Softly sighing I take another small, painfully slow nibble of my granola bar. My eyes will be the only feature to betray me, she knows them better than anyone else in the world. Panda gazes at me for a few moments and then quietly muses, “Why is it so hard for you to eat?” Why is it so hard for me to eat? I mean, really, why is it so hard? It’s not like I can’t physically handle eating or anything, I love food, LOVE food, and she knows it; and yet I can’t make myself eat anything without getting sick or hating myself more with each bite.
Elizabeth begins her diatribes, defiling and ruining my every hope of being happy, even if just for a moment. “You’re so ugly, fat, disgusting, stupid, and nobody even likes you. They won’t admit it to your face, because you’re not even worth their words. Why are you even trying? It’s obvious you aren’t good enough. You never will be. Stop trying. Stop eating. Lose some weight and you might have a small, minuscule opportunity for a hope of being even half way good enough. You should go run a few miles. Now, like right now. Go! Why are you still standing here? Why are you holding back?! I said go!”
“Turbo? What is it?” Panda never misses a beat, quickly picking up on the change in my body language.
“It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.”
“Mara you know I can’t do that. It’s Elizabeth again isn’t it? She needs to leave you alone. What did she say to you? And don’t try to lie to me. You know I can see straight through your walls.”
“Yeah it’s her, but it doesn’t matter, just eat your food, I’ll be fine. I swear.”
“Turbo talk to me. Eat Hun, you need to get something in your system.”
“Don’t listen to her, you’re just a piece of shit. You know I’m right. Don’t take that bite. You don’t deserve it.” Shouts Elizabeth, jumping into my every conversation, thought, feeling; rudely interjecting her opinions and what I’ve come to know as truth.
“I can’t P, I can’t… She won’t let me.” I stutter.
“Who? Elizabeth? Don’t listen to her Mara. She’s wrong. I’m here. I won’t leave you, you know that. It’s okay, take that bite Mara.” Slowly I raise the bar back to my lips, and take a small bite. Immediately I regret it, the guilt of feeling the pleasure of sweet nutrients making their way through my system, races through me, making me want to throw it all back up.
“Panda, I can’t do it. I can’t.. I’m already disgusting enough, I don’t need this. It’ll only make me look worse. I’m sorry. She’s right about me.”
“No Mara. She’s wrong about you, she can’t see you. She doesn’t know you. No, she is dead wrong about you. You’re beautiful, inside and out. Don’t ever doubt that.” Her deep brown eyes show the warmest of compassion, as my own ocean blues start to tear up. Quietly in my mind I disagree with her, there’s no point in trying to argue with her, she’ll just end up mad at me and I don’t want that.
“You’re so damn pathetic. Can’t you even stand up for me? You know I’m right and yet you haven’t said a damn thing to contradict her. She’s just a bitch anyway. You don’t need her. She’s to good for you. You dumb ass. Why don’t you just go die already? You disgust me. You feel those cuts that are healing on your hip? You might as well reopen those and make a few new ones, because you haven’t improved at all. You stupid waste of space.”Elizabeth has a way of timing her comments for just the right moment to erase every other possibility. She knows I believe her, whether I want to or not; and she definitely takes advantage of the better moments to put me down by contradicting everything Panda has to say.