Thursday, May 02, 2013

Adolescent thinking; feeling better; night time eating link (150.0)

There are days when I can't believe I'm a grown up, with all the responsibilities that come with it--mortgage, house, wife, kids, career, financial obligations, and all the trappings of modern life.

I don't know why, at age 43, I often feel like I'm still a kid inside.  I suspect it has to do with childhood emotional trauma and getting stuck in "little girl" thinking (Vickie had a recent post on little girl thinking, which is where I got that term from). 

I also suspect that it comes from my need to be taken care of.  While I'm hard headed and a control freak and independent and usually feel like I know what's best for myself and those in my life, I have a flip side that just wants to let go and let someone else take care of everything.

My vacation in St John in 2009 was ridiculously enjoyable because I had absolutely no responsibility.  Our friend Max did all the planning, so I just showed up with my packed bags and let him take the reigns.  I didn't drive once in St John.  I didn't have to cook, other than helping out where I was instructed to (we had a great cook in our group).  I didn't plan our excursions.  I had no kids to look after.  It was nirvana.

So why does a control freak like me secretly have a desire to be controlled and taken care of? 

It all seems really deep and worthy of years of therapy, doesn't it?

I just finished reading the Fifty Shades trilogy.  Yes, there's a ton of risque sex in it.  But I enjoyed it for the relationship and the development of both characters--there's more to it than sex.  It's pure escape reading, but it does raise questions about a man taking care of a woman (and I don't mean sexually) the way men used to take care of women.  That spoke to me on a primitive level that, in the light of day, I would feel ashamed to claim as something I desire.  But in my private thoughts, I think it would be incredible to have someone make decisions for me and take over the responsibility of my life. 

Ok, so I'm not quite so damaged that I live in this fantasy world. I'm not looking for a Christian Grey-type man.  I'm happily married, I love my kids, I like my life.  I'm blessed beyond measure.

I would still like a measure of letting go and letting someone else take over. 

In thinking through all this, I do believe this goes back to my adolescent years, when I felt like my parents didn't take care of my needs. 

When they didn't protect me but instead let me have an 18 year old boyfriend when I was 12.

When they left me home alone with my little sister during the summers in middle school. 

When I worked very hard in school without their help. 

When I was a senior in high school and realized my parents had no money to pay for college (thankfully I received a full ride 4-year scholarship, so that was taken care of, but I didn't know that was going to happen until I was close to graduation, and it happened because *I* made it happen, not them).   

When they let my boyfriend move in with us when I was 22, because he came from a broken home with a father who had molested my boyfriend's sister. 

When I felt like they were too wrapped up in their own drama to care for mine. 

When I felt like they should know better how to make decisions for me, and not let me make decisions on my own, even when I was 22. 
  • I understand now that my parents were immature and emotionally stunted themselves.  They likely had no more ability to make the right decisions than I did. I think I'm beyond blaming or being angry with them now, but it's taken me a long time and a lot of therapy to get to that point.

I was forced to be independent and care for myself, the best way I knew how, at a young age.  I couldn't believe it then, on a subconscious level, that I had to do these things myself.  I often felt bereft and alone, without the care I craved. 

The responsibilities I have now are hard for me grasp, even as an adult.  My husband and I are extremely close and very good at communicating, yet I sometimes feel like I manage my life alone and have the bulk of the responsibility.  (You should know that he has the sole responsiblity of earning our income, which is sales and fee based, so he has a huge share of the burden--it's not JUST me.)

Not being alone is one of the keys to the success of the OA program. At least in my food life, I am no longer alone.

My appointment with my therapist is May 22 (that was the soonest she could get me in; she's out the week of 5/13).  Add all this to the list of things to talk with her about.


I had a good talk with my sponsor yesterday.  We worked through my issues.  Just talking with her got me focused on cleaning up my food, cleaning up the way I take care of myself.  I ate three good meals yesterday.  I ran 3 miles (running is still hard--my heart and lungs are not conditioned--but I ran sprint intervals, and my sprints were in the 9:45-10:30 range for .1 miles at a time, so with more training I'm going to be rocking the speed and distance).  I sat down and ate dinner at the kitchen bar, instead of standing up or eating it on the couch.  I didn't eat at night (see below for more on that). I went to sleep at 10:30.  One good day under my belt.  One good day at a time. I feel much better and more positive today.


I read an article that Frances posted on Facebook about night time eating.  Researchers did a study on it.  Very interesting read.  Turns out we are programmed to eat at night.  Our hunger is at its lowest at 8 am and at its highest at 8 pm.  Egads!  As if we overweight people don't have enough to deal with to lose weight; we are absolutely fighting evolution when it comes to night eating.  Night time eating


Vickie said...

Crazy busy. Your post was great. Will be back to write.

Vickie said...

I think those of us who did not have responsible parents raising us, tend to parent ourselves and grow as our children reach the stages where we missed positive/supportive/needed maturity/growth.

We have a choice - repeat history or be a line in the sand.

I think many of us were too advanced in some ways (in adolescence) because we had to be and even were encouraged to be. and then we were immature in other ways because we were not nurtured nor taught.

My guess would be that it is not that your parents didn't protect you from an 18 year old when you were 12, they probably thought the 18 year old was a very good idea.

I have gone through alternating perceptions of 'my parents could not have done any better, because they did not know any better - it was not their fault, it was how they were not raised also' to realizing that it actually was a choice for them, they did choose to do what they did. And they do not think there was anything wrong with what they did.

That understanding came with my most recent boundary work.

and with that understanding, I was able to stop trying to force something that was never going to happen (my mother), and to focus on myself and my own kids within our own family unit.

I had anger with the events that brought this realization home to me (my mother making my 50th birthday all about her husband's birthday which was weeks after mine).

But once I really understood the realization, that is her choice, it was much easier on all of us.

I no longer over compensate. I no longer try. I am pleasant. I am polite. But I live my own life with my husband and kids.

Our parents had the same option to be a line in the sand and did not. My grandmother, with a 6th grade education and immigrant parents, WAS a line in the sand. She wasn't my (level of) line in the sand, but she was, based on her history/parents, with her own kids.