The Butchering of a Soul

a memoir by Patricia  Grace 

My stomach is still sore from what I did to it. The old ways come back and won’t go away. It is a daily issue to temper them, the eating till sick ways. To punish myself I eat. I knew eating what I did would cause problems, so ate more.

Then spent the rest of the afternoon until bedtime in pain wondering if it would stay down. It was the kind of pain that occurred after the stomach stapling in ’85 when more than a few tablespoons of food would put me down on the cold tiles of the bathroom floor in agony waiting to throw it up. I spent a lot time there because butchering my stomach did not take away the real need to eat like I ate. 

Hating myself. My mind twisted into the past where the only feeling was self-hate and punishment. All the work in decades gone by dissolved, and back there I went, where eating and throwing up were the only ways out of terror.

How can one go so easily backwards? Yet self-hate for causing my son pain of any kind comes easily. Which is why there are also too many times when things don’t get said that need to be said. I don’t know how. I don’t see that changing. Opposites. Where is the middle, that place of rest where such extremes co-exist?

A person permanently present in my life does things I’d never even think of doing to another person. She targets me with a precision that destroys. Sabotage. The confusion of why continues. Perhaps it is my need for space, or that I see her as she is.

I accept her as she is, just be honest and upfront.  How do you confront someone so wily? You don’t, which is why such exhaustive underhanded efforts are plotted then carried out. The slipperiness of her self-esteem is as desperate as mine.

How we choose to recover our sense of worth is the chasm that won’t be bridged, and most likely won’t be brought to the light. That kind of slyness through the years by Tom is what had the power to kill. Not the sexual attacks, but the invalidation afterwards eroding my self worth to less than nothing. I had no right to be here. 

It is not self-loving to put into your body something you KNOW will cause pain. Blocked into a box, no way out. So suffer, then figure it out. Time to say no. You are punished, now move on. Is this a cycle to suffer till death?

Fuck me. Fuck life. Why is it so hard for some, yet others go on their tra la la ways without these mixed up dark thoughts in their heads of who does what and why, and I am always the target? Targeted because I lack a voice, able to speak up for others, but not for myself. . 

Maybe this is the craziness of spring that causes slight madness as the depression of winter mixes with the warm sun, twirling my emotions at will. Something that makes so much sense one day, mortifying me the next, wishing so fervently to take it back but can’t.

So I ask forgiveness, and go on. But it is me who needs to forgive me the most.


7 thoughts on “The Butchering of a Soul

  1. I love the quote. We need to forgive ourselves when we slip back into harmful habits; especially those that we used to help us through psychological darkness. Feeling out of control with something or someone who wants to harm us is very triggering. Injustice too, can be very triggering. And then, losing control of ourselves can be an even bigger trigger that catapults us into self-hatred. Please be kind to yourself today. Reread this quote you posted. Refuse to condemn that child within you who was so horribly abused. Scarlett O’Hara, perhaps the most unwise woman of literature, was wise when she said “I’ll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.” Tomorrow you can make a plan that could help you from harming yourself with food in the future. Today, grab a blanket, a cup of tea and watch a beloved movie.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can so relate to eating as punishment. I struggled with bulimia for decades to the point where I damaged my stomach. Thankfully, it healed over time. But I still eat to stuff down anxiety, memories, and buried feelings that want to surface. I am still struggling with trying to eat healthy. I keep sabotaging my efforts. I try to treat myself with love but I guess I am still struggling with true self-worth.


    1. I am so glad you healed..
      Your last sentence, self-love, self-worth. It is about those things not food at all. Coming out of childhood with feelings of self-hate rather than love, with feelings that every other person deserves to be here, to have life, not I… well, that became part of my personality, and created a belief that takes on-going work to manage.
      It can become disheartening. Yet the work continues as long as life does. Or at least until the job’s done. (for me that seems life-long… )


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