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Food and I

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

Trigger warning: Mental Health, Childhood/Teenage Trauma and Coping Mechanisms

Growing up I remember loving food..loving it so much I’d get excited about eating. Cinnamon toast, cereal, all types of tacos, rice, eggs, hamburgers, pizza you name it!

I was also never told “No”..I was never told I couldn’t have something or that it would hurt me if I consumed irresponsibly. I was never taught that high fructose corn syrup or processed foods could be damaging. I was never told I couldn’t have my family sized bag of hot Cheetos or my soda all day long instead of water. I ate candy like I needed it to survive. I was even allowed to have coffee very young. It was just something that was in the house, on a table I could reach all laid out in jars labeled Creamer and Sugar with stir spoons and the hot freshly made pot right there. Something I’m so used to, even to this day when I see my grandparents.

I remember being grounded for a year..I don’t remember the reason…I wish I did. It’s something that makes me wonder what did I do that was so bad it warranted a year of grounding. I was told I could only come out of my room to eat, go to the bathroom and for school. Sounds very abusive, the old me who loves my family dearly would deflect and say it wasn’t but the more experienced me says it was abusive. I wish I remembered what I did but anyways..I remember joking around that time saying “Food Never Lets Me Down, Food Is Always There For Me.” I remember the feeling of that joke. How I used it to hide my inner feelings. I used it to satisfy and escape for a bit, to deflect. So I began to eat out of gluttony and binge eat when I got the chance. Sharing my food is something I’ve had to get used to and I still do at times. I didn’t know that this is what I did to cope but now it seems all so clear.

I remember knowing girls in highschool who would starve themselves. Call themselves “fat” and body shame themselves. I remember THINKING every minute of every day(and to this day) “I wish I could gain weight.” I was never allowed to voice it though as I’d be made to feel that me wanting the opposite of them is absurd and not “normal.” My friends telling me I’m “perfect” because I’ve always teetered 100lbs. Something I still struggle with to this day.

Then there are the people who said I was too thin and needed to gain weight. That I look “ill” so I must eat more in order to look “healthier.” No matter what I did, food seemed to be at the center of it. It still is. I would over eat to satisfy my need for attention and love, yet no matter what I did it was never enough for others and it was definitely never enough for me to feel good about myself.

Once my gut issues presented themselves in 2010 I began to fear food. I began to question everything about it. As one would with a raging Gall Bladder/Stones, IBS-D, Gastris and Gerd (all diagnosed within one year.) As my symptoms progressed and new issues risen like Twisted Intestines and Barrett’s Esophagus..through the years I lost most of my drive to eat. My appetite is pretty much non-existent at times. One moment I’m hungry and the next I’m repulsed by the thought of feeding myself anything at all.

You see, Food and I have had this strange relationship. It’s been topsy turvy for 11yrs now and I hope that with my advocating and speaking out, with my drive to get my gut issues under control or just decently managed..Food and I can one day become acquaintances..maybe even friends again. Who knows..but for now…Food and I are more like Frienemies.

Until next time

-Belinda @thechronicallyillqueen

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