Food and waste.
Food was the symbol of many different things through the past, comfort and control being the main. I had always been a healthy child growing up on fresh fish, fruits and vegetables. My mother was a fantastic cook and fed the family well. As I headed towards my teenage years my father took my sister and I to restaurants as a treat. He often left my mother behind. Sweets and chocolate began to appear in the house and I revelled in it like most young teens would. My mother still encouraged us to eat well and usually I did but if I wanted anything ‘naughty’ my Dad would never refuse it. Not because he couldn’t say no to me. He just treated this as a way to point score with his wife. The children were a competition to him.
In later years (as the trouble grew worse between my father and I) food became a source of genuine comfort to me. I would regularly binge eat at dinner. My father and I never sat at the table together and enjoyed a meal. Instead I was forced to eat in my bedroom to avoid conflict with him. He knew what I put in my mouth as we always went food shopping together every week. Something I almost looked forward to.
However the supermarket was a place he would frequently choose to humiliate me. If I wanted to get something I may not have finished before he would begin a rant on my ‘addiction to wastage’. He’d tell me I had no consideration for starving children all over the world and no concern about money. He’d continue to insult me and if I argued that it had happened only the one time, he’d accuse me of attempting to upset him. Again his voice would change and all this would be said through gritted teeth and glaring eyes. Often he would do this in public places where people would stop and stare. He enjoyed my humiliation but never saw how he humiliated himself, after all at this time I was a grown woman.