Prescription: one banana a day (ON TOP of my current consumption)
Homework: a semi-food diary (as I can’t cope with the real deal). Record emotions that are food related that really stick out to me as troublesome.
For a first session we sure dug deep. I didn’t think I’d want to share much as she is a complete stranger to me but her appearance and manner soon made me feel less scared and more open to talking.
Already she has worked with me and given me insight on why my mother may be the way she is/was around food and me. It is an insight I had simply never thought of before and it filled me with all sorts of emotions. Because my mother has been through sexual abuse L proposed that perhaps the reason she has been so encouraging of me losing weight and not gaining is because somewhere deep down my mother has that typical belief that low weight = less desirable to men. My mother sees me as an extension of herself, this I have already known for a while so it would make sense that her “safety net” of being thin, with no curves, just straight up and down has been something shes encouraged in me too.
To be honest I was initially uneasy about this interpretation because it doesn’t sound like my mother to be in any way shape or form protective of me. On the surface, trying to keep me thin so I don’t get abused sounds like protection (and she failed massively). Only I know that if I am just an extension of herself, really shes trying to keep HERSELF thin as protection of HER. Me, as a person, separate from her doesn’t come into it. Same as it doesn’t on a day to day basis anyway. The fact she never asks me about me, my life, my work, my courses lets me know that I am not recognised as someone with their own life. Even if this interpretation is true, she isn’t trying to protect me, she’s trying to protect herself.
I managed to cough up the BMI figure of what I weigh now. It was hard, and if you’d asked me before, I was adamant that I wasn’t going to share such stuff. But I did. We’d already had the discussion about my weight before I left the parents home and I will admit her reaction was comforting and very validating. “When my BMI was 13 I was still getting told by my mother that my weight is fine and I’ll just get fat if I put anymore on”. I didn’t see her initial reaction non-verbally as I was looking down but the loud “WHAT” told me all I needed to know.
So yes, she knows my weight now, and she also knows that, as always, it isn’t low enough for me. Though it was easy to prove to her that I am ready to fight the anorexia and I am ready to work on this. Just talking about my dogs, my work, my course I think she could SEE what it all means to me. How I want to progress. I want to keep working. I want to live.
She questioned whether I’d say that my primary relationship at the moment is with the anorexia. Not my partner. Not my dogs. Not Cat. Not anyone. To some extent I had to agree but in others, no I don’t think so. For example, I don’t think my r’ship with the anorexia has overtaken my r’ship with Cat. There have been times where I haven’t wanted to see her because of fear of how fat I look… but I still went. We have still been doing the Monday lunches and I am still able to eat in front of her, yes not comfortably but Cat comes before the anorexia. She has been there through this entire recent relapse and she is a lot nicer to live with in my head than the bleating cursing anorexia.
All in all I’m relieved. I’m relieved that she doesn’t think that just because I’m not emaciated I don’t require help. I’m relieved that she is nowhere near as scary as my head built her up to be. I’m relieved that she can laugh and smile and believe what I say. I’m relieved that she can perhaps be the clever insightful person I need to work with to shift my hang ups about food, and my body, and my resultant worth.