Posted by: Judy | October 7, 2014

Newest Goal…

I’ve been tracking my eating over on my Ladyhawkhollow blog. It’s my first blog and sort of my everything blog. I experiment over there and do my brain dumps there. It started as mostly an “everyday” blog but has become a tracking my exercise and food and things I need to do… a follow up blog. It’s been educational.

All the weight experts say that you need an accountability partner and you need to keep a food diary.

I’ve worked hard to make it work. It isn’t working.

Why?

NM deprived me of food, stole food off my plate, and kept track of everything I ate. In fact, she still keeps track of what I eat. She has gone so far as to take note of what I throw away, i.e., wrappers, for example.

As a small child, I was on the BRAT (Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) diet for over a year. I ate dog food because I was hungry, and she thought it was so cute. She’d relate the story to anyone who would listen. And no one called her on it until a cousin did so a few years ago. Granted, she didn’t know I was allergic to whole grain. However, once I figured it out, she refused to accommodate my dietary needs. I had food available to me that I could eat once I started buying my own. I called myself a junk-food junkie because junk food was something I could eat without being sick.

What I haven’t talked about, or at least only touched on, is the terror inflicted around and during mealtimes.

She demanded everyone be at the table on time. She screamed about low blood sugar, even though she didn’t have diabetes. She would not admit to simply being crabby or hungry. Instead, she was ravenous, and making her wait even five minutes was tantamount to wanting her to die. She refused to do anything to help herself, like eat a little something. She whined about how much she hated cold food but refused to simply go ahead and eat. We were responsible for making her miserable. Her idea of helping to make her life better was to be there when she said to be there, without being in the way by being there too early. By the way, the time was whenever she said it was, and it was by no means consistent.

We served ourselves, but if I took too much then I was greedy, but if I didn’t take enough then too bad there wasn’t enough for me to have more. I should have taken more. Yes, stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place.

Needless to say, mealtimes were a nightmare when she wasn’t in a good mood, and she was frequently in a foul mood. Food was a nightmare. Full stop. Food was used as a whip, punishment, to control, to bribe, and yes, I have a horrible relationship with food. Have I mentioned she thinks farmers are stupid? If you’re smart, you learn to work smarter not harder. Have I mentioned she married a farmer? He was smart enough to go to college and move to the city. If you ask her, she will tell you I’m lying.

She continues to terrorize me at mealtimes. She has been told I want alone time in the kitchen and why. I don’t like them looking over my shoulder and commenting on what I eat. After 50 years, I should be allowed to do this by myself without watchdogs. Only the other day, she was in the kitchen preparing for the rest of the family to come to dinner around 4:00. The only reason she left the kitchen 15 minutes into my “scheduled” time is because one of my brothers called. She settled in the living room to chat with him, on the phone. I figured I was safe. I planned a quick lunch requiring less than 5 minutes in the kitchen. Yep, she heard the microwave and HAD to wander through the kitchen to reach another room. Within minutes of me leaving the kitchen, she was right back in there. Never mind I’m supposed to have an hour. I never do.

Things have not improved.

A schedule was created to give me time. The schedule is a joke. It’s a change of decoration in the same cage. They still make comments about what I eat. They point out how careful they are to avoid the kitchen during my time, except they don’t. They hang out in the dining room while I make my meals. I never know when one of them will talk to me and expect an answer when neither one is supposedly actually able to hear me. I will be held accountable for being rude and not answering them, regardless of the fact I did but they didn’t hear me. Sometimes they do hear me, which I find confusing beyond words. For the record, I have recently stopped answering because I don’t see the point of pretending. Will they hear me or won’t they? I’m weary of the guessing game. It’s amazing how many little things they need, just for a moment.

Have I mentioned she goes through the garbage and has pulled stuff out of the garbage she thought I shouldn’t throw away? Paper towels are removed and dried to use again later, ostensibly to clean up grease but I know what’s on some of those paper towels… I threw away a plastic bag after I filled it with some molding spaghettis sauce. I’d forgotten it. I didn’t want it making a mess. Yes, NM pulled it out of the garbage and washed it, not in a dishwasher. It will be used to store food in future. She was angry with me when she washed a bowl I’d forgotten on the counter, and I washed it again. I showed her the left over food still on it, and she insisted she’d washed it. The obvious evidence she’d done a lousy job didn’t matter. She brags about being unsanitary.

Insane.

All the “experts” advise going all natural, from scratch, nothing processed.

Not working here.

What the “experts” demand requires access to a kitchen I don’t have. NM will defend herself, declaring she gives the kitchen over. It’s unsettling to look up from what I’m doing and she’s watching me from the other room. She used to work in another part of the house. She has changed her habit so she is always in the other room, connected by an open walk through and an open space over the kitchen sink. The only time I’m left alone is when they are out of the house. Otherwise, I’m shadowed from the other room. I’m very aware of her presence. My anxiety and fear escalates because I know how unpleasant she can be. It hasn’t been so long I’ve forgotten the last time she said something unpleasant.

Yes, I know exactly how crazy this all sounds and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

How do I overcome this?

I’ll tackle the question tomorrow. Sorry, but I need to work through things in bits and pieces.

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Responses

  1. It begs the question, why do ypu stay?

    • Interesting you should ask. I asked myself the same question, yesterday, and penned a reply. It’s tomorrow’s post.

  2. It’s never going to change because they will never change. And what you’d need to do to yourself to live with it is impossible. But I have to agree with thoughtsalone. I thought I could accept that my parents weren’t changing and I could sort of accept the situation as it was. But I ended up spiraling and hurting myself again, so I had to go no contact to save myself. When people are as poisonous as your mother, the only solution is to get away from the toxins, not find a better antidote.

    • ((Judith))

  3. You do realize that in some ways you have been spiraling down into the rabbit hole in the past few weeks, don’t you? Go back and read some of your posts from even just a month ago (Sept 16th), or maybe Aug 6th or July 27th and July 6th. From my observation point, two things have remained constant: (1) your boundaries are regularly violated, and (2) you keep expecting a different outcome. Although you already recognize that changing THEIR behavior is impossible, you wake up every day expecting it to be the way you envision, where your boundaries are honored, and where you feel as if you have a voice and are being heard.

    It is hard to hear that you are struggling right now, and I’m sorry that this time is particularly difficult for you. Too many days are piling one on the other, and you are sorely in need of some fresh air and a change of pace. I’m hoping you might find ways to focus on what is working (visiting with the BIL’s dog, for example) and do more of that, expanding on bringing the positive energy into your life. More taking care of you.

    For me, right now, something that is working is to apply some of my time to something creative. As a writer, your first instinct is probably that your writing IS applying your time to something creative (and you’re right about that, of course) but writing is also your job. I’m talking more along the lines of doing something that fuels your creative spirit that is for relaxation only. For me, that’s sewing or coloring in a coloring book or doing a jigsaw puzzle or working on word puzzles, for example. I’ve been trying to factor in time every day to engage in that sort of activity, even if only for fifteen minutes at a time. So far, I’ve found that “scheduling” this relaxing time has helped me build my day around it, sort of, in that I work to finish up my regular tasks so that I can get to the “recharge zone”, as I’ve affectionately dubbed it.

    A very long time ago, my sister once asked me what I do for fun. I remember being almost offended by the question. Who has time for fun? There is work to be done, or surviving to be tended to … fun is for people who have not a care in the world, and lots of time on their hands. I was wrong about that (big surprise!). Fun is for every person, every day. We need a little bit of fun, in whatever form, in order to restore some sort of balance.

    Factor in some fun. It won’t make all the other stuff disappear, but it WILL give you a tiny pocket of time where all the other stuff fades away. A vacation from the obvious, even if for only a little while. You are sorely in need of a vacation. 🙂

    • You’re right. I have been spiraling. Not as far down as before, but heading in a direction I don’t want to go. Habits are so tough to break.

      Yes, writing is creative, but I pour so much of myself into it.

      Now you mention it, I don’t have much fun. I’m working to change that sorry state of affairs.

  4. In my experience, when triggers are set off, the only effective response I have been able to implement is prayer. If possible, the same prayer or mantra. Even better if it is intended for the person or circumstance ,(including ourselves!) that is pushing that trigger. Even if it said with gritted teeth, even if you don’t mean it…. A lot of times it can shift things for me.
    A friend recently told me it helps to regard things as opinions rather than advice… On a positive note, maybe you are making a breakthrough, that is often accompanied by resistance, especially from the people closest to you sometimes

    • You’re right about prayer, and I don’t use it nearly enough… or maybe it’s more I don’t use it effectively… I keep asking for the same thing, even though I know I need to change the question. Maybe I need to stop asking questions. I have the answers… something to think about.

      I think maybe a breakthrough is coming. It felt like it as I wrote tomorrow’s post. Only time will tell.

      Thanks ((Cynthia))

  5. Is there an answer?

    • I think there is, simply not something I’m able to conceive, yet. I’m working on it.


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