Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I was watching Intervention* with my mother. It was this heartbreaking story about a woman addicted to painkillers and how her family had to deal with it. Very very sad. Then one about crack addiction came on, and I jokingly said to my mom, "If you ever get the urge to take up crack, please resist". Then she jokingly said, "Let's hope we never have to do an intervention on you." Uh -- awkward.

There actually was a mini-intervention done on me in high school. I literally just remembered this -- maybe repression, maybe because that seems like so long ago. Long story short: I got a note in homeroom from the guidance counselor to go see her, and I was like, whatever, I'm a senior, she probably wants to talk about colleges. Turns out she wanted to talk about self-starvation and sadness. Friends had sought her out. They were awkwardly sitting there and we talked for a bit, and then agreed that I'd see the counselor every so often. I was horrified and embarrassed and angry at my friends, but in truth part of me was relieved.

I was a straight-up restricter at the time and had lost a bit of weight, but not enough for the counselor to adequately give a shit. Which -- it's not like she was a bad person or anything. It wasn't apathy, I guess. I'm going to sound like a jerk, but I was a very self-aware semi-adult with an exceptional knowledge of eating disorders**, and I felt like I was smarter than her in that respect. I also had a stubborn refusal to deal with life, and she didn't specialize in EDs. So that was that. The whole affair left me feeling like a silly girl who wasn't even sick enough to warrant serious attention and obviously she must have thought that I was too fat to really have an eating disorder. It was. . . counterproductive.

When I passed out later in the semester due to hunger/faintness, I got pushed to my parents' car in a wheelchair in the middle of the hallway and I saw her and she just stared and it was this terrible, terrible moment of awkwardness and silent blame and guilt.

ANYWAY. It was an uncharacteristically weird comment from my mother, who is in all other respects educated and very empathetic in all things eating disordered. I wound up saying, "Well, that hits a little close to home, huh?" and she said, "Why?"

Why? Because I was in treatment for ten weeks. My mother (and father, and sisters, and brother) visited me at a place where girls/women were pacing around and crying and freaking out about pasta, and she cried when I told her about my suitemate at Renfrew who was dying -- not immediately, not right away, but in a wasting kind of way, in a slow-burn, slow-fade kind of way. I was -- and am -- one of those girls.

This is not a coherent post. It was just a profoundly weird interaction. Maybe she just didn't want to think of her daughter as having something in common with a 52-year-old crack addict.

*I'm feeling morally conflicted about this but I don't have the energy to write about it at 1:25AM. But I know I will soon enough.
**People with eating disorders tend to have an obnoxious knowledge of them, at least in my experience of knowing people with EDs.

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