I have an eating problem/disorder. I pretty much always have done. It’s not anorexia, or bulimia…probably counts as EDNOS. But I’ve always tried to excuse it as well. “bad spell” “bad time of year” “I feel better” “I need control” “there’s no problem” “I had a big lunch.”
In truth, my eating habits are simply very unhealthy. I will pick at food. If I eat a full meal, I will more often than not sneak away and make myself sick. I get some kind of emotional release when I do – like I’m throwing up poison and hurt. I sometimes manage 2 meals-ish a day, but the idea of 3 ? Ha!!
And if I’m daring to start improving, one of my alters put me on a strict diet. Better to be stick thin and save myself the torture the abusers would put me through to *make* me thin (seriously vile and hideous). Better to feel worthless and save myself half of the pain from emotional abuse – if I already feel shit then their words mean nothing.
Live like a skeleton and then the skeleton shall live…
It worked. For a long time. I was never skinny enough for the abusers but whilst I’ve remained at 5/6 stone, the torture devices used to make me thinner (apparently, though it doesn’t work) have been used less. Their emotional abuse hurt less than it could have done, because I already believed what they said. It was a strategy that worked whilst I didn’t need self-worth to survive.
Now the world has changed. I’m no longer just trying to survive abuse. I’m trying to escape, go past being a survivor and actually become a thriver. I need to adapt my strategies. My alter no longer needs to starve me. I need to learn how to be strong enough to prevent future abuse, rather than compliant enough to survive abuse numbly.
I will never have a healthy relationship with food, I don’t think….in that I don’t believe I could ever eat food without some anxiety. Too much food has been drugged in my past and has therefore been the catalyst to some hideous amount of torture. Or, I’ve been forced to eat blood, flesh, faeces… it’s just repulsive. But means I look at food with a skeptical eye.
However. That alone does not warrant having an eating problem.
I am living as a skeleton; still living as a victim…still living in a manner which *might* keep me just 2% safer in an abusive situation. I am not living as a survivor. I am not living in a way which will prevent abuse, rather I am waiting for the abuse to happen and being more armed to cope with it.
No! I don’t want to be abused! Fuck it!
I’m tired of the morning and night-time ritual, which sets me up to feel shit all day or all night….just in case I should lose sight of how “hideous” I am. If I can’t fit my index finger horizontally between each rib, I make myself sick. This has been my routine for years. If I’m at a friends or otherwise in a place where I can’t make myself sick, I thump myself or cut my thighs instead.
Abusing myself. To protect myself against abuse. You see how totally fucked up the whole thing is? How messed up they make our heads….
I stare in the mirror at the thin and pale frame in the reflection and just feel panicked that I’m not thin enough. My hip bones jut out, my ribs exposed. My tiny stomach more vulnerable to attack. If you ignore my chest, I could pass as having the body of a child. If I stand sideways on and look in the mirror, you can actually see now where my spine is starting to strain. I am in constant pain with my back, more than ever in the last few months. I haven’t told a soul. I’m ashamed of how I am crippling myself. The dark shadow of terror weighs on me so greatly, starves me…and now I’m physically starting to look it. I try to hide under layers. I don’t want people to see how I’m killing myself.
But I don’t want to kill myself, do I? Not in this way. I don’t want to live, but I don’t want to kill myself either. I’m just…stuck, really.
I certainly don’t want to just starve and fade away.
But I have lived as the abuser’s skeletal puppet for years. Either they need me skinny for films, or just so I’m too weak to fight back. It makes me worth more, literally. More money. And this is why my head is so screwed up. I’m worth more if I’m skeletal. And yet I need to tell myself I’m worthless so if they do tell me that, it bounces off more.
Is it any wonder my self-worth is just all over the place?
Do I want to be worth their money? Do I want their approval?
I stared in the mirror tonight. Not just at my eyes, or my ribs, or my hips. I normally focus on one bit, but this time I was brave. I looked at *myself* as a whole. It was the hardest thing… because I had to see the damaged self staring back at me. I look ill. I look tiny, and vulnerable. I look like a victim. I feel damaged and it shows in my body.
I am still living as their puppet.
I saw the damage, saw past the scars but just saw the damage. Not just their damage, but how I damage myself and continue their sick cycle of abuse. I could see my skin flickering in between my ribcage, flickering my heartbeat. I could see my heartbeat. My own body was sending it’s distress rhythm.
I cried. I put my head into my hands because I could no longer stand my reflection; it frightened me. I cried into my hands and my body shook in sympathy.
They’re still abusing me, and they don’t need to say a word. Their damage is so great it’s left me abusing myself, because I didn’t know what else to do.
Now to make a very big and frightening step. To eat. To eat and gain weight until I am healthy. Because I don’t want to live as their skeleton. I don’t want to live my life with a body that’s readily prepared for abuse. I want to live my life with a body that’s readily prepared for living.
I will not be their skeleton anymore. I just won’t. I will not let them continue their sick acts by me now abusing myself. It’s no wonder I never know who I am, that I feel so lost. I live my entire life focussed on making my body their’s. It makes me feel heavy with sadness, somehow…
There’s far too much damage already been done to me. My body is tired and weak. It aches continuously. I am always cold. 20 years of horrific abuse and now me continuing to abuse it in secret, which in turn destroys my head. I won’t let them carry on abusing me.
Enough is enough. No more damage…
No more being their skeletal puppet. Time to be me…
I wonder who “me” is like…I wonder what I’m like, once the layers of trauma and abuse and fear and hurt have been removed, and I can just live for me….