Saturday, January 13, 2007

Relief and Panic

My father went away for the weekend with some of his family and his girlfriend so I have the house to myself for a few days, this is usually an occasion of overwhelming relief for a variety of different reasons. I have a lot of issues with my dad, I'll save most of them for a therapist another time, but mostly I find that he seems to enjoy belittling people and with me food is an obvious target. It doesn't help that he seems to have a complete set of double standards as he can and does easily polish off a box of shortbread in a sitting (argh, I'm not going to go into this much more right now as I'll start ranting - weren't angsty 'God I hate my parents' monologues supposed to be left behind with teenager-hood?).

Anyway, when he's not here for short periods of time like this, I find myself on a continuous binge of cakes, eclairs, cookies (I have a sweet tooth) and anything else I can get my hands on. I just shovel it down as fast as it can go because I can and he's not there to judge and who know's when I'll be able to do it again! Of course, then I have the whole problem of having to hide boxes and wrappers in my room for taking out later so he doesn't find them in the trash, skulking around jumpy and nervous that he's going to see something and say something. A couple of months ago we were having an argument and he started shouting at me about how I was an embarrassment to him, how he was embarrassed that people come to his house and see me. It's played on my mind a lot since then and makes me teary even now but looking around at the graveyard of chocolate smeared empty packets there were times when I would just think 'of course he is, so am I'.

So this time I thought 'no, I'm not doing that again' and something surprising happened. I mentioned I've been trying to identify my feelings when I do something to try and recognise why I'm thinking that way, and what I felt the most (actually with a surprising force) was utter panic. Don't get me wrong, I'm not tempted to go buy something, nor do I want chocolate with anymore than the usual lust but maybe that's it. Mentally, the logical side of my brain is in complete acceptance that it's okay, we're just not going to eat any junk. Physically however, even sitting here thinking about the fact that I won't (not can't, I can see the supermarket from the window where I'm typing this) has got my heart beating in my throat, my hands actually went a little shaky.

It really surprised me that, subconsciously, I felt so strongly about it. Do you guys have the American equivalent of the TV show Brat Camp over there? You know when the juvenile delinquents are raving and screaming and threatening and are absolutely terrified really that they suddenly don't have a choice, while the counsellor just repeats the instructions looking all peaceful and serene until they do it? I think that's my body right now.

I think I've scared my inner-ASBO.