Givesthanking and My Thing With Food

TW: I don’t know if any of you reading my blog struggle with eating disorders but in case anyone reading this does, I mention a lot of personal food/eating issues later on in this post, so if that makes anyone uncomfortable(dunno if it would) just letting you know that that’s there. I haven’t ever been diagnosed with an eating disorder so, I wouldn’t know, but I’m putting a warning up in case it’s a touchy subject. It happens.


Hello my friends!

It’s turkey day/givesthanking/Thanksgiving in the US. There are a lot of political reasons why I hate it, and a lot of personal reasons that I love it, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

It’s been a quiet few weeks in my personal life, thankfully. After the crazy month or so I’ve had it’s been nice to be able to sit back, finish a book in record(for me) time, draw for my friends, and generally get my grounding back under me. The whole thing that I went on a rant about a few weeks back regarding “there’s a season for everything” ended up with one person showing up, which means I’m pretty much right on that account. It’s still a pain, but I’m starting to think it’s because I like my chair too much. My mother has been doing much better lately as well. I think my dad must have finished his NaNoWriMo book as well because the two of them have been puttering around on the family Minecraft server for the first time in a long time. She’s being going through a rough couple of years, so whenever she gets a bit of a break and can relax, I’m happy for her.

On the Other side of the fence, apparently Frey has decided to introduce me properly to his family. I’ve met Freya before, briefly, but it’s nice to see her in her less terrifying aspect. More on that later. Njord came by completely unannounced but quietly, and the only reason I even knew was because I smelled brine. Which, for someone who lives in Colorado, is rather unusual. He seems to approve of me, and I like him well enough too. He’s laid-back, like his son, but with a bit more of a mature presence. He inspires in me the same calm awe I feel around any large body of water(which, I’ve been to two in this lifetime. Lake Erie and the Atlantic Ocean) and that’s something I can definitely appreciate.

Now, Freya has decided that I need a bit of help. I agree with her. Being a trans-man, I have done probably too many things to distance myself from my own feminine aspect, which is still rather strong in the sense that I am a creator and take great pleasure in “giving life” to ideas and brainchildren. Freya, instead of tackling this issue head-on like I would, has decided to come in through the window and sneak up on it. She’s started with The Thing I have with food.

Food and I have a complicated relationship that I still haven’t quite sorted out, but there’s a heck-ton of guilt wrapped up in the package that stems from a childhood of mixed messages involving eating at certain times, only certain things, and for the love of Pete, Erik, why don’t you ever finish your dinner? As a kid I had a pretty finicky appetite. I wouldn’t eat red meat, rice, or peas(which, for some reason both of those things make my mouth feel funny and I still dunno why) or anything which, in its final form, looked muddy. I liked bright colored foods like corn, asparagus, broccoli and cheese, pasta(especially spaghetti and lasagna), eggs, beans, and poultry(which, my dad tried to fool me into eating pork once or twice by saying it was chicken but for some reason I could still tell it wasn’t). My dad pretty much only cooked with “gray” foods, and I understand why now, since half of my immediate family has dietary issues that need to be taken into account, but as a kid I didn’t really get that. I also wasn’t really the best at words until I was in high school or thereabouts, so I didn’t really know how to phrase things like, “can we have broccoli tonight?” or “I really like the grilled chicken, could you make that more often?” or even, “pasta has a lot of nutrients that I actually need because I’m pretty darn underweight, so, can we possibly have pasta that won’t make Mom’s guts act up?” I ended up just saying I didn’t like whatever was on my plate at the time and then getting yelled at or heavily sighed at because I wasn’t eating everything and my parents were both frustrated at my lack of communication and concerned for my health.

Several years later and I’m supposed to be an adult. Food is still an issue with me. That, and relaxing. I’m not, before you ask, ridiculously underweight. I’m a few pounds below where I’d like to be but I have enough mass for some sweet muscles. It’s all good. I make myself eat, even though I don’t really like to. Having Bran around, who likes going out places and getting food together, has helped in that regard, but I still see eating, subconsciously anyway, as something…I don’t know, shameful. There’s a weird mix of, “I know I need this to survive,” and “I don’t feel like I deserve this,” that spins around in my hind-brain whenever I contemplate getting something to eat. Generally it ends with me just getting up, telling my brain to shut up, and making a sandwich or something. Then I go back to my room, sit down, turn on a video, and try to ignore the weird mix of guilt and weirdness in my head while I eat. I feel weird even talking about it, so you know. (Also I hate the sound of chewing, but that’s a completely separate issue.)

So, Freya decided last night that we needed to start with pie. Pecan pie. My dad brought home a couple of pies yesterday, one of which(the pecan) is half-gone already because there isn’t ever enough pie in the house. Anyway. Went out, saw the pie, and Freya just kinda popped in like she does, pointed at it, and said, “Get a piece. Imma learn you a few things, darling. Don’t argue with me.” She had me sit down not in my desk chair but on my bed, and actually pay attention to the fact that I was eating something delicious and enjoyable. I did put on a couple of Jacksepticeye’s videos because that man is the embodiment of caffeine and happiness, so, hearing a voice I recognized in the background while doing something pretty unusual for me helped. As did the constant, “See? It’s okay to eat, and it’s okay to smile about it,” from Freya. It’s a bit strange how something so seemingly simple could be so effective. I mean, it wasn’t a miracle cure, I’m not going to suddenly love food over night, but it was surprisingly nice to sit and have a “girly moment” with Her and to be told it’s okay. I guess I’ve still got a truckload and a half of baggage to sort out.

With all that said, I am thankful for so much. I recognize that I take a lot of things for granted, and sometimes complain where I have no reason to, everyone does, but I try to be grateful whenever I can. I’m especially thankful that I’m surrounded by people who love and care about me, and think I’m worth it even if I don’t. I’m thankful for The Friends, even though they drive me up the wall sometimes. I’m thankful for my gifts, and for the people, places, and things that inspire me to use them. I’m thankful for my F/families, though mostly disorderly and pretty darn strange, I know t/They’ve all got my back. For Val, my blood-brother, Jenny, my little sister, and Freya, who seems to think she’ll be my sister-in-law someday. For Frey and Bran. For Thor, Njord, and my dad. For Sigyn, my mother, and my wonderfully Scottish step-grandmother. For Odin, Loki, and my grandfather. For the family I never got to meet. For my Tribe, even those of you I’ve never met in person. I’m thankful also for this amazing, beautiful, tragic, and ever-changing world I live in. For this Universe that I’m able to be a part of. For life. For lessons learned. For Love. Beyond anything I am thankful for Love.

Have a good weekend, everyone.