“That sounds like something a person with an eating disorder would say,” said my husband. He had that look of false calm on his face that means he’s desperately trying to hide how upset he actually was. “You are so beautiful and I love you so much. I’d rather you weighed 300 pounds than starve yourself for a day or throw up even once.”
I laugh and hug him, reassuring him that just because I still have disordered thoughts, that doesn’t mean I’m still engaging in disordered behaviors. Yes, I tell him. Yes, I know you think I’m beautiful. Yes, I know you want me to eat and digest and to be as healthy and strong as I can be.
But what I don’t say is that he’s not even bothering to think about what I want. I don’t say that it’s phenomenally self absorbed and disgustingly arrogant to think that I starve and vomit and claw at my lumps and wobbles because of him or anyone else. I don’t explain for the thousandth time how much I hate myself, how much I hate the flawed, broken, useless body I’m stuck in. I don’t explain that even though I only tell him I’m in pain when it’s too bad for me to type or walk, I am still in pain all day, every day. I don’t explain to him how my useless body doesn’t deserve food when it won’t move, but that when I’m well enough to go to the gym, I’ll make sure to eat at least as many calories as I burned off. I don’t explain the satisfaction and catharsis that comes from any self harm, including a strong, thorough purge.
Instead I smile at him and touch his arm reassuringly. I thank him for loving what I hate. I thank him for the support he tries to give.