Alter Post: Fear & Shame & Food

Trigger Warning – please read with caution

I love cooking.  Most of us really enjoy preparing food & cooking our own food & eating too.  That part is not as scary or triggering as the other parts of cooking.

Cleaning up afterwards is scary.  Putting dishes and utensils away is scary.  Doing dishes is scary.  Choosing cookware and dinnerware and other kitchen stuff is scary.  Kitchen maintenance is scary.  Refrigerator maintenance is scary.

Avoidance makes big messes and attracts bugs.  It also smells bad.  But cleaning up the mess; putting things away; having a clean counter and floor; that brings on shame & guilt & fear of punishment or humiliation.  Both.  Or something worse if you mouth back.

Laundry then becomes triggering and scary too because eventually the dish towels have to be cleaned or tossed out.  And then put away.  And if you don’t clean & fold the towels exactly right, you get the switch or the whip.  Or something worse.

It always happens that way.  Can’t do anything right.  And talking makes things worse.  Gives the ones in charge an opening to harass and humiliate and blame you.  Then give you more work to do.

Yet wall persist in cooking.  And trying to organize our kitchen space.  And keep it clean.  And eat food that feels good going in => through => out of our body.  But the triggers keep bringing up memories.  Memories carry anxiety.  Anxiety brings fear.  Fear brings shame.  Shame invites self-anger.  Self-anger to depression.  Depression = Avoidance until the alters switch (different ones take over) and can deal with the mess.

Our own fear is holding us back.  Feels like we can’t do anything about it.  Frustrating for sure.  But also sad.  Because everyone wishes we could do better and not feel the urge to destroy our favorite cooking tools instead of using and taking proper care of them.

And be able to store food properly after it’s been cooked or prepped instead of avoiding the issue by not buying proper storage containers or cleaning tools to maintain the containers.

Here, in this place, choices feel overwhelming.  Cooking for ourselves feels so scary.  Looking at recipes is an exercise in frustration – can’t use them without shame getting in the way.  And then there’s the fear of using kitchen tools & appliances – fear that they’ll break or be unworkable because of something we did.  That failure will cause a spiral of negativity that creates a trigger so can’t use the appliance or tool anymore.

Creates a circle of never ending fear & shame around something that deserves celebration & joy – sharing meals.

Not sure what to do or what will happen next.  This is one of those moment by moment exercises.

Thanks for reading