As a coach, I’ve always understood how powerful childhood trauma is in shaping your opinions, self esteem and your basic understanding of the world around you. And, I’m not just talking about severe trauma… divorce, bullying, failure, abandonment… all of these things that happen to us at a young age have shaped how we view the world today.
It’s very freeing to distinguish the decisions I made as a five year old that are LITERALLY running my life. This programming has been playing out for over 4 decades and it’s no wonder it sometimes gets the best of me. My childhood sexual abuse began when I was five. My abuser would take me “out,” abuse me and then take me to dinner at McDonald’s. I learned quick that a Happy Meal was the answer to my feelings of fear, confusion and abandonment. For six more years, I built the reality that food made me feel better. It was safe. It was my friend. A Happy Meal could solve all of my woes… at least for a minute. So it’s no wonder that the moment I feel frustration, sadness, anger or whatever—I want to run to food to numb those feelings.
This part of the epiphany isn’t new. I’ve known this. I have said for years that a Quarter Pounder with Cheese was my drug of choice since I was in my late teens. But what I never understood before is that I AM NOT THE LIAR. It’s not my fault that I was programmed this way. It’s my abusers fault. He is the LIAR. He taught me that food could heal all wounds and that was a lie.
So I am not the liar, HE IS. And now, I’m working to untangle that lie from my very being. I’m FIGHTING BACK, and I’m fighting hard. No more lies. No more believing that I have to be “big” to be safe. I just need to keep shining the light on these behaviors and continue to put words to them and soon I will be able to REBOOT that programming with something new and powerful.