Here I Go!
Jan 29, 2013
I have looked at this page so many times and vacillated about whether to tell my story. It is embarrassing in many ways, and yet I know that the consequences of secrets tear at people on the inside and cause all kinds of problems in our lives. Sometimes we are aware of these issues and other times as we uncover them they seem to come as a surprise. The journey although bumpy at times is inspiring, frightening, incredible, overwhelming, and even rewarding. Sometimes I just want to hide, to stop the world, get off and get back on in a place where everything is suddenly fixed.
For me the journey that brought me to surgery started when I was 10 years old. I was a normal, happy, healthy, child. Then disaster struck and my father who I loved so much, who was my best friend, was diagnosed with cancer. He died 10 weeks later and my whole world crumbled. He and my mother had been soul mates, met in 7th grade and fell in love. My mother was devastated and was inconsolable when he died. People thinking they were being kind, said God him needed him more than me, that he was so special God called him home. None of this makes sense to a 10 year old and just increased my anger towards the world. My mother loved me immensely, but she was so depressed she couldn't take care of herself, much less a 10 year old child. She turned to prescription drugs to dull the pain and many nights I picked her up off the floor and helped her to bed.
Don't get me wrong, my mother loved me. I was an only child and she wanted the best for me and she wanted me to be perfect as least as far as weight. For some reason she became focused on my weight when I was 12. I wasn't but perhaps 10 pounds overweight, which isn't so bad for a little girl who did nothing except sit at home at night and cry for her dad. But, the older I got the more controlling and focused she became. Every bite I took was controlled by her. For breakfast I was allowed one slice of toast. For lunch, she made sure the lunch ladies at school gave me the minimum amount and for supper, well that was 1/2 a sandwich and 1/2 a baked potato. I was hungry. Growing children need more food than that...but I was also sedentary because my mom did not want to let me out of her sight, for fear of something happening to me and for fear I might eat something she didn't approve.
I learned to eat on the sly. God help me I took money from her purse and snuck to the corner store. She would weigh me every morning and right it on one of the walls in the unfinished basement. What a tongue lashing I would get if I gained a pound. I never did, but I never lost any either. When I graduated from high school I weighed 134 pounds and I was five foot two. I was a little overweight, but nothing compared to what I have become.
Why am I talking about this? This was the beginning to me in my battle with food. I learned that some foods would bring comfort. Chips, candy bars, all the things I wasn't allowed to have were increasingly important. In those few minutes that I could sit down eat that "delectable" food, my problems, my sadness, my despair didn't seem quite so bad. It is a habit that has followed me much of my adult life.
I guess that is all I can tolerate for now. I hope that for the people who read this, it will encourage to take a look back in your life and identify where you learned and what triggered your unhealthy relationship with food.