August 31st, 2003

Chalkboard

Probably The Longest Post I Have Ever Written

Saturday's Post, Our Neighborhood Black Out, My Outlook On My Weight Loss Experience As I Approach the 100LB Loss Point, The Hell I've Been Through, and Coming Clean About My Affair and the Breakup of my Marriage.



We had a blackout yesterday for several hours when a truck hit a tree that came crashing down on a power pole snapping the lines that carry power to about a dozen blocks or more in my neighborhood. A mini taste of what it must have been like for everyone on the East Coast during their recent black out. This was just a few hours and I was going out of my mind with boredom because it was dark and I couldn't read, watch television, or write on the computer. It amazes me how dependent we are on power. Frightening really, and a good lesson for me to ponder over.

The worst part of this and something I'm not even sure I should share in my journal is that when one of our beloved pets die we put her/him in the freezer until the animal mortuary comes and picks them up for cremation, or until I can find the courage to take them to the vet. Depending on how torn up I am about this, or how broke I am due to my compulsive spending, and eBay debating, a little friend can spend up to a couple of weeks in the freezer.

Don't worry, it's a common practice among vets, (that's where we learned how to do this from), and we have an enormous refrigerator. It's one of those huge stainless steel Sub Zero's with two big doors -- the freezer section is a refrigerator unto itself. The very bottom drawer is designated for pet loss and nothing else so we're not mingling our food with our friends.

So, in a black out, being vegetarian means we don't have to worry too much about our food spoiling but we did have Baby Baby who we all loved desperately, and one newborn kitten who just didn't make it, in the freezer. I didn't know what to do. No one could tell us when the power would come back on, so we had to pack our two little friends in a cooler with ice and rush them to the emergency hospital to borrow their freezer and then have the mortuary come pick them up today to cremate them.

This seemed to be a real hoot of a topic for Mom and the girls at their Saturday bridge game. I can only hope there are serious animal loving people out there who can understand.

On a happier note I've lost ninety-eight pounds now and am only two pounds away from the one hundred pound mark. On the Sharon Osbourne Show I told Sharon I had lost one hundred pounds and felt like I was cheating a little bit but Lord two pounds off the mark isn't much and by the time those two shows air I'll be even thinner.

I'm liking my face a lot more now that it's thinner, and I'm loving buying clothes and trying things on that haven't fit in years and finding that they're just too darn big now, damn ; ) But the wrinkleyness of my skin is really bothering me, and I've been thinking about how I must be reaching the midpoint of the weight loss part of this experience and that there is so much more to come in terms of the way I look, the way I feel, my health, and how I handle all of this psychologically. I know that with exercise and time and then cosmetic surgery, shudder, everything about my appearance will be dramatically improved and I'll be happier in my skin, literally.

What is really blowing me away about all of this is that when I look at pictures of myself from just five or six months ago I don't recognize myself. It feels as if someone is playing a trick on me and digitally altered my images in some way to make me look fatter than I remember being. I'm still not ready to show you these pictures, but at some point I will. What's important to me to share with you is how clearly I can now see the distorted dis-ease part of my former way of living, eating, and seeing myself. I was in HUGE denial about my appearance and my health and used self deprecating humor and yes, a pretty face, and never looking beneath that in the mirror, to hide the truth of how I really looked, and how unhealthy I had become from myself. I used fat positive magazines and stores and big-gal celebrities to buoy up my self esteem and give me permission to keep heading for the edge of that cliff.

Now, it's really important for me to share that I believe we can be healthy, and beautiful, and fat all at the same time. I love big people and I don't want anyone to think that I'm judging or turning against my fat sisters and brothers in any way or becoming a get thin via surgery zealot, I swear I'm not. I know how zealous recovering addicts can be and I don't want to push my personal philosophy about this on anyone. But I was really fat, and I couldn't see it for a very long time. At first when I started to put on weight I was mortified if anyone would bring it up or point it out to me. The word obese was the most horribly unfair word in the dictionary and if I overheard anyone saying it in reference to me I would break out in tears. Then as I continued to gain weight I looked for physiological and psychological causes, and there were plenty, but they didn't help me take the weight off, or at least not for long, so I turned to fat acceptance and gained some self esteem by getting political about it. That's when I started getting real paying work as an actor and I got caught in a kind of self defeating trap. My manager and my agent both told me they would kill me if I lost a pound, they said it kiddingly, as if it were some sweet little joke, but I knew they meant it, and I actually worried that if I lost weight I would fall out of this terrific category I had lucked into -- this group of fat actors who got to eat whatever they wanted and work at the same time -- and it was so easy to work because despite the fact that I really am a born to act, do or die kind of actress, the competition was smaller, and I'm pretty, funny, super creative, and I can charm my way around pretty much any casting director, director, and producer, so being big was working for me.

But then my life kind of came crashing down around me. I lost my best friend when her sister accused me of something I didn't do. I lost several more "friends" when they accused my friend of something he didn't do. I found my Birth-Mother after a lifetime of wondering and searching, only to have her completely reject me and tell me the happy news that my fantasy father was a rapist. She literally said, "Your father is an evil man and I will never tell you who he is. You were the "product" of a rape. Enjoy the family I gave you and leave mine alone."

My Dad who had been hallucinating and having paranoid delusions, calling me late at night and telling me that "they" were out to get him, and that I was the only person who believed him and could help, bought a gun, booked a hotel room in Ohio near the cemetery where his parents are buried, "so they wouldn't have far to move him", wrote a suicide letter to my Mom, and then began an even steeper slide into dementia and Alzheimer's disease, ending up in diapers in a hospital bed in my old bedroom at home. Four or five times a year I would get a phone call in the middle of the night and have to rush to meet the ambulance at the ER and pray that he would pull out of his latest bout of pneumonia.

My agent went out of business, wished me luck, and closed her agency. Then my Mother got really ill and needed serious surgery and since I am all she's got I became her everything gal. There wasn't any time to look for a new agent, Mom was sick, Dad was a vegetable, my marriage was falling apart, and we were in the middle of an expensive, never-ending total house rebuild, with my husband as the confused, poky, first-time-slacker-contractor who everyone took advantage of.Collapse )