Today’s psychology task – write two letters. One from my body to me. One from me to my body. Here goes:
Thank you for taking the opportunity to read this letter. I appreciate it is going to be confronting but unfortunately there are times when we need to hear a difficult truth – without acceptance of the facts, we cannot make changes and move forward.
Simone, I have been here since before you exited the comfort of your mother’s womb. I have protected you from the elements, given shelter to your organs so you may grow and function in the way you were designed to be. And I have wrapped you in a layer of protection from illness and harm. I am here for you and always have been.
In return you have intermittently starved me – forcing metabolic changes that benefited neither of us, and psychological distress that has brought you to your knees. You have alternatively binged and purged the very nutrients that are designed to nourish and protect, then berated me for perceived failures.
You’ve cursed your damaged vocal chords, brittle hair and nails, chronic malnutrition and eternal constipation, while knowing deep in your heart you are damaging the very body you so desperately want to control.
You’ve looked in the mirror and berated every inch of my being. You’ve undertaken surgeries that have scarred your body and soul, in an effort to fix an internal problem with an external solution. I am now scarred from head to toe. But Simone have courage. I am resilient. If you learn to trust me, I can deliver on the health you not only desire, but deserve. Let’s begin anew – working with each other rather than against.
I am so sorry. I truly am. While I have always been conscious of the damage I was doing, somehow the pull of the impossible desire – a sense of self-worth – has always overridden common sense.
I truly am grateful for the gifts you have bestowed despite my treatment of you and my loathing of your appearance. I was blessed that you grew not one, but three amazing new humans. Perfect in every way. Healthy and intact. I am eternally grateful for breasts that could nourish those babies for as long as I desired – allowing them the best start in life. I am grateful for an immune system that is strong and healthy and despite my attempts to damage my body in every imaginable way, I have for the most part been blessed with extraordinary good health and resilience in the face of illness or injury.
I am especially grateful for the places you have taken me without complaint – kayaking on Bruny Island, trekking through forests all over Tasmania, climbing Mt Vesuvius and Mt Kosciusko. I have seen spectacular natural places and it was you that carried me there.
I am so incredibly sorry for the damage inflicted – both internally and externally. I am ready to learn to listen to your quiet voice and follow the needs you desire. I am ready to see the scars as reminders of pain I have survived. I want us to become friends. Please forgive me.