Empty Wrappers

I have a checkered history with food. It didn’t really start until I got into college. It was a way for me to have control when I felt I had little. I went on a pretty restrictive diet, dropped 40lbs and was rewarded with positive attention, a boyfriend, and cute clothes. Of course I gained it back, but the damaging behaviors that led to all the great attention had taken hold.

I’ve struggled with food periodically ever since, well, maybe except recently.

Parenting Hope leaves limited time for my own problems.

Or rather, Hope’s problems are my problems.

Well, Hope continues to struggle with food.

So, now we’re struggling with food.

I remember years ago, when she came to visit me for the first time, she asked me to buy some gummy vitamins.

She ate them in one day. All of them.

We’ve since moved on to fruit snacks, PB crackers, granola bars, cereal bars…just about anything that you can get individually wrapped at Costco.  Oh, and anything that you can put in a snack size bag.

What’s both intriguing and frustrating is how she’ll leave an empty box, but hide the wrappers in her room.

It’s irrational, like I don’t see the empty boxes, can’t see how 80 snacks are gone in a few days, or how I don’t know to just look in her desk drawers for 80 fruit snack wrappers.

I tried limiting access, but I knew that wasn’t right. I mean, this stuff is primal. It’s compulsive. It’s not just emotional eating; it’s emotional ish that’s left skid marks everywhere in her life.

So, I buy more snacks. I throw away the empty boxes. I wait until she goes to goes to school and then I go and clean the wrappers out of her desk.


I’ve tried to confront her. It’s difficult because Hope avoids conflict with me like the plague. I try to be gentle.

Can we start with just properly throwing away the wrappers?

Would you like for me to prep snacks for you so that you can pace yourself and not binge?

What are you feeling when you eat a lot of snacks?

How do you feel when you finish?

What else could we do to satiate your need to eat all the snacks?

Silence. There’s only ever silence.

The whole exchange, if you can call it that, is less than 5 minutes.

I’m not really sure how bring some resolution to this issue. I know it’s a deep seated one. I see the pattern associated with it. I understand the stressors. And yet, figuring out the puzzle piece that will redirect the behavior remains a mystery.

So, I let it go…and go back to Costco.


About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at adoptiveblackmom@gmail.com, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©www.AdoptiveBlackMom.com, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

5 responses to “Empty Wrappers

  • My Perfect Breakdown

    I haven’t said this for a while, but you are truly an amazing mother and women. I keep cheering you and Hope on, and I know with your guidance you both have bright futures in front of you. Sending my love.

  • TheChroniclesofaNonBellyMama

    Friend, reading this is triggering some food stuff that is going on with Mary again…adoption finalization next month, upcoming vistit with birth mom, and according to our pediatrician this morning, adult pattern hair growth signifying possible “life” changes….aka, EFFING PUBERTY! Sooooo, hiding food, lying about food, pretending to not be hungry, only to request different things she finds more appealing….and we ask her what’s up, and she shrugs us off with the usual, “::scoff:: Nuuuuthingggg”.

    So we’ve implemented a journal. If there is somthing that we know she probably wants to talk about but cant find the words, we have her write it down, and IF she wants us to read it, she can leave it on the kitchen table…and we write little notes to her. Sometimes she just draws, and that’s ok too…but we noticed that restricting food (my wife is more about this than I am) was just making her sneak it more. It’s a suggestion, thinking outside the box kinda thing, but maybe a journal would be good. It’s a great way for them to get “attention” so to speak, but also be able to start processing some of their emotions. Works for us here, right?! LOL…might be a good way to incorporate something you love to bring you guys closer on this front…Good luck friend, and happy Thanksgiving…

  • Trauma Mama S

    I once had heartburn before bed and accidentally left a brand new, 160 count bottle of TUMS on the couch.

    When I went to bed, there were 158 TUMS.

    When I woke up… there were ZERO TUMS..

    They’d eaten ALL of the TUMS! Freaking TUMS!?!?!?

    “Didn’t they taste… gross?!” I asked after I got off the phone with poison control (TUMS will not poison you btw).

    “Well yeah… But it was candy so it’s supposed to taste good!”


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