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09 December 2013
I cannot seem to connect the dots. This is really aggravating me.
I just want to stuff, stuff, stuff my mouth. I want to make myself sick with food. I want my belly to be full, full, full.
The weekend was fine. It was, really. I did not get in to any altercations. I was open and genuine with everyone. I owned up to my “snappishness”.
So why, oh, why did I binge like a pro? There were a lot of sweets around and there were a lot of people asking for my attention. I was calm and authentic with them except on a couple of occasions and then I apologized. We spoke about my reactions, etc.
Ok, so that triggered something for me but before I get in to that I want to address the thing that had escaped me last Friday: secret eating.
So, secret eating and the trigger of a fellow-Midwesterner
I had a house-guest this weekend. I don’t know her that well but she’s stayed with me a couple of times. I realized some of my anxiety about having her stay with me was due to the fact that I mightn’t be able to eat as I wanted late at night. Here’s the real bogeyman coming out now. I don’t even know what to say or how to structure this so I’m not going to pay too much attention to grammar, paragraphs, phrasing, etc.
My guest, let’s call her Dorothy, is a little older than me, a little heavier than me and from the same part of the country as where I grew up but left as soon as I turned 18. And I left from the middle of the country to go to France – so you know I wanted to get away. In fact, I knew from the time we landed there on a cold winter’s night straight from heaven when I was only 6 years old. My father was in the military and we had been stationed in the Canal Zone where a child of 4, 5 or 6 could run freely virtually any day of the year as everyday was SUMMER!! So, the Midwest was never, EVER a place I loved or considered “home”. Additionally, it was the beginning of my conscious recollections of the hell of my family life (which I don’t want to talk about today).
Sometime around August 2012 Dorothy plans to visit the Big City as part of the non-profit organization to which I belong and she needs a place to stay. I offer to put her up for a couple of nights in early October… in late September my beloved mentor, friend, boss and father-figure, LW, passed away. But I honored my commitment to Dorothy. And she irritated the s**t out of me. I could NOT figure out why. But she left and I continued my grieving process on my own…. Wait, I continued my life.
Then, she came back for another visit in early 2013. By then I was with “Lunkhead” (as I’m now referring to the ex) and thought I was madly in love. As he also is part of the non-profit, he would be visiting on the same weekends as Dorothy so he was staying with me for the next couple of her visits. And now that he’s no longer welcome in my home, she’s back. She’s not an evil or presumptuous person. I invited her to stay. It’s part of the ethos of our non-profit and my own personal ethos to welcome people, help them to feel part of the “family”, etc. But she’s still getting on my nerves and I haven’t figured out why.
Then, this weekend, it hit me. She’s needy. She’s been a doormat. And she’s got the accent of my “native” land. She’s a representative of all the things I’m running from – my mom, the submissive woman, the lost-voice, the shy outsider – I’ve even studied language and enunciation to get away from it all, no one knows precisely from whence I hail (not in English, French OR Spanish). ARGH!!!!
Finally, on Saturday night I went to her and said that I recognized I’d been a bit snappish. I didn’t understand my reaction entirely but I wasn’t proud of it. And, true to form (ARGHHHHH!!!!) she self-effacingly said she understood I was going through a tough time. Yes, I was – I am – going through a heartbreak but that doesn’t mean that she (or anyone) deserves to be snapped at for being shy, slow of speech or hobbled by arthritis. She’s just this PICTURE of victimhood and I don’t want to have such weakness around me. I know, I know, I’m an ogre, a monster.
I swallowed my frustrations (hmm… interesting choice of words) and asked her to help me understand her better so that I might overcome the “image” that she represents for me. She began to open up and I saw the hurt child, the disappointed moments, the abandonment, the sense of being ignored – and the need to perform for the slightest consideration, warmth or affection, which only rarely came to her. I felt horrible for being so aggravated with her. But rather than keep the focus on me, I focused on helping her, being of service.
This new way of life, of opening my heart & home to people without the buffer of alcohol is challenging me. I’m turning to food to assuage my sensitivities. I need and desire to find ways to be of service without being of disservice to myself before, during & after.
In the end, she was grateful to me. She felt like she’d begun an exploration in a safe environment. It was like pulling teeth, though. All the undercurrent of emotion she was feeling and not owning. All the semi-statements and implications of frustration that I sensed. I know I was right because she was eventually able to see it, speak about it and name it. But the journey towards it was excruciating. How do people do this? I’m sure I was once like that and perhaps still am. It’s just so difficult for me to have someone attached to me like that. She’s fully capable of getting around here on her own. She’s done it several times but she won’t take a set of keys from me so that she can have her own schedule and I can have some down time without her. I think I may have to just insist on it.
Or I may need to find a different way of dealing with the fact that so many people look up to me and value my input / counsel on things. This whole world of being appreciated is so new to me. I really don’t know what I’m doing or why people are acting like this. It was so much more understandable to me when Lunkhead finally decided I was an awful specimen and not worth treating well. I was so much more comfortable with that in regards to relating to another person. It hurt but it was what I’d been expecting from the moment he began to show interest. I knew it couldn’t last. He’d figure out I was imperfect and leave. He said he wouldn’t but I knew…
Dorothy was so appreciative and clingy. She was like a child, only much taller and less huggable. I wanted to just push her away. I wanted her to see I was an ogre, a monster. I wanted her to not be such a f.*.%&g leach.
(Maybe this was also why I picked that fight with Lunkhead back in July… maybe I can talk to Dorothy more about my side of it to help me illuminate things for myself.)
So, that’s what I wanted to journal on today…. It had absolutely no reference to secret eating but I think the story I was telling myself on Friday was that I would not be able to do my secret eating with a visitor in the house. But the real issue goes much deeper. At any rate, on Sunday afternoon I started eating and did not stop for about 4 hours. I ate “organic” but just about everything that was left in the house. And it took my mind off of all that I just wrote. And, contrary to reality, it gave me the sense of controlling something in my environment.
The worst part is that as it was happening, as I was indulging in the frenzied eating, I was aware. I was watching myself do it. I said: OK Ceci, I see you. I don’t understand and I’m not going to stop you. I’m just going to let you do this so you can see & feel how damaging it is internally and externally. For whatever reason, you don’t believe me when I say we are full, we don’t need any more food, so I’m gonna just let you do this. By 7PM my tummy was bloated and I was exhausted. The “good” part is that there were a lot of veggies and fruits in the mix – accompanied by a substantial amount of bread and chicken. And I think this all contributes to the low energy of today as well as to the “blues”.
So, I’m gonna sign off for the moment.
Awareness and Conscious Choices
06 December 2013
Mission accomplished. My hair is FABULOUS again. Do I feel better? Yes, on a certain level I have recovered some self-confidence. I’m certainly not regretting having it done. I’m hoping that one act at a time I can demonstrate to myself how much I value myself and through these actions move in to more and more self-care, self-appreciation.
At lunch today a former colleague and I met up, somewhat impromptu and had such a good visit. A little gossip, a little girl talk and a lot of just NOT being alone. I want to cultivate more “friends” without demanding that we be “BFFs”. I think this little girl inside of me paints people all one way or all another. So, people had to be all mine, my best friend, the one with whom I’d share all things deep, dark and dreadful; or they were friends with others, and could possibly betray me. But this level of commitment is not really possible – not by me, not for me – and so I have cut myself off from relationships that could be fulfilling in one way or another as I continued my search for that one person who could be all and end all for me.
But this former colleague is simply someone with whom I can share some things, not everything, but some. And I can find others who can answer different needs. This will help me not put all my eggs in one basket so that when a friend is not available or “disappoints” me in some way, I’ll have others I can turn to. This is, I believe, healthy nurturing.
And, to pick up a thread of my comments on another FS buddy’s journal, spreading my friendship out over several people may allow me some flexibility to develop a comfort level with receiving love and care from others.
I feel maybe I’m jumping around a little today but this is, after all, my journal, and a reflection of my internal world rather than a narrative for anyone else to try to follow so I’m just going to go with the flow.
So, what’s going on? I’m distracted, anxious, nervous… Aaahh, the holiday spirit is upon me. Hehehe.
So, another weekend where the ex may appear. Another weekend when I’m hosting someone at my little one-bedroom apartment. Another weekend when I will be challenged to reach deeper and be more generous without resentments.. Can I do it? I will get through it. I’m just tired of it seeming so big. I’m also tired of my whining about it. But this is what I’m feeling. I don’t want him to be a part of something that is so important to me. I don’t want to have someone in my space for 48hours, someone who is lonely and needy and really doesn’t yet know it about herself. I have empathy for her. I just wish I had to words to get her to see that I give all I have to give while we are at the organization and when I come home I really, truly don’t want to talk. I want to be quiet, retreat into myself, re-group and recover a little strength. I’ve hinted at and even stated that she will need to start finding another host. But she’s scared and insecure. I get it. I’m just not looking forward to this at all. Perhaps I’ll get a big surprise and she will announce that in February she’ll be elsewhere… fingers crossed!
It’s not all horrible. She has tried to support me in the emotional fallout but she’s just coming from a nasty divorce so everything she says is suspect (to me). I really don’t want advice. But she’s lonely and wants to be involved…And, you know what? I need to just keep my story to myself and maybe to FS where I can be anonymous and I don’t have to read, respond to or take your advice unless I really want to.
Another topic: the concepts that were raised with my nutritional therapist the other night. They are still vibrating within me. I think I’m avoiding them…or trying (unsuccessfully) to avoid them.
So what is it? How does “thin” relate to me? The mixed messages. This must be pretty strong & deep because every time I try to write about it I distract myself.
Am I possibly angry at society and my parents and my gradeschool mates? I don’t want to uncover any more anger with any of them. I’ve already been hurt enough, angry enough, betrayed enough for this lifetime.
Do these messages that seem to be stirring something up reside so deeply within me that I can’t even fathom how the affect me? Was the message so strong that I felt like I could never possibly achieve the “right size” that I throw my hands up in despair and reach for food? Do I really think I’m controlling the message any more than the bulimic?
And there is something more…niggling at the edge of my awareness… I almost grasp it and put it on paper and then it’s gone. It came as I was writing about throwing my hands up and reaching for food…I’ve sat here for 10 minutes and can’t seem to capture it.
Awareness and Conscious Choices
05 December 2013
I feel myself crumbling, just falling apart inside & out. I know these swings are partly hormonal and exacerbated by a naturally excessive personality: all good or all bad; all positive or all negative. I also know that feelings are not facts and I know that “this, too, shall pass.” But g*d almighty! I’m sick of trying and feelin like Sisyphus, never getting up the damn hill.
OK. Deep breath. Re-group. My part: last week I indulged in sugar and carbs. I’ve been having a croissant almost every morning for a few weeks now and last night I had some whole wheat bread. My system is on overload and I just want to shut down. So, my feelings of depression were NOT assuaged by any of the stuff I ate to try to escape. I ate them all knowing they were not good for me but wanting to eat them anyway.
So, why? Why keep doing it? This is just self-abuse. What happened to the woman of a few months ago who was on a positive trajectory and could commit to self-care?
I don’t know. I’m feeling blue, blue, blue. Maybe it’s the holidays. Maybe it’s bringing all this awareness to my internal world that is bringing up stuff. Maybe it’s the “ex”. Maybe it’s just me.
Maybe, just maybe that question doesn’t yet need an answer. Maybe, just maybe I simply need to start making new decisions about how to treat myself and how to give myself a “treat”.
I also know that the work I’m doing with my nutritional therapist as well as with my counselor is strong work and it’s triggering all sorts of things for me and I’m handling it the way I’ve always handled it – hiding out, alone and eating….but at least I’m not drinking. And, balance, I’m not doing that all the time, nor to the degree I once did. I’ve made progress. I just feel like I’m overloaded right now – overloaded with my own feelings of low self-esteem. But that’s just it, right, they’re just feelings.
And you know, that session last night really did stir up stuff. After reading the article, my therapist asked how I felt, if it had stirred up feelings of anger. At the time, and even now, I couldn’t connect to anger. What I connected to was a feeling of hopelessness. All those messages. All those experiences. I just feel like it’s too much. I don’t know how to combat it all.
I’m writing this now because I’m learning from you all here that journaling helps. It’s a tool. It’s not a panacea but it’s a tool for me to pick up and use whenever I am able. It’s not a magic wand that, once waved, I’ll suddenly feel brighter and lighter…but you all seem to get so much out of it – because you put so much in to it, so I’m givin’ it a try now.
I go get my hair done in about an hour – maybe that will help, too.
Awareness and Conscious Choices
04 December 2013
So, I just met with my nutritional counselor. She asked me to think back to when I was between the ages of 11 and 13 and recall my relationship with the word "thin". She also read an article to me about the machinations of marketing that have created this society in which I live where little girls (and old ladies) grow up trying to achieve the unachievable - a Barbie Body. And where little boys (and old men) look for the Barbie in women...
Yes, I've heard the article and the studies before. I am just churned up inside over it right now. I'm trying to understand my relationship to my own body, to size, to food and I realize through this session that every time I try to connect to my relationship to those aspects, I bump up against these marketing messages and there's mayhem in my head.
It doesn't seem fair or right that on the one hand my dad would urge me to eat, to take seconds and then talk to my sister behind my back saying he wished I were more like her and could get out and play softball or run cross country. That my mom could say, "you're not fat, you're pleasingly plump" in one breath and the next day admonish me for putting sugar on my Rice Krispies. That size doesn't matter except to all the other kids on the playground who need someone to poke fun at.
And it's really unfair that all of this comes in to my head at 8:30 PM so that it can play havoc in my unguarded mind for about 6-8 hours tonight...and that I'm still sick & can't get down to the gym to change my energy before I go to bed....
ugh, ugh, ugh.... I feel like a lunk.
So, tomorrow I'm getting my hair done. It doesn't require any physical exertion (like going to the gym) and I'll walk out looking like I feel fabulous - not sure I'll actually be feelin fab but I know my hair dresser and I'll be lookin' like it.
Awareness and Conscious Choices
03 December 2013
I can’t pay attention to me. I’m avoiding myself. I started eating about a week ago and I haven’t stopped – or at least that’s what it feels like. Let me try to unravel this…
I started feeling some resentment about the Portable Chef. The week before Thanksgiving he sent another meal with pimento and some other meals that were just not to my liking – and definitely not in line with the guidelines I’d given him. And I went out with friends two or three times that week so by the end of the week I threw out three meals – that’s a lot of money to throw away.
Then, Thanksgiving week came along and I knew I’d be away from Wednesday through Sunday so I didn’t order any of the Portable Chef meals. And this week begins another week of “celebrations” organized around food so I did not order again this week.
And I’m struggling. One part of me notes that this is an expensive option (ordering gourmet meals from a personal chef). One part of me understands that I can afford it. One part of me feels he should do a better job of providing me meals I will actually be able to digest. One part of me is rejecting the “loving” that I’m expressing towards myself by choosing this option.
Ugh! I’ve got so many parts vying for attention, I just want to turn them all off – and so I eat to shut everyone up.
But, honestly, I did much better with my Thanksgiving eating this year. I only ate what I really wanted to eat – nothing to make my sis or her hubby happy. I bought my own organic food for while I was there – only indulging the “un” organic part with the Thanksgiving turkey – which is the BEST EVER!! My bro-in-law makes it every year and it’s always PERFECT!
So, I can give myself credit for both sides.
Oh, another variable: I’ve had the flu which turned in to a head cold which then became allergies (my sis has two adorable cats whom I enjoy petting with but to whom I’m allergic)…so my “buds” are off a bit…as is my sleep. With four kids under age 10, my sis has little time during normal waking hours so we pulled a couple of “slumber party” nights staying up til the wee small hours chatting.
So, lots going on and I turned to food because I didn’t have the Portable Chef meals all planned out for me. But, then again, when I had those meals I was supplementing them with almond butter for snacks and croissants for breakfast so I wasn’t losing weight there – except in my wallet
I’ve been feeling a little blue lately but I think that’s just a mechanical response to life. I’ve nothing to be blue about right now. I’ve just spent 3.5 days with people who love me deeply and express it fully. I love them and can express myself fully, too. Do I miss them? Yes. Can I spend more time with them? Not really. How can I get more “face time” with those whom I love and who love me?
This is it… ok, if I just sit here and journal long enough, it – I become clearer. I need love in my daily life. I need it. It’s not just that I want it. I need it. I’m starving for it. I have friends nearby but none are “BFFs”. I feel like I’m in transition and I don’t know where I’m headed. I need loving, fulfilling, stable relationships…and while I can keep myself busy, I’m not really relating to someone as I truly desire and require. How am I going to cope?... NO! I don’t WANT to “cope”. I want a good and fulfilling answer for this. I want a partner, a relationship, a love – someone with whom I can disagree if needed but who will also be there after the dust from the disagreement settles. Someone who may even lash out at me (not physically) once in a while but who can, like me, apologize and desire to grow more deeply in our relationship with each other and with ourselves.
This is the food I need.
Awareness and Conscious Choices
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