Saturday, 19 November 2016


My childhood was an unhappy one with us abused in every way except sexually. We grew up in a household of alcoholics who made our lives hell. Especially at dinner time. We would scoff our food whilst keeping an eye open for the kitchen door to open with either Dad or our live-in uncle bursting through. Or worse still, Dad would hurl the dinner at Mum and sulk in the living room and our uncle would sit in his place and glare at us as we tried to eat.

It made us nervous and of course, little hands shook and peas would go rolling onto the table. And then we would have the "hummmmphs" and "tut- tuts"and lectures on table manners. (Only a bachelor with no children can bring other peoples' kids up of course) If Dad burst into the kitchen during our meals, he would often argue with Mum and a fight would erupt and we would have to flee the house with dinner left uneaten. Mealtimes there were always a time of anxiety.

After my first marriage, my ex-husband would often hurl food at me too and make piggy oink noises at me, blowing up his cheeks and snorting at me, making it painful to eat with him. And he would tell me how much the food I was eating cost him and how he hoped I choked on it! Consequently, I served the family and ate in secret. I became a cupboard eater. And became overweight too.

Now over 23 years later, I am happily re-married and have a peaceful home. Chris is mild-mannered and sees mealtimes as a time of togetherness, chat and enjoyment of a meal. Which I agree with. Now the problem is that I sometimes can be sitting eating with him and suddenly get a flashback and feel anxious, get a panic-attack and I need to leave the table. This upsets Chris. I have discussed this with him and asked him if he thinks I have bad table manners- he doesn't. I have put childish things away- I am mature in my thinking- I just can't seem to get past this wave of anxiety that sitting at the dining table for a prolonged time creates.

I have prayed. I pray silently after I give thanks for my food. But this wave of flashbacks causes me problems as Chris is offended by my leaving the table immediately after eating. It is almost an overwhelming fear. Yet there is nothing to fear with Chris. So please ensure that meal times are peaceful at your home, for your childrens' sake as well as yours, because like being sealed tight in a glass jar. there's no escape, as some things don't go away.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Proverbs 17:1 Better [is] a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices [with] strife

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