I needed out of the red tunnel; to be swallowed by his blue light. At the time it was merely a crack coming in from a far more powerful door to open. I want to walk through and take him to the forest together.
I’ve known for a while that my family isn’t perfect. People who advertise their amazing, beautiful families make me feel uncomfortable. For many of these people the portrayal is arguably fake. However, for a special group family truly is their world, which is attractive albeit alienating to those who can’t fold in or, ultimately, be granted naturally the same level of sincerity. Not that I’m jealous because that ship has sailed, and I get my family now plus have the ancestors. But I only wish that at a younger age I’d fully grasped–regardless of the biological argument–that I don’t have to make myself out of family or be defined by it. Family is something to be grateful for and respectful towards as much as possible, but for me personally, it is not the foundation. Today, the claws of childhood and anorexia nervosa are no longer hooked. I wasn’t born to be good for them but rather because I decided to be free…for Laura!
He’s the only one left that she wants in her awareness. She still has her own door that leads to terrific things but the point is she made an invitation to resurrecting herself through him because she is ready. Someone new, great could come anytime but that has always been the case. There is a cleansing, healing vortex here and, even if it’s all hers, she awakened it through him.
He was a missed opportunity but at the time shame made it so I could not risk losing control. My initial duress began, more severely, at age eight several years before. That is when the heightened anxiety started as opposed to me being merely a scared child. It might be the case that if I’d been with this boy anorexia nervosa would not have happened. There is a similar theory I have about sixth grade too, which is that if I’d stayed in Maryland with my current peer group and rectified my relationship with basketball, anorexia nervosa would have been much less likely because I had too much to live for. With this boy, though, it is hard to fathom how long we’d last. However, if I could have shared myself with him and he accepted me that would have made our relationship pivotal to preventing anorexia nervosa. My friends back east would have thought I was cooler, plus socially and physically I’d feel better about myself. Furthermore, if for whatever reason this boy had some difficulty in his life as a teenager I’d have known how to be there for him. On a less beneficial personal note, I would have gotten totally immersed in a new life that didn’t lead up to addressing, independently, my earlier childhood before moving. I would have expressed certain things but imagine my processing and ambitions would be entirely different. Yet, if this boy and I broke up, then what? Would I have had enough relationship experience to feel comfortable with other guys and not isolate myself thereafter? Or, would I have sunk into depression and developed anorexia nervosa at that time?
She held him within herself as a trade for her own heart. Many years later he resurfaced. She’s releasing him from the inside to get her heart back. If he consciously wants to give her his, that’s a newly separate story. She did protect him, in a way, after all. Wearing her engraved gold locket from the sea is still worth something. It would have been nice to get him, but since then she doesn’t need.
A little girl needs him as the sign of her victory in being forbidden. If I don’t accept or trust in her torment, she insists that I am not allowed to love because “it won’t come true” without specifically him. She is punishing me via his restraint. He isn’t by my side, yet it’s in the way she affirms, so vividly, “He’s the one who brought me here today,” that makes it impossible to coincide separately with another.
I thought of a guy from eighth grade, “Gary.” This was the type of kid I could have bonded more with but never been in love. As it turned out a different guy, “Kevin” liked me that year–at least temporarily. Then I fell for a bully. Gary knew who I was, but I didn’t feel comfortable visibly liking him because I was going through something very deep and his, well, immaturity didn’t allow for me to be taken seriously. Gary was smart in an intellectual and opinionated way that basically made me feel scared and unworthy. I don’t mean that Gary was a bad person, but he never reached out. Being around him didn’t make me feel magical like my crush from the year before; however, I also didn’t avoid Gary in the same away.
My pressured elementary school frenzy with sports, academics and peers took Laura away. Moving didn’t magically provide access. Rather, I found new ways to confine myself through boys and, also, not eating. I locked men up inside me instead, yet despite the agony of not getting, none was the reason for my loss.
I see us together and realize once we are that symbolizes so much on so many levels, but especially accepting myself and entrusting my desires through all time. My head just runs wild. There is no closing the door as in making myself go away through a new person because she’s still me no matter “the” he.
For roughly a decade I was paralyzed on elementary school. For instance, I was stuck on feeling guilty about an incident with a boy that ultimately had nothing to do with me. I was stuck on my friends from that time even though they didn’t support me through a deadly illness. Two years ago I landed seemingly miraculously at the sixth grader. I then contacted a boy I knew only in that period. But I didn’t need him. I needed Laura as a sixth grader. Coming together with him wouldn’t pull me through and erase California or make up for anorexia anyways. I realize that even though her suffering carried on, sixth grade Laura isn’t special to me; sixth grade Laura was special to other people. Seventh grade Laura is special to me. She is strong, independent and understands being alone. I arose strongly from her–without getting the boy(s) I wanted–today.
His semblance washed away the excesses,
But he could never shake my clear waters.
Since August 30 I’ve been visiting. Well, my parents aren’t here so I’ve actually been house and pet sitting, in addition to working. The first two weeks I spent a lot of time downtown. I liked it there, found a special park for lunch and thought about my grandparents. Recently, I’ve been more in the urban-suburban area. Everywhere there is a new development. I feel very trapped without more nature and realize how much I’ve benefitted from spending time at the ocean slash choosing to live elsewhere. I wish I could like it more here, I love my dog and am very grateful, but oh how good it feels that for once I don’t have to force myself and just need to get by! I’ve decided I’m going to sell some of my things at the house that can’t come with me in the long run.
If he didn’t notice then, that “already” makes him blind.
If he isn’t seeing: There is no coming together in hiding.
I rationalize based on how I want my observations to translate; that doesn’t mean he comes together.
If I think, “Why can’t he be better?” and feel some combination of annoyed and disappointed but am no longer anguished, then I’ve finally worked through the pain he brought up in me and am facing him.
I thawed the frozenness of years past only to realize he’s the one whose arms I want to melt in today. What matters is that I arrived here in my emotional process. With the others, I was always trying to figure something out about myself through them. There was a sexual attraction, yes, but they couldn’t occupy this heart and took over my space instead.
I imagined her all throughout the forest; oh-so-happy and smiling, with pinkish purple in the background, animals, jewels and hearts. She started to play with blue lights and make them into trees.
More than anything else, as a seventh-grader, I needed this door to his world and I needed him to open it and let me in because I could not speak or miraculously make him want me. For half of a semester, sure, just being touched by him (never literally) was enough to keep me going. But it makes little sense to me emotionally that, somehow, over the summer I got swept away and forgot how strongly he’d made me feel then liked new people the next year. Truthfully, I can’t remember much of anything that happened between seventh and eighth grade. I asked my mom, and she told me about going to camp with a group of girls. They weren’t necessarily my favorite and had been friends for a long time before me; I felt unimportant, like they didn’t really need a Laura. Within their group, I didn’t at all have the same specialness that had been there for me in Maryland and as a basketball player.
Although there were other people I experienced attractions to in eighth grade, nothing was the same or strong enough to mesmerize me like the seventh grade crush. But of course the message learned from adults, society or whatever had been that I was just a 12 year-old, couldn’t really have deep feelings for this boy who’d left anyways. Not having him there and losing the world he created for me (that I, ultimately, created out of him) explains, in part, how I became so obsessed with school and competitive against myself. Everything felt like my fault although of course in reality I couldn’t control this boy and the door I recognized as “his” came through my own eyes. No matter, she wasn’t enough, and I positively needed him more. At the time I still had friends but they’d only known me for a very short period of time since I met new people in eighth grade and didn’t stay close to the people I’d had classes with in seventh. I just didn’t matter to people like I had in the past, felt unworthy, and like one year after moving California was already a horrendous failure for not getting this boy and, furthermore, for dropping basketball. Especially once diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, I’d never get another chance to feel the same way about a guy since, at the root, my seventh grade crush was all about timing. I recall him now, symbolically, as a midpoint.
We had social studies and physical education together. Social studies came before lunch. I terribly looked forward to seeing him and sitting across from each other. Well, almost. The room was set up like this: Walk in the door. On the left side is the board. Turn right to face the front of class. He sat on the right side of the room, and I the left. I think he was in the second row back and I the third, which made it easier to stare. He was also one row down horizontally; I was more nestled in the middle. Either way, I was completely embarrassed and wanted to hide behind the friend who sat in front of me. She liked me and always wanted to hug; I thought getting attention from her would make him notice me more. I always prayed that when students got assigned partners, we’d be set-up. That didn’t happen. I think I got him to sign my yearbook, though. I remember how close I was to opening my mouth in physical education as the school year wound down because once I realized “this is going to end” I felt more sad and alone than ever before. But he was just so quiet, pure, mysterious and innocent; I didn’t want to be the person responsible for ruining him with my ugliness and problems even as a seventh grader before anorexia nervosa.
One of the questions I get asked sometimes when I present about my book is often to do with sexuality. People note that I made a big deal of writing about boys through middle school, but once high school starts did I have any crushes or relationships? In seventh grade I had my big crush the second half of the year, and someone I liked the first semester who liked me but, clearly, couldn’t get past someone else. In eighth and ninth grade there were at least three guys interested in me from the running team or classes. One of these guys was similar to a kid from earlier. It was the type of thing where he liked me then changed his mind to someone else and couldn’t decide. Kinda immature, eh? By that point I was more “into” anorexia nervosa, anyways. In tenth grade there was actually somebody nice but he had other friends; I felt uncool. I did not have a boyfriend in high school, although I did have boy friends my therapist was convinced liked me, which got old. My therapist pressured me to put myself more out there, but I didn’t have a good time. Mostly, I saw guys at the gym but didn’t talk to them. Besides that, I liked guys who were mean and took away my confidence in eighth and twelfth grade. Unfortunately, this pattern would repeat later, and inspire more writing!
She needed him first in order to save herself. Emotionally, not getting ruined her. Now is finally her turn to experience him. If he can’t, she gets anybody. Her purpose wanting comes in realizing he’s always been there, with her, as if she was never actually alone and knew on some level: “This is why I suffered and lived all along because I couldn’t ‘yet’ have him.”
Today I met with my grandfather for tea. He died in 1976 but gave me a hug anyways. We talked about forest, family and trust. My other grandfather is a magician. He died in 1994. However the awareness of my Yochelson grandfather is more unusual and new. I’m eager to meet his spirit through imagining.
Last night I dreamt my friend was trying to sell me new shampoo. I guess she owned the store. She went to the shelf and picked out a shampoo specifically for me. The bottle was plastic but gold in design with cursive writing on the front. I held the shampoo to look on the back and knew that even though I liked it and wanted to make my friend happy, I wasn’t going to buy something unnatural. But the ingredients consisted mostly of my last name being listed, each time followed by a dash and different number. The one I remember is “Yochelson-40”. Sadly, I still worried at least initially that this might represent something artificial. Afterwards, I remember riding in the car with a younger version of Grandma Kay (who passed away in 2006). She was driving wearing a white blouse, telling me about herself at my age. There wasn’t traffic and the ride was smooth. From the front seat, I could see the black-paved road ahead. I took in light and scenery through the windows.
First, there is happy Laura from birth to infancy. She is very joyous. Adults look at her and want to brag. Afterwards, meet three to seven-year-old Laura. She is pretty, girly and well liked by peers and teachers. She is boyish in the sense of being athletic but still enjoys style, nature, etc. At the age of five life begins to get more difficult, but she isn’t lost and holds herself together well. Eight to 10-year-old Laura comes next. She is less happy and beginning to break but is saved (slash haunted) by basketball. Even without the same shine as before, her intensity is irresistible. People like her because she is funny and also sweet. Fourth is eleven-year-old Laura. She stands alone. This is her year of feeling like life is coming together as a sixth grader in middle school. There are still real problems, but for the most part she feels good around her peers. Although afraid, she is secretly excited about high school, growing up and boys.
In a way, 12-year-old Laura is singular too. My first year in San Diego, for the most part, I loved the adventures and newness. However, 12.5 year-old-Laura belongs with 13-year-old Laura. There are many, many changes happening now. She is under pressure and cannot see herself in the midst of too much going on. Fourteen to 18-year-old Laura represents intelligence and anorexia nervosa. By 19, Laura number seven, focus returns to to healing. That means no more: “Moving ruined me!” Or, “You don’t know the real me when I was a basketball player!” Slash; “Look what I’ve been through and how special I am because of this disease!” Thankfully, my current focus encompasses enough to redeem the rest.
Yesterday I met a grandmother angel in a layered white dress. She placed a necklace around me made of yellow pearls and lit up my abdomen where I saw a rich purple kingdom. As part of this kingdom there is a castle, moat, forest, flowers, and animals. She made me Queen, gave me a crown with jewels, and covered my heart with a powerful green stone. She told me to trust the messages I receive and not give up on myself.
I’m made of a baby with a pink stripe, old grandfather and princess. The baby has special powers of love and healing. She is nurtured by the grandfather. The grandfather is very wise, surrounded by dark green with a long beard and crystal ball. Through this crystal ball a princess was envisioned. She is very bright and has command over perception.
Yesterday was cool. I walked into a room and a few people I hadn’t seen in a year called me by name: “Hi, Laura!” It was really nice! I didn’t necessarily remember other people’s names, though. In fact I felt very shy about saying their names back. So, two people called me by name, and I said, “Hi, how are you?” Then a woman kindly introduced herself to me. I didn’t know how to reply so I was like…”Hi” and then “I’m Laura” with a laugh since it was pretty obvious by then. Oh, well, guess it’s good I smiled and gave eye contact. Even that used to be hard.
Growing up I came to think that crushes could replace each other. Get a fresh, new crush for all the grades in school, better yet multiple, because nobody is real and going to last. With good intentions, I remember one therapist telling me when I was hung up on a guy, something along the lines of, Not to worry–he isn’t the only one. But I wasn’t satisfied with my therapist’s answer and stayed stuck on “Bob” until devising a deeper explanation. Eventually, I decided Bob was a cousin in my previous life. At first I thought he’d been a close friend who left me behind. Then I changed my mind to boyfriend (but interestingly never husband), until finally landing at cousin. The reason I ended up at cousin is because the two of us seemed related–not directly–but it is clear that I liked Bob because of something left-over; my experience with him was painfully raw to the point of debilitating, which is not the same as life-giving long-term. The crush after Bob I initially told myself had been a brother or husband. However I later decided, No, he was a “bad” uncle. In fact, I had a dream with this person, “Mark,” and he acted as a greedy superior, but gave me important sustenance I needed for my family to survive, which probably explains my prior attachment to him in this life. Nevertheless, whatever happened then did not give Mark permission to try and control me! Before Bob and Mark came “Sam,” whom I originally pinpointed as having been my father. Sam, I more recently decided, was my rival fraternal twin brother. Why else did I see into “him” from the back without first receiving a forward introduction?
I have no human, familial brothers. However, my dad’s mom had lots of brothers. My dad’s dad had brothers too. I never met any of these brothers; they died before I was born. On the other side, Mom’s mom was pretty much neglected by her dad, a tidbit referred to in my book. Even though I didn’t know any of these great uncles, great-grandparents, etc. it isn’t surprising that I perceive them in various guys I’ve been drawn to. My purpose in writing is that not every crush is the same. No, not at all! Intense crushes require effort and investigation in order to understand emotionally. From that point, the right bond will be made (which isn’t necessarily lover), or the bond tapers off and gets less stuck. Other crushes, of course, are unimportant bullies. Still yet, I’ve become curious about someone because it appeared his family already had a relationship to mine on some level, such as through a deceased grandparent. Then again, there are also new folks who come along and bring with them a purely mystical reason for wanting without logical explanation beyond. I honestly believe that once history is worked through, the kind of person desired becomes obvious, whether it is a previous crush, new ability to make room, some flexible combination or at the very least taking in what is already there, which could be a whole lot.
Yesterday, I wondered what it would have been like to be a son instead of a daughter. I don’t want to be a man and am happy with my womanhood. Why, then, do I still shun it away 11-12 years after being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa? This week I got fitted for bras. When I was still sick and underdeveloped I could get by with something cheap from almost anywhere, but for me today bras are quite pricy and can only come from one place. When asked my size, I said the right bandwidth but a combination of letters I knew was too small because I’m ashamed of my cup size. I realized after getting my new bras with the correct fitting that it was wrong to keep jamming myself in. Maybe that sounds comical, and I’ve been made fun of (slash complimented) for being full there, but it’s unhealthy and disheartening to stuff my body too tight and feel the need to hide this expression out of my control. One day I’ll be completely comfortable and stop trying to push her away!
I’ve attempted my beet story below before. Last week it came up again. Much of this writing relates to Sick.
I didn’t know how to cook, and ended up experimenting with purple (“red”) beets. I peeled the beets and cut them up. That took a while since beets are hard. I tried to steam the beets. They were taking a really long time because I fretted over using the lowest heat possible. More people entered the small kitchen, and things got tense. My dad started to prepare his pasta. My mom had her bread in the toaster. I became concerned about mixing utensils and my food getting messed up by particles from theirs, which nobody understood. I remember sitting down, and trying to eat the beets but they were still too hard, then people lost patience. I ran into my closet, screaming not because I was purposely starving myself like the anorexic people saw me as, but because I was starving. Everybody thought I should eat and get “healthy” as soon as possible, but nobody, it seemed, intended that I be genuinely fed.
My story about steaming beets is one of numerous interrelated tales that took place at the condo in Maryland. I remember, for instance, when I was with my sister outside on a bench after attempting to eat something that would impress other people. Then I got ill. I couldn’t eat whatever, gain weight and be so-called normal. For a time I had to go on a very special regimen. After being so restricted it’s no wonder that once I finally took risks with other foods I just wanted to eat! It took at least four years from the time I got down to my lowest weight at 18-19, then reached my highest and finally dipped back to a healthy, comfortable and maintainable place by 22.5.
There’s a very particular radius containing specific landmarks where a lot of things happened. Some of these landmarks include: the condo, the shopping center, the middle school, the high school, and the doctors office. In my head each place is distinctly concentrated because my experiences were so divergent. At the heart of this space things went well for a period. As the circumference broadens, memories of anorexia take over and the remainder of my unhappiness trails throughout. Today, I was in the parking lot of the shopping center. Suddenly I sensed a broad darkness circulating above me, containing the entire span of the condo, the shopping center, the middle school, the high school and the doctors office. Following the release of this ominous mushroom, it was as though I finally came together for the first time. The reason for this mushroom is not random. Earlier, I was walking at the water. For a while I stood there observing. Then out she came! This girl I’ve been holding so long. I saw her, curled up in a ball, trying so hard to look and decipher herself entirely contrary to the way she was taught life works: get good grades to define yourself here, add a little bit more up on the basketball court there, etc. I took very good care of this girl, but am quite relieved now that she is free.
They chose their world over remembering our friendship now that I wasn’t part of their everyday lives. What’s annoying is how they stole what I’d brought to the group…but neglected me! The nicknames I made up for various girls. The fascination with sport(s). The childish inside-jokes. They didn’t need me there to take these things. Better to forget Laura, close her off completely and act like it was all their own. Because I didn’t need anybody, right, and was just spoiled rotten to get to move to California even though one of the main reasons why my family left is because things weren’t going well in the sense that people were unhealthy/unhappy, so we wanted something different and very far away.
My sense of Laura got stitched into setting. Through the process of becoming that world, I lost everything that makes me. Throw “Laura” away and take this other version instead because it’s better. She’s a small, comical girl everyone wants to pinch at and to take from. She doesn’t need anything so just eat from her lunchbox. She won’t notice anyways. In truth I needed those people more than I needed to feed myself because I felt so scared and alone. Today, I cannot push up against their webbing anymore. It took a while to stop rubbing and let fully sink in: Fifteen years ago, I was one of “them,” I belonged with those people and had my place. Of course there were other groups too but everybody thought I was cool. People saw me was an attractive substitute version of myself—not at all reflective of the depth, potential, creativity, passion and underground worlds I manifest. This life and kind of fun wrote all over me, creating distance at heart. It will kill me to keep feeling sorry about missing my social heyday when it’s in fact nothing compared to the gold mine I’ve unlocked from inside.
My first name is easy: Laura. I’ve always just gone by Laura. In 2010, I started to integrate Susanne (pronounced a tad softer than Suzanne, but not Susan). For a lot of girls or young women, I think it’s a phase to start including their middle name, such as on social media. For me, though, incorporating Susanne, my middle name, rectified an important distinction.
When I think of “Laura Yochelson,” I get stuck in the way other people see that girl as an eight, nine, 10 year-old. Laura Yochelson, yes, she played basketball and she was a good student with lots of friends. However, in preschool and kindergarten, when all most people could get out was Laura, I was viewed entirely differently. I like that Laura more than Laura Yochelson because she feels more natural to me and, hence, safe.
As I got older and other people had the same name or similar names things started to get confusing, so it’s no wonder Laura became overridden by “Laura Yochelson” almost totally. Laura Yochelson makes me think of the color blue. Laura Susanne Yochelson is purple. She can even be pink, and unlike Laura Yochelson, isn’t netted by red. One belongs within the other, but both are not the same. I need people to think of me as Laura Susanne Yochelson because she is how I would like to be perceived. Since my name isn’t Laura-Susanne, I still go by Laura when it’s without the Yochelson.
In short, constantly rechecking myself until she’s gone.
This is scary and hard to write, but I’m going to try anyways. In Sick I describe OCD via thoughts, rituals, calculations and feelings of being followed. More specifically, that sense from behind like “they’re” coming after me. (Throughout anorexia nervosa, “they’re” refers more specifically to the voices telling me I shouldn’t eat to guard against going spoiled.) A perfectly round apocalypse in the upper back. I’ve done something terribly wrong and my ability to culminate in speech is consequently being deafened. “They’re” going to get me and take her away. To the extent I am able to navigate this “they’re” biochemical loophole dictates my appearance to the world as a person. Most people can’t tell if I fake it/readjust/hold back from the inside coming out in order to quell the tension I experience as if darts are being shot from the outside in, keeping me twisted tight, tight, tight like a rope that can’t be squeezed out anymore. When I was being made, a baby or child some “energy” stomped on me with a very heavy foot, and the impounded imprint from a harsh heel that dug too deep permanently distorted the perception.
I’ve been told that in my soul this life I’m a wild stallion running free. It’s hard to imagine how much farther I’d be if I didn’t have this other stuff to deal with. Then again, I think working through it is my way of test-riding. Can’t wait to experience the real thing soon.
One of my summer projects has been working with a graphic designer. We collaborated on creating logos. With these logos specific templates are being designed that can be used for a business card, bookmark, flyer, social media, etc. The process of working with her has been helpful to me for a variety of reasons. In particular, for the first time I’ve found a way to represent myself that identifies with more than eating disorders, but doesn’t neglect them.
Originally, I played around with two separate sets of terms for my logo. For the first set, I thought about combining “author” and “teacher,” but that seemed too serious to describe me! That is why, more recently, I added the creative “artist” to my title, so I am now “Author, Teacher, Artist.” For the second set of terms, I chose words to clarify the approach I wanted to incorporate in the design, and to encompass the message in my work as a writer, presenter, movement instructor, potential massage therapist/esthetician, etc. I brainstormed a list including “beauty,” “environment,” “health,” “lifestyle,” “spirituality,” “wellness,” and others. I was originally going to combine “environment” with “body” and “healing,” but as such came out too long and potentially complicated. Anyways, if somebody is into “body & healing,” which is what I selected, they are most likely aware and into the environment too, hence my decision to include green in the design.
For the colors I selected not only green, but also orange and purple. I thought about what these colors mean to me on a high level, and they evoke depth when combined. I also considered blue and red alongside yellow. But blue is already so popular, red is personally quite intense, yellow can be hard to see and, actually, is already special as the main color of my first book cover. I also enjoy the combination of pink and silver, but these seemed a little fancy, and perhaps too girl-oriented; the font is elegant/fun instead.
After the designer and I talked, she developed images representative of my ideas and what we discussed. I decided on the design of three blended stripes, which somewhat resembles the qualities of a shooting star. I also considered the image of a fish or dolphin. Even though my take with the designer was totally unique, fish and dolphin are already famously recognized in other forms, such as sports mascots, recreational parks or restaurants. I wanted a symbol that is gentle and meaningful yet didn’t make someone immediately think of a popular association when they saw it. The designer also developed a uniquely shaped box that includes my initials, LSY, traced in white.
At this point we’re still working on the business card, so nothing is completely final yet. I will be in charge of the printing, and the designer is providing suggestions, so I’m getting excited to begin carrying these around, because then I’ll no longer have to explain myself through cards that include the term “eating disorder,” although if anorexia nervosa is something I want to bring up upon first meeting someone, that’s fine too!
I once had a friend named Kathy. Kathy and I became friends because we saw each other everyday. When Kathy came over, she always compared my family’s house to hers. She liked where I lived more and was jealous. Even though it made me feel bad, I told myself Kathy wasn’t being mean, she was just insecure.
When I joined a club at school and Kathy was already more advanced, she didn’t make an effort to introduce me to her friends. I told myself that I only needed Kathy to be there in order to feel okay in the club, even if she purposely left me out.
Later, Kathy wanted to get together. She was alone and didn’t know people. For several months, I made an effort to reach out. We met regularly. My family also provided support. But it wasn’t long before Kathy told me to my face that she didn’t want to hang out anymore. She made up an excuse by explaining that someone else said she couldn’t be my friend. Anyways, by now, Kathy had new friends with boyfriends who went out late and were super into sex/acting sexually. So long as she provided the impression of being one of them, Kathy didn’t need people like me.
This summer I wanted to go in the water in a bathing suit. I wanted to play in the waves, swim and dive. A couple weeks ago I got board shorts on sale and like them a lot. I do have a bathing suit, but I didn’t wear it. I went in the water with my clothes on, but not all the way, since I didn’t want to get soaked. I also wanted to surf, which I did somewhat as a tween/teen, but haven’t since then. There are specific places related to the water and living here previously that I will visit soon. Two weeks ago I did something special for myself when I got a makeover, then gave a signed copy of my book to the store, and purchased new clothes, all reasonably priced!
At home, I took down all the childhood pictures. I organized these pictures in 2009, and finally got sick of looking at them. I need a new bed/mattress and artwork, but that may not happen for a while. I also want to improve my diet, and already know what I’m going to do. However, there is an issue because I cook a vegetable in advance then never want to eat it. I try not to waste food, and still think it is good to practice, but this whole cycle is annoying. It isn’t like I’m not eating or eating junk, I just need new options without creating more work.
I surreptitiously told myself that, in conjunction with my second book coming out, I was going to be ready to meet someone. Well, I’ve always been ready, but then again not really. At this point I’m not realistically interested in any guy I’ve previously had a crush on from school, work, etc. At the beginning of summer or during various points I may have felt more optimistic about one or two of these people, and even if it was hard to confess my feelings (or, on the contrary, to hold them in), I realize the best way for something to happen is by me liking differently. Some of the guys I’ve previously “liked”–recent, far-off, whatever–I don’t want anything to do with, but not in a nasty way. I put “like” in quotations because there are some people I’ve liked as in an attraction out of my control but not a relation I want intuitively. This is a potentially manipulative other I am interested in out of need as opposed to desire; I have to get “my” feelings out or plainly get out because due to a characteristic vulnerability he’s gotten in and, ultimately, using me.
I’ve gotten so good at getting around without a relationship and do rely on having my own space, so it will be interesting to see if when seriously presented with an opportunity I’ll actually want it. I have been rejected (which generally results in me feeling more relieved/glad this nonsense is finally over than disappointed), and I do reject people or opportunities, but again, not in a nasty way. Part of the reason why I don’t “try” harder is because I fear those things I need being taken away; I became so traumatized throughout anorexia; in the wrong relationship I easily become very unhappy and trapped. Then again, it isn’t that I don’t try, but I’d rather have no boyfriend than be tied down by too many relationships, especially those that feel forced.
At this point in life my most real moments have been with myself. Hence, does the type of relationship I’ve written about mean enough to truly want? Of course there are moments when I just want him, but this kind of “he,” I know, is already with me and I, literally, cannot look outside my heart for another. Certain people make me feel more passionate than others but if I can’t access that passion with a particular individual, or if he doesn’t give me room to move with it, then of course I’d rather be alone. I used to do certain things to try and make myself more desirable. Today, if something I do makes me come off as attractive, cool, but I do it for a bigger reason than to look good or win somebody else.
Well, I finally turned in a revised galley. I began my initial design/publishing process in October 2013 and am satisfied, honestly, with everything since then. The cover is complete. Hence, late September, October or even early November 2014 should be good timing for my book to be ready/available. I already have several upcoming events lined up for Sick and additional in process but am eager to share my new fiction book regarding romance and relationships. It’s going to be weird, I think, not having this second book to come back to; I have trained myself to be so focused and almost reliant on the process of working through it. I’m hoping not to start a third book right away so that I can get out without thinking about writing more, but will happily continue blogging and doing articles.
This year is going to be really busy! Three quarters of next month I will be in Washington, DC area training, giving talks and teaching. I will visit again in December related to a trip to Florida. Before summer 2015 I would also like to visit a couple places in Colorado because there are several schools there I am curious about. I remember going to Boulder on our move to San Diego in 2001. I liked it. I would miss the ocean a lot, but the programs I am interested in are quite special and from what I can gage at this point not much like them is available elsewhere. For instance, if go forward with adding esthetician to my repertoire, they have unique, holistic schools. However if I decide to move forward with massage that can be done locally. So there is quite a difference but I want this badly enough at least to compare fairly. It really isn’t about rushing to get certified or licensed because I already have other skills; I want where I go to be what’s most healing.
For transitioning reasons, summer has seemed stressful but I’ve also done some great things for myself and, just this week, met a couple new and supportive people. In the meantime I aspire to be out of my childhood troubles and comfortable with or without that version of myself. I also don’t want to get stuck in relationships where sharing my feelings is prohibited at worst, strangely odd at best. Part of me wants to make the most of prior affiliations, another part just wants the relief of things being over that I never got a chance to appreciate as complete. I’m getting less sensitive on the topic of eating disorders and feeling grateful that sharing my own experiences is helping people.
As a child and tween in Maryland, I wasn’t at all needy for a boyfriend. As I’ve written before, a lot of boys just liked me, based on my basketball version. I never had to master the act that most girls do to attract boys because of the way my tough, smart and funny personality insulated others from my shunned insecurities.
As 12 year-old in California it became apparent that liking a boy wasn’t enough to make me feel more sexy than ashamed or comfortable impressing him in that way. I’m writing about this now, because last night a cute guy seemed to be looking at me. But I couldn’t act more sexy as if to say “I’m interested!” or get through underneath his sunglasses and hat. That just isn’t who I am, I thought. So, I smiled, looked away and kept going. I love to be sexy on my own and to fantasize, but for “sexy” to be another’s first impression is something I’ll have to get more used to being comfortable with.
What I wanted: to be a WNBA player.
What happened: I basically quit basketball in middle school.
What one parent wants: to pay for me to get the master’s I don’t want.
What another parent wants: for me to make more money.
Who I probably could have been: applied and gone to an Ivy League like my dad’s side, even though he reassured me that summa cum laude from American University is very highly recognized.
What I should have done: Been more patient with my book until it was more ideal.
What happened: Some people were critical, but I didn’t lose momentum or time and started right away on my second book.
I’ve only sung once, on my own, in front of a crowd. But people who heard were complimentary. My voice is pretty soft. On my own I love to sing or pretend. It is hard for me to sing with others around. It must feel so powerful to be a singer who is really tuned in and able to sing, like, from the gut. I wouldn’t want to be a famous singer and lose my writing. Then again, the idea of having my own recording studio and CD is pretty awesome. I’ve never had singing lessons, though, and would want to write my own lyrics. Along those lines I’d like an instrument to go along with my voice. I want to drum with my hands, learn piano and play guitar.
I’ve done drawing, painting and photography more than singing in the past. It would be hard for me to take up drawing and painting intensely because of the concentration and focus I put into writing. A more reasonable start might be ceramics or craft and jewelry making.
My dad’s mom gardened. She did the roses at her apartment complex and planted trees at our house. I don’t have much experience gardening, but because my grandmother was good, I’d probably be too.
I don’t like to be friends, colleagues, etc. with someone who supports another person the first person knows hurt me.
Is that being too mean or picky?
No, because it takes a lot to “hurt” me. For better or worse, I prefer to be on good terms with everybody. In fact, I’m often on good terms–or just plain no terms–with people who hurt me.
But when I trust someone to be my friend first, and for whatever reason (s)he hails the other person or circumstances in front of my face, I leave both.
I want to learn how to do my nails because I’m bad at it. I want to paint a flower on my thumb like I got for the eighth grade dance. I want to understand my feet.
I want to learn how to do make-up. I’m better at make-up than nails because I experiment everyday with my face. I don’t wear that much make-up and am generally more interested in the regimen that comes before. In fact, I think I look better with less make-up because when it falls I look sad and old. But what I put on has to be exact.
I want to learn sugaring. I want to learn these three things, for starters, not because I’m conceited or don’t enjoy my appointments but because I want to feel more competent. I want to not have to wait until my nails get way gross and my skin gets noticeably hairy; I want to learn what makes me feel pretty because I am tired of paying for myself.
During a period in my childhood I preferred Kamino, which is by nature more alluring. With age I came to appreciate Yochelson’s footing and sophistication.
This isn’t based on my own family; just a culmination of ideas.
Bossy family members feel threatened by the sick person because they cannot authorize her. Bullying family members are hostile. Healthy family members confuse the sick person who thinks she is like them. Older family members are less sensitive. Popular or cool family members are difficult to communicate with because they feel fake. Likewise, secretive family members never express direct concern or face the gal and are ultimately off-base.
Note about bossy family members
Earlier on I had a tendency to draw bossy people into my life. I let girls who wanted to hang out with me push me around. People liked to pull at me; I remember complaining to my mom about my arm hurting.
While cooking, a bossy family member might “force” another to test some of his or her food to see if it is ready. If the other person refuses to try, turmoil ensues.
Does it make me feel bad to see other girls, and their pictures with their boyfriends on the Internet?
For a woman who doesn’t have a boyfriend, she features herself as the center in a group of men.
For a woman who does, 100 people support a picture just because they’re together.
For a typical woman my age I think her relationship is about the image of being taken. If she is, she’s desirable. If she isn’t, she must make herself wanted through the appearance of being threatening via a combination of having numerous men allies and highly attractive, close women friends plus taking part in an active, ideal, essentially famous-looking life located somewhere important-sounding.
I see women and their pictures with men/boyfriends. Much of the time I’m not jealous, let alone impressed. Boosting one’s self through the momentary reactions of others to a photograph that says “we’re together” cuts off the breathing room for a relationship to evolve individually. Does anybody notice whether his arm is around her shoulder like a buddy or nestling the waist? If they’re kissing, is he embracing her or posing? She has her hand on the front of his body and looks so in love, but he just stands there and doesn’t seem to care. Maybe it’s healthy every other girl I know is proud enough to post her relationship online. At this point, she’s still oblivious to any apparent incongruence, and of course it’s cool to show-off.
To conclude, I’m tired of not receiving the same social support as girls who have boyfriends. Since I don’t have a boyfriend, people assume I’m not as happy or satisfied as I could be. People laugh or call me slow. But those other girls with their boyfriends are by no means ahead.
I shared about my book with handfuls of folks relevant to the story. Many of these folks I hadn’t seen in years. Some of them I gave free copies to. I thought they would care more; that I would get a heartfelt message in return, or a follow-up. But, if anything, the answer I received was, “Sorry, I haven’t had time to read it yet.” Then she avoided me. I’ve seen my characters from my story inaccurately mixed and used without reference, yet Sick explicitly states that names have been changed to protect others; certain settings are altered. (I was hurt by what appeared to be an attempted present day reenactment of a meaningless, ultimately irrelevant childhood feud.) It also bothers me when someone doesn’t read all the way through. For instance, to the diagnosis of my eating disorder, just because they judge it as irrelevant to them. Or maybe they stop at when I became a vegetarian because they like that, although later I explain about needing to eat animal foods.
San Diego is much different than Maryland or DC. Many more attractive men surround me. I see someone I “could like” at the beach, in the grocery store or walking around a nearby shopping center. Everyday, based on the regular places I go, there are numerous opportunities. When I lived on the east coast and saw someone I might like, l felt instant pressure. Here, I’m learning not to trouble myself so much.
In college, I had one crush my first semester. He ended up transferring. Then, after my year off, I studied in a program that drew more women. The last semester I almost liked someone younger, but not really, mostly because of the way his various features reminded me of another.
I met additional men through my work as a personal trainer. Although it seems like this type would fit well due to my own interest in fitness and nutrition, and I did develop two serious crushes over a period of four years, they were wrong. I don’t mean “wrong” in a judgmental kind of way, because I truly did put effort into getting to know each. One came roughly a year after the other. In between, there actually was someone I liked at school, only because he came at that time right before I got my first period.
Following my two serious crushes, I couldn’t desire another or be attracted and consumed myself, emotionally, back-and-forth. One night I decided to write down every guy I’d ever liked. I listed my crushes in one column, and all of the boys who’d historically liked me in another. Based on this chart, I circled the people who really stood out. I directly contacted one. It soon became obvious that he was just more of the same.
Then, something happened. Someone came into my life who was exactly like one of my two serious crushes. I got confused. I wanted him to be a better version of the same person, but facing him through me “God” indicated he wasn’t.
Now it is summer 2014. According to my age, surroundings and astrology, this was or is supposed to be my time, yet regardless of how much others are impressed by what I’ve accomplished, I’m only 50% of where I’d like to be distinct from a relationship. Four years ago I met with a shaman who told me I wasn’t going to date; there is only one person and I have one baby. But my location, today, doesn’t correlate with her reading of around Canada, where she said my husband, children and I escaped to in the last life from eastern Europe, but then I left my family and died on my mission to help “my people” who made it to the United States. (In the life before that I lived in Russia and fought tyranny, she explained.) Although a couple months after meeting with the shaman I did take a retreat in the Berkshires, Boulder (after Miami) is most likely my next trip. I’m also over liking men because they share my religion, even if others prefer it that way.
A childhood that holds nightmarish meaning, is but a tiny fraction of the life grown out of it for them, cut-off from me.
To them, I’m an unfulfilled legend or begone from history.
To me, I have nothing but not making it.