Me & my demons.

I’m extremely  busy nowadays.

I’m in my second week of a new job.

Also, I’m going to finish treatment for my eating disorder very soon.

It’s because I am magically cured after almost 1,5 years of treatment.

Or am I ?

I can tell you know with full honesty that I am not cured. I don’t believe that you can be cured from that. It is a danger that I will always have to be very aware of. It is after all addiction, although I know many do not like to call it that way.

When I struggled with my postpartum depression ,I got a one year treatment. My insurance company strongly believed that after 12 months, therapy does magic and simply fixes everything. Well it doesn’t , but if you can pay 100 Euro, per hour they can fix me a little bit more.

But then it’s your responsibility. If you still need treatment after 12 months it means you didn’t do your best perhaps you didn’t try hard enough. So the last meeting payed by my insurance company looked like a joke. In about 45 minutes ,like in a Disney movie I was made to believe that everything that could be done, was done. And if I was not cured ,then oh well…I could pay some more to get better this time. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough in the past year?

And I stil there like an alien, back to square one. Full of doubts and even more questions .

Because we, depressed people are so good with that ! We can handle all setbacks so well. And we just love the self doubt  !  ….Not.

So this happened to me  7 years ago.4 years later I ended up heavily depressed ,burned out, with diagnosed Ptsd and an eating disorder.

Since then I came a long way. I have truly and literally faced my demons .

We are not friends yet, most likely we will never be .But we are learning to understand each other. We are ,after all  on my side.

So yea,since this treatment is going to end soon, we ,and if it was not clear enough yet- WE=my demons and me  – are a little bit worried. Full of hope. But fuck,we are worried. 

We did learn a few things in the meantime . We have no filter. We look forward to what is coming next. We are fragile. We are very sensitive, we don’t know it all, but we are still here, working and fighting to get better, and we are not giving up, I can, Dear Reader, promise you that.

Stress

It has been a while. 

I had few attempts to sit and write something ,but didn’t really feel like it.

Currently I’m not happy with how things are going.I haven’t stood on the scale in a while and scared like hell to do it .

Treatment for my eating disorder is about to finish soon,and I feel like I’m a little bit lost.

A lot of things are changing .I don’t like changes . I’m not a fan.

Here what is going on.

Haven’t seen my therapist live for a few meetings now,which was due to my sickness or because I had to wait for test results for Covid-19 . Talking online is not the same. It feels more responsible for my bad decision when I can be held accountable ,when actually present .

I have days when I feel that I am not strong enough to pull it through. I know I am not losing enough weight,and that makes me very upset.There was this period of time,where I ate like a pro. I felt quite good about myself,until I realised that things are going wrong .I was drinking beer/cider. One can per day (or sometimes 2-3) everyday for a little bit longer than a week. I don’t even recall drinking it all,until I notice how many cans have gone from the fridge. I knew what was happening. I was searching for a bubble replacement. 

You know,that safe bubble that I was able to escape to when I was binging .

It’s such a danger to come from one addition to another.My traumatized ass can be in readly dark place at times,and it’s hard then to not to lock yourself in that dramatic spiral. 

Haven’t drunk anything  in a while now. Don’t feel like it.The bubble ,that was my comfort once,now scares the shit out of me. It’s a constant  reminder that something is wrong with me.That no matter what happens,this sick part of me will always be there,maybe sleeping,inactive but still there. This though ,with the fact that treatment will be finishing soon brings me a lot of stress. I know ,there is a possibility to continue the therapy someplace else ,but reliving everything that happened to me is not fun.

To not be all negative I have some things to look forward too. Possibly a new job,which means the end of a very long and nerve jangled period in my life ,where my binge eating ,depression and PTSD grew more in power and gained +40 kg . Where the stress levels were so high, that I was able to dissociate myself from the  surroundings,also while occasionally  driving a car on my way back home.End of a period when I strongly believed, that I was not good enough,that I need to change my whole personality,because I do not fit in.A period ,when I was convinced that this is it-there is nothing better out there for me.Period of time when I didn’t want to be alive anymore.

 I wish I was able to realize earlier that a job is not something that defines who I am as a person.That health is more important than numbers.That I matter .How I feel matters. 

Walking away feels good.Feels right,especially that I’m not going away alone.This place took a lot from me,but gave me a chance to meet some wonderful people that I can now  call my Friends. 

See,told you,I’m not all negative!

(Now let me try to believe in that)

Stupid

I binged yesterday.

I hide the food that  I ate from everyone.

I put the candy papers in the bin, and then covered them with other stuff. Then I put some food to my bag. You know ,like the old times, and took it with me upstairs, to watch some TV on my laptop. Then I hid the food under the pillow, so my husband couldn’t see it, in case he would come to check on me. Then when everyone went to bed, I ate some more. I covered some things in the toilet paper and then threw them in our bin in the toilet. You can’t tell that it’s food .Nobody will ever find out. The rest I decided to throw away outside the house. I knew I had to do some shopping next day, so with this came another possibility to hide stuff.

I didn’t think straight. I was at my lowest. 

I was forced to make some kind of test that would check how smart I am for my job interview.

The results were not good. There it was ,almost on paper, screaming to me – “YOU ARE STUPID”. 

I hate those tests. I want to believe that it doesn’t define who I am, but It feels like I am not strong enough to do that.

Since I’m fat & ugly (and no, I’m not looking for pity by saying this, just admitting the facts ) ,I was hoping that maybe I do have some brains instead. 

And then when I started to binge, I got my confirmation. “You are not only ugly and fat,you are indeed also stupid.I mean look at yourself now.Look what you are doing to yourself!!!That can only be descirbe as stupid.You are such  a looser.How are you still alive?!” –  I kept telling myself over and over again. I cried a lot in silence. At home,only my dog knew that something was wrong ,and didn’t want to leave my side. 

Today I didn’t binge.

I shared my worries with a friend .

“I’m still alive,I’m still here”

While I had my PTSD treatment , we were told to say out loud ,what is the one thing about us,that we are the most proud of. I couldn’t think of anything.

When it was my turn to speak ,I said without any hesitation “The thing ,that I’m most proud about myself is that I never give up.”

Yesterday was a setback. Today is a new day, and I refuse to give up.

Trauma

My dad called me two times yesterday, not in the best of times, to be very honest. I didn’t pick up ,and also didn’t call back. If it’s something urgent-especially for him ,he would try to text me too, or send something via messenger . Anyway. I went to bed, and had one nightmare after another, first about how bad of a person I am in his mind ,,and then the second one, which happened to be the worst. I dreamed that my dad was hitting me again. I was telling him not to do that anymore, as I’m a grown up now. I beg him to stop, and after some time he did stop. Then I told him that, If he ever hit me again, it would be the last time we see each other(I know it was just a dream ,but I also know how it would devastate him ,if I will cut all my contacts with him) .I was so proud of myself in that dream, because I stood up for myself. Not for long ,as he ended up hitting me again just to prove that he have power over me.

Dream was so intense, that I woke up and got a panic attack .Not as bad as they used to be. I knew it was just a dream and that  it was all not real . I have used some tricks that I have learned during my treatment for PTSD  to make myself calm, to ground myself, as I call it, and it worked. This took me a while though. Didn’t have a panic attack for quite a while now, but I guess with all the stress nowadays, it’s easier to find yourself in that horrible state again.

I’m not a role model daughter, but I try my best. My dad is pretending to be “good” now and seems to forget about the pain that he caused me and my brothers. He doesn’t want to admit that it was not only my mom , who beat the crap out of us. I’m already ok with the idea that he will never openly admit to it, or even apologies. I even caught him lying in front of my friends, saying that he never hit any of us, just made us exercise. Well just my brother. We don’t speak about what happened to me . Last time I tried to have a talk about the abuse, he said to me ,to not say anything since we might both hear the things that we don’t like, suggesting a bit ,that maybe he was not always a perfect dad indeed, but I wasn’t the best daughter either. 

So you see, there is no point starting the conversation. It’s not like things will get better after I will hear him admitting to anything. Nothing can change what happened, the damage has been done. I’m moving on, but it’s painful to see that he isn’t. With time ,I got to understand that he was a product of an abnormal family structure and toxic environment. I know his life was not easy, but since I could choose differently, why couldn’t he  ? 

Yes ,I know that I will never get an answer to this question. I’m fine with that. 

I just wish to not feel so guilty ,that I didn’t pick up the phone, or didn’t contact him often enough. I was raised to believe that parents do not make mistakes, that it is a sin, to not cherish your mom and dad above everything ,because they give me life (with the help of “God”, since we were Catholics )

But you know what,they were not only mom & dad.

They were also my abusers. 

So dear guilty feeling – I say to you bye bye.

Scale

I went on the scale today.It was less than last time ,but not life changing less.

There was no binge eating happening recently. I’ve made a lot of changes in my daily food related routine, and still ,the scale didn’t show it. 

I should probably move more…I wish I could go swimming for example. I really miss doing that.

Today I’m busy overthinking ,and being mad at myself. Maybe I could have done more. Maybe I’m overreacting,and my back and knee don’t hurt me hard enough .After all, people possibly deal with pain much worse than mine on a daily basis .Maybe I should push myself more. Maybe it’s not as easy as I think. Maybe I should stop being so scared of making the small steps. Maybe I should keep on repeating to myself ,that I’m doing this to get better, and not to impress anybody.

Frustration has really set in.

I hate the scale. I hate the numbers that it shows. I’m not those numbers.

War

Writing this is not easy. I’m a mom myself,and just thought that there will come a day when my child will blame me for all her issues or unhappiness scares the shit out of me. I’m sure that at some point she will realize how fucked up her mom actually can be.I hope that she will still like to have me around and tell me stuff.That she will not be cringing every mothers day ,like I do ,because I can stand people bragging how great they moms are/or were.

The same thing applies to dads. Equaly. 

I have no clue how to be  a good mom. I don’t even know how to be an “ok” mom. 

The only thing I do know for sure,that I will do my best to give my daughter  all that I didn’t have when I was young. Especially now,when I know for the fact that when I was her age my issue with food was already a long time out there. And nope,we don’t talk about material stuff. 

I want her to feel that she is loved ,just the way she is. That she is enough & worthy all the good stuff.

I keep on noticing more and more, how much my issues with food are connected with the way I was raised and it really breaks my heart. Yesterday was one of those days when I was thinking about not disappointing my dad,because he wanted me to do something for him.

I didn’t do what he asked.It was not a big deal but he could easily do it himself and he most definitely didn’t need my help.He lied to someone and I was supposed to get an info for him,since he was “not in the country at the moment” .

He keeps complaining that my siblings never call him anymore,but at the same time every time he is calling them,he wants something,or he keeps on complaining how messy his life is and how he hopes that everything will fall in the right place eventually . Calls with me are no different. When I’m about to hang up,I usually get to hear what was the real purpose of the call. He keeps on calling me now ,as I am writing this ,because he probably wants to know how the things went yesterday. Since I didn’t pick up ,he would try facetime ,or maybe email me, or use  social media to contact me and check if I did what he had asked. 

He will spend all that time trying to contact me,while he could easily make a call himself to and find out everything.

This situation makes my whole body so uncomfortable. Stress levels are very high. The need to eat something is very present ,and it’s damn strong. I want it to stop.I hate to feel this way. I hate how small I feel when he does that, even though he is thousands kilometers away .

If I call him back,he will win. So I’m not going to do it,at least not now. Maybe later,because the guilt I feel inside will not let me get on with my life.

This is ridiculous. 

It’s a war between me and me to not binge right  now and I deserve to win .

Hear me out.

” I’m smarter than you.

I look better in this sweater .

You have a big mouth.

Are you sure you are going to eat that?

You are not pretty.

Nobody will want someone as fat as you are.

Your belly is not as flat as mine.

Your boobs are way too big.

You are such a brad.

You are stupid.

Is there really nothing that you can do right?

Do you even have a brain ?

You are too dumb to study (….)

I don’t know from whom you inherit this kind of behaviour,for sure not from me.

You are a loser.

Why can’t you be as smart as your cousin? 

Look how thin she is,you can never be like her.

I have never been abroad so it’s ridiculous that you are going to Paris .

Why the hell can’t you play keyboards as well as your cousin ?

You need to do this (….) because your cousin is already busy with it.

It is not fair that you have better chances in life than me.

I wish I’ve never had you.

I could have left before you were born,but I stayed for you.

I could have just twisted your neck when you were tiny, since you stood on the way to my career. “

These should be in the book about  “How to not talk to your kids or/and your loved ones”. What do you do when you hear things like every day for  for years, decades ? You believe in them. I know I did.

It all makes sense now.

When the phone rings, and it’s one of the people who you would call “parents” (well actually my dad only at this point, my mom doesn’t give a shit about me),I immediately search for food. First I check around the table, then I scan the room, then I think about what I have in the fridge that I could possibly eat (or nub) while I talk to  them( I also  think about the food that I can eat after the conversation). That explains a lot.

There. It’s out. I had to write it down. It gives me some kind of satisfaction ,strength. Why?

Because first of all , I don’t believe in it anymore. I call it bullshit. If you say or think about me this way, it means you have absolutely no idea who I am. I’m not stupid. I’m not too dumb to do stuff. I can actually  do a lot of things -from very useless to very useful, so never underestimate me .I’m not model type skinny. I never was ,nor ever will be. 

I don’t have a flat belly, and it might be that even if I lose enough weight it will never be completely flat.

I’m not my mom, or my dad. I’m not my cousin. I’m not anybody else. I’m not my weight. I’m not my depression. I’m not my PTSD .I’m not my eating disorder. 

I’m me & that is good enough.

Misery

I feel like I’m in some kind of limbo of misery.  This whole pandemic is starting to really get on my nerves .

Maybe it was bothering me before,but I pretend that it didn’t ? That sounds like something I would do.

Before my break down nearly 2  years ago, I would push myself to the limits and act like I can handle it all. I was avoiding people who were trying to address the possible issue that I’m having.  I thought that, as long as I can stand on two legs, I’m good to go. I did some weird things . Eating at work in the toilet ,because I was afraid what others would say if they sow me eating all this stuff. Buying an extra big bag so I can fit all my snacks in the morning and after I am done with work, because I would also eat on the way home. I would put some music on, and I would feel like all these people in the train are not really there, so I can just sit in my safe bubble . At that time I really didn’t consider this as something weird. I do now.

I guess the good thing is that I really didn’t binge in the last week. I was able to stop myself before I was too far gone. 

That sounds like a little win, but doesn’t feel like one though. I wish I could move more . This part is getting harder and harder ,since my knee is hurting like a bitch. I feel angry at myself and my knee .I’m quite miserable at this point .I don’t think anybody really  knows how miserable ,but It’s ok. I’m not looking for pity, It’s just something I need to go through. I’ve been running away from feelings way too long. I need to believe that set back is not the end of the world, and that it doesn’t define who I am .

Maybe If I can just get through this, things will get better. 

Angry

I’m very very angry .On a scale from 1 to 10  I would give it a solid 12 . You will understand why after reading this post.

Growing up being me was not very pretty .It was wrong from the start. First – I was supposed to be a boy. Years ego ,you couldn’t check the sex of the baby. Yet my dad was convinced that I am a boy . I was told he was really surprised when it turned out that I’m a tiny little girl .

What a disappointment! 

Three years after I was born,my dad finally got his boy. My brother was born not breathing, they were fighting for his life for a few hours ,and by some miracle -or maybe the correct way to say it- thanks to the skills of the doctors  and nurses he was safed .

Everything changed .You could say that I was spoiled since as  a 3 years old I dared to complain that I’m not getting attention. And yes,I did complain a lot ,because I was talking a lot since I was very young , and as I was often reminded-my mouth just didn’t shut .

I was also told that there is no way I can remember what I was told at 3 years of age. Well I did remember. I still do.

After all, my  first memory is from when I was about 1 years old and I was given a bone from chicken leg to nibble(for my own sake I will not get into the exploring the chicken matter ).

But let’s get to the point (I promise there is one).

I remember people coming to visit my newly born brother. I was very social as a child,I was happy when we had people around,and It was in my very nature to greet everybody right at the door. There is nothing strange with that. 

However ,I remember like it was yesterday ,what they were telling me after my brother was born :

“oh we are not here for you,we came to see your brother”

“oh nooo,these toys are not for you,you didn’t deserve it,It’s for your brother who by miracle is now alive”

One aunt even told me ” oh my dear ,you don’t matter now ,your brother is more important “

I remember sitting in the corner by myself ,while everybody was just so excited about my him. I mean- he was a miracle  and a boy!! How lucky my parents were.

It all went downhill from there. I remember being super confused, not knowing what to do ,to get some attention. Of course at that time I didn’t understand it that way . It was all about my brother and I didn’t matter anymore . When I did something wrong – or as I would prefer to call it today -when I did something that every kid did when they were young- I was bitten up. With a hand , belt ,shoe, carpet beater ,poker (yes,the metal one ,that you use for your chimney).

My brother was spared at first,because you know- he was a miracle. He got his portion of beating when he was a bit older.

After some time ,I’ve had enough . I felt better everywhere else but home . 

I decided one day that I will run away to my uncle. He didn’t live very far . My cousins were always so nice to me ,they didn’t  hurt me , they would listen to me.

Moreover ,they were always happy to see me . Always.

Off I went.

Of course after some time – my parents found out where I was . I didn’t want to go back with them ,I was crying ,they promised me that we would talk it all over at home .

It was a warm summer evening ,and I remember that day like it was yesterday.

As soon as we entered the house ,I was told to put my pants down, and lay down on the little wooden chair ,so I could get my ass smashed with my fathers belt. 

We didn’t talk anything thru. It was a punishment time for me . My mother looked away,mentioning only that  I am a shame for them because of what I did adding “what the neighbours will think about us now.”When they finally realized that I was missing earlier that day , all the neighbourhood was alarmed . So naturally, the most important thing once I was at home was what the neighbourhood would think about my parents .

Priorities.

Eventually ,they managed to pull my pants down,force me on that stuppid little chair and beat me up until I was not able to cry anymore. Then when they were done,I was told to apologize for what I have done and swear that I will never ever run away again . I was 5 .

I did what I  was told. Until it was time for me to run away again. But next time I did it smarter (little did I know) . My dad was not at home ,and my mothers friend came by. They were busy with each other ,my brother was in his little bed and I was told that I can go outside and play in the front of the house. 

This was my chance ,I thought. My mom’s friend was at home,so even if I run away and they find me,there is no way I will get beaten in front of other people. 

My dad came back home early that day.

By now you probably know where I am going with this,so let me spare you the details. Dejavu. But this time ,with viewers. Well actually no viewers,listeners .

 My mom was sitting with her friend in the living room and I was asked to go to the kitchen,the doors closed and then the same thing happened all over again.

After it was all over,I was told to behave like nothing happened and also maybe to ” not cry so much ,because I had nothing to cry about”.

Crying is not allowed , even when you were punished after doing something wrong. Since I did something wrong – I was supposed to shut my mouth ,and prove that I will do better next time .

This was a breaking point for me. I realized that adults are not to be trusted ,and most of all ,they will not protect me.  This running away gig had to stop .It wasn’t working.

I was desperately in need for a friend . The kind of a friend that would hug me, that would listen to me,play with me and cheer me up,the one that understands and not judge,the one that I can always run away to without actually leaving the house.

That’s when the eating started. First innocent. There was this  powder milk in a blue bag,that you had to put with some water.It was for my brother. The powder itself tasted very nice. I can still remember it’s taste .I knew where they were putting it ,so I ate it ,when they were sleeping ,or watching a movie ,or simply  when they just  went away.Then came other stuff.I always made sure that nobody can see what I’m doing,what I’m eating or how much.

The beating didn’t stop of course as there was always a good reason to punish me.But I didn’t run away anymore. I stayed at home. I thought this is how things should be. I didn’t know any different.I was never alone anymore,my friend “Food” was with me all the time.

I spoke to my dad yesterday. It was not a nice conversation . He made me feel like little me again.My blood pressure went high,and in the end I tried to turn it all into the joke,but this pain and anger inside me was just too strong.

I was checking what kind of food I can order . Since it was quite late (lucky for me), choice was really limited. After searching for perfect food  for too long I just gave up.

That’s why I’m angry. I woke up today, feeling really uneasy. Dad was calling again,but I was not able to pick up the phone.  It made me physically ill .The feeling of misery was so present, and the will to binge was getting stronger and stronger.

For too long I was made to believe that I do not matter . That how I felt ,didn’t matter. With this in mind  it was always easier to turn to that one friend. The one that always took me to a blissful state of safe , calm ,where nothing else really mattered . Just me and my friend “”food”. 

Today my friend “food” was left all alone.

I have opened my laptop and started to write this post.

I didn’t binge today.  

Trust no one

I trust no one since roughly 1994.

It’s fairly easy to distrust people .Imagine if you can’t really trust your own body .

I can’t trust mine.

I’m hungry when I’m sad .I’m hungry when I’m happy. I’m hungry when I’m mad .I’m hungry when I’m thirsty, but also, just like others -I’m hungry when I’m hungry.

Because of that I need to eat regularly . If I don’t ,it all goes to shit.

Like yesterday for example. I ate my breakfast very late. It was more a brunch then anything else really, but I didn’t eat enough. I felt miserable ,almost the whole day , my neck was killing me ,and I was just sitting on my couch feeling sorry for myself. On the top of that ,my neck pain ,usually comes together with headache, because why not .

Time went by so quickly ,and before I knew ,I was busy making dinner .After dinner however ,I didn’t eat anything . Well almost anything .I ate two pears , bit of popcorn (butter free popcorn ) ,4-5 small Oreo cookies ,some waffles(no sugar) and some coffee and buckets of my favorite tea. I didn’t binge. Still, I end up going to bed hungry. My head was hurting me so much ,but since it was really late I thought I can manage without food. Why have I done that? Not sure, most likely it was a punishment -I failed to eat how I suppose to, so now naturally I deserve to suffer . I felt like crap .

Right now I’m not even sure why I thought it was a great idea to punish myself in this manner hmmm…. Anyway I promised myself that the next day I will do better.

So far so good.