. (hope_is_swift) wrote in ed_ucate,

Hi everyone,

This is a copy of something I had in my portfolio from the hospital. I'm not sure who wrote it, but my therapist gave it to me. I thought it was an interesting way of using anger to motivate towards recovery. I've placed it under a cut, because its kind of long.

I thought, "Here we go again, anorexia! So you've sneaked into the life of yet another innocent young girl, pretending to befriend her at a time of big changes. How cunning of you to detect Katie's uneasiness with her developing body, and how unscrupulous of you to offer her an "easy" solution - dieting! How neatly you insinuated yourself into her uncertainty, her longing for friends and boyfriends, promising her that thinness would ensure attractiveness and popularity, would win her admiration and make her so-called achievement the envy of all who know her. Anorexia, you offered Katie a kind of heaven - did you tell her the price she'd have to pay? Did you warn her you'd eventually steal even her soul in exchange? I heard you actually convinced Katie she's your only victim, in a school of 1200 girls! Did you not tell her that that's your lie to each and every one you choose?

You vampire, anorexia, haven't you taken enough already? Aren't you satisfied with the stream of young girls you've preyed upon, stealing their fate, then their flesh, then their strength, then their energy, their enthusiasm, their sparkle, their humour, opinions, sports, games, friendships, social times, confidence, trust, creativity, originality, individuality - their very lives?

I suppose she was an attractive choice: intelligent, friendly, humorous, a keen sport, a lover of animals, responsible, ambitious, prepared to study hard and train to be a doctor. What a delightful tall poppy to cut down at the threshold of adolescence! What pleasure you must be taking in draining her energy, blurring her concentration, and alienating her from her own body, confusing her so she thinks she's gross when in fact she's starving, bewildering her so she no longer knows whether she's hungry or thirsty, and shrinking her world down to focus on your sinister and distorted ideas of what looks good.

How did you do it, anorexia? How did you train Katie to criticize and reject her body instead of loving herself? How did you make her believe that some imaginary schoolboy's opinion was worth starvation? What vulnerabilities did you seize upon to convince her that thin, weak conformists are more desirable than strong individuals? I suppose you have lots of help: the movies, magazines, TV soaps, advertising, schoolgirl culture - they all tell the same story, that less is best for girls' bodies and minds. Did you use your usual trick of comparing? Making Katie compare herself against friends and declare herself the loser, then offer your services in consolation, the perfect solution? Did you use the old drug dealers' trick of just a little bit at first? Did you slip smoothly from the oh-so-reasonable "no junk food" to gradually defining all food as junk? Did you use secrecy and the pretense of "specialness" to isolate Katie in subtle ways from the loving concern of family and friends? And of course I know you used FEAR, that despicable technique favoured by tyrants and bullies the world over. Yes, you terrorized this 13 year old into accepting your lie - that you offer "control" and without you, Katie will lose all control and her hunger will be insatiable.

If it weren't so vicious and evil it would be laughable, your threat that a healthy, active young woman will become the size of a whale just by the simple fact of eating ordinary nourishing good. This Fear has tormented and tortured countless thousands upon thousands of young women into submitting to your hateful rule. Together you have scarred and maimed and destroyed so many, many promising young lives.

But, anorexia, we will not stand for it. Katie has wise and loving and intelligent parents who will not allow you to prey upon their beloved only daughter. They have chosen me as their anti-anorexic therapist, and with the help of Dr. Brennan and her dietitian and everyone who cares about Katie, we will fight anorexia and Fear and drive you out of this family's life. We do this because we are perfectly clear about what is right and what is wrong. It is right to support Katie to pursue a challenging and rewarding life. It is wrong to starve her into conformity, weakness, illness and - if you had your way - death.

Take notice, anorexia, we will do everything in our power to free Katie from the spell you have cast over her. We are guided by two principles: unwavering support and love for Katie, & unwavering hatred for anorexia and the harm it does."

& here is something else I found; it is a letter (again, I'm not entirely sure who wrote it) from my portfolio, comparing anorexia nervosa with Nazism. Its really quite interesting. Again, under the cut.

"I was fascinated by our discussion about "the abuses of power" and by how you recognised the parallels between Nazi Germany and anorexia: the use of propaganda, backed up by threats and fear, to make evil from right and proper.

I wonder what you thought of my accusing anorexia as the living legacy of Nazism, its virtual concentration camps hidden in the minds of countless young women. Who else but anorexia dares replicate in our midst the skeletal, starved bodies that whisper the agony of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen? What else but anorexia cynically repeats the lethal lie emblazoned above Auschwitz: 'Arbeit macht frei' ('Work (perfection) will set you free')? The starved, beaten and tortured did not work themselves to freedom - they were worked to death deliberately, callously without reprieve.

Do you hear the echo of Nazism in anorexia's use of propaganda to confuse, mystify, seduce and blame its victims? Do you recognise from history the techniques of power, the use of threats, fear, torture to induce conformity? Does Nazism's fear and hatred of individuality have a familiar ring? Where else does anorexia derive its infatuation with absolute control, control of mind, body and spirit? . . ."

Hope these are relevant: I actually haven't posted anything in here before!
Love Katie xx

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