He presented me with a bouquet of “newly sharpened pencils,” a dream come true, directly from the opening dialogue of You’ve Got Mail.
But I was upset.
He gifted Gwendolyn with a beautiful, gorgeous, pink rose.
But I was flustered.
We attended the ballet, one of my favourite activities in the world!
But it wasn’t New York.
We dined at a posh venue, Six Penn Kitchen, where I enjoyed two delicious martinis and vegan split pea soup.
But it was empty at eleven.
I’m an ungrateful bitch. It seems to be so, as the fucked-up girl with eating disordered tendencies is always the one who needs to make improvement. “She’ll get there. She’ll open up to you. She’ll get comfortable and accepting of these imperfect situations.”
But SHE won’t.
After the performance, walking to the restaurant, Edmund interrogated,
“You’re in a bad mood. Why aren’t you talking?”
I passively, quietly replied, trying to remain calm,
“Edmund, it’s really taken a lot to muster energy to be here tonight. I did not want to disappoint you by canceling something that’s important to you, so please lay off the criticism.“
Strutting in my BCBG Maxazria ballet pumps, I only wished to soak in the grandeur of the city, smell the crisp air, and appreciate the moment.
But he wanted to talk.
One thing led to another, leading to disaster.
He called me a whore (with regard to a former sex partner). I lodged even worse, the mildest of which was whiney baby. I’m so defensive, and he’s so ready to attack about my being black and white, without emotion. Even writing about this turns my stomach into knots. I’m not seeking an everything is la la la happy fluffy bunnies state of enlightenment, but I am seeking peace, quietness, professionalism, and fun. More like la la la happy fluffy bunny sniffs the realistic, slightly romantic roses.
Sir Edmund, in the heat of the moment (but perhaps he truly meant it), blamed my ‘anxiousness’ on my “not feeling confident around people,” only irking me tremendously. During DINNER, he accused,
“YOU LACK CONFIDENCE.”
Like hell I lack confidence. I’m a very confident person, cautiously narcissistic at times, in fact. Detonating criticism such as “you lack confidence” and conveniently relating my anxiousness to a bag of DSM-inspired lalala disorders when it suits his argument for why I’m not happy, he turns into an ugly monster himself. Ugly. But really, the only time that I’m anxious is when I’m doing something that I’d rather NOT be doing.
Whether it be cleaning for Sir Edmund’s 9pm arrival:
“yes, one friend, sir edmund, is visiting tonight, as planned, but he’s leaving at exactly 10:09pm before my Real Thanksgiving Dinner happens. i’ll need to clean every nook and cranny before he comes. this pisses me off because it takes away from reading, blogging, and playing with gwendolyn. i’m a presentation perfectionist. and i hate having people at my apartment. but i won’t disappoint sir edmund because he’s a very very very good friend.” – Thanksgiving
Or whether it be dealing with a ‘sponsor’ at my birthday party:
“Why the hell is he following me? Why won’t he leave me alone? He’s babysitting my food intake? He thinks I’m a fat fuck! I wish he weren’t here! I fucking hate him. Leave me the fuck alone! I’m thinner than all of your girlfriends, so don’t fucking judge me, idiot. I know you’re pretending to just stand by my side. You’re pretending to be my ‘sponsor.’ I don’t need a fucking sponsor. I don’t need you.” – Birthday
Whether it be any of the aforementioned or more, being told that I lack confidence is an equal blow to being told that I’m ‘fat’ If I adore someone, I will spend time with them. There are so many instances of where I lavishly enjoy the social scene: Late night dates with my sister in Chicago. Evening social galas with Maniac Magazine. Sushi dates with my cousin. The list goes on and on and on. My extreme hang-ups exist, however, with acting and playing a part, a role on stage, when I’m surrounded by people that don’t matter to me.
As I looked around that big, cold, lonely room of hundreds viewing a ballet performance of girls dancing themselves to death, my mind just trailed to my little monkey who existed at home, waiting for her mommy to return. Wanting to be at home, I craved my ordinary thing. Nourishing my mind. Nourishing my body. Quietly viewing a film with my monkey. When I think about having to be taken out of my preferred element, I get anxious. And then I get defensively angry. So why should I be required to do something that isn’t pleasing to me? Perhaps this is why Ayn Rand surrounded herself with just a close few – she plainly didn’t do what she didn’t like doing.
It was vicious. We argued all evening.
Do I suffer from ‘social anxiety?’ Does this relate to my eating disordered tendencies?
Easter was fantastic. It was the truest form of scientific experiment, as it was the first holiday without Sir Edmund. It was the first holiday where I waited and waited and waited for the explosion. But the volcano remained as dormant. The entire day, from start to finish was so fucking peaceful. The only moment when I felt a tinge of stress was when I bumped into Sir Edmund at Starbucks.
“What are you doing today?” he questioned.
Sweat pouring from my glands (and I thought, “WTF, Does this mean that I’m getting fat? Can he see the sweat?”); anger pouring from my heart; I responded, socially proper yet anxiously with:
“I am celebrating with my family, thank you for asking.”
I shall not accept anxiousness into my everyday life. What is it about Sir Edmund, someone who cares about me, someone who cares about my readers, someone who has been accepting of our platonic relationship, someone who is a very good, high quality human being that I can’t accept? Why do I repel his romanticism? Why do I find myself being sexually attracted to other men? Is it because I want what I can’t have? Are other men like my binge food? Like my ‘macaroni and cheese with ketchup?’
Call me a bratty little girl, or call me an objectivist. Either way, it’s my way or the highway. So if I questioned, “Why does Edmund put up with me?” then I would be abandoning my objectivist principles of putting me first. There is nothing about me that I wish to change other than having these vicious fights with Edmund. But I value him so much. I am a better person because of Edmund. Or am I?
I want to know, and I’m appealing to my readers, asking you for your perspective.
How does anxiety affect your life? Is it isolated to particular scenarios? Or does it constantly exist? When are you comfortable? When are you not? Do you avoid the environments and situations that make you feel uncomfortable? How has your eating disorder affected your discomfort and therefore anxiousness? How does your anxiousness affect your relationships?
Given what you know about Sir Edmund due to his glorious blog contributions, do you think that I should cease relationship with our gallant knight? Do you think that he should expel me from his life? Or, rather, should we continue to socialise in a friendly, professional context? Why? Can girls and boys be just friends?
If you have been living on a healthy scale for some time, did you observe a shift in your relationships, post eating disordered living?
Do you think that I’m ready to date again, ready to find my Hank Reardon, that one person who treats my monkey like a princess whilst lighting up my soul and heart with energy and happiness?
I don’t think that any man exists in this world who has invested as much space and time into understanding eating disorders than has Sir Edmund. But at the end of the day, I want to be with a man who energises me on all levels, outside of that world of the eating disorder. I am not defined by an eating disorder. Constantly having someone present who comes across as a counselor, as my ‘sponsor,’ or as a threat to my Saturday night comfort is annoying and debilitating. I want a fresh relationship that isn’t centered around the eating disorder. Is that selfish of me? Maybe so.
© Nicole Marie Story and nicoleandgwendolyn.com, 2011, 2012.