0riginally written 7/16/08
I’m breaking up with you. It’s over this time. I hate you. I know this might seem sudden. After all, we’ve been so close for so long. But without trust there can be no real relationship, and I’ve now learned that I simply cannot trust you. I now understand that you’ve wanted to kill me all along. How could you have done this to me? What about all we’ve shared over the years?
You promised me so much…everything I ever thought I wanted. You promised I’d be happy. You PROMISED, Ed. All my dreams fulfilled if only I did what you told me to do. And I really did. I exercised past the point of exhaustion on a regular basis. Had a gym membership revoked for fainting on a treadmill.
You would suggest I purge rather than let dinner digest, and I obeyed. Thought..you were probably right. And I would dutifully head to the bathroom and vomit until I collapsed to my knees. Until I burst all the blood vessels around the delicate skin of my eyes. A crazed raccoon. You told me I would feel better. And as I stumbled to my bed, ignoring a child’s request for one last goodnight kiss, I DID feel a little better.
For a while.
Then we got more intimate and I began to lean on you for everything. I KNEW you were the answer. TO everything. You could make me thinner…and then thinner still…and once I got there..once I arrived THERE, THEN – you would ease your iron grip on me and we could just peacefully co-exist.
But then you started telling me how dirty food was. How it was only making me unhappy. How I could be superior if I stopped needing it altogether. Somehow, better than I used to be…than all the others who foolishly believed they needed to eat to live. So I began to restrict. Just a little at first.
Then a little more..
..and a little more.
It wasn’t long before I hardly let myself touch food at all. I picked at wheat toast,taking infinitesimal bites, filled a growling stomach with gallons of diet soda and disgusting green tea to mask the pain,..tasteless, sugar-free Jell-O. And it worked! You were right, Ed! You never steered me wrong. My period stopped. Progress! I could pull off my jeans without unzipping them. And from there it was a whirlwind.
The numbers on the scale dropped, and then dropped some more. My hair fell out in soft, blond wisps. My stomach grew a light sheen of fuzz. I could no longer comfortably take a bath because the bones of my spine and what used to be my butt, ground into the ceramic and gave me bruises.
When I went out, people looked at me strangely. It didn’t look like envy, Ed. My hip bones jutted out from my shorts and my shoulder blades and the bones in my chest were so pronounced that I often let my hands flutter over them…amazed at how I could feel them right underneath a tightly stretched layer of skin.
I took to wearing long sleeves even in the warmest weather. My arms didn’t look right. Just a little too skinny. Did I really say that? Think that?? Forgive me, Ed..for I have sinned.
And so I continued to slowly disappear. I shrank..and I shrank. My body. My brain. My heart. Ed- hold me together. Everyone is upset with me. My life is coming apart at the seams.
You didn’t hold me together, Ed. You ripped me to bloody shreds. I started forgetting things. Appointments set, promises made. I began falling. Often. Once in front of my daughter. I heard her screams as if from some far away place, but couldn’t quite shake myself to consciousness to comfort her.
I sank into the couch and pretty much stayed there. The children ran circles around me. Requests to play, to tell stories, to be tucked in? All denied. Mommy was tired, or not feeling well, would do it tomorrow- really. Ed, would you mind cooking dinner for them tonight?
I now think I’m going to die. Ed, what’s wrong? You were supposed to save me! To make me SPECIAL and DIFFERENT and GREAT! Who are you anyway? I think I want you to leave now. I think you might be choking the life out of me.
I no longer have a life. Ed and I are one. “JenniferEd”, I think. And it would have made me laugh if I hadn’t been robbed of the ability to do so.
It’s so dark in here, Ed. How had I never noticed it before? I can’t breathe..I finally cry out for help..and only then can I exhale.
So, I spend several months learning all about you, Ed. You’ve been unmasked. You disgusting, horrendous liar. I made you an idol and you dragged me right through hell, yet, here I stand on the earth once again. Glued back together. The cracks show, true, but I am strong.
I can live without you. I wish I had the courage to end us years ago…but I now know that my Savior’s power is far greater than yours EVER was. I must have never really believed that before. I don’t want to waste any more time talking to you. You sicken me, Ed.
Time for you to die.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17