My Eats

How "The Accidental Fat Chick" Hatched...

Welcome to The Accidental Fat Chick's new online home!

During the summer 0f 2008, I woke up one morning with a drive to live a healthy lifestyle. Since then, I've made many changes and lost nearly 50 pounds. Many of my friends and family members have come to me, asking about what I'm doing & how I'm doing it. While I certainly would never claim to be an expert, I'm happy to share what I've learned along the way.

So after careful thought... "The Accidental Fat Chick" has hatched... with the hope of helping at least one person and to be the accountability I need to finish what I started. :)

Thank you for visiting!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Secrets Revealed...

but not the ones Draz has been waiting for. The report on Victoria and her secrets is gonna have to wait... again. Sorry Drazil... but I've got bigger fish to fry today. If I can force myself to write this, I'm about to be honest with myself and all of you in a way I've never been...

On this beautiful sunny day, rather than being outside enjoying the fantastic weather... I'm sitting inside thinking of dark, horrid days.... the days of abuse. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental/emotional abuse.

Why am I thinking about these things?

The short answer is that they are never far from my mind. Current events are making the thoughts harder to shove aside.

Tonight I am invited to dinner at the home of someone I spent most of my teen years loving like a second mother. Someone that I have barely spoken to and even more rarely seen as an adult.
She is the now ex-wife of the man that sexually abused me... Why am I doing this? Well, I was invited and I thought I'd be okay with it. But guess what, as the time gets closer I'm realizing I'm really not so okay with it. Just knowing that I'm going to go there and be around this woman and her daughter has my mind racing with emotions that I thought were long buried.

This family became like a second family to me and my Mom after my Dad passed away. They were junior high youth group leaders at Church. They were the type of leaders that had the group over to their home often, took us on camping trips, to concerts, all the fun times you can dream up. As soon as I was old enough, I became the primary babysitter for their three children. The man worked for a well-known computer company at the time and also did video production on the side. At 12-13 years old, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world when he would let me stay up half the night with him, watching while he was working on whatever video project he was involved with. There in that video room is where the abuse began. It started so simply (a touch on the arm that lingered too long) and progressed to things that need not be spoken of over the next five years.

The shame I carry over that time in my life is immense. I feel responsible for the fact that this man went on to sexually abuse both of his daughters. I feel like I betrayed his wife, that I loved so dearly. I know they say the child is always the victim and its NEVER their fault. At 12, perhaps I was innocent... but there has always been this part of me that feels like as I became a teenager and allowed it to continue I became partially responsible. I mean I could have put an end to it at any time... I could have stopped allowing him to take me places... I could have stopped agreeing to go babysit when I knew the wife would be away... I could have opened my mouth and said something. But nope, I kept allowing him to take me to concerts, I kept going there to babysit, I kept my mouth shut, I kept it a secret. I allowed him to continue to be a part of my life... to the point that he did my wedding video as a gift and they hosted our rehearsal dinner. It wasn't until after I had been married a few months that I finally told The Husband the truth & then eventually my Mom found out. Over the years, it has become apparent that he was a predator and I was one of several girls that he was sexually abusing at the time. He's married to one of them now... how sick is that? Still... I can't let go of the shame...

I am going to go to this dinner & do my best to leave the past where it is... maybe seeing that they have moved on and are living happy lives will help me heal.


Last night was a bad night with The Boy One. He became violently upset - kicking and hitting me - over having to turn off his video game. He managed to kick me 8-12 times in the hip area and I'm pretty badly bruised as a result. These outbursts are becoming more and more frightening the bigger he gets. This is the worst he has ever hurt me (I couldn't sleep on that side because it hurt too much to lie on it and today it hurts to sit because of it). Besides being scared for what the future holds (I can't let him keep doing this to me, but I don't know how to stop it), the severity of the incident takes me right back to all the feelings and emotions of the abuse I've suffered at his father's hands.

I know I've eluded to physical/mental abuse in my past before... without the details. That was out of respect for The Husband and his extreme sensitivity about his privacy... but this is about me and I can't do it anymore. I can't sweep it all under the rug as a part of my past when, to a degree, it is still very much a part of my present.

We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary this year... and for most of those 15 years I have been every bit the battered wife in one sense or another. The first five months of our marriage were pretty wonderful, then he went on deployment and came back a different man. Keep in mind this wasn't war time & he was deployed to a beautiful tropical island... paradise as he called it. Within three months of his return the physical abuse started. It started with a little push and being restrained when I wanted to move. Over the years, it progressed to repeated choking incidents and being pummelled in the back til I fell in a ball to the floor. There came a point where he was arrested, the Navy put him through their DV program and alcohol treatment, he was a "good boy" for a year and in the eyes of the law its like none of it ever happened... never mind the fact that I have permanent damage in my back as a result. Despite a couple of borderline physical incidents recently, I've told myself for years that the abuse was over. The thing is... that's a lie! Its not really over! The abuse has just changed from physical to emotional. I am controlled in new ways and made to feel like the bad person more than ever if I choose to stand up for myself or The Boy One.

Last night's incident with The Boy One forces me think about these things and face things I don't want to face...


You might be wondering what all of this has to do with losing weight or being healthy. I know these events have deeper impact than I'm going to go into right now. But quickies for now... Even as a teenager, I was on the plump side and I think part of me hoped that if I grew plump enough this guy that sexually abused me would turn his attention elsewhere (he had a major problem with "fat" people). When you live with an abusive person, you typically do what they want, when they want... and don't rock the boat by doing things such as taking care of yourself or demanding dietary changes. Perhaps this is why I was able to finally began losing weight and being healthier when he was gone... just a thought.

For now... I'm going to get out the door and enjoy some of this beautiful weather... and think about what it would mean to step out of the shadows of my life and start truly living...


Sandy Lee said...

I am so sorry. I hope you can work this out and step out of the shadows. {{{{HUGS}}}}

Scuttleboose said...

I just want you to know that I truly support you (not the situation, but you!!) and must sound like a mother: be sure to take care of yourself first. You truly have my sympathy. I wish I could give you a big hug!

-Grace- said...

First of all, thank you for trusting us enough to share these parts of your past.

I am sending you major cyber hugs right now. I hope the dinner ends up bringing you some closure. Please know that none of that was your fault. Not even him abusing other people. You were a child. He was an adult. He's supposed to be the responsible party. Instead he preyed on you and others (as well as your families, who trusted him). Easier said than done, I know. But I just wanted to say it so you could hear from the outside.

I am also praying for you to gain strength and clarity in regards to your marriage. You deserve to be treated well and be happy.

I will also echo the sentiment: You must do what is best for you. In turn, this will make you a better mother, daughter, friend, etc.

Sending a ton of love and hugs your way. <3

Sarah said...

Oh my goodness.. I'm so sorry - no one deserves to be treated like this. Please, please take care of yourself however you can. I wish I could help somehow... seriously... I can pray. And I will pray for you and your family.

Drazil said...

I love you Julie. And I love your courage. This post - these words...this is a beginning for you and you'll probably never know how many people you helped by writing this. You are worthy of the deserve nothing less. Never ever settle...promise me that? You bear NO blame. You bear NO fault. It happened because you were a child. That's why he was able to con you. You're not a child anymore and you are getting healthy inside and outside and I for one, am honored to share this journey with you. Loves you!

cmoursler said...

first things first...the man was responsible for the allowed it to continue, maybe for many reasons...but I have no doubt you were scared out of your mind to tell anyone.
As to the abuse in your marriage.
kids pick up on things. If your son sees abuse or manipulation happening with no consequences for the abuser, then he is more likely to do the same if he thinks it will get him what he wants. Whether it's more video game time or whatever.
I think it is VERY good to put this out there.
It's the first step toward recognition of your rights as a human being.
Silence is deadly. Confronting it, a fantastic first step.
You do deserve better, and deep down you know that.
I know what your feeling, and how scared you are.
Take care of yourself first.
Do what you need to.

cmoursler said...

first things first...the man was responsible for the allowed it to continue, maybe for many reasons...but I have no doubt you were scared out of your mind to tell anyone.
As to the abuse in your marriage.
kids pick up on things. If your son sees abuse or manipulation happening with no consequences for the abuser, then he is more likely to do the same if he thinks it will get him what he wants. Whether it's more video game time or whatever.
I think it is VERY good to put this out there.
It's the first step toward recognition of your rights as a human being.
Silence is deadly. Confronting it, a fantastic first step.
You do deserve better, and deep down you know that.
I know what your feeling, and how scared you are.
Take care of yourself first.
Do what you need to.

Kerri said...

WOW! What an amazing post! You are a wonderful woman and DO NOT deserve to be abused by anyone...not even your son! I understand where you are at. My son, now 14, used to be incredibly physically abusive, he is still verbally and emotionally abusive but the physical abuse has subsided. He lived in a residential treatment center on 3 separate occasions which helped immensely. He has SEVER menatal health issues but he is still RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS ACTIONS and so is your son and your husband. Stop making excuses and take care of yourself. Do not let anyone abuse you anymore. You do not deserve any of it. The past is the past and yes, you may have been able to do things differently but you cannot change that. You did what you could and that is good enough. Please understand that I understand what you are going through. My thoughts are with you. Take care of YOU!

Stephanie said...

You are such a brave woman and you are much stronger than you ever realize. As a victim of long term sexual abuse and having grown up in a family of domestic violence, I am always here for you if you ever need to talk, vent or open up. I hope you feel you have the support to move on with your life and try to get the closure you need, but please don't allow yourself to continue to be victimized any more, either through your child or your spouse. You deserve so much better...emotionally and physically. I am here for you any time you need to talk:

fitncrafty said...

I have to agree, your are VERY brave to write of this online and admit it. Now I would have to say take action, and find healing!
As a Navy Ombudsman, I assure you that there is much help for you, your son and your husband! I urge you to get the help that you need to find healing! If there is anything I can do let me know... It is unimportant that you are not attached to our command, I have lots of connections that will help!
Please take care of yourself!!
You are worth it!!

clickmom said...

Julie, I was abused as a child too and I recently found myself a new therapist who helped me see that even as an adult I respond to abusive situations just like I learned to as a child. As a child they were coping mechanisms I put into place to protect myself, but as an adult I have the power to speak up and protect myself. This is the difficult lesson to learn, Also as an adult I have the clarity to ask for help or advice from another adult, which is what you are doing here, no? Please do not blame yourself, Julie, the man who took advantage of you created this situation to his own advantage. It isn't surprising that he victimized you at you at such a young, helpless and confusing age.

Since you know this man abused his won daughters I am assuming they no are not in touch with him any more and are struggling with much of what you are dealing with. I would be open and honest with this man's family about your feelings. If they do not respond in a supportive and caring way then you have reason to ditch them. They might surprise you. Healing along with these other women just might help you along in your journey.

Good luck sister. And I want to echo our other commenters. Be kind to yourself. But I also want to let you know that you, the adult you , have the power to make sure your safety and boundaries are never threatened again.

Carmen said...

whew...your strength is amazing and very apparent....i hope that you enjoy the sunshine (both literally and figuratively!)

F. McButter Pants said...

Holy Cow! I hope you had a good vacation. You deserve it for sure. I agree you are couragous for sharing this. You know.....and you know you know this....that abuse is progressive. It will get physical again. I know of what I speak. I have had the holy hell beat out of me.

Why are you punishing yourself by going to this dinner? OUCH! You have enough to feel already. Why do it, really?

I don't know what else to say. You need some help. Find out how to get some help. Do you have a church that could help you? I mean help with your basic needs.

My heart breaks for you and your family. You can know that you have lots of good vibrations coming your way.

You will be in my prayers.

anji said...

I went through something similar... childhood sexual abuse (and gained a shitload of weight so that men wouldn't find me attractive)... and my ex has PTSD and woke up several nights a week being hit or punched or kicked, while he was having nightmares (never intentionally) but now I see there was mental abuse too.

One day at a time... that's all you can do.

There is a show in Canada called X-weighted...

one episode talked about a mom just like you... with a special-needs son that she struggled with putting into a home (or keeping him home)... it was hard but - he was violent too -- a sweetie, but violent. Anyways - if I can find the exact episode, i'll send it your way... it may not be 'viewable' in the states but - i'll see what I can do.

Jenn said...

Julie, my heart and prayers are with you. I can't imagine living through these situations, you are such a brave and strong woman.
I hope you find help, both for you and your son.

Life as a Caterpillar said...

Julie, i just want to send you love. I don't know what to say, but i wanted to say something. I think you are so strong and i wish i could give you a big hug