My Earliest Binge Memory

Following is a description of my first compulsive overeating memory.  It is very early on a Saturday or Sunday morning and my parents are asleep.  I can’t remember being in my bed, what got me up, what I was thinking as I tip-toed to the fridge, or why I was craving what I ate.  I am guessing that I was about 6 or 7.

I am standing in front of the open fridge, my right hand resting on the top shelf on the door, which is about the same height as I am.  The golden light illuminates all the shelves and I am scanning them, looking for something sweet.  The image of Maraschino cherries comes to mind.  The red ones.  Where are they?  I look around the containers of milk and juice, and finally think to check the shelves in the door.  GOT’em!  I silently unscrew the lid, pick out one, and pop it in my mouth.  A burst of overly-sweet juice shoots though my mouth and slides down my throat.  I eat another.  Then another.  Now it’s TOO sweet.  I quietly get the lid back on and the jar back in the door, then I start looking again.  Now I have to find something salty.  I spot a jar of mayonnaise.  THAT’S the taste I am looking for!  I am again silently unscrewing a jar lid.  Somehow there is a spoon in my hand (or maybe I used my fingers?) and I take a huge mouthful.  Smooth and salty.  I am just about to go for a second scoop when I feel someone tap me on the back.  I jump a mile and spin around at the same time.  It’s my father.  He gently tells me to put the mayonnaise jar away and go back to bed.  Nothing more.  I am mortified!  I feel completely humiliated and ashamed, even though he doesn’t say a word to me about what I am doing.  I suddenly “know” two things:  there is something wrong with me, and I have let my father down. 

I carried these negative feelings around with me continuously for the next 36 years.  It wasn’t until I worked the steps two years ago that I fully understood that there is nothing “wrong” with me (I have a disease) and that I have ALWAYS been the one judging me (not my father, not my family, and not anyone else).  For so many years I have been projecting the way I felt about myself onto others, and I think it may have all started with this one incident.

Hope this is helpful to someone.






May 22, 2012 This post was written by Categories: Leftovers Tagged with:

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