Friday, March 13, 2009


Food and eating have been continual struggles for me. As a child, I was punished by withholding food. At times I would cook a dinner for the family to help my mother out but then I would not be invited to eat dinner with the family. I got the leftovers I could sneak. I was frequently sent to school without a lunch. With no money to buy a lunch, I was left to my own devices. My best laid plan was to act up and get detention for which the punishment was cleaning the lunch tables after lunch while everyone else went on to recess. I'm ashamed to say that I ate many of my lunches from the trash that my classmates discarded. As I type this, my face is hot and red with shame; my most common emotion connected with eating. As a child I was ashamed for sneaking food because I knew it was not a normal activity for a child. Now, as an adult, I am equally ashamed because now I binge in secret.

I have always feared not having enough food to eat. I secretly obsess when I sit down at a meal that I will not have enough and what I eat will not fill me up. Ordering at a restaurant creates anxiety because often I don't know what the portions will be and again I will not have enough to eat. If I have a chance, I will eat before a meal if no one else is around. And if I have another chance, I will eat after a meal if no one else is around. Tough to do with a husband and three kids around but I still manage. I am terrified of going to sleep hungry.

What about emotional eating? Yep, I do that too. I'm self-destructive as hell and binging is destruction at it's finest. When I'm sad, I eat. When the memories are too much, I eat. When I hate myself, I eat. And then I hate myself even more for binging. When I write this, it makes no sense to me logically. But I still do. Food is comfort, food is punishment; I learned both of these lessons as a young child and I carry out both equally well.

How do I stop this obsession with food? I'm not sure. But I have to figure it out because it only breeds my own self-hatred.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


You could call me shattered. I'm a wife, mother, step-mother, misplaced daughter, confused religious person, and an abuse survivor. My life has been painful and hell, my life is still painful; probably more so now than ever before. I'm learning to feel and it is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, next to surviving.

I'm a funny person but it's a dark, wicked kind of funny. I find humor in odd things, in my misfortunes, in my struggles, and in how others relate to me. Despite the humor I find, I deal with, at times, crippling depression. I'm medicated now so I'm fine. "Fine" is my response to any question of how I'm feeling. It's a lie and I have to change that. I envy the person who can answer my question of "how are you?" with honesty. They are honest because they know how they feel and they know the corresponding words. I'm weird, I assign numbers to my feelings and seek to keep a total perfect number which equals "fine". That means that I have to discount, or subtract, certain feelings to maintain the number "fine". I've learned that this is a bad habit; detrimental to my physical and emotional health. It is soul killing.

Fine is no longer an option. I can't teach my daughter to be fine. I want her to live and feel. She's five now but I often watched her toddler expressions of anger, disappointment, happiness, fear, etc with amazement. She knows how to feel; she was born that way. She cried as a baby when she needed something. She laughed at a new discovery. It's an innate part of our human psyche. Somewhere along the way, I dismantled that ability and secretly I know why. I cringe when I hear myself telling my daughter that she's "OK" when she falls and scrapes her knee. She's not "OK". She's crying. I don't tell her that to make her stop crying; it's my way of trying to soothe her. It's the wrong way and is the exact reason that I have to learn my feelings much like a preschooler learns their letters. Elementary? Yes. I'm a grown, intelligent adult but quite stunted in many emotional ways.

So there you have it. Much like a toddler's emotional outbursts, I'm raw and extreme. I may not outwardly express this but on the inside I'm stewing and boiling at a blistering pace. Makes keeping track of my feeling numbers very difficult these days. On the outside, I'm a perfectionist and everything has it's place. It's all or nothing; black and white with me. I'm literal and it drives my husband nuts at times. I'm scared to let what I have on the inside spill out. It's toxic and I love those around me too much to let them get burned. But the very things I'm scared of the most, those feelings both good and bad, are what keeps me from embracing those same people that I love.

At this point, you're probably saying "good grief, this girl needs a therapist". I have one. A good one. I've have had one for nearly 4 years. Thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours later, here's where I'm at. Not impressed? You should be. I was a blob of flesh when I randomly picked a therapist off my insurance list and wandered into his office for the first time. I was a single mother with an 18 month old daughter, newly divorced and a complete wreck. I really am better if you use that term loosely. I encourage you to do that because "better" is different for everyone.