Noone else in that room has to go to the doctor to check for vaginal scarring, a stopping period

Noone else in that room has nightmares of being raped over and over again

Noone else in that room has nightmares of throwing up and not being able to stop, her bones sticking out, her hair falling out

Noone else in that room ripped her bone and muscles apart because she was starving to death and in response her body cannabilized itself a year ago trying to stay together

Somedays I think I can just watch a movie, call my family, check to see how things are

Somedays I realize I haven’t eaten in 24 hours

Manatu means to remember in Tongan.

I spend a lot of time trying not to remember, so sometimes I forget.

I forget how fragile I am now, compared to before.

I forget that I can’t look through fashion magazines. There are shows I can’t watch and people I can’t look at because if I look there will be a punishment.

I forget… Other people can go on diets. Other people can count calories. Other people can read nutrition labels.

For me I have to force myself not to do it. Stay off that scale. Do NOT go through the trash and find that nutrition label and write down how many calories you need to burn tomorrow. Stop counting calories. Stop looking at how much protein, how much fat. Stop. stop. STOP. You have to STOP.

I hang out with other women and they’re always talking about some new fad diet they are trying and I realize no, I can’t talk about this. It’s a “trigger”.

I can’t diet.

I can’t afford to skip a meal. I will get dizzy and pass out.

I can’t afford to starve myself for two weeks to look good in that dress because if I do that two weeks will turn into two months.

I can’t just get a salad because I have a period to earn back and I don’t have enough body fat.

I have to relearn how to eat a treat and not punish myself.

I can’t spend 4 hours a day working out like I used to because my bones will crack.

It’s like this drug. It gave me this feeling of control, of strength, of power.

When I do box drills in the gym in front of the mirror and I’m moving and I can move fast and strong for hours I feel thin, strong, beautiful,

It’s worse than crack. For one moment everything’s perfect. Then that moment is over and it takes over me, depresses me, pushes me towards weight-loss miracle products and diets and calories and numbers and  allowed foods and makes me sick with shame when I eat a “forbidden” food.

People comment on my body a lot. Say I look good, healthy, strong, slim, fit, thin…

It’s blood money. I paid the price for this body and I’m fighting to get my money back because being thin isn’t WORTH this. None of the fashion magazines stick alongside their miracle diets the warnings: this could kill you. The indulgence in this weakness can and will kill you, given the chance.

It’s exactly my brand of seduction

Thin comes to me, eyes full of glittering promises about how good I’ll feel in that dress if I just skip this meal, shows me her muses of beauty attached to handsome men. She latches onto me and never lets go. She feeds on my insecurities, my blood, my bones, she is part of me but not of me. I want to kill this wretch for what she’s done to me but I bleed when she bleeds.

Somedays I come to and realize I stopped eating for days.


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