Weight Loss Support - help needed...
I've struggled with this for the past few weeks and I just need someone to tell me I'm not crazy.
Until I was 14 I was always a normal healthy weight. At the time I was working 2 nights a week in a local bar (just collecting glasses...I started part-time when I was 12). One new years eve I had to work late and didn't know when I would finish so told my Dad not to collect me as normal. My Aunt was also there and was going to leave me home at the end of the night. Well to cut a long story short I was bored and hanging around outside on my own and a local man (married and with kids) came up and was forcing himself on him, I think I've blocked most of the rest out but it ended with my Aunt coming outside to find me to go home, she interrupted him but she didn't sense anything...just thought he was talking to me. Next thing the guys wife and two daughters come out and they are all going home with my aunt. His wife in the front, my aunt driving, me in the back with him on one side with his hands all over me and his daughters on the other side. Yet I never said a thing. We dropped him and family to his house, then me to my house. My parents were in bed, I went to bed and that was that.
I had to see him generally every week for the next 5 years - until I gave up the part-time job, each time, he was friendly, said hello. Since then I've just put it to the back of my mind and not thought about it. the only people I've told this to is one friend and my sister-in-law.
My point is since then my weight has just gone up and up. For the last few months it has started to come off - I find myself totally motivated to lose weight but find myself becoming increasingly insecure. I don't make contact with friends, return calls or emails, I distance my family (I live about 4hrs away now), I never let anyone get close to me but I'm getting even more bloody controlled since the lb's are dropping off. It seems the only time I'm actually happy is when I'm working out.
I feel like crap - my friends think I'm being horrible by pushing them away. I don't even know how to explain...its just I don't know who I am anymore. My security blanket is slowly slipping away, along with the person I thought I was, I'm even finding it more and more difficult to make conversation with my housemates...where is my identity gone?
Has anyone got advice, options, stories, comments. Tell me I'm being stupid please....
07-13-2006, 07:55 AM
Finn, you are not crazy, and you are not alone. My major gain in weight happened after my so-called best friend sexually-assualted me and then got really creepy and threatening until I got a lawyer and said I would go to the police. It is very easy to try and protect yourself from unwanted (and scary) attention from men by trying to make yourself unattractive, but in reality your size has little to do with it. This man was looking for what he thought was an easy target, a young girl who was on her own. Whatever else you do, you are not that girl now. You are older and wiser. You can be more aware of potentially threatening situations and stop them from happening, but at the same time you need to let yourself be open to good relationships like the ones with your friends and potential boyfriends.
A lot of how you act next has to come from how you feel. It sounds like you could probably benefit from some professional help, either by going to your Doctor and asking for a referral to a therapist or calling a helpline. If you feel comfortable, perhaps you could try explaining what happened to some of your housemates so that they can at least understand what is going on and offer you their support. You could contact the friend you told or your sister-in-law and tell them that you are having problems. Even if they live a long way away, then at least they can talk to you on the phone.
This man did a terrible thing to you, and you have been through such a lot of emotional trauma as a result. This doesn't make you crazy or stupid, but it does mean that you need some support as you try to work through this. Don't let this man take away who you are, get some real help and support from those that love you and try to work through this. You are not alone. Feel free to PM me if you want.
07-13-2006, 08:00 PM
I know how you feel Finn :hug:
I've always been a pretty big child but It wasn't so bad till I was 8 and was assaulted.
After that I just blew up really. I think its just a way for us to protect ourselves. And I guess in a way it does. I kept away from everyone other than my best friend. it's not a easy thing to get over. But the weight, though it may be was keeps you feeling safe, shouldn't control you. At first I was afraid of getting rid of the weight because then perhaps I there would be guys who didn't like me for me. As least when I'm big I know that if a guy is talking to me, it's not because he wan'ts to get in my pants.
but now i've figured that i'm smarter than that, and I don't need this weight anymore. I had a moment that made it all clear and you just need a moment too. It seems you've never really forgave yourself for not speaking up. But I'm just saying what is on my mind.
Don't be afraid, and don't give up on yourself. You don't need the crutch that the weight had become for you. :hug:
07-13-2006, 08:35 PM
I know where you are coming from. I was sexually assaulted at the age of 15 by a stranger. He then handed me a loaded handgun, cried and told me to shoot him. I couldn't do it. I have lived with this for 31 yrs. and never told a soul, not even my family. I had so much guilt. I think it contributed to my weight gain, as if I had a shield around me. I finally got to a point that the weight had to come off due to health reasons but I have never gotten over my fear of strangers. I am leary of new situations and try to always keep myself very safe. Hmm, may even be one reason for marrying a state trooper, I feel safe with him. I do realize that I am adult now and not near as vulnerable as when I was a teen. I am mostly wanting to tell you my experience to let you know that you aren't alone. Reach out to your friends, chances are they have had similar things happen to them . I doubt they will be shocked , many young girls are taken advantage of and most of us keep it inside and let it fester. I once heard the statistic that at least 25% of young girls are abused , if I remember correctly. Good luck to you and your successful weightloss journey.
I cant relate to you wonderful women on this one, but I just wanted to let you guys know that you are all incredibly strong and wonderful. I couldnt imagine going through what ya'll have been through. (hugs) to you all.
07-13-2006, 09:47 PM
So sorry to hear about what happened to you. But I have to agree with the others and say that if you continue to treat yourself badly because of him, then he got the best of you.. and I am sure that's not the case. Just remember that you are a beautiful person and deserve to be happy. We are all here for you. :hug: And..
I As least when I'm big I know that if a guy is talking to me, it's not because he wan'ts to get in my pants.
That is so true and I can so relate to that.
07-13-2006, 11:33 PM
Posting about it was actually a step taken towards working on it.
I was molested by an uncle at the age of 9. The worst part of it is when I finally reached a point where I was able to actually tell my mother about it (11 years later), she was more concerned with whether I was blaming her for it than the fact that it happened. We never spoke further about it. And that's sad. The family knows he's molested family members and strangers. He's been in prison twice for non-family members. But they still accept him and expect me to act as if nothing ever happened. But nope. If he comes around when I'm visiting my grandparents, I leave. And they call ME rude.
He tried again to forcefully rape me when I was 18, until his wife walked in and he let me go. I never associated my weight gain with that, since I married and was pregnant within the year. I just always thought it was getting a divorce soon after the birth of my daughter, and never taking the baby weight off. Though that surely had a lot to do with it, it very well could have been what had happened with my uncle too that caused much of it. But I handled it the opposite in that I've always stayed to myself, never made eye contact with people, didn't make friends easily. Since losing the weight, I've become the total opposite.
I've been the therapy route...several times. If you don't feel a therapist is helping, seek another one. I think for me, it was living miles apart from my family long enough for me to get my head on straight that helped. Far enough away from all the reminders, with a supportive husband. Then I found myself talking about it. Even when I went back for a visit, I spoke about it with another aunt and uncle that hadn't known about it.
07-14-2006, 12:59 AM
almostheaven, you are exactly right. One of the things that worked best for me was distancing myself from my family and hometown for many years. I'm very sorry to hear what has happened to everybody else too.
07-14-2006, 02:36 AM
It happened to me as wel, from the age of 5 until I was 8, by our next door neighbour. It's been a bigger issue in my weight loss journey that I thought. I hadn't really thought about it in years until the weight started coming off and I started feeling increasing levels of anxiety, and started doing some of the things you describe.
I probably could do with therapy, but have dealt with it by working on becoming physically stronger. Fat was a protection for me, and now I am building muscle and strength to kind of subsitute the fat.
There is help out there, and a quick internet search showed dozens of support groups in Ireland.
This one looks particularly good and seems to offer a lot of help to people in our situation.
We are here for you, and I am sure I speak for all of us when I say no one would mind a PM if you want to talk.
07-14-2006, 08:27 AM
I would really recommend a good counselor... considering it is an unresolved issue that has a good potential to sabbotage your weight loss efforts.
Many women gain a significant amount of weight after being assulted (which you were) - it does act as a shield and security blanket.
It will take alot of work on your part to move past this incident, be happy with your weight loss, recreate your identity. A counselor can help greatly with this.