In between verses of songs of lost-loves, I am swallowing down tears that are fighting to get out, trying to keep myself from drowning in the sadness. This love that I've lost, I'm not sure I ever had.
They say that relationships are always messy and families especially so. But does it always hurt this much? It came on like an explosion: unexpected and sudden and me, hiding in the corner like a scared child in the debris-laden aftermath.
I don't know what I did wrong, where I went wrong, what I could have done to cause such a seemingly irreparable rift between us, but it seems to always come back to me: me, the broken one, me, the stubborn, hard-hearted one, me the one unable to let people close.
Last night I sat with a bottle of pills in my shaky hand and considered swallowing them all, considered ending this right here, right now. Changes are coming this week, likely difficult and life-altering changes, and I would rather not give my family that power over me. I would rather take it into my own hands then let them decide how my life will go. There are moments, fleeting thoughts of how they would regret treating me this way if I were gone / see my sickness and pain for what they are instead of using my disorder as their scapegoat for the family's dysfunction, a "fine, I'll show you," mentality. The thoughts of death come on strong and forceful, and it took every ounce of self-control to pour the pills back into the bottle. I know, even as I look longingly at that bottle that it's not death I crave so much as escape from feeling powerless to the whims of other people, to their push-and-pulls on my life, to their narratives of my journey, to their distorted perceptions of who I am.
Waking up today to the bright light of morning I can barely move my weary body, much less force food down my throat. The world feels too heavy today for my two small shoulders to bear. I want to lie down and give up.
She tells me that not eating will not solve the problems in my relationships: but it will, I think, it will if I do it for long enough, enough for my frail body to give out and end this battle.
There is a Monster inside of my head and monsters outside of it as well. Death then, in some twisted way, seems to be the most logical way out. It is the ultimate grab at power: no one gets to have a say over me or my body, no one gets to move me around like a pawn in their games. To quote the poet Warsan Shire, "I belong deeply to myself."
But there is still a logical voice somewhere in the caverns of my mind, though it is often overshadowed and shouted down by the Monster, that says that allowing my decisions to be dictated by the decisions of others, living my life only in reactions, is still giving over my power to them. That belonging to myself means something more than escapism and numbing, more than destroying myself to prove that they don't own me.
I don't know then, where to go from here except that eating and self-care have to be weapons, have to be not a sign of powerlessness but of agency and refusal to play by their games. I have been letting their beliefs about me sink me under again, that I am the prodigal, problem-child, broken and bitter and cold-hearted, and the sadness and weight of it all takes me to the bottom of the abyss again. By moving towards death, I have been letting their words, their beliefs own me. Wholeness and health, then, are living in line with myself and my truths, defying their story about who I am. The changes are coming over the next few days and I want to run away, self-destruct until I no longer exist. I am frightened and angry and scrambling for something to hold onto, some way to not be controlled. But surrendering my power to them, letting them define who I will be and whether I live, is not that way. They don't deserve that power / they don't deserve to decide my fate / don't deserve to have their words echoing in my brain, the messages of inadequacy and failure carved into my heart.
Until I am back on solid ground again, until I can find motivation inside of myself to nourish my body out of care and compassion, I eat as a refusal to be defined by anyone but myself. I eat in defiance of their ideas of me, the ones that say I don't deserve good things, that I am not enough. I eat until I am the one in control again, I am the one - me and only me - deciding what happens to this body and in my life.