Meeting night tonight. This entry will be the blog-equivalent of an ugly cry.
Spent some time before the meeting chatting with a long-time friend in recovery, explaining some things about my early life and how I didn’t come away with any mementos, y’know, stuff from childhood, because my mom was always moving us from place to place, and we had to travel light. The conversation drifted, and I realized, maybe for the first time, how much my mother controlled me, like property. I had no say in what I wore, how my hair was cut, much less of where we lived or who was in our lives.
I also experienced severe body shaming and verbal mistreatment from the earliest years until adulthood. I realize now this was all about her own issues, but the marks it has left on my spirit go deep. Later, it became my time to share tonight, and as I did so, the tears started to well up in my eyes. I could feel the shame, loneliness and pain that go along with remarks from people who are supposed to love you, but instead they cause you to question your very existence. I had to wrap it up, before I started to sob.
This is an area of recovery that will take a while for me to dig into, I suspect. The idea of who we are forms as we grow from children into young adults. If the messages we take in do not build us up, but instead are personal attacks, we have 2 options. Either lose hope entirely and become resigned to despair and ruin, or become angry and vengeful, and indulge in behavior that results in despair and ruin.
As you might guess, I didn’t go down without a fight. In fact, some of my food acting out is a direct shot back at a mom that would restrict my food intake, while binging herself. I became so angry, I even took actions that resulted in personal harm in an indirect attempt to exact revenge on my mother’s treatment of me.
But the result was and has always been the same. More damage to me, and no positive outcome in balancing the scales of justice in my emotional 10 year-old inner child’s eyes. It’s a bit like running on a treadmill and expecting to wind up down the street. I can run until my legs fall off, and it will not change my geography. Same with trying to exact revenge on my mother (who died in 2012) by harming myself. It just ain’t gonna happen.
Where does that leave me? Shoving something else in my mouth in an effort to escape my feelings of despair and ruin? No. If I want recovery, I must decide I want it more than the endless cycle of pain and self-harm. That I am indeed powerless, but not hopeless. That God’s power WILL restore me to sanity as I am willing. But that I must make the decision to turn my life and will over to God’s care and control.
Let’s face it. If what you do time and again is not working, then something else must be the answer. I have always stood at the edge of food recovery. But I need to submit my willfulness and allow God to start the healing. Otherwise I will be hounded by this dysfunction and misery until my last breath.
Well, I can’t say I didn’t warn you that this was going to be a bit raw and “out there.” But, like I have shared with you, my reading family from the beginning, I can only be who I am, up, down or muddling along. We’re in this together.
Much love and hugs tonight as we press onward.