2010 – Half A Slice Of Chocolate Cake?

03 Jan 2010

Half a slice of chocolate cake 

I’m guessing that you have had a difficult year.  The chances are that, if you had not had a
difficult year, you would not be reading this now. 

Quite possibly it has been merely the latest in a series
of difficult years.  Or an even more challenging
year than the difficult years that preceded it.  

And what has made your year so difficult? 

The feelings of worthlessness that have grown out of your
relationship with an abusive man.  

Just before Christmas I was working with one woman whose
sense of self-worth had been badly eroded by her abusive partner.  Curiously, it reminded me of a story by Lora
Brody that I first read many years ago. 

Once upon a time, I believed that if I tried hard and long
enough, I would eventually be able to fill my abusive husband’s bottomless love
tank.  Those were the years when I
cooked and baked like a maniac.  The
then husband loved food, and I believed that if I filled him full enough of
great food, he would end up loving me. 

Yes, I now realize that was wishful thinking on my part.  Still, it is no more  – and no less – crazy than other wishes and
fantasies that abused women entertain.

Despite living in the UK, I had discovered that the best American
cookbooks are amazing.  I cooked through
some of the best baking books; books by Maida Heatter, Rose Levy Beranbaum, and
Lora Brody.  My then husband, child, dog,
and kitchen units were constantly stuffed with chocolate.  

It never translated into love, but in true abused woman
fashion, the penny never dropped. It never dawned on me that there was
absolutely nothing to be gained by doing more of something that didn’t work. 

When I wasn’t obsessively cooking, I was obsessively
reading cookbooks.  In “Growing Up On
The Chocolate Diet”, Lora Brody recounts the first meal she had in her future
husband’s house.  She was 15, and a most
unadventurous eater.  She had fallen
head over heels in love with her friend’s older brother.  In order to impress him, she had to tackle
all the foods she dreaded most at one meal: avocado, blue cheese, chicken skin,
Brussels sprouts.  She ate what she
could, cut the rest into tiny pieces and pushed the pieces around on her plate,

For dessert, her hostess produced a magnificent chocolate
cake – one of Lora’s great passions.  Looking at the young Lora, she said that she hated wasting food,
and so would offer Lora no more than half a piece of cake… 

How does this relate to abused women? 

We have all been in a place where it feels as though life –
or more precisely, our relationship – is offering us only the things we find
most difficult to stomach.  We stomach
as much as we possibly can and then, eventually, we get up from the table.

But here’s the limiting belief that I hear from clients
all the time; the same belief that I once held. 

We believe that all that life will offer us in the future
at best, if we are lucky – is half a slice of chocolate cake.  

We believe that to those of us to whom little has been
given in the past, little will be given in the future.  

There is an element of truth in that.  If we wait for things to be given to us, we
may well not receive much that nurtures us. 

But why would we wait? 

The moment you walk away from the table of your abusive
relationship, you get the right to make choices for yourself.  You get to choose: 

  • where you will sit in the future
  • who you will sit with
  • who you will break bread with
  • who you share your company with 

Don’t believe me? 

That’s the problem.  (You still confuse what your abusive partner said with the truth.)

Your belief is based on your experience.   

That doesn’t mean that it is right.  

In many ways we live in a blessed time in history.  We have more freedom now to create the life
we want for ourselves than ever before.  

You see it happen around you all the time, just as I do.  If other people can do it – and they can
– that means it can be done.  Which
means that you, too, can do it.  

Not today, perhaps. 
And maybe not tomorrow.  But hold
that intention and it will happen.  

If you are prepared to focus a mere 10% of the energy on
creating a life for yourself that you wasted on loving an abusive man, that’s a
lot of energy.  In fact, that is more
than enough energy to make it happen

With a new decade starting, are you prepared to settle for
half a slice of chocolate cake, if you are lucky?

Will you decide that you are worthy of a whole slice and
insist on nothing less? 

Or will you finally wake up to yourself, say: “Hey,
I’m worth it.  It’s allowed.”
and create
the finest chocolate cake for yourself? 

Wishing you a decade of joy, fulfilment, self-worth… and the
chocolate cake of your dreams.


Warm wishes,




Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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