Sunday, April 24, 2011

Food, Glorious Food

I'm pretty excited about the party today.  I probably should be off starting to prep for it right now.  The reason I am not doing so is because it is still pitch black outside.  I think the first thing I do should be to hide the eggs so the girls aren't woken up by me moving around in the house before then.  Excellent.  Time to think.  One of the things that has been on my mind a lot lately is food.  Seems normal, I think everyone focuses on food.  Especially when they are about to host a party.  But that isn't really what I mean.  I mean that I'm thinking about food in the abstract.  I'm thinking about what it means to me.  See, I'm doing that because I'm not really eating.  Yesterday I had an egg mit from Noah's Bagels and a 16 oz drink from Jamba Juice for breakfast.  For the entire rest of the day I had a slice of cheese, a couple bites of sausage, half a bowl of ramen, and about 5 bites of meat at a Japanese restaurant.  I am not a small chick.  I am breastfeeding.  That is simply not an adequate number of calories for a day.  Right before going to bed I asked Noah to bring me food and he did and I ate a sandwich.  I did that because I knew Calli would be up all night nursing (I was mostly right) and I didn't want to deal with the level of stomach pain I get if I let her keep nursing when I'm over hungry.

Maybe that is part of why I hate nursing her so much.  And that's why my jeans are falling off.  It's this weird thing.  I am so clearly punishing myself.  Wait.  I'm getting ahead of myself.  I'm not telling the story right.

I've been thinking about food a lot.  I've been thinking about food a lot because I've been playing games with denying myself food.  This feels unsettling and weird to me because... it's not October.  I accept that I do things like this every so often, but it never crossed my mind until this morning when my wonderful online girlfriend asked me about it.  My father committed suicide in the beginning of October.  I think I have spent every October since his death not eating.  This was actually an issue with Tom.  He got very worried and upset the first two years of our relationship when I didn't eat for a month.  I mean, I do eat some.  But I eat 25-50% of what I normally eat.  And my weight tends to plummet rapidly during this time.  I've always gotten a lot of positive feedback about that and uhm, that's weird.  It's weird that I get so much overt societal approval for being that specific flavor of fucked up.  Society as a whole would love for me to develop this kind of overwhelming shame at all times so that I could finally have the appropriate body size.

And yet I'm not real inclined to do that.  I have very quiet anxiety that I don't express to almost anyone about being "too fat" where I don't know where the line is.  And I don't even know exactly why I feel so bad about this anxiety.  Ok, here's the thing: my actual shoulder bones are very narrow.  And for whatever reason I don't tend to put on much weight in the very upper arms/shoulder/upper back areas.  So my upper body is always going to look funny in larger sized clothes because they hang wrong.  And I feel like I can never look attractive in my clothes.  And that really bothers me.  It really and truly bothers me that when I am heavy it is literally impossible to find things that fit me in the shoulders.  I'm starting to wear strapless dresses/shirts because then I can wear an open size medium sweater that doesn't hang off my shoulders.

So obviously this is a complicated issue.  Food is love for me.  Very very much so.  I love to feed people and I surround myself with people who think food is love.  And then I do things like telling Noah last night that if he ever tries to get me to eat Japanese food again it will be proof that he is a terrible person who doesn't love me because something in the flavor palate really bothers me.  Ok, I didn't use exactly those words but that was strongly the gist of it.  And for the record I apologized as soon as my brain caught up with what my stupid mouth had just said.  I was horrified.  Oh man.  For the record the Japanese food thing is almost certainly connected with my overall food issue right now.  Nothing tastes good to me these days.  It's complicated.

And that's a lot of why I feel so awkward right now.  I'm really nervous about my ability to pull off being adequately social for the party today.  I don't know how to talk to people because I am leapfrogging from one yucky thought to another about food stuff.  Why do I surround myself with feeders and then refuse to eat?  Because I don't deserve love.  Because I'm saying bad things about my Daddy.

And that is why I don't eat in October.  I am paying penance for killing him.  Without ever having considered if I should or shouldn't, I am.  That's an awful thing to think about.  I don't think he deserves it in my big kid brain.  I don't know where to begin to find a road around this obstacle.  Even if he doesn't deserve it the little girl inside me is really upset about hurting her Daddy.

I'm kind of twitching about using that name for him.  You see, I tend to refer to him as my father.  Because he fathered me.  He spawned me.  That sort of thing.  I have had multiple Daddys at this point and they've been good men.  It's kind of an odd story really.  Even I am not slow enough to have missed the connection between me having multiple friends and lovers I call Daddy and thinking about my father molesting me.  It's kind of odd that the process has healed me in many ways.

Side note: I noticed that it was 5:30 and that I was kind of hungry.  I made a conscious decision to get up and get something to eat because it is absolutely mandatory that my mood be stable today.  I don't want to eat it.  It actually tastes disgusting enough that I am having difficulty chewing and I feel nearly unable to swallow.  I'm eating a Vanilla Chip Chewy Granola Bar made by Cascadian Farms.  Normally I think these things are just about heaven on earth.  Right now my mouth feels coated and waxy and I feel repulsed and I am having minor gag reflex responses at the idea of taking a third bite.  But I don't want to be a nasty bitch to my friends today so I took my damn third bite and I will just try not to think about the taste.  Because if I do this, if I allow myself to sit in this cycle today, I will cause a nasty big blow up fight in public and I will feel humiliated and proven right that I am an unstable bad person.

No thanks.  I'll eat the fucking granola bar.  And every time someone tells me to eat today I will.  Because even if my little girl thinks I deserve to lose all my friends and be punished because I am a terrible person for prosecuting my father my big girl says fuck that shit.  I am not going to do this to myself any more.  I have people in my life who are just itching to feed me and love me.  I really should let them do both.  Even if I can't love me when I am breaking family taboos and talking about family or relationship secrets.  But I don't even know if that is it.  I just know that I feel upset enough when I am processing abuse stuff that I begin to withhold food from myself.

Hmm.  Interesting thought.  I wonder if part of the reason I am so prone to attach strongly to people who show love with food because I know I do this to myself and I know that *for me* it is necessary for me to have a cushion of fat to deal with these times of punishing myself.  Years ago I did Weight Watchers and I lost 50 pounds.  It was rather dramatic.  I was also doing a lot of intense exercise and I got into rather good shape.  (I realize now as I mourn that vigorous body.)  I'm trying to get back to feeling like I have that kind of energy.  Though now it occurs to me that it will probably not happen as long as I am waking up at 4 in the morning to write about being sexually assaulted while I was little.

But I have to wake up at 4 and write about it or I will answer cashiers in grocery stores with, "Hi, I'm Krissy and I'm a sexual assault survivor.  Specifically incest that primarily happened in the first ten years of my life, and multiple horrifying rapes when I was 7-10 years old, and a few date rapes and near misses as a teenager.  And then I prosecuted my father and he killed himself and I've been a hot mess ever since.  But thanks for asking how my day is!  I hope you are having a good one!"  That wouldn't be ok, you know?

I hold that boundary.  And I don't talk about my abuse and trauma very much during the day.  Even though this is an intense period of processing I don't allow myself to talk about it during the day outside of therapy much because it isn't appropriate for my kids to hear.  That has to be a boundary.  So instead I just punish myself.

And I grow to resent my children.  Especially nursing.  They are taking so much from me right now but I keep picturing this wonderful scene from a movie I recently watched.  The movie was Mother and Child with Annette Bening.  I sobbed my heart out through the whole story.  But specifically towards the end a woman is successful in adopting a baby after great personal sacrifice trying to do so.  She calls her mom in the middle of the night and throws a temper tantrum about how needy the baby is.  The grandmother in question, S. Epatha Merkerson, pulls back into this stern dignified look.  She then proceeds to tell her daughter off up one side and down the other for daring to have the gall to complain about a baby having needs.  These days when I start to feel pissy with the girls I close my eyes and picture that stony face of disappointed fury telling me to get off my ass and take care of the god damn baby.  And I plaster a smile on my face and get over myself.  I am not always as fast in some of my responses as I would like because I have to stop and take deep breaths to deal with my frustration level sometimes.  But everyone here is happy and healthy and growing and feeling really loved and supported as part of a whole unit.  A big part of that is I have decided that the version of Attachment Parenting we want to practice does not involve all the extremism that some loud voices in the "Natural Family Living" community think it should.  And that's ok.  I don't have to think that everything in the mainstream is wrong just because it is a common thing to do.  That is conforming to a specific kind of non-conformity and oh man it is killing me.  So I'm not doing the perfectly available 24/7 thing anymore.  And you know what?  It's helping a lot.

You can see why I feel that thinking about food is complicated?  But the sun is stealing slowly over the horizon.  I can now clearly see the outline of the tree in our yard.  It is time for me to get up and go hide Easter eggs for a party.  I have something like 12 kids coming on a hunt today.  It will be super fun.   Luckily 5 of those kids are too young and 1 is probably mostly too old because I only have 48 eggs.   Always look on the bright side I say.  The kids will all have a wonderful time and it will be a great party.  I will eat every time someone mentions that I should.  The awesome thing is, no one who loves to feed me will have a chance to read this journal entry before the party.  But they will read it later.  Then the game becomes, do I tell them this morning what stupid destructive game I am playing so they can help me break the cycle?  Or do I act like a crazy person and create drama.  Yeah.  I think I'll be talking to them as soon as possible.  I wish I didn't need as much support as I do but I'm really glad that I can get it since I need it.  I am very lucky.

2 comments:

  1. i like the idea that you maintain some safety fuel to get through your non-eating times. that's a good insight.

    so, what ended up happening yesterday? i know you had to cancel, but then what did you do?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Slacked. Napped. Didn't do a whole lot. :)

    ReplyDelete