When does the battle with food begin and why?
For me I think somewhere around the age of 9. My fourth grade year I remember a few things that perhaps changed my life and the way I chose to feel safe or to "cope", to feel secure, even loved.
My mom had always been what I refer to as broken,
unable to love in a way that a child needs.
In that year she made some exceptionally bad choices that rippled for years.
His name was Bob, and I hated him the moment I met him. The day they married a dark cloud followed me home from school, I tried to stay ahead of the rain but I could not avoid the storm that lie ahead. Storm Bob brought alcohol, addiction and violence.
Broken glass and broken emotions lie in his path.
He never laid a hand on me, by the grace of God but the two of them somehow still managed to fracture trust, innocence and contentment.
He because of his actions, she because of her selfishness and inaction.
By the time I was that 9 year old I had been fighting her battles and explaining her lies for years. Seems unrealistic, like an invalid memory but it is not.
A 9 year old cannot explain narcissism but they know somehow they aren't as important to their parent as they should be. They know that allowing a child in the back seat of a car going 80 mph down the wrong side of a highway isn't how it is suppose to be. In that car the intense smell of alcohol, screaming and hitting just isn't right somehow.
Nor can a child understand why their mother would look for that same person when he disappeared for days at a time.
I always wished he would never come back.
Occasionally my mother would have a moment of lucidity? compassion? guilt? and at 2 am would walk me to my grandmother's house where it was safe, quiet.
I would then watch her turn around to walk back home, back to him, back to black eyes, broken ribs and chaos......and I would wonder why.
Perhaps waking up in a safe home with the smell of fresh bread, cookies and breakfast somehow began to fuel a coping method.
stuff yourself with food till your too full to absorb anything else
I don't know.
In no way do I dismiss my personal responsibility as an adult of self control and in no way do I blame anyone, it is my struggle. In a way a cherished sin or a self imposed thorn.
I also do not intend to say everyone who overeats has issues or sinful habits. I do. Food is my comfort, in some ways healthy and celebratory, in some ways secret and angry.
Things that happen play a part in who we are. This is a part.