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Healthy Body Image and Trauma

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Thinking today about body image and trauma. Most of us who struggle with body image have not received what we needed as children. As a result, I believe we either over exercise or over eat/ under eat. I think eating disorders are the flip side of having trouble maintaining a healthy weight. Maybe, as children, we didn't have good role models for taking care of ourselves or having a healthy body image. We aren't born knowing how to take care of our physical and mental health. We learn it from our role models. It is not our fault if we did not learn healthy habits as a child or, worse, experienced trauma. I know that many people who are obese were abused as children. Being overweight can be a protective response to being sexualized or abused as a child. In my family of origin, it was always really important for my mother to stay fit and trim. Even at 74 years old, I think she is thinner than I am at 49 years of age. I didn't have an eating disorder as a teenager and young adult, but I did obsess about my food intake. When I got depressed, I lost weight and I liked being super skinny. I also have a history of managing anxiety and depression by over exercising instead of processing my feelings. My hope for you, dear reader, is that you will be gentle with yourself. Adults who were shamed and traumatized as children can be super critical of themselves. I grew up with very critical parents who did not encourage me and my siblings to feel and express our feeling. So I developed an extremely mean inner voice. My older brother ended up in an emotionally abusive relationship and my twin sister lived with an abusive alcoholic for too many years. My twin is also a hoarder with very poor health. Thankfully, my siblings have gotten out of those damaging relationships. I was the 'problem' child in the (unacknowledged) problem family. I have suffered from crippling depressions throughout my life. My sister and I also both have generalized anxiety disorder. Ironically, my mom and stepdad were therapists (stepdad, a clinical psychologist and mother a social worker). The plumbers kids have leaky faucets! Anyway, thanks for reading and I wish you kindness for yourself, wherever you are on this journey. Best, Clare
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you so very much for reading and for your comments. I appreciate hearing from you all and wish you all the best in your journeys. emoticon
    270 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/3/2020 11:15:32 AM
  • LORI-K
    Thank you for sharing your story. I think half the battle is acknowledging destructive behaviors, finding the root of their cause, and then addressing them in healthy ways. It sounds as though you have done this, and are still actively working on yourself. I am glad your siblings have gotten themselves out of bad situations.

    I agree with the plumbers kids having leaky faucets thing. I was a preachers daughter....if that tells you anything about me.

    Best wishes on your continued journey.

    273 days ago
  • 1BLAZER282005
    We must take a test to drive but no test to be a parent. Most behaviors are formed by age 6, then add the behaviors of the young parents. I'd think most adults have issues from their childhood and as adults we are responsible for seeking help.
    273 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your story. It reminds me I'm not alone. The mental abuse i received was extensive.i remember The metal spatula on my bare butt,taking pills given to me cause of my fat counseling now cause I'mworth it
    273 days ago
    "The plumbers kids have leaky faucets!" breaks my heart. I know what you mean. There's a correlation. 💛
    273 days ago
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