I decided to write more about invisible wounds & disordered eating. To do that, I need to let you know how I define disordered eating & invisible wounds. Beginning with invisible wounds – these are the wounds – the emotional and psychological scars – the impact carried, often multi-generational. Invisible wounds manifest as mental distress, anxieties, things that mainstream society types are conditioned to call ‘mental illnesses‘ – that those of us able to live within and between worlds call acute sensitivity. I define disordered eating as an appropriate response to emotional, physical, spiritual, mental distress. Much like how some people misuse alcohol & other drugs – as a disordered eater I misuse food to obtain a similar state of detachment from painful realities either in the past or present.
What’s the difference between disordered eating and eating disorder? You go find your truth – there’s plenty of mis/information out there.
204kg is what I used to weigh – maybe 3 years ago. I began this journal as a symbol of achievement through many of the internal and external obstacles / challenges & confrontations I faced within my own Earth walk with disordered eating. I haven’t exactly been on track of late – both with my writing here and with my actual eating / behaviour wellness stuff.
When I cleaned up from drug use in 1993 I was fat. I’ve been fat my entire life. My birth weight is recorded at 14lbs 9oz, and I have a few stories I heard as if on repeat, during my first 4-5 years of life – stories about how I would scream the house down as a toddler for more food. I had to wonder if the story telling I’d heard about me and my need to eat could have imprinted on me as a means of receiving attention. It’s possible.
I’m also pretty much on the other side of having been a survivor of multiple sexual violations from infancy through to 2012. There is enough literature around ‘these days’ to say with some evidence, that many kids who endure sexual violations use / misuse food as a means of protection.
I’m female bodied. I was part of the multi-generational era that oppressed / suppressed / repressed / depressed women. I was surrounded by women who had bowed down for many reasons for the comfort of those they believed they were chained to in marriage. I remember when rape in marriage became unlawful here in New Zealand. You know?
I was consistently “placed where I belonged” by multiple men and women all with unmet needs of their own most likely stemming from their own childhoods, and for all whom never gave themselves the opportunity to step out of the squalor of entitlement to do any better for themselves.
Essentially, the issues I have around food are seen by mainstream folk as irrational & mere excuses for the ways I live my life. There is no telling or showing entitled people any other view point. It is my belief that self-entitled people are warm hearted individuals. They simply employ denial and rationalisation as a means to maintain their stance. All of us do to some degree.
In the instance of my relationship to food / kai – it is an emotional attachment, and being such, no diet of any description, no radical change of eating behaviours / patterns, no amount of shaming or nurturing, no nutritional guidance etc is going to be of use to me. My addiction to food – my need to misuse it as a means to sate intense emotion & feelings, isn’t going to be cured by any other means than working from the inside out on as many of the fuck-awful things that occurred in early childhood that allows me to be enslaved still, to particular elements of my past.
This isn’t about ‘weight loss’ in the mainstream context of the term. It is quite the opposite. It is about losing the baggage that allows me to keep the weight on. It is about consistently giving myself permission to feel really down in the dumps some days instead of pushing myself to ‘fake it till I make it’ or whatever the latest fad round of cliches are on FaceBook at the moment giving the impression that if I only did this … or that … or tried this and that …. Or – if I only did my life the way that so and so does theirs THEN I would be cured! etc etc etc yawn.
Let me say … that “so and so” has never been there to scrape me up off the floor when I have again -> failed <- to do life their way. “So and so” has certainly looked down their unproductively critical nose at me as if I must have done something wrong – I mean, there’s no way that so and so could have failed me … right?
It takes courage like most would not believe, to disown societies gimmicks, fads, quick fix schemes, money grabbers and other prescriptions. It takes courage like most would not believe, to walk away from systems that are not equipped to support the acutely sensitive among us to wellness. And it takes courage like most would not believe, to love, nurture & support those among us unafraid to walk this earth telling it how it truly is.
There is no quick fix to disordered eating and the invisible wounds do not suddenly vanish with a trip to the doctors, or a stint at a hospital, or clinic, or workshop, or class, or group etc …
The “fix” is a commitment to travelling life on lifes terms. It is a commitment to allowing waterfalls aka tears to stream as they need to. It is a commitment to allowing anger, and rage to be expressed how it needs to be heard. It is a commitment to allowing myself to be seen imperfect and solid in my vulnerability while knowing that I can still care and maintain myself – much to the discomfort and disbelief of many.
It is a commitment to bowing down to myself & also allowing others to bow down to me as they see fit – as a means to honour the commitment I have to well-being and humanity. It is a commitment to allowing myself to consistently be in some cycle of healing so that I may continue to hold extraordinary space for all those who seek, feel & need it for their own healing.
It is about loving & living for myself – not for the comfort of others. It is about being committed to myself, my practice, my honour – over that of others.
I relapsed, two days into my yuck food free time. I so hope that one day, I will be able to replace the needs I receive from food, with that of people without having to tolerate other peoples will over me, or other peoples needs before my own, or having to this … or that … before I can get to me.
The silence & isolation that comes with having multiple invisible wounds is brutal. It’s how I’ve managed to remain more acutely connected & attuned to the spirit realms in terms of my mahi. My senses are acute. And I’m not the only one. More and more people around me and further out are reclaiming and telling their Earth stories. More and more people are remembering – and more and more people are both hurting, and healing.
Standing up & making myself accountable, and accepting the responsibility for what I must, is what enables my courage, my creativity, my tears, my love and my fear to both push and pull me through what I must. Particularly when the clouds are so thick and grey that I can not see the sun shining behind them.
Giving myself opportunities to allow the space for what needs to resurface from within, also gives opportunity to write like this – and – for my whare (home) to get cleaned up!