There are many issues that arise due to trauma. PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), depression and anxiety are the most common and known. However, there are others such as insomnia, eating disorders or issues, nightmares, sleep disorders, fibromyalgia, low self-esteem, and anger. As if that’s not enough there are more, but I won’t list them all.
Whatever you deal with they are real and often daily struggles for many who have endured any form of trauma and especially those who endured chronic or complex trauma. (Repeated trauma and multiple traumas.)
One issue I have talked about before are my eating struggles. I have not discussed them in a while and I thought I would revisit them today. Besides enduring the sexual trauma that makes me feel more insecure and self-conscious there is the fact I was repeatedly told I was fat.
I actually wasn’t, though I have a pear-shaped figure that made shopping for jeans as a teenager add to my struggles.
I remember in high school I would hardly eat anything for lunch and then after school when my friends went out to eat, I would say I either wasn’t hungry or that I needed to wait for dinner. Once home I would say I ate out. Despite starving myself I didn’t lose weight. Why? Because my body was storing it because I wasn’t feeding what it needed to survive.
I was extremely self-conscious and the word fat never far from my mind. As the years went on, I constantly compared myself to others and went between eating my emotions to starving. All this did was harm my body.
As I began to remember my abuse, I lost about 30 pounds and was underweight for a little while. I liked how everyone told me I was so thin and looked so good. As if that is what matters right? However, as I began my journey to recover, I have gone between starving and overeating. I find comfort food and eat and eat and eat. It is proven that “good” to us food (like sugar) makes us “feel” better initially, but then brings the depression back on. Which is why it is not a fix.
Only in working through the trauma have I found true release. 5 years ago, I was on another starving binge and got incredibly skinny. I forced myself not to eat because I was told I was getting fat.
I spent a few years doing this and it actually caused me to lose more bone mass as I was already in surgically induced menopause. Thankfully, I stopped focusing on my looks so much and got healthier and began to reverse that bone loss this year. However, I was not treating my body well and this is the only body we have this side of heaven. (It is the temple of the Holy Spirit too.)
I was also convicted lately that Satan has used this throughout the years to get me off track from recovery. I need to call him out when he does this. I heard yesterday as I weighed, “You fat cow. No one will ever love you.” Repeat of what I was told by someone consistently growing up, but not the truth. As God tells us, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30) Our relationship with the Lord is what matters.
Granted, God wants us to take care of ourselves. That can include exercise, and eating fruits and vegetables and balanced meals, but not obsessing over it. I am a little overweight at the moment and it bothers me quite a bit more than it should, but my focus is now on being “healthy” instead of thin. I do want to lose some to fit into my clothes again before Spring, but I am not obsessing and freaking out with what the scale or mirror says. (Most days.)
So, as I get back on track to healthy eating and not eating my emotions or starving, I am praying God helps me stay on track and I know He will keep Satan at bay when I ask. Don’t let Satan get you off track of the true healing God wants in your life. You can’t focus on needed emotions and trauma in therapy if you are constantly down on your looks, starving for needed nutrients, or overloaded with sugar.
Hang in there my friends and keep on keeping on in the year 2021. I pray we will all find healing this side of heaven and enjoy the life God created us to have.
© 2020 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.