B always did the talking. He never let me speak. If I so much as uttered a sound in his direction, screams, curses, and taunts immediately ensued. He tried to keep me silent, but B was finally losing some of his influence. I knew who he was, why he was there, and how he worked. I was tired of his torturous rampages. I slowly built the courage to attempt to break free.
Irregular heartbeats and fainting spells were becoming a regular occurrence. I knew it was getting bad and if I didn’t do something, B would win. He would kill me. My children would have no mother, my husband would be a 27 year-old widower, and my mother would lose her only daughter. That would be my legacy – a vast trail of tears pointing to my grave.
And so I told. On a Wednesday night on the way home from church I spilled the black sludge of my deceit, self-hatred, depression, and bulimia into my husband’s lap. He sat there. He listened. And in the beautifully peaceful way he always does when things go wrong, he looked me in the eye and told me it would be okay. And just like always, I believed him.
We talked for a long time and I felt the weight of a thousand worlds lift off my shoulders as I released the colossal deluge of waters dammed up inside. It felt so good to tell truth. He told me he had known for a long time that something was wrong. He presumed I was lying each time I made up a reason to go to the store to buy more laxatives. He sensed my vomiting was far more than the stomach issues I pretended to have. He realized my exercise obsession was out of control.
A few weeks later I scheduled an appointment at an eating disorders clinic in Tallahassee, Florida which was only a short drive away. Knowing how afraid I was, my husband drove me there so I wouldn’t be alone. B didn’t like that. He harangued me the whole way there. He tried to trip me as I entered the office. He sought to silence my voice. But this time, I didn’t listen.
I met with a psychologist and at the end of a lengthy discussion, she recommended that I be admitted to the in-patient facility. I was devastated. Her insistence that I stay was like a knife that pierced my soul. I had to make a choice.
(This is part four of a six-part series on Bulimia by Deidra Manning)
*For videos and discussion questions on how to heal from an ED, please visit here.