Saturday, August 21, 2010

Throwin' it to the Sound...

    After very long, strange days at Harborview (a Trauma One Center in downtown Seattle) my CPE supervisor would have an equally long, strange commute home; she would drive down to the ferry dock and ride the waves of the Puget Sound back to her home on Bainbridge Island.  Each night, she said, she would cast the day into the sea.  Some of the things that she (and sometimes we) would see could leave these indelible images in your mind.  You'd encounter people that would challenge, confront, and test you, and merely walking away from the hospital campus wasn't enough.  So she developed a practice where on the ferry ride home, she'd "let it go;"  by gently casting or ferociously throwing those images and words into the ocean, she could enter again her home, unincumbered, and as the whole, confident woman who began today. 
     I've decided that you...that this blog is my Sound.  Writing it is my ferry ride.  Knowing that at least one person reads it, helps me "let go" of these images and thoughts and words swirling around in my soul. 
    So, today I am ferociously throwing.  I've talked to Steve already, and sometimes he's amazed at the things I'm willing to share, but here it goes...

     I've been having a pretty difficult week since returning from Oregon.  As you know, I gained back 10 pounds (maybe more; I refuse to weigh myself until the end of Sept); Anyway...when I got off the plane and saw my husband standing there, I felt like I had gained it all back.  Steve looks amazing!  He's lost 50+ pounds, the Wii doesn't say obese--and I am so proud of him.  But, that being said, he weighs exactly two pounds more now than I did when I started this damn journey.  He's getting skinny, and I'm getting bigger.  And his skinniness makes my bigness look even bigger.  And so for the last week, I have been awful to him--really, just ask him.  I'm throwing him glares and being mean...and just being not only an awful wife, but an awful person.  And yesterday evening, we had one of those great late-night conversations where I'm literally sobbing and he's holding me and he says "Sarah, you know that I would protect you against anyone.  You know that if someone was hurting you, I would stand up for you...would help you.  I'm just tired of having to protect you from yourself, from your self-hatred, from your punching yourself over and over again..."  And of course, as any over-emotional spouse would do, I cried even more and realized anew that indeed he loves me...that maybe I'm not as bad as I think I am...that I can do this, and I am doing this.  Nice story, huh?  Except this one doesn't need to crash into the waters...
This does:  So, the aforementioned leaves me a little more positive today; I'm still feeling that nagging feeling of having cried for hours, but otherwise feeling okay.  Until...
    I went to Dekalb (a college town where the kids just arrived yesterday) to pick up a few groceries, and as I was walking into the store I hear (and I quote, because I haven't thrown it in yet) "And there goes a girl with a fat bottom."  My stomach sinks and my eyes begin to fill with those left-over tears, and instantly I'm back in second grade where those damn boys called me Miss Piggy for six years, and when someone in high school said finally a boy liked me, but only because he liked the song by that god-awful performed who rapped about "liking big butts..." and my soul literally shrank inside of me, while at the same time I kept thinking--why must I take up so much space in the world?  I try to be positive--at least he called me 'girl,' not old lady (which I attribute to my haircut--thanks Barb!)...but honestly I can't seem to explain it away.  It's not like he's lying ("pear-shaped I am," as Yoda would say).  But, damn it, I'm in a journey--doesn't he know that.  What would have been said 30 pounds ago?  Who says those kinds of things?  Doesn't he know I will forever have his voice and his words in me?  And I left wishing, I could flip him off, or have some wise retort, or at least walk away with my head held high.  But, alas none of that happened.  I walked away, stayed in the store for as short as possible, went out of my way to find my car another way, and immediately thought, where is that frickin' Sound, so I can let this go...
   So, here it is...I'm throwing it...dammit, I'm throwin' it.  The problem is...I'm pretty sure there is no amount of winds or waves that will carry it far enough away for me to forget it...  But I'm still going to try.  Thanks for being the Sound, dear friends...take it...and swim far, far away.


  1. You should check out my post from tonight about the power of words. Why do people have to say such mean stuff? Thinking of you my dear friend! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  2. I've got alot of things to let go of. I do use my blog as a theraputic device. Some people would also probably wonder why I would share so much on it? It's my sounding board too. I'm sorry about that mean person- what a jerk. If it makes it any easier I was teased and bullied all through grade school and hs. Those same jerks made fun of my body as well- At one time I had about 30 warts on both of my hands and one on the tip of my nose that I eventually ripped off with a nailclipper- ouch! So you're not alone- I always wished I had a beautiful complexion like yours. We each have our downfalls.

    Thanks for letting me be the third wheel or Bean's friend at the parade and Culvers. I had fun!

  3. I am so sorry Sarah! I think you are a beautiful child of God and perfect in every way!!

  4. Sarah
    I gotta agree with Steve. You have to be nicer to yourself! You are beautiful! You have to let go of what other people think, which seems to be an issue with all of you Schaffners. I have been killing myself at the gym this week and really have been eating better and watching my portions. Why? Because I want to feel better for me, for Noah, for Matt. I could care less what people think of me, for the most part I am comfortable in my skin but I want to feel better. I want to have energy to play with my darling boy! Yes looking better will be a bonus but that is not what its about for me.
    You need to find a way to be more comfortable with yourself and not beat yourself up so much. You are beautiful inside and out and you need to find a way to believe that and let yourself shine!
    I kinda feel sorry for that kid because he is missing something in his life that he feels the need to take it out on other people.
    I love you

  5. Sarah,

    Okay, after reading my unfiltered ramblings, I need to apologize for my weirdness and goofiness. But here goes....

    Your quote: "pear-shaped I am" makes me think that you have an awesome opportunity to OWN IT! Don't let that crazy person have that much power over you! Only you have power to define yourself and love who you are. Don't give the power to someone who doesn't know you at all. When these things happen to me (and they do, by my kids at church and people driving by me as I'm walking and's much more appropriate for me than it is for you...not that that's the point) - anyway, when these things happen to me, I totally think to myself in my brain, "You're right, I do have a fat bottom!" Now, I don't want you to think that I think you have a big butt because I think you are beautiful just as you are...tall and curvy with a presence that changes the dynamic of a room (in a good way). But it doesn't hurt to call it like it is. I think if you compare yourself to that person, maybe your butt is bigger than theirs. So what? What's it to them? You're right - they don't know you, they don't know what you've been through, and you probably don't want to know them anyway because they only look at life with a very shallow depth. That's their issue - their loss - not yours.

    Now, I just came from Yellowstone National Park. And when I saw these gianormous rocks and mountains and trees and animals, I felt pretty small. And I liked it. The big rocks made me feel like my insecurities about my large derriere are insignificant because God's creation is far bigger and grander than my extra poundage.

    Anyway, I don't know where I'm going with all that except I think if you can train your internal voice from saying, "Oh, crap...they said I have a big bottom" to saying, "Thanks for checking out my butt because I like it, and I like it big," you can feel much better about yourself. Because after all, your bottom is something you can love. It helps you sit comfortably (not everyone can say that), you are able to excrete bodily waste in the way the human body is physically supposed to (again, not everyone can say that), and it helped you give birth to three beautiful babes (most people can't say that). Own the butt! Love it! Let it be part of you that you love instead of part of you that you hate.

    Sending you love and good wishes whether you've lost 10 more pounds or gained 10 pounds. You are beautiful! Own it! :)

    BTW - I hope to see you Tuesday!