Before you all jump on me and tell me I’m stupid for being upset, please give me a chance. I’ve put on weight and I’m panicked, upset and feel disgusting…and no it’s not because I’m another one obsessed with the size 0 Hollywood figure.
I can’t remember ever loving my body. I spent so much of my life hating it for betraying me, and so much of my life with it being used as a tool by abusers, that I couldn’t connect. I felt separate to my body. Like it was a parasite. It’s only *very* recently that I’ve been able to feel almost content with my body, and grateful for everything it’s done for me. Carried my babies, kept me alive, made me super-human strong with adrenaline, somehow not collapsed on me despite the abuse others and myself have inflicted onto it. There’s no denying that if I treated anyone else in the manner I treat my body – sometimes starving it, punching it, cutting it, neglecting it – I would be locked up. When I have a fibromyalgia flare up and I’m in pain I feel like I could hate it, but then I think well, I’m not surprised you hurt too. My body was traumatised and hurt too. Even by me.
I was doing okay. I’d withdrew for a while and my echo alter had taken over. She can eat better than me; doesn’t share my body image issues, and my fear of losing control. She doesn’t flinch when she looks in a mirror. So I’ve come back and I’ve put on weight. I don’t know how much but I can tell it’s a fair amount – my jeans are tight around the waist for the first time in ages. I tried to cope, trying to remind myself that this was healthier, that going up to a size 8/10 would be better for me. I tried to say I’d have more energy, but whilst currently in a fibro flare up it feels like if anything I have less energy. I tried to convince myself I look better, and then saw pictures and all I could see was fat. And I panicked. I’m disgusting. Worse, if I’m fat and they ever get hold of me again they’ll torture me until I’m thin. I’m in danger. I need to be thin again. Warped logic, I know. I tried telling myself that.
But I’ve cracked. Yesterday I made myself sick, telling myself I’d do it only once, just to make myself feel better. But it’s like some other twisted form of addiction. The rush I got when I threw up and felt the badness leaving me was intense. Immediately, I made myself sick again, to have the same rush. I felt like I could feel poison leaving me. If I make myself thin, then nobody can torture me until I am. If I make myself thin, nobody can emotionally grind me into the ground for being ‘fat’. This morning I stared at my stomach, where the faint scars of ‘fat fat fat’ are. The result of the abuse from my ex. I remember that when I carved those words into me, my stomach was flat. It no longer is. I panicked again. If I’m bigger now than when she was abusing me, then I’ll be abused forever and it’ll be worse. I made myself sick again, again vowing to do it once but deep down knowing I was lying to myself. I felt the rush again, and hid my frame under a jumper. Hid the disgust and shame. The fear.
I tried to make myself busy over lunch, deliberately planning meetings. My mirror alter wasn’t fooled. She jumped in when I turned my back and ate. I came back and wasn’t near a toilet. She’d won. I don’t want it to become me against her. We work as a brilliant team. We both know this. I think she’s testing me. What would I sacrifice first, my need for total control and stick thin-ness, or her? Neither. I’d punish myself in some other way, and instead thumped my thighs for being so huge.
She keeps saying, “but you’re beautiful as you are…you look great.” That’s not the point. It’s not beauty I’m striving for. I hate flinching or bursting into tears whenever I look in a mirror. I hate feeling bigger and living in fear, waiting for someone somewhere to just appear, just as my ex did, and grind me into the ground with cruel words. My scars sting, as though they’re reminding me.
I was called disgusting for so long, and for being skinnier than I am now. Only when I was stick-thin was I called a “good girl.” I know I don’t want their approval, but that pattern has screwed up my head. I believe I’m only worthwhile when I’m a stick insect. When I’m not, I feel disgusting and fearful.
Without even realising, I’ve been pulling my skin, trying to make it tight and my bones to come back. A little nagging voice keeps whispering in my ear you’re going to make yourself ill. You barely have any energy as it is, what chance do you stand if you get back to five stone…? I don’t argue. I know the voice is right. But the urges and emotions are more powerful. Each time I throw up it’s ‘just this once’ and ‘I won’t do it again, I promise.’ Who am I making that promise to? Who am I lying to? Myself? My reflection in the mirror. My friends? The professionals? They all will know I’m lying. Me, who cannot lie for fear of being tortured, and yet lies so that I can torture myself. Jesus how they have fucked up my head…
I feel hideous. And I’m so scared somebody will hurt me because of it 😥 I can remember the post-it notes on the fridge, ‘food again? you fat cow.’ I can remember her making me stand in front of a mirror, naked, and her making me list my flaws. If I missed any, she hit me or screamed at me, until I realised what other flaw she must mean. Initially I saw no flaws. By the end of her abuse, I not only saw the disgusting mess she saw, but I despised my reflection more than she ever could have done. I saw my reflection in the way she wanted me to, and afterwards I would curl up in a ball, sobbing, and cut myself until I felt the badness go away. Then she would say “I love you.”
And I believed her.
And the men that raped me and called me fat, as though I didn’t feel vile enough already. How they’d torture me if I wasn’t thin enough. The worst kind of thin-torture.
I’m terrified of it all coming back.
They’ve made me terrified of myself.
So this is why I’m scared, upset and disgusted at the fact I’ve put on weight 😥 😥