Last night Jordan and I stayed up talking for a few hours, lying in bed.
It was close to midnight and right as we were ready to sleep I realized I was starving.
When I was little, there were nights where I would lie in bed, not wanting to go to sleep because I was hungry.
I would say “I’m hungry” and my mom would say, go to sleep.
My mom often let us have a snack before bed – I’m sure the times I was hungry were times where it was late and she thought it was a tactic to stay up later and she was just like, go to sleep. There was lots of food in the house.
But I remember laying in bed and my dad would come in to say goodnight and I would say, I’m hungry, I can’t sleep, I’m so hungry.
And he would say, ok, I will sneak you a piece of bread. Don’t tell mom.
And he would go back downstairs and open up the sandwich bag of white bread and bring me up a piece.
I would lie in bed and eat it and I remember the exact sensation in my body.
How it would just take the edge off my hunger so I was able to sleep.
Over the years I have been so hungry before bed and I would say to myself, Demetra, go to sleep.
You don’t need that.
Go to bed.
I would be annoyed at my body for being hungry. I would not eat.
I have told Jordan this story, as I’ve had so much unwinding around food lately.
Last night I did not want to get up and eat.
I had already brushed my teeth. I was tired and we had already been up for hours past the time we usually go to sleep.
I said to Jordan “oh no, I’m hungry.”
And he said, “You should eat”
And then, so gently: “I’ll sneak you a piece of bread”
The room was pitch black and in my body the sensation was the same and all of a sudden I was wooshed right back to when I was little.
And I burst into tears.
There was the briefest moment where I could not distinguish between the present moment and lying in bed as a child.
I took two days completely offline this week. Turned off my phone and computer and just was with Jordan and the ocean.
I have had so many emotions coming up from when I was younger.
It all feels related. Feeding myself is unlocking everything for me.
I’ve been doing a lot of work with my inner teenager and really feeling in my body how excruciatingly alone she felt.
How in pain. How much she hated herself.
It’s not fun work.
The two days I was off screens I basically felt like I had an exorcism. I found myself napping constantly, my body was so tired. I read an 400+ page fiction book in a few hours as I watched myself avoid the emotions that were arising – the exact coping mechanism I used when I was younger. I would devour books. Sometimes multiple a day. It’s beautiful to read, yes – and I also used it to escape reality.
And then I couldn’t avoid the emotions anymore and during sex – of course during sex, when everything is so raw and cannot be hidden – I had to pause and then it all came up and I just sobbed.
Feeling into the deepest layers in my body. Feeling memories arise, being rejected by boys, things I thought hadn’t bothered me at all. Coursing through my system.
Feeling this out-of-control-am-I-crazy sensation I used to experience as a teenager.
As an adult I felt like: this girl is gone. I am no longer her. I have moved beyond that.
But it’s actually not true.
Because she is still in me and her emotions are causing my body physical pain.
And in order to heal what she is feeling I have to actually feel her.
So after sex I sobbed. The exact feeling of throwing myself onto my bed and sobbing alone in my room when I was younger, hysterical. I could feel where it was stuck in my body and then I threw up. I cried until my eyes were more swollen than I have seen them in years.
And Jordan sat next to me, witnessing, not saying anything.
And then I was suddenly complete. I was like, this is how much my body can handle for now. I am done.
I felt my adult the entire time. Witnessing my teenager. Communicating with Jordan – can you get me a bowl, this is my child, you don’t have to stay for this if you don’t want to.
When I was done crying I journaled for a bit and I thanked my teenager for showing me these emotions.
I have felt like a space has been cleared out in my body since.
There is still a lot more to feel. But there are these moments, where I am given the opportunity to parent myself more and more.
Last night Jordan said “I’ll sneak you a piece of bread” and I cried and I said okay I will get up and get some food.
And I said I don’t want to go alone. Though I would have.
And he said I will go with you.
And he got out of bed with me to go to the kitchen in the dark and eat a snack.
And there are little moments like these over and over again lately where I am like, I am the parent now.
I am so loved and so supported. By myself and by others.
And I am willing to take responsibility for every part of myself.
If you liked this piece, you might also enjoy:
– Food & ice cream & weight gain & nourishment (the beginning)
– Gaining weight: the first two months, going shopping
– Running on empty: the pattern of not nourishing yourself until it is too late
– Making fun of each other is criticism, and criticism is not love