I had a situation yesterday where I felt like someone I care about was trying to control me. I have control issues. I want to be in control, but it makes me stressed out as I end up trying to control everything and anything… over-controlling I guess, micromanaging what should be left alone.
Anyway, it triggered this over-eating session. Stuffing my face when I feel good or bad is not unusual for me and the weight itself is not really a problem, but the manic feeling of losing control when I eat is. The weird thing is, I try to take control by doing something that is out of control… doesn’t make sense, right?
So this perceived conflict of control, of others trying to control me put me into an eating frenzy. Later, after I was done, I tried to figure out again why.
Ever since I was little, for as long as I can remember food has been the source of reward or punishments. When I did what good girls should, be seen not heard, behaved etc, I would be rewarded with candy. If I did something bad, like didn’t take my vitamins I would be punished with not getting to partake in the sweets the rest of my family was eating. I remember once my mother made a new sort of pastry, never before or after being made in our house. I was supposed to take my vitamins first, but just couldn’t swallow that damn pill. I had a thing with swallowing pills, I just couldn’t get it down. So the punishment was to sit alone in the living room until I had swallowed my pill, while the rest of my family, the 3 adults were in the kitchen eating this new treat. I remember the feeling of being shut out, sitting on the outside of the warm and cozy circle being punished not for being bad but for not being able to do what they wanted me to do. I was not doing it out of spite, I just was not able to do it. And so I was punished by not being a part of the group. If you do bad things you are shut out, invisible.
I want to make clear this was normal for my generation in the place where I grew up, I think. I come from a good and loving home. I was never beaten or talked down to. I had everything I needed and 3 adults to love me and nurture me. I had a good and normal childhood. This thing with treating kids as they have no right to decide for themselves was normal then.
Food was a way to control kids. The adults would (at meals) put food on my plate and that was what I had to eat. All of it, as they knew what was good and right for me. I had to sit there until all was eaten. If I was full, well too bad, I had to finish. If I wanted more sweets after dinner I was scolded as this made me a bad girl. To want more than what I had been given meant I was greedy and bad. Again, parents limiting their kid’s candy is normal! I am just trying to explain how it felt to me. The adults would decide when I would eat, as eating in between meals is bad and wrong, how much I ate and what I ate. I had absolutely no control over what I ate. No control at all.
That is what stands out to me. Not the food, because the food was good and the diet normal and healthy. Just the fact and feeling of being powerless to decide what, when and how much to eat. Powerless to decide over my own body.
Control has been an issue with me for all my life and this was just another way where I had no control. I hated and still hate the feeling of being powerless, not getting to decide for myself. I know most people say they loved being a kid. I hated every part of it, I hated not being able to decide for myself. I always looked forward and longed to be an adult and get to be my own boss. For me, being able to eat treats whenever and how much I want has been a way of being in control. I decide! If I want chocolate on a Wednesday I will have chocolate! If I want to eat the whole bar then I will do just that! Because I can, because I decide for me, because I am in control of me!
The funny thing is though, that this taking control has turned into not being in control. When I stuff my face it doesn’t really make me feel good. I would rather not do it but I just haven’t found a way to stop myself. What I just realized was that I am now creating the same pattern, the same feelings of not being of control of what I eat, as I felt in my childhood. I am recreating the same thing that I hated. This being August and all, all the eclipses bringing in a shitload of energies to help us clear out the old beliefs and the old wounds, I saw that this was me creating another opportunity for myself to work through and clear out this old wound. I am recreating it all so that I can find a way to let go of it once and for all.
What I have been taught in this process and what has worked for me is to allow the painful feelings to be felt fully. To sit with the feeling until it is completely gone. It is annoying and takes a lot of time if it is a big issue, but at least it works for me. I am still not sure how to resolve it but it usually works itself out if I just allow the feelings that come up. I so want to resolve this! I want this feeling of control/not control to let go! Ans so weird how this control issue has seeped into almost all areas of my life… Well.. wish me luck…