Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Here's the truth, I've been in an abusive relationship for too long and it's time to move on.  I've been belittled.  I've been insulted.  I've been made to feel worthless.  Do you remember that quote "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent"?  Well Eleanor had it right, I've let this happen and it's time to put a stop to the madness.

I'm taking back my life.  I'm taking charge of my future.  I'm moving on.

My abuser has a name.  Before you start calling the police and reporting a domestic violence situation let me let you in on a little secret, it's not the husband.  Him and I are rock solid, it's the other person in our relationship.  His name is ED.  No, that's not his full name.  He signs his hurtful words and underhanded plots with his real name, Eating Disorder.

Yep, that's right.  I've been fighting ED for years now and I'm tired of it.  He's been sneaky, he has told me that because I'm not anorexic or bulimic that I don't have a problem.  Ha, that's a lie.  Any unhealthy relationship with food falls under ED's domain. 

He's been telling me lies.  Here's an example.

ED:  You don't really think you'll ever be healthy/thin/ strong do you?
Me:  Well, I'd really like to be healthy.
ED: You know it's never going to happen so why bother?
Me:  You're probably right, I don't want to be that person anyways.
ED:  It's too much work and you know you're too lazy anyways, I'd give up if I were you.

Nice guy huh?

ED:  The kids want you to make cookies so you have two choices, you can have no cookies or you can have them all.
Me:  What if I just want one?
ED: Ya, like that's ever worked before.  You know you can't do it so don't even bother.  You have no self control.
Me:  You're right, I should probably just eat until my stomach hurts.  I can always start tomorrow.
ED:  Good plan.  Tomorrow would be perfect.

It took me a long time to put a name to this kind of thinking because I had always assumed that I was the one telling myself these hurtful things.  Eventually I started to believe that every person was on a mission to hurt me.  Every time someone said something nice to me I was certain they were lying.  After all why would anyone believe anything good about me?

ED is sneaky.  ED gets into every part of your life and there is nothing sacred to him.  Your parenting?  Fair game.  Your friendships?  Bring it on.  Your relationship with your husband?  There's lots of material right there.  He had been telling me that if only I were thinner and more in control of my eating that I would be happier and that life would be better.

ED is a freaking liar!  He doesn't know anything about happiness or love or true peace.  He tries to make everything about food or exercise or the way you feel about your body.  He doesn't know that life is about so much more than that.

I don't know if ED will ever truly go away but now I know he's there and I know that I'm not the one telling myself lies.  Here's how one of our conversations goes these days.

ED:  You know you ate too much at lunch so you shouldn't eat for the rest of the day.
Me:  Why would I do that?
ED:  Well overeating at one meal means that you have to eat too much for the rest of the day.  You'd be better off it you just went to bed hungry.
Me:  Can you hear yourself?  You are such an idiot.  Making one mistake doesn't doom me to a life of heartache.

That was very mature and thoughtful.  Most of the time this is how it goes.

ED:  You really need to go eat the rest of the birthday cake.
Me:  Shut your face ED!

It's a battle.  I wish that it were possible to just erase this from my life. If only I had that magic wand.  Deep down I know what is best for my health and sanity and while having imaginary conversations with an eating disorder might not be your idea of sane it's helping me to move on to a peaceful place and isn't that what life is about?


  1. This was a great post Kristen, so honest and serious, thought-provoking, but you still made me laugh. Have you ever considered a career as a writer?
    You are a beautiful person--you always have been and always will be, no matter what ED says to you.

    1. Thank you Heather. I think about writing all the time but besides this blog and the book I'm "writing"(approximately one sentence per month) I haven't done much with it. It's always there in the back of my mind so we'll see where things end up.

  2. ED sucks! I think if having a conversation with him in your head makes it easier to fight the negative crap he has to say- go for it.

    Also- and I KNOW you KNOW this- being "thin" and being "healthy" don't go hand in hand. You are healthier than you think- you exercise on a regular basis and I know you eat better than most of us. Make sure you tell ED that. :)

  3. I suffered from ED most of my life. And in a lot of ways I still do, because I don't think it ever really goes away. It's hard to deal with and it's incredibly difficult to break out of the cycle. The mental and emotional damage done is hard to overcome and feels impossible to heal. The thought patterns and behaviors feel set in stone and we feel like we don't know HOW to make any other choice. We don't know what life without ED is like because it feels like it's always been there.

    The experience doesn't make much sense to others, but it feels so overwhelming and beyond our control when we are in it. It's hard to assert control because it's all coming from within you. It's not come external force you can just shut out.

    I empathize. My heart goes out to you. I know how difficult this is. I wish I had the magic wand that I could wave for you as well. I want you to be free! Just remember that you are divine!

  4. This broke my heart. Hang in there, Chick. xoxoxoxoxoxo


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