Insight To Food Issues With Foster Kids
Unfortunately through my abuse I learned that many things can be used as a tool in abusing. Even things that don’t seem that important to a kid can be made important by the abuser and used against them. For example my parents were very materialistic and would use clothing as punishment. Even though it doesn’t really matter what type of clothes you wear my parents made believe that they were important and if I didn’t wear certain clothing I would be made fun of. This can be even worse when the tool that there using is a necessity to life such as shelter, water and food. My parents used food as a control method and punishment for me and my brothers. This lifestyle caused us several food issues that lasted through foster care and some stick with us today.
My step mom had convinced my dad that my brothers were ADHD and they needed to be on a special diet. Long story short my step mom had lied about going to the doctor and she made up some special diet for my brothers and me consistently of “no sugar foods” such as beans, spam, raw vegetables, and really any other horrible thing she could pass. They tried this with me to. Me being the stubborn one that I am and just know that I would throw up their concoction anyway, I just refused to eat their food until I got something regular. I would miss a couple days of eating but eventually they got they point that I wouldn’t allow them to go to that extreme with my diet. My brothers were a different issue; they were young and didn’t understand what was going on. They did what they were told even though they didn’t like it. I remember many issues over food and them eating.
So our food issues began. Since food was used as a punishment and it was made into such a big deal it set my brothers apart from my step moms kids. The other kids were even allowed to comment on how gross it looked and make fun. My brothers would then become anxious when it was time to eat. They weren’t fed enough and would try to sneak food whenever they could. We would also hide food wherever we could. Anytime I got some extra food I would have to find a place to hide it. I also had to find a place to hide the wrappers and get them out without being seen. Our food hoarding became an issue when the food and wrappers would attract mice. We would get caught, punished but I never wanted to go without food when they wanted to use food against me. I knew they would use whatever weakness I had so I tried to limit my weaknesses.
Going into foster care one I could tell right off the bat the food issues one of my brothers had. In the beginning every meal he would devour and eat himself sick. After eating he would always want to know what we were having to eat for each meal, the rest of the day and into the next day. He would even check in to make sure the meal plan was still on throughout the day. Food hoarding did still go on. I also had some food issues of my own on top of hoarding. I wouldn’t eat very much. First it was awkward being at someone eles home eating someone else’s food. We didn’t go over to people has much and it made me feel really uncomfortable being in that situation. The second was I still didn’t ever want to let food be a weakness. If I was ever told to go to bed hungry then I wanted to be able to survive without being able to give in to whatever they wanted me too. I would not eat as much and train my body to go on less. I felt it was a survival tool.
I’m happy to say that both my brothers and I have improved on some of our food issues. My brothers are now adopted and my one brother doesn’t need the meal plans like he used to. He still loves to eat but it’s at normal amounts. I now eat normal amounts and often myself, but the hoarding still goes on for all three of us. They still hoard food the old way of hiding it away from their parents. Since I’m an adult I can keep things in plain view. I keep the cabinets stocked and there are some things in there that just sit there and don’t get eaten.
Food issues in your childhood can affect you when you’re an adult. It affects kids in different way but it’s all a method of survival. If you are a foster parent who has a child with food issues this is normal. If you have food issues you’re not alone. The issues my never go away completely, but with some mental work and time it can and will get better. for more information on different food issues