Control is not the answer

In my last post, I shared that I was not sure where my need to lie about food and steel food came from and I wasn’t sure I needed to know.  I lied. I really did want to know and in writing about it I believe the answer was unveiled.

I just spent the last two days reading a moving book called 703 by Nancy Makin.  Nancy topped the scales at 703 but lost over 500 pounds. The book is a memoir of her life and journey.  In the beginning of the book, she writes about how she lied about food and stole food and about food being the one thing she could control in her life.  Wow- that hit home like a fast ball.

Before I go on, let me say that everything I share here is based on my memories of my childhood.  It does not mean they are the truth or what really happened but they are what I remember and felt and they are through the eyes of a child.   My parents divorced when I was four and both wound up in new relationships.  We were shuttled back and forth on alternate weekends to visit our father and his wife who had a daughter from her first marriage.  When I look back, I don’t think I ever felt like I belonged when I was at my father’s.  I felt lonely a lot and I’m sure most of that was self imposed. I was older than my sister and step sister who bonded and shared a room.  I felt that I shouldn’t have to play with the kids even though I was still a child and only two years older.  I remember having to go and do things, see people and visit with my father and never having a say.  Not that children really ever do but I know.. I know.. I know to my very core that food became my answer. It was at my father’s house that I did most of my food stealing.  It was my “F you” at a very young age. It was something I could control and do and feel dominant and in control.

To make matters even more interesting, during my Chips A Hoy, cookie stealing binges, I would also steal or “borrow” the Penthouse and Playboy magazines and read them and look at the pictures. Let’s talk about the impact seeing this type of magazine has on a child who already has body image issues and isn’t even in puberty.  Getting a hold of this reading material was just another layer to my sneaky, I’m in control and you won’t control me reality at that time.  My reality as an adult is that I still have this way of being around being controlled.

I know that being vulnerable and giving up control is part of my healing. Control is just another way of hiding.  I can’t live and express and be fully alive if I want to control everything. I’ve come to a point where I joke about wanting to be in control and taking control.  Using humor and outing myself is just part of my way of breaking down the wall and cracking through to show the world who I am behind the facade.

I just caught the irony of my writing this during the weekend where we celebrate our country’s independence.  Each day I take another step in this journey, I too feel a greater sense of independence.

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