I used to have a journal on here. Long time ago. Now, I mostly post in my blog on my Sparkpage, but think I may start posting here, as well. If only to stay accountable a little more publicly and not resort to self-destructive behaviour as quickly.
I haven't been here in a while. Not for lack of want. If any-thing, I very much wanted to post, but the blank white screen stared mockingly back at me as I struggled to find the words that needed to fill it. That has been the problem -- I am word-less. Voice-less, even. It's at times like these when I become really withdrawn and take solace in eating. Or, not eating, as the case is. It's at these times when purging is the most comforting gift I can give to myself. I know it's not a safe place to be. I know I need to pull myself out. I know I need to reach out to my therapist and dietician and do what-ever it takes to not go back to where I was a year ago. Rationally, all of this makes sense. It makes sense to not want to eat nothing all day or purge what-ever I do manage to take in. Even irrationally, the concept of feeding one-self for the most part makes sense. On some level though, the need or want of actually pursuing this action seems too difficult; too much of a burden. On some level, I feel "less than" food. Some-one who doesn't deserve or need it in order to live. On some level, living with-out food is far more comforting and numbing than living with it.
Of course, to those who have a healthy relation-ship with food, the concept of living more comfortably in agonising hunger is a bizarre, foreign idea. On days or weeks like these though, when I feel so small compared to others (not physically), when my life seems so different from other people's, when I'm constantly treated as "less than," when nothing has seemingly gone down the route I had picture it would, it isn't hard to idealise actually being "less than." Weighing less than. Physically being less apparent, less visible. Somewhere, somehow, I have become something separate and worthless, and have conformed to the image so many had of me for so many years. Even if the out-side picture doesn't match up to what is going on inside, even if a smile is always on my face, what I feel and what I feel I am don't match up, and it's in the crevices of this hypocrisy that my eating-disorder thrives in. Living life with your wisdom and with your honesty is the only way to fight against these self-destructive habits, but what if your honesty is that you don't feel up to the standards that have been placed on you ? What if all you feel you are is the bastard child of self-destruction, anxiety and depression ? Do you live in that honesty and allow others to see it or do you wear your confident mask to work every-day, then home, then yoga, and finally lay sleepless in bed at night, un-able to relax un-til you have reached the thousandth crunch or the 500th leg-raise, living in a sort of internal misery few could possibly imagine ? Do you live in your wisdom or do you choose internal conflict for the sake of every-one else ?
I have therapy tonight, but for some reason, these thoughts don't spill out as easily when sitting across from a well-meaning, well-intentioned, but ultimately, not well-informed therapist. She doesn't know any of these be-cause I cannot find the voice with which to speak these words. I cannot find the courage it takes to print them out and allow her in on the secret. Instead, I jest about life and talk about work. I talk about what has been consumed during the week, what has been purged...none of it with any attachment; all of it with a certain emotional distance. A certain cool-headedness that has served me well as an athlete, an employee with Children and Family Services, and a daughter in a house-hold where being "less than" was my norm in every-one's eyes. I never lose my marbles, as the saying goes. I am always calm. Always in control. Out-wardly. I'm in shambles internally.
I know where these feelings are coming from. I know it is be-cause I told my dietician, the only person in life whom I trust, that I was attacked when I was fourteen. Two weeks ago, I came clean to her and have been a mess since. I got the flu two days after telling her, followed by a stomach virus. The combination of the two caused loss of appetite and nausea, which, for the eating-disordered amongst us, means a total invitation to slide back to comforting, ordered, controlled behaviour. I know it is the shame of my confession, the silence of the six-teen years, the ramification of those actions that has caused so much conflict within me. I know it is the humiliation of knowing some-one used my body in a way that I haven't been able to make peace with. The knowledge that after suffering a certain degree of abuse at the hands of both parents, a stranger pushing me in-to my Mum's car and taking some-thing that was meant to be shared with some-one special never made logical sense. I know it is the dichotomy of feeling it was deserved and knowing no-one deserves it that causes the confusion and self-hatred that drive these behaviours. I know seeing my dietician next week will be a terror beyond any-thing I could ever find the words with which to explain. Seeing the look in her eyes, having a conversation with the one person who knows the filth that covers this body...makes me want to scrub my-self raw. I know she is a survivor, which is why I chose to tell her. She was in foster-care. She was sexually abused as a child. I was once either raped or almost raped at eight by a friend's father. It happened again at fourteen. And, between fourteen and sixteen, a substitute teacher found him-self inexplicably attracted to me. He only touched. Nothing more. But...that crawling feeling doesn't become any less because of that. If any-thing, it's a more pronounced, more visceral emotion that arises from knowing a substitute teacher, a man so gentle and kind in his words, could find him-self attracted to a naive teen-ager who looked younger than her years. I always thought his compliments were meant to raise my self-esteem, to make me believe I wasn't "less than" every-one else at school; I never thought he was saying all those nice things just to use me when-ever he subbed for any of my classes. I feel stupid now, looking back, at not seeing all the red-flags that I should have seen. Hind-sight's a bitch, I concur. I know I'm confused be-cause I don't even know what term defines my experiences. Is there one, all-encompassing, "pretty" box I can check and fold my-self in-to ? Physical abuse, emotional...sexual ? Am I a survivor of multiple rapes, of sexual assault, of childhood sexual assault, of...what ? I don't even know what it is I lived through. The only words that flash in front of my eyes are: Multiple people. How can I believe I didn't cause these issues ? How can one person allow multiple people to do this to her, yet still be seen as good and kind and intelligent in the eyes of others ? It's impossible. There is a discrepancy there.
I know all of these contribute to my loss of appetite. I know there is a reason I engage in purging. It is scrubbing my-self clean, from the very base of my rotten core. The challenge is to find a way to let some-one know. To tell my dietician how ashamed I am. To not disconnect when I see her. To make her under-stand telling her about the fourteen-year-old getting attacked took more out of me emotionally than I had anticipated it would, and that I fiercely regret it. Even if she was cool about it. Even if she thought it was courageous of me to tell her. I wish I had allowed that secret to die with me.