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Hidden and Sought

Posted Mar 23 2010 1:04pm

March 23, 2009, 4:30pm
Today I decided to be anorexic. I decided that I was ready to be stick thin, that I wanted people to tell me that I should eat. That I missed people saying, "She was even skinnier than you!" like they did when I weighed 100 pounds in France but still managed to turn town gelato in Italy. That I missed jeans being loose and mirrors being friends and hunger being normal, comfortable, even.

So I ate yogurt and a little granola for breakfast. I had a vegan burger on low-calorie bread and a banana for lunch. And coffee. Tons of coffee. And then, at around 3pm, I got hungry. So I ate a salad without cheese or meat or flavor and with fat-free dressing. And then I ate a bag of chocolate-covered pretzels. And then I ate approximately six Hershey's kisses. And then I just had to have one of those damn scones that I've decided are the reason that God invented butter and thus the perfect food with which to start a binge. And so I ate. And ate. And ate. I ate alone. I hid my trash. And then, I purged. (I think that's the first time I've ever written that down. Holy shit.)

I decided to be anorexic until I got hungry, at which point I hated myself and my needs and my desires and my worthless f*cking resolve. And now I have chocolate under my fingernails and am not sure I deserve to be happy about anything at all.

Today I wished again that it could be alcohol. I wished that someone could just take it all away. I wished that I could get "sober" or "clean" or "dry" and never have to look at the stuff again. Instead, I'll be hungry. Tomorrow. Maybe sooner.

Tonight I have chocolate under my fingernails and want to rip my insides out. Tomorrow I'll have to eat.

March 23, 2009, 9:30pm
I'm writing tonight because I need to, because I don't want to, but because I need to. And because I hope to God - because I am in fact praying to God - that it will help.

As I was on what I thought would be the last of my at-work snacks - that is, before the on-the-bus-ride snacks, the every-restaurant-along-my-walk-home snacks, and the "I-swear-my-fiance-and-I-are-having-a-party-that's-why-I-am-buying-full-pans-of- on-the-couch snacks - I began reading a book about biblical metaphors. It was talking about God's initiative, and about our tendency to hide in response. We hide because we think that the only reason that God could possibly be calling us would be to judge us, to punish us. We are scared to death of that, and so we hide. Behind facades, behind prejudices, behind friends, behind food. We hide hoping that in hiding from God's judgment, we might also hide from the persecutory, ugly, painful judgment of the world, and of ourselves.

But what is different about God - and what I want to argue is quite often different about the world and which I have to believe might also be possible within me - is that God's judgment is not a prelude to consequences, but rather, to grace, to forgiveness, and to love. God's judgment says, "You are there. I am here. I love you." And in responding, we come out of hiding and we live.

I'm hiding. Not all the time or everyday, necessarily, but I'm hiding. I hate using food to muffle, to suppress my emotions. I hate it because I need to feel them. And I hate it because somewhere in there I need Dan to see me feeling them. I feel like I'm hiding from him, too, in part, eating so that I won't show him my laziness or moodiness or restlessness or anxiety - or anything else that might make him realize once and for all that loving me is simply not worth the effort. I hate it because what makes me happy is moving and laughing and making love, and when I'm eating - when I'm hiding behind food - I stop all that. My life becomes muted. I become muted. And the part of me that the world sees is not the real me. It's not the whole me. And while it might be more "perfect" or palatable, it's worse. The whole me is good. "Here I am," I want to say to my body. "Here I am. There you are. I love you."

I love Dan. And he loves me. I want to share my life with him, and that means all of it. I want to be whole, and that means energetic and funny and sexy and passionate, but it also means tired and pissed off and melodramatic and unreasonable. I want to be able to sit with these. Because that's what people do. People feel. I didn't, for a long, long time. But I want to. And I think Dan might want me to, too. I want to sit with these, and I want Dan to sit with me. Forever.

So God help me. Speak to me tonight and tomorrow and the next day and help me, however it might happen, to come out of hiding, to be vulnerable, naked, and seen. To have faith in your love and in your grace and in the love and grace of those around me and in the love and grace of myself. Help me to one day, or maybe only for a moment, be - and see and love - the Kate that you created me to be.
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