The first of it was the eating-disorder-thinking stuff. The same impulses that led middle-school me to hide in the library at lunch so no one would see that I wasn't eating, to have half a rice cake for dinner. A matter of control. Back then, it was the sexual stuff. Now... it was triggered after a long dormancy by losing those 50 pounds when I first started on anti-seizure drugs, the weight loss that crashed me down to 85, made my body resemble an alien landscape. And healthy-minded grownup 'song was thinking "Must eat everything possible to try to maintain, must gain; this is scary-unhealthy!", but preteen 'song was all of a sudden speaking up and saying things like "Please just let me lose a few more - I just want to see what it will be like" and "If we go below 80, they'll have to put us in the hospital, and they will have to figure out what's wrong." Those two voices. Fighting. At every meal.
And it was easier to deal with hen, when there was a clear danger to my health. But we found out why the weight loss wasn't stopping (ulcer), stopped it, and I hit Cymbalta not long after for the newly-diagnosed fibromyalgia... and Cymbalta has weight gain as a side effect. True to form, I had rapid weight gain, enough to throw that second voice into a panic.
Just one of the bits of damage the past few years have inflicted on me = I don't know what my body is supposed to look like anymore. I've never been able to judge my body as compared to the bodies of others - the curves I find attractive in other women would, on me, send that voice clear 'round the bend. And I can tell myself "This is idiotic - you find her beautiful, and you are skinnier than her, therefore you are not the baby beluga you think you are." But this is not a rational thing.
I don't recognize myself in the mirror. After years of hollow thin face and razor-slash cheekbones, my cheeks seem full, my face seems amorphous. There are layers of meat on my arms, my legs, my belly. I never really registered myself as being as skinny as I was at my lowest - pictures of me then shock me. That's not what I looked like in my head. But neither is this. So I can't really objectively tell if I'm okay.
I am dealing. I am acknowledging that that voice is there, and I am Not Listening - or at least I'm not acting on it. I log my food intake on a filter so Adam and a few others can keep an eye out, make sure I'm eating enough/the right stuff, and I'm keeping my exercise to recommended levels (fibro helps with that!).
And I'm looking at the other, related behaviors that've been coming out over the past few months, and acknowledging them all as part of the same core Stuff. Nuggets of fear and panic and disgust that date back to my childhood. The Stuff I had to repress all my childhood because I couldn't talk about it; at first I was forbidden, and then I wasn't able to. And I launched straight into eating disorders, suicide attempts, et cetera soon as I got out of that situation. Never dealt with it. More like I was punishing myself for it.
I can deal with the rape. Yes, it fucked me up. Yes, I spent years recovering. But I was able to talk about it almost from the start, and I knew it wasn't my fault. The childhood stuff... I have spent years basically telling myself that I didn't have to deal with it, it was so long ago, it was all locked away...
Well, it's apparently not as locked away as I told myself it was. So I have to deal with it.