sexual abuse: the underlying affects

8FD5CF50-5BD3-4ECC-B19C-FD903858C84FThose years of emotional and sexual abuse had impacted me in ways that I never even realized.

shortly after I married my amazing husband, i was filled with this overwhelming fear that he would leave me for another woman.  I didn’t want him to go anywhere without me, and the thought of him being around other women drove me crazy.

my husband was very patient and gracious with me, but he was clearly confused as to why i was struggling that way.  And to be honest, so was i.

two years into our marriage we began having babies.  And after each baby, i would loathe the body that i saw looking back at me in the mirror.

i would literally lay in bed and cry because I didn’t want my husband to see my fat tummy.  I preferred to have the lights off when we were intimate, because i wanted to hide my body from him.  And all that time, I had no idea where this was coming from.

B75418DB-B7DC-43DD-A05B-B694EA17B6A0As the years went by, my image of myself only grew worse with each baby that i had.

And to be clear, I’ve never been a heavy person, even after having babies.  But I did—and still do—carry all my weight around my middle, and for some reason, I found that repulsive.

no matter how much my husband said he loved me, or how beautiful he would say i am, i saw myself as disgusting and damaged.

i remember laying in bed one night, and my husband saying to me, “It doesn’t matter how much weight you lose, because as long as you think that way about yourself, you won’t be happy.”

and i wasn’t.

I lost 40 pounds about 10 years ago, and guess what?  I still saw myself as repulsive.

0D0EA7E1-15C9-4A85-BE9E-D43BD72287F0I am ashamed to admit that these feelings of insecurity affected my relationships with other women as well, even women in my church.

certain personalities in women would raise red flags with me, and i would see them as a threat, so I would avoid being close with them because I didn’t want them around my husband.

and when certain women—women who were loud and drew attention to themselves—would sit in front of us at church, I would sit through the service steaming mad on the inside.  I would spend the entire service wondering if my husband was looking at “her”.  I was miserable.

and my poor husband.  God bless him.  On the rare occasion that I’d actually voice my fears and accuse him of ogling other women, it would hurt him, a lot.  He would reassure me of his love for ME and ME ALONE, but the fears didn’t budge.

For the sake of not hurting my husband, I began to hold those fears in, and on those occasions when I would make up scenarios in my head, i would stew over them, but not tell my husband.

he of course, figured it out because i was walking around mad all the time.

not exactly great for those early years of marriage.

7C1B9D82-A9F1-44B6-9677-C280376698B3Probably ten years into our marriage, I read the book, Trusting God, by Jerry Bridges.

Reading that book went a long way in helping me learn how to trust God with my marriage.

My freak out sessions were fewer and farther in between, but my insecurities were far from gone.

i think i eventually came to a point where, rather than fearing that I’d lose my husband to another woman, I hardened my heart to the idea, and developed a “i could care less” attitude.

that entailed me deciding in my heart that if he ever did cheat on me that he’d be gone, and I would never forgive him.

Not exactly a healthy way of thinking, trust me.

I went on this way for years…until last year, when God used a good friend to open my eyes and help me get to the root of my struggles.

more on that next time…..

** can you relate to the fears and insecurities that I’ve lived with for so long?  I’d love to hear your story; feel free to share in the comments, or you can email me at lifeofpattyanne@gmail.com

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No more Lazy Butt!

1639E780-B1C7-4106-9039-FDD4B128879AEnough is enough.

I’ve been whining and complaining constantly lately.

I’ve been discouraged, frustrated, and more often than not, in tears.

and do you want to know why?

because I’m getting fat, that’s why.

granted, I’m not obese, but for my age and body size, I am about 17 pounds over weight.

and i can feel it.

my knees hurt so bad when i climb the stairs, and 90% of my clothes don’t fit right now.  Not. Even. Kidding.

and so i wear the same thing day after day, frustrated and crying every time i have to dress to go out.

 

46DEBE9E-9C7D-4B54-8DE9-FADD84703AB5So poor me, right?

Wrong!!

why?  Because I’ve been doing absolutely NOTHING to lose this weight.

and i do mean nothing.

oh, i download weightloss apps, and research low-carb diets, and i am constantly planning out my exercise for the coming week.

but none of those things will help if i don’t GET OFF MY BUTT AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

it’s not as if i am busting my butt to lose weight….eating right and exercising regularly; it that were the case, and i still wasn’t losing, then I’d have a right to be upset.

but sitting on the couch every afternoon binging on Netflix—I LOVE NETFLIX—while eating chocolate and any other junk i can get my hands on, isn’t helping me AT ALL.

D35ADFC3-FAE1-42C2-9224-799EFDA01E4BAnd so, it’s time to get serious.

it’s time to stop whining and start working.

Rather than trying a bunch of new weight loss programs and making a bunch of rules for myself, I’m going back to what i know works for me…Weight Watchers.

i lost 40 pounds on Weight Watchers about 10 years ago, so i know it works for me.

I found a great app called iTrackBites that basically mimics WW, and it offers three different plans.  I’m going with the Classic plan, which follows the old WW Points plan, which i used and loved when i lost the 40 pounds.  I never felt restricted, and loved knowing that I had “flex points” that I could use throughout the week, or save them up for one big treat/meal.

I’m not going to make a bunch of rules for myself, such as, “I’m completely cutting out___”, because that totally sets me up for failure.

No.  I’m simply going to take it one day at a time, and work hard to stay within my Points at least six out of seven days each week.  I figured out last time i did WW that as long as I stayed within my Points at least 6/7 days each week, I could still successfully lose weight.  This way, I have a bit of freedom and don’t feel restricted.  Granted, I know I can’t go hog wild and eat three days worth of calories on that day off, and then cry when the scale doesn’t budge.

I’m thinking maybe I’ll try and post about my progress here on the blog as a way of accountability.  Maybe.

So that’s my plan.

** Have you lost weight using Weight Watchers?  I’d love to hear your weightloss stories, so please share in the comments!  Happy Saturday!

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