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#464553 - 04/25/14 10:50 AM Problems with food and eating?
txb Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 216
I donít know if anyone else has this kind of problem or not. Sometimes I feel like the only one. Also I was diagnosed with EDNOS, which means I donít fit into any of the actual categories of eating disorders (Iím glad about that). All the support services seem to be mostly aimed at anorexic girls. I donít want to be thin at all, itís just an unfortunate side effect. It feels like no one gets me. I was doing ok-ish with it, but then a friend accidently triggered it again.

She was having some problems with eating and asked me about mine. I vaguely explained that it started because of being abused. I figure people here will get that without any extra explanation?? Next thing she sends me an email telling me in extreme graphic detail about what happened to her when she was 6 or whatever. Worst part of it was that it actually sounded like her 6 year old self wrote it. That just totally triggered the whole thing off.

I did ask for help when I figured it was going to be a problem again, but it was only a half assed effort. I just pretended I was doing the right stuff while actually I was getting worse. I lied to my CPN, my family and friends. I feel really bad about it. Everyone has found out about it now, so I feel even worse. I got into a big fight with my dad about it where he ended up punching a wall. I found out my potassium levels are really low. This is a bad thing (caused by constantly throwing up and being dehydrated). I had to go in for heart monitoring yesterday. It should be a wake up call really but I canít see how this can ever get any better.

I often read posts on a mental health related forum and there are people there who are much older than me and are still bouncing in and out of inpatient treatment, or having to live in supported accommodation. They donít have jobs and have dropped out of university and just go from one crisis to another. I donít want that to be me. I have no reason to be like this. I live in a good place, have a supportive family, my girlfriend loves me. Iím doing pretty good in uni. Iím going to pass this course with a distinction. If I can be bothered to finish it. I badly want to quit. I have no motivation. I donít know why I just canít get it together? The only thing I can think of is that itís because I like being like this??? But Iím pretty sure thatís not true. I really do just want a normal life without all this crazy stuff and insane anxiety.

But anyway, Iíd really like to know if anyone else had problems with food or eating, and how they managed to fix it. Or maybe you can relate to going from one crisis to another. Please tell me it gets better??

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#464560 - 04/25/14 11:42 AM Re: Problems with food and eating? [Re: txb]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 815
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi txb,

I didn't begin to remember the things that truly opened my eyes to the fundamental issues I have until age 53 and age 63. I have very minor food issues compared to yours, but I do have experience with getting through life without having a clue what's wrong with me.

The best I have to offer is to learn things that seem to be universal truths and remain in the present. What do I need right now? What is the best choice I can make right now? Learning to be in a true present is the only space I am ever able to make a difference in my life. Your issues may not be ready and able to reveal themselves until you acquire additional tools. If this is true, have respect for your inner ability to measure what is appropriate for you at this time, and don't allow external measures to determine who you uniquely are and what your unique needs are.

Sending you love and good will.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#464574 - 04/25/14 06:56 PM Re: Problems with food and eating? [Re: txb]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
Txb,
Yep, you're not at all in this boat alone.

I have to be very deliberate, methodical, and conscious of my eating and nutrition or I automatically go into binge/purge routine. Overeating numbs and silences me for a bit (thanks, mom, it was how you taught me to deal with the abuse) and purging feels like a cleansing or exorcism of the evil and shame in me (thanks, father. for raping me and instilling a deep seated self-hatred and blame).

It's difficult to love one's self in this way, but it helps me to think of food as nutrition rather than just "eating." I connect "nutrition" with what a good parent would have done, or more importantly, what I do for myself as a good-parenting/self-loving act. In my mind, it is natural for good nutrition to lead to physical exercise, another self-loving act.

We are ALL different, so there is no one way that works for all. Hypnotherapy and various treatments work for many. For myself, I have been through many forms of treatment. I can't count how many times I was assured "I know how to fix this," followed by several sessions, lots of money, and little affect on my condition. Maybe it's my crazy brain, or maybe it is that the assaults on me included physical torture and were weekend routines throughout my formative years. That's a lot of years of psychological programming to reinforce the assaults and symptoms.

The thing that works for me is to think of food in an analytical fashion, almost separating my thoughts into a conversation between a loving parent who is supervising the wounded boy, and making sure he is nourished rather than stuffed.

Something else that became important for me, is to take a VERY small portion at any meal. If I feel I'd like a second portion, I can have it and I haven't overeaten because I have really eaten the amount of one portion, although my brain is partying hearty because it got "seconds."

I estimate a calculation of carbs, protein, etc. I'm taking in at each meal, and I have nearly abandoned canned or cooked vegetables for raw ones.

At restaurants I always ask for a take-home container as soon as my plate arrives, and I dish out 3/4 of the portion into the take-home container.

This is my effort and goal, and not always my achievement. I fall short often, so I "have a little talk" with myself when it's getting out of hand, and I reel it in. Failure is not a permanent place unless we make that decision for it to be so.

I know others have better ideas here, but many are hesitant to share because of what you mentioned, that this is always discussed as a female issue. Believe me, it is not.

Will you keep us posted with your thoughts? I don't recall very many threads here on this survivor symptom, and I know it is prevalent.
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#464576 - 04/25/14 08:36 PM Re: Problems with food and eating? [Re: txb]
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 473
Loc: UK
I had to look up EDNOS and I expect had I got a diagnosis that would have been it. I threw up between the ages of 12 to 20 something. I just did it automatically and refused to think about it so I am hazy on how often I did it. I don't remember that I overate very often. It was severe enough and it is the reason I lost some teeth. I also used to go hungry or just not remember to eat. The behaviour had nothing to do with being thin, I was thin anyway and didn't like that. For me the vomiting made me feel clean inside, a direct link to the abuse. The going hungry was more about self-neglect and being out of touch with my body/not feeling hungry. I stopped by postponing the throwing up for as long as I could, taking care of myself if I did do it, drinking lots of water and cleaning my mouth afterwards, not giving myself a hard time about it was important. Sometimes I would go for a walk if the urge was strong that and talking about what was going on for me in therapy helped. If I remember correctly it took me a year to stop completely and I have not it since. One thing I realised after I stopped was that I didn't get muscle cramps anymore so I expect that it was caused by lack of potassium/calcium. I still have some difficulty remembering to eat sometimes if I am feeling low or stressed but it is not a big issue.

I feel that you are being hard on yourself, I don't know what they are but there are reasons for you doing this, I used to feel that too, it is not your fault that you feel the need to do this. I feel a bit embarrassed to be writing about this even now, so glad to hear others talking about it. Not only did I have the problem but I gave myself a hard time for having the problem, the shame of having this issue made me very secretive and I never told anyone what I was doing until I went to therapy so I can understand why you lied about it, like many of our problems it grows worse with secrecy and shame and as survivors of csa, secrecy and shame comes all too easily to us.


Everyone is different so there is no reason for you to fear that you will live your life lunging from crisis to crisis. You don't want it to be you and there is no reason why it should be you. I hope you can continue at uni as you say you are doing well and clearly capable of getting through the course. Not having motivation and feeling not bothered about the course sounds like it is hard going for you now, I did drop out of uni and it is something I still regret. I don't believe that you are feeling how you are because you like being like this, it sounds again to me like you are blaming yourself for feeling bad and that blame only makes the feelings worse. I know for myself that blaming and accusing myself for not doing what I 'should' only makes things worse, the more gentle and understanding I am with myself the better.

No you are not alone with this and yes it can get better.

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#464588 - 04/26/14 03:24 AM Re: Problems with food and eating? [Re: txb]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 815
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Guys,

My food issues have to do with being punished for just being a child. I am the oldest of 4 children, with 1 1/2 years between the first three. From doing regression work and learning body memory techniques, I know my mother beat my wrists and hands with a spoon and her hand to get me to stop reaching for food. I also know I was beaten for trying to get food during food preparation times, in relation to my younger sister and brother, and for control issues in general. Both my parents were violently into dominance and control of children.

It took me until recent years to really see the patterns of being afraid to eat foods that I would buy for myself. I would buy foods I like, and let them go bad in the refrigerator because I would block them out of my awareness because of early ingrained fears. I'm a good cook. I know how to plan. But, I finally identified a general terror of any personal passionate expression, including preparing wonderful meals for myself. When I was in my alcoholic years up until age 44, I entertained a lot and prepared wonderful meals for guests, but could not give myself permission to prepare a wonderful meal for myself. I still find it a challenge to identify food I want to eat, and find it difficult to identify foods my body seems to need. I know it's crazy and I know it's abuse related. But, knowing it hasn't helped so far. For example, I love asparagus and can afford asparagus. I know I don't buy it because I'm going through a lot of terror these days opening up the feeling level of my infant self.

I've also been an over eater for decades in an effort to soothe my fear.

Don


Edited by don64 (04/26/14 03:27 AM)
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#464714 - 04/28/14 04:05 PM Re: Problems with food and eating? [Re: txb]
txb Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 216
Thanks guys, and thanks to people who pm'd me about it too. I really appreciate it. I'll come back and write something later. I finally got myself in gear and started working on my assignment. I don't have much time to get it done. Really stressed. And tomorrow I have a class where I'll have to eat in front of other people. That's really stressful too. Kind of hating myself a lot right now. Will (hopefully) have everything done by Friday so I'll reply then. But thanks again.

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#465457 - 05/18/14 12:05 PM Re: Problems with food and eating? [Re: txb]
txb Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 216
Sorry I never got back to replying. Iím a total slacker. I finished my assignment on time. It was pretty stressful but I scored 94% so I suppose it was worth it. Iím too close to finishing now to drop out.

I wanted to say thanks again, that it really meant a lot that people replied and actually got it. I did feel like it was just me. At the same time Iím sorry that other people get it. Don, Iím glad you came back and added about your problems too.

One of my major problems is an over active gag reflex. It makes it hard to get food down. Itís especially embarrassing to have that happen in public. I think the more I stress about it the more likely it is to happen. Iíve always been a really slow eater too, and felt self conscious about it. My list of Ďsafeí foods is pretty tiny. I canít eat any meat. Canít drink milk because its gross, and itís non see-thru so anything could be lurking in it. Canít eat eggs either. Those are just weird. So it doesnít really leave me a lot to eat. Thereís this guy who is a raw vegan triathlete. Forgot his name, but he has a book out. If he can manage it then there is no reason why I canít live just fine avoiding those foods, but it seems like a lot more effort to make sure you eat healthily, like more effort than I want to put in. I really donít want my life to revolve around food. Itís weird, because I like food, in theory. Like reading recipes and looking at food blogs and stuff.

Keith, the part about being a parent to yourself makes sense. This is what my T was suggesting to me, since this problem started when I was a kid. Iím trying hard to be nicer to myself, but I find this really hard. Rustam, thanks, itís good to hear that this can get better. Iím really paranoid about my teeth. Especially since I wonít go to the dentist. In hospital they have you on constant supervision for an hour after eating, so I try and do this at home. Just staying with someone and doing something with them. Going out for a walk sounds like a good idea too, because it takes you out of your usual environment.

Iíve been doing ok-ish. I feel like people have been way too forgiving to me for lying though. My potassium is back at a normal level, so thatís good. I had 2 really bad days recently but it hasnít completely thrown me off track.

Iím just so done with this. All of it. I just want to be normal. I donít want to be constantly thinking and stressing about food for the rest of my life. Just this whole recovery thing too. Seems like Iíve been putting in a ton of effort, but not enough because I havenít really got anywhere. I just want it to be over, but it seems like I have miles to go. Iím so tired of it.

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#465474 - 05/18/14 07:30 PM Re: Problems with food and eating? [Re: txb]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 815
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Txb,

My experience is that learning doesn't occur in a smooth ascending curve, but is a series of flat plateaus followed occasionally by leaps of understanding and growth. I read somewhere that the universe moves between medium and slow. So, it seems to me that may be the natural order of things. The trouble with my abused self is that all my choices are basically fear driven, which is fight or flight. So, it is hard for me to slow down enough to actually learn. If I am continually sort of careening off walls, it's not easy for me to catch clues which may be ever present and which may have valuable information for me.

I am learning to invest very serious energy into anything BUT the fast track. My experience is that motivation by fear and urgency never produces ANYTHING positive for me.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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