Anorexia looks extreme: the weight loss, restriction and rituals. But it doesn’t begin that way. It creeps up on you and hoodwinks you into allegiance to a dangerous ally. That’s my experience anyway. How are we influenced? And why?
This poem looks at two vastly different experiences. I’ve lived the experience through my cultural lens and watch my daughters struggle with their perceptions of their bodies. During my travels, I’ve come across women with far less wealth but a powerful sense of self.
1974, that’s where I’m up to. Spring 1973 left the earth sodden under foot and the tropical air heavy and sticky. Life became harder and harder. The social isolation drove me further away from myself into the arms of my inner voice, the anorexic one.
Summer holidays consisted of the hype up to Christmas. Mama loved Christmas so the atmosphere at home lifted. The ‘Regensburger Domspatzen’ sang carols in German and mum sang along. And it rained some more.
This morning I sat down with one of those bitty lists, the kind that grow out of being away. I arrived back home, here down south to Narnia yesterday afternoon. It was cold.
I’d left my warm second home, my daughter, her partner and my grand-pup. The dog knew something was going on when I lugged the case onto the bed and unpacked to repack it. His big brown eyes nearly made me cry. Pets can really give you a guilt trip.