Monthly Archives: November 2012
They say that the change of season is the time to say goodbye to the old, and perhaps also time to bring in the new. People talk about renewal and growth and change.
We are nearing the solstice and it’s a time to think about darkness and light and the sun.
It occurs to me that right now I am sitting here at my desk and besides my lone desk lamp, the light coming from the computer monitor, and a small amount of daylight coming in through a nearly closed shade, there is no light in here. Sure, there are other lights I could turn on, and I could raise all my shades, but I choose not to.
No, I honestly feel that the “negative energy” (as someone recently put it) that I currently experience has absolutely nothing to do with “absence of light,” “seasonal affective disorder,” “holiday blues,” or anything like that. Cold, ice, and snow pose practical difficulties for me and discomfort but do not cause “depression,” if you want to call it that.
It’s my circumstances that make me this way. It’s the way people treat me. It’s the general attitude and the disrespect I get from society in general. It’s tough to live with from day to day, so I’ve become bitter.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…..Mental illness is three-fold:
1) The way we are inside
2) The way society treats us
3) The result of “treatment”
…not necessarily equally proportioned, and not proportioned the same for everyone. Some never seek treatment or are never able to afford treatment, so #3 may not apply. A few people luck out, generally those with money, and receive decent, appropriate, respectful treatment, and these lucky people improve. Most, however contract secondary illnesses or symptoms or side effects as a result of routine treatment or inappropriate treatment or downright bad treatment.
I believe that I became the bitter, angry bitch that I am that no one can stand to be around because of #2 and #3. People are not born bitter and angry and I was not this way as a child, certainly.
I wasn’t even this way a few years ago. I was searching around for a thumb drive to transfer my Nano book onto, as I don’t want to keep it on the thumb drive it’s on now. I located one I haven’t used for years. I plugged it into my computer and was surprised to find some old videos made in 2007. I viewed one of them. This was made before I relapsed with my anorexia. I was immersed in graduate school and Puzzle was about a year old.
My first reaction? No, I did not say, “Oh my god, I’m so fat!”…well, I did say that, but my very first reaction before the “f” word was to note how slowed down I seemed on so much medication. Sure enough, I took out a huge box and showed the audience all my bottles of pills, stating that I took meds four times a day. I showed the audience a pile of papers and stated that this was the work I was doing for graduate school.
I had only been watching the flick for a few seconds when the “fat” adjectives started running through my head. I promised myself I would never look like that again. I asked myself, “How could I stand to look like that when now, x pounds lighter, I still feel like I need to lose weight, and am still starving myself?”
Seeing Puzzle pop onscreen at the end of the video made it worth its weight in gold, as they say. She was such a little fuzzy floppy little creature at a year old.
Recently, as I was finishing up Nano, I found another video of myself, made a few weeks after the summer solstice of this year. Readers, you may or may not remember this, but back then, I was suffering from severe binge eating. In the video, dated in July, I am in a state of despair over my weight and the fact that I felt that the binge eating would never end. I was heavier than I am now. I had sought treatment and was unable to find appropriate treatment anywhere. It wasn’t affordable or it was inaccessible to me.
I watched the video a few nights ago. It made me so, so sad. I cringed seeing my face because (sorry, only being honest here) my cheeks seemed “fat” to me and the expression on my face was one of pure misery. And again, just being honest, I had no desire to go on living. And no, no one knew the depth of this and no one ever found out even after I was “sectioned.” I was “sectioned” for petty reasons and I never admitted my suicidality to anyone. Not that I’m going to talk about it all that much here. Again, this was a number of months ago.
I like that I have old videos. I like that today, I gave away a dress to charity. It is one of the dressed I hid in last spring. I hid my body because I was ashamed of weight gain. So in that sense, I was throwing out clothes that symbolized a miserable time. Some people, when they lose weight, toss out their “fat clothes” but this dress was more like “hiding clothes.”
And bring in the new….On my way home from the clothes charity drop box, I found a necktie on the ground. It is still wet, and I am hanging it to dry. I see no stains on it. Finders keepers losers weepers.
I am a loser and a weeper but I have found a treasure today. And it fits, too. Joy to the world.
There should be a license for this. I would have the Master License for Driving People Away. Class A or whatever. I would teach a class in it because I am experienced, an expert in the field.
I would have students flock to me from all over the world, disciples following me around, people wanting to know just how to drive humanity away, how to turn others off so that they can live the lives of their dreams, surrounded by no one.
I would teach this class on how to get others out of your face. For good. Cuz I’m so good at driving people away that students would come to me to learn, and then do a real, super-duper fast TO THE REAR to get as far from me as possible afterward.
I need a cabin in the woods fifty miles from the nearest human. I need fifty guns to line the walls. I need fifty trees to surround the cabin, with tangled branches, so tangled that no one can bushwhack their way through them to get to me. But if they do get through, I’ll pick up one of the fifty guns, and boom! shoot them with fifty bullets.
And then, I need fifty cars. Put one body in each car, and drive each car to fifty rivers. Dump each body in each of the fifty rivers, and watch the blood flow. That’s how you drive everyone away. Goodbye, humanity, goodbye.
I want to move away from here as soon as the credit cards are paid off. Oh, how I wish this were possible!
Just think: I could find a new place where no one knew me and no one had any preconceived notions of who I am, and make all new acquaintances.
They’ll never have the idea in their heads that I’m a bitch, and as soon as they do, I’ll just up and move. I’ll leave as soon as my new friends dump me instead of sticking around while they act all two-faced about the whole thing.
So…you’re my friend, but, um halfway? Come off it. I’m outa here. Outa town. Split. Gone.
So me and Puzzle, we set up in the new town, make new pals, they find out I’m a bitch and dump me, so we move. Again. I guess we’d get a room, maybe rent by the week, or two weeks, move around one helluva lot. Some places maybe we’d stay a couple of months. Maybe not.
When it gets cold, maybe we could go down South. It’s not like I have anything keeping me here in these freezing New England states.
I’d have to get rid of a lot of stuff. Most of my stuff, I guess. Much of the books and furniture would go. My written notebooks and records…in storage I guess. I’d keep what I could carry. It’s not like Puzzle’s a pack rat.
Oh, dream on. I’m stuck here. Stuck in the same merry-go-round with people around me with their same ole expectations. Like Here Comes the Bitch. I mean, really.
If you don’t like me, buzz off. Cuz I ain’t movin’ just yet. Nor am I done talkin’, ain’t no one gonna shut me up, ain’t no one gonna make me fucking summarize. Absolutely nothing I say is appropriate for children. I am inappropriate, wrong, rude, politically incorrect, and I don’t belong at your table with your kind for godsakes.
I bought this Christmas tree last year. It is a sad Christmas tree.
To me, it means Spending the Holidays Alone.
It means the coming of cold, dreary, empty days.
It brings back the memory of losing a friend a year ago.
It symbolizes turning my back on the world.
It is a lonely tree. I bought it by myself, put it up by myself, and enjoy it by myself.
At night, my Christmas tree brightens the room. With my glasses off, I can glance over at it, and it looks like a bunch of blurry stars in the dark. Sometimes, I cry, and the stars melt through my tears.
For whatever reason, Puzzle doesn’t seem to see it. She has long since abandoned the bones that I took from her, the ones I looped with ribbon and placed under the tree. She doesn’t understand the stockings above the tree, one for me, one for her, and one for the Prophet Elijah, who, though invited to every Passover Seder, never, ever comes. Maybe cuz it’s the wrong time of year, eh? Maybe the Prophet Elijah sleeps all winter. Santa is the Christmas one…oh yes, now I remember. If Elijah did Christmas, it would be overtime. Nonetheless, I’ve got the stocking out, in case the shifts are mixed up this year.
I showed up at church today. I had not been to services for a month.
I’ve been antisocial lately. That was my explanation.
I don’t know what happened. I feel completely useless, like I have nothing helpful to say to anyone, and there’s nothing useful that I can do for anyone. I must be Queen Bitch or something.
I guess the holidays are getting to me.
I came home and went to bed.
Something decent happened to me last night. Best thing that’s happened in a while. Makes me kinda feel decent about life again, like maybe Thanksgiving won’t suck as bad as I thought it was going to.
I seem to have done it again. I reached, and passed, 50,000 words today. I was in the middle of a scene. I noted that I had reached 50,009, then kept going.
So this makes me an official winner.
The book will be done…shortly, or whenever. A draft of the book, that is. Quite haphazard, but a draft.
I really don’t give a shit. Not anymore. Not about much of anything.
Yeah, it’s oh so great being positive and happy but I’m just not into it right now. Survival…whatever that entails. And survival means something quite different to me than it does to most folks.
It means being able to lie successfully.
It means having my excuses work.
It means getting away with being a no-show without too many people getting alarmed.
It means having the ability to shrug stuff off.
It means sometimes not being noticed.
It means slinking around.
I’m getting to be a great slink. Oh, the games. Just cats and mice. When do I get caught?
When will it come knocking? Is it like a shadow? Does it hurt? Is it loud? Shall I leave out bait?
I have always admired you. Worshipped you, in fact. As you say, you are one of the few people out there who is treating eating disorders and knows what they are doing. For one thing, you have experienced eating disorders first hand. You took action and you did a lot of research and you healed yourself, and you are out there and giving yourself to the world and healing others.
You are right when you say you can’t trust someone with book-learning only. My own theory is that folks decide to specialize in treating eating disorders because they want total control over their patients. Eating disorders specialists get to talk to the patient’s primary care doctor, psychiatrist, and nutritionist regularly, and often the patient’s family and sometimes teachers or guidance counselors as well. These patients require a lot of appointments, usually twice-a-week therapy, so there’s a lot of money involved and a lot of control. The therapist gets to treat the patient like a child, and controlling therapists eat this up. Many therapists, when they first start out, assume that eating disorders patients come from wealthy families that have a nice supply of money to pay the therapist. So I think these are big reasons why many therapists get into eating disorders. Great incentive, looks super on paper, anyway. Sure, they have an altruistic attitude, but inside, it’s all greed and control. And do they really know anything about eating disorders? Of course not. They’ve read about it in a book and that’s all. They’ve seen charts and diagrams. But they don’t know how it really feels deep down inside.
I have had 18 therapists, 19 if I stick with the new one I just started with. How many of them had an eating disorder themselves? None. And yet they were quick to lecture me and tell me how to run my life. Huh? What was I paying these people for? They didn’t even help me.
Shan, your theories click with me and you are dead-on right about everything you say. For one thing, this “recovery” thing they talk about is indeed bullshit and I’ve known this for a while, I guess since Feb 2012 and when I fired my abusive therapist shortly afterward, the controlling one who treated me like a child. Ditching “eating disorders treatment” was one liberating thing that really saved me…at least temporarily…or at least it got me out of a downward spiral that would have ended in a very bad way.
“Weekly weigh-ins” is crap, for one thing, and always was. Especially in my case, given that I have diabetes insipidus (readers, please look this up) and need to drink a lot of water when I woke up in the morning, throwing off whatever Dr. K’s scale said by the time I got there. And these practitioners were quibbling over fractions of a pound? I mean, what a joke.
I don’t want to be a slave to “meal plan” for the rest of my life. Meal plan is crap. The food pyramid is based on lies and bribery, anyway. I did not appreciate being force-fed Nutri-grain bars and Rice Krispie bars in “treatment” (uh, non-treatment) and having the other patients so brainwashed into thinking all this was justified and okay. It’s not.
Readers, in “treatment” they tell us that vegetarianism and veganism are eating disorders. I am not kidding you! Shan, you enlighten the world by shedding light on all this and allowing your patients to explore any type of eating they want. In “treatment,” they ignore cultural preferences (and probably call religious prohibitions “eating disorders” as well). You have not talked about cultural stuff, but you have talked about helping us be whoever we are inside, and that, I assume, includes who we are culturally. You have your patients go through allergy testing to rule out any of those problems that may never, ever have been explored by any other practitioner. You are amazing.
You talk about our very real fear about becoming “fat.” Yep, real. Cuz these “meal plans” seem threatening to us and how on earth can we believe these “nutritionists” who obviously know very little (not much more than the food pyramid) and have lied to us, over and over?
Those nutritionists did nothing but treat me like a child. And the ones at Walden knew nothing about binge eating and did not know how to treat it. Nada. All they wanted to do was put weight on the patients, which was what the insurance companies wanted. So if your number went down, you’d get a visit from the nutritionist that day. Me, I liked hearing that my number went down. Only I kept that to myself. I was trying to make it go down. Can you blame me? I hated those people. They were like kindergarten. Folks that treat me like an adult I might meet halfway.
Shan, I know if I got in with you, my edema problem would be solved. My body insists on doing the wrong thing with water right now and has been for a while, and you could straighten that out in an instant. You could figure out, also very quickly, where I am nutritionally lacking, and solve the binge eating problem so I wouldn’t have to take medication for it. You realize that people don’t binge simply out of hunger. Maybe if those problems were solved, I would have better self-esteem, and would have less desire for thinness and more desire for life.
You could help me figure out how to solve the credibility problem, how to get myself into a position where folks would listen to me, where I’d be treated like the respectable writer that I am instead of a blubbering idiot “mental patient” that people mistake me for.
About a month ago, I attended a free workshop thingy you were giving. It was kind of a teleconference. You could sign up for it, and then get a link. The link would get you a skype number to dial into, or a phone number, or a web page. The conference was a couple of hours long. You gave two of these conferences.
At the first one, I listened intently and took notes. I was so glued. The day before, I’d been kicked out of my support group. Yeah, I know. I am against forced care and won’t bow down to my treatment team, don’t even have a “team” and nobody likes that so I got kicked out. So the next day was the day of this conference in which you spoke and there were, I guess, 100 listeners and I have no clue who these folks were.
As it turned out, they were potential clients. Business prospects. This was a business move, Shan. You were on the prowl and as the evening session went on, I became resentful. You have never revealed upfront how much you charge for individual sessions (Readers, these sessions are via Skype and Shan is out of Canada). I knew that I was about to find out.
So I stayed for the whole two hours. I listened to the stories, stories I ‘d heard before, the testimonials…I asked myself why there were not other testimonials besides the two or maybe three that are up there on your site. Why only the two examples? But I kept on listening.
I was getting more and more bummed out. My idol, Shan Larter. Shan, I have always felt that you and I were on the same side of the coin. But I know from my publisher that what people do to rope in business is to offer something for free. So this is what you were doing, making promise after promise.
But you stated that you only took on “special clients,” ones that you could help. You stated that you would refund someone’s money if you felt that it was not a good match. After they had paid.
Yeah, if they were too sick, maybe? Or didn’t have more bucks to pay if the first 16 sessions didn’t work out? Ones that didn’t have supportive husbands or parents (maybe with wallets)? Or if there was any question of liability?
Shan, I’ve heard it all before. Care…but only if, first of all, you are female. Care available only to those who have money. I wanted to turn my computer off in disgust.
I kept on hearing that you had “secrets” that you wanted to share with only those that “got in” to your special program. Oh yeah, those that paid big bucks.
The total price was, if I recall correctly, $4,500 for 16 sessions, to be paid upfront. This included a $500 discount. Now, if you downloaded her MP3 file, none of this money stuff is included in the file. There was a payment plan, but if you pay upfront this “shows you are committed.”
Do the math, readers. Hey, I know you folks with eating disorders have calculators.
Like I said, there was another session, which I believe was about identical to the first. I had already turned my back on the world, Shan. Just disgusted. Cuz it’s true….
Good, quality care is for the rich. It just totally sucks.
So I have talked about changing the world. I’m telling you, if I ever offer anything, anything at all, to help anyone, it’s not going to have a huge price tag on it.
Well, I still admire you, Shan. Offer free care and I’ll love you a lot more.
My friend posted a wonderful article about the election and I posted a comment on her blog that I guess she considered too negative or sour or whatever, but it’s still sitting there “under consideration.” Hmm. It hasn’t been deleted, but has not been posted, either.
That means that the next comment, “Well put, ” does not apply to anything I said, but does apply to everything up there that’s visible. How heartbreaking. Nothing I say is “well put” or appropriate anymore.
No wonder I feel like a loser.
So, like I said, the comment wasn’t deleted, so I was able to glean it off the website and copy and paste it. Gee, I love being negative and ruining everyone’s Sunday. Here it is….
Quotes from my journal, November 7th:
12 midnight: Obama won. Not that this was foremost on my mind. Race to the grave. The Scale’s verdict was more important than the election result + I was not pleased — back close to ___ but still under, thank goodness. Well, back to bed…on the other hand, I could stay up and do Nano…I’ll decide in a sec
2am – So damn tired. Too tired to write….
Later – Sick of it all. Hope to get thinner. Wake up tomorrow thinner, my dream. Going to bed now, f the world.
Around 11:30pm woke up, pissed off cuz it’s not tomorrow. I weigh __. I fasted all day. Pissed off about it all, just wish….Wish I was dead.
Am I alone in this? I don’t think so. Sure, I’m glad Obama won. So is my homeless friend, who is right now living in a tent. His mom kicked him out because of his eating disorder. Naw, I’m not alone. Only he doesn’t have a scale, cuz a scale would be too heavy to carry around, now, wouldn’t it?
Funny, I was so afraid of being negative on that website that I edited my journal entry to make it look more positive, so yeah, I did weed out some of the more “revealing” stuff. I’m told I’m I’m too TMI in this blog. I’m told a lot of shit by people who don’t have eating disorders who think they know it all. Everything’s just fucked up, anyway.
I just don’t see the point. So I got a therapist and wow does therapy seem pointless. Sit in an office and cry and cry. I’m a lot better off crying my eyes out at home, which I do all the time anyway.
Wow am I dreading Thanksgiving. Another fucking holiday alone and geez, what’s the point? At least there is Puzzle’s birthday we can celebrate on the 26th.
I am told to be grateful and smiley and…uh huh.
See ya later, alligators. I’m going back to bed.