Neverland

hair2Hello! This is a little ditty I wrote quite some time ago about facing eating disorders and the misfirings that can occur in familial situations when you are. And for those of you who are curious, yes, this actually happened to me. Sigh. Enjoy!

It started with an offhand comment.
” You’ve gained so much weight lately!”

Good old Aunt Beckha. And what could I say? My body seemed paralyzed suddenly, my hand paused where it had been unconsciously rubbing circles on the cheese burger food baby gestating inside me. My sister’s head jerked around from the couch next to me as if she had seized, staring at the woman as if she’d sworn obscenely.
My whole family knew I’d had problems with food. That’s what they called it in cautious whispers when they thought no one was listening, hands clutched around coffee cups as if clasping hands together in prayer. It was sort of an open secret. Everyone knew about it but no one ever spoke about it. Just like an obsessive compulsive uncle or that cousin that’s always too busy to show up to anything. I had been ” recovered” for well on three years now. If therapy taught me anything, however, it’s that ” recovery” has to be a decision you make for yourself, not one that’s forced on you. You have to want it for yourself or the problem never goes away, just sits festering like a three week old pot roast hiding in the back of the fridge. My sister didn’t even look at me. She simply pointed one accusing finger at dear Aunt Beckha as if she were a judge before a repeat offender, and said in her most threatening voice,

“No. Just no.”

My aunt took the hint quickly, despite her sputterings and attempted explanations. No one wanted to scrap with a girl who hauled paint for construction crews for a living. No one with any sense anyway. Marie turned to me and, giving me a supportive nod as if to say, “good riddance” before she turned back to the computer game that had been keeping her attention away from the suddenly awkward family gathering and our legion of cousins running about. Poof. Like it had never happened. The damage had been done though, the seeds of discord sown. I wouldn’t recognize them for what they were until I was laying on the floor beside the toilet while everyone slept, trying to hold my sounds of pain in so no one heard. I was no more recovered than the day they’d thrust a plate at me with saucy demands and honeyed threats. They had scooped out the worst of the infection but left the rotted meat inside to fester and putrify once again. I was lost in the Neverland, just another faceless Lost Girl. Never do this, never eat this, never hope and never ever let yourself believe that it’s over.

 

 

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