This series illustrates the truth and daily life of what is endured by an eating disorder. It can destroy the things you once loved and ruin the joys of living. You are confined to washroom, from the laxative abuse, to the constant stares in a mirror; picking apart every single thing wrong with your body to the most ritualistic and obsessive weighing of yourself since only the scale can give you validation.
On my quest for perfection to achieve my unattainable body goals left me unfulfilled. I was a void of self-despair and depression consumed my existence. I felt trapped by my body and the obsessive-compulsive thoughts and symptoms came with being an unwell person. Seeking perfection and having control creates self-hatred and feelings of never being good enough.
Every ounce of your existence is dictated by the disease. For myself, it was my only companion for such a long time. The reality of living with an eating disorder is not glamourous. The physical manifestation of the illness are more than the stereotypical carrot sticks and treadmills. It isolates you, consumes you and makes you realize that in the end, all that is left is you and your disease.
acrylic on print
Rape, violence, and trauma are truly difficult experiences to endure. Victims of abuse can feel defiled, exploited and shame with self-worth and doubt. After someone is violated, the resulting loss of agency and trust in the self is profound and has lifelong repercussions.
Control of the body in attempt to gain control over the past or traumatic event is often expressed in eating disorders. Though it can feel like control, by starving or injuring the body, it is a false control; because it is resulting from pain, fear, and self-loathing.
Sometimes memories never leave your bones explores how my childhood teddy bear and I try to protect ourselves and gain control of the body after enduring past experiences. Childhood trauma and reverting back to my childhood safety, although my anorexia and eating disorder behaviours were destructive, are a source of refuge.
Often, I found myself holding blame for the sexual desires, attention and actions of men due to my female form. Big girls, little girls' and 'titty titty bang bang' are exemplifying how I utilized my eating disorder to help cope with internalised guilt, shame and disgust surrounding the body.
A memory of mine that resonates with this notion was that when I was about 12 years old and just starting to go through puberty I got my first matching trainer bra and underwear set. I put it on. I felt trapped. I hated it. I remember bursting into tears and then throwing off the bra. The I proceeded to then start ramming my young female hips that were just starting to grow into the wall. I did it until my hips were bruised and were bleeding.
I did not know why I did it at the time.
In response to this event and many others in my life, I still feel a tremendous amount of guilt that festers into unease with the femaleness which created shame of my body, and self-loathing.