close up of yellow center of a red dahlia

“The first time I remember realizing I was fat was when I was about five years old. My mother had made me a beautiful pink dress for Easter and I was standing in the middle of the aisle at the dime store just twirling around and around…” 

Her voice faded away for a moment as the memory overtook her. 

“I was feeling so beautiful, just twirling. A older woman suddenly stopped short and exclaimed, ‘Well, aren’t you just the cutest, roundest little butterball I have ever seen!’ My father was there and started laughing uncontrollably. When he got home he told my mother, my bothers, and all of his friends. They laughed and laughed and laughed. He threatened to tie me to the tree in the back yard where the dogs were chained so they would chase me around and around until I lost weight. Everyone thought that was awfully funny, too, and the laughed and laughed some more…”

Anorexia has left her a skeleton. 

She does not hear anyone say she is beautiful. 

She does not hear anyone say she is not fat. 

All she hears is the laughter.


164 thoughts on “Chased 

  1. My mother watched everything I ate from day 1. When I was a toddler, I had lots of sensory issues including food issues. I choked and gagged and vomited often when eating. Then, I got older and food comforted me when my parents were abusing me. My mother gave me syrup of ipecac when she thought I had eaten too much as a young teenager. When I had money ti buy my own food, I blew up. I recently had weight loss surgery and have lost a significant amount of weight, at the age of 50. I think that no matter how much weight I lose, in my mind, my mother wouldnever think I was thin enough. It doesn’t matter, really, what she thinks….she doesn’t count anymore, but I often have to fight her voice in my head. It is an epic battle.

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  3. I was on soya milk as a child since I had developed allergies to all forms of milk – which resulted in a very round belly! The joke in my family is that I was so plump that I could not crawl as I couldn’t breathe! The 2-year old in me is laughing along as well, but the present me is thankful that the fat melted away as soon as I switched to normal diets. The joke would have lost its luster – unintentionally, the family puts negative thoughts in our heads!

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  6. Rarely am I moved by a piece of writing these days.
    Perhaps because my Anorexia doesn’t allow for such feelings, or perhaps my meds are a bit indiscriminate about the feelings they tone down… but this, this is beautiful and sad and resonant. I was never ‘fat’ , I was never anything but a little skinny as a kid… and yet, having watched the illness ravage my sister, my family, me… I still developed it at the ripe old age of 30.

    This made my eyes prickle.


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  8. I am amazed I even made it through Anorexia Nervosa. I made it for a reason as well as you. Hopefully, we can share enough to help. Stay beautiful!


  9. My father used to say I was the Duchess of Crisco – fat in the can. I’ve never really gotten over that – have had a fixation and trouble with my weight my whole life. People just don’t realize that joking about a child’s weight can have very serious impacts.

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  10. Your writing is very moving. Too many people equate their weight to who they are as a person when they are two separate things. We are not our looks, but we are our personality and how we treat other people. Weight is more related to our DNA, which we have no control over (at this time.)

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  11. God protect us from those who love us.
    I’m sure no harm was intended but, I pray humiliation is one parenting trait never employed by my children.

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  12. I find it interesting that so many people in the world would rather be dead than fat. They act like a choice was made. LIke someone woke up when they were seven, and said, “You know what? I’ll be fat. It’ll give me character.” Few understand the medical and emotional and mental tethers that can lead to weight gain, or catastrophic weight loss. I’m rambling.

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  13. Anorexia

    ​Your boyfriend traces your vertebrae,

    Climbing on , counting each step,

    Like it is a staircase 

    A staircase of bones,

    You slip like sand through his fingers.

    Your brother whose chubby cheeks which once you lovingly pulled resemble deflated ballons,

    The bags under his eyes – sacks of pain,

    His face haunted with the same illness as you , the same venom,

    The venom that seeps down from TVs and movies , from posters and magazines , 

    Venom consisting of perfectly slim people.

    And they will bury you next to your brother, 

    With the plaques screaming in pain, 

    The tombstones shall tell how you both were

    Loving children ,

    Beloved friends,

    Perfect victims ,

    To this capitalist world.

    Liked by 1 person

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