Christmas can be one of the best times of the year – if you have close family and/or friends to share it with. Thankfully, I’m one of the lucky women who does. I have a wonderful husband (who isn’t perfect, but then,who is!), two fabulous kids (who test me beyond belief, but name me children who don’t!), a small, but cosy little house in an area I love living in – a dog and two cats. We all intend to ‘flop’ over the christmas period and just enjoy each others company, animals and all.
But, as much as I would like to pretend it was always like this, it wasn’t. I don’t feel like elaborating on the obvious (the name of my blog says it all), but I do want to acknowledge and think of those people who are still in very unhappy places – mentally, physical and ‘literally’. For these people, Christmas will be one of their ‘worst’ times of the year. A time when it is not easy to escape. I get that and remember it well.
I will endeavour to blog again over the Christmas period, but until then, thoughts, love and best wishes to all.
I suddenly realised that I and I alone had control of what stayed in my stomach. My step-father had the power to force me to eat, but unless he kept me under lock and key, he couldn’t stop me from vomiting it back up. So I did. It was my way of saying ‘fuck you!’. It was also the only control I had in my life and I made damn sure I used it.
The problem was, I began vomiting, not just when he forced me eat something I didn’t want to eat, but also when I was angry or upset with him or my mother. I felt so much pain and anger towards them, but it wasn’t safe for me to say or show it. So, instead, I would secretly cause myself pain by vomiting. For a short time, the anger and emotion was gone – expelled from my body. Until the next time…
My earliest memory and experience of food was when I was around five years old. I had been looked after by a babysitter the night before, who had taken it upon herself to eat some food out of the fridge. The next day, my mother went to the fridge to get the piece of meat she had planned for us to eat, but it was gone. Initially she was angry, saying out loud that we had nothing else to eat, but her anger soon turned into crying – hysterical, uncontrollable crying. I had never seen her so out of control and I remember feeling utterly panic-stricken.
Another memory I have relating to food was when I was around ten years old. It was ‘chip night’ from the takeaway and my step-father had bought me sausage and chips. I hated the sausages from the takeaway and he knew that. They were cheap, fatty and horrible!!! So…I had the ‘not so brilliant’ idea of wrapping the sausage in tissue and flushing it down the toilet. But I was caught. My step-father went ballistic and hit me hard across the face. The sausage was given back to me to eat.
My most traumatic memory I have of food happened when I was around thirteen. My mother, sister and I were sitting at the kitchen table eating Sunday lunch. My stepfather arrived home late to the meal, due to staying out all night drinking the night before. I can’t remember too much about the build up – I just remember my mother and him shouting and arguing; suddenly my stepfather threw his full plate of food at my mothers head, missing by a fraction.
I was stunned. I was so upset, my throat muscles completely spasmed and, for a few seconds, I literally couldn’t swallow. I thought I was going to choke. I tried to leave the table, but was told by my step-father to “fucking eat”.
I have ‘no’ positive, pleasurable childhood memories around food and mealtimes.