I’ve been arguing with my mum less, but it hasn’t stopped. I’ve come to realise that a lot of the reasons we argue are very tangible in my head, yet I am unable to convey them – I know that in the past when I have spoken to her about repetitive behaviours and phrases that she uses, or now I guess used, she has stopped; one instance of this being that she would often yell at me “words”, that I lacked emotion, that I didn’t care and I confused her, she was repeating the words that I would hear over and over from friends who simply take the piss out of me because I… I operate intellectually, I apply feminist theory to everything and I will talk about politics, and they don’t want to hear, so they belittle me and that’s what my mum did. She has stopped. I feel better for this, although I don’t think she really understands how far the bullying goes or how much she reinforced it in my head. She continued the ostracising, I was at home and should have felt safe, but I didn’t. I learnt not to talk to her, about anything really, because she never made me feel safe.
She resents me for this as much as I resent her, I know that, but it doesn’t make either one of us right, it just leaves us in limbo. That limbo is exacerbated by the fact that a lot of the things that anger me about her, and her behaviours towards me, are to do with food. She has a really bad relationship with food, that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has looked up ED statistics, hers maybe isn’t ED, she tends towards binge eating and it is something that she actively encouraged with me while I was growing up. I think this is where my resentment comes from, so now when she says anything about food I want to lash out, like she’s purposefully trying to breakdown any type of progression I have made.
I feel like any little mention of food, from her lips, is her trying to control my eating the way she used to.
These are the things that she taught me:
all food on plate had to be cleared, no matter how full you were
seconds were praised, thirds were bragged about to friends
comfort eating is the only way to deal with something bad happening
moderation is for healthy food, junk food should be eaten in vast quantities
therefore, there is no such thing as self control, you must want that whole bag of crisps and therefore you have to eat them all
you can only be thin if you don’t eat
thin people are to be envied, hated and ridiculed
All of this fed into my ED, and as I’m trying to get better her continuance of this behaviour is so frustrating I am just constantly annoyed at her. She’s just got home from work, so I’m going to save as draft and carry it on in a little while.
I’ve read back trough this, actually less jumbled than I thought it was, that’s good.
Mum got in and, as if to prove my point, started going on about the fact that she’s on a 500 calorie day – this makes me feel guilty, I ate that for breakfast today – I feel dirty and disgusting and the anxiety has started taking over by the time I go to pick up my dad, who has Chinese take-out. I’m stuck between my father eating greasy food and my mother chastising him for it, making him feel guilty, making me feel guilty – he can’t have it, because she can’t. She’s restricting in a way that makes her crave and that, all together now, leads to binging.
I could run away, but I sat and watched a film with my family; tried to eat a healthy dinner, think I managed. I’ve been too many days out of the gym, so while I did at bit of strength training today, I’m getting restless and starting to feel horrible. Swimming and yoga tomorrow I think, maybe a little session in the gym too.
This hasn’t altogether been a bad day, just one that has really tested all my coping strategies, I pushed and tried, it’s the end of the day and I don’t feel awful – I’m taking this as a win.