Yet another Cptsd symptom.

  • 7 Replies
  • 1248 Views
*

Mary Ann

  • Member
  • 92
    • View Profile
Yet another Cptsd symptom.
« on: March 14, 2022, 09:22:52 AM »
When I was in my mid teens, I had an eating disorder.
Gradually over time, I became more and more restrictive,  till I was mostly living on water and teeny amounts of food like half an apple here and there.
My hair fell out and went extremely thin, I stopped getting my period, I was so tired and spaced out I could barely function.
My Mother would buy big bags of chocolate mishapes which she knew I liked, and I’d go several weeks of starving, then I’d steal these bags of chocolates and binge.
I’d bite each one searching for a certain flavour, then discard it, throwing it in the bin. I’d empty cold cups of tea and bits of dirt on top of the binned chocolates, but a couple of days later I’d go back to them.
I’d kneel on the floor in my room, eating these wet dirty chocolates straight from the bin, scraping of the dirt and fluff and cramming them in my mouth. …I’d then feel sick, and disgusting.
I’d starve again for weeks, then repeat. These are memories that come with a lot of shame for me.
Though my grown up siblings kept telling my M I had depression and was drastically underweight, no family member got me any help.
I remember my Mother holding me by the wrists and forcing me to stand on her scales.
She’d mock my response to being offered food.
Finally she got extremely angry towards me, and it’s almost like my fear of her overrode my eating problem….I was so scared I slowly ate a little more.
Only the problem hadn’t gone, it had just changed.
I started to binge eat, huge quantities of sweet stuff, and fizzy drinks, and I hid all the evidence.
I put on a lot of weight….from this point I really yo yo dieted up and down, any time I felt the need to lose weight I starved, till it crept back up. You know the cycle.
The best thing about when I was seriously underweight is the spaciness.
I felt floaty and light, and out of my body, which I now realise was dissociation, which I’ve done all my life, but it was for long amounts of time here.
Fast forward to now, and I’m realising I’ve got a binge eating problem, but eating dysfunctionally is so built into the fabric of my being it’s like I don’t notice…so I’m making an effort to pay attention to what I do.
I’m overweight. The things I binge on (I don’t like that word) are odd.
Yes sweet stuff…but the thing that brings me real comfort is milk, and bread.
So I’ll eat bowl after bowl of cereal in the evening, but what I’m really relishing is the milk.
I also have the milk alone, but it has to be slurped slowly, off a small spoon, in fast tiny gulps.
When I was a kid, my M used to get the milkman to give her the left over milk from the local school…small glass bottles, and these were half drank, but my M always wanted anything for nothing, and so our family had them. I’m now repulsed by the thought of drinking milk left out all day, and slobbered into by classes of kids, but then I just drank it.
It felt comforting to drink it through a teeny straw, slowly, mindlessly,  lying on my bed in an empty house….that was as good as it gets for me at the time.
I think the milk thing now, is me recreating that. ..and as a kid, who knows?
It was said as a new baby, my M had tried to breast feed me, and was angry because I wouldn’t (my daughters rejected me even then! she said)
The milk thing felt soothing, it sort of turned my mind off? Only thing comparable was as a kid I rocked from side to side (still do) and it made my head empty (don’t know if this makes sense)
   As a kid, my grown up sister often criticised my Mother in front of me, for giving me too much sweet stuff. She lectured my M for letting me get fat (though I wasn’t)
One weeks holiday, my sister made me run everyday up a steep hill behind the family car till I could get to the top without stopping. When I’d stop out of breath, she’d imply that it was my lack of character….quite sad that a small kid was running behind a car full of adults, daily  and no one said anything .
The binge eating really spiked when I was around 10, because my ‘caregiver’ older sister who was a real attachment figure moved away. I couldn’t even speak to her on the phone.
I’ve brought up the binge eating briefly with my T, but not really gone into it.
She seems to have the opinion that out of the stuff I have done (sh sometimes) that eating is reasonably harmless.
But I’m getting bigger and bigger…and I can’t stop.
I can’t even look in the mirror, or touch my own body without a really bad reaction.
Another side effect of having abusive family members….in the mirror it’s like I’m growing into them, and I can’t stand it!
I think I need to think about this, revisit this again….because its no good.
I want to be a better example to my kids.

*

Not Alone

  • Member
  • 3161
    • View Profile
Re: Yet another Cptsd symptom.
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2022, 12:38:29 AM »
Mary Ann, there is so much here in what you wrote. I just wanted to share with you that I feel sad for all you have endured and continue to experience.

I’ve brought up the binge eating briefly with my T, but not really gone into it.

I wonder if sharing this post with your T would help her to understand a little more of the depth of your pain around eating?

*

Armee

  • Member
  • 1736
    • View Profile
Re: Yet another Cptsd symptom.
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2022, 02:49:31 AM »
I agree it is heartbreaking what you endured. These things are not your fault and I hope in time you can carry just compassion for yourself. The shame is not yours to carry. It's really sad and I understand feeling ashamed, but those neglectful and abusive adults in your life...it belongs to them.

 :hug:

*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 9172
    • View Profile
Re: Yet another Cptsd symptom.
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2022, 02:27:19 PM »
I've struggled with food too Mary Ann albeit with me it's more overeating regularly than binge and restrict.  It was a source of comfort and numbing to deal with shame, worthlessness, etc., and has been for all of my life so very tough to deal with. 

I ended up getting my GP to refer me to a medical weight management centre where I live and have been working with a nutritionist and more importantly a physician who gets the whole notion of food as comfort/numbing.  It is really helping I must say.  I've lost about 25+ pounds nice and slowly and sanely. 

Note - I did try a medication called Ozempic and it was great except for me it ramped up my anxiety (right now most meds seem to do so), so I had to stop after three weeks.  My point is there are meds that can help with struggling like we experience.  Ozempic (and other meds like it) slows the digestion of food so you don't want as much and it helps tamp down cravings.  It gives you back some control in other words.  If it didn't make me anxious (and again this is not a common reaction)  I would give it another go under the supervision of a physician.  It was so validating to be understood and have science based guidance based on bariatric medicine.

 :hug:  I understand how it feels

*

Mary Ann

  • Member
  • 92
    • View Profile
Re: Yet another Cptsd symptom.
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2022, 08:00:54 PM »
Thanks….it’s nice people understand.
I’ve never considered medication, but it may be something to think about at some point.

*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 9172
    • View Profile
Re: Yet another Cptsd symptom.
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2022, 01:48:48 PM »
I think those of us who have eating issues and a background of trauma could do with a lot more help understanding what food symbolizes for us, how it becomes a source of comfort, numbing, control or whatever.  It's like addiction approaches that acknowledge alcoholism is a symptom of trauma for many people and help people recover by focusing on the root cause, providing meds where appropriate versus white knuckling it through abstinence. 

I don't know if medication would be appropriate/helpful for you but it (and therapy) might be worth discussing with your physician.

*

Mary Ann

  • Member
  • 92
    • View Profile
Re: Yet another Cptsd symptom.
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2022, 05:49:50 PM »
Thanks. I’ve been having therapy off and on for a while, but I’ve recently been referred for emdr…I’m on the waiting list, which I believe isn’t such a big one (for the uk)

*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 9172
    • View Profile
Re: Yet another Cptsd symptom.
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2022, 01:47:05 PM »
Hope it goes well when you do get started.