Cooking family dinner tonight with my sister-in-laws.
One of them knows about my eating disorder. No details. Only that I'm getting treatment. We've never talked about it
She isn't supposed to know. My mom accidentally outed my eating disorder to 50% of my in-laws, and I've been too scared to bring it up in conversation since. None of us have ever acknowledged it, but there's a mutual understanding as I feel their eyes on me during meals.
My second sister-in-law doesn't know. "Everyone in my class is super weird," she told me as we cooked tonight. "There's one girl who is the most normal of all of them, but she has an eating disorder."
I felt eyes on me. Those eyes were simultaneously attempting to read my reaction and begging my oblivious sister-in-law to stop talking. No one said anything. They just passed those discrete glances that are more damaging than words themselves.
There's shame intricately woven into eating disorders.
Challenge those sympathetic glances. The lack of words that isolate and pierce your shame deeper than any words can.
Challenge them by speaking up and breaking that silence. Help people understand, because trust me, they care. They just don't know how to show it.
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