When I was finally let go I never said anything to my parents. Under-informed on such things at that age, I didn't know what sexual abuse or molestation was. I knew that in some way I had been violated but I didn't think much about it because I had clothes on and there wasn't any marks and I never saw the other person. I did not repeat it to anyone. I never forgot it but I denied it meant anything in my life. My weight stayed steady and I was not obese at that age. By the time I was 17 I was even a normal weight - with an attractive hourglass shape. I didn't binge and I didn't feast on any particular foods over others.
Then I started college and met my future husband. In the year that I became a sexually active, I gained 60 pounds and the weight kept coming on. I never, ever saw the connection between my eating and sexual activity so, with regards to my weight, a sexual issue was the least possible reason (in my mind).
|My spouse does not own this tie.|
Around this same time there was a quick series of events that lead to me having a panic feeling I could not identify. While all these incidents were small in themselves, I had no idea they were opening up a festering sore inside of me. When I finished reading Fifty Shades I was on my cruise - in fact it was the day I picking up the sugar and started overeating. On the day the additional incidents each took place (a TV show, a newspaper article, a conversation with a friend), I picked up each of those days. It should be noted that ever since October my mentor noted I was displaying some of the signs of someone in need of help. Finally and with some coaxing, he got me to agree to speak with a mental health professional.
I went to a therapist, sure it was nothing to do with any sexual trauma because I have never felt that I repressed any sexual memories - so what was the problem. In therapy it came out that while I never denied my mind from knowing what happened that day, I have always denied that it hurt me. I have always denied the feelings of pain, helplessness, fear and instead accepted unwarranted shame.
Suddenly I could see things in my life that happened over and over and over again - things would happen and I would unconsciously be triggered and pick up food for no apparent reason except for my belief that I just had to have it because it was food. I was using it as a substitute protector. So many of those incidents were in some way related to fear, strangers, crowds, security, intimacy and physical interactions, sexual or not. Now I know why I feel safer alone on the streets of NYC at midnight than I do in a room full of people at a convention center in the middle of the day.
The hero of the story was my food. It would save me, avenge me, protect me and then love me. We all know it would do none of those things, really. However, during the time I used it as such, it served whatever need I had. Now that I am aware, it can never again fill that need. It can never again be an unconscious choice.
I have been taking this all in for the past three weeks and feeling much better about it all. Through this new awareness I am finding triggers I never acknowledged before. Situations that led me to suddenly start the cycle of crave/binge/remorse/shame/deny/forget and repeat - are now being thwarted by a brief pause, a few deep breathes and bringing my mind to focus on an awareness of what I am feeling right then and there.
|Why are unicorns always white? I want|
an appaloosa unicorn!
I am very grateful to the mentor that pushed me, the therapist that challenged me and the response of the people who love me. The story will continue ~ bring on the magical unicorns!