Starving feels good.

Self-Determined

MyPTSD Pro
Just what it says. The feeling is beyond familiar—it’s comforting. Because it’s better than drawing attention to myself as an infant. The longer I can suppress my needs, the longer I can avoid my abuser. But I don’t need anyone to feed me anymore, now I can feed myself.

What false truth is hiding in this cognitive distortion? Maybe it’s related to the compulsion to punish myself and self-worth? How is starving a bad habit? Am I just seeking attention by talking about it? Maybe I should ignore that cognitive distortion and trust that my body will always eat when it is ready, there’s nothing to be afraid of.
 

bellbird

Sponsor
The longer I can suppress my needs, the longer I can avoid my abuser.
Yeah, so starving once served a very important role in your survival.

The false truth seems to be I still need to do this. Which, you don't, right? Like you said, you *can* now feed yourself and not rely on anyone else for that.

So the question is, does that false truth exist because you really believe it to still be the case?
compulsion to punish myself and self-worth
Or as an excuse that enables these^ behaviours to creep in and take hold before they are detected?
How is starving a bad habit?
Because it's a very slippery slope down to a full blown ED.
Because malnutrition detrimentally impacts every body system.
Am I just seeking attention by talking about it?
From what I read, you're seeking understanding. So kudos to you for that :)
 

Friday

Moderator
Maybe I should ignore that cognitive distortion and trust that my body will always eat when it is ready, there’s nothing to be afraid of
If that were the case, anorexia wouldn’t be the single most lethal mental illness on the planet. Even more so than suicidal depression. In point of fact, a helluva lot of people with anorexia are tying to stay alive, but they’ve damaged their organs so severely there’s simply no recovering. So they die of multi system organ failure, heart attack, seizures, kidney failure, liver failure, infections their bodies can’t fight off because their immune systems are more compromised than most AIDS patients and organ transplant recipients, bones shattering slicing open major arteries or veins, and a hundred other terrible, excruciatingly painful, unstoppable ways. Because their bodies have been damaged by starving themselves, for simply far too long.

Falling short of death? Starvation also causes such lovely things as blindness, hair loss, infertility, osteoporosis & other kinds of fragility (easily ripped/torn/dislocated/shredded skin/muscle/tendons/ligaments/bones/organs/even blood cells themselves start tearing, causing several kinds of anemia and incompetent immune reactions and build up of toxicity as wastes can’t be transported, and hypoxia as o2 can’t be transported, and further starvation as nutrients can’t be transported), emotional instability (anxiety attacks, panic attacks, rage storms, crying storms, severe disassociation, emotional numbing, SI, SH, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, oh my!), sensory “stuff” (both overly sensitive so your clothes feel like sandpaper and numbing/insensitivities so you can break your ankle not knowing it’s turned, or suffer 3rd degree burns not knowing you’re leanin on a hot burner until it’s into the muscle layer, and oh so many other fun adventures), inability to maintain homeostasis in a bazillion different kinds of ways (toxic blood swirling around your system, fever and chills, blackouts and loss of consciousness)...

...and I’m really just tipping the iceberg, here, as long as this list is? It’s maybe 10% of what goes wrong with your body when you starve.

But up until the end-stages? You DO feel good. It’s a euphoria that the brain causes... most likely to give you a fighting chance to find food. Similar to the endorphin rush from running, or injuring yourself... natural chemical “happy” and home grown pain killers FLOOD your system. So you don’t feel the ravages it’s facing. Might as well shoot heroin, at that point, for all the “my body will tell me when to stop”. It won’t. Once it feels good? Runners can run their feet bloody to the bone, or continue on with a broken leg, no lie I’ve seen that a few times and one of our members here is on her 3rd? surgery from breaking her hip... addicts overdose... and people not eating starve to death.

Not everything that feels good is good for you. <<< Which, I know, sounds dumb. But that’s the argument this CD is giving you... nothing to be afraid of, my body will know. Nope. If you feel good? It’s lost that ability... and is depending on YOU to take care of IT.
 
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Self-Determined

MyPTSD Pro
From what I read, you're seeking understanding.

Thank you, very helpful shift in perspective.

The false truth seems to be I still need to do this.

Ahhh... there it is... “I *still* need to starve to feel comfortable.” No I don’t. There are other things I can now do to feel comfortable, like eat and take a bath and connect with people.

does that false truth exist because you really believe it to still be the case?
Or as an excuse that enables these^ behaviours

Had to bust through a wall of resistance (confusion, grief, acceptance) to understand this one, but I think I got it. Compulsion to punish myself and low self-worth are behaviors I enable in myself, to avoid facing the truth, which is just the next layers of the same thing I am working on with the starving. Displacement behaviors. I am displacing the truth which is that I no longer need to engage in behaviors which supported the survival of my past self. I am no longer being abused. It is important to notice that. And work to avoid enabling behavior which no longer is necessary for my survival.

Similar to the endorphin rush from running, or injuring yourself... natural chemical “happy” and home grown pain killers FLOOD your system. So you don’t feel the ravages it’s facing.

Ok, that makes a lot of sense. Because I also self-injure. It makes much more sense to me that the starving is doing the same thing as the skin-picking, but from a different angle. And it makes sense that I would have used endorphin rushes to escape the abuse in my past. And it makes sense that I would have developed an addiction to them. I didn’t develop a cognitive awareness of the csa until four decades of my life had passed. That’s a lot of years of numbing.

If you feel good? It’s lost that ability... and is depending on YOU to take care of IT.

This makes sense too. No shortcuts. Only way out is to face it. I will have to actively work to disable its power over me. I will have to dismiss and discount its benefits, and work to engage with new behaviors to displace those which not only don’t help me, but obstruct my progress.
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
Well done on so many reframes & taking realizations in :D

Other thing coming to mind...
You don't need to secure control or switch control of the basics (nutrition).

You already *have* that control... by eating.
By *not* eating, much less starving yourself? You're *losing* it, not gaining.

(I relate a lot btw. Starvation is still something I needa monitor damned hard. And remind myself hello, that's why I'm pissed off I'm so lightweight people need carry extra water as I can't have my weight proper. So things to fix & I know this. Old abuse patterns are not on. Even if my head wants to yank me there.)
 

Self-Determined

MyPTSD Pro
Well done on so many reframes & taking realizations in

Thank you, I appreciate the support!

Old abuse patterns are not on. Even if my head wants to yank me there.

Ok... I am starting to see... the importance of discerning when my mind tries to draw me in to old abuse patterns. Just as important as discerning someone who is helpful versus hurtful. I remember when I first made that distinction and realized that I was steeped in people who were hurtful. It felt completely overwhelming, but bit by bit I turned away from ALL of them. My thought patterns are a deeper extension of the same issue. And I feel a similar feeling of overwhelm. I’m not scared of the overwhelm but I suspect that turning away from the harmful thought patterns will be as challenging or more challenging than turning away from people.

You already *have* that control... by eating.
By *not* eating, much less starving yourself? You're *losing* it, not gaining.

This is a helpful shift in perspective. When I feel the starving feeling I can tell myself I’ve already lost control. Maybe it will be helpful to ask myself what supports are lacking. I need to remind myself that what brought my past abused self feelings of comfort and control is unnecessary and harmful to my current non-abused self.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
Hi
Unless you have food related way of coping trauma that resulted serious consequences, I think this may mean at one time the only control you had was when to eat, to show hunger, to get attention or love by showing hunger, etc. You know yourself better than me so if that does not resonate throw it out.

My other feeling is this you are becoming conscious about impulse control something maybe you did not learn earlier. And impulse control learned is great sign of health. Tomorrow you may feel strong urge just as strong as food but it is a feeling and you can hold it longer without action. The space between feeling and acting on the feeling or letting it dissipate is truly IMHO one of the real textual feeling of trauma recovery. My last comment is based on your comment here:
d trust that my body will always eat when it is ready, there’s

This is my take because you did not say anything about having eating disorders. If you have eating disorder, I think expanding your last comment may give you an insight.
Good luck
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
@grit Exc that's wrong.

Disordered food? Impulse control is BS. What needs done IS eat. And be uncomfortable. And cry eating.

Not be told Good Job, you are sooo in control. :mad:

I call BS. Not at you. At that argument.
 

Self-Determined

MyPTSD Pro
How's it going,

A little better but also kind of the same. When I don’t have my kids, like right now, my habits seem to be drink tea in the morning, beer in the afternoon, then eat around 4 some kind of snack and more snack before bed around 9. And sit still all day interacting with screen. Avoiding food and people feels safe.

I think this may mean at one time the only control you had was when to eat, to show hunger, to get attention or love by showing hunger, etc. You know yourself better than me so if that does not resonate throw it out.

My other feeling is this you are becoming conscious about impulse control something maybe you did not learn earlier. And impulse control learned is great sign of health. Tomorrow you may feel strong urge just as strong as food but it is a feeling and you can hold it longer without action. The space between feeling and acting on the feeling or letting it dissipate is truly IMHO one of the real textual feeling of trauma recovery.

Perhaps you are right. My dad was very strict about us sitting at the table for dinner, and rules at the table, like no elbows or no singing, and he would not have water but drink mine. And rules about food—only eat cookies on Wednesday and Sunday for example. I have no memory of asking for food nor memory of starving. My food requirements were met. Maybe since the eating was a joyless activity controlled by him, not eating is a way of taking back control. But again, no need to do that anymore.

Just had a memory. Dad took us kids out for donuts. After I ate one he said that he and Mom had noticed my weight was increasing (this was about a year before I got my period, and I had always been a skinny child) and so I needed to eat less. Then he told me not to eat another donut, while he and my brother ate the rest. When I think back to that memory I can feel how ashamed I was and thinking, “I’ll never eat again.” By then I had already developed the ability to completely hide my emotions when he would try to hurt me, either physically or emotionally, because that was the only control I had and I knew that him seeing me get emotional was the payoff. Even though he wanted to see me cry he never reacted to my crying, unless to mock it, so I learned how to suppress it and developed displacement behaviors. He never spoke of my weight again. I DID play around with being anorexic for a while, now that I remember, but thankfully it never took off. Instead of caring greatly how I looked, I went the opposite direction and cared nothing for how I looked. However, I do see the slippery slope.

Becoming conscious of impulse control—very much so. In many different ways. I hadn’t considered the connections there. Will let that one sit for a bit.

What needs done IS eat. And be uncomfortable.

Being uncomfortable, yes. Getting out of my PTSD perfectionist walled up hole requires being uncomfortable. Maybe I’m holding onto my perfectionist fantasies so much because it’s the first time in my life I have the freedom to do so. But they ARE bad habits. Talking about them helps me chip away at their power.

I think the starving and isolating might be different versions of the SI, which is probably related to self-worth. Do I feel good about myself when I do those things? Why am I linking the starving with the isolating now?
 
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