Monday, October 7, 2013

Somebody's Daughter


"And if your daughter came to you,
crying with hunger, 
would you tell her no?
Would you tell her she is too fat,
she wants too much, 
she must shrink into society?
No.
Then why would you tell yourself the exact same thing? 
You are somebody’s daughter."



I read this quote yesterday and not only did it break my heart, it also really got me thinking. 

Why is it that those of us with eating disorders and other self-destructive tendencies think we somehow deserve this type of treatment? As the quote suggests, never in a million years would I tell my own daughter (or anyone close to me) to deprive themselves of a basic necessity. So, again, why is it okay to do this myself?

Where do those of us struggling with eating disorders and similar addictive behaviors gain this belief? No matter how many times I ask myself this question, I can't seem to come up with a reasonable answer. Like my own mother, and several other mothers in this world, she never gave me a reason to believe I should be treated with such disrespect. In fact, I'm not sure anyone has ever given me a reason to internalize such harsh self-beliefs - except myself.

Even with that, however, I am still left questioning why I do this to myself, yet everyone around me doesn't seem to have the same problem. I mean, my issues in life are far less severe, even somewhat irrelevant, compared to many in this world. It's frustrating, to say the least.

I think, if I am trying to make sense of this, all normal people have negative self-thoughts from time-to-time, right? Now imagine those thoughts times ten (or 100), but on a non-stop, persistent basis and you get what those of us with eating disorders experience. And it's crazy because most of us in this position would never, ever dream of treating anyone with the same mockery.

Unfortunately, some of us might be born with this undesirable trait; there's just no escaping it. The good news is, on the other hand, there are ways to overcome these impossible thoughts. Although I still have quite a bit of work to do, I am much more self-accepting than ever now that I am in recovery. Learning to treat myself with the same respect as I hand out to others might be life long learning process and that's okay.

This upcoming week will be a busy one and I can already hear some of those nagging voices creeping up on me.  But if I can keep in mind that I am somebody's daughter maybe I'll be able to show a little more kindness.

Progress.

9 comments:

  1. My harsh self-belief is rooted in my childhood, but that is in the past. It does not help me to go back to tell myself, "that's why!" to heal. I have understood that my parents did the best they could with what they knew, and they always loved me. They always do :)

    I was in the meeting (OA) yesterday, and the speaker shared the similar thing as your post - she shared that you would not tell your baby like, "why can't you walk????" and etc. So true. We understand babies. They can't walk right away! LOL. Her message was to be gentle to ourselves. I will try to remember this for this week. <3

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    1. Yes, being gentle with ourselves seems to be the key to everything. We all have different upbringings but without a little self love we won't get very far. <3

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  2. My therapist is constantly reminding myself to be kind to myself. It's been quite a journey realizing how often my self critical nature emerges on even the smallest of issues. Noticing has been the first step and now the hard work is really working at changing those thought patterns. One step and one day at a time, right?

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    1. Right! Sometimes one day and one step at a time is all we can do. If I can be nice to myself right now, in this moment, then I don't need to worry about anything else! :)

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  3. "I mean, my issues in life are far less severe, even somewhat irrelevant, compared to many in this world." No, that is not an acceptable way to think. Would you tell someone who had fewer issues than you that they weren't allowed to be upset about it? Probably not. And just because you have fewer issues than someone else doesn't mean that you're a write off either. Everyone's struggles are only relevant to them. Just because you struggle with something that another person doesn't, doesn't mean it's not a real/important/big struggle. Measure yourself next to yourself, not others. *Hugs*

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    1. That's exactly what I needed to hear this morning.
      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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  4. Hey I have a quick question about your blog, could you email me when you have a chance? Thanks! -Cam

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    1. Hey there! Can I have your email address by chance?

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  5. I'm playing catch-up on some blogs tonight while V (dear husband) is out with some work friends, and this post was one that had me nodding in agreement the whole time. I totally understand the negative self-beliefs and self-talk...and now that I'm a mom, something that helped me silence those disordered ways of thinking was imagining saying things to my little girl or even my son that I was saying to myself. It hurt me so much to even imagine doing that! I am someone's daughter, and I know that my parents love me unconditionally and wonderfully. I am also God's creation--the bible tells us that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made", and that we were created for good things. Remembering *who we are* helps to re-center our self-talk and self-image. I hope some of this makes sense! Have a lovely weekend! --Alison

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