“An open letter to the woman who said I wasn’t skinny enough to have an eating disorder.”

[Trigger warning for people with eating disorders, obviously.]

Kate Donovan, who ordinarily blogs at a few different places around the intertubes, has written an open letter to someone she really cares about, who dismissed her very real anorexia as “playing victim”.

You saw me this summer, back home for the worst summer I’ve had. I have gone off therapy for these three months, because you see, my parents don’t use modern medicine, and I cannot trust them to care for me. I am dependent on the kindness of my university to have treatment in the first place. This summer, all I have are friends, and my own will to do anything to keep from slipping back into a hell of calorie counting and obsessive thoughts and the nightmare of reflective surfaces. I used to hate myself, you know. It still creeps up on me and strangles and pulls at loose skin, until all I can do is hold off from screaming and curl up in bed.

You don’t know this. I would have told you, had you asked. I speak about my cesspit of destructive behavior, because you can’t tell when you look at me. That is true of most eating disorders, and someone has to talk about it. I will be that person.

Read the rest here. Very poignant. Very worth reading.

And I put this under Privilege for my categories because, frankly, the woman dismissing Kate out of hand has obviously not experienced the evidently drastically life-altering disorder.

Fasting Away To Nothing for an Imaginary Deity

Anorexia is a serious mental illness that wastes your body as it ravages your self-image. Some people find it a display of piety to simply not eat for forty days, mimicking all the mental illnesses that lead anorexics to the same behaviour. This is disturbing, especially when you can see them waste away and their already religiously-degraded mental functions dissipate over time. This video, via Andrew Skegg, is disturbing in exactly that way, especially when viewed in its proper context.

This woman is starving herself repeatedly over three forty-day fasts, engaging in anorexic behaviour by ingesting nothing but a multivitamin and water, breaking the fast with a week of Passover-kosher food then repeating the cycle, all for the purpose of getting in good with a deity that very probably does not exist. And on the chances that it does, it very probably does not care that you have starved yourself for so long out of supplication.

Below the fold. Trigger warning for anorexics.
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