I’m struggling with some feelings right now that I’m having trouble sorting out. It’s an issue that at first blush may seem off-topic but it’s actually deeply rooted in my issues regarding food and eating.

Here’s a long story short: My parents are in their seventies and in excellent health. They live about 1,200 miles from where I do most of the year, but have a place nearby where they stay when they visit (because this is where they lived before they retired!). There is a possible plan in the works right now for them to sell that place, my husband and I sell our house, and together we get a place large enough for them to be able to stay with us when they visit.

There are many ways in which this is good plan. There are some ways in which it would encroach on my current life. I suspect in the long run it’s the right thing to do for all of us. But, I’m starting to feel a little panicked about it right now even though it’s not actually happening yet.

While I try to take responsibility for my eating disorder and the last thing I mean to do is cast off blame it would be foolish to deny that my mother played a role in the way my eating disorder developed and how bad it got. Whatever good intentions she had with me regarding food and my weight, her methods were such that I usually felt “less than” and unlovable because I was overweight which then just contributed to me staying overweight or getting more overweight. More specifically, I always felt like I was a project, that my weight was something that my mother felt she needed to fix.

It made for a lot of emotional discomfort and conflict between us for many many years. It got better when I left for college and stopped living with her. It got bad again after I’d graduated from college and she started harping on me more. It got better after I had weight loss surgery and lost 90 pounds. Then, it finally seemed to find some sort of balance recently.  It’s almost as though she’s finally accepted that she was part of the problem and hasn’t really mentioned it much. But a visit with my mother where I have to eat three meals a day in her presence is still always stressful for me. Whether she’s doing it or not (and I suspect she’s not) I feel as though everything I put in my mouth or on my plate is getting scrutinized and both it and I are being judged. Harshly.

I love my mother and I know she has always been very well intentioned, but it haunts me anyway. It might be the biggest demon I have lurking in my past.

Now, I’m facing the prospect of her living in my house for one week out of every month and while there are so very many benefits to the arrangement, and I was the one who made the initial suggestion, having to eat in front of her one week out of every month suddenly seems terrifying and I feel almost claustrophobic about it.

I know I’m making too much of this and my stress is probably mostly a result of PMS at this moment in time, but I know this is something that I will have to think long and hard about before committing to anything.

Boy it helps to get that out of my head!