To the woman inhabiting my mind,
I am choosing to speak up now, as I want you to know I forgive you.
I forgive you for all the years you spent hating me. I forgive you for the extreme action you took, and the intense effort you made to try and change the way I looked. I forgive you for dragging me when I couldn't keep up, and pushing me beyond my limit when I needed to rest.
I forgive you for the time you spent blaming me for your failures – the men who didn't want you, and the opportunities you didn't get. I forgive you for all the energy you invested in shaming me for not moving fast enough along the path of forced transformation, for not accepting me as I was.
I forgive you for the binging, and the purging, and the bingeing and the purging. I forgive you for the long stints of starvation, the overexertion, the obsessive fixation and the relentless violation you inflicted on me.
I forgive you for the thoughts of disgust, the recurring disrespect, the perpetual judgments, the punishment enforced and the chronic neglect. I forgive you for comparing me to every f*cking person and disdaining me because I didn't measure up.
I forgive you for silencing my voice when I tried to tell you no, when I screamed stop, when I cried out in pain, needing you to support me rather than ignore me. I forgive you for putting me in situations for which I was not ready, for disregarding my concerns and hesitation and for choosing him over me time and time again. I forgive you for using me as an object, for subjecting me to experiences I would have never chosen, for undermining my apprehension when I needed you to listen.
To the woman inhabiting me, I have worked so hard to keep you going strong, but I cannot keep going like this.
I forgive you, but I also have desires that must be met moving forward. So, listen up:
I desire appreciation for all that I have given you. I want you to stop taking me for granted and to start appreciating your ability to breathe and move, to taste, hear, see, smell and experience this life.
I desire more sleep, as I am drowning in cortisol, breaking down every waking hour when my eyes should be shut closed. I want to feel supported by you in this and know you are doing your best to let go of the stress.
I desire water, and not just a glass, but a gallon a day. I want you to pay more attention to the fact that my head throbs in pain, and my insides feel like they are drying up because you forget. I desire to be nourished when I am hungry, and to be given space when I am not. I want you to value my rhythm, rather than go against it and discard it altogether.
I desire to feel safe, heard and respected. I want to know you honor my voice before anyone else's. I desire to feel free in my expression, and not condemned by your insecurities. I want to be liberated from the cage in which you put me a long time ago.
I desire to be celebrated and loved every f*cking day of my existence, regardless of my state, my shape or my size. I want to know that this celebration is eternal and not conditional.
Is this too much to ask of you? Let me know. I'm tired of fighting with you.