I'm going to ask some questions about food and eating, and I’d if you’d like, feel free to answer them along with me.
Q: What are your earliest memories of food and eating?
Our dinner table was a stressful place. Eating was always a problem. My father dominated the table with rules about how to eat. Elbows in (don’t cluck like a chicken). Sit upright. Fork turned over. Eat with the mouth shut. Don’t speak while you were eating. No elbows on the table. Obviously don’t eat off your knife. Eat everything on the plate or there was no dessert, and if you didn't finish your plate, then you had to eat it cold at the next meal, and sit there at the table until you ate it. Breaking a child’s spirit was seen as correct parenting. Obeying was seen as a prime rule in our house. I often ate until I couldn't eat any more. I have no idea when I am full, and have always been someone who has a huge appetite.
My father was often angry. And unpredictable. He used to quickly jab a fork into my hand if I didn't follow one of his rules. I often didn't know what I had done. It seemed random. I was often afraid. I used to eat the things I didn't like first, so when it started to get difficult to eat, I would have to eat the things I liked. That was easier.
Q: How do you feel talking about your childhood and eating?
The other day, when I first started to think about food when I was a child, my heart started to pound in my chest. My stomach started to get tense. I started to breathe irregularly. I recognized I was having a mild panic attack. I went and laid down on the bed for a moment, and just sat with the emotion as much as I could.
I started working with my child archetypes with Sparrow about 6 years ago, and cleared quite a lot of blocks and I felt happier than I had in a long time. I think that work helped let me feel something echoing down the past.
The main technique I have for blocking pain is to switch off. Emotionally it feels empty, like there is nothing there. But I think it’s just a wall has been put between me and the ‘hurt’.
Recently, shining the light into the darkness of food and eating, I can see quite clearly that I am ready to allow emotion and release from those early memories. Memories that I didn't even realize were a problem.
I was talking to Kate about my early memories this morning, and I could feel, as I feel now, a tightening and constriction around my throat and a dull pressure on my chest, and tightness in my solar plexus. My shoulders are tight and there is a lot of body tension. Obviously there is clearing to be done. Clearing and healing.
Even though I have been working with childhood issues for a long time. Over twenty years. It’s still there, in different layers.
Yes, I've come a long way from the resentful, angry and isolated teenager I felt I was, but there is still so much to release and let go of. So I give myself leave to speak about it once more, and perhaps to write about early eating experiences once more, but then I will move into the healing and releasing. I don’t see any need to dwell in the past. Just enough to bring it up , so that I can catch the tail and finally let it go.