I read somewhere that looking at Facebook can lead to depression. "How can that be?", I thought, but it was explained that looking at photos and reading updates about everyone else's wonderful life can make one feel they don't measure up.
A few of my friends on Facebook always look beautiful and happy, it's true, but mostly I didn't look at their stuff unless I considered them a close friend in which case I was privy to the less than perfect aspects of their lives AND was genuinely happy for their triumphs and the photos that made them look like a Hollywood star.
But lately, Facebook IS depressing me. But it's not really Facebook, it's the realization of how small my life has become. How utterly teeny-tiny my world is at this moment. I have few friends I keep any regular contact with as a result of my gradual and relentless drawing away from others. My work is at home and with Roi so nothing of my own there. And all hobbies and exercise have received fatal blows too.
Most of what I've trimmed and slashed is typical and predictable for someone in partnership with a sex addict, but the exercise thing...that one caught my attention the other day as I couldn't find anything to wear in my closet that didn't reveal the bulge around my middle. Exercise for me has never been a chore, never something I forced myself to do. I've always been active; biking, hiking, swimming, running, etc. I let Roi take that from me too.
When I was subjected to him staring at another woman while I was sitting with him, or when I would discover a list of erotic massage providers or private dancers on his computer or phone, I started comparing myself to them. They were always younger and much much prettier than I was. They were also exotic, and dark - everything I am not. But instead of trying harder to keep up, instead of killing myself at the gym or going under the knife, or making any effort whatsoever to make myself more attractive, I started unconsciously doing the opposite. I lost interest in taking care of myself.
I thought this lack of self-care was a self-esteem issue, but it occurred to me the other day, when I again felt that resistance the moment I contemplated a work-out, that some part of me was rebelling. To my own detriment, but rebelling nonetheless. A part of me was saying "fuck you" to Roi. A part of me that was saying, "I am so much more than a nice ass and tight thighs". A part of me that was saying, "Look at ME, the real ME!"
Besides Roi's habit of continually searching for the physically perfect woman, he also had the nasty habit of telling me how much better I could look in the future. Like the time I bought a new bikini, put it on and strutted around so proud of how good I looked for a woman in her 40's and that I even COULD wear a bikini. He laughed and said, "Yes, you look hot. And just imagine, if you work out how much hotter you'll be."
Of course I thought it was a shitty thing to say, and told him so, but I didn't take into account how these little seeds of self-doubt he was trying to plant were really little tiny bombs implanted in my brain, and they would go off later when I least expected, often silently. I didn't account for how much damage was being done little comment by little comment.
And now, when I see my friends on Facebook relaxing in a hammock with their loved one sipping a cold beer on a lazy Sunday afternoon, or graduating from law school, or volunteering, or all sweaty after a long bike ride, or hanging out with friends, or enjoying their family, I see it now. I see the big gaping hole of blackness in my life, and from it emits a long howling of pain I cannot soothe.