flashbacks

It happened again, the heavy tension, what starts off as small quarrels, him blaming me, she blaming him, him blaming her, me wanting to die. It escalates into an argument. Mom and dad shooting daggers at each other it’s your fault, no your fault, my fault, her fault I don’t know. I apologize because everything is always my fault and like always, he agrees and goes on to list everything-I-did-wrong this time and everything spirals in my head. it hurts it hurts again

My fault for being over-emotional and over-sensitive. It’s always been a fault of mine at 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18 years old it’s always been my fault because I’m the overemotional, oversensitive child that overreacts to everything and causes all the problems. It’s not what I did wrong, it’s me that’s wrong. I’m the problem child, the rebellious one, the one who caused trouble in school at 10 years old and tried to kill herself at 14 years old and again and again. I’m the one who cuts herself and gets depressed and swallows pills and pukes her food and starves herself and I’m the one they don’t know how to help and it’s all my fault

I run away, bolt out of the restaurant as far away from him and her I can get, I run away crying and hyperventilating and looking for a way to hurt myself because it’s the only way I can stop the pain. They run after me. It’s a familiar scene: Girl crying, girl desperately scratching herself, girl curled up into a ball consumed by the waves of anguish and pain that don’t seem to stop. Parents yelling, blaming each other, arguing about what to do and who’s fault it is, mother crying, father exasperated, girl yelling to just leave her alone. Girl crying and crying because it all hurts so much, too much, there is nothing but pain and it’s eating her alive.

At some point the familiar script comes into play, an 18 year old almost-adult reduced to the 8 year old child she once was.“I’m sorry dad, I’m sorry. It’s all my fault, I’m sorry, I won’t do it again. It’s me, it’s my fault, i’m sorry” It comes into play almost instinctively, because she’s terrified and would do anything to appease him. Please don’t be angry at me, please. I’m sorry, it’s all my fault. He agrees, and it triggers an avalanche in my head because he is the very proof and validation that I am wrong and it’s my fault for everything and I’m a horrible person and I feel too much and think too much and I’m a bad person and all my feelings are bad and wrong.

My therapist has been trying for four years to help me change these simple beliefs of ‘I’m not good enough‘ and ‘everything is my fault‘ and ‘All my negative feelings are bad and too much and invalidated‘ but how could these beliefs ever go away if he planted them there so firmly in the first place? There are monsters in my head but none of them are as scary as when he pops up, the biggest and loudest of all the monsters.

Minutes bleed into what feels like hours and the pain continues to come in waves. The sobbing turns into desperate wailing, cries that draw the attention of the people across the road as if someone was being stabbed and beaten up. The pain just won’t stop and the only way I could calm down was finding ways to regain control. Like if I didn’t eat, if I restrict and if I could just stay in control everything would be okay. Well, thanks for the extra motivation to get to my goal weight, dad. It’s the perfect trigger and my eating disorder loves it because this has made me realize just how much I need some form of control, how much I need to run away from all of this.

Do you see why I need to stay in control so much? Everything is falling apart, everything hurts too much, so much I want to die. If I’m in control, nobody can touch me, nobody can hurt me. He can’t touch you there, I promise, he can’t yell at you there- he can’t. I can leave everyone and everything, nothing has to matter, just being small and empty and strong.

So I convince myself it’ll be okay, like somehow purging and restricting is a valid solution for everything even though I know it will never be. But the soothing thoughts of restriction and control and numbers give me enough room to catch a breath. I hit myself in the head (not literally, but I might as well) for ever thinking I could have a normal relationship with my parents and now I know just how much I need to distance myself. I don’t need them, I can’t let them in, I need to be safe and alone in this fortress of walls and lies. I slap on a smile and pretend everything is okay when I’m just tired and so sick of hurting because I’ve been feeling this same pain for most my life and I don’t know when it will stop.

So what if I make progress in therapy or recovery? So what if I ‘get better’? They just take me, and put me back right where I started, every single time.

And the worst part is, it’s not their fault. I could easily say my illnesses developed because of all of this, because of th earguments and my father and all the times where things got physically violent, the times where my father almost could have killed me when I was younger. But it’s not their fault because they are good parents who provide everything for us, they do love us, and give us the best they can in terms of material things. They just don’t know how to parent, they’re just the biggest triggers of everything, the triggers behind my illness and every ‘relapse’ that comes. But I don’t have it in me to blame them for anything at all- so I turn everything inward because that’s all I know how to do.

I’m so tired. I’m just so tired. I don’t want to keep going, I don’t want to wake up tomorrow and go to school and work and pretend everything is a-okay. It’s been years of struggling and struggling and forcing myself to just keep going. But what else can I do?

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chronically sick 

if mental illness is a chronic illness that I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of my life, I don’t think i want to. I’m tired, i’m tired and it’s been 4 years (and maybe more) and I’ve already had enough. I see people in their 20s and 30s and beyond that, struggling with eating disorders and mental illnesses. I see mothers struggling in depths of their illnesses and i never want to go through that.

I don’t want to be a mother struggling, a uni student struggling, a wife struggling. i have spent all my teenage years struggling and i don’t want to waste my entire youth struggling, but how do i not? i need this to have an end point, but i see no horizon in sight and i could keep going like i always have, but long how until i say enough is enough?

i didn’t ask for any of this, i’m so tired. it’s no longer the kind of tiredness where the exhaustion runs in my bones, a weary heart fallen to the ground but the kind of tiredness that just is.

very very sad

I don’t admit this much, but I’m a very sad person. I wish restricting and losing weight was a real solution to my problems but it isn’t, in reality it probably only makes my problems worse. But I don’t know what else to do. I never chose this. Living with mental illness sucks. Living with an eating disorder sucks.

I use eating/not eating/food to mask feelings and numb pain so I can pretend everything is okay when it’s not. I can lie to myself that if I restrict and lose weight, I can somehow hold onto a semblance on control so what’s left of the broken pieces of me won’t turn into dust. I can lie to myself that maybe if I fill myself with food and purge it all out, it’ll make the bad feelings go away and stop soldiers in my head trying to attack.

I know what I’m doing to myself and the endless merry-go-round of eating disordered behaviours but I can’t get off, I don’t know how to get off and I don’t want to get off. I just want to close my eyes and disappear because behind the food and numbers I’m just a very very sad girl driven by too much self-hatred and inadequacy and more pain than this heart can bear.

But all I can do is keep going and pretending to be okay, it’s all I’ve ever done anyway. Just keep going, keep trying to find good things and good moments and love the people around me. Just keep going, keep spreading love and sending hugs and lending a listening ear and support to anyone who wants it. I’m just sorry I’m so sad, I really am. I wish I wasn’t a sad, tired girl hiding behind a facade of positivity and strength. I wish I wasn’t so broken, I’m sorry.

rag-doll girl

I feel like a broken puppet, barely held together with a thread

and if i let the thorny voices get any closer

my head cloudier

the cheap stitches holding me together will break.

i feel like i’m this close to falling apart, any wrong move will break me, so i have to stay in control i have to not feel. i’m so sad inside but i’m trying to keep myself together, trying to keep holding on to the threads when i just want to unravel them all and let this rag-doll girl fall apart.

i have to keep going, find ways to stitch myself up and bury the pain and feelings and sadness deep deep inside. control will be the key- if the numbers are in control and the food is in control and the scale is dropping, everything will be okay. i have to believe in that. not in therapists who try to help you recover or friends who look out for you or family you want to have a meal with. nothing matters as much as control. 

maybe a part of me wants to get better but every time i do, something inside screams i don’t deserve it. and i don’t. i’m not sick, i don’t have a disorder. it isn’t a problem- i’m the problem. i can’t trust anyone or anything anymore so let’s build these walls back up and make the fortress impenetrable before it’s too late.

Swim

The waves are crashing down
all over again, all around,
Those flimsy fortresses gone-
fortresses of lies and restriction
fortresses of emptiness and numbers
fortresses that were never strong
I was never really in control.

Sometimes
it’s easier to let the waves take over,
easier to submerge myself headfirst.
Drowning was not feeling
Drowning was instant relief
Numbness that comes from
filling and emptying and filing and emptying
Numbness, too, can be a lie.

After the numb, comes the storm,
worse than before.
Fortresses or not,
it never really ceases,
sadness never stops.
Never good enough.
Always too much.
Not safe-
Sometimes not anything at all

Numbness or not,
Pain is pain.
It’s all just anaesthesia
For something I cannot heal
A hole inside too big
Pieces too broken to stitch together
I need a fortress- my fortress
It might be broken but it’s all I have
It’s all I want (need).

Build a stronger lighthouse
A bigger lifeboat
The waves are crashing down,
but I’ll keep swimming
No more jumping into the deep end
I have to swim,
before I sink
into an endless ocean of self-hatred

Gone forever

wish

I wish I could eat homecooked meals with Ah Gong and Ah Ma- I wish I had eaten homecooked meals with them over the past few years. But I can’t, because I had gotten scared of them. I hate how my ED stops me from having dinners at Ah Ma’s house because these dinners are precious family time and yet I choose not to treasure it.

I wish I could eat those meals, I wish I could eat them more often. I wish I could just stay over at Ah Ma’s house like I want to, have breakfast with them with soft boiled eggs or market food like I used to, have lunch and dinner with them, simple homemade meals.

I wish I could just eat like a normal person.
I wish eating a meal wouldn’t make me lose control and gain a million pounds.
I wish I could eat normally and cook normally but I don’t know how to.
I wish I didn’t care so much about my weight or size, but I do-
I care so much I feel like I will bleed to death from the pain of it.
I wish I wasn’t so, so, so fat.
I wish I didn’t hate myself so much.

I wish being at any size that isn’t ‘thin enough’ didn’t make me want to rip off my skin.
I wish I didn’t need to be see every bone just to hate myself less.
I wish I could just be thin by now instead of spiraling back and forth between these ridiculous cycles.
I wish I could just be good enough for once.
I wish I could tell anyone about this or not lose myself.

I wish I knew how to be normal or eat normally or eat without the thought of compensating and restricting in the future.
I wish I knew what it’s like to be comfortable in this skin.
I wish being empty didn’t make me feel better and being full didn’t make me want to die.
I wish eating didn’t make me hate myself and fall into a depressive coma.
I wish eating something doesn’t have to mean eating everything because my body is scared of the restriction and deprivation that it knows is coming.
I wish the number on the scale didn’t determine everything (but it does).
I wish it didn’t have to be all or nothing.

I wish I spent the last 4 years living, instead of living in a lie.
I wish I didn’t have these sick, twisted thoughts in my mind.
I wish I wanted to get better,
I wish I didn’t need this so much, I didn’t cling onto this for my dear life.
I wish I wouldn’t miss this if I left.
I wish it wasn’t such a comforting, safe space.
I wish I wanted to recover but I don’t, I really really don’t.
I wish I knew how to want recovery but I don’t either.

I wish I was sick enough.
I wish I was good enough at anything, but I can’t even be good enough at being sick.
I wish I was thin enough because maybe that isn’t the answer but maybe I’d be happier.
I wish I was never sick at all.
I wish I didn’t hate myself so much.
I wish I wasn’t so sad all the time.
I wish I wasn’t so lost, and so constantly torn.
I wish I knew what to do.