Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wipe Out

I know in this time of war and turbulence, this isn't a big deal, but it is a big deal to me and unless I acknowledge that, I can't move on.

Mom, Jean and I went to water aerobics last night. The water was warm, Mom was more relaxed and I moved away from her to let her interact with people on her own. So, the next thing I notice as I'm marching in place is my mother voice carrying across the entire pool (granted, it's a small pool) explaining about my lap band surgery, how much weight I've lost to date, when I'm going to weigh again, and yes, it was a method of "last resort". Because I'm very comfortable in the water, I left the rail to the ones who weren't, so I'm in the middle of the pool while this is going on, waving my arms and looking green.

It was a horrible, horrible experience. I might as well have been completely nekkid, oh wait, when we change I will be. I'm sure Mom will be happy to point out my scars.

And, people, being people, are going to be watching me now to see how I do. Which is what I wanted to avoid.

So, what does one DO? I'm not going to storm out of the class, Mom adores the class and so do I. If I speak to her about it, she's just going to shut down and not make friends. And she needs little old lady friends.

I guess the thing I learned so far was that a person can survive having all their "masks" stripped away. But it isn't a terribly safe feeling. No, it doesn't feel safe at all.

Yesterday started out so well, and ended so damn badly, and it's carried over to today and I'm not sure how to shake it. There is no right wrong to the situation, it's just Mom likes to talk and I am a very private person. Even now it's hard to think about it and stay with it to try and uncover what the "big deal" is.

Ironically, I thought I'd be able to lose weight without the fuss that accompanied the Medifast debacle-with nosey coworkers asking all kinds of nosey questions. Now they don't have to ask, neighbors, relatives and class mates get the latest news broadcast.

Ah, so is it becaue it's MY news? Or am I refusing to own my own weight loss? If we don't own the loss, we might not have to own the fat, right? I'm all about facing things, and this is just another thing to face. I have to own what I've done and what I'm doing. In a bathing suit, twice a week. I'll need some water shoes.


Michele said...

I know it's easier said than done but could you gently and softly mention to your mom that you'd rather she not talk about your surgery/weight loss to others? That you don't feel comfortable with people know and you'd rather keep it a private matter?

Debra Kay said...

I could, but it is easier to change me and my perceptions that it is to change her-and right now she needs things to talk about to "strangers". It gives her something hip and interesting. Isn't that just sad? ME-hip and interesting?

And the context WAS health related-we were working out in a rehab center and the lady she was speaking with was fat-so she really was just trying to relate.

The thing is, I'm asking her to share her doctor visits with me, the fact that she's probably got beginning Parkinsons, etc. so it really does make sense that I put some "skin in the game".

And, to her, she was probably "bragging"-she didn't think it was a bad thing at all.

When we were in grad school I said I wanted to record her for my linquistics class because I liked her accent-and she took great offense. Truly, to this day she remembers that. And I thought her reaction was just way off scale-so maybe the shoe is on the other foot now.

Communication is a very inexact science, isn't it?

Michele said...

Communication is a very inexact science and ... even more so when it comes to family : )

Perriette said...

I've been in this situation of feeling "exposed". I'm a private person, also, but eventually I picked up the gauntlet and waved it around. Mine has to do with mental illness and asked myself "why should I be ashamed?". The stigma of certain things can turn around and bite you on the ass, especially when you are feeling vulnerable, but it is just one of those challenges that life likes to throw at us. All in all, it proves to ourselves just how strong we really are.

Debra Kay said...

By this week I was showing off my scars. The thing is, I'm all worried and self conscious about my fat, but the other ladies are worried about their age, twisted limbs, etc, so who is to say MY big deal is all that big. It was to me, but I've gotten over it.

Mental illness is a toughie-but I've had that stigma for so long I've gotten used to it. I do believe there is a connection between artistic leanings and mental illness and I wouldn't trade my depression for the empathy and abilities it has given to me. Our poor little brains are what make us US, and I like me for the most part.

Perriette said...

Good for you!

I've had it a long time, too, and now used to it. I wouldn't trade, nope, in spite of everything I have to deal with - although I do wish it would lighten up sometimes. I've "borrowed" the gay pride declaration with a change "I'm here, I'm weird, GET USED TO IT!"