Dear fat journal,
Am sitting at the table of my cousins whare. I’m a long way from home – and all the typical creature comforts I’ve become accustomed to over the years of living alone I’ve had.
I have experienced some very difficult moments being with two people I have come to love a great deal, and I have endured some hard out stress in which there has been no reprieve available to me in terms of having the ability to soothe myself with food ie: KFC – not only due to travel constraints, financial as well.
My last two weeks on this planet have been tumultuous to say the least. The birth of Princess Lama Obama (a lamb) absolutely turned my world of disordered eating upside down. I ate KFC twice over 2 days, and on one of those days “gave in” (?) to the weight of decision and gobbled down 2 orders of McDonalds as well. And you know what’s truly upsetting? I still didn’t feel full – I don’t think I even noticed I was eating.
In a previous entry I have written that losing just over 40 kg has finally hit me like a brick and I find a very frightened “me” desperately wanting / needing – frantically needing to replace the weight lost with almost anything to help the part of me fee secure and and safe again. The dissociative headaches are becoming a daily occurrence after many years of not having them. Nightmares are back – and are kicking my arse long into the day.
I have been literally reliving trauma from childhood and my twenty something years. I originally set this journal up to tell the stories that enabled me to become a disordered eater – yet I’ve not generally used this journal for that sort of writing. I am nervous about saying too much … There is no comment section. This is my space to share my stories in the wider hope that I may inspire one or even encourage another to begin mapping out their stories etc. A lot of people have very unproductive things to say about those of us who walk this life. This particular journey will be the last time I get to do this – weight loss. I know that in my soul. I’m not about to allow someones unproductive criticism by way of comment, fuck that up for me. So, with that said …
This journal generally orbits around my disordered eating behaviours .. today i write something more aligned to the core of my being; the root of whats enabled me to live a withdrawn life with an intense relationship to food -> so intense, that food has been a primary partner.
I mentioned Princess Lama Obama’s arrival having turned my world on an axis … here’s what happened: Lama is born and I am left to keep her alive while landlords are away. Doesn’t sound like a big thing right? Well let me tell you that I struggled with an inner demon over whether it would be less stressful for us both to allow Lama to die. Fraught with anxiety. I didn’t know how to feed a lamb. Didn’t know what to feed a lamb. I gave serious thought more than once to simply allowing her to die of starvation as I struggled to figure out how to teach her to suckle from an artificial teat. God – the 36 or so hours that I had Lama by myself were fucking horrendous for anyone living on the inside of me.
Obviously Lama survived. I kept her alive. And whilst my heart continues to beat as I breathe, ensuring me that I too survived, another layer of truth is I am yet not there. The arrival of Lama caused the me in me to shatter into thousands of shards once again.
Triggered to buggery I fucking near drowned in large mouthfuls of violent flashbacks -> my mother making at least 3 attempts on my life as a child. The earliest event that I can recollect was at the age of 4-5. There was a story that Mum pushed me out of a moving car when I was 3. As I walked away from that particular family over 2 decades ago, I am unable to authenticate that story with the siblings.
Twice Mum filled a house with gas from the oven and attempted to blow us all up. After Mums funeral in 1988 (she died of other reasons many years later), I overheard my eldest sibling say that she thought Mum had an undiagnosed mental illness. I remember being gobsmacked and thinking to myself ‘you think???’
I’m fending on my own with Lama and I’m flooded with memories of doing an abysmal job with my son when he was an infant. The impact of those flashbacks was that I didn’t stand a chance with Lama. And cognitively I knew that the instincts telling me -> persuading me to abandon her and to let her die were coming from my own primal wound of having been ripped and taken from my own mothers womb then subsequently left to fend for myself as my (adoptive) Mum rejected me and my (adoptive) Dad fucked me and nobody … nobody, was courageous enough to intercept the hellish worlds I was having to fend for myself in.
Food became my best friend. My Savior. Seriously. No room for Jesus. Food no longer meant a resource to maintain my body and brain processes. Food replaced people. Food -> different types of food textures helped me soothe the various conflicting thoughts and emotions I grappled with practically each and every day of my fucking life. Food, instead of people comforted me. Food, instead of people nurtured me, and helped me gain sleep – whilst at school due to being too afraid to sleep at night not knowing who was going to be pushing my legs apart or for how long. Food eventually became the only sense that allowed me to know I was alive. I could feel food in my mouth. I could feel food go down my Esophagus. I could feel full. Boy, I could feel full. And that was pretty much the learnings I had surrounding feelings. They were all associated to the physical sensations I experienced whilst eating. Fucking amazing huh.
A little older – perhaps a young teenager and I was then using food as a means to punish myself. Or to lecture myself – to beat myself up. I learned I felt other things too and subsequently misused food to squelch all feelings as I had no cognitive understanding of what emotive feelings were. I had the physical ones down packed – like feeling food in my mouth etc … I learned about emotions during 1993-1995 at the age of 24.
I literally saved Lama Obama’s life. It’s a great thing … right? Yet I also found myself in a constant state of overwhelm with very little space to rest in between. I was going to say I spiraled – it was more like a free fall actually with no parachute. Constantly crying, weeping or bawling. I feared those currently in my life who claim to love me would in their own fear reject then abandon me … barrage me with their precious reasons for being unable to come see me, speak on the phone with me etc. Or tell me what I “should” be doing. And that I “shouldn’t” be feeling this way or that … People suck. I fucking hate them.
I had already felt the pressure I was inadvertently placing upon another fragile being and I knew it so I backed off. The other fragile human had also begun to message me reasons as to why they were unable to converse etc.
A form of paranoia gate crashed and I began to believe “intuitively” that these so called friends were gathered together and laughing at me for being so ridiculous etc. In the meantime I’d begun eating excessively … again.
I reached out to a counselor supporting me in the disordered eating stuff. She put a hand on my knee as I howled and howled and howled. She even hugged me twice and gave me a beautiful Bird of Paradise flower. I didn’t want to let her go because I didn’t know when the next human contact (physical touch) would come along. I went to KFC immediately afterwards and cried the whole way through eating my food. I wanted so much more human touch yet was eating the only source of “human touch” I’d pretty much ever had throughout my life – well, the nurturing kind anyway. I had parked up out of sight, and howling while stuffing KFC into my mouth in an attempt to nurture myself.
I howled for a few more days. I wanted to know why no-one saved me. I had the courage to ask 2-3 people, hoping like fuck that they wouldn’t say something stupid. Ahhhh yes, agitation. Agitation set in. Stupid people saying stupid things to continue disowning their own core messages by rejecting me. I very nearly cut all ties with people. I actually bought a tent, sleeping bag and backpack with the intent to take my cat and go awol leaving literally anything that could be used to trace my whereabouts electronically behind.
Agitation became so intolerable that I deeply considered slicing my arm. Instead I made a Dr appointment which initially was way more agitation than what I wanted to manage with the receptionist who alleged there were no available appointments for Dr’s however she could get me in to see a Nurse Practitioner. I explained to receptionist that a NP would be unable to manage my situation and that I needed to see a Dr. She alleged it couldn’t be done. I settled for the NP appointment. After I told the NP what I had come to see her about, she calmly places her hands on the desk and tells me “this is a bit out of my scope”. I wanted to fucking hurt her so bad. All I could do was cry the angry cry knowing full well what happens to angry tears. It was the better option over actually harming the NP. However, wouldn’t you know it … there happened to be an opening in 15 minutes time with a Dr. I just had to hold onto myself. They’re fucking unbelieveable. More stressed than what I walked in with and certainly more fucking agitated I waited the 15 mins for the Doc. Short story: he asked me what’s worked for me in the past, I told him, he wrote out a script for it, he hugged me I cried, I left.
The last 2 weeks have been a fluctuating tide of continuous change. Thankfully Kaiwhakaora Kai cancelled last weeks appointment. I’m too anxious to weigh in and risk hearing an unproductively critical voice come out of her. I see her next on the 16th and will let her know while on the scales that I do not want to know my weight until I ask her for it. I will feel disappointed with myself if I have put on weight. Which is amusing that with all I’ve eaten I’m hopeful I haven’t. I am fearful of feeling ashamed of myself.
I saw my adult son walking down the street. He is looking healthy. I have not seen him since before Dec 2015. He doesn’t know my new car and I just looked straight ahead as I drove past.
So now I’m at my cousins a long way from home. A lot has happened and I will be returning home a transformed person. I saw some photos of myself and it’s the first time I could actually see the amount of weight I’ve lost. I felt so surprised. Oh and then another bit of great news is that on the aeroplane Thursday morning on my way to meet my cousin for the first time, I fitted the seat belt without the use of an extension belt and there was room for me to tighten the belt too! I sent a text message to Kaiwhakaora Kai letting her know that and that I was back on track.