uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits

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Iris1022

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uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« on: July 26, 2021, 03:42:43 PM »
Hi all,

Let me first say that reading all of your posts makes me feel so validated! For so long, I was completely in the FOG about my uBPD mom's behaviors but now I can see them for what they really are. It is so enlightening, although sad that I had to grow up dealing with such an awful situation.

I am appalled by my mom's behaviors in many, many ways, but one thing that stands out to me now is her eating habits. She's always had terrible, unhealthy eating habits. I like to refer to her eating patterns as "if a 5 year old was left alone at home with a bunch of junk food in the house and no rules."  For as long as I can remember, her days consist of skipping breakfast (and usually lunch too) and eating candy all day then eating total crap for dinner followed by binges on sweets before bed. Whenever I suggest healthier food options, she will declare loudly that such foods are "nasty" while making dramatic gagging noises, much like a toddler. I'm no health nut but I do try to eat healthy balanced meals, but she always calls my food "gross." It has always been this way.

 Here's the thing - my mom is now getting up there in age (67) and has a host of health issues, including diabetes. Do you think she's made an effort to get her eating habits in check to help herself? Nope - big fat nope. What's worse is that she twists things to make it seem like it is my fault that she's in the shape she's in. Since the day I went away to college 26 years ago, she's done nothing but wail and moan about how she's been abandoned, how I don't care about her, etc. etc. all because I chose to unenmesh and live my own life as an adult. She folds her crappy eating habits into this narrative by constantly proclaiming "I don't eat well because there's no point since I'm all by myself." Give me a f*cking break. This is her way of blaming me for her own self-inflicted health issues!

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? It is madness, for certain... :stars: :stars: :stars:

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Boat Babe

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2021, 04:15:41 PM »
I'm glad you can see your mother's behaviour and word for what they are, unhealthy, manipulative and spiteful. I imagine that watching someone eat like this, especially if diabetic, would be like having an addict in the family, watching them slowly kill themselves. Just horrible. But, not your problem, either.

You didn't cause it, you can't cure it and you can't control it. Take none of it on board. Sending hugs.
It gets better. It has to.

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Iris1022

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2021, 05:27:19 PM »
Thanks Boat Babe!

You didn't cause it, you can't cure it and you can't control it. Take none of it on board. Sending hugs.

I have to keep reminding myself of this...

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JustKathy

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2021, 07:02:25 PM »
My Nmother was exactly the same way, eating the most disgusting diet imaginable. It was all was candy, junk food, or frozen microwaved meals. She also gravitated toward cookies and sweets that were packaged for children. My stomach would turn looking at some of the garbage she'd eat. My father had grown up in another country and had been raised on a more plant-based diet, so there would be two types of food in the house. He would make cereal with fresh fruit for breakfast while she'd eat pop-tarts and donuts. She also exhibited the same childish behavior that your mother did, making the gagging sounds when my father would eat some exotic fruit or vegetable.

My mother was always very vocal about women living longer than men and how she was going to spend my father's money after he died. She was really nasty about it, to the point of being verbally abusive and announcing out loud that she wished he'd "hurry up and die" because he was in her way and she wanted the house to herself. Every time I observed them eating I just knew he'd outlive her.

My Nmother died in her 70s (I was NC and was never given a cause of death, but believe it was some kind of cancer). My father is now 92 and still going strong.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2021, 07:27:45 PM »
Not as extreme as your mother, perhaps, but my mother would also “try” and fail to lose weight. She can’t understand it, she buys those horrible “diet” cookies and ate them every day. And would even eat her fast food burger without the bun!!! Oh the sacrifices she makes. :dramaqueen: As she slurps down another soda pop. “I’ve been trying so hard I deserve a treat,” as she reaches for the chips.

I would suggest making her own food fresh instead of fast food twice a day… Oh you don’t understand how stressful my life is. I simply can’t go to the trouble of microwaving some oatmeal before work. Your father wouldn’t like if I made a mess in the kitchen. (“Mess” as defined by using the kitchen while he breathes down her neck. This part is probably true.) So she spent her minimum wage earnings on bad expensive packaged food. So she stayed poor and fat and enmeshed with my dad. I became an excellent cook, went NC, and got the blame for destroying both of their health. The end.

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Thru the Rain

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2021, 05:33:22 AM »
Oh this is my uPDM to a "T"!

You're M is a little younger than mine, otherwise I'd think they were the same person.

My whole life my uPDM has been the worst cook imaginable. Literally dangerous, serving food that was undercooked or had been defrosted on the kitchen counter for multiple days. As a child I missed a lot of school from what she called "24 hour flu" - but what I now know was food poisoning. I'm thankful it was never bad enough to kill me.

But...she never ate any of that food. She only ate processed junk: candy, cookies, cake. The more fat and sugar the better.

I recently saw my parents for the first time in about 3 years. They had some other family over at the same time and it was going to be a casual, hang around sort of visit. I stopped at the grocery store and got some of the pre-cut fruit and pre-cut veggie trays and took them to my parents' house. In my mind it was 1) completely appropriate to bring food to share with everyone and 2) I suspected (and I was right) that my fruit and veggies would be the only fresh or healthy food offered.

My uPDM was clearly offended when I walked in with this food. And when other people started arriving, she made a big, sarcastic production out of the "healthy food" Thru the Rain brought. I just laughed to myself since the fruit and veggies were eaten by every single person except her.


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EtherOrchid

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2021, 10:41:31 AM »
My narc mom also had the eating habits of a five year old.  She loved Little Debbie snack cakes and Eggo waffles. I always thought it was because they were cheap. Now I'm wondering if it's a self control issue. Narcs don't think about the long term consequences of their actions or take responsibility for anything.  Her teeth weren't rotting because of her smoking, eating sugary junk and only brushing them for 30 seconds each night.  It was all because no one helped her.  Which wasn't true. She claimed she was too sickly and frail to work. So she lived with and mooched off her parents until they died.  Even if she had a million dollars, I think she would have still ate nothing but snack cakes and frozen waffles drenched in syrup.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2021, 12:24:59 PM »
PDmom wasn't a full blown hippie health nut when we were kids, but it was close. Most junk food was forbidden. But it wasn't so much about eating healthy... she's just incredibly snobby about food.

She is very weird about dieting. Or even things resembling diets. My husband and I periodically do this thing called the Fasting-Mimicking Diet. It was developed by scientists, and it's actually more about immune and endocrine health than losing weight. It's a few days of eating very restricted calories, no sugar, etc. When we first started doing it, I told PDmom about it, and her comment was, "I could NEVER do that!" in a tone that suggested that no one should ever do that. She thinks of herself as a feminist, and the impression I've developed over the years is that she sees any kind of restrictive diet or trying to lose weight as un-feminist.  :stars:

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Sneezy

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2021, 01:46:08 PM »
This is my mom to a tee!  She is now in her eighties, and for most of her life her diet has consisted of Coke and donuts.  When I was a kid, I was allowed to drink all the Coke I wanted and I often ate Twinkies for breakfast.  My mom has the worst diet ever and she is also anti-exercise.  I swear the woman has never broken a sweat in her life.

My mom's terrible diet and lack of exercise is catching up with her.  She has terrible dental problems from all the sugar.  And she has mobility problems because she is in such bad shape.  Some of this would have happened anyway - her teeth problems and arthritis are genetic to some extent.  But it's amazing that she has made it into her eighties considering how poorly she has taken care of herself.

At this point, I don't even try to tell her what to eat. It's not going to change anything.  Yesterday, we went out to brunch and she had her typical meal - a waffle loaded with butter, whip cream, and syrup.  I then took her grocery shopping and she loaded her cart with chips and coffee cake.  It is what it is.  She's made it this far eating the way she does.  Personally, I hope I'm in better shape than she is when I reach 80.  But who knows?  At some point it partly comes down to genetics and luck.

My advice is to ignore your mother's eating habits.  And when she tries to blame you for her health issues, go into full-on medium chill.  You know it's not your fault and there is nothing you can or should do about your mother's health.  My mom is trying to blame me for her recent dental problems.  I helped her find a dentist that takes her insurance and I've driven her to a couple appointments, so of course it's my fault that her teeth are rotting  ::)  Lately, she's been trying to say that she's only having dental work done because I "authorized it."  I don't even know what that means.  It's not my fault, it's not my problem, and while I do feel sorry for her (dental problems can be pretty painful), she did this to herself.  Every now and then we reap what we sow.

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nanotech

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2021, 10:38:58 PM »
Trigger warning.EDS
I can identify with this. My UNPDdad  loved and enjoyed all sorts of food outside the home, paid for by a generous work allowance. Yet at home, BPDmum would cook and serve only very small bland meals ‘ to save money.’ This arrangement somehow worked for them. And their relationship mattered most.
Every night after dinner,  mum would eat a LOT of sweets. But they were not the sort that children liked. Strong menthol mints mainly. Probably a blessing in disguise that we didn’t care for them.
 Meal portions were minuscule, and we were told to ‘fill up on bread’ if we were still hungry after eating dinner. I didn’t know how tiny the meals were, until I left home.  Meals out were unheard of.

Fas5 forward to My UNPD sister who is presently in hospital.
Years ago, she completely stopped eating fruit and vegetables because  ‘they are covered in pesticides which you can’t wash off and which poison you.’
Not only did she believe this, but she urged me and everyone else in the family, to stop eating them too.
In the last five years, after a diet of crackers, scones and processed ready meals,  she of course began to develop digestive problems. The more pain she had, the more she began to limit the type of food she ate.
I knew this was a very disordered reaction to a health problem, but there was no getting through to her.
I found out last week that she was now eating less and less in order not to trigger the pain.
She’s ended up in hospital on a drip, having tests. Could be gallstones.
She’s finally being seen by a nutritionist, because as the nurse told my dad, ‘she’s not eating properly.’
No shit Sherlock.
Now I’ve got UNPDDAD  on the phone trying to enlist me into taking  on all of her problems again. Not. Going. There. Ever. Again.
Been there from the age of 11 or 12. The worst time was during her marriage break up and after her divorce, when she managed to make me feel responsible for her actual food intake on a daily basis. 

 I’ve attended family meals where shes either not eaten a thing (  loudly citing sore gums or a sensitive tummy) or eating only what’s bad for her, eating only a sugary dessert ( “It’s soft on my gums”).
These days I try to give it as little acknowledgment as possible. I no longer take these things on.
Her stuff, not my stuff. Though I love her, and I want her to be well, I can’t sacrifice any more of my own life for her. I think she’s given herself this difficulty.
No one is responsible except them. And there’s no obligation to even be around it.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 10:50:14 PM by nanotech »

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Andeza

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2021, 12:17:00 AM »
My favorite is the plethora of medical issues that can be treated or solved entirely by just... eating a relatively balanced diet. Nothing crazy, don't have to obsess about it or spend all day planning the evening meal. Just a little bit of balance. But no. That would require a lifestyle change that they are unwilling to make. Because we used the big, scary word "change" all the healthy options are off the table. *sigh*

uBPDm, with whom I am admittedly NC, has subsisted off a diet of diet coke, a wheat based breakfast cereal, and questionable overcooked dinners for decades. Literal decades. She has diagnosed acid reflux disease, had to have her gallbladder yanked, IBS, arthritis, and as the icing on the cake she's been tested and found gluten sensitive decades ago. She's legitimately gluten sensitive and insists on eating wheat based breakfast cereal. :stars: I mean, there's tons of gluten-free options out there, but no that would require a "change" in her diet.

As frustrating as it is to watch another human being destroy their health with poor nutrition choices, it's like trying to talk someone into giving up drinking or smoking when they don't want to. Won't happen. So it's best to just live your example, let your health be the testament of your choices, and if they ask give a brief, casual answer about what you do that works. Otherwise... just let them carry on with their bad choices as hard as it is.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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Sneezy

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2021, 04:38:07 PM »
My favorite is the plethora of medical issues that can be treated or solved entirely by just... eating a relatively balanced diet.
This is something that I have never understood.  I'm no saint when it comes to healthy eating, but I have learned (as most adults do) that we generally feel better when we are taking reasonably good care of ourselves.  I'm not saying that a pint of ice cream can't help with a bad breakup.  But in general, everything in moderation is a good mantra.

As I noted above, my mom lives on junk food, particularly sweets.  I think the sugar may give her a little jolt of supply, similar to the narc supply she so craves.  Mom is often bored or sad or angry, and the sugar may be helping to sooth her.  On the other extreme is my uHMIL who is practically starving herself.  She has the beginnings of dementia, which is being made worse by her refusal to eat.  Our brains need calories to function, but MIL doesn't get that.  Again, I think the hunger pangs and the low number on the scale (not to mention the constant attention she gets for being so thin and not eating) gives her some kind of supply.

There are so many weird issues associated with food in our culture.  And putting a PD into that mix makes it even weirder.

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JustKathy

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2021, 06:07:13 PM »
My whole life my uPDM has been the worst cook imaginable. Literally dangerous, serving food that was undercooked or had been defrosted on the kitchen counter for multiple days.

My Nmother was also a terrible cook. When I was growing up she could only prepare about four different meals and we got those same dinners repeated over and over. Her favorite thing was this horrible tuna casserole with crushed potato chips on top. I had an Aunt that always came over for the holidays and she would do most of the cooking. One year my mother tried cooking the turkey herself and set the kitchen on fire. My father had to come running in with a fire extinguisher and put it out.

We'd go out for dinner at least once a week, but always to a diner-type restaurant. She loved IHOP because she could order breakfast items for dinner. She'd eat those pancake meals that they make for children with chocolate chips and whipped cream all over them.

I really think being forced to eat garbage growing up is the reason I eat so healthy today. I was so grossed out by those tuna casseroles that I never ate tuna again.

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Boat Babe

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2021, 06:19:06 PM »
Yeah, it's a particularly human phenomenon, these food issues. You are never gonna find a wild animal with an eating disorder. The food industry has a lot to answer for too, but that's a different forum.

My mother is super wierd around food too. I've posted a few of her oddities here before. What is striking with mum is that it's so bloody irrational (to me anyhow) and shot through with her fears. She denies herself good food when she doesn't have to. She believes herself totally incapable of cooking or following a simple recipe.  Drives me batty!
It gets better. It has to.

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HeadAboveWater

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2021, 02:49:49 PM »
These days I try to give it as little acknowledgment as possible. I no longer take these things on.
Her stuff, not my stuff. Though I love her, and I want her to be well, I can’t sacrifice any more of my own life for her. I think she’s given herself this difficulty.
No one is responsible except them. And there’s no obligation to even be around it.

This is so key. Thank you for saying it.

It is hard to watch people refuse to help themselves, or worse, become self destructive. But whatever the motivation behind the behavior, no one can change it for them. I believe that the Stages of Change https://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/mph-modules/sb/behavioralchangetheories/behavioralchangetheories6.html model is a great one for describing the way people make decisions about health behaviors. Your mom has had her awareness raised about the problem and has heard possible solutions. Now it's up to her to enter "self reappraisal," which is when an individual decides they want to pursue a healthier habit because it represents who they want to be.

Iris, you are so right that the abandonment narrative has been manufactured to place guilt on you. I am sorry, and I am sure that has felt painful. While it stinks that you have been placed in this situation, I am so glad that you are challenging your mother's version of events and trying to distance yourself from the drama.

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EtherOrchid

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2021, 04:33:02 PM »
Claiming to be unable to follow a simple recipe sounds exactly like my mother. Christmas years ago, I was completely supporting her at the time, while working two internships (one paid, one unpaid) and going to grad school full time. My mother refused to work and never had any money.  But then I was completely in the FOG.  I thought she was depressed and genuinely in need of help.  Since I didn't have the time, knowledge or resources to cook a traditional, I offered to buy us one of those stir fry meal kits. She always liked them before. I thought I was doing her a favor splurging on something other than a frozen pizza.

 On Christmas day she insisted I cook because she had no idea how to make the food.  All you need to do is heat frozen vegetables and sauce in a frying pan while microwaving the rice.  The instructions are on the bag. And I know she used to make these kits herself back when she mooched off my grandmother.  Once dinner was served she starts pouting and frowning. After two bites she declares the food isn't what she really wanted and she's going to make herself a bowl of soup.  This was her lifelong pattern. Feign helplessness. Get everyone to do everything for her. Then pout and whine that it's not good enough. And in her mind she's the victim. I am the evil daughter who refused to cook a traditional dinner for Christmas, and tried to poison her with gross stir fry.   It's probably her projecting. She imagines my brain works exactly like hers and I deliberately bought something I knew she would hate just to ruin Christmas and start a fight.

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raspberryoxygen

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2021, 08:16:26 AM »
Is the eating related to „wanting“ to be in bad health/have a bad appearance so she „can’t“ go out/interact with people because of social anxiety/so no one will get close and hurt her? I donno, but the food issues with my Mom are NOT about the food. The only way for me to survive is to make talk of food/diets/appearance/food-related talk about health off limits. It is really hard, because that is all she thinks about. She might „want“ to be unhealthy. Not even my 2-yo daughter is confused about the difference between junk food and real food.

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Hepatica

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2021, 04:33:29 PM »
My uNPDf had a disturbing relationship with food. He'd eat so fast that there would always be food on his face. If we went anywhere, like to a family event like Thanksgiving, he'd grab tarts as he walked past the table, like he was stealing them, looking around to see who was watching and then gulp it down like he hadn't eaten in a week. He developed a large belly over the years and my disordered mother used to yell at him that he'd give himself diabetes. HE DID!!! He got age onset diabetes. It used to disturb me how his relationship with food looked so sneaky and shame-filled.

My uNPDsister also has a strange relationship with food. When her children were young she'd show up at my house, her body trembling and she'd say she had a headache. It happened a number of times and I finally wondered out loud if she'd had anything to eat . She said she hadn't eaten all day and she had two young children. She was shaking from hunger. I said gently to her that she needed to take care of herself too, but it was almost as if she couldn't. She couldn't seem to nourish herself. I always found that so strange. It was this strange denial and then she'd act very waify, as if someone needed to take care of her, rather than her take care of her children.

In both cases, with my sister and father, it seemed to me like they were not at an adult age in certain ways. Around food they acted like children who were not yet old enough to take care of their own nourishment. But they are adults. It seemed to me like they want people to constantly care for them, rather than grow up and manage their own lives around food.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2021, 04:35:18 PM by Hepatica »
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Andeza

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2021, 04:58:56 PM »
Yes, I'd forgotten about that! My uBPDm used to skip breakfast, skip lunch, be outside in blazing hot temperatures working in the yard and not eating at all, then come in and have a bad case of the shakes and claim she was having a low blood sugar spell. We kept chocolate syrup in the house just to make her chocolate milk because if you sat and asked if she wanted this? or that? maybe this? She'd lie there in bed, sweating and moaning and say no to everything. I stopped asking. Just brought the milk and made her drink. It usually had her back on her feet in an hour or so. She seriously just wanted someone to take care of her. When I didn't panic and call enDad to come home (because I was a teen already and knew a chunk about food and blood sugar topics and wasn't terribly concerned so long as she was conscious) I deprived her of the real drama she desired.

I truly believe she WANTS to be diabetic, just for the attention. She's done pretty much everything she possibly can over the years to cause it, that's certain. Wow. Thanks for jogging my memory, Hepatica, I needed to bring that one up and process it.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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Hepatica

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Re: uBPD Mom's Horrible Eating Habits
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2021, 12:29:25 PM »
You are welcome Andeza. This topic is a good one. Because I'm learning and watching so many videos about early trauma, and I know my mother was as dysregulated as they come, I am sure that my sister grew fearful of food. My mother had a temper and if she became anxious or stressed she yelled and screamed. I will never know for sure but I am certain she terrified my sister and me if we bothered her because we were hungry, even from birth. I think that when she had me, because I was nearly 10 years after my sister, she might have been more calm and perhaps attended to my early needs better. She had my sister when she was barely 20 and I think she probably caused my poor sister a heck of a lot of early trauma. I think this is why my sister actually goes on autopilot around food and doesn't even understand she needs to feed herself.
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue