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If you suffer from an eating disorder now or have in the past, please email Joanna for a free telephone consultation.

 joanna@poppink.com

 

Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.

 

When I was growing up my dad worked 3 jobs at times to keep me and my siblings in private school.  My parents felt strongly that my mom should stay home and keep things going on that end, as there were many children in our family. I didn't see a lot of my dad because of this, but I always have appreciated how hard he has worked his entire life to make things better for our family.  Now that he has retired and has a limited income, he still does what he can to assist us when we get in a tight spot or two. 
I remember a time when I was about 10, my parents were having a particularly difficult time financially. My birthday was coming up and even at that young age I was able to realize that my birthday was coming at a pretty bad time for them.  Despite this, I did receive a couple of small items bought from the store, a barbie, I think, and some other little trinkets.  But what I remember the most is a Bible that my dad gave me.  Not too long before my birthday, my dad had been a pawlbearer for his best friends funeral.  At the funeral the family gave all of the pawlbearers bibles with their names engraved in the leather on the front.  My dad gave me this bible. I know it meant a lot to him to give this to me.  I saw how he had tried to scratch the gold lettering off the front to remove his first name, leaving only the last name.  Despite this attempt, most of his name still showed. It was an obvious "scar" on this precious item.  I know it bothered him that he couldn't fix it for me. 
I have this Bible to this day. I used it for years until I finally got a new women's study bible a few years ago for another birthday.  In fact, I can see the bible on a bookshelf from where I am sitting.  I have moved atleast 10 times since I was 10.  I could have easily lost this bible, or allowed it to go into storage, or be boxed up in a closet. 
I guess I could consider this a transitional object as it holds good memories for me, and will be a memory of the type of person my dad is, for long after he is gone.  My relationship with my mom has often been tumultuous, but my dad has always been so level headed. He is a man of few words, but I know that he would do anything for me.  My childhood was not easy.  I had years of sexual trauma that my parents still do not know about, as I did not disclose my maternal grandfathers abuse to my family - ever.  But I feel my dad just "gets me".  One New Years Eve a long time ago, our family played a game where we had to go around the room and describe the person next to us in one word.  My dad was sitting next to me and his word for me was "determined".  I knew he meant it in a positive sense. I carry that memory with me as well, as I feel he has always seen my strength.  I have needed this memory often in my life.

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