/when I need:
to feel angry
a break from my kids
time with girlfriends
to talk and be deeply listened to
color (knitting, lipstick, shopping)
to be outside
to cry with someone actually listening
I eat because I need to be listened to, deeply, fully given quiet presence, and to be invited to talk - to be asked, questioned, explored, dived into. And to be mirrored, to be given wisdom and encouragement. But I don't really let people most of the time. I compulsively kick into "How are you? Tell me about yourself?" and can go through hours of conversation without revealing anything of myself. I eat in place of being vulnerable. It's how I take care of myself so others don't have to, so they don't have to hug me, listen to me, calm me down, hurt for me, talk to me, go after me.
It's really uncomfortable for me when people do.
I eat because I need to open up little by little, to be able to trust. That's the hardest thing still walled up inside. I let down a little a few nights ago, cried on the shoulder of my friend's mom who was a single mom for 10 years. She understood. I was feeling raw because we were at a family camp and there was a carnival full of families, and the activities had to each be done as a family. I looked around at all the dad/mom/kid sets and felt the old sadness. Even if I was remarried, it wouldn't be the same; they're still primarily my kids that I'm shouldering. I lost something I can't get back, the possibility of a strong partnership with deep, genetic links between everyone. Step-familying is hard, messy, a slow process, confusing. My siblings and parents and a lot of my friends get to have something precious and unbroken. I just needed to cry about that. And Deb let me.
"Any of us, when faced with more internal stress than we can handle, will find external ways to cope if we feel we cannot talk to someone who can handle our stress and our pain." (Heather Forbes)