This is not properly formatted…using the app annoys me so I avoid using it as often as possible…sorry if it’s confusing or difficult to follow
This month, I pared down my apartment to less than the basics. Most of my stuff has been given away or put in the dumpster. What I kept has been boxed and shipped to the new apartment.
My clothes are in suitcases. I got rid of my cooking utensils and stopped cooking a little over a week ago. And because of the “not cooking” part I have had to confront many of my food fears, body anxiety, and personal biases about skinny versus fat in terms of health and my body.
Many people in my circle think I am a healthy eater and lucky not to be addicted to junk food or fat and overweight like they are. I am a little less than my ideal weight right now because of stress, but not terribly so. And sure, I prefer eating real food with lofs of nutrients. But I also love chocolate and cheese; eat way too much chocolate; and get lots of discomfort from eating cheese.
But the easiest kinds of food to prepare without pots, pans, and a microwave are the same foods that being back bad memories and trigger fear. Even typical snacks do that to me. But I wanted this time to be different. I wanted to stay healthy and grounded and present for this entire move.
So I started wondering why eating or even thinking about eating sandwiches, canned/spreadable meats on crackers, salads, wraps, granola and energy bars or drinks, chips, dip, jerky, deli meat and so on made me feel sick and lose my apetite. Also certain kinds of trail mix, bagels, english muffins, and spreads like hummus can be added to the list.
Sadly, my avoidance of these foods stems from childhood.
I spent a lot of time at home with my mom for a variety of reasons. I was “her little helper” from a young age and spent most of my days cleaning, doing laundry, and playing by myself. Mom was sick a lot; she slept often and forgot to cook or prepare food. And waking her up was impossible sometimes. If I did wake her up, I got smacked and punished.
So I learned to feed myself with what was available in the cabinets I could reach. The refrigerator was too heavy to open, so a lot of what I ate came from boxes, cans, and bags. I still can’t eat cereal with milk or toasted bread without feeling queasy.
And often, mom would wake up and find me eating “her” snacks or pastries because that’s what I could reach. My punishment for stealing: no dinner or lunch, etc. If I showed a preference for certain food, they never reappeared in the house. So I started sneaking in food and snacks when no one paid attention. Plus: I never gained much weight. Minus: I never had enough nutrients to grow and get strong either.
And then I would hit growth spurts that made me “hungry all the tine” my mom complained. And I “ate like a bird” and was “too picky” about my food. Oh, and I was getting fat from eating to much even though I was “on the go” all the time between school, activities, and being “mom’s helper”. “Mom’s helper” included letting the babysitters and other people picking me up, take me away for hours, and bring me home again. During those times as “mom’s helper”, the people gave me lots of sweets and soda and other stuff filled with drugs and alcohol to make me compliant. Eventually, though, that stuff made me sick instead. Then the people couldn’t use me or make money off of me.
I guess that makes me lucky in one way because I never got addicted to the illegal drugs they forced into me. Between my mom putting me on diets to keep her company or because I was getting fat and my worry that whatever food I ate was going to make me sick, I started restricting myself to only eating foods I knew were safe and only other foods in relatively safe places.
Fast forward to now. My body hates any kind of chemical and synthetic foodlike substances. I can smell and taste the chemicals long before the food reaches my plate. All that time spent eating those foods and watching my parents/sibling get sicker and sicker from those habits scarred me. Made me think all fat people are evil and unhealthy and not safe for a long time. But then seeing skinny people or average people or muscle bound fit people did the same. My perpetrators came in all shapes and sizes, both genders, and a variety of religions and sexual orientations. All they had in common were pedophilia, sadism, and a love of mind-altering substances.
And eating many of these foods makes my body hurt later. Sometimes to the point where I don’t realize the food brought back body memories. And then I wonder why massage and other coping strategies aren’t working or how I got triggered.
At least now I know that food fearscan trigger body memories and panic attacks. And that I can survive on triggering foods without getting sick or fat or turning into my mom. My weight has mostly stabilized now that the end is close.
And next week I hope to start posting 2x a week again.
Thanks for reading.