Cardiogirl 19 percent body fat 100 percent fun


trying to set boundaries


Today I feel I am at a loss for ideas. I can't really think of a topic to write about. I am so used to writing "stories" which have a beginning, middle and end that I feel scattered when I don't have a topic. Like today.

It's sort of like free-wheeling it in therapy. I like to have an agenda, I don't like surprises; I like to know where we are going to end up. So it's very uncomfortable for me to go stream of consciousness. But I'll give it a whirl.

I am feeling very frustrated with my weight. Also, I have not been doing any cardio workouts for the last three weeks or so because of my sprained ankle. I am being extra cautious in an effort to avoid re-injuring it.

I have been lifting weights, though and have been able to up some of my weights. I usually lift two sets of 8 to 12 reps. I am now doing 137.5 lbs. on the leg press, 45 lbs. on the leg extension, 55 lbs. on the seated leg curl and 56.25 lbs. on the lat pull down. For me, these are huge improvements from when I started lifting three years ago.

My legs kind of remind me of the stereotypical Russian chick weight-lifter's muscular limbs. But I have a killer tan so I guess that's okay. I have to say my upper arms are starting to get into pretty good shape. I actually have muscle definition in my biceps, triceps and deltoids. My shoulders actually flex when I rub sunblock on them.

Last week my husband was on vacation and we spent a lot of time at a local beach with the girls; it was fun (and this is how I got my awesome tan that may result in skin cancer during my later years. Screw cancer, I want a tan.) So my routine was changed which was fine with me, but annoying to my brother.

Usually I call him Monday through Friday from 1:30 pm til 2:30 pm. My sister Kim is on that call roughly 90% of the time. As you may know my brother is bedridden from multiple sclerosis. (Does that disease warrant caps? I know the shortened MS does, but I'm not sure about the full name. In an effort to exhibit some displaced rage and anger, I will demean and belittle the disease by leaving it in lower case.)

He can't see or doing anything for himself, basically what he does is listen to the radio all day. So occassionally we will read a book but mostly I just talk to him each day. He is difficult to talk to as he interrupts constantly; this is why the rest of my family rarely talks to him. Anyway, last week I left him a message on Tuesday or Wednesday saying hubby is on vacation and it's messing my week up for the three-way call.

I found out last night from Kim that Jack is "perturbed" at me because I kept my husband's vacation "a secret" from him. WTF? I left him a message explaining why I wasn't going to be on the call this last week.

So of course I feel intense guilt.

Paula told me guilt is usually displaced anger that a person feels is "unsafe" to unleash. It is then internalized as guilt. This rings very true for me with Jack. I feel so intensely guilty that I am relatively healthy and he is not. And I am angry that he does not appreciate the things I do for him and pushes me to do more. Each day that we talk I am on the internet looking things up for him, making three-way calls to businesses because he wants to know more information.

I make CDs for him and drop everything I am doing when I talk to him so I can play bits of songs for him so he can decide if he wants that particular song on a disc or not. I visit him once a month for Movie Day, where I leave my house at 10 am and return at 5 pm. I bring him food from the restaurant of his choice, I buy him snacks, I get a movie from Blockbuster and I stop at 7-11 on the way there to get him a Cherry Coke slurpee.

I understand that he appreciates my company and I do this because he is my only brother and I love him. I know he would do the same for me, but I have three small children. It became apparent to me last week that I need to put some boundaries in place with him. But then I go right back to feeling so guilty.

And he will use the guilt card and the cripple card every chance he can get. He will actually say to me, "You can't make a call for your crippled brother?" These are the times I will say in return, "Don't make me use the cancer card, because I will." (I had thyroid cancer.) We don't do emotions well in our family. So I feel that I can't say to him, "Jack you make me feel sad and uncomfortable when you try to guilt me into doing more things for you."

Can you tell I have difficulty saying no?

That's pretty much all that's going on today -- feeling uptight and guilty.


2007-07-09 at 5:20 p.m.

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