Most dysfunctional behaviour probably comes from trauma, we normally associated trauma with great big awful stuff. However, it seems that it can also accumulate over time. No one considers that the rage, rejection and blame that children are subjected to amounts to trauma
Maybe trauma is the wrong word, maybe its core issues or core wounds. Maybe it’s as classic as the death of a thousand cuts
It seems that numerous petty wounds, accumulated over time can begin to disconnect you from your emotions. Julie Simons in The emotional Eaters Repair Manual gives the following examples of the stuff that you could be subjected to as a child that could have effects later on.
Abandonment: a caregiver dies or is so overworked that they are “not available.
Attack: your caregiver attacks you (everything from a wack to constant aggression, threats, or ridicule
Betrayal: your caregiver lies or makes empty promises.
Blame, you were blamed for the feelings and actions of others
Deceived: you were intentionally misled.
Neglected: simple neglect of your physical and emotional needs
Domination: excessively controlled
Engulfment: you were smothered
Exploitation. You were made to do excessive and age-inappropriate chores
Fragmentation: your caregiver was mentally ill.
parentification. you were made to be responsible for others.
Rejection: dismissed as useless or worthless.
Shame: regularly criticized.
Violation: invasion of your space.
But what could be the mechanism or process? Why would having to do extra chores or get a slap on the back of your legs mean you are unable to control certain aspects of your behavior when you are older?
As a small person, your job is to learn lots of stuff, verbs, going to the toilet, and setting fire to things. You also should learn how to manage your emotions. The correct process of looking after your emotional health is to understand how you feel, then accept those feelings as appropriate, and then make sure you have enough emotional resources to support going forward. Once you have this process, you can move quickly to technical solutions.
However, if you are brought up by idiots, no one asks you how you are. Your emotions are either ignored or discounted. In other words, you are taught to ignore your emotional state. As a child, what do you do? You still have the emotions. You still feel them, fear sadness, and anger (more choice here!).
How do you deal with them? You haven’t been taught how to cope with emotions so you need to soothe yourself. The number one choice of self-medication is food (although later on, it could be drugs, booze, or pornography). Every time you feel joy, sadness, happiness, or failure, you go straight to food. Basically, food becomes the only thing that means you can control your emotions. Where does this get you? It means that realistically you cannot control your food. Food is the only thing that keeps you sane. for years you have used it to push down emotions so it makes sense that you won’t allow it to be restricted or measured. If you do restrict it makes sense that you’ll binge later on during the day.