***Note: This is not a pretty story, and if you have triggers, please proceed with caution***
As someone with CPTSD, at times triggers and issues can meld together, turning into a different monster to battle. Today I want to write about something I rarely speak about, but it’s something that I deal with a lot.
Having to be perfect as a child added a lot of stress on me. On top of that the sexual, physical, and verbal abuse tore apart whatever I had left inside. So to me, I was never that perfect person I should have been. Since there was little in my life that I controlled, I controlled the one thing I could. My food intake.
At the age of 10, when a lot of girls saw the first changes starting in their body, I weighed so little I could fit in the kindergarten desks at school. For the next three years as my body tried to grow, I wasn’t giving it the nutrition it needed. There wasn’t a lot of food around, and my brother was always hungry, so the lions share went to him. Since I was going to school and running the house as best I could, I was always on the move.
I didn’t have enough body fat for puberty to kick in. It got to the point that I started passing out from not eating. My self-image at this point was that I was as big as a whale. No joke. I didn’t have the perspective to see what was really happening. I just knew I wasn’t the perfect person I needed to be.
Luckily between an observant teacher and a doctor, I was able to start gaining weight. That was so hard, because the abuse and the mental disorders/diseases weren’t being addressed. I thought this was something else I had messed up. Again, more proof I wasn’t perfect, and I had to be perfect.
In my twenties, I ended up trying to use sex and food to cover up the feelings inside that were trying to get out. I was finally away from my family, but still didn’t know how to be anything but an abused female. I kept accepting what I felt I deserved, and would eat when I didn’t know how to handle my emotions.
I ended up on the other side of the weight scale. I weighed more than I ever weighed, even during my pregnancies. My partner at the time did not help things, but I don’t think either of us realized how unhealthy I was mentally. I didn’t know how to break the cycle that had started. I only knew that every person who had raped me had told me they did it because I was pretty, and I no longer wanted to be pretty.
Luckily I have figured out the cause of my food abuse. I still struggle with it. I can be triggered, not be aware, and find myself eating more than I need to. I realize that, and then I’m triggered again. It can be a very vicious cycle. Food is not something you can stay away from. Or at least you can’t and be healthy.
I am so thankful that I survived all of this. At times I believe it was only by a wing and a prayer I have made it. But made it I have. Yes, I still struggle. I survived decades of abuse, and that is not dealt with in a few months or years. I may battle some of my triggers for the rest of my life. But my life is a blessed life. I know now what I didn’t know then. I am empowered by this knowledge, knowing I am making a better life for myself.