What Is My Traumatic Experience?

One thing I have noticed when watching weight-loss shows, or reading weight-loss stories, is that almost every over-weight person has some sort of traumatic experience in their life that they need to come to terms with in order to get past whatever is holding them back and keeping them over-weight.

So time and time again, I find myself wondering “what traumatic experience am I needing to figure out and deal with before I will lose weight and get healthy?”

Thing is … I had a pretty decent, not awesome, but memorable childhood! I wasn’t sexually assaulted or abused. I wasn’t verbally or mentally abused.

The only thing I can think of dates back to when I was young … 7 – 8 years old. My sister, who is 2 1/2 years older than me, was not a stellar child. Our birth parents split when I was 3/she was 6. Our mom met our stepdad when I was 4/she was 7. Dad was, unfortunately, the typical single dad … was supposed to have us every weekend or every other weekend – I don’t recall that much consistency. But he wasn’t an absent father.

Sister and I lived with mom and stepdad. They were married in October 1990, when I was 8 and sister was 11. Sister did NOT appreciate/like any rules – especially that of the relatively-strict stepdad. The rules didn’t seem all that exorbitant … but sister didn’t follow them well.

On more than one occasion, she would run away, leaving a note near the back door … which I found 95% of the time.

Halloween 1990 … sister (11 years old) was grounded for one reason or another and was not allowed to attend the school dance (which was happening pretty much right after school – not at night). I walked home alone (maybe 1 km, good neighbourhood, different times than today!) and stepdad was home. He inquired why sister wasn’t with me and when he determined (by my truth) that she was at the dance, he loaded me in the car and off we went to the school. I was to wait in the car … into the school he went … and out with sister he came … she probably would tell you he “dragged her out by the ear” but I am sure he had a tough grip on her shoulder!

Jump to the same evening. She was asked to take out the trash after dinner.

10 minutes (or so) later, I found the note by the back door. Sister was gone. Again.

It wasn’t much after that (last) runaway that sister decided to move out from mom and stepdad’s and move in with dad. Because dad is cool – he has no rules!

So January 23, 1991 … I remember so vividly because it was 1 month before my 9th birthday … sister moved out of “home” and moved in with dad. She was 11 still at this time.

It didn’t take long before she realized dad has rules too. I can’t remember exactly how long she was living with dad – maybe a couple of years? She continued to runaway. Dad would locate her and bring her back. Vicious cycle.

She ended up moving out of dad’s. Living with friends. Boyfriends. On the street.

When she was 16 years old, still a child/dependent, our birth parents were legally responsible for where she was and what she did. But they couldn’t control her. They didn’t know where she was. They didn’t know what she did. She left them no choice but to sign her away as a Ward of the Court. Sister was legally not my sister any longer.

Being a WotC, if she needed something, she simply had to ask her Social Worker or price it out then ask the worker … and voila – she had what she wanted. She has never EVER had to lift a finger and work for ANYTHING in her life.

At 18 she had her daughter. At 19 she was married. At 21 she had her son.

When the Courts were done “raising” her, she had a husband. He worked. She stayed home with the kids. (Now don’t get me wrong – I totally believe that being a stay-at-home parent is more than full-time work … but I’m talking “earn a living for yourself”)

She was separated at 30. Living with her new boyfriend … 2 weeks after splitting with her husband. Had daughter #2 at 35. Married at 36. Guess what? Husband #2 works. She stays at home.

… ok a little off track, kind of …

Having sister move out at 11 years old, making me an only-child at 8 years old, made MY life a little tough.

I had to deal with the strict “normal” rules from mom and stepdad. But they were a bit MORE strict because they didn’t want me to veer off and become like my sister did.

I had a curfew (normal), I had chores (normal), I worked for allowance (normal).

When I was 16, I started my first job (actually the day before my 16th birthday!) and in 4 months, I saved enough to pay for driving lessons (parents insisted I took lessons instead of teaching me their own errors LOL), enought to buy a car, and enough to pay for 1 year car insurance.

So even with a curfew, chores, etc., if I disobeyed, they couldn’t take my car away because I PAID FOR IT! Boo yah!

When I was a later-teen, my curfew was something like 11 pm or midnight … I’d usually roll in around 1:00 or so. It came to a point where mom would say “wake me when you get home so I know you’re safe” but they gave up on the curfew.

I wasn’t a bad child. I just disobeyed to a certain point!

… ok back on track …

I dealt with “baby fat” until I was 15 years old. Then over the summer, it fell off me! I was 5’6″ tall and weight about 125 lbs. Yet I was big compared to some of my school mates.

After high school graduation in June 2000, I moved out, fell in love and got engaged. Being in a “loving relationship” allowed me to let go. I was never a big exerciser … ever.

But in a matter of probably 4 – 6 months, I gained upwards of 70 POUNDS! I was close to 200 pounds by Christmas 2000.

I’ve been able to get down to 165 lbs and felt awesome! I’m presently around 245 lbs and am working at it … slowly.

I walk a shit-ton. But I eat (binge!) quite a bit, too. People at work and some family think I eat fairly healthy and keep my portions pretty good. But then I come home and eat eat EAT!

Not every night. But some nights.

A regular size bag of chips. A batch of homemade cookies. Previously, a bottle or two of wine (I’ve been staying away from alcohol for the most part).

So this I ask … was my childhood and the bullshit I endured from my sister enough to be considered a traumatic experience that I need to accept and move past in order to achieve my health goals?

I honestly don’t think so.

I think I need to suck it up, stop eating shit, workout more, and just fucking get it done!

I will continue to post positive and inspirational collages on FB & Instagram. Some of them I’ve even printed out some of these to hang on my fridge as a daily reminder!


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