I remember the first time I realised that my Ex had issues with food. What I didn’t know at the time was what that meant for me and him. I remember the musky sweetness of his flat and the way his face darkened as he told me; but I didn’t really realise.
I was younger then.
I didn’t understand that in order to love someone else you need to love yourself. I heard someone say once that if you don’t like yourself then anyone who does is ultimately deemed a fool in their eyes; and who wants to go out with a fool?
I remember watching him look at himself in the mirror. He wasn’t wearing a shirt and all I could think of at the time was that he was mine, but then I was seeing the world with sex-tinted glasses. I missed the calculating and appraising way he viewed himself, twisting this way and that so to gain a better vantage point.
He would run his hands alone the contours of his perfectly flat stomach and say “I’m gonna go to the gym later.”
“Ok.” I would reply, thinking how healthy he was.
Then he would look at me.
“Why are you eating again?”
He would just shake his head, and then distract me and remove it later.
I often wonder what he is doing now; if he is ok; if he is happy. I hope he is happy, but then I also hope he is better. Anyone can convince themselves they are happy, so I guess I hope he is well.
He told me that he was able to make himself sick just by wanting to. If he felt like he had eaten too much he would just get rid of it. You know that bloated feeling you get when you are full? He didn’t like that.
I can’t even make myself sick by shoving my fist down my throat so the notion that one can think themselves sick is completely alien to me. Not to mention a waste, there are children starving in Africa you know? Or at least that’s what I was told when I didn’t want to finish my dinner.
It was no big deal though, he didn’t do it very often, and then only if he felt uncomfortable.
And I believed him.
As I said, I was younger then.
I should have known better though, when he asked me to keep it from everyone, even his friends. No one knew and I was the only one he had ever told.
I wonder if this is still the case?
Not my problem anymore I guess, he has people that care for him; I’m just not one of them anymore. Sounds harsh doesn’t it? Life and people move on, cliché but true.
All I think about now is whether or not I should have told someone about his occasional habit. Did they know? Would they ever know? Has he stopped? In keeping my promise, even after a messy break-up, was I hurting or helping?
Or was I making a big deal out of nothing? I am no expert, and when people feel nauseous they are sick. Why does there have to be a line on the ground? ‘Stand this side if you are normal, but if you vomit more the government quota allows we are pushing you over onto the disorder side.’
Hell, even I have had food poisoning, you look like shit and feel worse but there is no denying that being sick makes you feel better. I have also known people to make themselves sick when they have drunk too much, two fingers down the back of the throat and the world stops spinning long enough to get home.
One man’s solution is another man’s disorder.
So where is the line?
And who is fooling who?