I’m only on day five of doing this, and I’m uninspired and bored. It’s a chore already. What’s wrong with me? I used to have pages and pages of stuff in diaries that I’d written. I wrote three – four – ten? – times a day. And it came naturally. Stuff just flowed. Now, though I’ve written a novel and it’s going off for the next stage in publishing on November 28th (eek!), I feel less able to write.
I think maybe I can’t write so much about myself. Because I’ve said it all before. I haven’t changed, really, since my ED became particularly severe. I’m stuck in time at age seventeen. And I did write every day for the first few years or so of being in hospital, but the entire thing was just focused on calories and millilitres of fluid and staff bending the rules for other people or being punished and blah blah blah. It was the same shit, different day, and I never even realised. Then, I just sort of gradually stopped writing. I was horrified – writing a diary was a big part of how I defined myself as a person. How could it just go? But it did.
And I dunno if I can make it come back.
Sometimes, I suppose we have to accept things about the past, about ourselves, and move on. Because things can’t stay static. The only thing constant is change.
I used to be my dad’s partner in arms. We were the exciting ones, the ones who went on adventures, seized the opportunities, lived for the moment. We climbed mountains and kayaked and travelled and went out for a weekend with no idea where we were going to go and sailed and swam between islands and were always up for everything. We had energetic exciting conversations. We wanted to change the world. Well, I did. I think my dad had reached the stage of life where you realise you can’t.
I didn’t get on with my mum. I was so angry with her all the time, more irritated than angry, and I didn’t even know why. She was depressed and the opposite of everything I wanted to be. Maybe that was why. The world was a big ball of fear for her; she would sit on the beach watching us swim in case something happened. She would stay at home when we went out. She would switch off during exciting conversations. I swore so many times that I would never ever be like her, that I would be like my dad. I hated the idea of growing into… that.
Maybe that’s why I hated her.
My brother and I got on well, after he found his girlfriend (first and only, twelve years now like I said the other day). Before then he was awful to me; then there was a time we got on really well.
Now? Everything’s changed.
I’m the baby. Not just in age. I have to be protected. I get on so much better with my mother because I am becoming like her. I love my dad more than ever but I hate him so much too because he’s who I wanted to be. Yet, as I’ve grown older, I see the imperfections, which is hard too. Realising your idols aren’t perfect. And my brother? Well, they don’t see us often, which is fair enough. Who would want to come to our depressive household? And I’m scared to be alone with them because I have nothing to say.
My role is that of the invalid. People make decisions for me. And, as the years have gone by, I’ve grown used to it. Now I like being looked after, whereas younger me was furiously independent. I don’t understand the conversations they have because, according to most people, my brain is so undernourished. Well, that can’t be too true. I’m writing perfectly readable stuff here, and I’m going to get a publishing deal.
I’m the stupid one in the family still. My mother has lots of letters after her name, and has a PhD, so she’s a doctor. (Not a medical one. Well, sort of. To animals.) She’s an amazing teacher to her veterinary students. They look up to her. She’s amazingly well read. My dad knows everything. You know those annoying people who just somehow get everything? That’s him. And my brother, doing their PhD as well, speaks, as far as I’m concerned, in another language half the time. When they’re here and we’re all together, it’s hard. I’m either: overloud to compensate, silent to hide my ignorance, or I just leave and pretend I’m too tired or feel ill.
I was meant to go to Oxford. That was my life plan. Everyone else thought I would too; I got brilliant grades, and I did all the extracurricular stuff you need. I would’ve made a good Oxford girl. I went so far as to assume I’d get in. Not meaning to be big headed, but it was part of my life plan since I was seven, so there was no question of if. It was just part of my life.
I never went. And I’m too old to have the experience that I dreamt of. And I’ve lost too many brain cells from starvation. And I’m too dependent on my parents.
Wow, I’ve waffled. But what was the point? Did anyone read all of this? Why would they bother? It’s a load of self-pitying crap. I hate self-pity: what a stupid emotion. It gets no one anywhere. Yet, it pulses through me every day.
So. Anyway. I’m the little girl. The dunce. The invalid. I’ve been told that one so many times that I FUCKING believe it too. I don’t WANT to think of myself as an invalid. But I find myself walking all carefully, like some ninety year old. It’s horrible.
Right. Stop. Stop writing. What good is this doing? Think of something else. Distract, distract, distract. Go to sleep.