You shalt not have more than you normally do.
You shalt not say thank you for your food, or that you are hungry or that a food looks delicious.
You shalt not do any less exercise than xx amount.
etc. etc. etc.
signed, by Emmy, and also signed and authorised; by ED.
For as long as I can remember, I have lived by certain laws, certain rules. Certain codes of behaviour that I went out of my way to obey, at all times. And God forbid if I ever dared to disobey them. The repercussions of even contemplating doing so were always positively hideous.
Ed would do more than kick up a little fuss. Oh no, it was always alot worse than that. He would scream and shout and tear at me with cruel sharp talons. The channels of my brain would suddenly be overflowing with garbled, tormenting comments. You are fat. Eating that will make you fatter. Oh my God Em!! What are you doing??!! You are going to blow up! Don't you dare even consider it, girl!!
It was sort of like the equivalent of being imprisoned in a high walled jail. Every failed attempt at escape would be met with torture, and threats of further barbarity if resistance did not cease. For a very long time I simply stopped trying to object. ED would nod, suitably satisfied, as his captive became weaker and more submissive with every passing year. She became too weak and too withdrawn to even think about escaping, again. The walls of the prison stretched higher and ever higher.
So that's why I suppose, upon that day three years ago, when I first made that first crucial, tentative step, onto the road up the mountain which we all know as recovery. That the anxiety, that horrible, screeching Voice, as loud and as piercing as a siren that can not be terminated, was enough to cause me to crumple to my knees with agony, if I had let it. But. There was something there that was just as strong as the anxiety. That being the pain of the guilt I had felt, when I had looked into Mam's eyes and told her I had been lying to her, for so long, about everything.
And that guilt and pain then were enough to drive me forward. Along with the love that I felt for my Mam, and the knowledge that if for nothing else, I could do this, for her.
Years later and I'm a different girl to the one I was those three years ago. A different girl, but in some ways, unchanged. And one of those ways in which I have remained the same is that I still abide by ED's many rules.
And as I walked tentatively forwards in recovery - choosing to gain weight, being admitted to hospital; allowing myself to tell those I loved that I had an eating disorder - I in time began to recognise and question ED's rules; and then - slowly but surely - I began to disobey them. It was not easy. By God, it was hard. But I knew that I had to do it. Whenever I found myself faltering and afraid, I closed my eyes and thought back to that day, the feel of Mam's warm hand on my shoulder. And I used that to drive me on. Because I knew that Mam would forever blame herself, if I died.
But now back to the half-recovered ED girl. Yes, she has broken many, many of ED's rules. She is no longer in medical danger. Some might think that she is recovered.
But she isn't.
Rather, this girl has a good long way to go, yet. And still many of ED's rules are still in place, and fully intact. She's escaped Ed's gaol but the oppressor is following her trial, coming after her. He steals in front of her and throws bricks directly across her footpath, blocks that collaborate to form obstructive grey walls and block the winding road up the steep sided mountain.
She knows that if she is to have any chance of ascending that mountain, she is going to have to break and destroy every single one of those walls.
Well I have some tools. These are my weapons of choice for chipping away at the cracks in ED's wall. I will use my own hammer and chisel to prise away the building blocks of ED's walls.
If I could leap straight over them, I would. But this time instead of wringing my hands and hanging my head in defeat, telling myself that I can't get over them...
Instead I approach them with my tools at the ready. Ready to start working on these walls. It's going to require time and patience and effort, and strength. And bravery. Yes, because the gaoler that initially constructed these walls is a fucking scary thing.
I've figured that I have all these things.
I've figured that I've got what it takes. I've figured that I am capable of breaking the Law, and making my escape from custody.
And I've got something now that I did not have before. Something that has given me extra strength. I'm doing this for me, as well as for mam and all those I love. That crucial, crucial recognition; the actual acknowledgement of which I have been unable to make for so, so long.
For now I have began to realise that the real Emmy wants to escape from custody, too.
What it would be to be flying free,
like those bubbles..💙
- You can only have the amount set by me of any particular food.
- At breakfast: no more than 100 ml of milk, less than 30 g of cheese, etc. And minimise everything as much as possible.
- Always take the smallest/thinnest part of everything. The thinnest slice of bread off the sliced pan. The smallest potatoes in the serving bowl. The smallest crumpet in the packet. etc. etc.
- At dinner if I think you have too much on your plate then put some back in the serving dish when noone is looking.
- You must always pick bits or crusts of bread, potatoes, etc.
- You're not allowed to say that looks lovely I'm hungry thanks Mam that was really nice, I enjoyed that etc.
- When you eat you always have to appear as if it's a chore. Show total lack of interest in what you're eating and push the food around the plate.
- You also have to eat as slowly as possible and cut food into tiny pieces.
- You're forbidden to clean your plate, your bowl, your mug. You have to always leave something behind.
- I have to do at least xx amount of exercise a day, and the more the better.
- At all costs you must not gain anymore weight.
What Ed says...
I have to do the opposite.
It's time to break His Law.