Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Shape of Things, Part I

Generic Disclaimer: I never said I was good.

The year I starved myself was the best year of my life. That was also the year my grandfather died of cancer and I broke up with my boyfriend. How could any of this possibly be good? Am I being sarcastic? Crazy? No, I am being serious. This year, the year of starvation, abuse, and death was the best year of my life.

The year began with the typical jollies of New Year’s and the beginning of undergraduate classes as normal. What was not normal in my world at that time was a man, Jim, who changed my life forever. Jim and I met when I visited a church and we hit it off. Jim was not the typical guy. He was the tall, dark, good-looking-in-a-mysterious-way kind of guy that makes girl’s heads turn when he struts by them on the sidewalk. He’s the kind of guy dreams are made of, or so I thought at the time.

My mother hated Jim and I should have taken that as some kind of indication of his character, but I didn’t. What girl listens to her mother when she really doesn’t have to? Jim and I started seeing each other more and more until I spent almost all of my time with him. And when I wasn’t with him, I was thinking about him. Infatuation is not a strong enough word for what I was feeling. I was standing at his door like some maniacal girl scout trying make a quota.In a word: obsessed.

Jim had a special talent. He could get anyone to do anything if the cause is strong enough. He also had to be in complete control of everything and everyone around him and the closer you are to him, the more control he demanded. Unfortunately for me, Jim knew of his particular personality traits and used them to his advantage. He definitely had me in his thrall. During the year that we went out, I changed my entire wardrobe to black because Jim said it made me look thinner. I let my hair grow out because Jim liked girls with long hair. I went to church because Jim liked “church girls.” I got green tinted contacts because Jim liked green-eyed girls. I starved myself because Jim said I was fat. Beginning at about 200 pounds, I lost 15 pounds in the first month.

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