Oh, there it is.
One weird thing about having an eating disorder is how much it numbs you to real feelings. You don’t recognize that you’re numb; you think you’re “fine.” After all, you feel depressed and anxious and crazy, so that must mean your feelings are still intact.
You don’t feel things like happiness, peace, love, sorrow (I mean sorrow for a specific reason). With Frank I felt either completely depressed or completely apathetic.
Today I saw a girl here crying because she misses her boyfriend. She’s ok with not seeing him, but she misses talking to him. I haven’t wanted a relationship in YEARS—I thought I’d been so damaged that I was beyond that kind of feeling.
Frank made me feel that way. As long as I was in a relationship with Frank, I didn’t have room to love anyone else. Or if I DID love them, it was so buried and so numbed that I didn’t recognize it.
My last serious boyfriend (let’s call him M) meant a lot to me. We had a fairly volatile relationship, but we had a pretty great friendship too. When we broke up, I was completely beyond feeling. I’d wanted to break up with him for a while because (being numb) I didn’t think I loved him anymore. I felt BLANK. I kept telling M to move on. I wished he’d meet a wonderful girl who would treat him well and make him happy. He got frustrated that I could brush off our relationship so easily. I didn’t mean to hurt him, I just didn’t feel anything. And to me feeling nothing meant I didn’t love him. When we broke up, I was completely apathetic. We still talked and I appreciated his friendship, but I never cried or even felt sad that our romantic relationship was over. I honestly thought that, having been divorced, I was above feeling sorrow for something as small as a break up.
You can’t feel much of anything when your brain is starved. Biologically your brain and body become obsessed with two things: Survival and food. After all, on a cellular level my body had no idea that I was starving by choice. For all it knew there was a famine in the land. Like Biblical times. My body had no idea that I was PURPOSELY avoiding my fully-stocked pantry. M was not food, therefore I didn’t feel or think anything about him.
A few weeks ago I had a dream that M was getting married. I woke up feeling very sad. The same thing happened last night. It turns out that my heart was a little broken when that relationship ended. Here it is over a YEAR later and I’m just NOW grieving. I knew he and I wouldn’t end up together. We made better friends than a couple. And I DO want him to be happy, but man . . . I did not see that coming. Trying to process these feelings over a year after the breakup is really difficult. It feels very displaced and odd. I didn’t miss him for 14 months, and now, suddenly, I miss him.
Ugh. Not my favorite.
So M, if you’re reading this, I miss your friendship, I care about you, and I’m sorry if you ever questioned that.