I am an emotional eater. I never thought that I was, all those years of obesity. The flesh piled on and I attributed it to so many things. Love of good food. Being a great cook. Being frugal, not wasting. Being a good friend. All that crap. I have always known that I am fat not because I have some kind of hormonal imbalance or some other stupid excuse, but because I just eat too much.
With all of the stuff from before, one thing there was, was an abundance is food. I was, probably still am, a truly excellent and inspired cook. It was something that I could do, mostly without any complaints or bad consequences. It was the only thing that I did that did not bring abuse. It pains me to finally realize that and admit it, because it is such a lame thing to have in my life that helped me avoid being hurt and I never, ever realized.
I wonder what would have happened differently, what things I might have done or not done or thought if that had been part of my consciousness. Would it have been something I could have exploited in order to be safer? Would I have found a way to barter special dishes or meals for less harmful treatment? Would it have sparked some kind of pointless and ineffective hope for something better? I wonder if I did some of that without even knowing I was doing so. I try to think back, to remember when some dinner or breakfast was particularly good and things were better for a while, but I have no memories of anything like that.
There is a television commercial of recent memory for one of the weight loss plans. It stars a woman who immigrated here from Russia and shares that she was unaccustomed to the large portions of food here and that she ate it all because it was so delicious. It is supposed to be lighthearted, and she is significantly less weighty than she was before participating in that plan.
However, it is weighty in so many other ways. What it says to me is that I live in one of the richest places on the whole damn planet and I have hunger issues concerning food. Good freaking grief. What an atrocious, selfish, indulged cry-baby I am.
And, still hunger, for me, takes many forms and it is not just about food. I hungered for someone to love me. I got that, someone who declared that I was loved and cherished and that our life together would be wonderful and that he would always take care of me. Well, in his mind that is exactly what he did. Even now he rages against my betrayal of him, my leaving and sharing with anyone what our life was like, because from his perspective he was a great husband doing only what great husbands do. There is not any awareness except how much of a failure I am.
I still hunger for acceptance by someone who might love me. I am not interested in any kind of relationship, but it is a nice, although foolish and immature fantasy that someone might have loved me like that. I used to do that, fantasize, at night before I went to sleep, that some faceless, nameless person was desperate to love me and take care of me. When you get right down to it, that is all any of us want. Someone totally unrelated to us who sees to our core and likes what is seen there, cherishes it and us.
I know that I eat to fill the empty space that should be filled with love. And, I am not even counting the spaces where pain and horror reside. Time will lessen the impact those things have had on my life, but those spaces will always be filled with the past. And, really, that is as it should be.
I do not exist in a vacuum and neither do any of my experiences. Everything has come to create the person that I am now.
Given the opportunity to magically go back in time, to change things, to reorder the phases of my life, to try to affect a different life is not something I would consider, much less choose. I like who I am. There is not any randomness in the Universe and it all means something, it is essential to the life I was supposed to have. Much of it is certainly not my preference, something most of us could say about some aspect of our lives, I guess. I guess a lot of things lately. Just guessing, trying to make sense of some of it.
As for choosing, this past year or so, well, I would not change any of it, especially the managing to not get killed part. Yeah, most especially that part.
More importantly, it has given me experiences to complement the ideas, thoughts and skills I need in continuing to do my work. Everything has brought me to do this work. I am good at it, like really good. But, as wonderful as it is, it does not fill me and I continue to have days like today when there simply is not enough food on the planet to soothe my hunger, a desperate and bottomless void that cannot be filled. Not by food, not by another person, maybe only by time.
Or, perhaps that is one space that will stay the same. Scarred over, this little pocket of sorrow that, oh, I do not know, maybe it serves to remind me how far I have come and that no experience is ever truly wasted. Even if I never figure out the purpose, it has value. It just has to have.