depression, eating disorder, emotional abuse, life, mental abuse

Things Abusive Parents Say That Can Lead to Eating Disorders, and other mental illness

Things that can cause an eating disorder…

Parents telling you

1. you are gaining weight (age 14 )

2. you look a little fat in your butt (age 15)

3. You seem to have more trouble with your weight than your sisters do (except that the truth is that one of them is way tooo skinny and the others are much fatter than me – but parents said – No, they are just Big Boned and that is why they have to be fat – you have no excuse)

4. The car does not want to hold that much weight (age 35 and I was pregnant – the OB doctor almost hospitalized me for not gaining ANY weight while I was in the first trimester) 

5. Your weight is going to make the car tip to the side (age 35 and I was 6 months pregnant and I had flown across the country for my sister’s wedding, even though I did not feel well and was fatigued)

6. See that friend of yours that is 400 pounds?  His car is very low to the ground because of his weight in it day after day (truth – my friend was 400 pounds. I was 137 pounds. I do not think it was a fair comparison . I was 19 years old and no where near the weight of my heavy friend)

7. You could be as pretty as your friend (age 16)

8. You could be almost as pretty as your friend

9. You look like your mother. She thinks she is ugly. When people think they are ugly they look ugly. You are like your mother. (age 12, 13, 14 )

10. Being under stress from being thrown out into the street by your mother, is no excuse not to watch your weight

11. Do not eat anything in the kitchen that has a label on it that says “Don’t Eat” or “Don’t Drink”  (Everything in the entire fridge and all of kitchen is labelled Do NOt Eat  or Do NOt Drink)

12. Hurry up and eat dinner, I have to go on a date. You are in my way

13. Hurry up and eat dinner, we do not want you here. Everyone is very uncomfortable for you to take so long eating. You are not wanted but we have to feed you, so hurry up  (age 14)

14. Don’t speak unless spoken to. (age 14 )

Don’t just grab food without saying “May I have the…”

But don’t speak.

15. Don’t complain that there is nothing to eat for dinner but scrambled eggs…for three months….

addictive personality, anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, battered women, bipolar, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, domestic abuse, domestic violence, mental abuse, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness, self-esteem, suicidal ideations, suicidal thoughts, suicude

Comparing Ourselves to Others…Shame, abuse, mental illness

This was my response to one of the comments I got on a post. I will not say which person commented but they can feel free to comment here if they want to do so. The reason I am posting this, is because I feel that the concern they had was one I have heard many times from people with mental illness, abuse and psychological injury. 

People who have mental pain, have trouble in day to day situations, where other people seem to float right through. Everyone around us seems to have a better handle on just getting through life, than we do. It is so easy to become discouraged by watching other people do things that we either cannot do, or cannot do without mental anguish.

I wanted this reader and all of you, to understand that we are not being fair to ourselves when we compare ourselves to other people. If we are comparing ourselves to someone who has no mental suffering , then how is that comparison fair to us? 

This was my response to a comment that talked about feeling shame, and comparing ourselves to  other people.

People are good at things that they have had the background, the support, and the early wiring to be good at. Even the things we learn when we are older, are easier to learn if we were wired properly when we were growing up.

A lot of the people you are comparing yourself to had parents that helped them to follow the normal development stages and they also had the mental stability to process all of the stages properly, in order for the neurons in their brains to be set up to do these things.

There are chemicals involved in every process we do. The chemicals in our brains are dominating our feelings and our feelings affect how well we can do things. We have behavioral patterns and they are also linked to the organic connections (neurons and chemicals) in our brains.

If there is any trauma, abuse, neglect during childhood / teenage hood, we can end up with things that are not wired properly. We also end up with the chemicals sending the wrong signals and we feel depression, anxiety and worthlessness about ourselves.

Your feelings of not being as good as other people are conditioned behavioral patterns of your brain. Past trauma, abuse or neglect may have caused these patterns. Your inability to things that other people do, may be related to feeling inadequate to do them, feeling depressed, anxiety etc. This is not your fault that you have these chemical, neurological responses to doing things.

If you feel anxiety about something and someone else does not feel that, then of course they will be able to do that thing, better and more easily than you can. It is not fair to yourself to compare your brain on depression or anxiety with their brain that is functioning perfectly well. It does not mean that you can never learn to do it, but it means that it is much harder for you to do things, than it is for them.

When we have mental illness issues, it is more fair to us, if we so not compare ourselves directly with people who do not have any mental illness or trauma in their background. I have recently come to believe this is true

I spent many years wondering why I felt so inadequate to everyone and why I felt so out of place. I had so much trauma in my back ground that I could not keep up with the people that had brains that functioned normally. It was not that I was not as smart, but it was because my brain was and is so traumatized.

I am learning that we have to be kind to ourselves. In order to be kind to ourselves, we have to understand and feel compassion for the fact that trauma, abuse, neglect, depression, anxiety and any other mental issues, does cause us some disability. We cannot always compete with the other people.

We can learn to heal and to slowly rewire our brains. But mostly we have to talk to ourselves like we would talk to someone else that we knew was having trouble feeling as good as everyone else. You are as good as everyone else, whether you can do everything they can do or not.

We all have gifts and are good at things. You might be good at something that those other people suck at. I bet you are better are being compassionate for another human that feels depressed and worthless. The ability to be compassionate is not a gift that a lot of people have. Compassion is a lost art these days. People who have mental suffering can often also be compassionate to others who have depression and anxiety. That makes you better than them at something.

You are also probably better are being introspective and analyzing things.  Many people  just go with the flow of what everyone else is doing and they do not think for themselves. If you can think for yourself then you are better at that too.

I think that we are just better at different things than most people are. There is room for us in the world too. The world cannot be ok, of all of the people just follow the crowd and are all good at the same things.

I hope this helps a little. You are a unique, independent person that can think, care and love. That makes you special and no one is better than you.
Blessings,
Annie

Once we begin to forgive ourselves for how we are, then it gets easier to live with ourselves. People with psychological trauma usually end up with some kind of post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, OCD or other mental disorder. These disorders can be permanent , because the trauma never goes away. But we can learn to shoq kindness to ourselves.

We can learn to be functional, compassionate people. There are plenty of things we can be good at. If we cannot answer the phones for a job, because we have social anxiety then so be it.  If we cannot work at certain types of jobs because we are constantly triggered onto post traumatic stress there, then so be it.

A person with an eating disorder may not be able to work in a bakery. Well if they cannot do that, it does not make them less than anyone else. It just means that they cannot do that activity safely  because of their disorder. Someone who has a phobia of open spaces cannot work in the mall. So, what of it?

We are ok the way we are. We are trying to heal. We are trying to connect with others. If there are things we cannot do, then so be it. It is not because we are less than anyone else. They did not grow up, or have the adult past that we have had. Someone else may not have survived your situations as well as you did. How do they know what it is like in your world?

We all need a break from feeling shame, inadequacy, and worthlessness. We need to show ourselves some kindness and compassion in our thoughts about ourselves. We are doing the best we can with what we have to work with. We have to work with our brains being the way they are, right at this very minute.

Blessings to all,

Annie