Yesterday, I ended up sharing homework assignments in both our Eating Disorder group and in our main therapy group. I also had my 1:1 anxiety therapy.
My name was top of the list for sharing in Eating Disorder group. I like sharing in groups because it is an opportunity for getting feedback, support and thoughtful questions from my peers and the therapists running the group. Sometimes the questions make me squirm, but it is always productive.
My dietitian and I had discussed what to talk about in ED group and she said I could read an older homework assignment or read something from my blog. I felt like reading the post about my family of origin and food would be most helpful in terms of getting support and feedback. I felt embarassed to share it as it kind of highlights how fucked up my family was…but part of sharing in groups is about reducing shame.
You know what I realized when reading it and during the feedback after? That my orthorexic thinking has much deeper roots than I realized. Like, it goes way back to when I was in elementary school. I had no idea! It gave me a bit of pause about the self-judgment I feel because I have a hard time shaking the orthorexia. The orthorexia is deeply ingrained in my thought processes and feelings about food. I am not going to just be able to snap out of it. It’s not at all that simple. Now…if I can turn that understanding into some compassion for myself, I will be in a better place. But, I still am frustrated and angry at myself that I cannot shake the orthorexia faster. I guess since I really only got diagnosed with it recently, I figured it was a recent development and would be easy to stop. I sure was wrong about that.
Anxiety therapy was hard yesterday. Somehow we got to talking about what I feel like I deserve and don’t deserve. I don’t think I deserve much. Like really, this is another deeply ingrained belief. And while we were talking, I was working hard at challenging my therapy blocking behaviors (namely, shutting down when I felt intense emotions.) It was a hard and draining session. I left sniffling from crying and feeling totally raw.
I went from that session to the main therapy group…I walked in half-way through it (because of the anxiety appt) and noted that there were four people observing the group. I don’t like change, people observing make me uncomfortable. They were clinicians from around the country who had come for an event that Hilltop PHP is having today and tomorrow, but they had come early to observe groups and stuff.
So…I sat down and was trying to decompress a little bit and…My name popped up on the sharing list and I was immediately called upon to share some homework. Yikes! So, I shared an assignment about feelings and tried to ignore the visitors and focus on what I was doing. The glitch was that the assignment briefly addressed the physical abuse I endured as a child. This is something I pretty much never talk about and had never even really brought up during my whole stay a Hilltop. (Because I am pretty sure I deserved the abuse because I was bad.) Of course, it became part of the discussion and I was really uncomfortable. And I didn’t share that I minimize the abuse because I feel like I deserved it.
Anyway, it was an intense day. And everything has been more intense lately because I have been steadily working on my trauma narrative from the first sexual abuse I had when I was four. That assignment has me in a constant state of emotional rawness and miner overload.
It has been a long week.
K…I don’t have time to proofread…Hopefully, the typos aren’t too bad!!! I’ll try to get to editing later.