by Joanna Poppink, M.F.C.C

Part Five (Continued)

Mary Grows Up - Early Stages of Becoming an Overeater

As Mary gets older she may not be able to put herself in a trance as easily as she could as a child. Actual events and emotional memories may approach awareness levels. She may reach for food to help her maintain oblivion. If food works, and it does for many people, she will continue to use eating to help her achieve the trance state she feels is necessary for her survival.

Throughout her life she may feel body pain and emotional tremors without connecting them to any outside incident. She may sometimes attribute these feelings to physical illness or minor accidents. Gradually she will accept these feelings as "the way she is."

Eventually she may be certain she has these feelings because she is "bad" or "worthless." She may feel "special" in her feelings of terrible faults and therefore feel she deserves special attention in the form of punishment or abandonment.

Mary may feel the physical and emotional feelings she experienced during the abuse she experienced as a child without connecting those feelings to her history. Like many people who overeat or binge, she may not remember sections of her childhood. Her memory blanks may be so thorough she will not know she does not remember.


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Joanna Poppink, M.F.C.C., licensed by the State of California in 1980, is a Marriage, Family, Child Counselor (License #15563). She has a private practice in Los Angeles where she works with adult individuals and couples. She specializes in working with people with eating disorders and with people who are trying to understand and help a loved on who has an eating disorder.

Contact Information:
10573 West Pico Blvd. Suite 20
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 474-4165 phone
(310) 474-7248 fax

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