Tag Archives: Toxic Shame

Best friend

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Okay, so I haven’t been able to string even a day of clean eating together in what seems like forever.   This addiction has morphed into a beast.   I haven’t stopped fighting though.  I just don’t know how to fight it.    

Food addiction is a physical addiction with a cravings and withdrawal cycle.  Anyone who tells you different hasn’t done their homework.  They are uneducated and ignorant regarding the matter.   There are certainly emotional triggers that can bring about an eating “binge”.   

When I feel a certain way; my pattern of eating changes accordingly.   Actually, that last line is complete BS.   There is virtually no emotional state that won’t drive me to binge.  I eat when I’m happy, I eat when I’m sad, I eat when I’m nervous, I eat when I’m angry, I eat to celebrate, I eat out of boredom.  Food has been there when people haven’t.  In a strange way food has been a best friend.   It’s just that my best friend is trying to disfigure my body and ultimately kill me so it’s like an abusive relationship that I need to end.  

I truly believe that people with addictions don’t get better until they hit their bottom. I don’t know what my bottom will be because it keeps getting lower.

In my 20’s I told myself I’d never go above 140 lbs.  Blew past that.  In my 30’s I told myself I’d never binge at someone else’s house on their food.   Did that at my moms.    Promised myself I’d never binge on my kids Halloween candy.   Did it.  All the while saying “I’ll replace it while they are at school before they realize it’s even gone.”  But really? Really! Who does this shit!!  Who takes candy from a baby? Besides that, even if they never found out, I knew….I knew.  And looking in the mirror became harder to do for more than the obvious reason.

Even though I’ve been asking God for help I don’t know if I will get better because I’m not sure that I’m ready to part ways with this toxic relationship.   Does that make sense? 

Part of me is ready to get healthy but only part of the time.   It waxes and wanes on any given day.  How far down river will I get, when I don’t have both recovery oars in the water?

For a non-food iaddict, food is just food.  For me, food is so many things:  Food is comfort, it is stress relief, food is safety, it’s happiness, food is love.   I know some  normal people will read that line and think, “wow that is so effed up!  ‘Food is love?’ they will say to themselves?  I know it’s true seeing it on paper does sound crazy, but that’s the powerful distorted connection it has in this writer’s  life.  That’s why diets don’t work or if they do, the weight loss usually returns so fast.   Once weight loss happens I go right back to that missing friend, that missing thing which used to comfort me.  That’s why Oprah Winfrey who has millions in net worth cannot, even with the aide of a personal chef, trainer, and psychotherapy seem to keep the weight so easily.  It’s goes so deep.    

Hpw does one unwed the thing which for years that has brought them relief day in, day out? I have no idea but I know the solution isn’t in merely counting calories.

I know there are people who have broken free from food addiction.

I wonder if I will ever be able my shit together and get some decent clean time in.  This is so demoralizing.   My instinct is to to just hide out all day at home .  All the weight I’ve gained makes me feel self-conscious and ashamed.  Of course I could always traverse through the world wearing a bag over my head.  

Seriously, I don’t know anymore.   I need a plan though, because this is just not working for me.   


Toxic Shame

0E6185B6-ADF6-490A-9675-B1E2F5FD549EComplex trauma has left a wound on me that I don’t know will ever heal.  Or maybe it’s that there’s so much scar tissue I just need to get used to that “new normal” of who I’ve  become.

Complex trauma is still a relatively new field of psychology. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder.  (C-PTSD) results from enduring complex trauma.

Complex trauma is ongoing or repeated interpersonal trauma, where the victim is traumatized in captivity, and where there is no perceived way to escape. Ongoing child abuse is captivity abuse because the child cannot escape. Domestic violence is another example. Forced prostitution/sex trafficking is another.

In my particular case, I was a victim of childhood incest.  It is the hardest thing to type that sentence, harder still to say it out loud.  I want to delete the sentence and delete “it” from my history.  Additionally, there was heavy-handed corporal punishment which by today’s standards would be considered physical abuse.   There was definite emotional abuse and at times neglect.  Continual domestic violence pervaded my childhood home.  My home did not often feel like the safe place it should.

Later in adulthood, I was the victim of domestic violence within my two major long-terms relationships.   I don’t know that I even recognized it happening as such it seemed so familiar.  If that makes sense.

All of my life I have struggled with low self-esteem.   Underneath my low self-esteem  belies a  darker feeling .   There is this deep sense of shame I have carried since as long as I can remember.

Unlike ordinary shame, “internalized shame” lingers and changes our self-image. It’s shame that has become “toxic.

When a person is ruled by toxic shame it interferes with their ability to accept positive regard.   For in childhood they internalized the belief of not being worthy of being loved or given any attention.

It dawned on me today as I couldn’t look into the mirror, that I just hate myself because I’m ashamed of me.

I wonder if this shame will ever leave.  I’ve got a new shrink I’ve been seeing for about 9 months.   I’ll call her Lee.  One can’t help but feel disillusioned after 20 years in/out of therapy.   I’ve ditched seeing Lee the past month.  Made up some excuse or other.  I mean everyone needs a mental health day from the mental health provider.   Oh wait this can’t be treatment resistance this soon can it?  I am feeling vulnerable because we are past the point of rapport building, and she’s a quick study.  She sees through my best defense mechanisms, and is trying to dig deeper and I’m running like hell.

There’s no shame in investing in a sturdy paper bag to wear over my head to hide myself, right?  Wearing bags are so much easier than facing your own demons.  ‘Cause Lord knows I’m hoping for a loophole.

 

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