Walking Wounded

Monday, December 10, 2007

The effects of PTSD on food .

Oh Man! this is one that is going to pull it up from my toes! I can just see it now.
The Risk well...

I hope that I can speak of these things now for in so doing we take away the power by exposing it to the light.
I recently had a blogger ask me to address issues of how my history has effect on food and or hording. Eating disorders are a common part of recovery from so many issues in life. She asked a few questions and I told her my experience. It was very helpful to her in helping her to address some needs her adopted child suffered with and she was left perplexed to understand. She later reported that she is responding differently and the child is feeling much better about herself.


This is tough. Here goes...
Memory is a living force. It can root within us in so many ways. Our 5 senses are core to this process of stored experience and living associations. Events them selves can be blocked yet certain sights, smells sounds and taste even touch can stir those things our mind tries to protect us from recalling. It is only when we are safe that memory can be heard of its own event. Even then it is through the senses that often the story has recall to tell of what has been known in such a way as to be slightly disconnected as to have a distance from the pain.
The night my friend called in the stillness of an answer to her questions I spoke of three things in detail. I will speak of two of them.
One having to do with black licorice.
Risk of deep pains here.
When I was 6 years old my mother remarried after most of my earliest childhood days were filled with the suffering of being used in childhood porn at the hand of a so called uncle (no blood relations) who lived with his wife in our basement.

When they married He had been a Merchant Marine for many years and was retiring. He was older. He adopted me, my sister and my brother. The brother older then that was given a choice or better said my mother was given a choice and my elder brother had to leave. My elder brother was who took care of me all those years when my mother kept the cafe.
So the man who came in took the place of the only so called dad figure I ever knew with force and violence.
The food thing comes in here. The only time this man was nice to me was when he shared his old fashioned black licorice with me.
It was kept up on the refer in a small brown paper bag. It was like a stick not soft like modern licorice. It was his! Only His! He once was kind and gave me some what my blogging pal did not know was that when I shared the memory of the licorice with her I remembered something else at that very moment. There was a price to pay for that black licorice. Many things mad a lot more sense about those times and the kidney damage and surgery.
I have found that memory often hides in food. Food was a vital part of my deprivation. Although mom had the cafe it was the cafe that kept us alive. It was the left overs and scraps often in very earlier childhood that we depended on for food. Still to this day to waste food just really is hard and I get very hard on myself when ever I do so.
Black licorice...
When I first began my recovery I was at a retreat.. . I found myself hiding in a closet trying to figure out why I was just stuffing my face with black licorice. Gorging! I could not stop. I hated myself for the price. But all I knew was that was when he was "NICE" to me. I lived my life with a target on my head. He took advantage. I died out in the garage. I remembered that night talking to my blog friend that I gorged on the licorice trying somewhere deep within my sub conscience to understand why?????? Why would he hurt me why did every kindness offered me turn into such a horrid price and I just hated myself for liking licorice. I was 6 years old. Just like my sweet son is now 6 years old.
So foods can hold many keys to our lives.
Candy was an affiliation I had with my Mother. She gorged on it and had it hidden all over the house. It was the thing she used to feel. All her wounds had left her incapable of feeling. She just swallowed then down. If she felt close to me it was when she shared her candy.
I too suffer with this. Having had the example of it ingrained into me. It is where I take out my anger at myself, and how I hold in the pains I feel. I control my emote with it. It is horrible and I try so hard to flee it. It is the rut if ever I relax my defenses. It is a vacuum.

Fear or the fear of loss...
Affiliation and a sense of security. I hoard too. Only I have a nice pantry. It is a thing like those who went through the great depression know too well. We are equipped . My Mother survived the "Great Depression" and just barely too. Security is what is attained (false as it may be, and it is) it gives a calm to the unquiet restless dread that once was very realistic. Now it is only a survival mechanism.
I struggle to let go of things. I have a huge inventory of beads and fabrics too. I think that it just feels good. If I might want to sew well I do not have to go to the store.
YES I do trust God as a matter of choice. Trust however was long earned by him. At one time I was incapable of trusting anyone or anything except to hurt me. So I just resigned myself to being hurt. That was then not now!

O.K. thats enough Risk for now...

I hope that some one may be helped knowing that there is a way to have security, a sense of self, affiliation (with people) and a mission and competency. These are the 5 vital components to a healthy esteem. I'll teach on that another day.

The other things are just a counterfeit for the real thing. Thats all. It is now wonder. It all makes perfect reason as to the WHY of it all.


Denise said...

Bless you sis for digging way down deep, and being so willing to share. I love you.

Bren said...

I have learned so much from you my friend! Affiliation is STRONG in the face of trauma. New affiliations are very important...thank you for showing me this!
Blessings Bren

Patty said...

wow, my husband and I adopted two boys that suffered unheard of abuse on every single level and I read in your words many of the things one son has dealt with and just now is surfacing with the other. Thanks for sharing. It is in sharing that healing comes on many sides

Bob said...

I pray for your continued healing, and thank you for sharing. You have many people here to support you.

Songs of my heart