So I'm relatively new here and have been reading through the personal stories. I find them inspirational. I thought I would add mine and then update it throughout the journey.
I'm the oldest of 2 children, I have a sister who is 4 years younger than me. We grew up in an unstable environment. My father was an industrial electrician. He would work in start up power plants or other large companies until they were complete and then he would be on to the next job. We often lived far away from wherever he worked so lots of times he would be gone for weeks at a time and then come home for a few days. I'm really not sure why we didn't live closer to where he worked other than the fact that some of the jobs only lasted a few months and he would try to find something that would allow us to continue living in whatever home we had until the current lease was up. He made good money, but this meant we moved about once a year. Sometimes to other states, sometimes within the same state but in another town. I changed schools constantly. It was difficult for me to make friends because I was shy anyway, but it was harder to keep them since we moved all the time.
Mom was a stay at home mom, but had a lot of mental illnesses. She was diagnosed with clinical depression with reoccurring schizophrenic episodes. She also has borderline personality disorder. My sister and I found her after many suicide attempts and she was hospitalized many times. Sometimes she would stay medicated for a while and then she would stop the medication. She was also a hypochondriac who would profess that she was dying often. My sister and I planned a future funeral many times. She would often stay in bed all day. When she did get up she would usually scream at my sister and I for various reasons. We didn't clean well enough, didn't prepare dinner the proper way, or the fact that we existed while her husband was away at work. We were cussed at and beaten regularly by my mom. When dad would come home, we would tell him and he would say he was sorry for leaving us with her, but had no choice since he had to work. When I was 13 we moved to central Florida and Dad got a permanent job. He was home every night. This made Mom happier and she was easier to deal with.
Through the years I ate more and more and was pretty chubby starting around middle school. Not obese, but overweight. I dieted all the time. Lose it, gain it. Lose it, gain it. In high school it became apparent that my parents were not getting along. Dad began to drink a lot and I found out he had a cocaine habit as well. Mom also had a problem, but preferred marijuana. Since Dad was home more, it became evident he could not really bear to be around Mom much. He cheated frequently and eventually they announced they were getting divorced. I chose to live with Dad. My sister chose Mom. I was 18 and Dad and I got a place together.
Soon after I met an older man. I began spending a lot of time with him. Living with Dad proved to be difficult since he brought different women home all the time. I moved in with my boyfriend quickly. Still overweight, but not yet obese. My boyfriend began to show his true colors and abused me physically, mentally, and sexually. I stayed because he threatened to kill me if I left. I was scared. I didn't want anyone to know so I stayed away from my family. In the meantime my sister had gone to live with Dad and he had started traveling for work again. I stayed with this man for 2 years. I got pregnant and had my oldest son at 19. I gained about 50 pounds from the pregnancy and could not get it often. My boyfriend continued his abuse but also ridiculed me for the weight gain. He cheated on me, drank often, and was more abusive than ever. I was stupid and stayed. When my son was 5 months old, he actually tried to kill me. Neighbors called the police, thank goodness. My son and I left for good and we moved in with my Mom and her new boyfriend. Not where I wanted to go, but I had no choice. Dad was living in MS but still had a drug problem.
When my son was a year old, I met a new man and I moved in with him quickly to escape living with my Mom which had become unbearable. While I really didn't love him, he was kind to me and my son. We lived together about 2 years and I had another son. I gained an additional 50 pounds this time. My boyfriend was over 400 lbs himself so we had poor eating habits. We tried many diets together, but we would both lose and then gain it all back. We eventually got married. We stayed married for about 3 years. I soon found out he was cheating and we separated. At that time my Mom had returned to Ohio to care for her father. Having no where to go and no career options, I moved in with her. She told me she would watch my kids if I went to nursing school and helped with my grandpa.
So I did. I lived with her and grandpa for 5 years. It was a 2 bedroom single wide trailer. I had a bed in the living room and my kids actually shared a room with my Mom. I finished nursing school and got a good job. Grandpa died around the time I finished school. He had been a big supporter of mine and I miss him terribly. During this 5 year period my weight stayed the same. I continued to diet off and on with no real success. I developed type 2 diabetes around age 22. I now also had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. I saved up money for a year and bought my own place, next door to my mom's. She had mellowed out some over the years and while she refuses to acknowledge anything from my childhood I found that as long as I agreed with her on things we could get along.
My oldest son began abusing my younger son unbeknownst to me. He was 12 and the younger one was 10. When I found out I called the police and he was removed from the home. He served 18 months in a treatment center for boys and was released last year. He is now 15. My younger son cannot be around anymore because of the trauma. He now lives in Florida with my ex-husband. Separating my boys and living away from one is so hard. It nearly tore me apart. During the time my oldest was away I attempted suicide 3 times. I was hospitalized each time.
So now I am 34. I weight 257 lbs at 5'1". It is the heaviest I have ever been. I have since been diagnosed with bipolar disorder along with diabetes and more. I have tried Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Adkins, South Beach, Adipex, and just regular counting calories to no avail. Recently my primary care physician suggested WLS. I researched it and made an appointment. I am in month 1 of a 6 month required diet. I am working the program and hope to have surgery by the end of the year.
Mentally I'm doing great. Despite my weight I am happy. I have a great job that I love. I make decent money. I see my youngest son every summer when he comes to visit now. My oldest son has been rehabilitated and is in counseling. He is doing well and is very remorseful. His brother and he are able to talk on the phone now and I hope eventually they can have a healthy relationship again. I am in therapy. I take my meds. My mom still lives next door and helps with my son. My sister now lives there too with her 4 year old daughter. Everything is great except for my weight. So that is what I am going to focus on. My family is not 100% behind me on WLS, but they know I am doing it regardless. I know it won't be easy, but I am going to do it.
Sorry this was so long. I honestly condensed it a lot. But it helps for me to get my story out there. Despite horrible circumstances we can succeed. We can go on and better ourselves. Eventually I hope to be an inspiration to someone else starting this journey.
Thanks for reading.