Yesterday I made a video to upload on here. I’m not going to lie, I thought it was a brilliant idea. But then it wouldn’t upload. And then I couldn’t upload it on R is for Recovery’s Facebook page. And then I felt sad that I had spoken into a camera for a while and made a video that had no use really. So anyway – I’ll blog about what I talked about in the video at a later date. Essentially, it was about whether the eating disordered are full of themselves. I’d be interested to hear your opinions in the meanwhile!
So this morning I was getting a plate from the cupboard for my raisin toast and I saw this plate hidden beneath a whole pile of other plates:
That cheese? It wouldn’t have been edible for me if it wasn’t on that plate. I had a bowl exactly the same and I always ate my yoghurt out of it. With a teaspoon. Because that’s the only way it was allowed to be eaten. And it made the food safe. Measuring the food made it a safe thing to be consumed. Anything beyond that was not safe.
It sounds completely irrational, huh? But looking back at it now, I can see that it probably wasn’t because it is an extremely important thing to feel safe. That’s what we want for people, isn’t it? We want our elderly parents to feel safe, or our young children. We want our wife to feel safe, we want our families to feel safe. We our very selves want to feel safe. We want to protect the people that we love.
So when we have a situation where someone hasn’t felt safe, maybe not for a long time because they are physically in an unsafe environment, or because they haven’t been able to express their emotions in healthy ways, we wind up with behaviours like this: individuals creating their own safe-havens because they haven’t been able to find it elsewhere. It isn’t even necessarily even going to come out in child-like behaviours – someone expressing a need for safety could come out in the regular use of alcohol or drugs, it could be an habitual behaviour that needs to be done at a certain time each day… It could be counting things – reading certain things – wearing certain things – anything. But the thing is this: we need to be looking out for these sorts of behaviours and not pretend the behaviour is the issue. We need to delve deeper. We need to understand why the person doesn’t feel safe. And we need to let them know that with us, they can feel safe.
I don’t use that plate anymore, FYI. One day I’ll let my kids have it and maybe even explain why it was such an important thing to me in my ED days.But because of this freedom I have experienced n recovering, it’s no longer a huge deal to me.
So go ahead. What makes you safe?
Love, Rebekah Xo.