Where does this stuff come from??? (Warning, it's pretty dark and horrible.)

Saturday afternoon. So, I was driving from the movies (I saw "Laws of Attraction" - Pierce Brosnan is as hunky as ever) to Target when, out of nowhere, I started thinking about my eating and how I use it as a way of feeling better about myself and then the thought popped into my head, "just like I do when I have sex with a man I don't love just because I'm trying to substitute sex for love." Whoa. That just totally came out of left field and the worst part is that it's true.

(I can't believe I'm writing this, but perhaps if I can put it to paper, I'll be able to put the shame and disgust and self hatred away and move forward.)

I have slept with more men than I can remember. I've done it after parties, while drunk, with men whose last names I never knew. I've done it with men that physically repulsed me and then beaten myself bloody mentally over it afterwards. I've done it with men that I knew were only with me because my self esteem was so low that they could use me and then discard me. I've done it on first dates. I've done it on one night stands. I have, in short, treated my body like some kind of dumpster, a container of filthy, horrible things.

I have also put worthless, faithless men ahead of my friends because I was so desperate for the validation that only love, or what could pass for it in my mind, could bring me. I have pushed nearly every friend I've ever had away with my selfishness and single minded obsession with finding Love. Why Love? Well, of course, because Love will make me whole and will mend this huge hold in my heart where my own love for myself should be. That's the way it works, right? Sure!

As all of these thoughts started slamming into the walls of my brain, I started to cry. Not little, quiet tears, but huge, hot, salty rivers running down my face. I put my hand to my mouth to stop myself from screaming with the agony of it. I felt again the shame my actions had brought with them, and I couldn't hold back the heaving sobs. I pulled into a parking spot at Target and just sobbed and sobbed, safely ensconced behind my sunglasses, of course.

I cried until the need to cry subsided, which was about 10 minutes, I think. I did my shopping, loaded up the car, and came home. I've had the oddest sense of calm since I got here, as though something important happened, and I knew that I needed to write about it - put fingers to keyboard, as it were - just to help it all come out. It's as though there's this terrible, poisonous place that I've found inside me and I just want to empty it so that I can let it heal. I don't want to just close it up again, as I've done so many times before, because I will never be free of it as long as I do that. This time, it's time to feel the pain, to own it, and then, please God, to move on.

An online friend said to me, not so very long ago, that they were afraid to meet me because they weren't the person I thought they were and that they had habits that they weren't proud of. If today's post offends or disappoints any of you, I can only say that I was never really the person you thought I was. This is who I am - a compulsive overeater with low self esteem who has engaged in meaningless sex in order to fill a void in her life. I'm not proud, but it's who I am, and I'm not going to pretend that it isn't anymore.


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