For some reason my entry is once again going to be "there was this boy....." Shortly after making the "full" connection, I dated a guy who I loved very much. He said he loved me too. I loved him enough to share my secret, I wasn't eating. I had never shared that with a boyfriend before. I thought having him knowing would be helpful to my journey towards healing. I even invited him to come to one of my counseling sessions to help him understand how to help, love and support me.
At the counseling appointment, he said all the right things. My counselor even mentioned after he had left that he was very kind to me and seemed to have a real desire to help me through it. Not that at any point I expected him to cure me but I really thought he would at least support me as I was seeking help. He tried. After a while though it is draining, especially when you view anorexia as a stupid choice not as a vicious stronghold.
I could feel how frustrated he was getting and I wanted to get better to keep him from being so frustrated with me. The problem was that I wasn't getting better. Wanting to for him was not enough. I still had too much emotional baggage and my own blinding hurt kept me from being able to get better for just his sake. He started saying things like, "Why can't you just eat? Why is this such a huge deal for you?" And then he said the worst, "Don't you love me? Why can't you stop for me?" The funny thing is that I never felt guilt over not eating as he intended. I always felt guilt from eating though.
I was afraid to stop. Anorexia had become part of my identity. I didn't know how to function without it. It was a safety net that helped me to think about food not sex. I wanted to feel badly enough to get better for him but I didn't want to get better for me. As anyone at all will tell you about any addiction or destructive habit, if you don't want to get better, no one else can make you get better.
Unfortunately, he didn't know that. He pressured me more and more. We also had a fairly physical relationship so the more he pressured me to eat, the less control I felt. It was MY body and I didn't like him telling me how to use it. I would allow him to be physical, too physical, hoping that if he had that, he would quit trying to make me eat. As our relationship got more physical, eating became more difficult. No matter how much guilt he heaped on me, I couldn't feel guilty enough to change. I did indeed love him but I couldn't stop for him.
When he finally left me ( I would say broke up with me, but I didn't get the courtesy of that kind of closure) I was broken. I remember telling my counselor that I wish I had gone ahead and slept with him. We were physical enough that it is surprising that we didn't. She asked why and I remember responding with tears flowing down my cheeks, "Because then he would have my body but not my heart." She told me several times that it wasn't really like that. I just remember crying and crying and hating myself for not being able to love him enough to change. I wanted him. I had changed when abusive boyfriend thought I was fat. I had desired to please him enough to starve myself. Why then could I not change for this boy who I did love? Why couldn't I force myself to eat just as I had forced myself to stop eating?
I don't fully know the answers to those questions but I do know this, loving him and wanting to please him was not enough to break years of destructive habits. Loving him was not enough to heal me. Being physical with him only continued my feelings of being out of control. His guilt was no where near big enough to bring change to my heart, my body and my life. His guilt only made me hate myself more because I couldn't change for him, even though I did love him.