As I sit here writing this post at nearly one o’clock in the morning asking myself why I’m writing this post at nearly one o’clock in the morning , I feel my stomach make folds in the blanket wrapped around me as I inhale and exhale; it swells slightly with each breath.
In and out. In and out.
Each motion of it’s soft cotton blend against the cool synthetic breeze my Lasko table top fan has so kindly provided, however, comes with a burden- a burden of knowing that the driving force behind each seemingly harmonious swell is pure fat.
Why do I feel the need to mourn this?
I want to be swallowed by my over-sized sweater and rot my brain with mediocre reality television. I want to shove my finger down my throat and purge away all my sins. I want to do a thousand crunches and a thousand more leg-lifts. But perhaps, more than anything I want to scream “Fuck You!” to the world. Why? Partly because my parents are gone; there is no one here to lecture me on why curse words are tacky and gateways to teen pregnancy and various STD’s, partly because I’m completely convinced that it will make me cool and one day bring me to stardom, and partly because I am 15 percent angry and 100 percent crazy.
Why does that word- those three inglorious letters- seem to dictate my life? Why do I seem to be mostly composed of self-criticism and hardly any self-love?
I remember when my brother and I were first adopted, my parents were quick to implement rules that would help get us “on track”; to help, I guess in a way, get us on one uniform schedule. Oh, didn’t I tell you? We were “poor, troubled kids.” We “needed SOME sort of stability in our hectic lives.”
So anyways, my parents created a list that hung in the very center of the front of our fridge so that it was impossible to avoid. The harsh white of the refrigerator door against the smooth yellow notepad paper; the power each thickly bolded letter that each line possessed was inevitable.
-Take out the bathroom trash
-Take out the other bathroom trash
-Take out the kitchen trash
-Don’t watch trash
-Don’t listen to trash
-Don’t look like trash
-Don’t smell like trash
-Ask before eating
Ask before eating.
While it was a fairly reasonable rule implemented to, I’m sure, keep me and my siblings from becoming finger licking, plate scraping, binge eating, ignorant youths, I am now 99.9% sure that that was what ultimately led me to become a finger licking, plate scraping, binge eating, ignorant youth. Plain and simple.
I can’t say I remember the exact time or date the rule was finally exonerated. In fact, I’m not entirely sure there even was a specific time or date-it was almost like one day the rule was there and the next, it wasn’t, vanishing into thin air like one might do during a magic show act or after a one night stand. The rule change wasn’t intentional either. I mean, let’s face it, this is life. Whether or not we like to admit it, things change. People change. My home was changing. People were growing up, growing pubes, moving out, moving on, getting zits and getting laid. Needless to say, asking permission to eat before every Extra Chewy Chips Ahoy cookie or every bowl of Trix cereal was not exactly a top priority.
For the first time in my life, I got a taste of sweet freedom. Literally. Every bite I took was like a hit of acid on a cold winter night; complete euphoria. I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and however I wanted without fear of the consequences. So I did.
And, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I am the way I am because I hardly ever turned my homework in on time or because my birth mom never called on Sunday’s like she had promised. Maybe I am the way I am because I watched PG-13 movies at the age of 12 or because sometimes, when I got lonely, I’d plug in my old nightlight even though my parents told me I was far too old for it. Maybe I am the way I am because I too often found myself stuck in a world of wanting to grow up and staying young forever. A sort of Neverland.
I think it’s, oftentimes, easy to blame someone or something for one’s troubles and hardships but, as I begin my journey of recovery from my eating disorder, I can’t help but wonder, why?
Who am I?