As I sit here on the lounge chair, I look out at the other women in the residential house. Some are crocheting, some are journaling, others are simply napping. I blog. I know that none of them know of my blog because none of them know of me. I hate days like I had today. I felt so invisible, inconsequential, and unimportant. I felt overlooked and tried so hard to keep myself in control. I can never allow myself to be in crisis like the other clients can. They break down, cry, wail, and scream. I wonder how much better I MIGHT be if that were me; maybe staff would know how I writhe in my skin and the hysterics and chorus of voices and thoughts in my head make me want to die. If I didn’t have to maintain my perfect appearance and “togetherness” maybe people would see that I just hurt and ache and silently scream what others verbally yell out.
But that doesn’t happen and it didn’t happen today. I was no less than eight years old at almost any given moment today. How can that be? It certainly isn’t logical, but make no mistake. All damn day I felt eight years old, but at the same time I felt so blank and empty. The eight year old kept sending me images of the old neighborhood. She’s getting really good at that, I write with a slight smirk. Images of houses and yards I played in as a child. These aren’t just images but feelings and emotions as well that she’s sending me. It is so frustrating because I can’t do much with them. There is no narrative or story with me; just fragmented images and feelings. These fragments bring up so much frustration which is why the day was so shitty. I felt like I was just being badgered inside and I was pummeled by my thoughts, yet I couldn’t let anyone know. People asked, R., are you okay. A I could say no, but I couldn’t verbalize what was wrong. I couldn’t articulate it. Mostly because I can’t lose control, can’t give up the persona of perfection, can’t let myself fall. This will be my death.
As hopeful as I’ve tried to become and slightly still am, I am by no means ignorant of the grip my eating disorder still has on me. I’ve almost forgotten about it because of the work on the trauma. But my food rituals and food categories and thoughts and exercises remind me I am very much of an anorexic mind set. I’ve even lost ten pounds that I restored from the first residential treatment center. That is how sly and cunning my eating disorder is. I keep forgetting it.
I know I have to get better now. There will be no other chances. I’ve been in and out of treatment too much. Angie is ready to get back to our school work. There is more to life than eating disorders and trauma. I know that. I just need help in parlaying that into the actual courage I need to fall, to be imperfect, to be messy, to heal. Today I couldn’t do it. Tomorrow holds the promise of recovery that today sadly relinquished.
I hate days like this.