“I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHAT I TOLD YOU PIA! YOU GAVE BIRTH TO MY SEED AND DIDN’T SAY SHIT! YOU SAID WHAT IF, OL STUPID FAT BITCH!...”
Character Spotlight: Pia Milton
Mother. If you were to ask Pia Milton the question, “who are you?”, her answer would most likely be mother. Her daughter was her entire world. She truly felt that her daughter was all she had. Pia had a mother who considered her to be her “most disappointing child”, a father who never advocated for her, and brothers who were the sole causes of her trauma. Therefore, she felt that she had no one until she gave birth to Violet. Violet was conceived during a one-night stand to Homer, a man who specifically stated that he couldn’t care less whether or not she had the baby. Because of his carelessness, she decided to raise the baby without Homer having knowledge of Violet’s existence. So, to her, Violet was literally all she had.
As a child, Pia was the center of an experiment gone wrong. Her older brothers, wanting to see how long it would take firefighters to respond to a crisis, set her on fire. And although her mother had always considered her to have a weight problem, after the fire incident, she had gained even more weight. Her mother dealt with Pia’s weight gain and eating disorder by starving her and forcing her to exercise. Although she survived the fire, she was permanently scarred both physically and mentally by the words and actions of her immediate family.
Unfortunately, in the Black community where there is a disproportionate amount of trauma and toxic stress, the percentage of Black women being diagnosed with eating disorders is on the rise. Although eating disorders like anorexia are less common for Black women, recent studies have shown that Black teenagers are 50% more likely to exhibit bulimic behavior (www.nationaleatingdisorders.org). Unhealthy eating behaviors, like binging and purging, are usually triggered by toxic stress and/or traumatic events. Due to the neurobiological effects that food has on the brain, the ingestion of certain foods over time serves as a comfort and/or pleasure, similar to substance abuse.
Although healing from food addiction includes strategies such as adopting a healthy eating regimen and incorporating exercise into your schedule, true healing also includes finding inner peace and satisfaction within the soul. For Pia, that is what Violet provided. Pia had always had a void in her life when it came to unconditional love. And although Pia had suffered from a traumatic event and had been physically, mentally, and verbally abused by her family, in the end, it was her child who provided the unconditional love that her soul needed. In turn, she chose to to channel all of her energy and emotion into loving, caring, and protecting her child by any means...just like a mother is supposed to do.