I have no one who understands. I tried to tell my family, I spelt it out to them, and they didn't hear me. I used to read those stories about people telling their parents about their eating disorders and depression and their parents not believing them, and I took comfort in the fact that I knew that mine always would. But I got it all wrong. First I told my sister, she's always been my best friend.
I have panic attacks.
I think I have an anxiety disorder.
I think I need therapy.
Today I told my mum. I never thought she wouldn't understand because she is such a worrier. I always believed that she would do something, all I had to do was tell her.
I know I have an anxiety disorder, I say. I read out the list of symptoms to her and point out the ones I have. I explain to her the difference between sadness and depression, the inability to control yourself when you begin to panic. I say it all, but I'm talking to a wall.
We can't have you on drugs, is all she seems to say. They will make you gain weight.
The minute you said those words I gave up the fight. Because those words say everything to me. I have almost killed myself to make myself the perfect daughter you want, I have starved myself for months, I have thrown up food, I don't remember the last time I ate normally. I don't remember the last time I saw food as simple. There are scars on my body saying how I feel. But it was the same with them. The day you saw them and asked for an explanation, and I suppressing the horror of the truth coming out muttered some lie, you took it. You didn't ask me for more, you never cared to look over my body again. You dismissed it. And I thought mothers carried the truth in their gut, that they always knew when you were lying, that if they saw burns all over your wrists, they would understand that you're not okay, that they would try to save you, instead of not even seeing them. You looked straight at them and you didn't even recognize them. I accidentally leaned onto an ashtray, I say. How could you have believed me? How did you dare to believe me? My wrists say everything.
As I hear you worry about my weight and not about me, I feel my heart disintegrate. I don't know if you're the reason I stopped eating that day, but I sure as hell know that you didn't stop me. Other kids lie, go to great lengths to hide their hungry stomachs from their families, but I say it to you as it is. I'm fat and I won't eat, and you're okay with that. You've never asked me to stop. And now that I'm falling apart, now that I am literally no longer in control of anything, now that the panic attacks have settled in to stay, you remind me to watch my weight. All I hear is that I should give up my mind for the size of my jeans.
You don't know what an eating or an anxiety disorder is. You don't know what depression is either. So when I accidentally brush my scars past you, or when I say it clear and loud over the phone, you don't hear me. I don't know how much louder I can say this - these three things are killing me, yet you still don't see it as serious enough. As long as I lay off the cookies.