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Monday, July 31, 2006

Quod Me Nutrit Me Destruit - 1

What nourishes me also destroys me. No, this isn't going to be a post about Angelina's tattoos.

This is about my relationship with food. With the ultimate addiction. One that noone can give up completely. One that noone can go cold turkey on. One that you have to allow yourself to feed in small ways every single day of your life.

It's not like alcohol, or drugs, or cigarettes. It's not like chocolate or any other substance we do not need to survive. Without food, I die. With too much, I die too.

I can trace almost to the day, when I began abusing myself with food. I know why I did it. I understood that the person who was 'interested' in me didn't like fat people. I remember at the ripe old age of 12 working out that if I made myself fat, he might lose that interest. It worked. The interest turned to rage, to hatred, to vitriol the likes of which I've never known before or since. And it made me eat more. For I could deal so much more easily with being slammed into the wall everytime we passed in the hallway when noone was looking, rather than having him creep into my room when he thought I was asleep - or maybe he knew I wasn't - to touch me. I tried sleeping on my tummy but it didn't work. I remember wondering how I could sew my nightdresses together from the hem to the crotch.

I know that's when it started. I ate and ate. I stole coins from my mother's purse to buy chocolate bars. Not one, not two, but up to four at a time. And what I also discovered as I padded my body out beyond being desirable to a teenage boy, was that it actually seemed to help fill that deep empty black hole inside me. A hole that had been carved for several years, out of guilt, blame, fear, betrayal and everything bad in my life.

It was dismissed as being 'puppy fat' way beyond the time it could have been excused as being caused by puberty. It paved the way for a horrible relationship with food that lasts to this day. It is said that alcoholics are never cured, they are forever 'recovering'. That is even moreso for food abusers. Actually, it's worse for us. We cannot stop eating, we are forced to continue to participate in our addiction, we cannot give it up completely, ever. We titilate our addiction every day of our lives.

I stayed fat throughout my teen years, and it became my shell. My excuse for not having relationships, my excuse for not going out, my excuse for the crippling sadness that surrounded me when I was alone. But which I tossed to the side when I was expected to become the jolly chubby girl. It was just easier to be that way than to be questioned as to why or how. Let them all think: Oh well she's fat but she's happy. I became the 'what a pretty girl, it's a shame about the weight'.

Until I turned 18 and realised that there was no real control in hiding. I had no control over anything. But I could control me. And I stopped eating. I don't mean I cut down my eating, I mean I stopped totally. For six months my diet consisted of one small tin of V-8 vegetable juice, diluted 1:3 with water and eaten as hot soup at night, taking me over an hour to consume. I was still living at home and I got away with saying I ate lunch at work. I developed sores all over my arms and legs, my eyesight failed, my teeth were loose. But that wasn't even enough, I needed to purge. I did that by taking handfuls of laxatives every day. I needed that pain. It was the only thing I felt. My parents didn't seem too concerned that I was becoming skeletal, there was no intervention of any kind. Not that I'm blaming my parents. What they couldn't understand, I imagine they didn't want to get involved in.

I felt so full of cracks which had formed from so many things being thrown at me over the years. But more than that, I was afraid that if one more thing was thrown at me, I would shatter into a million pieces.

This will be continued.


Steve said...

The feelings of betrayal and guilt... at such a young age! Someone or something must have stolen your youth, your sense of wonder, and innocence? :(

Fiona said...

We learn from everything we go through and everything we go through has a purpose in our existance. I am the sum of all my parts and all my experiences, good and bad.

Zibi said...

Hi... been reading some of your post...BTW thanks for visiting my blog.

Fiona said...

...and thank you for visiting here zibi :)

Miranda said...

It is sad that bad experiences have to happen. I've not read all your blog, but Im going to.

No one should have to deal with stuff like that.

Fiona said...

Miranda, good to see you and thank you for posting:)

Without the sad things, the happy things wouldn't feel quite so good. And I take comfort in knowing I can grow from it all, not shrink from it or try to pretend it didn't happen.

I own my past as much as I own my future.

Dayli said...

This is such a sad, beautiful post that touched something very deep and buried in me.

And that comment about being a sum of all your experiences, that also touched me and soothed the little soreness this post dredged up.

It's quite incredible how your post is so analytical yet so emotional at the same time.

Fiona said...

D it was buried deep in me too, until I was 43. Talking about it then for the first time in my life, was the most physically painful thing I've ever gone through. It was like something dark and evil with jagged edges was literally torn from me. But it was the moment I started to live my life for me.



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