I’m not going to lie, this has been excruciating. What a shock. This weekend has been trial after trial after trial. We have a Saturday program from around 9am to 2pm. We bring our snack and have it at the place we go to, then do the activity, then go out to eat at a restaurant. I haven’t been out to eat since my last treatment. Before that, I don’t remember, maybe last Fall?
The activity is usually something fun and this week it was getting either a manicure or pedicure. I wanted a pedicure but I have problems with my feet and didn’t want to chance it during treatment so opted for the manicure. That also was a mistake. It was very painful because I am severely dehydrated which effects the skin around my nails (by choice, an eating disorder thing) so should have stopped but I didn’t. I never do polish but he convinced me to do the gel. I did clear and yeah, they are all shiny and pretty now. It might actually help with me peeling nails so who knows. 🙂
Off to the restaurant. I ordered a sandwich which fulfilled my 2 carbs, 4 proteins, and 1 lipid (fat) requirement. She said it probably covered the calories of the soymilk so that was fine. Everyone else got salads so they were basically eating lettuce and some meat. Why were they allowed to get away with that and I had to eat everything??? As the meal progressed I felt more and more horrible about eating carbs so I just ate the meat and maybe 1/2 a piece of bread. I found out later I could have talked privately to the RA so I could manage. I was also super triggered that one of the girls is so thin I could see the extra hair on her arms. Why can’t I get that thin to get that? I’m freezing all the time and she is walking around in a tank top. I used to shave my arms all the time (tattoos) but haven’t since my last surgery. I don’t actually grow any hair on my arms anymore which is really weird. I’ve never mentioned that to anyone till now.
In IFS, the form of therapy in the progrm, we find the parts of ourselves that are trying to protect that vulnerable part we hide away. Mine is like a soldier, or guard, that has decided that if I eat at all it will kill me. I think I started thinking like that because of the occasional purge. I never got anything out of those except the horror that I might die, especially since I’m older now. I disciplined myself over time to eat less and less in order to be safe, to stay alive. I have another part of myself that feels I have to eat so I don’t get in trouble. Hmm, I think I might have written al this in my last post? I’m still a little foggy. My nutritionist and therapist both say this is due to malnutrition. I have a hard time believing that because I look perfectly okay. Anyway, the part of myself that is keeping me safe by not eating is furious right now (Sunday morning). I wasn’t going to have dinner last night. I had a protein shake instead and eventually, 2 hours later, had my carb and lipid (fat). I also had my evening snack… anger, anger, anger. The part of me, the recovery self so to speak, wasn’t angry but I could feel it whelming up deep inside me. I woke up this morning feeling the same but had breakfast anyway. I’m doing it because I have to, not because I want to. The problem with that is, if I were to get discharged soon, I’d go right back to behavior. I feel so hopeless.
In the afternoon several of us were going to the mall to the ceramics place. Here’s the short of it. One of the signs I wrote down as a clue of going backwards this weekend is withdrawing so I thought this would be helpful. We got there and the other girls decided to leave me, without asking or explanation and go shopping instead. I felt hurt and abandoned. It’s silly but I think it shattered me because I was so vulnerable; sitting alone, confused. I was driving so I texted them and said I was leaving soon. When we got back to the house I told them how I felt. They hadn’t realized so that was that. They don’t feel bad because it was all just a misunderstanding to them. I still feel hurt and a little betrayed. I’m yet again the outsider, alone. I lost my will to bother trying but will continue. I don’t feel I have a support system anymore but maybe that’s good because I don’t at home. Still, it’s worse to have it and lost it then to not have it at all. This exacerbated the parts activation I mentioned above.
This past week in poetry group we read the poem: Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. We then had to journal about it or write a poem, or whatever else we felt. I journaled in the form of a poem, or maybe prose (?). I took words from the poem and started my writing with that. It is the first line in quotes.
“Let your body love what it loves.”
Doesn’t that sound so simple? So easy? Yet, no, it is foreign to me, to many.
But why? Loving is so natural! Isn’t it? Shouldn’t I know how to love? But I do know how to love! I love the trees, the animals, humanity, the Earth, the Stars… I love my car, my neighbors, my home. I love that I can bake, crochet, laugh, cry.
Am I not my body?
So why can’t I let my body love what it loves? Guilt, betrayal, pain, sadness, weakness. These are not what my body loves but it is what we, I and my body, live with.
I want to be free, I want to let my body be free – oh the wonders – the cool breeze on my face, choosing soft fabric for the sensation on my skin, having something fun to eat just for the pleasure of it.
But no, recoil, fear… I will lose control if I let my body love what it loves. I will lose everything — despair — I will gain so much — hope. Back and forth, back and forth, who will win, who will lose? I will win, I will lose!
I am my body but I am afraid.
Help me —- I will walk forward and together we will see what happens.