I’m in my mid-30s, and my name isn’t really Amelia. And I’ve been super lucky: good education, successful career, health, etc etc. I’ve always been obsessed with food, or at least as far back as I can remember. I’ll likely get into that in detail as I start posting here. Suffice it to say, I always thought I could handle the food, have always put a good face on things, and I only recently found the OA community of meetings, support, steps, and all that. And it’s already been helping.
But right now, tonight, I don’t feel like going into all that, and I also don’t feel particularly lucky and thankful. I feel like venting, and treating this blog as a virtual screaming into my pillow, since even that would be too loud right now. You see, I’m at home at my mother’s apartment. I’m staying with my her while all my stuff is in storage as I look for a new job and then (and only then) will I look for an apartment.
And being at home with her is doing a NUMBER on me.
I can’t blame my mother for my disordered eating, but I also can plainly see that she has her own version of it, and also that she shrugs off any issues. These are some of the things that are really messing with my head this week:
- She routinely restricts and eats healthily/virtuously during the day, and then after a rushed dinner sits down to watch TV, say from 7-10 — eating that entire time. Her binges are weird by most people’s standards: italian ices and sunflower seeds. She alternates between those two, nonstop. For 3 hours, she doesn’t stop eating. And doesn’t think there’s anything the matter with it.
- She ate dinner tonight in about 3 minutes flat. It’s stressful to eat dinner with her this way, because she inhales this food and then sits there and watches me eat. I know she’s doing this to keep me company, but I find it incredibly offputting, and I rush too. My own food issues aside, I wish we could be the type of people that sit down to a meal and *talk*, shut off the TV, and you know, spend more than 5 minutes on it. And it’s funny because we come from a culture and larger family that does just that, sits at their meals for a long time — sometimes those meals are *too long*, ha. But I’d take those over whatever this is in a heartbeat.
- She also immediately after went to the counter to eat more fish and I wanted to yell *just take some more! it’s ok! you can put it on your plate!* She is a good cook, and spends a fair amount of time cooking this stuff, only to then scarf a portion of it down in record speed and repair to the couch for her evening snacking.
- I haven’t told her about my going to OA, for many reasons. But I *have* told her not to get me things like chocolate, specific cookies, etc. Sweets are always my triggers, and I’m trying not to have them in the house. And so far this week she’s gleefully shown me things that she got that she knows I tend to overeat. A few minutes ago it was a bar of specific chocolate that she brought back with her from her travels, and which I guess she had hidden — until she tapped me on the shoulder to wave it in front of my face like a naughty child. This is not malicious, actually. But it’s infuriating and completely clueless, and makes me wish (not for the first time) that my mother actually *listened* to me, and you know, acted like a rational adult.
As I’m starting to navigate these waters, figuring out steps and finding a sponsor, and trying to move toward of abstinence from these compulsions, it’s just draining to be home. I want to be back in my own space, I want my stuff around me, and I want at least a solid borough between me and my mother. The reasons that led to all my stuff in storage and being out of work are not dour ones — I had an amazing travel-related opportunity at the end of last year and I took it. So I can’t complain and I am hopeful that this is temporary. But realistically speaking, it’s going to take 1-2 months to find a job in my field and then get an apartment. I wish I could reverse these two, but NYC landlords tend to want their tenants to be gainfully employed and make a bajillion times the yearly rent, the jerks.
And so here I am, hopeful and grateful to have found the OA community — meetings have been amazing. But so tired and frustrated and really fragile at home. Wish me luck with that job search!