Sunday, December 15, 2013

Binge Eating and Validation

Today's Sunday Confession prompt:

My friend Bonehead and I have been trying to work something out that happened between us some time ago.  I don't want to call it an argument, but I got upset at him for something and I didn't say anything about it until one day I just couldn't take it anymore and I said something awful.  I was angry past the point of being able to talk it out and we didn't talk for a year. While talking to him this week about why I made it so difficult, I realized something about myself and it felt like one of the biggest breakthroughs ever.  

My therapist might have actually been proud.

I have a problem with telling people when they do something that hurts or upsets me.  I've often thought that perhaps I just don't like conflict or maybe I lack self-esteem or courage; Maybe it is like my good friend once told me, I just want everyone to love me and think awesome shit about me all the time and not say/do things that cause butthurtness.  However, I've realized that while I was growing up, and in many of my relationships since then, any time I've tried to talk to someone about something that bothered me...the reaction was to argue with me or invalidate my feelings, and tell me why my feelings were wrong or inappropriate. 

Now, I say nothing when people do things that bother me.  I shove whatever upset comes my way down inside because I constantly second-guess whether I'm justified or allowed to feel the way that I do. More often than not, I get mad at myself for my feelings because I never feel like I have a right to feel whatever way I may be feeling. When something happens, I shove the hurt down inside and don't say anything.  This will continue to happen until eventually the initial hurt starts to fester and I grow  angrier with every "offense".  The more time goes by and the more little upsetting things happen (and they do when you don't tell someone that what they are doing upsets you) the more it eventually feels like I'm eating shit.  Even then, I keep doing it until finally, when I'm tired of eating shit... it all comes back up and instead of having a mature, honest discussion about something small that bothered me I become an angry, spiteful person full of attitude because I've been hanging on to so many little tiny things for such a long time. 

I realized that this explains why I don't have many close personal relationships: I find other people exhausting, and I can't communicate the things that bother me. I've always considered myself to be a more solitary person and an introvert because I need time to regenerate after social interaction. 

I laughed when I read this.

I'm starting to wonder if life might be different and if that void wouldn't exist if I didn't find the people in my life to be so draining and taxing not because of who they are but because I don't know how to communicate the things that bother me in order to have a stronger, better, more positive relationship.  And then I realized that it goes hand-in-hand with my Binge Eating.  

I am a Binge Eater; I was diagnosed more that 5 years ago but I've been struggling for about 10 years, probably more.  I've done the unhealthy drugstore diet pills, Internet Fad Diets, and bought a juicer.  I cannot even begin to describe how irritating it is to have yet another person attempt a heart-to-heart talk about helping me lose weight; Or worse, when the "let me help you" conversation comes from someone I don't and would never confide in about the intimate details of my life much less the Eating Disorders Clinic, doctors, dietitians, prescriptions and therapy I've been through.

I've spent years and countless hours in waiting rooms and doctors' offices trying to get better.  I was seeing medical professionals who were trying to help me lose weight on a weekly basis at one point and I lost less than 12 pounds.  Eventually, I stopped going because I had plateaued in my progress and I was starting to have a hard time affording treatment.  Since then, I've tried to work on myself and figure out when and how I became a Binge Eater, and why I seek out Taco Bell or an entire deli chicken when I'm hurt or stressed.  

I often feel like I got the crappy Eating Disorder.  Not only is most of the clothing in the plus sizes usually ugly, but it costs more on account of needing more fabric.  Being fat is less acceptable than being too skinny, and people are constantly trying to "help" you.  Worse that being "helped" is people "defending" you in ways that make you feel 2 feet tall or insult you more than whatever they were defending you against.  And never, NEVER try to explain to someone that you have a Binge Eating Disorder because some people just believe it is laziness. 

And what is with the Eating?  I eat my feelings and I mean all of them.  I go out to eat to celebrate.  I eat out of boredom.  I eat when I've had a long week because I feel like I deserve a "treat".  I eat because after being sexually assaulted as a teenager there is a part of me that feels safer hiding under the adipose.  I eat because fat repulses people, and therefor I don’t have to worry about anyone trying to get too close to me.  On some level, there is a part of me that believes that someone who chooses to get to know me or love me in spite of the giant wall of flesh I've put up must really want to get to know me as a person, and might actually be able to see me for me.  Yep, my weight is yet another brilliant strategy I use to keep people out. 

And here I am.  I struggle with Eating and it is a symptom of everything else I struggle with.

Read the Anonymous Confessions from this Week

Thanks for reading!  Please check out these other great Sunday Confessions:
Full Metal Mommy
Juicebox Confession
Mommy Need Wine, Not Whine


  1. I'm very sorry you struggle with this. That's really all I can say. :-)

  2. I'm so sorry you have all of that to deal with. The one good thing is you seem to recognize it, and for a lot of people, that is a huge step in itself. You're a beautiful person, you SHOULD have more confidence! No matter what you look like, or how you choose to deal with your stress. I wish I could wrap up that notion and give it to you for Christmas! Everyone deals with stress in their own way, some people binge drink or do worse. I feel like over-eating, in the whole grand scheme of stress survival techniques, isn't as bad as it makes some people feel. I know, that is never comforting. I also stress eat. Sometimes disgustingly, like eating RAW cake batter. I'm often too lazy to even put an egg or oil it in, so I just add water to the cake mix and eat that with a spoon. I should be ashamed of that probably, but instead I took pictures, called it a "cake-tini" and put it on my blog. I don't even know how to cure that kind of dumbassery. So I pretend like it's funny, instead of weird :)

    I think you're beautiful, inside and out. I think you're working through some tough stuff, and you're definitely on the better end. It may still be a long journey, but you're ON your way. I'm glad about that.

    I finally did this, sorry it's late. You don't even want to hear about it. But I finally did it. It's so LAME, especially compared to the pouring-out of your heart, but this is what came to my sleepy dome today.