I’m so touched by everyone’s support and comments on these posts; so truly, deeply touched. Thank you all so very, very much. I’ve been reflecting on your comments, so I thought a short interlude might be in order.
I never realised how many other people are struggling with these same issues; never realised just how not alone I am in this.
But I’ve felt alone; so completely alone and isolated, for as long as I can remember. I always thought I was the only person in the world struggling with this. But at the same time I thought the world could see what was going on inside. It’s what David said in response to my last post:
“…because we feel so ugly and awful inside, but nobody can see that … we figure it *must* be visible.”
My therapist has said this very thing to me a few times, not just about the Food Thing, but also about my depression and trying to process/deal with/resolve all that heinous sh*t from my past. She said it’s not uncommon to think everyone can see what’s happening inside, but actually they can’t. Another therapist said something similar: that I present so well – well dressed, articulate, etc (all the things I think I’m not) – that if she didn’t know what was going on for me, she’d never guess. I don’t think this has really sunk in, because I still think I’m visible to everyone.
“It’s really hard to talk about such intense things and once you say them out loud – or type them, they seem even more real.”
Yep. They do.
As hard as it is, though, it’s good to know I’m not alone. I’m amazed that a dear friend is also dealing with this in her therapy at the same time as I am – perhaps the stars are aligned, or something, who knows? My dear Tampalama, you are so so brave sharing your feelings and experiences with us, and so openly. Your honesty touches me. I want you to know that you are not alone. I share your desire to “someday be comfortable in my own skin and in my clothes.”
I too know what it’s like to have your thighs touch the sides of the chair, to not be able to move fluidly or bend over – either because your back is too sore, or simply because you physically can’t. The things I hate most… the looks of contempt on the stick figure shop assistants in clothing stores; the fear of not knowing if last summer’s clothing will still fit this season, and the shame when it doesn’t; seats on aeroplanes – they’re so small and squishy, there’s nothing worse than being wedged in, and then feeling your “muffin” flow over the armrests. Ugh. Or trying to get through to your table in a restaurant, or to your seat in the theatre, and having to squeeeeeze past other people – or even worse, having to ask them to move. I always think they are repulsed by me, showing the same disdain that my parents have always shown towards “fat people” (transference, anyone?)
I also never realised how toxic my parents’ comments were, nor how deeply they affected me. I knew they did, of course, but didn’t really *know* it, if that makes sense. It wasn’t until I read your comments that I started to realise just how “phenomenally destructive” they were, as David said. Then just today my therapist said, “This isn’t just about food, it’s about the trauma.” Yes, it is. More than I ever realised.
Your comments all brought tears to my eyes. I’m touched by your caring and your kindness, but I’m also starting to realise the very deep hurt that lies within because of this stuff, because of the things my parents said and did.
I guess when something is part of your life – has been for as long as you can remember – you just don’t really think about it. You don’t know any other reality. It’s a little like child abuse – as a child you grow up thinking your experience is “normal”, although somewhere inside you know it’s not. But you just live it; you don’t think about it and you don’t fight it. Well, for me it’s the same with the Food Thing – and the Weight Thing and the Body Image Thing. They’re just me, just my life. They just *are*.
But there’s a little kid inside who still feels the weight of all that criticism, all that mockery; who wishes she didn’t have a f***ed up relationship with food; who didn’t hate the way she looks; who just wants to be loved for who she is.