Day 19 – Part 1

It is Day 19 of My New Beginning.  I’m still plugging away on this journey.  I have not petered out.  The true test will be to see where I am at Day 45.  Why?  Time for the God’s Honest, brutal truth – one I really do NOT want to face.  I am like my father.  He would start something and never finish it.  Ever since my Honorable Discharge, I have found I have a tendency to do the same thing.

There are so many ‘projects’ or ‘programs’ I started over the years and never completed.  I get a wild hair up my ass and go balls-to-the-wall for a few days.  When things get rough, I stop.  There is no in-between.  It is either full-ON or a dead STOP.

It is what my father did.  He had a wife and five children.  Things got rough.  So one day, he just up and drove away.  Last words I remember hearing from him were, “See you this weekend.”  Said weekend lasted 23 fliggerin’ years!  When he left, he left so many things unfinished.  It took my mother years to either complete them or make the mess disappear.

After he left, it became my mission to do whatever I said I was going to do.  I did.  I started things and saw them through to the end – be they good, happy endings or bitter, sorrowful endings.  I talked the talk and damn sure walked the walk.

Years passed.  Then, after 13 years of serving my amazing country, I was forced out.  I had reached high year tenure – service limitations.  I fought it.  I had seven years to go to retire.  Talk about a bitter pill to swallow!  I love my country.  I love my Corps.  I wanted to continue serving.  It was not meant to be.

The first couple of years, I coasted along just fine . . . or so I thought.  I started withdrawing from the world.  I stopped going to family get-togethers.  I started internalizing so much of what I was feeling.  I refused to face just how hurt and bitter I was at losing one of the things I loved most – being an Active Duty United States Marine.  (The only things I love above that are my three babies.)

I felt as though I were not good enough . . . Not just for the Marine Corps, but for life in general.  I went to a dark place.  I spent from age 31 until I was at least 42 in that dark place.  I do not remember much from then.  I have flashes of things.  Some things stick out.

Things like breaking promises to my children.  I broke so many they stopped asking me to do things with them.  Those years are gone.  I will NEVER have my babies young again.  I did not take many pictures of them or with them.

I was selfish during those years.  The deeper I sunk into my dark place, the larger I became.  I was embarrassed about my appearance (and since I’m being brutally honest with myself, still am).  I was so embarrassed about my appearance, my daughter has no pictures with me from her High School Graduation.  Not a single one.  Dick move.  Selfish.  How in the hell could I be so thoughtless, cruel and selfish?  Who was being hurt?  Not me.  My daughter.  I hurt my daughter.  I disappointed her.  I let her down.

And you know what?  I did not learn my lesson.  She got married in August 2015.  She hired a professional photographer.  There are maybe a dozen pictures with me in them.    When in the bloody hell am I ever going to stop thinking about myself?!  It was my daughter’s Wedding Day!  I could not step out of myself for one friggin’ day?!

I know I will never be able to make it up to her.  Those days are long gone.  There are no Do-Overs.  Rather than dwell on how I failed, I need to focus on something good.  She does have at least one or two pictures with me from her College Graduation.  She has photos of me and with me from her Wedding Day.

Mommy and Peanut – Sunday, 16 August 2015
Family Portrait 2
The Newlyweds with the Parental Units – Sunday, 16 August 2015
Family Portrait 5
Peanut with the Parental Units – Sunday, 16 August 2015
Family Portrait Minus One 2
Newlyweds, One Brother and the Parental Units (only missing Baby Brother) – Sunday, 16 August 2015

As this is 2016 the Year of My New Beginning, I am going to actually put a few pictures of myself out there.  So, here I am in all my morbidly obese glory.  This is me owning up to everything eaten in private.  It is now out in Internet Land for all to see I truly am wearing it in public.

In 2016, I will learn to love myself.  In 2016, I will learn to accept it is perfectly OK to take Baby Steps.  In 2016, I will work hard on doing POSITIVE self-talk and much less on the negative.

My message to Me, Myself and I for 2016:  I CAN do this and I AM worth it.


8 thoughts on “Day 19 – Part 1

  1. I think you look beautiful. I made mistakes with my daughter when she was a teenager that make me cry with shame sometimes. She is now 22 and is making a strong life for herself. We talk and hug and she tells me to forget what happened when she was a teenager. But it’s hard. I let myself down as much as I let her down. Now I find it hard to look in mirrors. I am overweight and I don’t go out socially anymore. I mourn the loss of the sense of purpose I used to get from my work too. Your story rang a lot of bells for me.
    But listen. If our girls love us now, then we need to love them back NOW. And your identity as an ex Marine and mother is amazing. You have seen more and done more than I could ever dream.
    Look at yourself and really SEE how beautiful you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words and heartfelt understanding! Even when in my dark and twisty place, the three shining lights were my children – though I did not always see or acknowledge it. The one constant throughout their entire lives has been my unconditional love for them. No matter what, it was – and IS – the thing they know NEVER waivers. All three have forgiven me for how terrible I was during that time. For that, I am thankful.

      Forgiving oneself is one of the most difficult things to do. Others can forgive us, why can we not do the same? It sounds like your daughter loves you unconditionally as you do her. Take that and run with it! If you cannot actually forgive yourself, just let it go. I am slowly learning to do it with the dark and twisty years of my life. We cannot go back . . . Only move forward.

      Rather than avoiding mirrors, look in them and tell yourself, “I forgive you!” Do it often. It will take time but you WILL forgive yourself. 🙂

      PS ~ There are no EX Marines . . . Once a Marine, always a Marine. 🙂

      I am going to tell you the exact same thing you told me: Look at yourself and really SEE how beautiful you are.” !!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Patty, thanks for posting. I will be following you now.
    I’m on a journey too (I’m on day 151) and I know it’s not the same kind of goal, it’s the same kind of journey. If you need some support, I’ll be there 🙂
    Advice? When you mess up, keep going!
    Messing up is going to happen, the secret is not to say ok, I’ll start over again when I’ll feel better, but, keep going, accept it and don’t be ashamed of yourself. We are humans 🙂
    Take care,


    • Thank you for your most kind words! Our journeys may be different, however it does not mean you will not experience similar feelings. EVERY journey will have feelings of anger, frustration, envy, pain, sorrow, agony, acceptance, love, joy, peace, satisfaction and triumph. For me, I found the key is knowing I am not alone on this journey and having supportive people, such as yourself, in my corner cheering me on. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • No, I would NEVER walk out on them. Mr Potato Head (the father of my oldest two and abusive ex-husband) learned quick, fast and in-a-hurry to NEVER mess with MY children. I am one MAJORLY protective MoMma Bear. Where I am like my father (or rather, have been like him) for the past 16ish years is the starting projects only to leave them unfinished or incomplete . . . Failure to follow-through. I struggle with this. In my mind, this is failure – I am a failure. I struggle with not going full-tilt with negative self-talk. I am an All-or-Nothing type of person. I am either all in or not at all. No middle ground. This is where several of my issues lay. 2016 – Definitely my year to work on my little idiosyncrasies! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yeah, I can tell by your posts how much you love your kids. Important they are to you! That is one thing you stuck by and did! But I completely understand, I can be like this at times myself. Slowly throughout the years trying to change the way.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you are gorgeous! It’s amazing how “ugly” we see ourselves. I also hate all of my pictures, and if I can stay out of taking some, I will…and just like you, I have realized I am literally erasing myself from history by not wanting to take those pictures…and when I do, people end up supporting me, commenting how nice I look…yet all I see is the “fat” me….nothing pretty about any of it! But other people do not see any of our prejudice – just who we are! And most often then not, we are not as bad as we thought we are!…
    I wish I saw myself through their eyes…I honestly do!
    …so yeah, I wish you saw yourself the way I see you now…just a beautiful woman! Yeah, some extra weight there…but it’s not what sticks out…what sticks out is your smile, your obvious love for your family, and that gorgeous color of your dress and how well it suits you!..amazing, isn’t it?!

    Liked by 1 person

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