Hiding Shame

When did guilt obviate
the need for sustenance?

This deipnophobia paralyzing
heartless stares dredge up

my truth: insatiable hunger
need to stuff down emotion

the certainty that I deserved
the abuse – endless shame

My fork traces the outlines
separates food groups

My mind makes mental notes
of what I’ll gorge on later.

(Deipnophobia is the fear of dining in public. I watched my older sister avoid eating when with others, and then gorge afterwards. I had not known there was a term for it until I came across this prompt. Image my own.)

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

21 thoughts on “Hiding Shame”

  1. Amazing poem — “Deipnophobia” — wow. Same as you, did not know there was a term. I have one friend who does the same, or must, I believe, based on obvious physical indicators. I think I also used to do this as a teen, but to a much milder extent.

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