Survival soup

Trigger warnings: blood, trauma, self-harm, disordered eating, etc.

When we want control, our go-to is to withhold food from us. While it may not sound ideal to starve children, and it isn’t, please know it’s the children doing the starving of the body.

When we get sick from hunger, getting food in us can be tough. And then we spiral. And if we vomit, we wind up in hospital due to dehydration and chronic vertigo.

This was the script for one of our 2019 hospitalizations. The trigger for not eating at that time was Older Child’s wisdom teeth extraction. It triggered our medical trauma, which was a botched tonsillectomy and involved nearly bleeding to death in our home.

Now, Younger Child has been diagnosed with an eating disorder. We are internalizing that energy, as we do, and our eating is disordered again. OCD loves to withhold food because it’s so easy to get results quickly. Delay or withhold a meal or two and our suffering blossoms quickly.

The maladaptive strategies are evident to us: we feed off other’s energy, especially dangerous energy. Then we use it as inspiration to self-harm.

It is very hopeful that we are noticing these strategies. When T-1 ended our therapeutic relationship this week, our initial reaction was to shut down the tears and starve ourself.

This sounded to someone inside like self-inflicted physical suffering. And we have tried to not withhold food.

We are not eating as much, and maybe we are slowly starving ourself, but we are not at the acute phase.

When we notice we are hungry, it’s already severe. We get dizzy, nauseous, crampy, and bloated. Then it’s hard to eat because we feel sick.

Survival soup is:

  • Chicken broth
  • Potatoes
  • Carrot
  • Hot dogs

Survival soup is also a metaphor. It is steps deliberately taken to care for sick children, even if we/they are the ones making us/them sick.

The urges to self-harm are intense. Especially because we are feeding off Younger Child’s suffering.

This kind of boundary shitstorm likely contributed to T-1’s severing ties

T-1 said we were “inappropriately attached” to T-1, and then in the next breath, “but you’re not doing anything wrong.”

Any information that contradicts what we want is heard by AJ as criticism. So of course we think that T-1 thinks we are psychotically attached to T-1.

We have caregiver trauma and T-1 thinks we won’t get help from other therapists because we are too attached to T-1. Others in our life think T-1 committed caregiver boundary violations towards us. If so, it’s our fault. We compel people to harm us.

Sexual abuse, neglect, emotional abuse.

Now, T’s leave us. COVID has left us with too few skills and too little care.

Is it any wonder we are self-harming?

We cannot get the energy to call hospitals to get into a program to boost skills and break the cycle.

We need survival soup for our life. We think we know the ingredients, but we have been unable to combine them.

8 thoughts on “Survival soup

  1. I’m glad to hear you’re able to get in a bit of survival soup.

    In terms of what T1 said, in a therapeutic relationship, part of the therapist’s role is to make sure boundaries are in place to make sure the relationship can provide as much therapeutic value as possible. That’s the therapist’s role, not the client’s. Not every therapist is necessarily going to be effective all of the time with managing boundaries, but it’s their responsibility to recognize that and seek out supervision. But since that is a responsibility that lies fully on the therapist, it can’t be the client’s fault. Perhaps T1’s need for ego protection led to deflecting responsibility, even though that’s unlikely to actually meet anyone’s needs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. T-1 said our relationship hadn’t felt right for a few years. A few years? Fuck, that’s like finding out your Spouse was faking loving you.

      We need T support. Period. And we cannot hear reasons for ending therapy. We dissociate. We panic. We blame ourself. We fall into the past: we are being abandoned, neglected, abused. We feel hollowed out by it. We don’t hear or think rationally.

      We get the most relief by accepting: T-1 is gone. We need compassion and to let ourself feel pain and grief. Try to stay alive for our children

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Sending all of you so much hugs and love. It wasn’t any of your fault T1 has issues with attachment, boundaries etc. You all are just trying to get needs met and that is not wrong. I tell my T I am afraid I am “too needy” and she calls that “connection seeking” and told me any issue is not due to me but her own triggered issues. I hope some of you can take in the care from internet friends. Hang in there. Lean on the other Ts. Needing connection is not wrong even if T1 couldn’t give what’s needed. We need experiences of other compassion and other care in order to self-compassion and self care.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I hope things start to feel a little easier. That taking care of yourself gives you the energy you need to get through this.

    I am sorry that T1 found the attachment difficult. I would find this very hurtful.

    Take care

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks. Yes, we are surprised at the level of pain we feel. Some of us want to parse T-1’s words but that is just to create separation and enemy images. Creates suffering.

      We will try to accept and honor our grief as possible.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m so sorry that so much tough stuff is going on. 😦 It really is a lot! I like the idea of survival soup. I hope you are able to get some. 💕🥣 It’s okay if you can’t combine all the ingredients right now. Any little bit is good.

    Liked by 1 person

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