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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Perfection

This book I read about anorexia not only linked extreme pickiness to eating disorders, but also extremely healthy eating and food exclusion. For example, only eating organic foods, raw food-ism, vegetarianism, vegan-ism. All of these things can be an expression of an eating disorder. And I’ve tried all of them.

I think food exclusion is a big one for me. It’s easy to practice until I am eating nothing but cereal and apples for weeks at a time. And it’s something I need to watch for. Nothing is so healthy that I should be eating it exclusively.

It’s strange how my food disorder doesn’t seem to be related to my weight. At least, it wasn’t back then. Maybe because I had always been thin I didn’t have to obsess over it. I could obsess over the control angle instead, which I’ll get to.

I never consciously remember wanting to be thin. In fact, I complained about it and acted like I didn’t know why I was so thin. I always claimed to want to gain weight. But I didn’t eat, or behave in a way that would have allowed that to happen.

But now that I have gained weight I am obsessed with being thin again. And, in my own mind, a thin woman is judged much more leniently than overweight women. Not just in regards to appearance, either.

I can really see the connection between eating disorders, control, and perfectionism. I feel like I can never forgive myself for not being perfect. I beat myself up over every detail of every thing I have failed every single day.

I do the same thing to other people in my life too. I expect perfection from myself and others. Even while I am saying I don’t. I do. I have such a hard time forgiving people for disappointing me. For not living up to my expectations. For not being perfect. Myself included.

It’s exhausting. I don’t want to spend my nights going over my mistakes in minute detail. I don’t know why it’s so hard to be compassionate towards myself. I still think perfection is attainable by me.

I can also see that I haven’t made much progress of the control aspect of all this. I only feel safe if I am in control of everything. I want to be able to relax. But I can’t. I want to not care about everything so much. But I do. I want to be able to trust someone to do as good as job as I think I do. But I don’t.

I still think my way is the best way. The right way.

Trusting myself

I want to talk about trust. Both in myself and with others. I know it is a big issue for me. And I know it always will be.

I feel like I can’t trust myself. Like, I don’t trust my body to crave the healthy things it needs. And I don’t trust myself to give me the healthy things I need. And in way, I shouldn’t.

I have made such poor choices in the past. But I am trying so hard to do better. And I need to give myself a chance to fuck up or I’ll never trust myself.

I am trying so hard to forgive everyone else in my life. I should be trying to forgive myself.

And it’s the same thing with other people. If they never have the opportunity to hurt me then I’ll never be able to trust them to not hurt me. I know I have been hurt a lot.

But eventually I’ll have to trust myself to choose a decent person. And I’ll have to trust that person to not try to hurt me. If they do hurt me, I’ll have to believe that it was unintentional and not because they were a bad person.

And I’ll have to forgive them. For real. Because nobody is going to be perfect. They are going to hurt me.

Forgiving people, including myself, is so hard for me. I’m sure it isn’t easy for other people. Or is it? I don’t know.

It’s so hard to believe someone has good intentions. It’s so hard to not equate someone’s bad behavior with the bad behavior of an abusive ex. Just because someone does something that reminds me of an ex; it doesn’t mean they are abusive too.

I have to remind myself of that every day. I just hope I don’t have to do it every day forever.

The wrong guy

I finally think I know why I want the wrong person every time. EL and I had a talk about this. I was trying to give her advice and I realized I was talking about myself too.

I want the wrong person because they are the wrong person. The wrong person is easy and safe in an idiotic way. I know it won’t work out with him. I know he’ll give me a reason to dump him. I’ll get an out.

I won’t get overly attached. I won’t feel bad about being a bitch. And I know the relationship will end.

I won’t have to make a commitment forever. He won’t be the last person I am ever with. I won’t be trapped, it won’t be as terrifying. It’s a temporary relationship, just like all my previous temporary relationships. Safe, easy, and short term.

And it’s easy to leave when it stops being easy. I don’t have to feel bad for ending things with the wrong guy. I certainly won’t regret it. And I never have to put in the effort to fix things.

But the wrong guy makes no sense for the long term. I want a good relationship. I want to be happy. I want to get married someday. And I want all that with the right guy. So I need to start choosing him.

Power

I had a realization today that totally shocked me. I was thinking about eating and not eating and trying to remember the first time I intentionally went hungry. And I remembered something that, while I hadn’t forgotten it, I somehow never made the connection.

When I was 10, my mom was still trying to force me to eat things. I was an extremely picky eater (I still am) and would vomit if I ate something I didn’t like. I don’t even remember what she made. Something I didn’t want.

And when I didn’t eat it; she threatened to serve it to me for breakfast the next day. I know that is a common threat. But she actually did it. And I didn’t care. I didn’t get breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. And it went the same the next day.

Finally, on the second or third day she relented. I was always a very thin child. She grew worried about me going so long without eating. From then on she always let me have a peanut butter sandwich if I didn’t want dinner.

It was an unbelievably powerful moment for me. I had won. My parents never relented. They were strict, abusive, unreasonable people. They never apologized, they never admitted to being wrong. Not ever.

Logic didn’t work on them. Or emotional appeals. No amount of reasoning or conversation could sway them. There was no conversation. It was always their way because they were the adults.

Children have very limited power over their own lives. And in my family, we had none. But I had won. I had beaten my mother at her own game. I had shown her how stubborn I could be.

And all I had to do was not eat.

Which I continued to do for the next 20 years. And nobody ever seemed to notice. I barely noticed what I was doing. I was always just “not hungry.” At sleepovers, my friends would bring soda and chips. I would bring water and bread rolls.

And nobody ever confronted me. Nobody asked me a single question about it.

Anorexia

I am reading this book about anorexia. And I am so glad I am. I can’t believe I have never read anything about it before. But then, I never thought I had a problem the way I know I do now.

I feel like I was destined to develop an eating disorder. It would have been somehow shocking or impossible for me to have not had one.

Apparently there is a genetic marker that is related to depression, alcoholism, and mental disorders. And having those things in my family predisposes me to getting an eating disorder. Studies have shown that anorexia is a combination of genetics, personality, and upbringing.

Other things that can predict an eating disorder: either parent having one, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, growing up in a chaotic household, perfectionism, self-esteem issues, intelligence, being an overachiever, feeling guilt or obligation to your parents, being neat and well behaved.

I have been working on a photo-journal of everything I eat every day. They say you are supposed to write down everything you eat to keep you mindful of it. But taking pictures works just as well.

Victim blaming

Oh my god.

I had a realization today of how much I still completely blame myself for all my problems. I was talking to RS today about how I troubled I am and he totally disagreed.

He has a theory that everyone has the same amount of problems. He believes they are just manifested differently.

And I totally realized that I think I can help having my issues. It’s like I think I am choosing to have them. I was born with my issues as much as anyone else was. I can’t help or change the things that have happened to me.

It felt so good to come to that realization. And so weird to realize I wasn’t already thinking it. I don’t know why I decided to start blaming myself for the things that have happened. But I am stopping right now.

I wouldn’t blame someone for being lactose intolerant. Or for having a heart defect. So why am I blaming myself for my issues?

Feeling my feelings

While talking to a friend I mentioned how good I am at controlling my emotions. He responded that I needed to be careful with that because joy is an emotion too. (I know. He is scarily perceptive.)

I did already know that I was doing that. I am already aware that I haven’t been allowing myself to feel much of anything. Pretty much for my entire life.

It’s why I’ve felt nothing but anger and sadness because those were the two most overwhelming emotions in my life. Emotions are dangerous to have in abusive situations. Especially anger, which is why I think I still have so much of it.

But it’s also why I’ve never loved anyone before. I’ve never allowed myself to feel that emotion. I’m terrified of it. But again, it’s all things I knew.

But yesterday, I realized it may also be why I’ve never felt sexual desire for someone the way I think I should. The way I KNOW I should. And the way I know I am capable of.

The last two people I had sex with was because I actually wanted to. Not just because I was willing to. That makes all the difference. And I never want to go back to the way I was.

In some ways I am afraid to let my emotions out. But I also know I don’t want to keep everything locked inside anymore either.

I want to know how I am feeling when I feel it. I want to feel angry or upset when I am upset. And I want to be able to recognize it when it happens.