On Going Home

I went home for 5 weeks.

There is so much to say and so much to leave out, but there are things that are important to remember:

  • Home will always be home
  • My heart is Africa
  • Peace eludes me

I don’t know where I belong. I am not sure that I have ever known. I live in self-imposed exile in North America, always threatening to return to Africa and yet, I never go. There is always a reason, an excuse not to make the long journey back for good. So I wander, listless, lost, longing for a life I can’t quite get back to.

When I do go home, I feel this deep sense of peace. It sits in my soul and weighs me down with its entirity. It overwhelms and encapsulates me. Africa…the smell, the sound, the sense of being back where I came from. This is my childhood, my dreams, my family, my roots. This is my nation, my people, my culture, my language, my setting sun.

While I was home I found myself in some sort of ED remission. I didn’t actively do anyting about it. I restricted the first week, binged the second week and ate normally the next 3 weeks. I didn’t purge once the entire time.

I encountered all my childhood triggers:

  • my dysfunctional family
  • my controlling father
  • my need for approval and acceptance and perfection and, and, and…

My family brought all sorts of anxiety out in me. I sat at numerous meals listening to my grandmother talk about how she didn’t need to eat and could happily never eat again, all whilst shoveling food into her mouth. She recounted the evils of food every time she lifted a morsel to her lips. I listened to her bemoan being fat and having no thyroid and I saw myself 50 years from now playing the same record.

I chose not to go to gym  – not to revist old friends or reaquaint myself with old demons. I chose to lie in the sun in my bikini and breathe. I chose to drink wine and laugh and cry with my mother, my aunty, my sister-in-law, my girlfriend. I chose to sit under the southern cross and talk to God.

I came back feeling the same as when I left, but suddenly in the last 3 weeks, I have ballooned. I have expanded and filled out and got wide, thick, heavy, portly, fat, repulsive. I have had no desire to go to the gym. My old church beckons me to come and worship and I am suddenly agnostic. I am apathetic. I eat with no remorse. I comfort myself with carbs and wine and cry myself to sleep. I don’t want to be here. I don’t know how to be there. I lost so much of myself in between that I no longer know who I am.

But I see pasta and I see my problems disappear.

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3 thoughts on “On Going Home

  1. littlevoicetalks says:

    Welcome back to wordpress. Miss you.

    Sounds rough. Sounds like you need to make an absolute decision and then put your heart into it. Remember nothing is set in stone. If you move back to Africa and hate it, come join us in sunny (I lie) UK or go back to the US. I sense coming back to the northern hemisphere is a transition so no wonder you feel blue. There is obvious anxiety in this part of the world that greets you whenever you return.

    Are you still with your Bf?

    My grandmother was exactly the same and my Dad is too. On and on about food and weight, dieting, guilting what others eat …. Never stood a bloody chance!!


    • Thanks for your comment! Yes I am till with bf. I will update on that anxiety inducing situation soon…it is exhausting as ever.
      I find it hard how triggering our families are. Strange that I love to go home so much, back to my childhood and dysfunction, but find the triggers have not changed or abated.
      And I lived in sunny (you definitely lie) England for 3 years! I like the reminder that nothing is set in stone.
      Sending you love and hoping you are happy xx

  2. What a pull!! I am so sorry!! I am glad that you felt at ease and felt peaceful!! I am glad you had that because you do deserve that!! Maybe there is a way to find you that same feeling here?

    I know you returned to a circumstance you were hoping I be different so that does not help. Pasta does feel good I can relate. Is there another outlet so you can break the cycle? I hate to see your hurting with good when you hurt so much from other things out of your control!!

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