Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Slippery Slope

It was amazing to her how quickly the hunger pangs left her mind and stomach. You would think that no food except for liquid and her multi-vitamin would leave her starving, no energy. But the opposite was true. It seemed that the less food she had in her stomach gave her more energy, a happier feeling all around. But the crash was just that much worse once she finally allowed some morsel of food to pass her lips.

She knew she was getting worse. She had started recording her weight again. Watching those numbers daily, punishing herself if an increase happened in the slightest bit. Frustrated when there was no movement at all, and ecstatic if a pound or two fell away. It had been a long time since she had been this compulsive about food and weight. At least seven years, the first time she had lost fifty pounds in three months. She had been able to stop herself then, before she got sick, before anyone noticed she had a problem. She could do it again.

She just wanted to see the numbers drop. She hated the fact that her body image was so tied to what should be an insignificant number. And she was afraid. Afraid that everyone was right, and that she would never be happy with herself.

She thought about one of the only Barbies she had ever had. It had long dark hair, like hers, and big green eyes, also like hers. Her aunt said it looked just like her, if only she could drop the weight and act a little more feminine. No one likes an ugly boyish girl, dear... You'll be fine if you can just change yourself.

She had taken that to heart. Something innocently said from an aunt to a niece. Something the aunt probably did not even remember, and she could not get it out of her head. She wanted to rip it away, all of the cut downs, all of the dirty looks, all of the whispers from friends and family. She wanted to wind back time and have the young her tell them to FUCK OFF and leave her be.

Damage done now. Too late.

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