can i just eat you godammit

“Why don’t you just eat?” she asks, and it takes everything inside of me not to mutter profanities under my breath or respond with biting sarcasm. If I had a penny for every time I heart those words, the unsolicited advice from the well-meaning, misinformed people in my life, I would be swimming in dollar signs. My god, I’m fixed now! I want to say, throwing up my hands dramatically. 

Why don’t you just eat

Her words ring in my ears as I stare at the plate in front of me. And my throat is constricted and my jaw tight and my whole body is reacting to the thought of food, nausea already rising. Taking that fork to my mouth feels like a herculean task.

Why don’t you just eat

If only, I think. If only it were that simple.
If only there weren’t a Monster living in my head, abusive and controlling and unable to pacified without self-destruction. If only I didn’t wake up everyday to this noise / chaos in my mind / the angry voice of the Monster telling me that the only way to make the pain stop is to starve-purge-run it out of me. If only I could look in the mirror without wanting to scrape out the parts of myself that aren’t lovely. Maybe then I could eat freely, maybe then I could chew and swallow and smile nicely like the other girls.

Why don’t you just eat 

Some people keep their pain on lockdown, but me? I wear it on my body, letting my physical form give words to what cannot be said, what is too terrible to be spoken. When words won’t come and my voice gets stuck in my throat, I let my body do the talking, tearing myself apart to let them know the trauma is too much for one small ME to bear.

Maybe someday I will be able to “just eat,” nourishing my body intuitively. Maybe someday the disorder will be manageable and the Monster kept at bay. But for now, each bite is mechanical and forced as I try to push through the war going on in my mind, try to remind myself of the life that I am fighting for that is on the other side of this. 

Why don’t you just eat

Her mistake is a simple one: she assumes that it is about the food and not about every inch of my body being on fire, every cell bursting at the seams with stories of hardship and survival.

It’s the wrong question, I want to tell her. Don’t ask me, WHY CAN’T YOU JUST FEED YOURSELF NORMALLY, GODAMMIT, because I ask myself that question every single day already. Ask how you can aid me in the battle, how you can join forces with me and help fight the Monster. Ask about the war, not about the food.

“Why don’t you just eat?” she asks me
And I smile politely back at her and say, “I’m trying.”