The Unspoken Links Between Sexual Trauma and Binge Eating
It’s taboo to speak about. The subject is swept under the rug and not brought to light, however it’s important to shine a light on this very important subject – there is a world of healing that needs to take place. What we cannot speak about we cannot heal.
Women come to me all the time who are victims of sexual trauma. More often than not, when sharing their experiences with me, they tell me I am one of the only people on the planet who knows they have been victims of sexual trauma. When I first started my line of work, I was shocked at how many women were suffering from sexual trauma of some sort.
The Intimacy Barrier
In my experience, from the women that I work with, they use the physical weight on their bodies as a barrier to intimacy. Deep within their subconscious mind lies a belief that states ‘If I have a physical barrier, I will no longer be vulnerable’. This belief is deeply rooted; one that, until explored, they don’t even know exists. Once we go through the work and are able to identify this, they begin to heal it. When it’s brought to light and spoken openly about, it creates an environment where healing is possible.
Most of the time, these situations happened under the age of 16 and they have been carrying around the shame of that situation ever since. For some of the women I work with, this could be nearly 40 years. That’s four decades of hiding, feeling like a victim and feeling unsafe in their feminine body.
The weight of this pain isn’t just emotional, it’s also physical. The work starts as soon as we can voice the pain, speak to it and lean into it. The hardest part of this process is leaning into the pain, learning to be with it and not separate ourselves from it. Separation is the birthplace of all anxiety in the body; we need to include this part of us in the totality of our beings. Denial of what is will only perpetuate the emotional pain. When we can accept it, love it and lean into it with a full heart, we are able to move through it.
This process is simple, but it isn’t easy. It takes courage, bravery, and support to be able to fully dive into these parts of us. There is immense fear in this; women fear if they bring it up or acknowledge it, it will happen again. We reclaim our power by shining the light on it – the only way is through.
Letting Go of the Past
Our world is corrupted in the way it views weight loss. The 80 billion dollar industry is only focused on manipulating behaviors to change body state. They encourage a process of calorie counting, measuring, analyzing and ‘trying harder’. This process misses the point altogether. When we throw in the towel on said diet, we gain all the weight back – plus more – because we haven’t created change on a belief level. Until we do, we remain stuck in the vicious diet/binge cycle.
You are not your past. At your core is a perfect being of light and love. You can’t change the wrong that was done to you, but you can certainly allow yourself to heal from it. Once we have awareness, we get to practice responsibility. When we know there is a deep part of us that needs healing, we have to take on the responsibility of showing up for ourselves. We have to do deep inner-work that is approached with compassion and love to release all that is not serving us.
It’s time to stop putting bandaids on bullet wounds with restrictive dieting and uncover the core wound. It’s time to heal yourself at a fundamental level and allow weight loss to be the result of doing that work, not the focus.
Images Courtesy of iStock