a state of emotional paralysis; I didn’t know what to do. I kept calling my friends and family for help and advice.

As your reading this, you might be inclined to chalk my lack of memory up to the fact that I was drinking or smoking pot. But I wasn’t. I had woken up that morning with the intention of going somewhere else. Knowing I would need to drive myself somewhere, I wasn’t under the influence of anything. I was dissassociating. Which was making it hard for me to keep track of conversations and even harder for me to make decisions. When someone with Dissociative Identify Disorder is in a non cooperative dissociative state, there is an internal struggle for control. Different parts of my brain wanted different things. So the plan kept changing depending on which part of my brain was in the driver’s seat.

What I remember next is sitting at the kitchen table, sobbing so hard I couldn’t breathe, my hands were shaking, my legs were trembling. I had only been this upset, this emotionally twisted up inside one other time in my entire adult life. During an argument with my Mother where she lied to me and told me my Father had a heart attack and hung up on me when I tried to disengage from the argument. I wouldn’t give her the confrontation she was seeking. “I’m not going to argue with you like this. You are acting like a child. When you’re ready to act like an adult and have a conversation instead of an argument, you can call me back.” I had hung up the phone after that.

Typical of how my mother and I argued, even over long distances, she kept trying to call back. After the phone had rung a dozen times with me picking it up and hanging up, I worried she was going to wake up my sleeping husband. I finally answered, “I’m not going to do this right now.” “Well, your father just had a heart attack. How about that,” she informed me, before hanging up.  The power was in her court now. I called back to try to check on my father, she hung up. I tried to call back a dozen times, she kept hanging up on me, just like I had done to her. Retaliation. She finally called back a few minutes later, wanting to fight some more, wanting to re-engage, rolling right back into the conversation. “Where is Dad? Is he okay?” I asked in a state of panic. That was all that mattered to me. “Your Dad is just fine, I just wanted to get your attention.”

That was the last time my Mother and I ever fought like that; At least until I was back in a house with her and her sister when my father was passing away. My husband had woken up and had seen me in the same state I was in that now; sitting there, trembling, sobbing, unable to cope. He had taken the phone away from me and told my Mother very clearly that he wouldn’t allow that sort of fighting to take place in his house. That maybe this had been normal for us my entire life, but it wasn’t going to be normal anymore.

I grew up dealing with this sort of arguing. This was the sort of thing that made me run away from home as teenager. This was the sort of thing I had been fighting to get away from my entire life. This was exactly why I had told Peter if the arguing and fighting didn’t end I was going to have to leave. Because, since this is the sort of verbal and emotional abuse I went through with my mother as a child, it is literally the one thing I can’t do in a relationship.

I was talking to my friend on the phone, trying unsuccessfully to calm down. Peter kept interceding in the conversation. My brain couldn’t function. Everything was on overdrive. More than anything I needed him to leave me alone. I needed him to stop talking to me and let the panic and chaos that was going on in my mind settle.

I don’t recall what was said, what triggered it; I was literally in the middle of an emotional breakdown. All I remember is holding my head in my hands and sobbing. Suddenly, my friend hung up on me. He called Peter’s cell phone instead and from the other side of the phone I heard “If you don’t leave her alone. If you don’t stop engaging her, I will get in my car, I will drive there, and I will kick your f*$#@&! ass.”

Peter left the house. My friend told me very clearly “Pandora you need to leave, this isn’t healthy, you need to get out of the house.” I told him that I didn’t know where to go. “What about Clark? You’ve maintained a friendship, right?” I nodded my head even though he couldn’t see it over the phone. “Yes, maybe. I can call Clark and ask.” Superman.

I didn’t really have to call and ask. I already knew what he would say.

When Clark answered the phone all he heard was my sobbing and trying to breathe. “Are you okay?” Somehow, I managed a “No,” through all the tears. He asked me what I needed. I told him I needed a place for the dog and I to go. He asked me if I was okay to drive. I told him I didn’t have a choice. “Alright, call me when you get on the road. It will be okay. You’re going to be okay. It’s about a three-and-a-half-hour drive. But I’ll be waiting up for you.”

I called my friend back and let him know that I was heading to Clark’s house. He gently and patiently walked me through packing up what I needed. “Pandora, stop worrying about things you don’t need. Grab your clothes, get the dog, Clark will have anything important at his place. I need you to get in the car and drive away.”

I’m not sure how I managed that drive. I talked to my friend, Clark, my Godfather and my Aunt during the entire four-hour adventure. When I finally got to Clark’s it was nearly 4am. I knocked on the door, an overnight bag in one hand, my dog in his kennel in the other. He opened the door, waited until I had sat down my things and then wrapped his arms around me and hugged me while I cried.

Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 20 – When Anger Turns To FearDSSPostSig

Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.

Transformation: Emotional Running

Four months ago, after a yearlong hiatus I decided it was time to take back my run.

Prior to my break, running had been therapeutic for me. It had been my means of emotionally escaping the world when I didn’t want to deal with whatever was going on in it.

Running had been where I found comfort when trying to deal with the grief of losing my father. It was where I found peace and serenity when my world was in chaos. I’d love to tell you that over the last 4 months I have found my love of running again.

But, that wouldn’t be honest.

The truth is, running hasn’t been the same for me; I’ve had to do a little soul-searching to figure out why.

I started running back in 2011 when my Father passed away. Back then running was amazing to me. I loved every moment I was out there. When I was running, I felt connected to my father emotionally. I felt like it was time that I spent with him, even though he wasn’t with me anymore.

It stayed that way for several years. Back then I ran three to five miles on a run. It was my hour of cardio each day. In 2013 I ran my first half marathon, and I got addicted to the bling. I learned that I loved medals. They were this neat little trophy that I got to hang on my wall and see my accomplishment. It made me feel good about myself.

In 2013 I ran four half marathons. They were spaced out between February, June, October and December. The time in between them running still held all it’s beauty and glory for me. I used my time running to escape troubled marriage. I used it as time alone to figure out the answers to life, the universe and everything. What happened next? Where was I going? What was I doing?

In 2014 I ran four half marathons. I earned my first Run Disney Coast to Coast medal doing the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in January and the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November. I ran a couple local half marathons in between just to make sure that I kept my endurance up. Running was just something fun I did for me back then.

2015 started the same. I was running for fun and for bling. I loved the medals so much that I started running local half marathons that had cool medals just to bring them home. Somewhere between May and August of 2015 I decided that I wanted to take on something bigger than a half marathon.

I decided to do the Dopey Challenge. This event required that I build up the stamina and endurance to run for 4 days in a row; A 5k on day one. A 10k on day two. A half marathon on day three. A full marathon on day 4. Training for this event and building up to that kind of distance meant I racked up some half marathons along the way. Six in fact. In 2015 I ended up running a total of 10 half marathons and in January of 2016 I completed the Dopey Challenge.

This was my best year of running. I was so proud of myself, I felt so accomplished. I never wanted to do it again, but completing a full marathon was a bucket list item of mine and it’s an experience I still look back on with smile.

I struggled with overuse injuries during my training.

I knew that running 10 half marathons in a year to reach my goal had been hard on my body. I had achilles tendonitis in both ankles. My doctors told me I should slow down and stop running as much. But, I didn’t listen. Running was how I dealt with emotions. It was one of my major coping mechanisms.

I was in the middle of some big life transitions and running was how I was dealing with it. I started running half marathons almost every other weekend. Two in January two in February, three in March, three in April, two in May.

In May of 2016 my work situation changed, and I didn’t have all the free time I once had. I was working two jobs and juggling a new relationship. My new relationship was very time demanding, and I had far less free time than I was used to working two jobs, so for a few months, I put running on the back burner.

I started running again in July, when the anniversary grief of my fathers passing rolled around and then when the relationship I was in started spiraling into epic failure, I started running to escape it again. I went right back to running two half marathons a month for September, October and November. As the relationship improved again, I backed off a little, went back to running about one half marathon a month. By the time I was done I had run 18 half marathons in 2016.

I followed the same pattern in the beginning of 2017, averaging one half marathon a month until I hit the point in May that I stopped running altogether.

I have this tendency to do everything to excess. It doesn’t really matter what it is. Work, writing, playing games, putting together puzzles, sex, drinking, eating; Whatever is making me feel good, whatever is making me happy, I want that thing in epic volumes.

This is a behavior I have been working on changing in the past year.

I’ve been focused on trying to find balance in things. To appreciate things in smaller amounts the way I learned to appreciate food in smaller amounts after my weight loss surgery. I’ve been focused on being more reflective; On looking at what I am doing and making sure that I am doing it for the right reasons.

In this last 4 months of trying to take back my run and trying to find the love of running again, I’ve noticed a few things.

I really enjoy those three to five-mile runs. I’m out there, I’m happy. The sun is hitting my skin, I am taking in mother nature and I feel that emotional connection to my father again. But, those long runs, 8 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, 11 miles. I’m pushing myself to go the distance, wondering why I am doing it.

Additionally, those long runs take a long time. I find myself feeling guilty about the time I am spending on myself when I have so many work and career related things I should be doing.

I’ve also noticed, that when I am not using running to escape life, I don’t seem to need those long runs the way I used to. There used to be a time that when I ran six or seven miles I still felt like I had emotions to work through and the longer I was out there running the longer I had to process and work through those emotions.

Now that I am in a better place in my life, I’m finding that I just don’t need running the way I once did. This was a huge transformation in what running has been for me. But this is also the first time in the history of my running career that there is nothing I am using running to get away from.

But I still love the medals. The bling. For me, the medal is the reward part of my SMART goal setting process. It’s what I get for accomplishing my goal, putting in the training and holding myself accountable.

This had me in a little bit of a conundrum.

Typically, you only get cool medals for half marathons. Yet, I don’t want to be running a half marathon every other weekend, or even every month. But here at the end of my training for the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend, I’ve discovered something new. Virtual Runs with large-scale accumulated distances. I’m considering doing a lot more of these sort of little run challenges to keep earning those medals that I love so much and going back to only running about 4 half marathons a year.

I’ve changed. How I feel about running has changed. That’s not really a bad thing, it’s transformation. It’s where I am in my weight loss, weight maintenance and fitness journey today.

I’m not feeling that whole “I just felt like running,” need to run until whatever hurt inside me starts to go away emotional need to run. I’m not feeling that “Run Pandora, Run,” need to Forest Gump my emotions through miles and miles of running.

You’ll noticed I said “considering” though. I haven’t set anything down in stone. Part of me is also wondering if my lack of enthusiasm for those long runs has more to do with the fact that I am just getting back to those long distances and they are harder than they used to be.

I’ve also considered that I’ve been training in high heat and humidity. It’s not really running season yet. As the weather starts to change and fall comes, how I feel about running might change.

No matter what happens next in my run journey, I am happy to be running again. I’m grateful to the good folks at BariLife who put the opportunity to return to Paris and redo my dream half marathon again. Training for this half marathon has brought running back into my life and helped me start looking at how I am going to reincorporate it into my world on a regular basis.


Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

This is #MyBariLife

BariLife has decided to send me back to Paris to represent the WLS Community as I attempt to find my love of running again.
Please take the time to visit their website and check them out!

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