When I am highly emotional, distressed, or depressed, I don’t eat well and some of this is due to anxiety, but it is also due to self harm.
Eating disorders are usually known by full blown anorexia or bulimia, but there is a continuum.
This weekend, I was highly distressed and emotional and reverted to my usual starving myself and not eating. This is what I have done most of my life, when distressed, or anything triggers abuse form the past.
There is also another connection to trauma for my bad eating habits, connected with the captivity situation I was in as an adolescent.
During this captivity, I was deprived of food and this was a typical strategy used by abusers, to keep me thin, weak and compliant, as stated by the police at the time of the court hearing.
I wasn’t allowed to eat much and if I was caught eating more than allowed, I received severe ‘punishment’. So, I mostly did as I was told, that way I got hurt less. Sometimes I would eat ‘extra’ and could only risk it at times I knew he had gone and would be unlikely to return that day – which was in the evening after he had finished with me, had left and gone home to his family. So, I would eat late in the evening to stop the hunger.
Prior to this captivity, I always ate breakfast and following it and ever since I can’t, as I was not allowed to and this captivity and pattern of eating has remained with me since, and increases in intensity when I am stressed and when I have put on weight.
If I put on weight, I hate it and hate myself, so I starve myself until thin enough.
Now, I am on medications that have made me put on weight, so I am in constant battle of not looking in the mirror and trying to tell myself I am not fat and disgusting, I am okay, especially having had children and being in my 40’s.
The good part is, I am strong enough to know I need medications and not to risk my life by refusing to take them due to weight and I’ve done pretty well at not putting on as much as most people do, but again, this has been aided by not eating well.
So, this is another part of my healing I am dealing with and I know why I have very bad eating patterns, I know it’s abuse related and I know it’s a form of self harm.
Knowing all this is empowering and it will be another part of my journey in healing.
If you have these types of issues, please don’t feel ashamed, I am dealing with it too and I know it’s very hard, but we can work through it, with self compassion and over time.