Tinkering on the edge of sanity

As I was lying in bed waiting for the elusive sleep to descend upon me last night I was thinking about how I relate to food and how eating it makes me feel. It’s been staring me in the face all this time but it wasn’t until last night that I fully recognized that my struggle is not about the weight. It’s doesn’t matter what I weigh. My fight is not that I want to weigh X amount of pounds; it’s about how the abuse made me feel and my attempts to distance myself from it through restricting food. The inner war is more about feeling clean and whole and I thought resisting food would do that for me. In truth, I need to find different ways to make myself clean, although it can be argued that I’m not dirty. What was dirty was the way we were treated and what people did to us. However, it is still hard to buy into the line of thinking that we weren’t to blame and we are clean. Something made me so sad last night. One of the member’s of my system that has the eating disorder is afraid that if we conquer our preoccupation with food and weight she will no longer be needed. She has done her job well at keeping us distracted from the real issues. Her desire to be thin and symptomatic is to ensure that people and Therapist know that she is not okay. She is afraid if she lets go of her disordered thinking and disordered thoughts that no one will see her pain. Even though we know that the real issue is the abuse and not our weight, she still wants to lose. Just as cutting is a cry for help so is her eating disorder. My heart breaks for her because she feels unwanted and disposable; like if we get better she will be unneeded and expendable. She has been vital to keeping us alive and “functioning,” for a lack of a better word. She will need a new job in our system. Even though we know this, it doesn’t make recovery better. As I write this she sends me memories that she harbors. The pain is overwhelming. We are still sad.This is all bull sh*t. I hate myself.

4 thoughts on “Tinkering on the edge of sanity”

  1. ah…so sad that she feels like she won't be needed. All of our parts are "needed", I think. For different reasons. It's hard to get them to work together toward a common goal – at least I've found that to be true. They don't obviously want the same things. A constant struggle.
    You're very good at expressing yourself, emotionally and logically.
    I understand how hard it is to "change" it.
    Keeping all of you in my thoughts…

  2. I also have a split who is going through this exact same thing right now. I'm so glad you wrote about this because for the past few months I have had no idea how to understand how she feels and why she feels the way she does. This totally opens up things for me and it makes me so sad that she does feel this way. Thank you for sharing. I hope things will be okay with you and your alter who is feeling unwanted right now.


  3. You aren't dirty… You're right, it's the deeds done to us in the past that make us feel that way. But you aren't dirty… When we see that dirtiness, it's the distorted lens of the abusive past that we're looking through.

    Personally, I think each part of the dissociative system will always be needed in some way. Each part of us, is just that, a part of us. As we heal, the extremes with which each part has to go to in order to protect the system becomes less. That doesn't mean that they're no longer needed, just that they no longer have to do the same extreme action. One example I can think of within my system is Aimee, who never used to read because she was born to be happy, and reading was too serious for that role. But now she can read and write. She's still happy, but she's learned that you can still be happy and read too. I know that's a simplistic example, but it shows how we can all change and learn new ways of being. Maybe with healing, your system member can find a new ways as well? Telling her story is part of that healing…

    She sounds like and incredibly strong part of you. Everyone needs strength, no matter how far along the healing journey we are. That alone tells me that she will always be needed in some way.

    Take care,

  4. The last sentence of your post sounds like it was written by a young part. I know that kind of sentence well.

    The eating issues I know have little to do with weight. But I think that parts glom onto numbers. Arbitrary numbers, when met, are just replaced by more severe numbers.

    All of this is hard, I know. At least you are recognizing that this is a distraction of some sort. When I was in the throws of my eating disorder many years ago, this was not something I knew for a long time. It was a revelation for me, I remember it, when we made that connection.

    So, I see that for you as a huge positive step.

    Keep writing and hopefully find ways for that young part who struggles with eating to express herself and get out those feelings…

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