TRIGGER – Quite Explicit with EATING DISORDERS, SELF-HARM, and ABUSE
Well I'm out of hospital completely 2 weeks tomorrow :) it feels good to be free, but the fight doesn’t stop there it carries on...well that sounds so positive, not quite how I feel right now, I am struggling the last few days, but on the whole I am a million times better than I was before I went into hospital.
This post came about after a discussion at a survivors group I go to, around the need for control...so this is my take on it. I know that this is something that I have talked about on here, but things change, new ideas come about etc., and this is something that I will always have close to my heart (after all my undergraduate dissertation was around Anorexia!)
Food has been my control for a very long time, my body isn’t mine, so why should I care what I do to it? It belongs, as I have said before, to the people who took it from me time after time after time.
I feel completely out of control, because of the dissociation (that is still happening regularly), because of the flashbacks, because life is not something that you can really, honestly, control, they took that away from me. But I cant cope with being out of control so have to do something to stay in control in comes the eating disorder. This has more than one use, but for the moment I will keep on the control. Food, at least in the First World, is something people can control, whether it is controlling intake to the point of Anorexia, binging and purging, or comfort eating. I go from not eating very much to the binging and purging, and I honestly cannot remember a time that I did not do this. Unlike my self-harm this is a lot more hidden, there are no (at least external) scars that anyone can see.
When I am restricting I feel so much in control, seeing the numbers go down on the scale just reinforces that control for me. But I cant keep this up for ever, I can go weeks, even months doing the restricting, and then something happens and I have to start eating at least vaguely normally and this freaks me out so I purge, and this little cycle continues. I am in control of my food intake, or at least I like to think that I am. I feel so much better knowing that there is something in this world that I can control.
I haven’t regularly partaker in taking laxatives for a few years, but every so often it rears its ugly head and that come part of the control. What I cant get out from making myself sick I get out the other way. But for many laxatives are a regular intake and I completely get it, it got to the point in Bangor where no place would sell them to me, even though I was “rotating” where I got them from, and I did begin to steal them...you think this would shock me into stopping - tablets are the only thing I have ever stolen from a shop – but no, the only reason I stopped is I ended up in ITU after a fire and so stopped for 4 weeks and then lived at home for 6 months which made it difficult and so the regular daily diet of laxatives stopped. For me the number of laxatives I took was control too, I took the exact number I needed to for the result I wanted. It did involve increasing the number as you get used to senekot very quickly!
Men, if you can call them that, the paedophiles and rapists that took my control away did it systematically, whether it be over a few minutes (as in one rape) or over several years. They have the control in my head, telling me that I am Evil, that I am worthless, that I am there's even now, now that I have no contact with no single one of them. Every single minute in my head they are telling me this. And I still completely believe them. I think everyone gets frustrated with me because it must seem like I am getting nowhere with it, but as someone once told me I had 27 years of the 32 years of my life of this, a few years of people telling me that I am not, isn’t going to even dent the trauma from that. See they still have control over me. And that what they want, they want that every single second there control is over me. And I am so so scared it will never go away that I will never get “real” control back...whatever that is!
As I said eating disorders, such as my own, have another use, and so does my self harm. For each person it is different for me it is about getting the evil out of me. Black Magic when I was little didn’t help, so every time I purge, have diarrhoea because of laxative abuse, cut, I am ridding myself of that evil. But not just the evil that I was born with, the evil that they have put in me. As I do with my eating this is often (not always) a cycle for me, going from the eating to the self-harm and so forth. I need to rid myself of my body. Its not that I want to die, cause its not my head that what I want to rid myself of, but of them.
I am sorry that this has been so blunt, and hope that the trigger warning at the beginning means that people are not too much affected (but going to do here is a link to b-eat the eating disorders charity in the UK, and National Self Harm Network as well as a link to Eastbourne Survivors Resources page). Looking back I sound angry, that is not what I meant to come across, I am just a scared little girl, namely Tracheal, who has no other way to cope. This leads me onto the last thing that I want to say, whatever maladaptive coping strategies that you use, whether like me its food and self-harm, or whether its drugs, alcohol or sex its what’s keeping you ALIVE! Don't beat yourself up about it :)