What do you do when people say things that are really really offensive to you but they don’t know it? One really big thing that came along with my eating disorder was my passivity. I’m entirely too concerned with whether or not people like me, and my eating disorder is a way for me to express that preoccupation. For an extremely long time I have been determined that I can’t “say the wrong thing” or else people won’t like me. They’ll think I’m crazy. They’ll think I’m a bitch. I don’t want to offend anyone else. So I tend to keep quiet and not share my personal opinions. As a result, I often am pretty antisocial and shy. I’ve been working really hard lately on breaking outside of my little eating disorder shell.
Cut to tonight. I agreed to get dinner with several of the girls on my hall. This is a really big deal for me because
1. I haven’t really talked to them a whole lot and I’m still not completely comfortable being around unfamiliar people.
2. I’m still not comfortable eating in front of people, especially people I don’t know. I’m still not able to successfully eat my meal plan exchanges in front of people because I’m convinced that they’ll think I’m eating “too much.”
But I went. I’m always scared to eat with other people because they somehow, ALWAYS seem to make comments like “oh, this food is so unhealthy” or “I’m going to be bad and eat a cookie today” or “oh my gosh. I’m going to be so fat. I promise, I usually don’t eat like this.” Seriously, if you’re making comments about your worth based on what you’re eating, how is that supposed to make everyone else feel? These kinds of comments are always super triggering for me. But I went. And sure enough, within less than five minutes of sitting down not only had all of these things been said, but several other comments that were even worse.
Suddenly my eating disorder thoughts are spiraling out of control and I’m convinced that everyone at the table thinks I’m enormous. That they’re watching what I’m eating, silently judging my personality based on the food in front of me. That they won’t like me if I eat too much. That they won’t like me if I say the wrong thing or laugh at the wrong thing. Unfortunately, thinking these things and giving in to my eating disorder always causes me to become completely passive. I stopped eating, stopped talking, stopped paying attention to the conversation and started only becoming anxious about what everyone else thought about me. Then suddenly I’m kicking myself because if I was emaciated, OBVIOUSLY everyone at the table would realize that I’d become quiet and stopped eating once she said that, and they’re realize that the conversation offended me, and they’d apologize and never do it again. Even though I KNOW that isn’t true. So I didn’t say anything. I didn’t bring up the fact that
A.A lot of the information that was said was just entirely wrong.
B. The whole discussion was a little unnecessary.
Now I’m worried that because I was upset and didn’t talk for most of dinner that my hall mates think I hate them. That I’m weird and antisocial and awkward. That I’m crazy. I want so badly to walk across the hall, knock their doors and just say “Hey. I’m recovering from an eating disorder. I just wanted to let you know that you said this and it really upset me. This is why.” I would tell anyone else in the same position to do that. But because it’s me, they’re automatically going to hate me. They’re going to think I’m crazy and overemotional and they’re going to tell everyone on the hall that I’m crazy and overemotional and they’re never going to invite me anywhere again or talk to me ever again. But they have the right to say whatever they want, right? If I corrected people every time they were politically incorrect, I would piss everyone off. What do normal people do? How do normal people respond when they’re upset or offended? I’m so used to just keeping everything inside and taking it out on myself.