Eating Disorders and Ritual Abuse (Svali Blog Post)

Eating Disorders and Ritual Abuse (Svali Blog Post)

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“You’re putting on a little weight,” my stepfather noted. I had gone away to school that year, and had gained five pounds. He was teasing me when I came home to visit. I was 14 years old, and decided to start dieting.I was an instant success at dieting strenuously, since my iron self-control and discipline had taught me to ignore my body’s signals since early childhood. I was proud of my ability to eat tiny amounts in spite of severe hunger. I lost weight quickly.“You’re too thin, I can see every rib,” my roommate at school that year told me. “I’m getting worried about you.” “No, I’m fat,” I insisted. I looked in the mirror and saw someone who was obese, who had to lose more weight to be okay. Why couldn’t others see how fat I was?Several weeks later, my mother had to come and get me. My liver had shut down, and I was hospitalized. I was 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighed 90 pounds. I was still insisting that I was too fat. I came close to dying from this disorder as I entered my teen years and it would be years before I came close to a normal body weight. I never received treatment from a therapist for it, because my parents didn’t believe in therapyt. Instead, I was given a programming command to “eat, don’t die” from my mother when I refused to eat after I was discharged home. I shook and shook for hours, and finally picked up the spoon and swallowed some soup.

When a young child is systematically deprived of food and water to teach them a lesson or to break them down and make them more accessible to programming messages, it has a long-term psychological effect. Starvation and deprivation are all primary parts of many programming sequences that are done on children starting as young as age 2 in the Illuminati.

The child will be desperate to eat once the deprivation is over, and will associate eating with the comfort of the adults around him/her. Food becomes one more area that is controlled by the adults and the trainers, and the child early begins to realize this. While very young, the child cannot control how much food they are allowed to eat, or if they are allowed to eat.

Cult parents, building upon the lessons learned at night, may also systematically starve the child during the daytime, or punish the child who dares to eat because they are hungry.

Later in life, it is not surprising to find that many survivors of ritual abuse and cult programming have eating disorders.

There are several types of eating disorders. One is anorexia nervosa, in which the person struggling with this disorder starves themselves. Anorexia has many causes, but a root need for control and underlying depression has been noted by therapists who work with it, combined with a negative self image and self hatred. The self-hatred becomes focused on body image and fat.Some survivors with this disorder have confided that they starved themselves as adolescents to delay the onset of menstruation, to delay the development of breasts, or other characteristics. Others with male alters wanted the flat chest that being thin can bring. And others starve themselves to numb the pain.Current research into anorexia is showing that high serotonin levels are associated with anxiety and feeling distressed, and some researchers have theorized that starvation decreases this excess serotonin and effectively helps to block these uncomfortable feelings.

Another eating disorder is known as bulimia. This disorder is characterized by swings between bingeing, or eating large amounts of food (often past the point of discomfort) within a short period of time, and then purging the body of the calories or food. Purging is accomplished by taking laxatives, vomiting, taking diuretics, excessive exercise, or starvation after bingeing. Often the person with bulimia feels that they cannot control their binges, and feel ashamed afterwards. The purging is “punishment” for eating.

Janna struggled with bulimia for years. She never told anyone, not even her sister or best friends. It started her senior year in high school when she had gained some weight. Desperate to shed pounds, she began vomiting after eating large measl. She also began using laxatives to “clear out” the calories.“I knew I needed help,” she states, “But I was ashamed to tell anyone.”Finally, at the age of 27, her bulimia was out of control. It seemed to get worse when she was stressed, and being promoted to a management position made it intensity. At that point she entered counseling, and began looking at some of the causes of the depression and pain that had filled her life for as long as she could remember.

The third eating disorder recognized by experts is known as binge disorder. Like bulimia, the person has uncontrollable food cravings, and will binge to the point of abdominal pain in some cases. Favorite foods are hoarded, and the binge eater will often binge in secret, eating very little in front of others.

The person struggling with this disorder is often highly distressed because they feel that they can’t stop themselves from bingeing. Usually this person is overweight, and struggles with the problems that this causes.

Sarah hides donuts in her house, and also has other favorite foods. “I once ate a whole cheesecake at one sitting” she admits. She hates being overweight, and acknowledges, “My doctor said that this weight is killing me, putting my life at risk. I would give anything to be able to slim down.” But she also struggles with other feelings. “Being this large makes me feel safe, though, “ she confides. “I know that men won’t look at me.” This is important to her, since she has been sexually abused by all the men in her family of origin.

Cult programming, sexual abuse, and the pain of trauma all contribute to the eating disorders that survivors often struggle with. The reasons for coping with an eating disorder are often complex, and frequently unconscious.A child who was starved during preschool years may be left with “food anxiety”, hoarding food around the house to ensure that they will never go hungry again. Child alters who are chronically hungry due to these experiences may switch out at night, and the survivor wakes up to an empty candy bag or plates with leftover desserts on the night table.

In some cases, in spite of the health risks (all eating disorders are dangerous) the survivor will persist in an unconscious desire to punish their body, and to inflict illness or pain on themselves. In others, the desire can even escalate to a death wish and be part of a suicide program.

Cindy is 34, model beautiful, and bright. Her heart is failing because she continues to starve herself. “I know I might die, that I have to eat, my doctor has told me this over and over, “ she shrugs and smiles. “It wouldn’t be a big loss, would it?” She finds it difficult to believe that she is cared for and considered a wonderful person by others, as she struggles with the internal messages of degradation and pain inside. “My mother beat me over and over if I ate too much when I was little, “ she shares. “Maybe that’s one reason I have trouble giving myself permission to eat now.”

Healing from an eating disorder is often a lengthy process that involves overcoming the denial that exists (the survivor often feels that there isn’t really a problem, that friends and family members are worrying too much).

Therapy with someone who understands both the underlying trauma, and also working with a registered dietitian, can be invaluable. Learning how the survivor feels about food, and what has shaped those feelings, and how they feel about themselves, is part of the process.
If programming is driving the disorder, it is also important to look at how it was done, and why. Survivors have reported programming to “overeat to death” or to “starve to death” in many cases, especially if they try to leave the cult group.

Healing a distorted body image, and learning to love themselves in spite of their weight, and learning normal eating patterns can help. Traumatized child alters can be reassured that the survivor won’t allow them to go hungry, and planning meals to allow these parts a chance to choose favorite foods can help cut down on night time or amnesic binges.Each person is unique, and will have their own individual issues to deal with as they heal. In partnership with a qualified therapist, and with increased cooperation inside, healing is possible.

Resources:There are many excellent resources online for information about eating disorders. The following are just a few:

The Alliance for Eating Disorders AwarenessThis site created by Johanna S. Kandel contains excellent articles and information about different types of eating disorders, with special sections for teens and parents.

The Body CageThis site contains a highly personal look at eating disorders as well as links and information on diagnosis and treatment.

International Association of Eating Disorders ProfessionalsThis site has been created to provide support and information to professionals working in the field of eating disorders, and includes information on professional conferences.

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated DisordersOne of the oldest associations set up to help those with eating disorders, this site has a hotline for those in crisis, and a referral list and support groups for those seeking treatment. There is also a resource list at their site.

The National Eating Disorders Information centerThis organization dedicated to helping those with eating disorders includes a glossary of terms related to eating disorders, information for support people, and recommended books.

Something FishyThis web site contains outstanding articles, links, and information/support for the person who wants to learn more about eating disorders and their treatment.