Sunday, July 7, 2013

Intimacy in Progress

I am grateful to be learning and practicing a new way of living - one where food is not my judge or my God; where the cushion overeating provided, the one which kept me from being too intimate with others is being deflated daily. It is a cushion I never realized was around me. How could I know it was there? I spent my life hiding from a formless thing called vulnerability - it never occurred to me compulsive eating was my protection, compulsive eating was so much a part of me I never separated from it enough to see it as a tool I misused in order to survive.

At some point or at a million points in my younger life, I was hurt due to vulnerability and from that point on, without realizing it, my life revolved around never allowing anyone to find me vulnerable. Food allowed me to numb out so that I would not seek intimacy from others. Food was the close friend when other ‘friends’ didn't invite me to join in playing their reindeer games. Food was the confidant I went to when I felt sad, alone, or disappointed. Food celebrated with me when I was happy or rejoicing. I could be with friends, family and strangers and still have food – a socially acceptable substance. It became my secret ‘significant other’.

Abusing food enabled me to not get closer to the people in my life – even the ones who I loved. I was rarely able to risk getting hurt. When someone in my life (loved one, friend, stranger) hurt me in any way – major or minor, food was close by to help me pick up the pieces – and swallow them down.

Even after all this time I am just now becoming aware of just how far I pushed intimacy out of my relationships. I have been married to my loving spouse more than half my life yet I am still uncomfortable discussing some subjects with him. In many relationships I am still peeling away the layers that keep me from sharing intimately and without fear of being hurt. For today I can be grateful I am finally aware and still willing to continue peeling away anything that separates me from intimacy at my core. It is not easy.

Not the photo I wanted here. Picture
Spock's father touching 2 fingers
to Spock's mother's 2 fingers. I
think that gesture is very intimate.
I can't find a still of that scene. 
Today intimacy both excites me and scares me. Having tasted of the rich connection intimacy provides, I crave it in my life. With continued examinations of my character defects I am often assaulted with sudden awareness of previously forgotten or hidden memories. Sometimes an incident today opens my eyes to a past experience where I was hurt by someone’s actions of rage, selective affection, physical threats, contempt or force. Today I can see how overeating kept me from intimacy with everyone – even myself. Today I remain willing to reach for intimacy over the food cushion.



Unknown said...

When people tell me that they NEED comfort food, I think--why??? What is the issue or event you need comfort from, that you can't handle without food sedation? People would do better to try to figure out some of these issues that repeatedly cause them pain. to me, it's worth the temporary hurt of working this sort of stuff out.

E. Jane said...

There's so much truth in this post that I had to put it down before I could resume reading.

Jane Cartelli said...

It took me a long time to understand that the NEED is real. There is a need that MUST be met - and it will never truly be met with food in a way that squelches the need for all time. The need will keep coming back when I use food to push it down.

I spent most of my life (sad to believe) using food to meet the need, never knowing it was impossible. Even when I was told it was something else, I went back to the food an additional ten plus years.

For this reason I have a lot of healthy living to still experience.

For this reason I cannot condemn anyone still using food. I can grieve for them but I had to find the truth myself and so does everyone else.