I’m still not really sure who she is.
She looks back at me every day, but she’s different now.
It started a few years ago. She started changing, and I knew we were drifting apart. She catches my glance every so often and the thoughts rush through my head. I know she’s trying to understand as well. What’s happened to her? What happened to me?
She’s different to what my eyes see. She’s different to my memories and my perception.
She’s lost that deep sadness from her eyes. She’s got smile lines now.
If I made her so unhappy, then why were we such a perfect match? So perfectly destructive together. Codependency made in heaven.
I know she still sees me there, placed into the background of her life. I know she still feels and hears me, but she also listens to others now. She’s become intoxicated by the offerings of others – the ones she calls ‘supportive’ and ‘kindred spirits’.
I don’t care how good they make her feel. Why can’t we just go back to how things were? She sees me. I know she still sees me. I know I still affect her. I know I’m still a major influence in her life. But she pushes her thoughts of me away. Every day. She pushes me away.
Some days I know she hears me louder than others. She used to love what I could give her. Now she just tempts me with little pieces of what was. If she’d just listen to me again, we could be happy in a life of doomed excess. But she says she wants to have a chance to live a life she’s never had. Something about being herself and not being held back any more.
But I’ll never leave her.
I don’t care how hard she tries. She can try to ignore me. But her body will always bear the scars I gave her. They’re everywhere. I made my mark. My branding. I own her. She’ll never be able to forget me and silence me completely. Every time she looks in the mirror, or at a photograph, she’ll see me.
Hidden in plain sight.
But she’s listening to the others and believing in herself. And she says she’s actually getting some confidence now. That she’s healing. But I told her that’s all a lie. That she doesn’t deserve happiness. That I made her what she is. That she obviously must have wanted it, because she was complicit in the destruction, too. That I broke her. That I own her. And that she asked for it.
She has to stop listening to the others and remember that she’s mine. I’ll never take my claws out. She thinks she’s stronger than me, but I’ll keep whispering cruel toxic words about her worthlessness and ugliness until she believes them again.
I’ll keep whispering painful memories into her ears. Painful hindsight, regret, thoughts of how it’s too late to bother trying to change now, and thoughts of “if only” – that she could have always been so much more.
I’m still not really sure who she is, but she’s really not mine anymore. I’ll always be a part of her. But she’s pulled herself away from my grasp.
For now, at least.
Will she fall back into my trap? Time will tell.
But I know she’s determined to never look back.
I wrote this a few months ago from the perspective of the eating disorder looking back at me in the mirror. I found it helpful in my healing and overall understanding of my thoughts.
For those also struggling with an ED, addiction, or some other ‘Devil on your shoulder’, maybe you could try this for yourself.
Stay strong. You can beat your demons.