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I sit and stare at the toilet bowl.

A guy I know is bulimic.
When we compliment him
I see the twist of agony in his eyes
as his brain reprograms it
to sound like an expensive lie
that costs him another tear
in his tattered dignity.

Friends hurry to him,
to reassure him, to love him.
They tell him how beautiful he is.
We didn't know him before,
but he's definitely not fat now.
We whisper things in concern like;
body dysmorphic disorder.

'I know you'll never believe me
but you are so gorgeous -
not just on the inside.' Not just.
And they're right, I join in,
because they are right to say it
because it happens to be true -
he is stunning. Not just on the outside.

And we want him to see himself
the way we see him, beautiful.
And I join in because
I've felt that strangle of pain
in my stomach, bowels and belly,
when someone used to tell me lies.
So I know how he feels.

Only, he is beautiful on the outside
and I'm not.
He's not seeing reality in the mirror
and I am.
And people rush to correct him
because the truth, when he sees it,
will make him happy -

but not for me.
Awkward silences and smiles,
because no one can lie that well -
I sit at the back while they cluck
around a beautiful, broken boy,
and ache because if I wasn't
disgusting, repulsive, ugly -

then they might do the same for me.

and they don't.

so I sit and stare at the toilet bowl.
That extraordinary pain of reality... when you tell someone they are beautiful that they are beautiful, and give silence to those who are not.

For the record, this poem isn't about this guy, and I hope he never sees it because its truly not about him or his life, and I'm not going to name him or share who he is... this poem is about how I feel about myself.

I have binge eating disorder, there I finally told you guys. I dont want to talk about it because Ive only started tentatively mentioning it to people and havent really talked about it seriously with anyone yet (Im going to try and do that when I go home this week) - but my point is, with the binge eating, and knowing someone who hates themselves the way I do except they ARE beautiful, and I'm not... it makes the temptation to purge much more intense.. and I am frightened of losing the little control I have in my life.

I dont know what the fuck Im doing any more.


DISCLAIMER: Kids, eating disorders are bad mmkay? Not glamarous, not a shortcut to happiness, or thinness, or the boy or girl you want. It just doesnt work and fucks you up physically, mentally and emotionally. Just dont.
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:iconcohmisskyo:
I really felt this piece. I think we've all felt, at some point in time, that we were less deserving than someone else with the same problems - that we were less beautiful, less intelligent, less caring - and I think that we've all suffered with that feeling in silence because it feels selfish to say "I am enough to deserve your care too." This piece conveys that feeling in crystal clarity, all the hows and whys of it from one person's point of view, and it really struck a chord with me. It's a story of a heartbreak one resigns oneself to in order to keep on going, and that is a true and real thing. I also think it takes a lot of strength for a person to write about something like this and make other people see it through their eyes. Brava, KathrynODriscoll - write on.
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:icon0hgravity:
0hgravity Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
sad to see you don't think you are beautiful too. inside, outside... I only really see the inside. maybe it's because I talk more to people online?
you would not get silence from me.

I hope sharing it has been relieving and helpful. it looks like you have many supporting you here. including myself. 

you've expressed this heaviness you've been carrying very well in the poem. I understand what you mean and how you feel. powerful stuff.

:hug: 
Reply
:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013
:tighthug: :tears: You are so kind. Thank you so much... :tighthug: I really appreciate your friendship
Reply
:icon0hgravity:
0hgravity Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
aw, I try to be. you're welcome, of course :hug: and I yours.
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:iconindigokid17:
IndigoKid17 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey  you, 
 Just sayin, your writing is beautiful and comes straight from the heart. I can tell as I have been in a similar place. And I also want to say it gets better from here ;) As actions occasionally speak louder than words , in this case, I believe your impulse to write this incredible piece and post it for the world to see was amazing. That my friend , was an incredible act of courage, as you are , in a way asking for help and that, simply put, is the first step to finding yourself and becoming confident about who you are. But also, allowing others to read this gives courage and hope to the people out there suffering likewise. I found it rather inspiring. Keep writing and i'll be watching ;)Also ,keep being the amazing person you are. 

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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013
Gosh thank you so so much! This helped me get through a rough couple of days :tears: You are too kind :tighthug: THANK YOU
Reply
:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sitting with you and loving you. The truth is... you are beautiful too. I don't know what you look like, but you really are beautiful where it counts. And you know, outside beauty, it fades. You get old and you get wrinkles and things sag. But inside beauty? That doesn't fade, it glows and it grows. And it matters, more than anything.

I know what it is to live in a world where the standard of beauty does not match your appearance, and it's hard. I know what it is to weigh more than what society says you should or can in order to be beautiful, and I know what it is to know that even if you did weigh the right amount, there are other things that stand in your way. But beauty standards change; what we decide is beautiful in one time may be ugly in another.

All people have beauty in them, and those who can't find it in others are the ones who are losing out the most.

All of that just boils down to: I hear you. I can relate. I'm sorry. I love you. I see beauty in you.
Reply
:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013
:tears: thank you... I love you too. I hate putting this negative stuff out there because I know it affects people, makes them worry, but I find it impossible to communicate in every way except my poetry so.. I have to :[

Thank you for always helping me when you can :tighthug:
Reply
:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:huggle:

There's nothing wrong with saying it. People worry because they care -- I suspect they'd worry more if you stopped saying it because, like you said, your poetry is a form of communication.
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013
 Nods
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:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:heart:
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:iconseaxwulf:
Seaxwulf Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

Such things are not fun to deal with. After-shocks and tremours, psychological rifts that never quite mend. Oh yes, and then there's the cognitive dissonance between form and substance, spirit and mind.

 

Flesh is a temporary thing. It probably means nothing from a stranger, but it's a lesson learned hardly, and one hardly learned at all. Flesh is flesh and a part of the natural order, sometimes we must let it guide us. When we attempt to reshape it to our whim, we can lose touch with the anchors of our soul and feel quite lost. Beauty is a plastic thing, my dear. I recommend you study the differential opinions of beauty. Perhaps in learning that the false standard we live with is so heavily propagandised, you might gain me clarity. It helped me, though I struggle still.

 

I am sorry that this kind of dysfunction has poisoned the clouds of your spiritual horizon, for what it's worth.

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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013
:tighthug: Thank you
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:iconseaxwulf:
Seaxwulf Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome!
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:iconaurora9912:
Aurora9912 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I wish there was a way for my friends to see themselves as I see them through my eyes. Even if just for a moment. I don't see people the way some do. I honestly couldn't tell you what certain details are about extremely good friends of mine. I couldn't tell you if they've gained or lost weight. I just never saw people that way. And I am so happy that I don't. I am glad you have admitted this to yourself and it seems you want to work on it. I think your writing will help you a lot through this because you really are a brilliant writer. Remember that you have a lot of people who care about you and are here for you. Just tell us what you need. ♥
Reply
:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
Thank you, I think I need.. harrassment. To do better. 

I allow myself the excuse that my emotional pain is so intense that any method of lessening it is worth it

and that forgives me the binge eating

but I cry when I eat. and thats not normal, thats not okay... I need to find a way to stop this
Reply
:iconaurora9912:
Aurora9912 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
FORGET THE WORD "NORMAL"! Who has the right to say what is the best thing for you? It seems that you recognize at least some of the problems that you face. That is a great place to start. Just keep working and building on it from there. You know or will know what works best for you and I think you just need to take the time for yourself. Forget about everyone else. This is your life and your happiness what could be more important?

Hugs! If you ever need harassment just let me know!! :D
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:iconmorpheus1035:
Morpheus1035 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I... often feel the same way about myself... I know how you feel, so if you ever want to talk please note me
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
:tighthug: thank you, I dont really know what im doing right now
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:iconmorpheus1035:
Morpheus1035 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
With a voice like that, I'm sure you'll find your way
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:iconlupus-astra:
lupus-astra Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, Kate. I want to hug you and squeeze you and tell you that you're beautiful because even though it may feel like my words are just making things worse, I know that's all I wanted to hear when I was in a really bad spot with this.

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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
:tears: I'm sorry, I dont know what Im doing
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:iconmaryjayne530:
maryjayne530 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
wow. this is so perfectly written. well done, beautiful! :)
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
oh thank you!! :']
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:iconmagicaljoey:
MagicalJoey Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2013   Writer
You will always have my support muffin. :tighthug:
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
:tighthug: :Tears:
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:iconmagicaljoey:
MagicalJoey Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013   Writer
No tears needed
:tighthug:
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
:}
Reply
:iconcielrulez:
CielRulez Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I really love this poem, because it's true. I'm not going to lie and say that I know what you're going through, but I really hope it all works out for you. (btw, I love your disclaimer xD)
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
nods, and thank you
Reply
:iconcielrulez:
CielRulez Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:)
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:iconlightrayphotography:
LightrayPhotography Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Awe. This has that fleeting feeling of logic that dissolves into Pain.
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
nods
Reply
:iconherlittledoll:
HerLittleDoll Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2013
Beauty is relative. I'm sure the boy could write the exact same poem about you and believe it with equal amounts of bitterness and envy.

I suggest you decide what you want, for both your body and mind, and then take action to get it. If you hate yourself, it should be easy to be ruthless. To stop binge eating, lock yourself in a room or refuse to go into the kitchen. Or only eat what someone agrees to cook for you. Regardless, you will have to make the best out of what life has provided.

As for the boy, if you want him to believe your words, all you have to do is stop being kind. Instead of saying, "you're beautiful," say, "You're too stupid to realize how beautiful you are and I'm sick with envy." He thinks anything spoken with compassion is a falsehood designed to make him feel better. So, be cruel. He'll believe it more easily.
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
:giggle: I have put it in mean ways, but his self esteem is as damaged as mine. It doesn't matter, one day he will fall in love or go to psychotherapy, eventually it all works out I guess.

As for me, respectfully, I thank you for your supportive suggestions but they don't work for me.
Reply
:iconladylincoln:
LadyLincoln Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Darling girl, I admire your courage, strength of heart, bravery and beautiful spirit.

I will always be by your side-- giving you unending support. Please do not stop fighting, I love you dearly. :heart: :heart: :heart:
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
:tighthug: I dont know what Id do without you
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:iconladylincoln:
LadyLincoln Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Love you to pieces, darling girl. :heart:
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
<3333333333333333333333333333333
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:iconnightshade-keyblade:
nightshade-keyblade Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:iconcomfortplz: :iconcryinghugplz:
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
:hug:
Reply
:iconghostoftheemptygrave:
We all care about you, you know. You'll make it through all these problems, I'm sure of it. And true beauty comes from within, you should know it :hug:
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
:tighthug: I should, but I don't ;'[
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:iconghostoftheemptygrave:
Oh dear... :tighthug:
Reply
:iconspiralingspontaneity:
SpiralingSpontaneity Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I know exactly how you feel. I feel like something similar is starting with me. It's not the same as binge eating, and it's not really extreme or anything, but for some reason I just don't want to eat or sleep as much. I feel like I don't deserve it. I stay up very late for the sake of not getting enough sleep, etc. But I want you to know that you ARE beautiful, you're an inspiration, you're absolutely wonderful, and everyone loses control. And yeah, it can be scary, but you'll be able to get through this. You have a lot of people who love you and care about you, and I'm here for you, too. If you ever need to talk about anything, I'm always here to listen. Sorry for ranting and thank you for the lovely writing. :heart:
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
:tighthug: Thank you, :[ You are so sweet. I know exactly what you mean. I didn't leave my house for almost 8 years. Slept and ate. It was miserable.
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:iconspiralingspontaneity:
SpiralingSpontaneity Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You're very welcome <3 That must have been so hard. I'm really happy you were able to make it through, though. You're very strong c:
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
:tighthug: I just survived until it could get easier. Thats all anyone can do
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:iconspiralingspontaneity:
SpiralingSpontaneity Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I suppose so, but you made it, and that takes a lot of courage :huggle:
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:iconcskadoz:
cskadoz Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013   General Artist
:tighthug: really powerful!
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:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
:tighthug: Thank you!
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