Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Haven't You Heard? Starving Is The New Screaming...

I've tried and tried, written and deleted, re-written and re-deleted this post. I wanted it to be a 'good' post. I wanted all the wonderful words and perfect paragraphs. I wanted it to be tidy.

I guess some emotions and life issues will just be too chaotic to refine into a 'pretty piece of prose'. I kept spilling over the edges. Veering off topic, overflowing.

So I gave up. Instead I reverted to the forced structure of a list to keep me in line. Much easier.

This is about me and my family. This is about the times when I feel like I have no place in a family.

1: Family gatherings are nearly always at our house; the 'family home'. I do not contribute to the preparation. I guess it is a form of rebellion...or denial. Mum does all the food and cleaning and making presentable.

2: We wait, Mum is buzzing about, I hover by the buffet, salad picking. Cars pull up.

3: People arrive and I don't move to greet them. I feel frozen like a statue. The 'not going to greet' is a form of procrastination. It is also a form of rebellion against what I see this is; a stupid game of fake smiles and forgetting. I will not play this game.

4: The desire that is always lapping away at my shores now breaks over me; the desire to be anorexic again. I long for my badge of identity back again. I Long for the time when I was invincible to people. Instead I feel fat and false.

5: I hate the hugging. I feel covered in spikes. People don't see my spikes. The grasp at a fat rigid body and hug me anyway then move away.

6: Children spill into the room. They make it loud and noises stresses me out and the calm home is all messed up and now the noise is in my head. I hate this. Claustrophobic.

7: I just want to run away. Run away or sink into the floor. I shouldn't be here-I cannot DO family situations so I just shouldn't be here. I am not in this family. Wow, among everything else I can even fail at doing nothing but smiling and idle chatter. Screwed up girl.

8: Time passes. Everyone is together. I am on the outside. Full of resentment and envy. Full of bad. Unloved and unnoticed. I want to stand up and scream at the top of my lungs, make them freeze. Starving is the new screaming don't you know?

9: I have an urge to go and sit next to each person in turn and say 'who am I then?' Maybe then they'd suddenly realise they couldn't answer.

10: At times I make stabs at conversation with people, half hearted, fake. I give up because it makes me feel nauseous.

11: More time passes. Finally it ends. Just as everyone arrived at once, they all leave at once.

12: The silence in their wake is more deafening than their presence. The pecked buffet table looks abandoned. Scattered chairs are empty and too many. Dust motes float in all that air and space.

13: I feel all wrong. I hated the whole thing yet now I feel abandoned, bereft. The feelings of self hate and failure sweep over me. Another family gathering ends up seeming like a method of self harm. I feel so confused. So tired in my brain. So huge.

Maybe you've read this and now just think; 'god what a stupid whiny kid. Why doesn't she just stop feeling sorry for herself and make some effort'. Well don't think I don't feel that too.

The truth is I am so fucking tired of trying to make my feelings pretty and acceptable for family. I'm sick of having the sweet little saint approach;'Yes it caused my problems and it hurts me, but I know I can't change it so I just have to think on the bright side and I have this and that to be thankful for...'...blah blah FUCKING BLAH'.

I want to stop pretending. I want to stop pretending my sisters aren't what they are- half sisters.

I want to point out the plaintively obvious fact- You lot all have the same Dad and I don't. You lot all had a life well before I came along. How can you think this doesn't cut me up???

Ever feel like a situation is so royally fucked up that you just want to start afresh? What are you supposed to do when the situation is your 'family'? You grow out of clothes so you get new ones. It doesn't quite work when you feel you've grown out of your family.

PLEASE don't misunderstand me. I love my sisters. If I didn't I wouldn't have written this because I wouldn't be hurt. It hurts because I love them but I do not feel like I fit.


  1. Katie my dear, you are SO entitled to your feelings... Say whatever you need to say, this is where you can say it and feel some freedom.

    When my David and I first broke up, I swear I have NEVER felt so much pain in my life and everyone said to just move one.. what's the big deal.

    How about, I lost the love of my life, my dream... my ability to trust that anyone would ever love me...

    I would write it out and be nearly screaming and it would make me so mad when someone said basically to get over it...

    REALLY??? I thought I had finally found what I deserved after all these years... I had endured being physically abused as a child for years... a torturous marriage where my ex husband raped me...

    Didn't I deserve something good?? Everyone thought I was whiny too...

    I am sorry for the long post.... I know where you are coming from... you don't eat, I unfortunately did... anything I could to cover the pain...

    Say what you feel Katie... I for one would never judge you...

    1. Thank you for not judging, although I know you wouldn't because you're such a insightful person.

      I wouldn't berate how you dealt with your struggles and I wont for mine either, because we are entitled to try to alleviate the pain in any way we can.


  2. I can relate so much Katie
    I find family gatherings really tough going too
    I have a family wedding coming up in December and I am already dreading it
    My illness had made me quite anti social and I spend a lot of time alone
    There are only a handful of people that I feel truly comfortable around
    It's very hard to believe that people like you when you don't even like yourself

    You are not whiny at all
    You are telling it as it is
    The honest, raw truth

    Take care of you x

    1. I hope you can find a way to manage the stress of the wedding, is there any way you could take a trusted person or friend as a bit of armoury?

  3. I also struggle with family get-togethers. My stepfamily always made it painfully obvious that I wasn't really family. My father forced me to these events, just for his wife's family to treat me like an outsider as well. My stepbrother got showered in attention while I got in trouble, and got asked to not eat so many potato chips. The only time they ever respected me was when I was anorexic. It was the only time I was more than just a dirty wallflower.

    But "family" is defined by blood and marriage. A real family has very little to do with either. It has more to do with love and loyalty. And if you and your sisters share that, nothing else matters. You are blessed to have family, whether they are 100% your blood or not.

    You are not whiny. This blogging community exists so we can voice these feelings we feel otherwise incapable of sharing. I appreciated this post quite a bit for two reasons 1) I can relate to the struggle with feeling out of place with family. And 2) "Starving is the new screaming", how well put! I realize now how accurate that is for me. And perhaps that gives me something to think about.

    Keep sharing your thoughts and feelings, and stay strong.