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Old 07-23-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
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Default Sexual abuse and obesity

I have read about the connection between the two for years and wondered how accurate it was or is? I was sexually abused and to this day struggle with it's aftermath. Am I fat because I need a shield of some sort or is it as simple as I love food? I hate my body and I hate that I hate it Do I hate myself because I am fat or is it the abused girl talking. All the years in and out of therapy and I am still fucked up. I was so happy when I found this website because I am so tired of being ashamed of being fat. But I haven't gotten it yet! I thought I could learn to at least acccept this aspect of myself and half the battle would be won. Why can't I just accept it? Why can't I be like the ladies here who have so much pride? I read the posts and try to take a little of everything you all are saying and I still am ashamed. I want to walk with my head up. I hope this isn't coming across as a poor me post. I need and want advice. I want to be.......positive and proactive. I want to be involved in life. I have been sitting by all these years watching others live and using my weight as an excuse to hide. I would love to know when I am going to have some sort of epiphany and finally realize that I am worthy. I guess I will have to keep on working on it. Sorry for rambling. Rebecca
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:37 PM   #2
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Excellent discussion idea. May be good for a poll too.

(((hugs))) I was sexually abused as well, and although I have never really thought about it attributing to my weight,but perhaps it did. The realization of what happened to me when I was younger is no longer a struggle, I actually feel strong to have survived it.

I do think my self esteem issues revolve around my father- who always told me I was fat- fell "in love with" my 13 year old thin best friend- drooled over and gave all his attention to all my thin girl friends. Not that I wanted my father to want my friends or myself- I certainly did not feel worthy of his attention (non sexual) because I was not thin. The ages all this happened was between 13-17 and well thats a tricky time for kids. I went through so much with dealing that my dad in fact was a molester and the constant bashing he did towards my weight as well as my grandmother doing the same- did a number on my self esteem.

I think for me, the SA screwed up my sexuality- growing up being attracted to men- but afraid of them sexually I turned to girls. I felt safer. My husband is actually the only man Ive been with and I knew he was the one because the first moment we met I felt safe in his arms and no longer afraid.

But yet here I am 10 years later...and still struggling with Self esteem despite being told I am loved every day and told how beautiful I am everyday I still don't feel I am beautiful and certainly not worthy. I too, am waiting for the epiphany- hoping its not too far away.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:43 PM   #3
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Default Hey Rebecca

I really totally understand where youre coming from. I went through the same thing in my childhood. Even in my marriage, my now ex husband not only physically and emotionally abused me, but he also sexually abused me too. When I found out he had been cheating on my, I basically gave up with him. But since we were still married, he said it was "my wifely duty to satisfy him" So he "took it" twice. Deep down I know i am worthy and you are too but knowing and believing it are two different things. I am really trying not to let it run my life and at times it works then other times I meet a man i really like and as much as I want too, I cannot let myself get romantically involved with him. I am afraid that someday that right man will come along and i am too scared to open that door. To meet someone who is patient, and understanding is rare out there these days. Thats why i love this board. People here are accepting and respectful for the most part. I feel like I have found a home her and I hope you have too. I wish you the best of luck and love and I hope you find that peace we both have inside of us and are apt to find and soon. God bless you.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:57 PM   #4
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I posted on another board that I felt that having been raped twice contributed to becoming my own feeder when i was younger..in part because it made me feel that i would be less attractive to rapists. So i know that it played a part in my own experience.

I'm not sure what type of abuse you dealt with, but i've had my own share as well. From the rapes to physical abuse for almost 15 of my growing up years. I felt like a victim for a very long time. I was very angry and would lash out at people daily. There were many nights when i was younger that i would just bawl my eyes out wondering why my life wasn't what i wanted it to be. Sometime in my mid twenties i had a revelation..ok, it wasn't really a revelation. I guess that some of the stuff i'd heard over the years finally sunk in. One night i *literally* decided that i wasn't going to be unhappy and angry anymore. I decided to take control of my life. I decided that those past events weren't going to control my future any longer. I mean..really.. i made a choice. It was a difficult transformation at first, because it's hard to get out of old habits, but it definitely can be done...i know, i did it.

I decided that i liked the person that i am...and i wouldn't be the person that i am if these things had not happened to me. They made me strong.. they made me more compassionate towards others in pain.. they put me in a place to where i could help others. I also said in another post that happiness is a state of mind...we have to decide and choose to be happy. I understand that bad shit happens, but I'm also a spiritual person and believe that everything happens for a reason...even though i may not be able to see that reason at the moment.

If you have a flat tire and you're going to be late for work...well, isn't it better to have a flat tire than wind up in a horrific car accident? Or... if you wind up in a horrific car accident isn't it better than dying? I mean.. there's always a way to find the good in something if you just look for it. Find some meaning in your abuse and what good can come from it and how you can help others who are dealing with the same pain...Confidence comes from within. You have to get to know yourself and love yourself inside before you can begin to really love yourself outside.

Please feel free to message me if you'd like to talk more
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:58 PM   #5
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Default Kareda & Bountiful

Thank you both for sharing. I honestly don't know what to say. I never had anybody actually respond back with similar backgrounds when I have brought it up before. I feel stumped and relieved at the same time. I wish neither of you had to suffer but I also don't feel so alone. Take care of yourselves. Rebecca
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:06 PM   #6
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Default Friends

Dont ever feel alone and if you ever need to chat, feel free to msg me anytime. Sometimes we need to know we are not alone to pull through troubled times. And sorry about all my typos lol its been a long day lol
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by largenlovely View Post
I posted on another board that I felt that having been raped twice contributed to becoming my own feeder when i was younger..in part because it made me feel that i would be less attractive to rapists. So i know that it played a part in my own experience.

I'm not sure what type of abuse you dealt with, but i've had my own share as well. From the rapes to physical abuse for almost 15 of my growing up years. I felt like a victim for a very long time. I was very angry and would lash out at people daily. There were many nights when i was younger that i would just bawl my eyes out wondering why my life wasn't what i wanted it to be. Sometime in my mid twenties i had a revelation..ok, it wasn't really a revelation. I guess that some of the stuff i'd heard over the years finally sunk in. One night i *literally* decided that i wasn't going to be unhappy and angry anymore. I decided to take control of my life. I decided that those past events weren't going to control my future any longer. I mean..really.. i made a choice. It was a difficult transformation at first, because it's hard to get out of old habits, but it definitely can be done...i know, i did it.

I decided that i liked the person that i am...and i wouldn't be the person that i am if these things had not happened to me. They made me strong.. they made me more compassionate towards others in pain.. they put me in a place to where i could help others. I also said in another post that happiness is a state of mind...we have to decide and choose to be happy. I understand that bad shit happens, but I'm also a spiritual person and believe that everything happens for a reason...even though i may not be able to see that reason at the moment.

If you have a flat tire and you're going to be late for work...well, isn't it better to have a flat tire than wind up in a horrific car accident? Or... if you wind up in a horrific car accident isn't it better than dying? I mean.. there's always a way to find the good in something if you just look for it. Find some meaning in your abuse and what good can come from it and how you can help others who are dealing with the same pain...Confidence comes from within. You have to get to know yourself and love yourself inside before you can begin to really love yourself outside.

Please feel free to message me if you'd like to talk more
I am trying that now. Every morning I tell myself I am going to do this or that. I get frustrated and I have a lot of anger. I know the anger is burning me up inside. One day I will have a complete feeling of happiness. Hopefully? Thank you for offering to talk. I might just take you up on that. Rebecca

Oh yeah, I see we are neighbors. I live in Biloxi.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:08 PM   #8
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oh awesome!! well maybe one day we can talk over coffee lol

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Oh yeah, I see we are neighbors. I live in Biloxi.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bountiful1966 View Post
Dont ever feel alone and if you ever need to chat, feel free to msg me anytime. Sometimes we need to know we are not alone to pull through troubled times. And sorry about all my typos lol its been a long day lol
I feel as though I am going to cry. In a good way. Thank you for your offer of friendship. Rebecca
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:10 PM   #10
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oh awesome!! well maybe one day we can talk over coffee lol
That would be great. I have to tell you I am very socially awkward
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:11 PM   #11
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it's impossible to be socially akward around me ...i cut up too much and act silly lol

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That would be great. I have to tell you I am very socially awkward
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:29 AM   #12
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I have read about the connection between the two for years and wondered how accurate it was or is?
I'm sorry for all of you who have had to experience horrible things like this.

The studies I came across while writing a college paper are inconclusive. Some see the connection, others don't (personally, I find it plausible, not to mention that Melissa and others confirm this theory). If you're interested I can dig through my digital files whenever I find the time and send you the texts (I'm not sure whether all of them are in english).

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Old 07-24-2008, 03:05 AM   #13
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i was told by my counsellor that i made myself fat because i was abused, to try to prevent myself from being found sexually attractive. i was very angry at this suggestion. i can see where she is coming from, but not everything is textbook. i am fat cos i am fat, i eat too much, exercise too little, have big bones whatever. i am not fat cos my grandfather was a bastard.
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:09 AM   #14
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I would've been offended had any therapist *told* me i did anything as a result of another thing. I was very fortunate and any counselling i had when i was younger was very gentle. They might would suggest something here and there but they allowed me to lead the flow..of course, i never stuck with any of it for long periods of time at once..so maybe i didn't give them a chance.

I'm also fat for a myriad of reasons...not just any one reason of any kind. Though for some of us, abuse can play a part in it. I know there's also a part of me that would feel like i was getting back at my diet conscious physically abusive mother by sneaking a McMeal in my car. There's also thyroid issues, having a father who is an unadmitted feeder...and general gluttonous behavior as well lol Plus other reasons that i probably can't even think of at 6am in the morning hehe

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i was told by my counsellor that i made myself fat because i was abused, to try to prevent myself from being found sexually attractive. i was very angry at this suggestion. i can see where she is coming from, but not everything is textbook. i am fat cos i am fat, i eat too much, exercise too little, have big bones whatever. i am not fat cos my grandfather was a bastard.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:07 AM   #15
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i still struggle with the abuse, and my whole childhood in general. but i worry more about what it has done to me mentally than physically. i beleive in my heart having always been a big girl, from puberty i was always plus size, that i am meant to be big.
however mentally, i suffer from great paranoia, i always think if someones upset it must be my fault. low self esteem in the fact that i never think im good enough or nice enough to be someones friend. anxiety, great nervousness and unadulterated worrying.

i also struggled for a long time with the fact that while i have only slept with 2 men, i very much enjoy sex. i work in the adult industry, am adventurous and proud of my body and sometimes it hits me that after what happened, maybe i shouldnt be. maybe i should hate sex and i shouldn't want a man near me after what happened. which is silly i know.

horrible experiences like abuse impact people in different ways though.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:22 AM   #16
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Sexually abused as a child - Obese as a woman. I do think there is a connection - food and fat were my way of coping I guess. I think Sexual abuse has affected me more in the "relationship" with men area in that, not all men love you unconditionally just because you have sex with them.

I dont think I struggle with my abuse. Ive been told I'm "well adjusted" Im not sure what that means.

I have long forgiven the person that was my abuser and I actually loved him very much in my adult years.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:44 AM   #17
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Default For me personally

I know after much self examination that my fat is my protection. I grew up emotionally abused, nothing I did was ever good enough and so you learn to retreat into yourself. My fat insulates me from truly dealing with the issues at hand. If someone doesn't like me I can blame that on my weight. If a man is not attracted to me I can blame it on my weight, a job interviewer doesn't hire me again my weight. I know his because the only time in my whole life I was truly happy and relatively stress free I put the work in and lost 75lbs. During my first pregnacy I experienced major trauma at the hands of in laws and then he was born and we dealt with colic. More family issues and a second pregnancy and many stressful evnets in our lives has led me to be a person who doesn't eat as she should nor exercise as often as she should. When things are coming at you from all directions, family, tough times at home and work you do in my mind need some insulation. I do that with food and the size of my body. I recognize it but apparently not ready to deal with it yet. I have grown in my confidence, my strength, my ability to forgive and love, and one day I may have the ability to lose the last sheild. However as a fat woman I do want the ability to live a full and happy life and will defend my fight to look as I do and be accepted as I am.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:48 AM   #18
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Thank you for coming out and saying this...definitely a good topic, and hopefully you know you will be supported here

I know exactly how you feel as I went through stuff myself. I definitely think that SA and food consumption (or with some, lack there of) are definitely linked. For me, it happened when i was 7 and I can look back at pictures of me around and before that time and I was thin as any normal little girl. After the abuse, I started to get chubby and over my life I got fat. I not only was fat, but I threw up after almost every meal (not intentionally...just happened), and am still that way to this very day most the time. At 14 I also started to self injure, and I can still remember clear as day the very first time I did it. I think that abuse can bring on a whole host of problems, but with the grace of god...I've learned to deal better as I've gotten older. While I still have my bad days, I think i've learned how to cope much better than some people who have suffered the same kind of abuses, so I am definitely thankful for that.

*big hugs to everyone else who's been through the same*
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:09 AM   #19
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i was told by my counsellor that i made myself fat because i was abused, to try to prevent myself from being found sexually attractive. i was very angry at this suggestion. i can see where she is coming from, but not everything is textbook. i am fat cos i am fat, i eat too much, exercise too little, have big bones whatever. i am not fat cos my grandfather was a bastard.
I'm as you are Bexy. I wasn't so much abused. I was surrounded by leering dirty old bastards though who scared the shit out of me. I don't think being fat is connected to that at all. Some of the worst abuse I got was *because* I was fat. Hormones, eating habits, genes, wanton indifference - you can point to any of those as reasons and be on the money. Even if I lived a sweet life of nurtured innocence I don't think it would have made a difference. I'd probably be fatter to be honest.
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:31 AM   #20
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Sexually abused - fat all my life.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:08 AM   #21
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Just another one here raising my hand to say i was also sexually abused as a child. I've always been fat too. I don't know if it is anything to do with the abuse. I don't like to think that it bothered me too much, but who knows how these things go in our heads?

I'm honestly appauled that so many women here have had to suffer this.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:12 AM   #22
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I know there are valid medical reasons for my size, including hypothyroid, but...I do wonder if the abuse and violations played a role in my "overconsumption" tendencies. I think they probably did, but I'll probably never have the answer.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:20 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by CurvyEm View Post
Just another one here raising my hand to say i was also sexually abused as a child. I've always been fat too. I don't know if it is anything to do with the abuse. I don't like to think that it bothered me too much, but who knows how these things go in our heads?

I'm honestly appauled that so many women here have had to suffer this.
Me too and a little freaked out as well. Makes me want to purchase a water pistol full of gasoline and a book of matches for every single one of my nieces and nephews this Christmas.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:22 AM   #24
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You can add my name to the hat being passed around right now too.

I don't talk about it much. Never really thought of the connection. I too am floored to see how many of us there are.

However, thinking about it, not just sexual abuse, but verbal and physical as well. Food was a comfort thing. But I dunno, when I was younger, when things were going on, I wasn't as overweight as I am now.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:41 AM   #25
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I was sexually abused as well. I've also been fat for my whole life. I don't think the abuse had anything to do with my weight though. My whole family is fat, and I did the whole therapy thing, my weight never came up.
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