Reaching up

When I was a very, very little kid,
And my grandma asked me what I wanted to be
For Halloween, I replied,
“I would like to be a star.”

So she got to work.
She bought some orange cloth material.
She was good at sewing.
She was good at measuring and cutting and pinning.
She sewed the parts together.
She ironed and starched what she had made
Till it was nice and stiff.
It fit just right.

We went to look in the mirror, and
I saw myself all dressed up in my costume
Dressed to look like a five-pointed star.

My grandma said,
“Now aren’t you a dahling.
You’re so special, and all mine.
Come, take my hand.
Let’s go show the neighbors
What an cute little star I have.”

This year it will be
A hundred and twelve years
Since my grandma was born.
She wasn’t very tall, but lived a long life,
Longer than most old people tend to stick around.

I’ve stuck around now for fifty-four years
Since Grandma and I paraded around the neighborhood.
It’s been a long, long time
Since I curtsied before my parents
And dutifully turned in my candy bucket
So my mom could tuck away my collection
And dole it out to me bit by bit
So I wouldn’t become a horrible, fat child,
So that everything would be just so
And right with the world.

Today, I walked home with a canvas shopping bag
Full of staples I’d collected at the food pantry.
No matter how much or how little I get there
The bag always seems very heavy to me
Because I am not very strong.
I ended up skinny.
I ended up developing an eating disorder.
Sometimes my heart is heavy in my chest.

My name is Julie Greene.
I am an extraordinary writer.
I am an activist for people with eating disorders.
Not only will I change the world,
But I am changing the world right here and right now.

I have so many writing ideas right here and right now
That I have had to write a list
To keep track of them all.
I help people by writing and sharing
and speaking out loud what I think and feel inside.
I help myself.

I went to therapy
And learned about what therapy is and isn’t.
I wrote
And learned about myself.
I became incredibly self-aware.
I am continuing to develop this knowledge of myself.
Self-awareness needs to be cultivated and maintained.
I have my Power.
I write.
I have Power because I am a writer.
I saw some very wrong things and knew
That I was the very right person to change these things.
I woke up and saw all this one day, and because I saw it
I knew the Power
And because I knew it
I then seized it
And held onto it
And today I celebrate it.

As a person with an eating disorder
I may be skinny, and at the same time
View myself as not skinny
And see a fat person when I think of myself.
This morning I woke up, and like some, but not all mornings,
I called myself nasty names.
I don’t need to list them all again.
I remember them.  They are common words
Used cruelly.

Many people think “fat” is an insult.
Many people think “fat” is bad.
Many people think “fat” is immoral.
Many people think “fat” is a whole lot of things.
In truth, it is a rather meaningless term if used
To describe a size or shape
Mainly because different people define “fat” differently.
Maybe it’s a merely a slang term for “overweight,”
And overweight isn’t the same for everyone.

This is even true in the medical sense.
Why do I say this?
I’m guessing that most people
That have strong and well-put-together hearts,
Care deeply for themselves, and stay in sane places
Can live in bodies of many different sizes and shapes,
And if anyone tells them otherwise,
That person can just go to hell.

So in thus saying, I know that I have body dysmorphia
Which is what it’s called
When I am a skinny person and I think I’m fat,
I obsess way too much, and
I see my body unrealistically.
Body dysmorphia is a component of anorexia nervosa.
Many people have body dysmorphia as a single mental illness.
Not too much is known about this mental illness.
So many people who have it don’t even know about it
And aren’t even aware that they have it
Or even know that there’s anything wrong with them
Or are aware that they obsess
Or are aware of their deep unhappiness.
They keep everything so secret that it is a secret to themselves.
Suicide is very common among these sad people
And I’m guessing that many never know why they are so driven
And so desperate
And so cornered by the need to obliterate
What they hate about their bodies
That they obliterate their entire lives.

Today I celebrate my Power.
Today I celebrate my self-awareness.
Today I celebrate my awareness
Of my own body dysmorphia.
I celebrate my ability to call my imperfection
A name, and to write this name
And to tell the world my true feelings about my body.
I celebrate my ability and freedom
To admit to the world that I hate my body.
And in so doing, communicate to others
That this is painful to live with,
That I am not the only one.
I celebrate my ability to challenge others
To look deeply within their hearts, and ask,
“Do I, too, feel hatred toward my own body?”

Today, I celebrate my ability to share with others
A bit of the joy I feel when I write and learn about myself,
The joy I feel when I learn about myself,
The joy I feel when I encourage others to write
And learn about themselves
And maybe learn about their own feelings
About their bodies.

I have the Power to change the world.
I have the Power to change myself, too.
I can change myself without putting on a costume.
I have the Power to grow tall, and reach the sky.
I can reach the sky with no one else holding my hand.
I can reach out, reach up, and with both hands held high,
With both feet still firm on the ground, I can touch the sky.
Can you see me doing this, right here, right now?
At last, I am a real star.


A new identity

I figured it is a new day and time for a new me.  So here are two things I did today to prove it.

I am finally, finally, finally going to go to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to replace my old Mass ID card with a new one.  Nowadays, it’s much easier to do than it used to be.  I have the required paperwork, thankfully, and am bringing extra, just in case they need it.  The only problem I see (this one is a biggie) is that it’s possible that I may not resemble my old photos!  My passport is dated 2005.  Oops!  The weight 177 sticks in my mind, but thankfully, the photo is complimentary.  I think it was wise of me to insist to the CVS person who took the photo to wait until I took my braid out from behind me and stuck it up front where it could be seen in the photo.  This has saved me on airplanes when I’ve passed through security.  I don’t think they really look at the photos, though.  The old ID shows me at maybe 28.  I can’t find a date on the darned thing anywhere!  So I will now have a new photo ID WITH my address on it…finally.

The other thing I did, this one much more minor, is to update my Gravatar.  From hereon in, it’s official, not in the future.  It’s not that I will be an eating disorders activist.  I AM an eating disorders activist.  Nope.  I’m going to change this.  I am an activist for PEOPLE with eating disorders.  Okay, I will go change this on my Gravatar.  Wait a sec.

Fixed.  Here’s my Gravatar:  Subject to change as I see fit.

Take care of yourselves.

My parents, during the last year or two of my father's life

It is no coincidence that when McLean Hospital diagnosed me a chronic case with poor prognosis and recommended a long stay in a state hospital, it was not long after my parents had stopped pouring money into my mental health care, and turned instead toward my father’s three-year journey with cancer that would lead to his death in April 1997.  McLean, and everyone else, had milked my parents dry, or let’s just say everything they wanted to give up.  My mom was sick of it, I suppose, and probably resentful.  So McLean had little use for me anymore, and once they finished using up my lifetime Medicare days, they weren’t very friendly.

My parents, meanwhile, had their own little life.  My mom said on the phone to me, “Dad’s main problems are with mobility and function.”  Function?  I wondered why she didn’t just call it piss and shit.  After a lengthy period of euphamizing in every way she could, she finally consulted with the medical profession and they got him some medication to help him with bladder control, and Depends with embarrassment.  For the first time in over thirty years, she found herself changing diapers, and still hating it just as much.  Or did she?

This became a complaint every time she got on the phone with me, in a very offhand way.  She coyly explained one day, “I control his diet so that he only makes a bowel movement every other day!  Less cleanup!”

McLean Hospital, of course, had ceased giving me good care, so I was very, very sick, and it took years before I realized what was going on with my parents.  My mom had my dad under complete control.  It was almost as if he was helpless, all his body functions regulated, always watched, always controlled and monitored.  She made sure he took all his meds.  He might as well have been in a locked ward on a “one to one” with the Nurse from Hell.

They say he asked not to go into a nursing home.  I wonder if he said this himself, or if my mom put these words into his mouth.  Before he died, he was in a hospital for a bit, probably less than a week.   I forget which one.  Maybe Brigham and Women’s.  Then a nursing home, a nice one, for ten days, where he died, somewhere between one and two in the morning.  I’m glad my mom wasn’t with him at the time.

During the last ten days, my mom showed off her athletic ability by cross-country skiing to the nursing home from her home.  I think she was trying out some of her freedom.  I think the nursing staff understood this, too.

A bunch of us went to see Dad in those last days.  He was kind of out of it.  Then again, so was I, in my own way.  I felt hopeless because the people at McLean had turned their backs, and I didn’t realize that it was all because of money.  But I didn’t say anything to anyone in the family about that.

Dad lay there with his eyes closed.  He didn’t say anything or do anything.  His arms and hands were puffy and I was afraid to touch him because I didn’t know what his skin would feel like.  My mom pranced around the room and waved her arms, speaking to the nurses in a sing-song voice.  They responded to her in whispers.  “Yes, Mrs. Greene,” they said.

My mom called me in the mornings, early, in the days following his death.  Or I called her.  I don’t know why.  These conversations were pretty much hi and bye, but I didn’t have anyone else to talk to.

That was April.  In August, I took an overdose.  My mom never found out.  McLean sucked out the last of my private hospital Medicare lifetime inpatient days, and then set me loose after three days.  They sent me back to their shit residence, which was soon to close down.  They made some excuse.  Blamed me, of course.  I started on another suicide plan and almost completed it.

I’m glad I’m the hell out of there.

At some point I made the promise to myself that I’d never let my mom change my diapers again.  Once was enough.  I do remember toilet training.  Most adults don’t remember back that early.  I remember my parents standing over me in our yellow bathroom, all of us staring at my soiled underwear, my shame, their disgust.  Yelling all around.  Booming, scary voices.  Never again!  Never again!  Never again!

I’m sure it happened over, and over, and over, just like I’m sure it happened to my dad when he spent his last year dying.  I can only imagine.

Now, my mom is so out of it that she can’t be alone anymore.  She can’t take care of herself.  I think she needs someone to help her bathe and dress.  She can’t clean the house and she can barely walk.  My brother took over the finances completely because she neglected all her bills.  Only a few months ago she was riding her bicycle around town.  Weird how these things happen.

Part of me is very happy about this, though.  Thrilled.  She has lost control.  She can’t even do her own food.  Well, well, mother.  Isn’t it about time you stopped controlling other people’s bodies?  Isn’t it about time you got a taste of what it feels like to be controlled?  Locked up, maybe? I think my brother is rather thrilled to be arranging for the nursing care.

In three days, April 10th, it will be the anniversary of my father’s death…I guess fifteen years.  Lots of stuff happened in those fifteen years.  His kid got married, he gained a granddaughter, and a grandson graduated high school and went on to college.  A son got tenure and both sons got promotions.  Me?  My bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, five books written, two of them published.

Yeah, Dad, I told McLean where to go and started a new life.  The saddest part about it was that you weren’t alive to see me do it.  I told them I didn’t need their locked wards anymore.  I didn’t need them to tell me I was “chronic” and that I had a “poor prognosis.”  You didn’t see me break free of their bonds.  You didn’t hear me tell them to fuck off.  Well, I told them.  And I’m going to tell the world again.

Maybe you will hear me screaming, loud and clear, very soon.  I don’t need their locked wards.  I don’t need their state hospital.  I don’t need coping skills or stress balls or bubble bath, you can take all that and shove it.  Freezing an orange is a waste of food, I don’t use that as coping skill thank you.  The crisis team can now go take a long smoke break and all us mental patients will go on parade and show off our Tardive Dyskinesia in the streets.  Look at how that one flaps his tongue!  Freaks!

Yes, Dad, I am breaking free.  I won’t let Mom control me.  I will speak out and tell others to speak out.  I believe that if you see something that you know in your heart is wrong, you should take action against it, even if it means doing something unconventional or unusual.  I’ve done some rather offbeat things because I believed that in doing so, I was saving others.  If you were alive today, maybe you would understand my actions, but maybe not.

We did not always agree.  In fact, I’d say, most of the time, we disagreed.  Most of the time, you were the one who was right about stuff.  You were more mature.  You were wiser.  You were a better thinker.  You took more time to think things through and didn’t jump to conclusions the way I did.

When I was in my thirties, I used to ask you guys for approval all the time, and then curse myself for being so childish.  Was it my illness that had caused me to become so dependent on you two?  Was I doing it to please you, to reassure you that you still had a little girl, someone you could control?  Was I doing it because I was lonely and had no friends, no one else to turn to?  I can still picture your nods and smiles, the exchanged looks with my therapist, the winks, the approval.

I guess I’m kind of on my own now.  If you were alive today, you’d see what was going on with my brothers and me, the way they more or less don’t even know I exist, and I’m sure you’d be disgusted.  Or maybe not.  I don’t know and I’d really better stop putting feelings into your heart or words into your voice.  The way things are is the way things are.  I’m going to tell the world again.  I’m going to tell them I don’t need their state hospital.  I’m not “chronic” and I’m not “poor prognosis” and I don’t need the mental health system lingo buzz words hollered at me over and over and over like I didn’t hear them the first time.

Dad, they told me if I hold a frozen orange, I would feel better, and I told them I refused to freeze an orange, because this ruins it as a piece of food, thereby wasting it.  Oranges are expensive as well, I added.  Would I feel better, for instance, squeezing a California orange, or a less expensive Florida orange?  The person leading the group told me maybe it was time to give someone else a chance to speak.  I said, maybe you just want to shut me up.  Later, I wrote in my journal that they could take their coping skills and shove it.

No one will shut me up, Dad.  I promise.  We may not have always agreed.  So you taught me.  Disagreement is all the more reason to never, ever, shut up.


Photo of a person with anorexia nervosa who has just binged

I am posting this photo because I believe that binge eating is far more dangerous than conventional eating disorders treatment caregivers are willing to admit.  Look on any treatment center website, and they will talk about the dangers of binge eating and overweight.  I am telling you that it is far, far more than that.

As evidenced by the photo that you will see, I binge eat and I am underweight.  As you can see in the photo, the caloric amount of my binges is massive.  I go into detail on this page.  For privacy reasons, it is password-protected, but easily accessible to the public.

I was recently discharged from the prestigious Walden Behavioral Care’s eating disorders unit.  I arrived there February 8th in a starved condition.  I did eat, but received no help with my binge eating.

This binge eating behavior causes me to feel as though my life is not worth living.

Please use the password Linkpage when you click here.

A new page with a photo of me

I have finally decided once and for all.  The world needs to know the reality of binge eating, that it is dangerous and deadly.  I need to put this photo up for the world to see, just in case I myself die while binge eating.  It can indeed happen and it very well may.

It doesn’t matter what you weigh.  The danger of binge eating has nothing to do with being overweight.  You will see this in my photo.  I am underweight.

No, I do not throw up.  Throwing up has its dangers.  NOT THROWING UP HAS ITS DANGERS, TOO.  Why?  Because you walk around with all that crap in you…see my photo…not for ten minutes…but for hours…in my case, for a day, or longer.  People who have suffered long-term starvation, as I have, have slowed peristalsis.  This means their digestion is slow, slow, slow.  Crap sits in my stomach forever before it goes anywhere, then moves, inch by inch, down my intestinal tract.

I have eaten, and seen the food in my belly.  When you are very skinny, you can see food in there.  Then I have watched it go down, inch by inch, each day.  Yes, it is that slow, and yes, most Western doctors laugh at me when I tell them this.

I have a 32-year history of binge eating.  Each time your stomach is over-stretched, blood circulation is cut off, killing stomach cells.  Dead stomach cells don’t stretch.  They snap, and break.  Get what I’m saying?  Has anyone ever taken a look in there?  Of course not.  I don’t know how I’m going to get them to do an autopsy of me to prove that this has happened.  Autopsies, I’ll bet, are expensive.  It’s a mental patient’s word against their’s.   And I’m just faking it, right?  Making a mountain out of a molehill, right?  Crying wolf, right?  Of course, if I had Blue Cross and Blue Shield, it would be a whole different ball game.

So, anyway, I finally put the binge-belly photo into my computer.  It’s ready to be posted onto a page.  I’m going to password-protect the page, and I’ll give you the password on a separate page.  I want people to COME TO MY SITE to view the photo and not just see it in passing on Google.  This plus I don’t want the press to see it after my paperback comes out, so if you Google Julie Greene, this binge-belly photo won’t pop up, ha ha.

Oh, by the way, if I binge every day, I look like that permanently.  Like, I look like that RIGHT NOW.  I have looked like that for days.  I wake up with that belly and have it all day long.  I live with it.  It doesn’t freaking go away.

Now do you get it?

Within two hours, the photo, and all the links, will be up.


Click on this link, here, and enter the password, Linkpage.

This evening after acupuncture, just don't know what to say

It wasn’t like last week at all.  I never had the chance to write about last week’s acupuncture session and I’m sorry that I didn’t get to that.  It was awesome, but after a few days, the effect wore off, and I felt worse, and worse, and worse, and when I walked in today, I was upfront about how I felt.

I do apologize to readers at this point for not detailing about last week’s acupuncture.  I was truly elated over it.  They did explain to me that some people do get a profound effect from the first session.  I guess I was one of those people.  I went home and figured, mistakenly, that I’d stay that way, that this was permanent.  Apparently, this is the case for some people.

As it turned out, it was a good thing that I had this first acupuncture session when I did, because it enabled me to get my act together just in time and do the reading for the church talent show.  It’s weird now.  It feels like that will be the last time I show my face, my fat, ugly face, in public.  Ever.

I can run away from mental health treatment, thus avoiding ending up in the state hospital, but I can’t run away from my miserable daily life.  When I go to sleep at night, inevitably I wake up in the morning to face another day of drudgery.

As we speak, the Shopping Cart Lady is beginning her rounds.  Oh, joy.

At acupuncture, they had me sign a paper saying I would reschedule the appointment with Dr. P right away, and would show up at my next appointment, which is scheduled for next Thursday, the 12th.  Dr. P  is the 11th.  Between now and Wednesday, there are a few things on my calendar, the only important one being church on Sunday the 8th.  10:30.  I missed last Sunday, couldn’t get out of bed.

I have an awesome student acupuncturist.  I feel very comfortable with her.  When she put the needles in this time, I waited, and expected the same thing as last time, the sudden feeling like I was falling under anesthesia, yet I am awake, aware yet unaware.  This happened about 90 seconds after the needles were inserted, at my first session.  This time, nothing.  I didn’t feel my breathing slow or my pulse slow down.  My speech didn’t become slurred and I had no difficulty speaking.  I fell asleep but it was around the time I often fall asleep anyway.

I don’t know how long I was asleep.  Not long.  I awoke, moved my hands around, and knocked out a few of the needles, which was not the end of the world because we were near the end.  I sat in the waiting room afterward to reorient myself and wake up a bit.  I didn’t want to walk around outside in traffic wicked out of it, as I did last week.  Of course, last week I was on Cloud Nine and out of  it.  That’s a bit different than today.

It must have been five or ten minutes after I left the building that I realized that the treatment hadn’t had an effect on me.  I realized that I was walking down the street, dragging my feet as always, with my coat zipped up covering as much of my face as I could possibly get it to cover.  My self-esteem is at the low place it was when I walked in this morning.  I walked out of there wanting to die just as much as I did when I walked in there.  I feel worthless and hopeless.

I ended up at home somehow.  The urge to binge has not been removed from me as I had hoped.  The medication that is supposed to stop the bingeing quit working ages ago.  I might as well be dead.

Tomorrow I have acupuncture

Tomorrow I have acupuncture.  I hope it works as well as it did last week.  It is my only hope.  Maybe by that time I’ll have my teeth brushed and I’ll be showered and dressed in clean clothes.  Or at least I’ll be dressed.  Haven’t done any of these since Saturday night.  I am relieved that the temps will be in the 40’s at the time, so I can wear my long winter coat over to the acupuncture clinic.  I hide my fat body under that coat.  I hide in shame.

Please don’t think of me with disgust in your hearts.  Maybe you want to spit on me.  Don’t waste your spit.

When I first became anorexic, I felt ashamed of myself for having such a vain thought as wanting to be thin.  At the same time, I thought that I was purifying myself and becoming closer to God.

Now I am scum of the earth.  I have eaten out of the trash.  I have eaten food that rodents have eaten.  I have eaten food meant for animals.

I admit I made a regular habit of eating Puzzle’s food.  Purina One junkie.  It would have been more honorable if the cupboard had been entirely bare and it was the end of the month, no more food stamps and I was being turned away from the food pantries.  But no.  I have rice.  Just in the middle of a binge, no time to wait.  I found out that if I boil it, it won’t cut up my gums, lips, and cheeks and make sores all over my mouth.  So I was regularly boiling up cup after cup of Puzzle’s food and chowing it down.  One night, I had to run out at 9pm, realizing that she had no more for the next morning.  Finally, I broke the habit, saw the stuff for what it was.  But today, couldn’t stop myself, dug in again.

When I boil Purina One, the apartment gets this weird dog food odor.  Try explaining that one.

Dog food isn’t processed with the same standards of cleanliness as people food.  Rats might be in those factories, getting caught in the machinery.  Animal by-products can mean anything.  Feces, too.

Protein, yeah.

It’s made with beef.  It doesn’t say the beef is cooked.  The stuff made with lamb doesn’t say the lamb is cooked.  Those biscuits made with flour, the flour isn’t cooked.  They’re just hardened.  The cornmeal?  Of course that ain’t cooked, either.

Okay, now I’ve convinced those of you who have been eating dog and/or cat food to completely abandon that nasty habit.  Hang this on your pantry door as reminder, next time you’re tempted.

Please don’t think of me with disgust in your hearts.  Maybe you want to spit on me.  Don’t waste your spit.

I’m a bit closer to God now that I’m scum.  I’m the  scum you see on the very edge of the street.  The kind that gets flattened by passing traffic, unnoticed, until finally, it slips over the edge of the grate, and into the slop of the underground city water, passed through secret tunnels, like the tunnels under McLean Hospital, and out into the Charles River, to be freed at last into the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

I suppose that’s where scum ends up.  In a scum graveyard.  A graveyard for people to put their faces and their shame.  A graveyard for people to empty their pockets.

Just stand there with your coat on.  Stand there and cry.

The REAL reason why MEDA never accepted me into their support group (Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association)

I was told this by a person whom I highly respect.  I will not tell you who this person is.  But I will tell you that this person is a professional, not someone saying this out of spite, but saying it out of knowledge and experience in the field.

This person didn’t want to hurt my feelings, but said that it seemed that I was a person who could handle these things, and that I saw things realistically and knew already the harsh reality of discrimination in eating disorders “care.”  The fact that I tend to tell it like it is was also an indication that it would be okay to explain that MEDA had turned me down for reasons that were perhaps less than Kosher.

MEDA, she explained, is run by a few RICH ladies who want things done a certain way.  They only want a certain type of people in there.  Not people like me, who might have “other mental illnesses.”  Not people who are maybe a little older than the other people in the group.  I wasn’t on a meal plan.  Maybe, too, a little outspoken.  Went against the grain.  Questioned the standard fare.

They charged me twice for these “assessments.”  These are $80 or $85.  I can’t recall which.  They don’t give you a break on this that I know of.  I think I paid by check or credit card.  You have to pay when you get there.  The first time I tried to get in, they wouldn’t even grant me an interview, saying they would not accept me.  The second time, I paid the money and they said no.  The third time, they said no again, and I don’t remember their excuse.  The last time was in September and it was a really bad blow.  I paid them money,  I guess by credit card.  I had just broken the bank completely paying for Puzzle’s boarding.  I said that I had no money and was on public assistance.  I said MEDA was my only option, please accept me.  MEDA didn’t accept me and referred me to other groups.  These groups didn’t take people on public assistance unless I paid like $75 a session.  Say what?

What kind of bullshit organization is this?  Supposedly helping people?  They keep advertising their groups.  Yeah, for the rich only.  For the compliant only.  For the young 20-something only.  For the college student only.   No Welfare scum need apply.  No broken people need apply.  No people who can’t afford a nutritionist need apply.  If your brain is so starved that you’ve ended up psychotic, forget it.  Cuz if you’re that far gone, MEDA doesn’t want you.  Nobody wants you.  They’ll leave you to rot.  Like, chronic.  Forget it.  Rich ladies only want pretty girls with sparkly dresses and pedicures in their club.  Not someone with half my hair falling out, wearing a shirt and man’s necktie like me.

Once a year, they hold a “Annual Gala” or something like that.  I guess it’s a fundraiser and I’m sure it costs hundreds to get in.  Of course, they invite people with the disorder, too.  Milk ’em for all they’ve got.  Then they have a conference, of course for professionals, not for people who suffer.  At least the one that’s coming up is for professionals.  I looked at the program.  Mostly for therapists.  Of course, the one meeting on “medical dangers” does not include dangers of binge eating disorder.  Medical science has yet to recognize that binge eating behavior is at all dangerous other than the fact that it puts on weight.  Those of you who read my blog regularly know better.

I don’t know.  Maybe I should just sacrifice myself.  Eat until my stomach ruptures and rig it so as to make sure that even though I’m Welfare scum and most likely they’ll dump my body somewhere, I’ll get them to open me up and do an autopsy.  I’ll have it all written down.  Instructions, etc.  So then the world will know that this behavior kills.

So I’ll die, but I’ll open the eyes of the world.  So people who binge will get the help they deserve.  So they will get listened to.  So if you have anorexia and like me, you binge and don’t throw up, maybe someone will BELIEVE you and not say, “Oh, I KNOW you throw up, how do you stay so skinny?”  Or, “I’ll bet you throw up and then repress the memory.”

Fuck you, MEDA.  I’m not the sweet sparkly rich girl you wanted.  Take your money and shove it.

Yeah, I see the truth in it all

Maybe no one else sees it that way.

I would have to get the perfect disease.  I tried.  It didn’t happen that way.  I don’t believe that it wasn’t meant to.  I don’t believe in “meant.”  I don’t believe that God saved me for a specific “purpose.”  It’s my own purpose.  I chose it.  No magic hocus-pocus.  Nothing I was placed on earth for or anything.  I didn’t come down from the heavens.  I was born in a hospital just like most people of my generation.

But…if I were to deliberately make myself die, it would be making a statement, wouldn’t it?  Would this statement be “Fuck you,” or something else?  Fuck you to whom?

To my ex-friends, for turning their backs.

To my family, for not loving me.

To mental health, for screwing me over.

To anyone who has ever discriminated against me because I am a mental patient.

To anyone who has ever judged me based on body size or  shape, or my appearance.

To anyone who has ever judged me based on cultural, ethnic, religious, or economic differences.

To anyone who has ever judged me based on athletic ability or any physical attribute.

To anyone who has ever discriminated against me because I am smarter than they are.

To anyone who has ever discriminated against me because of the clothes I wear.

I’m tired of being treated like I’m stupid.  I’m tired of getting fired from jobs for no valid reason.  I’m tired of the jeering, taunting, bullying, told to hurry up, called names, talked about in my presence.  I’m tired of being not hired in the first place, told there are no openings when the Help Wanted sign is up and in plain view.  Not being helped by a salesperson because you’d rather help an attractive person first.  Profiled by the police.  My disability isn’t a real disability.  Mine doesn’t count.

I don’t count.  My feelings don’t matter.  I guess they didn’t matter when I got picked last for the team.  I guess they never mattered to my mother.  Ever.  Maybe she never understood that I had them.  Just body parts that she owned.

Well, I got up this morning for a bit, and had to get out of the house cuz they were testing the fire alarms.  Can’t deal with them barging in here.  They didn’t tell us they were coming around to do this.  They were just going to barge in without asking, show up.  Boom.  We’re coming in.  Not, may we come in?  Barge in whether I want this or not.  What if they found me dead?

No matter.  No sense in thinking this way.  I have a big imagination.  I’m alive.  Alligators.

To all personnel in every hospital I have ever been in and every mental health practitioner I have ever had

April 3 meshed into April 4, so now it’s tomorrow.

Well, well.  See if I care.

Thirty-one years of your bullshit and I am finally out of your clutches.  I am 54 years old.  Maybe I am starting a new life.  On the other hand, maybe you have ruined me.  Maybe it’s too late.  Maybe you hit me so, so many times that I’m too weak and battered to rise up another time.  I don’t know if I have it in me anymore.

Yes, I am running away.  If I show up at your doorstep one more time, my life will be over.  State hospital, end of the road, place to rot.  Can’t even die with dignity there.  You’re already dead even if you’re alive.

It’s called DISRESPECT.  Plain and simple.

See, I’m an educated, intelligent, worthy human being.  I have the ability to write.  I am talented.  I had everything going for me.  As a matter of fact, I still do.

I have more education and am a better writer than just about all of you.  I know a LOT more about eating disorders than any of you, even those claiming to be “specialists.”  Some of you know absolutely nothing at all.  Go read Wikipedia and you might pick up some basics.

I came to you asking for help.  You saw before you a Jewish American Princess, a Bennington Girl.  Milked her parents for every penny you could get out of them.  Even my last T told me, “Get money for care from your mother.”  I saw your smiles.  Bennington, eh?  Jewish?  Lexington?  Gould Farm?  The raised eyebrows.  Yes, we can get money from this one.  Let’s put the parents on our donors list.  No wonder you palsied up to my parents so much.  You fucking wanted their money.

You don’t believe a word I say.  What do you see now?  Chronic mental patient.  Who respects a chronic mental patient.  No one.  The entire world does not respect a chronic mental patient.  I say, the grass is green.  Do you believe me?  No, you have to go look to see if the grass is indeed green.  I can’t be trusted to tell the truth.  I can’t be trusted to perceive things correctly.  My opinion isn’t valid.  You believe each other more than you believe me.  You do not believe what I say about my body even though I know better than anyone else what goes on in my body.  My feelings don’t matter because I don’t have feelings like regular people.  You talk about me in whispers right in my presence.

I might as well not speak at all.  I might as well be an animal.   I think my vet treats Puzzle much better than you treat me.

This all came to me in a flash during my last hospitalization.  I looked back over the years and I saw the truth.  It has come clear to me even more over the past month since leaving the hospital.  It’s all bullshit.  Nothing but mental health bullshit.

Every time I have gone into the hospital, I have seen laws broken.  I have seen medication errors.  I have seen confidentiality violations.  I have seen human rights violations in every hospital I’ve been in.  I’ve seen filthy conditions.  My life has been endangered by staff.  I was put in restraints in a dangerous manner and left there unattended for six hours with the door shut.  I have been treated appallingly in emergency rooms.  I have been discharged in dangerous physical condition.  I have been discharged dangerously suicidal many times (and said so, was ignored).  Much of this was for insurance reasons at McLean Hospital, where they could have transferred me elsewhere where I’d be covered.  I was given too many shock treatments and probably suffered permanent damage.  I was in a state hospital, the worst of them, in 1986.  My experiences at Mass General last summer I have reported to M-Power and I hope to testify before the state legislature about the gross human rights violations that happen there at the psych unit and also by the hospital’s “sitter” company.  These are only a few of the long, long list that I can think of off of the top of my head.

You fucking assholes.

You know something?  You’d think, after all the years of “treatment,” I’d get better, right?  Makes sense, right?  I came to you asking for help in 1981 for my eating disorder.  Promising student.  Has everything going for her.  Brilliant, in fact.

Nine months of day treatment they milk my parents for the money.  Don’t have a clue what to do with me cuz they know nothing about eating disorders but who the hell cares.

Begging for help in Vermont.  You have no problem.  You’re just spoiled.  Go back to your rich Jewish mommy and daddy where you belong.  I lose 30 pounds, shrink right before them.  What eating disorder?  I wish I could lose a few pounds myself.  They won’t listen, I get hopeless, kill myself, wake up, they won’t even talk anymore.  Completely useless fucks.

Yeah, you want to die and what do you get?  Punished.  Locked up.  Yeah, sure.  This is your punishment for not wanting to live.

So now, if I admit this shit, that I have no desire to live anymore, I’m going to go to Hell, right?  Is that where I’m headed?

Why don’t you change your approach?  People who are suicidal need to be loved.  You should give them love.  Believe what they say.  Talk to them.  Listen to them.  Respect them.  Don’t shut them in a room, tie them down, drug them up.  What kind of bullshit is that?

Tonight I sucked it up.  Called the Crisis Team.  I think that was the very last time I’ll call them.  I said, “I’m probably making a mistake doing this and I’m probably going to regret it.”

Well, I do regret it.  Cuz I feel like shit now.

I said I didn’t have a T now, that I hadn’t left the house for a few days, hadn’t gotten out of bed much, was leaving mental health.  I went on a bit.

I pictured her sitting there, phone in hand, with a Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee at her desk, half finished.  She’s tapping a pencil on the desk, idly swinging her chair back and forth.  She mutes the phone while I’m talking, and says to her co-worker, “Another chronic.  Just mouthing off.  I’ll be done with her in a sec.”

I never got to the part about not wanting to live anymore.  I didn’t bother, cuz I told myself this lady didn’t respect me.  She didn’t get my point.  She wasn’t listening.  She hadn’t heard a word I said.  Mental health doesn’t listen to its own patients.   She said, “Why don’t you go to bed and get some sleep.”

What did I want from this lady?  Why did I call?  Just a last ditch effort, I guess.  Like a PS.  A last kick in the butt.  Well, fuck you, lady.

You’ve all let me down, you fuckers.