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Sex Love and Obesity Part 15

In Sex Love and Obesity Part 14 – Peter had fallen off of a bike and broken his hip. Our sex life started to tank and without sex as a distraction, the rose-colored glasses I was seeing the relationship through suddenly became a lot clearer. He wanted me to use my emergency savings fund to help him. I wasn’t on board for that. We started fighting a lot more. This tragedy ended up being the very thing that revealed how toxic the relationship was to me.

We fought. We argued. Wash rinse repeat.

I wasn’t ready to go completely broke and give up all the money I had saved to someone I had been in a rocky start relationship with for less than 8 months. I wanted to keep my savings in case I ever needed to save myself. This made me the bad guy.

His suggested solution was to launch a GoFundMe campaign. This would mean asking our friends, family and the weight loss community for money. I wasn’t comfortable doing that when I knew that I had money, even though I didn’t want to give up that safety net. I wanted him to go to his family and ask for help. We fought about this difference of opinion.

I wanted a few days to think. I wanted to process everything that was going on. But, before I had a chance to make any decisions, a friend of his launched a GoFundMe campaign for him. I felt like it was more accurately for “us,” because my name was all over it. To this day I have always wondered if his friend did that of his own accord or if he was asked to so that I had no choice in the matter.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm over the entire thing, I supported it.

I knew that I’d be busy trying to make ends meet and that paying his part of the bills would suck up my savings before we even started to have to worry about the medical bills. I figured any money he got with the GoFundMe campaign would help cover that.

Our next epic argument came a few weeks later. The GoFundMe money had been pretty much depleted. It had been used to pay his bills for July and August, get him the things he needed to come home, and pay for medication they sent him home on.

It was getting close to time for us to go to the weight loss convention that we had both been attending for the last 2 years. He wanted me to pay for him to go with me. I didn’t want to. He was now completely out of money. He had no idea when he would be physically able to go back to work and he no longer had a guaranteed job. I wanted to hold on to the money I had to pay our bills and I was trying to make sure that I still had spending money for my upcoming Paris trip in September.

He felt I was being selfish. When the arguments regarding our attendance got out of hand, I decided I wouldn’t go either. I’d just cancel the trip entire trip and not attend the convention myself for the first time in 5 years.

That decision caused an uproar that ended with him going to all our friends to gather their opinions on whether I should be paying for us to go and then coming back to me and using their opinions against me.

He informed me that several of our friends said that they only donated to the GoFundMe campaign because they wanted us at the convention. He said they told him that if we didn’t go they would be offended and would want their money back. I felt like I was being emotionally manipulated, emotionally blackmailed and peer pressured into giving in to his demands. We went to the convention.

The convention was the weekend of my 40th birthday.

Having been raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, I had never actually had a birthday party in my entire life. I was excited about the prospect of having my first ever birthday party surrounded by some of my closest friends.

However, since we had already had issues and arguments arise if I drank when he couldn’t, I had gone to a small group of my close friends early to let them know that he might have a problem with me drinking at my birthday party. He was still on pain medication for his broken hip, he was walking with a cane, and going out and boozing it for the night to celebrate my birthday wouldn’t be a great idea for him. I was worried he’d be jealous that I could party and he couldn’t and that it would cause a fight. I wanted to prepare them for what I thought might happen.

He was upset that I had discussed the situation with my friends. Several of them took the time to warn him before we went out that night that he shouldn’t try to control me in the relationship. They offered their unsolicited opinions on our relationship.

This frustrated him. He didn’t feel like my friends had any right to offer their opinion on our relationship based only on what they had heard from me. I found that to be hypocritical. Especially since he had used our friends’ opinions on whether I should pay for him to attend based only on what he had told them to emotionally manipulate me into the trip to begin with.

The night of my party he managed to alienate two more of my closest friends that night. He had an emotional temper tantrum in the hotel lobby when we we’re not quite done with the party and he wanted to call it a night. He threw a bag full of beer glasses and birthday cake on the floor and stomped away in a huff leaving us all standing there to clean up the mess when he didn’t get his way.

The next day one of my friends decided to skip the morning events. She was too angry to look at him. The other told him very clearly, “If this is an isolated incident, we’ll get past this and move forward. But if this is an example of how you treat Pandora on a regular basis. That’s not okay.”, when he approached her with explanations for his behavior.

More than it was not okay, it was only getting worse…

Before I talk about what finally ended this relationship I’m going to preface it with – I have a right to write about an entire year of my life without being censored and without being threatened for doing so.

He spent a year of our life telling his truth to everyone that would listen and using it against me. That was his venue. I spent a year in silence, not writing anything about my life out of fear of more arguments and more conflict.

This is MY truth. HIS is likely different. He is entitled to do what he wants to do with his truth.

However, I will say this: The people in our lives, my friends that were physically present saw my truth happening. I didn’t have to tell them anything. Instead, I was constantly sticking up for him, defending him and trying to make them understand that despite all his flaws, he loved me and that was what really mattered.

His truth, no matter what he ever writes about it, is just that, what he wrote. Because he didn’t have any friends that existed outside of chat windows and phone calls to see or witness was going on. His friends only heard what he wanted them to hear and what he told them about what was happening. I was really the only person he had in his daily life. To this day I think that was one of the major problems. I had a life outside the relationship, he didn’t. Because didn’t, he didn’t want me to either, so intentionally or not, he smothered me emotionally.

From the outside looking in I know it seemed like I was happy.

The social media posts made him appear to be the most supportive, doting and loving boyfriend that ever existed.

The reality was far from that.

This was the most emotionally manipulative, controlling, and emotionally abusive relationship I have ever been in.

I felt alienated from my friends. Because, he got upset and we ended up in a fight anytime that I tried to do anything without him.

I felt guilty about the things I could afford to do that he couldn’t. Because, he was jealous of the fact that I had friends and family that helped me financially or made it possible for me to do things I wouldn’t have normally been able to afford to do.

I felt emotionally manipulated. Because, he would go to anyone that would listen, tell them everything that was going on in our life and our relationship and use it to glean their “support” of his opinion. Then, he would come back to me, tell me how “everyone” agreed with him, and use it against me as ammunition in fights to get me to do what he wanted.

I felt emotionally abused. Because, he constantly berated me for my faults and flaws. I was scared to reach out for help. I was afraid to talk about the things I was struggling with, my relapses into smoking, using alcohol and marijuana as and escape mechanism and coping mechanism against a relationship that had me in a constant state of emotional turmoil and conflict.

He me convinced that the things I was doing were so bad that people would stop liking me, that they would ruin my career, they would tarnish my reputation and that I would lose my job if he told anyone about them. He threatened to tell people about my dirty little secrets all the time. He threatened to oust my issues to the world repeatedly. He’d threaten to tell my friends, my clients, my employer.  He threatened to post about it on social media.

These threats were always made in the middle of heated arguments. Afterwards, he’d assure me that he would never actually do it. That he would never do anything to hurt me or harm me; He loved me to much to do that, they were just words said in moments of anger that he didn’t really mean.

I was living in a constant state of fear and anxiety.

He wanted me to give up all my vices; stop smoking, stop drinking without him, stop doing drugs, and learn to use my sex addiction as my primary coping mechanism. As a sexual abuse survivor this was impossible for me. The more I felt emotionally battered and abused the more withdrawn I became when it came to sex and intimacy. When I couldn’t be who he wanted me to be, he made me feel guilty about the fact that I didn’t try harder to find solace in his arms and in sex instead of drugs or alcohol.

Although he constantly demanded that I stop doing these things and tried to convince me I was an addict; Anytime I broke down and admitted I needed help and suggested seeking medication to aid with the stress, anxiety and depression that I was experiencing, he adamantly opposed it. He didn’t want medication to affect my already declining sex drive.

I felt beat down emotionally. He drilled into my head repeatedly that I was a fake, a phony, and that if people knew all the unhealthy things I did they would have no respect for me. He told me this so much I believed it. I started doubting myself. This doubt and lack of self-efficacy lead to my silence. The entire time we lived together the only blogs I wrote where the ones I was contractually obligated to write as part of my Paris sponsorship. After that, I stopped blogging completely because I felt like I had nothing of value to offer anyone. I felt worthless. Absolutely worthless.

We fought constantly. I openly own that it takes to people to argue and that I lack the ability to disengage. But, it’s also really hard to disengage when someone is following you around a two-bedroom apartment and refuses to give you space. When you’re curled into a fetal position on a bed sobbing and begging someone to stop talking, leave you alone, and they are standing in the door way refusing to let you calm down and still trying to get their point across it’s difficult not to go the defensive. These types of volatile arguments started triggering me. I felt like that little girl who couldn’t escape the emotional, verbal and mental abuse I endured as a child fighting with my mother.

I had no escape. I could never have a private conversation in my home. He was always there. Intentional or not, he listened to any conversation I had, interceding himself, his thoughts and his opinions into discussions with my friends and family. Meanwhile he’d talk to his friends and family when I was gone and he had plenty of privacy. If I was going out, he wanted to go as well. The only time I had away from him (outside of work) was when I was running, something he wasn’t physically capable of doing. So I ran as much as I could. Running was my only escape.

In every argument, every fight, I was always the one to blame because I didn’t respect his opinion and understand his reasons. I was accused of not loving him enough, not caring about him enough whenever I wouldn’t do whatever it was he wanted me to do.

There was never a true apology for anything he did. If he said the words “I’m sorry,” they were followed by “but” and a reestablishment of his reasons, a rational for his behavior and another occurrence of trying to make sure his opinion was heard.

I lived like this for almost an entire year.

You might ask why? Well, the truth is I did it because I truly believed that he loved me. I stayed because my victim brain was afraid that nobody else would ever love me. I worried that I was unlovable and that somehow, even so unworthy of love, he had managed to love me.

I stayed because the sex was freaking amazing and because I wanted to be wanted like that so badly that I believed it was worth how beaten and bruised I felt emotionally.

I stayed because I didn’t have any self-confidence in my ability to be anything but the victim. A lifetime of struggling with obesity hadn’t just taught me to let others victimize me, it had taught me to victimize myself. I didn’t believe I was capable of being a person that could be loved in any sort of healthy way and so I was willing to settle for a love that was unhealthy and toxic.

I stayed because I had not hit that proverbial emotional rock-bottom yet. I was standing on the edge of a cliff frantically clutching to the only thing I thought I had, him. Because at that point, the only thing I saw valuable in myself was that he loved me.

That was all about to change. Sometimes you must hit rock-bottom to find your strength. I was about to learn how strong I was, but it was going to take one of the darkest moments in my life to reveal it to me.

Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 16 – Emotional Rock-bottomDSSPostSig

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.

Sex Love and Obesity Part 14

In Sex Love and Obesity Part 13 – Peter had just moved in, one of my dearest friends had just passed away and the arguing in our relationship had started escalatingmover differences in our priorities.

June and July are difficult months for me. I have a trouble dealing with the grief of losing my Dad between Father’s Day, the day he passed away, (July 5th) and his birthday on July 20th. That year in particular was harder than normal as I was also grieving and mourning the recent loss of one of my dearest friends.

Starting a new relationship probably would have already been a struggle for me. But starting a new relationship where you’re fighting half the time was taking a toll on my mental health and wellness. I was exhausted and depressed. Working two jobs to try to make ends meet had me beat and worn out. The additional worry of Peter getting close to running out of money before finding a job was escalating my stress levels.

How was I dealing with it all? Well, let’s be honest. I couldn’t turn to food to deal with my feelings, so I was exercising. A lot. I was running a half marathon almost every other weekend. I was putting in 3 hours a day of exercise at the gym with the classes I was instructing. I was coming home at night drinking, smoking cigarettes, smoking marijuana and despite the arguments that were going on, we were having amazing sex on a regular basis.

Sex, drugs, alcohol, and exercise. That is how I was coping.

It was a few days before my Father’s birthday and Peter had just landed one of the most amazing jobs there was to be had. Great pay and medical insurance walking in the door on day one. When he came to the grocery store I worked at to tell me about it, we were both ecstatic. “Start thinking about what kind of ring you want and what kind of house we’re going to be looking for kiddo.” Those were his words.

At that moment, I thought everything was about to turn out the way we had planned. Happily, ever after. I’d stop working two jobs, we’d stop being stressed out and fighting over money. We’d have less to argue about. Things would get better.

The day before Peter was about to start the job I had decided to go out for a morning run around a nearby lake with a friend of mine. He hadn’t been running since we finished our half marathon together, but he did enjoy getting on his bike and going for a ride. He decided to take his bike down to the lake and ride around to check on us.

The lake is a loop mind you. No matter what direction you go in, you’re going to go back to the same place you started from to get back to where you caught the loop. My friend and I typically ran in one direction. But, that morning we decided to go the opposite way.

When Peter caught up with us, he was irritated that we hadn’t gone in the direction he thought we would. He got short with us. He gave me a hard time about it and then took off on his bike in a huff with a “I’m going home.” – To this day, while he would never admit it, my friend and I both believe that had he not been having a little temper tantrum and rode off in a huff as fast as his feet could pedal, what happened next might never have happened.

We got about a mile up the road and stopped to go to the bathroom when a gentleman on a motorcycle stopped us and asked us if one of us had a boyfriend biking around the lake. He proceeded to tell us that Peter had fallen off his bike and was hurt. Luckily, my friend’s car was parked at the parking area we at. We jumped in the car and rushed to find him.

When I got there, the ambulance had just arrived. Peter was laying on the ground. “I think I broke my leg.” I heard those six words and something inside me literally shut down. He told me later that the look on my face when I got there was cold and uncaring. I denied it. I assured him that I was just responding to the situation and trying to make sure that I was dealing with the Paramedics who wanted to move him too much.

That was the first lie I ever told him. He was right. The moment I walked up and saw his foot pointing in the wrong direction I knew he had broken his hip. I knew he had less than a couple hundred dollars left to his name. I knew he wouldn’t be starting that new job tomorrow. I knew there would be no medical insurance to cover whatever costs we’re about to be occurred. I knew that it would be months of recuperation before he would be able to work, and I knew that I was going to have to take care of him physically and financially.  We weren’t even two months into a new relationship.

This was way more than I had signed up for.

I argued with the paramedics about how they were going to move him and where they were going to take him. They wanted to stand him up and have him sit down on a gurney. Believing his hip to be broken, I didn’t want them to do anything that caused movement at the hip joint. He got an ambulance ride to the hospital and my friend and I loaded his bike up. We grabbed my car and ran home to walk the dog knowing we might be gone for a while. As soon as we were done we headed over to meet him at the hospital.

He embarrassed me in the emergency room. His phone, which let me just say where Peter is concerned, is like permanently attached to his hip so that he can constantly share every aspect of his life on social media, was about to die and none of us had a charger. I wanted his phone so that I could call the company that he was supposed to start working for and let them know what was going on. I wanted to compose an email to the HR department that might help secure the position before the phone died and I couldn’t get to the contact information. He wanted the phone to post pictures of the situation on Facebook, ask the world for prayers and answer chat messages back and forth asking if he was okay. Again, we had very different priorities and it caused quite a scene in front of my friend when we fought about it.

When they told us that his hip was indeed broken and they were transporting him to a different hospital for surgery, my friend and I told Peter we were going to go get some lunch and we’d meet him at the other hospital. I walked out of the emergency room and broke down in tears. The stress of the entire situation was just too much for me to deal with on top of a grief ridden heart. My friend tried to console me. When I couldn’t calm down she suggested the one thing she knew might help me deal with all the overwhelming emotions. “Come on Pandora, why don’t we go finish our run.”

In this relationship, my running was a source of contention.

I was already constantly being accused of loving running more than I loved him. To this day I have never admitted to him that I left the hospital and went running.

Later, I was verbally attacked for the better part of 20 minutes because I took to long to get to the hospital. He was highly offended that we’d been unthoughtful enough to stop and grab Indian Buffet food rather than going through a drive through and rushing home to get his charging cord and getting back to him before his cell phone died. The buffet really hadn’t taken much time, you grab a plate you put food on it, you eat. It was the run that delayed me 30 minutes. But I needed it emotionally and he would have never understood that.

When we got back to the house I called him to find out where the charging cord was and let him know we were on our way. He freaked out over the word “we.” He let me know under no uncertain circumstances that he didn’t want my friend coming with me. He only wanted me there, nobody else. He wanted to be alone with me. My friend, who had canceled her plans for the day to be there for me, to offer moral support and help us deal with the crisis could hear every word he said.

“Don’t worry about it Pandora, I don’t need to go,” She assured me when it started to cause a fight. He’d just slapped another one of my friends in the face with his lack of appreciation and gratitude. That was two in less than two months.

When I arrive at the hospital, alone, I told him that I was really stressed out and worried about how we were going to pay the bills. We’d had so many arguments over money that we were both acutely aware of the other’s finances. I knew he only had a couple hundred dollars to his name. He knew I was struggling to pay the bills. He also knew I had managed to stash away a little nest egg of a few thousand dollars in a savings account.

That savings account was what I called my “get the hell out of dodge money”. It was the same amount that I had in my savings when I moved to Oregon to be with my husband. It was the same amount I had when I left Oregon and moved to North Carolina to take the new job and be with Superman. It was my “This all went wrong I need an escape plan” money. Someday if things worked out with us, it would have been my part of a down payment on a house money.

“What are we going to do Peter? How are we going to pay all the bills?” his answer, floored me. “I guess we’ll just have to dip into the savings.”

“Oh. You mean my savings?”

This was turning into a nightmare. From where I was sitting, albeit completely unintended on his part, this relationship was turning into every other relationship I had been in. I was stuck with all the financial burden. I was concerned at the huge differences I was seeing in our priorities. I was trying to make responsible decisions. I felt like he was playing the part of the boy that would never grow up. I was unhappy. I was resentful. This had all happened in less than 8 weeks of living together and I was nowhere near capable of dealing with it.

The rose-colored glasses were about to come off. The amazing sex life we had was the glue that was holding everything together. It was the one thing that made me turn a blind eye to everything that was wrong. His broken hip was going make sex a complete impossibility for quite a while.

Without the sex to act as a band-aid in the times that I felt emotionally wounded by him, he was about to lose his ability to use sex as a tool to convince me that were meant to be together. Without the sex as a distraction, I was about to start seeing how dysfunctional and toxic this relationship actually was.

Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 15 – When Tragedy Reveals ToxicityDSSPostSig

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

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BariLife has decided to send me back to Paris to represent the WLS Community as I attempt to find my love of running again.
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