Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving is for Turkeys

Do I want to be thin or do I want to be healthy? It's an important question, and I wish the answer came to me easily. I think just thinking about my mother makes me want to starve myself. (Look at me, damnit! I'm passing out in school and we've had the plumber out three times this year.*) Maybe more of my food issues are related to her than I originally thought. That almost makes sense; they didn't start till Iowa, when it was just us girls, and mom started dieting. And it was her mishandling of my sister's binge-eating and weight gain that made me realize being skinny earned approval. (I was 11. My mother should have approved of me without me having to earn a damn thing.) It's so obvious to me that my sister, grandmother, and I all have eating disorders - why do I think she's exempt? She's the only obese vegetarian I've ever even heard of.**

And it's November - start of the holiday season and my biannual starvation diet. Only this year, I don't wanna play. I'm tired of that game and I'm scared of dying young. I hate Thanksgiving. I remember loving it as a kid, but I remember loving Gig and the cult, too. And since I was 12 at least, National Binge Eating Day hasn't exactly been my favorite holiday. St. Paddy's is more my style: green beer, Flogging Molly songs, and no one expects me to eat a giant meal with my family.

Seriously, if you can truly lurk and stop yourself from commenting, you should go look at a pro-ana community forum on Thanksgiving. (Warning: Images on that site will be triggering as hell if you have an eating disorder or body dysmorphia, so please respect your own limits.) It's almost entirely, "you can make it!" and "forgive yourself - start over tomorrow" messages of encouragement, or else it's girls freaking out because the combined pressures of extended family and public eating prove too much for them to handle. I think for five years in a row, I'd find some excuse to leave after the meal - to pick up eggnog or ice or cigarettes or something - so I could throw up in the privacy of a 7-11 bathroom. Before that I used to just take a walk around the neighborhood and throw up in some neighbor's bushes***

I wanna be 10 pounds overweight just once in my life, to know what it's like. I wanna feel safe enough to eat as much as I want, and then stop. I want to never see my mom again. I want to trust myself and trust humanity to be better to me than my family was. Little Man is going to Thanksgiving this year with my mom, and then he's spending the weekend with his old nanny. (Ah, the days of 70+ work weeks, before I discovered unemployment checks, laughing at eviction notices, and blogging.) Where will I be spending this holiday? In Puerto Rico with Boyfriend Dave, *miles* away from my crazy family and their crazy drama and their table full of lard and calories. Shit, I had the best Thanksgiving ever last year splitting a Boston Market dinner with Little Man and watching the Grinch on TV. I'm hoping this year is even better.

And now a song to remind me of my grandma Carol Balizet and the rest of my mean, mean family.

I'd take the seasick crocodile, too. Fortunately, I don't have to. I can seek geographic solutions to deep-seated emotional problems :)

* Freshman year
** Healthy Eating: You're Doing It Wrong
*** Angie the Anti-Theist: Sober-vomitting in public since 1995. (Come on, it's a little funny.)