Who decided that being skinny was being pretty? Who decided that the “ideal image” was having perfect skin and perfect hair and an overall perfect appearance? Here is an idea, how about we fuck society and the media and make our own standards of beauty. Perhaps I’ve been granted a different perspective on my eating disorder. I’ve come to see something that was always obvious but I was never quite able to put into words. Here is my philosophy for what its worth, I was born with the mentality of an eating disordered individual. It’s always been here, but it decided to show up in different parts of my life and finally turned and went south when I reached the age of twelve going on thirteen. My thoughts of anorexia have always been more mature for my age. I remember in the eighth grade having an assignment to write an autobiography on myself. One significant event in my life that I could write both creatively and with great in depth detail. I chose my eating disorder (which at the time wasn’t labeled anorexia or bulimia which frustrated me greatly) My essay turned into over 18 pages of my perspective of my relationship with ED. Of course my mindset was still in that eating disorder mindset, however, I described ED as “my worst best friend”. Mind you I was thirteen at the time. My point is, over the past few years, I’ve been reading stories of women who have gotten through or who are still going through eating disorders. These women and men are much older than I and explain it in the same way I do. When I first described it this way, I never read up on such things. Over all, I’ve just come to the idea that my eating disorder has always been “within” but it prevailed when I wasn’t expecting. I suppose I’m bringing this up because of the past week. I went to see my nutritionist last week, I was insanely nervous due to my previous weight loss. I got on the scale and saw that my weight went up to where it was before. Phew. My problem? I had my in school physical days before and my weight was “about 4 pounds lower” Long story short, this lead to a lot of questions. Of course it didn’t end at the nutritionists office. You see, my guidance counselor hasn’t been trusting my mother and I when we told her I was seeking help for the past year. Just to shut her up, we gave her my doctor’s numbers so she can be up to date. Let’s just say, I don’t feel comfortable with my school being involved. I go to school to learn, not to be analyzed by my teachers and such. My school nurse didn’t think anything was wrong with my weight. There are girls my age who are taller than myself and weigh less, thus she thought nothing of it. Evidently, my counselor went out of her way to get my documented weight. I am her new project. When my nutritionist suggested I see her this Thursday coming up, my heart was squashed into a thousand pieces. It’s never been so bad to the point where I had to see her every week, not even when I was first emitted. And now, here we are. When I got home, I talked it over with my mom who became increasingly frustrated with my school. She called both my therapist and nutritionist over the phone. Unfortunately my nutritionist picked up. I knew something was wrong when my mom walked upstairs to her room to talk. About half an hour later, she walked downstairs to the kitchen where I was eating my snack. The parental until then began to explain how they all agreed the school shouldn’t be involved. Then the dreaded word came up “BUT”. Oh no. I knew it was coming. It all came out. She accused me of lying about what I was eating because my weight gain doesn’t match up to what I write in my food diary. (Which I don’t understand considering I don’t write down the quantities) Due to this, the idea of me drinking copious amounts of water before my appointments was suggested along with me being bulimic. Oh how I hate this topic. It’s always been a topic of concern for everyone. Let me be the first to say, I have never thrown up before. I’ve only tried once. Even then it was a slapdash trial. I find the idea of purging what I am eating unethical because in the end, I’m going to have to learn to enjoy what I eat, calories and all. This conversation went from bad to worse when I told my mom about my over eating/binging excursions in 2010 during my first “recovery”. She flipped. I understand she was upset that it was happening under her nose and she had no idea, but what does she expect? At the time I was thirteen and had no idea what or why I was doing what I was doing. Did it end there? No. She insisted that I was “unhealthy” and felt “guilty” after I eat anything. I wanted to laugh; unlike a lot of people with eating disorders, I don’t feel guilty when I eat, I only feel embarrassed when I over eat to the point where I feel sick. When I say I’m embarrassed, I mean I don’t like a lot of people around during that time as I’m stuffing my face with food. I think that’s pretty normal for everyone eating disorder and healthy minded persons alike. When my mother gets heated, she tells me things she later admits she doesn’t mean. But I disregard this. My father got involved when he got home. He found me hysterical in the kitchen. He and my mom went upstairs- I followed to go into my room to “look” for something. I heard a bit of their conversation but it disgusted me thoroughly. I won’t go into what my father said exactly. But it ended up with him telling my mom to leave when she went off at me (he’s starting to catch her in those times of going overboard on me) In general, he flat out told me he thinks I purge. That sent me off the edge. I was so tired of telling them the truth and them disregarding it and passing it off as lies. I just gave up. “I have never EVER thrown up.” He looked straight into my eyes as I mirrored his green glassy pupils. He turned away, I think he wanted to believe me. “I don’t know how else to tell you or prove to you that I’ve never thrown up, I’m telling you guys the truth but its not good enough” After fixing his dinner, he walked inside to a less than happy wife. She was pissed off about my dad dismissing her. Enraged, pops flew off back inside while I stood in the middle of the room feeling as though it was all my doing. Was that it? I wish. I walked into the hallway- I knew this wasn’t over. My mother went into the other room with pops and they had it out. I walked onto the porch feeling all the guilt colliding within. I started this. Its my fault. I’m breaking up the family. Even though they were at the back of the house’s interior and I in the front exterior, I heard everything as though they were right next to me arguing. The cursing, the belittling, the degrading all of it, because of me. I felt like they lost trust in me. I sat there with my legs scrunched up to my body and me crying wishing it was all over. It was less than twenty degrees and my body felt like a sauna. I walked back inside to my mom on the couch. I stood in the front hallway for a good five minutes before appearing before her. I stood in the hallway like an infant seeking some form of affection. I could tell she was on the verge of tears. All I could say was “I’m sorry. I caused this. I’m telling you guys the truth but its not even worth anything.” She used the last of her strength in saying “No apologies, Liz. You didn’t start anything.” “You think I’m lying. You don’t trust me. I didn’t mean to start all of this, I’m sorry. I’m just so sorry” At this point, my mom was crying. I turned around and just let it all out. “Why don’t you go take a shower?” All I wanted was a hug. I would have taken a pat on the back or a touch of the wrist. Anything. But no. I went up and took a shower. I went into my bedroom and messaged both my parents. I told them that I was sorry for my eating disorder and that I loved them if it made an impact. They both told me I had nothing to be sorry for and that I wasn’t breaking up the family. Lies. I looked at my cell phone. 8:55. Bedtime. My racing thoughts were calmed by the tears. The painfully sharp tears which dictated my face. Yesterday, despite Thursday’s misadventures, my mom reassured me that they do trust me, however they just wish they knew what went on in 2010. I’ve been more to myself in the past few days. I’m not taking chances here. The problem is, nothing has been the same.So I ask you, is the “ideal image” worth breaking up your family in the long run- even when you are on the journey of recovery? I wish I was born without this fucked up mindset. I wish a lot of things. But I have to deal with it. I am bigger than ED and ANA. Sometimes-especially now, they just don’t know it. Until later, sleep tight tonight and I’ll try to swim above the tears. Deal?