I feel strongly about bringing more awareness to the struggles of binge eating. The “Stuffed With Emptiness” series delves into details and thoughts of significant moments of my past journey. If this topic could be triggering to your own thoughts and experience in any way, please read with caution or wait to visit FFF later.
Catch Up With Previous Stuffed With Emptiness Posts:
“I’ve Tried To Love You But I Just Can’t”
It had now been a couple of months since my first and second binges. Over that time I had acquainted myself more with the practice. Funny word, but that is what it felt like. I paid close attention to my habits and perfected my ways to hide my new habit.
I knew the hours to sneak out to the store so I could easily bring my bags of candy and cookies up to my room without anyone knowing. I knew how to quickly and quietly hide the bags in the back of my closet, then lock my door as I devoured them. First over the course of a week, then merely over the course of a day or two.
Binging had clawed its way through to me, wrapped it’s cold, unyielding arms around me, and whispered sweet nothings in my ear – “You are nothing. You need me. Let me soothe you. And then show you just how nothing you truly are to not resist me”. My relationship with binging felt familiar. It felt like the relationship I had with my dad.
Ever since I was twelve, I had felt my father slipping through my fingers. One day, I was playing “tickle monster” with him on the floor, and the next I sat wondering why he hated our family so much to never want to see us.
Why the only communication he shared immediately showed harbored resentment – not keeping the house clean enough or costing him money or not wanting to follow in his footsteps in his business.
Living together again brought our clashing personalities and each of our own issues into a power struggle that only hurt the two of us. The food consoled me. It kept me company. In the momentary surge that came from eating, I no longer felt the surge of hatred pulsing through the house. An underlying energy that others may not have noticed, but that completely controlled both of us.
Then, we got stuck in one room together over the course of a weekend for a wedding. I didn’t sleep well. I was tired. I was irritable. I mentioned my fatigue. My dad made some snide remark, so I pushed buttons back. I let him know that his snoring had kept me up most of the night.
I can’t remember how or what particular arguments ensued, but it quickly escalated. Yet, he kept his voice low…solely because family resided just outside our doors and on the other side of our walls. We couldn’t possibly break the perfect image of himself down. I pointed that out.
He looked at me smugly. Then uttered the words that to this day, despite my forgiveness of him, make me ache with an empty hole:
I grabbed my bags. My sister ran after me. We waited for the ferry to take us off the island of the wedding. It probably would have been safer for my 14 year old sister to drive us the six hours home, as I could not see for the tears shielding my eyes.
I don’t remember what I binged on that night. I simply remember it was one of the only two times I ever ate enough to have my body physically reject the amount of food I put in it. I could never make myself throw up, though I tried, so the fact I got sick without trying makes me know I ate. And I ate a lot.
Perhaps I was trying to heave the bile of those words into the toilet, not the food. Perhaps I hoped to flush them down and away, so they couldn’t stay with me and define me for the years that followed. The words won. For a long time.
Pease note that I have forgiven and mended my relationship with my father. This is simply a reflection on my past, so please show respect. We are both changed people today. Don’t send hate out into the world.