Rage and Restraint

Thor and I have dined in a high-end restaurant, and he has gone to pay the bill.  I have chosen my food carefully to watch my intake, but still do not feel satisfied.  I look around and spot a dessert counter, with many cakes, pies, and sweet buns.  My husband is taking a while, and I am getting anxious.  On an impulse, I lunge for the cinnamon buns at the front of the counter, reaching across the cakes and pies, with no regard for social propriety.  I scoff the bun quickly, before anyone, especially my husband, can see me.  I needn’t worry.  He is nowhere in sight.  The room we were dining in is in the basement of the building, with a walkout patio.  Thor headed upstairs to the cashier’s desk.  Embarrassed by my actions, I decide to follow him, but I cannot see him.  I catch sight of him leaving by the front door.  Has he forgotten me?  I run to catch up with him and encounter two teenage boys, one of whom threatens to grab my breasts.  Angry with Thor for leaving without me, I am enraged by this young boy’s brazen behaviour.  “Do it and I’ll beat your head in,”  I warn him.  He makes the grab, and I retaliate by grasping one ear and twisting it, while simultaneously poking him in the eye with other.  I knee him in the groin, and as he goes down, I slam his head against the wall.  “That will teach you!”  I conclude.  I have caught my husband’s attention now, and we walk off together.

Restraint is obviously a theme in this dream: the ability to control my eating, and the need to control my anger.

Thor and I are in week four of Weight Watchers.  He has very successfully been following the plan and losing weight.  I am not faring as well.  It is frustrating, to say the least.

Dining out is the base of our problems.  I am vegetarian and Thor is meatatarian, and rather than cook two meals, it is just easier for us to dine out.  With only 26 points allowance in my day, that is a difficult task.  Last night, I had a veggie stir fry with the sauce on the side (8 points).  Thor, on the other hand, had a seafood linguine with garlic bread. (He has 45 points in the day.)  I went to bed hungry, while he had a midnight snack.  As I often do when watching my food intake, I got cranky.

I am proud of my husband, don’t get me wrong.  The changes he is making to his diet and daily routine are commendable.  I do, however; feel a bit like the woman in my dream:  left behind.

The two teenage boys in the dream are an interesting addition to this dilemma.  When I was a teenager, with new, but fully developed breasts, a boy did grab my breast as he passed me on the sidewalk one day.  I was so surprised that by the time I responded, he had fled.  Thus began a series of sexual harassments that continued well into my twenties.  In retrospect, it wasn’t until I had my third baby, and the weight stayed on that the unwanted advances stopped coming.  This is an aha moment.

Could the anger that I feel when dieting be related to inappropriate attention?  I clearly remember thinking, just yesterday, that the nice thing about being older is that you can be unattractive and get away with it.

I never felt attractive.  One of four girls, I thought of myself as the dumpy one.  I had reached full height in  elementary school, and filled out way ahead of my older sisters, earning the nicknames ‘Moose’ and ‘Linebacker’.  Whenever my sisters and I went anywhere together, everyone assumed I was the oldest, even though there were several years between us.  While they received endless attention for their beauty, I was the goofy looking one.  When I did bring boys home, I lost them once they caught sight of my siblings.

Despite my lack of self-esteem, or maybe because of it, I was always finding myself inappropriately propositioned.  Fathers of children I babysat, employers, boys I went to school with, and later colleagues, as well as friends of my then husband.  And, there was the rape.  I was targeted out of a whole gathering of schoolgirls.  I never understood it, but the more it happened, the angrier I became.  Occasionally, I did retaliate physically, but mostly I internalized it. “Boys will be boys,” my mother would say.  “It’s up to the woman to deter it.”  Like my mother, I learned to be a victim.

Why would I want to lose weight only to make myself vulnerable again, must be the question running through my subconscious.  No wonder I am cranky.  Being overweight is not desirable, but neither is being desirable, literally!   Maybe, I need to have a little talk with myself, and remind my inner young woman that I am a lot older now, and have learned to ward off unwanted advances, and protect myself.

Who knew losing weight was this complicated.

A little restraint please!

 

 

 

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