Family fights

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all argued with a family member at some point. It’s inevitable when you are with them so much. I hate confrontation. I don’t know how to get rid of anger in a way that’s healthy, so I normally end up internalising all my feelings and taking it out on myself. I was doing this, in my usual fashion, after a conversation came up that upset me the other night. I don’t drink, but this person does (and had been that evening) I felt really shitty and cried all evening, but not knowing how to even begin a conversation about it with them afterwards, I just got more and more on edge. 

Fast forward 24 hours and the same conversation topic was brought up. I commented back that the whole discussion was making me want to kill myself a bit so if we could stop that would be ideal. (Blunt I know, but honest!)

Well, it kicked off. Shouting, crying, walking out. All of it. And then it was just me and them on our own and I was being told things about my family which I just didn’t want to hear. How somebody else almost killed themselves, how one parent prefers a separate living space, how caring for somebody with mental illness has ruined X number of years… 

I can’t fucking cope. I know that on the outside I come from a middle class family who loves me & wants to help me, but really nothing is perfect. My parents relationship isn’t exactly going swimmingly, and the stuff I was told the other night is haunting me. I’m not good at forgiveness when somebody has really hurt me. And this hit all the nerves. How do you move on? 

It may be selfish, but seeing the flaws of my family is so triggering to my ED and I just wish I didn’t know anything sometimes. In some ways my knowledge of things that happened when I was growing up have made my relationship with my Mum really special. Lots of people don’t have the closeness we do. But equally, knowing a lot of the imperfections and difficulties in my family makes my house very triggering sometimes, and I wonder how different things might have been if I was less surrounded by certain issues in my household. Who knows! 

If anyone has any experience or thoughts about trying to rekindle my relationship after all this drama with that one person, comment below đź’• 

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My family and food. 

Where do I start?

Firstly by saying that this post is just me venting the triggers, rather than being about judging them. 

My brothers seem to be the ones who escaped the food trap. They both have no issues whatsoever with food and actually really enjoy it with freedom while maintaining healthy bodies. 

My parents on the other hand are where the problems lie. For as long as I can recall my mum has been on and off diets. Sometimes she has sustained weight loss for a decent time, while other attempts were short lived. I remember watching her read the information on food packets when I was a child, and recall people always praising her when she had been “good” on her diet. Fast forward to this afternoon, and we are in the shop. I commented on some dried snacks and she told me how sugary they are. You might as well eat chocolate if you’re going to have them. While her statements are always aimed at the generic you as opposed to me personally, it makes me feel that anything I select will be judged. I support her trying to lose weight, and on countless occasions have given her (sensible, healthy) advice, but I cannot stand hearing all this food talk. It’s one sided, because I couldn’t tell her my food thoughts without a. Feeling uncomfortable or b. Getting told I was wrong.

My dad is very different. He has been thin my whole life. As a child I remember him as a normal eater, but in the latter half of my life he has developed weird habits. My observations tell me he does a version of intermittent fasting. He is currently losing weight, despite being very low body fat and already healthy, in preparation for something, and frankly it is a bit obsessional. Neither of them have habits I would recommend to a friend, as food plays a bigger part than I feel it should in their lives. 

Families eh?

*i love mine to pieces, but my ed is very trigger sensitive and competitive so these things are just too much for me. 

B is for Bottled Up

So I had a really calm, pleasant morning walking on the beach. (I’m so jealous my family live so close to such a gorgeous sea front!)

My mum insisted on taking photos. I find photos quite triggering because I am always of afraid of how I look. I have bottled up my feelings about things like this many times, and today the bottle burst. It ended up upsetting everyone, but atleast I’m not varying those feelings by myself now. I know their upset is just because they care, but if I don’t look ill then I’m not in my eyes. It’s so hard to accept. 

Can anybody help?

My family did everything to try and help me in the early days. It didn’t work because I just did everything I could to conceal my behaviour.
Now that they have given up , I pace rooms to burn calories in their presence. The need to do so is compulsive and I’ve stopped caring if they see me doing it or not. At least this way we can talk and see each other, instead of hardly saying hello because I would whisk myself off alone to exercise.
This has made realise that nobody can help you unless you choose to be helped. Mental illness may not happen through choice but it can be recovered from/ improved by choice. Personally , I don’t think I will ever be completely free of my eating disorder, but my cbt and antidepressants are beginning to make me more optimistic about being able to manage it better in the future.
Once you’ve had an ed, the thoughts remain at any weight. One must definitely eat normally during the recovery process, but eating alone is not a cure.

For a wonderful person.

I write this post about somebody who is no longer alive, and had a limited grasp on technology so wouldn’t have read it anyway, but I’m gonna do it all the same!

It is not long until it is the “death anniversary” of my Nanny (never called her Grandma!) and I am thinking about her even more than usual lately. Although I had been eating disordered for some time before her passing she never knew, although she probably had a hunch I wasn’t myself. One of the things that upsets me massively is the fact that I sat doing mental calorie maths and planning when I could exercise while I sat next to her barely conscious being in her last hours.

Nobody will ever understand what an inspiration that woman is to me. She was determined and achieved her sole ambition to attend music college and later teach music and also overcame massive hurdles in her life all by herself. The day she found out that alcohol could kill her she quit. End of story. I swear that there are basically no other people in the world who could immediately force themselves to change.

Although I am too young to remember that time in her life I am so proud to be related to somebody so mentally strong. In my memory she was always cheerful, always full of enthusiasm about going here and there, arranging theatre trips for us, and always unconditionally supportive of her many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

As a training performer, she had bouts of knowledge and passion which she shared with me and she never missed anything that I was involved in. As she was such a talented person, every compliment she gave me was precious. People often told me that she spoke about me a lot and was very proud of me- nothing else could bring tears of happiness to my eyes in quite the same way.

I miss her. I’m sorry that she was not able to see where I am now and that I have got into professional training courses. She was somebody who fully understood what it is to have a passion and drive to do something like that, and so I spoke to her about it in a manner that I couldn’t anybody else. 

She was a generous, compassionate individual, who I spent many happy hours with. I wish she was here now, but as she isn’t I just wanted a space to say what I truly feel which is this:

I love her very much. I have never been so devastated as I was by her death. I will never forget what a lovely person she was and I hope that she was half as glad to know me as I am to have known her and to have had such a special relationship with her. Not many grandchildren share their grandparents passions afterall! 

Thank you for being there for me and for me encouraging me to do what I love. I will achieve my ambitions and you will be there- even just in my mind- to watch. L

Holidays, food & selfishness.

This wouldn’t post yesterday for some reason..

I ate Christmas lunch by myself & it was blissful. The fact that I was absolutely certain that nobody would come in or that nobody had looked at what I was having made me feel safe, happy and in control.

Although there have been a few too many social occasions surrounded by food the last couple of weeks, I really do love Christmas, and it has been a special day to me since I was very young. At a buffet today (family only) I told everybody I wouldn’t eat before we went to it. I am glad I stuck to that, but it was quite hard to be present in that situation; for some reason, being around food made me particularly on edge this afternoon. 

It is exceptionally challenging to maintain relationships and maintain my fears and rigidity over food all at once, and I am so relieved to have done both this Christmas. A little piece of me does however feel sadness that I can’t join in with these things without it ruining me emotionally for the day/ week etc….

I wonder if anybody else even really cared about what I was doing… I suppose that most of us are too wrapped up in our own thoughts and judgements to truly focus on someone else for very long, but even so, I do worry that people around me resent my lack of willing to eat socially. (Here comes the essay on selfishness) Is it selfish of me to choose my own comfort about eating, rather than place myself under pressure for the comfort of others? I guess it is, but as a person I do not consider myself to be selfish. Although much of my time is dominated by thinking about my food plans. or exercise, or my body, this is almost exclusively a negative activity. It isn’t having a love for myself, or done out of not caring for anybody else. In fact, I try so hard to please others and help my friends whenever I possibly can, but this also brings me pleasure so it I guess it is partially selfish too?

Nothing is selfless. I believe that everybody has their own unique balance of being kind to themselves and being kind to others. How often you think about yourself or others is irrelevant: surely it is the manner in which you think of yourself and others that matters. I hate myself a lot of the time, but there are moments (like xmas dinner) where I was “selfish”, in that others may have felt happier had I sat with them. In my eyes though, this was a small act of kindness to myself.

Everybody is selfish, but sometimes that is the only way in which people can be easier on themselves for a while. Maybe some weird part of my eating disorder is that I can only ever do things that may be seen as selfish in order to be nice to myself, as then, I am still punishing myself in some way?!

Even though they will probably not read this: thank you to my family for (mostly) acting ok with me doing my own thing and being somewhat awkward about all the food parts. I love all of my gifts and did enjoy my Christmas day and boxing day, even if that seems odd all things considered!

 

Wanting, needing and the motivation to do something about either:

It is very easy to be confused between what you want and need, and what you can and can’t do. I WANT to be thinner and believe I NEED to be, but is it possible to achieve this without sacrificing the other things in my life and is that thought even right in the first place?!

Recently, other people are giving me mixed messages about how I am doing. Obviously, this is something that only I can ever be fully aware of, but all the same, it is giving me a lot to think about! 

Some people are telling me how much better I seem and how pleased they are that I seem to be handling my stuff ok on my own; others say I look thinner and my habits aren’t normal or good. My conclusion is that my exterior mood is calmer and more relaxed, so those who comment on me being better are talking about that as opposed to my body or attitude to food… Who knows, but it does prove that I am doing something right, and I’m pleased about that. I suppose the sad thing is that I don’t really think I will ever be able to give my eating disorder, as that voice in my head feels like it will be there forever!

Even to those who think I am doing better (in whatever respect) it is STILL HARD and probably always will be. People forget that and I just because I am not panicking 24 hours a day doesn’t mean my thoughts are different and it is simple to not end up in an anxious mess.