Triggers: what do they tell us? Part II


Sex and Doughnuts

Dangerous Sexual Encounters as Part of Bulimic Episode - continued from previous post

Day 7 continued p.m.
You are out the door. With firm, fast steps you head for your car. blood surging through your veins, heart pounding, stomach vibrating, electrical energy pouring out of your cells, you can almost hear your body humming. You get in the car, turn the ignition and love the engine roar. It matches your own internal roar. You pause looking straight ahead with hands on the steering wheel. You don’t know where to go. You drive anyway. You’ve got to feel you are going in some direction, feel some motion.


  1. You call a man. You don’t call a woman because you want intense holding. You want someone to be glad to match your energy. To your way of thinking this must be a man. An available man answers the phone – a former lover, a current lover, a barely known man who has flirted with you. If he is sympathetic and welcoming you drive to his place. You are as seductive as you can so he will hold you. You want his touch to become intense. You surprise him by pushing the experience, without preamble, into a sexual encounter. He may go for it. If he does, you feel relieved by the holding, scared by the sense of his emotional intensity. You feel lonely and isolated as you pretend arousal you don’t feel to evoke more impersonal performance in him. You are numb to any erotic feelings. No matter who he is he seems like a stranger after the encounter. Not only does he seem alien to you, but also you barely have a sense of who even you are. You may leave immediately. You may try to turn him and the experience into some kind meaningful relationship. You play act. You may believe you are in the middle of a committed relationship that will last forever and at the same time feel like a moving mannequin. Despite a sense of artificiality, you will yearn for him to call and days later feel heartbroken and bereft because he hasn’t. Or you will feel heartbroken, bereft and disbelieving if he does call and simply wants another unadorned sexual encounter. You may be horrified, heartbroken and bewildered if he calls and offers you a sexual encounter with his buddy or with a group of his associates. 
  2. You’re in the car driving. You can’t think of anyone to call. You still are in the state where you want someone to be glad to be with you and match your energy. Where is this man? You stop at a bar or a restaurant that has a bar. You walk into the bar; measure the men who might be candidates for what you want. You might have a tiny flash of eye contact. You sit at the bar and don’t look at anyone. A man or men come forward to talk. One sends you a drink from across the room. You like that. It feels caring and glamorous. You feel that someone has seen you and wants to find you. You feel unlovable, clumsy, ugly, awkward and hope that you can be seen as beautiful, desirable and lovable. You want to be held and cherished out of your pain. 
  3. Now what? Depending on how lost you are in your bulimic episode – yes, this is still bulimia even though food is not in the picture right now – you will talk with him. Or you will make out with him in the car in the parking lot. Or you will drive with him to a secluded spot nearby and have sex in the car. Or you will go to a motel for sex. Or you could go to one of these places and get raped by him or by more than just him if he’s the kind of man who would call his friends to join in. You could feel held while a group of others use you sexually. If so you feel hidden and lost by the fervor or grim determination of their actions, numb to any kind of eroticism and hopeful that somewhere in this experience you will find the sensation you desperately believe you want and need. You struggle to close down your mind when you feel isolated with these strangers whose voices, bodies and hands are unfamiliar. And at the same time you hope that somewhere in this chaotic, sensual, frightening and exciting mélange is the man who will know you, satisfy you, recognize you, love you and protect you forever. 

Day 8 early morning
He or they get dressed and leave. He or they may or may not say good-bye. Or you get up, get dressed and leave. You might feel sad that he or they don’t ask for your phone number. Or, if he or they ask for your phone number, you feel a crawly feeling and don’t want to give it. Or, you fight against that crawly feeling hoping that your feelings are wrong and that he or they really do care about you and will give you another opportunity to find the holding love and care you desperately seek. Maybe you got hurt, and are embarrassed that you are in pain.

Day 8 continued
You get in the car. On your drive home you stop at a bakery. You carefully select, one by one, a dozen doughnuts of different flavors. In the car, you eat every doughnut as you drive home.

Day 8 continued
You quietly let yourself in to your apartment. You run water in the bathroom to hide sound. You throw up the doughnuts. Exhausted, you collapse on the bed, fully clothed, on top of the covers and pass out.

Day 8 through 10
You are groggy, feel unreal, quick tempered, guilty, dirty, ugly and fat for days. You withdraw from other people or you interact with others while telling the lie with your body and mind that everything in your life is fine. You tell no one what happened during this episode and do your best to forget it yourself. You keep yourself consciously removed from you experience by binging and purging every day. You wait for someone to call you and make your life right. No one does.

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