Prologue: This is a post I began a couple of months ago, and never finished, but I think it’s important for me to get it out there.
Had a great session with my therapist today. What came out of it was that my issue isn’t around food itself, it’s about my ability to be in control of my life. Food is just my “drug” so-to-speak, that I use to stuff down my feelings. I’ve always thought that I’m not an emotional person, but I am, I just don’t allow myself to feel.
My dad, who I love more than anything else in this world, and whose every actions and words have always been based in his love and concern for me, has always had this control over me in the sense of my reactions to his “suggestions.” He has a strong personality and “knows” he’s always right — which he usually is, but don’t tell him I told you that. He was all I had growing up, I didn’t want to disappoint, and while I don’t think I ever vocalized it to myself, I’m sure on some level there was a fear that he would leave or “decide” this life wasn’t what he wanted either. A heavy thing for a child bear. So I walked softly and carried a small stick, and tried to make sure, to the detriment of my own blossoming self, that I fit the image I thought he wanted me to be. Not that I was entirely successful, since of course I did rebel, act out, stubbornly go my direction, etc., but for the most part I think I was always partially attempting to always make him happy and happy with me.
What I want, is to be able to tell him things that are going on in my life and have him just listen and be supportive. He’s not always going to understand why I’m doing something the way that I am, and it may not be the best choice, but life is about trial and error and learning from the mistakes we all inevitably make. I don’t even want him to pick up the pieces when I do fall, but I do want his emotional support.
Epilogue: Around this time, I had just applied to grad school, which means taking out more student loans, something which he was advising against and trying to come up with ideas that would be cheaper that could potentially end with a similar result. Also, grad school is hard…he knows, he’s put himself through two grad programs. He also knows I’m not the most academically inclined person on the planet. But without this master’s degree, I will have a very tough time advancing in my career. He asked me, “What if you fail?” In one of the most subdued voices I’ve ever heard come out of him. I just said, “If I fail, I just keep trying.” (Of course, this was after my smartass comment that I won’t bother to mention because it’s really dumb.)