I’ve been planning for three months to write this post, but remembering the incidents is a trigger for me. It usually causes me to get overly anxious and then I take a Xanax; but I haven’t eaten any Xanax in about 40 days, so I don’t want to need one now. I could simply avoid the subject… but I think that if I get it down on paper, I will be able to release the emotional hold that these incidents have over me. I believe that writing about trauma helps it to stop controlling me.
As authormbeyer wrote about his own experiences: 17 Jan 2015
I keep writing and writing about it in one way or another. The more I write, the more power I have over what happened. It will never be a “good” thing that happened, but the consequences of it are in my control now.
When I was about 8 years old, the pediatrician told my parents that I was underweight and he wanted me to put on a few pounds. I was an active kid, always running around. I played outside every day and I was healthy, but the doctor thought I was too skinny. My parents handled this in abusive ways.
First, they started with ordering me to clean my plate. They would give me a full plate of food, an inappropriate amount of food for a child, and expect me to eat it all until the plate was empty.
I couldn’t do it.
So they yelled at me, belittled me, and harassed me to try to make me feel bad, to make me feel guilty for not eating all the food. However, I was a strange child. I did not accept any of the blame, guilt or shame for not cleaning my plate. I thought they were both being idiots and I ignored their harassment as best as I could.
So they progressed to Stage 2.
At this point, my step-dad became the aggressor and my mom was the bystander who simply withdrew. She did not interfere with his parenting of me or his disciplining of me. She stepped aside but verbally agreed with him.
My step-father started cooking foods that he knew I wouldn’t eat, for example, brussel sprouts. I hated them. Suddenly, the family needed to eat brussel sprouts several times a week. Why? Because he was a bully. Dinnertime because a tense struggle as he tried to break me like a cowboy breaks a wild mare. He clearly wanted power.
Stage 3: Dad decided that I would sit at the dinnertable until I finished all my food, the too large portions of foods that I disliked. For days, he made me sit at the table for three hours, alone, and sometimes he even turned off the lights (to save money). I recall that I didn’t care too much. I just sat there in the dark, waiting and thinking about stuff. I was in a kind of denial about how wrong this was; yet I knew that I couldn’t let him break me.
Stage 4: After a week or two of fighting, scolding, demeaning, threatening, and punishing me by making me sit at the table for hours and by having no television and by having no playtime, my dad decided that he would make me eat the food. With one strong arm (he was 33 years old), he held me secure and with the other arm, he force fed me like a goose. This time, I had eaten all my dinner except the green peas. He took the peas in his bare hand and shoved them into my mouth. He physically held me and tried to force me to swallow the food. When he finally released me, he turned off the lights (to save money), and locked me in the kitchen until I would eat the remaining peas.
I was so mad. I was so hopping mad. I wanted to punish both of them. I thought:
I am going to spit these peas out onto the doorknob and then one of them will come in the dark, try to open the door, and get a handful of chewed up peas. That’ll teach them.
So that’s what I did.
Stage 5: After a few more days of abuse, my mom told my father to stop and they gave up trying to make me gain weight.
“Food: A Child Abuse Story.” is copyright © 2015 by Poorkitteh. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
These findings provide evidence that normal patterns of neural activity related to food motivation begin in childhood. Results have implications for obese children and adults, who may have abnormal hunger and satiation mechanisms.
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