Marine Corps, injury, and abuse, oh my!

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Starting off the fitness writing challenge is sort of difficult. Where do I start really?

Let’s start at the beginning…

I was abused as a child, by abused I mean horribly physically and sexually abused, for years. I’ve just recently come to terms with this enough to talk about it this openly. [Thank you wordpress and loony for the support I needed by the way.]

Of course, you cope in different ways [my lovely wife loony will tell you I’ve pointed this out on more than one occasion] for me, food was coping. I ate, A LOT. I didn’t care, food made me feel better. I can cook [fairly] well and food never hit me, never yelled at me, never called me names, talked about me behind my back, food never hurt me like my ‘family’ did. Food was my best and honestly only friend growing up.

This left me very heavy for years, cue my Marine goal and I dropped a lot of weight, got very fit and did some amazing things in the Marine Corps, I am very VERY proud of my service, even if I don’t talk about it amongst friends very often.

However, after my service I got fat, I was depressed, I was injured you see. I couldn’t walk, literally I was stuck in a wheelchair for over a year, my best friends had both died and I was left alone in the world again. Survivors guilt or so I’m told.

In desperation I knocked on my fathers door.

‘I need a place to stay for a few days, just until I get my orders fixed’ I explained since the Marines had screwed them up I was stuck for almost a week without money or a place to stay.

‘No’ was my fathers reply as he shut door.

I slept in my car that week, waiting.

I was alone, so I turned to my old friend, food. It was a good and bad time. I went from 180 pounds of fit Marine to 250 pounds of I can’t see my toes Marine[ish]. I am not proud of it but that was how it happened. When I saw myself one day in the mirror I was disgusted, I was so depressed I stopped eating almost completely. I went from 250 to 155 pounds in a matter of months.

Jan 29, 2008
January 29, 2008 at 155 pounds [my heaviest weight of the day] I am told I look sad, but the truth is I felt more dead than sad.

But I did what I had to do, I picked myself back up and started working out. When you are abused you tend to cope by taking control of whatever you can, for me weight lifting was a perfect fit, I had control over my diet, my workout routines, everything.

Right back on the saddle again.

Now that is pretty much the end of this story, I have been working out for years now. I’ve made a lot of progress and I’ve learned to be more healthy in accomplishing my goals. I no longer binge eat, which has probably been the hardest thing I’ve had to learn not to do and I’ve got a support system finally to help me with my issues. I’ve learned a little better what moderation means, even when it comes to healthy things like working out.

As for my health issues, I’m walking again, even though my Doc said it would probably never happen. I haven’t fallen in over 3 years now, not only that but I can run and lift like a normal person [with a few modifications like straps because my left side is weaker than my right, still dealing with those health issues but I’m working on it.]

So really, life seemed dark and sad. I held out hope for something better and I didn’t settle for what people told me, because of this I pushed myself to walk again, I worked on my issues and now even if I am [still] very screwed up in the head, I am in a much better place and a safe place to work though all of this. Weight lifting really helped me take the first steps to get to this point, my loving wife [even if she isn’t legally quite yet] has given me the rest.

Is it a perfectly happy ending?
No.
But it’s a good place to be.

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Me today, see much happier and healthy.

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24 responses to “Marine Corps, injury, and abuse, oh my!

  1. Reblogged this on Thoughts of a Lunatic and commented:
    In the morning, my hubby and I separate from one another. He sits on the couch and I sit on the chair, both writing for our blogs. This is the furthest & longest we are away from each other during the entire day. I watch him write, sometimes wiping tears from his eyes, but I let him finish what I know will be a masterpiece. This post he wrote today truly reaffirms why I fell in love with him; his strength, his courage, his demeanor, his loyalty and his refusal to give up despite all odds. Read this, and see him as I do.

  2. You’re certainly an inspiration. I ruptured my patellar tendon 12 months ago and had to learn to re bend my leg and it nearly broke me, but look at everything you have been through and you’re still fighting.
    I love you two as a couple, you make me smile and know that there is hope in this oftentimes screwed up world. I wish nothing but the best for you both and look forward to many more of your fantastic posts.

    • Wow, thank you πŸ™‚ A patellar tendon [any tendon really] injury is a big deal. I’m happy to hear you are working through it. Thank you for the kind words.

    • Ha yea, I don’t like to talk about them much. They don’t hold me back from too much. You would never know now unless you paid close attention and that is the way I like it really. You’ve been a huge help for me too, so thank you for the support, trust and time.

  3. You know what I think is SO frickin AMAZING about both of your stories?
    Is that 1) nothing is a coincidence in life…2) some people never come out behind the veil of depression. it is too difficult. through taking the step or leap you moved the veil …. 3) Look at your beautiful selves and the relationship you have found and is becoming…due to trust and love and words. 4) Look at the friendships surrounding you…in love..you are surrounded by people who love you…”THAT” in itself, just doesn’t happen …you both are blessed. Healing comes in ways when we are not expecting it, nor in ways we think it ever could. Twindaddy sure has been an awesome soul…. and I do believe he too will “reap what he has sown” in good graces…meaning he has been a good friend…
    much love to all of you… lj

    • Thank you. I consider myself very lucky to have her in my life. We both realize that things could’ve worked out much, much differently but we have both been very lucky. Also both of us have been through a lot of similar things so it’s awesome to have that kind of support from someone who’s been in the same type of situation. TD is very awesome as well, I agree and thank you, support is always welcomed and appreciated.

      • I have read and watched your love story evolve. What an honor it has been. To see healing on all sides of the spectrum taking place through your hearts and souls …through the outpouring of your words is nothing less than heroic. You may have serve (d) our country but serving the goodness and truth of the soul is even more heroic. Your friends would be proud of you Gabriel. You have found happiness. and it shows…

  4. What a wonderful, moving story. As someone who wrestles with food demons you are inspiring me to hang in there and not let the bastards get me. Thank you and I wish you both much love and success

  5. You’re story is very inspirational and some of,it I can relate to. I served in the USAF and I too was injured during my time of service. When I got out I had difficulty walking without a cane, or just walking at all really and was terrified of ending up in a wheelchair. There were several years of just struggle and at times darkness (I believe that when facing something so serious and life changing we forget we are not alone, even if we have to rebuild our support system, which is why it’s so helpful to all when any of us shares our story.) Like you what really helped me pull myself the rest of the way was meeting the love of my life.

    There are times when I look back on it and wonder if I would change it if I could. Then I think about the fact that if I hadn’t gone through all that I had 1) I wouldn’t be the person I am today and 2) the biggest reason – I most likely never would have met my love.

    Amazing story. Also, as one survivor of child abuse to another, I found that helping others in the same situation was the way I was both able to confront and over come it. I became a Victim’s Right Advocate, working with both children and being a crisis responder. While I don’t know if this is something right for you I found the work very healing and rewarding. Just some food for thought and I hope you continue on this road of recovery and find peace.

  6. Pingback: Expression and the Art of Letting Go | The Seeker's Dungeon·

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