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Jun. 7th, 2010

Random thoughts

You never come back, not all the way. Always there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier thin as the glass of a mirror, you never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and no one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad.

There is never a sudden revelation, a complete and tidy explanation for why it happened, or why it ends, or why or who you are. You want one and I want one, but there isn't one. It comes in bits and pieces, and you stitch them together wherever they fit, and when you are done you hold yourself up, and still there are holes and you are a rag doll, invented, imperfect. And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way.

There is, in fact, an incredible freedom in having nothing left to lose.

I wanted to kill the me underneath. That fact haunted my days and nights. When you realize you hate yourself so much, when you realize that you cannot stand who you are, and this deep spite has been the motivation behind your behavior for many years, your brain can’t quite deal with it. It will try very hard to avoid that realization; it will try, in a last-ditch effort to keep your remaining parts alive, to remake the rest of you. This is, I believe, different from the suicidal wish of those who are in so much pain that death feels like relief, different from the suicide I would later attempt, trying to escape that pain. This is a wish to murder yourself; the connotation of kill is too mild. This is a belief that you deserve slow torture, violent death.

We turn skeletons into goddesses and look to them as if they might teach us how not to need.

You begin to forget what it means to live. You forget things. You forget that you used to feel all right. You forget what it means to feel all right because you feel like shit all the time, and you can't remember what it was like before. People take the feeling of full for granted. They take for granted the feeling of steadiness, of hands that do not shake, heads that do not ache, throats not raw with bile and small rips of fingernails forced to haste to the gag spot. Stomachs that do not begin to wake up in the night, calves and thighs knotting in muscles that are beginning to eat away at themselves. they may or may not be awakened at night by their own inexplicable sobs.

Bear in mind, people with eating dissorders tend to be both competitive and intelligent. We are incredibly perfectionistic. We often excel in school,athletics,artistic pursuits. We also tend to quit without warning. Refuse to go to school,drop out,quit jobs,leave lovers,move,lose all our money. We get sick of being impressive. Rather,we tire of having to seem impressive. As a rule,most of us never really believed we were any good in the first place.

I began to measure things in absence instead of presence.

And so I went through the looking glass, stepped into the netherworld, where up is down and food is greed, where convex mirrors cover the walls, where death is honor and flesh is weak. It is ever so easy to go. Harder to find your way back.

My god! people say. You have so much self-control! And later: My god. You're so, so sick. When people say this, they turn their heads, you've won your little game. You have proven your thesis that no-body-loves-me-every-body-hates-me, guess-I'll-just-eat-worms. You get to sink back into your hospital bed, shrieking with righteous indignation. See? you get to say. I knew you'd give up on me. I knew you'd leave.

Never, never underestimate the power of desire. If you want to live badly enough, you can live. The great question, at least for me, was: How do I decide I want to live?

Hatred is so much closer to love than indifference.

This is the weird aftermath, when it is not exactly over, and yet you have given it up. You go back and forth in your head, often, about giving it up. It’s hard to understand, when you are sitting there in your chair, having breakfast or whatever, that giving it up is stronger than holding on, that “letting yourself go” could mean you have succeeded rather than failed. You eat your goddamn Cheerios and bicker with the bitch in your head that keeps telling you you’re fat and weak: Shut up, you say, I’m busy, leave me alone. When she leaves you alone, there’s a silence and a solitude that will take some getting used to. You will miss her sometimes...There is, in the end, the letting go.

It is, at the most basic level, a bundle of contradictions: a desire for power that strips you of all power. A gesture of strength that divests you of all strength.

But in some ways, the most significant choices one makes in life are done for reasons that are not all that dramatic, not earth-shaking at all; often enough, the choices we make are, for better or for worse, made by default.

I grew into it. It grew into me. It and I blurred at the edges, became one amorphous, seeping, crawling thing.

And when, after fifteen years of bingeing, barfing, starving, needles and tubes and terror and rage, and medical crises and personal failure and loss after loss - when, after all this, you are in your twenties and staring down a vastly abbreviated life expectancy, and the eating disorder still takes up half your body, half your brain, with its invisible eroding force, when you have spent the majority of your life sick, when you do not yet know what it means to be 'well,' or 'normal,' when you doubt that those words even have meaning anymore, there are still no answers. You will die young, and you have no way to make sense of that fact.
You have this: You are thin.

This is the very boring part of eating disorders, the aftermath. When you eat and hate that you eat. And yet of course you must eat. You don’t really entertain the notion of going back. You, with some startling new level of clarity, realize that going back would be far worse than simply being as you are. This is obvious to anyone without an eating disorder. This is not always obvious to you.

When you are mad, mad like this, you don't know it. Reality is what you see. When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else's reality, it's still reality to you.

The anorexic operates under the astounding illusion that she can escape the flesh, and, by association, the realm of emotions.

The idea of my future simultaneously thrilled and terrified me, like standing at the lip of a very sheer cliff- I could fly, or fall. I didn't know how to fly, and I didn't want to fall. So I backed away from the cliff and went in search of something that had a clear, solid trajectory for me to follow, like hopscotch. 


May. 26th, 2010

Life and Death

I knew this discussion was going to happen, and it happened last night. I knew something was bothering April, she had been quiet all night. I had asked and asked, but she just brushed me off. Finally at the end of the night before we went to bed, she sat me down at she asked me, "Are you suicidal". I felt as if she had punched me in the face. I said "no". She asked me again, and again I said no. She said I have to know the truth, I have to know. I also need you to call your insurance company and find out their policy on hospitalization. Once again, punched in the face. I know it was probably written all over my face because she stared to explain. She said..."Sarah, your face is not a face....it is a skeleton with skin stretched over it, I can't hug you without checking for new bones poking out, I can't ask about your day without worrying that you are lying to me about what you have eaten. We can't live like this. Our family is worried about you. They love you. They ask me everyday. They are worried sick. I keep begging them to trust me, to trust Karen, but how far can we trust Karen...is she waiting for you to get to rock bottom? You are almost there sweetheart, you can't stand up without almost falling down. So, call your insurance company because I would rather put you in the hospital and have you hate me than watch you continue to kill yourself." We talked a little bit more, well mostly her talking because I didn't know what to say at this point. She thinks that I will most likely lose my job soon because I am becoming a liability. I don't know about that, I work my ass off. Even when I have no ass to work off, I work my ass off. Then right before we went to bed, she told me something that rocked me, I can't get it out of my head...she said, "my biggest fear is that I will have to bury you". How can I do this to her? How can she love me so much when all I do is hurt her?

May. 20th, 2010


Hello rock bottom.....I'm Sarah, I hate you.

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May. 19th, 2010


It is so quiet in this hospital room, only the sounds of my own breathing and the machines turning on and off, beeping intermittently. Mozz resting comfortably after taking the pain medication. This leaves me alone in a sterile hospital room...a sterile dark hospital room. alone with my thoughts. my thoughts and memories. Memories that have so many holes. So many holes that will never be filled. Villans with no faces, no names. This fear and anger rising within me as this movie plays over and over in my head, these faceless people taking everything from me over and over and over. I am losing control.

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May. 16th, 2010


I have been sitting at the barn for hours, trying to make sense of everything going through my head. I have been through some pretty painful stuff, I have survived so many heartbreaks, I spent 17 years getting the shit kicked out of me on a daily basis, but this is by far the worst pain I think I have ever felt. I want to call it betrayal, but that word doesn't even come close to covering the act that he commited. He is evil, he is a monster. How could anyone do this to another human being, much less someone of their own flesh and blood. Then not to feel any remorse, any shame. How can anyone be so cold, so evil? That night changed my life forever...and now I almost wish I didn't know. It hurts too much to know the truth. When I sent that letter, wanting to know what happened that night, I KNEW that his response would be that it was accidental. He just fucked up, gave me the wrong drug. He never knew what happened to me that night, he hasn't lived the past 10 years knowing that he sold me for a bag of blow that he used. He fucking sold me...goddamn it!!! I am so angry, so fucking angry. I just want to make him feel one ounce of the pain that he has caused me by his letter. By the fact that he doesn't give a shit about the fact that I am scarred, I am damaged goods. I am so fucked up because of him. He's my brother, he is supposed to protect me...but what the fuck did I expect, no one in my family has ever protected me. That night is the reason that I have so much physical scar tissue, why we can't inseminate when I ovulate on the right side...because his fucking friends scarred me...10 years later I am still having to face the results of his heartless actions. And then to find out that he was there while it was happening....OMG, how can he live with himself? He watched them rape me...who knows how many people, how many times, with what....fuck. I just want to scream and never stop. I am losing my mind...I swear I am losing my fucking mind. I have never felt so many emotions at one time. I fell like I am falling apart.
Karen wants me to consider hypnosis to separate the emotion from the memory and try to work through it that way. I was willing to try it, but then it hit me...my biggest fear is that he was actually an active participant...I don't know that I can handle that. I don't know if I would be able to bounce back from that. Plus I don't really believe in all that hypno-therapy bull anyway.
Ok, you probably think I am certifiably nuts now, and I am having second thoughts on even posting this. I do feel better having it all out...being able to write down that IT HAPPENED...it really happened. And it wasn't my fault...it wasn't my fault...it wasn't my fault. For 10 years I have told myself that it was my fault, I am the one who got peer pressured into taking what I thought was X. If I had only been strong enough to say no, if I had only been smart enough...but now I know. it wasn't my fault. Please forgive me for virtually exploding on you.

May. 10th, 2010

(no subject)

Sitting in front of me in a sealed white envelope is a letter from my brother. I am terrified to open it. Terrified of my reaction to his words. How much I will hurt myself to fight off the feelings. I can't can't can't....I am so pathetic.

Happy flippin' mother's day....Mom called on Saturday and wanted to meet up on Sunday for mother's day. She sounded sincere and halfway sober. I agreed against my better judgement. We decided to meet in Aiken at the IHOP at 4pm. Already nervous about meeting her, nervous about being in a restarurant. I went with a belly full of butterflies. I got there around 3:45, got some coffee and waited....and waited...and waited. At 5:00 I was starting to get worried...I just knew that something bad had happened to her. So, I called her. She slurred..."oh, I knew I had forgotten something...just glad it wasn't anything important"....and she laughed, fucking laughed at me.

I am the idiot for thinking that she could change. Thinking that she could really want to spend time with me...not like I am important or anything. I opened myself up to be hurt, AGAIN...because I just can't seem to get it through my stupid head that she isn't going to change, she isn't going to love me, there isn't anything I can do or prove to her that will make it any different. And that breaks my heart.

So....do I open the letter, or do I throw it away.     I wish I had the answer.

Apr. 22nd, 2010

My Truth

I have been keeping a journal of "TRUTHS" through my treatment. The facts behind my lies, and my secrets. The real meat of what is happening that I can't tell anyone. I have to get them out, can't keep living this lie day in and day out. But I have found that I am writing in my truth journal less and less, so let's hope that it countinues to improve.

Truths....Beginning the night after I went to the hospital..in no particular order

--you know how my stomach makes noises about all the time-yeah i know i said its cause it was digesting but to be honest the only thing its digesting is itself.
--i didn't eat at work.i never eat at work.
--its not just a little diet,i dont just want to lose a pound or two,i wont be eating crap with you again soon
--I have acid reflex not because of anxiety but because whenever I eat more than a small amount it gets shoved back up my esophagus. Please stop forcing me to do so.
--I didn't eat before I got home, I never eat before I get home.
--I don't have all of the allergies that I lie to you about.
--I am not a vegetarian
--I feed half my food to the dog under the table
--My nose bleeds not because of allergies, but because of the stomach acid that burns my sinuses when I purge.
-- I don't have a headache, I just don't want to eat
-- It's not a diet, it's so much more.
--When you accused me of purging, and I flipped out on you and made you apologize because there was no real evidence (and then you felt bad) - I had purged, right before you got home. I just would do anything to keep you from knowing HOW bad it still is.
--those cuts you see arent accidents. i do that to myself.
--i have not lost weight because im stressed,
--the weight loss IS intentional
--yes I have bought new clothes, which are exactly the same as the old ones but in a smaller size
--yes im eating steamed vegies because i have an upset stomach, but i upset it myself with laxatives.
--no i did not eat anything while i was cooking for you
--i am 8lbs lighter than you think I am
--No im not happy and i do cry all the time when i am alone
--No, I'm not even going to try to love myself. Not even for you. It's not possible and I don't want to.
--My grandma never sent me to your pharmacy to buy laxatives, they were for me, so were the razor blades.
--I will never forgive my brother.
--My "recovery" is all in your head. You believe what I tell you because you can't handle the truth.
--Those aren't vitamins.
--I am a workaholic becuase it keeps me busy and unable to constantly think about food.
--I am a workaholic because when I come home all you want to talk about is what I have eaten/not eaten.
--I am terrified that you will leave.
--I hide my feelings/actions from you because I love you too much to let you know who I really am.
--I'm scared of being alone.
--I take more diet pills than it reccomends on the bottle.
--I don't want to be thin. I want to be shockingly, unhealthily skinny
--I don't have a headache...I don't want to have sex because I am afraid you will see how much weight I have actually lost.
--I can't tell you about how bad things are. I know you're concerned, and it's the concern that kills me. You find out I'm feeling bad, and then you feel bad. Knowing that I make you feel bad makes me feel even worse.
--I can't tell you anything because it makes me more depressed - even though the only thing I want to do in the world is tell you everything!
--I don't know how to trust you.
--After hearing how useless, worthless, stupid, and unwanted I was...after hearing this my whole life, from my first memories, I don't know how to love myself.
--I know you love me, I know you would never hurt me, but this thing is bigger and rooted deeper than anything you could ever imagine.
--I lie. I lie to all of you almost daily. I DO purge, I HAVE started taking laxatives again, I DON'T care how sick I'll get again. And yes, I do want to lose weight more than I want to make you happy. But I know, deep inside being skinny will make you proud.
--My apathy would scare me, if I wasn't too apathetic to care about my apathy.
--All I've ever wanted from you was for you to care. That's it.
--Why yes, I have lost weight, and I HAVE done it on purpose. It's not just stress.
--It wasn't me, it was you.
--I hope if I can show you how much I hurt that you'll forgive me.
--I am scared all the time
--I pretend to be strong
--i carry 7 different diet pills with me at all times
--I wish i believed you when you said i was beautiful
--It's not chocolate, It's laxitives disguised as chocolate
--Im sorry that im not sorry
--But you'll never know any of this...And that makes me feel clever
--You abused me as a child, I learned how to abuse myself from you.
--And you....you just stood there and watched as if nothing was happening. How could you let her do that to me. You are just as guilty.
--I'm so fucking scared.
-- Don't look at me like that, it kills me to see I only cause pain to you
--They are not cat scratches, we don't even have a fucking cat.
--The guilt that you put on me does not make me want to get better, it makes me realize how much I don't deserve you.
--I don't run the water so that you can't hear me pee...I run the water so you don't hear me puking.
--I love you, but I know I hurt you. That makes me hate myself.

If my ED could talk....it would say

Oh wait....it does talk, in fact it never freaking shuts up!!! But if others could hear it this is what it would say.... this is the mantra I hear....

You told her she was not good enough, you hit her, he abused her...this is what you get
It doesn't really matter if I disappear. You can't see me anyways.
Please don't hurt yourself anymore...
She's not there yet...not even close.
I can be perfect, just let me keep trying
Please validate her pain.
Can't you see what I see? She needs to have something good about herself- some form of strength. She's worthless. Why do you even care any more?
She finally found something that she is good at....too bad it is killing her
You should have watched what you said around her, she was never stupid."
She's hurting.
Can't you tell?
Somebody save her please
Tell her she's enough
That she's fine just the way she is

Apr. 8th, 2010

random thoughts

So, a few things that Karen told me this week have really been on my mind.

1. She told me that during my childhood and adolesence, my ED probably saved my life. But now, it was time to let it go. I had never thought of it like that. I never thought of my ED as a safety net, or something that was beneficial to me. Looking back, I don't know that I agree or disagree, it just confuses me.

2. She warned me that this was coming. The "WTF" stage of grieving. Why did this happen to me. Why was I born into such a dysfunctional family, why was a abused, why was I put through so many things that no one, especially a child, should ever be put through. Why why why. I am angry. I am angry with God, angry with the universe, angry that I wasn't given a chance to be anything but FUCKED UP. Which I have gotten really good at. I never had a chance....I was destined to be a disaster waiting to happen. Like a ticking time bomb. What did I ever do to deserve this?

Oh, and mom is drinking again...life continues to fuck me.


I feel like the shadow behind the person that you think I am.

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