‘Why didn’t anybody stop you?’
I get really fucking upset when I think about this now, with a healthier mind. Throw myself a little pity party – banners blaring ‘How didn’t anybody see I was dying?’ ‘You all suck’. I look at pictures of me from three years ago and just want to yell at some people, ‘Couldn’t you see? Couldn’t you see what was happening?’. I sit baffled, huddled over these pictures of me with empty eyes and purple skin, laughing at the sheer stupidity of absolutely everybody who’d been near me. That’s when the almighty answer hit me, knocking all of this conceited knowledge out of me. I didn’t know I was sick.
I must have known something wasn’t right. Or maybe I thought it was normal to get so cold you lose all blood flow to your limbs and wear three layers of tights and a thermal vest beneath your regular clothes. Normal to use makeup to cover the prominent purple bruises that embellish your skin, to lose hair at such a rapid rate you can’t actually keep up. For your breathing to be so laboured that it is actually a task to inhale. For your eyelids to be heavy and your lower lash line threatening to rupture because of the amount of tears you seem to manage to get through in the space of 24 hours. Yes, so extremely normal. How could I think it was normal, if I went to such extents to hide it? Water bloating. Nail polish covering the brittle, blue cuticles. Hiding beneath layers and layers of clothes, like a safety blanket.
How could anybody know? I was an expert at this, mastered the steps. I could write novels of the excuses I used, never letting anybody near me, pushing everybody away (how cliche, I know) just because it meant I could focus all of my energy towards my goal. No time wasted making small talk with naive friends, I told myself.
Unless you found me, passed out, crying (otherwise known as absolute hysteria if nobody was within a five mile radius), or if you looked really closely, really, really closely. Then really have no idea how anybody would’ve noticed. I wish they had now. But at the time the thought of people stopping me was terrifying.
I wish I had said something earlier. Told somebody. Asked for help. Maybe even had a full blown meltdown, kicked a few tables, punched a wall perhaps. Got people to sit up and notice something wasn’t right. But instead I craved their ignorance, it meant I was doing well. If anybody said anything, even brushed the topic of weight, food, body image, I found some pathetic excuse to remove myself from the possibility of an interventian.
I wish people had noticed earlier though. Thought, maybe it’s odd we’ve never seen her eat in school for three years? Or, it’s odd she never seems to leave the house if she can help it. Its odd that she cried over potatoes last night isn’t it?And that time she had a pair of scales in her room? Yes, odd.
Both my ignorance, and their ignorance makes me laugh now. Perhaps we thought if we all ignored it, it would go away. *Spoiler alert* that doesn’t work.