Overcoming Empathy

I have spent a great deal of my life worrying about weight.  I have doubled, and at times trebled my bodyweight, depending on how I feel.  Nowadays, I know myself so well that I start buying the sizes before the next physical change.  I tend to realise at the checkout that something is about to change.

 

Such is the nature of your subconscious mind.  I think it was after being blocked by Wolfe for asking about his charity (I kid you not) that I went and bought the largest size in the shop. I must be punished for having feelings, and for being stupid enough to feel hurt by someone I had no business trying to connect with in the first place.  Not because he imagines himself to be famous, but because he imagines himself to be impervious to other people.  Wolfe has a very specific, and a very careful method of dealing with women in particular, but that is another story.

 

Recently, I bought two items, one the size I was three weeks ago, and one three sizes smaller, so I knew something was about to change.  My friend, the endless houseguest, had announced that he would bring whatever food he felt like into the house, that I was selfish for wanting to take care of my ailing health, and my very spoilt at the worst of times mother, was to be even more spoilt, on the grounds that this meant that I would devote my time to caring for her and him, rather than me.

 

This is not the first time this has happened.  I remember a few years ago, an ex boyfriend insisted on buying pizza constantly, even after he had witnessed me losing 130lb.  I knew that if I had even one bite, that it would lead to me putting all that weight back on again, because I know me.  Nevertheless I capitulated, which led to my being 315lb by the time May 2010 rolled around.

 

Another ex came on the scene, a rigger with a rope obsession (nuff said)  I mistook an old photograph of his on facebook for an example of what he looked like now.  I was horrified.  I have some videos from that period, and Wolfe can testify that I could not even speak properly, I was so ill.  I lost 70lb in ten weeks on a low carb/raw combination, largely because I could not really walk due to tiredness and pain.  After shifting this fluid/fat/host of infections, I was able to walk, and walk I did, daily.  Swimming followed, to repair my twisted core muscles, and the gym for a period after that. In total |I ended up losing about 160lb

 

Then my terminally ill ex appeared and joined me at the pool.  This was a bad mistake.  From claiming that I was killing him by making him swim, he decided that he must out swim me within a fortnight.  Interminable and rather miserable trips to the pool followed as I watched him cut off the ends of the pool out of the corner of my eye, just so that he could claim to have caught up with my year of laborious self care in a month.

 

Several months later, and he came back for another go.  This time he insisted that I was depriving my mother of cake, which I was not – I have a system by which she gets everything she wants as long as I do not like the look of it, including cake.  Hence, she is very well indulged, and I never have to worry about eating badly.  That is, of course, until someone very aggressively announces that he will do what he likes in my house, and I can do nothing about it, because to do so involves either physically ejecting him, or bitching about it until he can safely denounce me as a selfish bitch.

 

As you can see, dealing with someone who claims to be terminally ill is rather complex.  You are supposed to be sympathetic, to the point of self-harm.  Your boundaries are there to be challenged (my mother is the same) and if you happen to be an empath as well, your judgement is clouded even more.  My mother is pathologically selfish, to the point that she watches me cleaning and compliments the vacuum I am pushing, so I am well used to not existing at all.

 

Unfortunately the consequence of not existing, or should I say agreeing to not exist, is stuffing your face so that you do not talk about it.  You pretend that it does not matter, until nobody ‘sees’ you any more because you are enormous.  Then you eat because you are miserable. Then you stop moving because you don’t want anyone to see you.

 

My good manners and empathy finally ran out two days before my birthday.  My ‘friend’ waltzed into my bedroom and announced that he was losing weight, and didn’t he look pretty in his new clothes.  I replied that I did not need reminding that he is a titanic prick, and that I would physically remove him from my home if he did not stop what he was doing right now.

 

“I can’t help it!”  he assumed his victim posture and began to whine.  I know from experience this immediately precedes his episodes of violence, so it was really time for him to go. He has been a problem at times, but when you see nobody, and he likes to pretend that he is very helpful, it is very difficult to just stop with people who are actively trying to damage you.

 

I did try to take him out with us one more time, but he then tried to start telling me when I could and could not speak, and then it was really time for him to go.  He has since tried to blame me, for the fact that he has deliberately pursued a course of damaging behaviour, been extremely self centred, and completely disregarded my health, all whilst abusing my hospitality.

 

So, now I have nobody to talk to.  I do not wish to see this person again, I do not wish to see my Tory neighbour again.  I certainly do not want to see my siblings ever again.  I guess I will have to write.

 

The problem with all this empathy, is that it is an excuse to forget about yourself.  Forgetting about yourself leads to repressed anger, which leads to depression. A recent hashtag about weight problems on Twitter had hours and hours of people who could see nothing good about their weight, and relentless self punishment.

 

Bear in mind, that nobody is nastier to you than you.  Other people you can get rid of.  You are, however, stuck with you, so try thinking of all the good things.  Once you treat yourself as well as you treat other people, it will become far easier to make positive choices, and far easier to develop strategies to deal with pain other than muffling yourself with food, alcohol or your chosen self abuse.

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