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The Cultural Aspects of Food Being Love During Childhood

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

"No rain, no rainbows" - Anonymous

I'm thankful for both in my life although I do complain about the rain sometimes.

I've been trying to uncover a reason why this year has been tough for me with food when I've done so well up until now. Not that I am at the point of disgust and disgrace with myself, but just not with the program inside my head as I was previously.

I think that food is the symbolic way I am holding onto my dying mother, whom I can't see due to many reasons, which makes the situation more tragic. Deeply rooted in my subconscious are the myriad happy scenes from childhood with holiday tables festooned with dishes made for kings and queens.

An extended family where food was truly love, we'd sit and laugh, talk, share, and love while eating delectable dishes prepared by my immigrant grandparents. My mom is the last link with this past and I think that the child part of my mind is longing for her and those times of seeming infinite joy and happiness. It seems to be the only way I can hold onto her when she is still of this world.

Yes, I do understand the ways to deal with this due to having the misfortune of sharp self-knowledge combined with education, but still my child mind longs for that maternal love. I realize with such finality that I will never ever have the mother I truly needed. (long story which is best left untold here)

On the very very bright side, I did have an extended family that showered me with unconditional love and is the reason why I have always been comfortable in my own skin.

The truth is, my mom was gone from my life a long time ago. It's just that her impending death makes it so final, forcing my psyche to admit that the maternal love I craved will never ever happen.

This is more than I'd intended to write about, but there it is.

Wishing all a happy day.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
DDOORN 9/6/2013 8:18AM

    Not only did food = love when I was growing up, but sadly it was a replacement for touch which was not there the way it should have been. Touch that could have been soothing became food which was the predominant way of soothing myself. This helped me to survive...but thrive? Hardly!

Now I seek out alternative outlets for touching...swing dance, massage therapy, etc.

So sorry for your parents are healthy in their late 70's but I sometimes dwell on how I will react when they pass and cannot imagine how it will go...


Comment edited on: 9/6/2013 8:20:09 AM

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JLITT62 9/6/2013 8:03AM

    Big hugs. No matter the circumstances, losing a parent is hard.

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NANCY- 9/5/2013 8:59AM

Relationships with people.
Relationships with people and food.
Memories are powerful. Memories are what we think. What do you choose to remember. It is odd how many memories I have of my mother are tied to food.

Comment edited on: 9/5/2013 9:00:50 AM

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MEADSBAY 9/4/2013 10:59PM

    I am just amazed by how many of us had such complicated relationships with one or both of our parents and who are still hurting 40-50-60 years later.
Remember, forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves.
I hope that you find peace in your soul very soon.

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LIKINMENOW 9/4/2013 9:20PM

    Thank you for sharing your feelings. I so relate to what you have written and I see my adopted daughter's eyes show the longing to know her birth mother, whom we will never know. Jesse, my prayers are with you. And, I know you are on your way to healing, this blog expresses that.

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ALEXSGIRL1 9/4/2013 8:07PM

    My father like your mother was distant in my life when he passed I mourned what could have and should have been. I have been having trouble also because my mom is closer to all my brothers and sisters who don't work or have families. instead of turning to food I turned to the gym and revved it up , it is helping but the going is still slow and painful. emoticon I guess there are a lot of us out here we just don't realize come talk any time emoticon emoticon

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MOM2ACAT 9/4/2013 7:06PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIVINGFREE19 9/4/2013 6:24PM

    I know somebody who recently lost her father, and she had a very distant relationship with him, and she thought that once he was gone, she would feel better, instead, she felt worse, I guess it was the unsolved issues that will remain forever somewhere out in limbo.
I truly understand what your situation is and how you feel.

I never got that love from my mother either that a child is supposed to have, but I am ok with it now, but who knows how I will feel when the time comes....

Big emoticon

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LJCANNON 9/4/2013 4:30PM

    emoticon Family Relationships can be Complicated!! And Very Often in this Country, Food is tied up Very Tightly with Our Childhood Memories, Good or Bad.
emoticon Hopefully Blogging about it will help you deal with all the Emotions here.

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    I can relate. Food was a huge part of my childhood. My mom was big on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries so I equate that with mom and it with food and love. I wish I were there. We could both use a hug. emoticon

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CATLADY52 9/4/2013 3:51PM

    I know how you feel. emoticon emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 9/4/2013 3:27PM

    ((hugs)) emoticon

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    I'm glad you wrote about it. You know I have a difficult relationship with my own mom. Just a couple weeks ago, a dear friend suggested that I give up trying to make her my mom and just accept her like I might accept a stranger that I happen to have contact with.

It was kind of a novel thought for me at the time. It sounds like you have had that way of thinking about your mom for a much longer time. Still, the kid in us wants things to be different. I can sure understand why linking eating with a way of trying to get the comfort you remember as a child. It makes a lot of sense. Like you say, just knowing something intellectually sure doesn't change how the "little kid" in us feels about it!


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ALIHIKES 9/4/2013 12:56PM

    I certainly also am tempted react to stress and upset with the old childhood comfort of a sweet treat. It reminds me of love and comfort (in my case from my mom). My mom is also dying, in her 3rd hospice stay. She still loves us, but it is very hard to see her suffer, and she has changed. At times she is very bitter and upset, when her basic personality is funny, outgoing and kind. I just have to accept that the change in personality is a part of the process of death, and impact of morphine and pain.

Best wishes to you as you cope with both losses (the physical death and the estrangement) My deepest sympathy emoticon


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WALLAHALLA 9/4/2013 11:33AM


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JERZRN 9/4/2013 11:24AM

    Thank you!

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NATPLUMMER 9/4/2013 11:10AM


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PATRICIA441 9/4/2013 11:05AM

    Relationships with our parents can be very difficult . It is either a wonderful childhood of great memories or ones that cause pain. I had a really hard time with my mother growing up and finally had to leave home because of it. When my beloved Dad died I knew he would want me to help Mom and we did. I wished I had takend the time to tell her how and why she hurt me so much growing up but I did not. When she died I still held resentment for my childhood with her. A dear friend told me to write a letter to her, read it out loud then burn it and vision the smoke as my pain going up and away. It truly was a hugh help. Speeching with my priest also helped. Sending you caring hugs. Pat

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WATERONE 9/4/2013 10:54AM

    emoticon Very moving and insightful post. Thank you.

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