It’s hard for me, right now. Food and I have always had a warped relationship. I have phases where I will crave particular foods like chocolate or saltine crackers. Sometimes it’s even brand specific. I don’t understand it, but for years now I’ve been working on paying attention to my body, my feelings, my preferences; it has been hard work to learn to have preferences. Most people go through normal identity development at different phases of their childhood but my identity doesn’t feel like my own.

I have this memory of walking up the stairway from the basement of my childhood home and I remember that I had to stop and wait for my vision to clear at least once on my way up this one-story flight of steps. I was so weak that they tell me later I could have died. I was going through a growth spurt and my body wouldn’t put on weight to keep pace with all the growing I was doing.

I remember my body being up for discussion. There were lots of comments on my body from my parents and my siblings and lots of talk about what I needed to eat. I remember trying many different diets and feeling dizzy sometimes, achy other times, my body rejected everything like I was “intolerant” of it. The food I would eat had to be kept separate from other people’s food at parties or get-togethers and I didn’t feel good when I ate things.

One parent would admonish me to watch the things I eat and make sure I asked questions about any food offered to me. They impressed on me always the importance of vigilance and attention to details. Of course we tried gluten-free diets (before it was trendy). Of course we tried duck eggs and goats milk and other random items that confused me inside. I was supposed to be able to tell a difference and I was supposed to feel better or worse or have some reaction or SOMETHING but I felt terrible and pained.

The other parent thought the doctors and diets and vigilance and concern was a farce. They would sit and watch me eat sometimes, taunting me to have a reaction because they had tainted the food I was eating on purpose. I remember a specific meal where I had to sit and eat alone two scrambled eggs from a duck or a goose. It was not a normal meal-time so when my parent came by, they leaned down to look me right in the eye and made a big show of looking me over. I felt so ashamed. I felt so embarrassed and I felt so evil for taking up people’s time and attention in this way. I felt sick that I dared to be this problem that inconvenienced them. They taunted me with words I don’t remember the order of and invited my oldest sibling to join in. I was overwhelmed with a terrible feeling that I didn’t understand. I don’t know if I finished the eggs or not.

In the past few days my eating habits are all different. Things taste a little different; I’m not sure yet if it’s good or bad. I used to eat and have trouble telling when I was full. Today I struggle to finish my one bowl of cereal for breakfast; then I ate half as much as I normally do at lunch, and currently have my dinner next to me because I’m supposed to. It’s available if I want to eat it but I just don’t want to. I relish the ability to do as I please.


2 thoughts on “Food

  1. It grieves me to hear how you suffered as a child. You were NEVER an inconvenience, even if you were made to feel that way. Children have needs — physical and emotional — over which they have no control. It is the responsibility of caring parents to fill those needs, be they special nutrition or anything else necessary to a child’s health and well being. I hope and pray that things are better for you now. If your eating habits are still erratic, you may need medical assistance. Treat yourself kindly, and get the support you deserve. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am seeing a therapist, psychiatrist, and physician. And I’m actively seeking answers. Looking for help over several years is what brought me to the point where I can admit these things to myself. I find the blogging helps me deal with and engage the feelings that I had to disassociate from as a child. I appreciate your kind words. It helps to hear healthy and validating things from other people. It’s amazing how much the childhood experiences I had manage to really entrench themselves in my subconscious. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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