MOTHERS, FATHERS, SIBLINGS, FRIENDS, LOVERS, PARTNERS –
Weight and body issues aren’t what they seem. For children of dysfunctional families, they mean comfort and escape. They are the friends who never disappointed me.
During the nights of my father’s rage, even in the terror, a sense of calm filled me up because I knew Mom, a co-dependent within her husband’s alcoholic addiction, would reward me with presents the next day. It was often a movie with popcorn and candy, or a full container of chocolate chip ice cream, or a bag of cookies. I consumed entire packages of chips and bite sized candy bars in one sitting while I watched TV.
Junk food was comfort.
Junk food was my baby sitter and Mom’s way to give me the love that lay dormant and frozen inside her, killed by the alcoholic husband she now nurtured in his addiction.
These habits do not go down easily. They are pure bliss and happiness—the escape from trauma. They release pleasure endorphins in the body and it feels good. I couldn’t get the open affection of love from my parents. I did with food.
What can you do when you?
Parents: Mom had the control when I was little. I had no money. If she didn’t buy me junk food I wouldn’t have had a choice. As a parent, she should have taken a step back and recognized I would becoming obese.
Please – I’m begging you, do what you know is right for your child. Do not joke about their weight and do no become a co-dependent in your relationship. Be the guide your son or daughter needs and make the right choices. Cook healthy. Pack healthy lunches. Go on walks with them. Enroll them in counseling or support groups.
I was begging for support and love—I found it through food.
If you’re a young woman Coming of Age – please join a support group. Overeater’s anonymous, Children of Alcoholics, any groups that understands the dysfunctional relationship of food and love and comfort. Don’t beat yourself up. The names you may be called and the disgusted looks that may come your way—they don’t understand. They think you’re stuffing your face in spite of everything you know to be different. You’re hurt. You need to heal. You need to love yourself for the gifts you have and what you understand—and going through what you have? You understand!
Friends, peers, lovers, partners – Please don’t chastise and criticize. I knew I was overweight. No one needed to tell me. What I needed was, “I can see you’re struggling. How can I help?” OR “I’ll walk with you.” OR “I’ll never abandon you. Let me help you let go of that fear.”
#ComingofAge #YALit #BrokenBottlesSeries #Family #Mommy #NewAdult #OvercomingFear
“As a child growing up in a family battling alcoholism, this is what I know:
- Something bad is coming; it always does.
- I can’t ask for help; I’m too ashamed.
- I can’t talk about our secrets; no one understands.
- I can’t trust anyone; they always leave.