Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What Can't Be Erased

     You are infatuated with me. And I used to think I felt the same about you, but now it's hard to decipher my true emotions. I feel torn. Being with you only reminds me of my bitter past: the heartache, the melancholy, and the disappointment. I used to be idealistic about relationships; I used to be overwhelmed by the beauty of a specific person or the prospect of being mutually affectionate. But I am no longer that foolish, optimistic girl. Badly bruised, I have become more cynical than I already am. I have little hope for the future of my love life, which lies on the floor in shambles.  
     I wish I could exclude you from this curse of mine but I can't. Although you seem different, I thought the same thing about the last boy. And in the end, I realized I was terribly wrong. I don't want to be wrong about you. But I don't want to get hurt. I don't think I could bear another failed relationship. 
In short, I'm afraid. 

Photo by me, click on the picture to be directed back to the original source.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Silent Undoing

     It’s estimated by the National Eating Disorder Association that ten million American women have an eating disorder. But even that statistic may be false; for there are many who won’t get help or even admit to themselves that they have one. Eating disorders don’t get the attention they deserve; it’s as if people know they exist but they don’t understand anything about them. I personally have suffered from Anorexia. I was hospitalized and admitted into a treatment center for two months, in which I acquired the strength to embrace recovery. Through my experience, I have discovered that most people are ignorant about Anorexia and Bulimia. And I feel it’s my obligation to show people through words and photographs what they’re really like.
     Anorexia Nervosa is defined as a psychiatric disorder characterized by irrational fear of weight gain, self-starvation, and a warped body perception. Individuals suffering from this disease are terrified of eating and are convinced that if they do, they’ll become grossly overweight. The very thing that keeps them alive disgusts them.
     Bulimia Nervosa is a disorder in which individuals consume a large amount of food and “purge” it through vomiting, exercising, or laxatives. Bulimia is similar to Anorexia since victims suffer from the fear of food and weight gain. However, Bulimia is often considered the opposite of Anorexia, for instead of abstaining from food, they indulge in it. Having experienced a little bit of both (my official diagnosis was Anorexia purge type), both have similar psychological affects. These behaviors are self-induced which is why it’s a common misconception that those with eating disorders can just “stop” their behavior. However, victims develop a dependency on their self-destructive actions. It empowers them and brings solace; even though at the same time, it disintegrates their self-worth.
     Eating disorders develop for a myriad of reasons because they affect individualistic people. It’s widely accepted that the diseases result due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Those with relatives that have eating disorders are more likely to develop one. Some other causes for eating disorders are: the need to control, low self-esteem, addictive personalities, black-and-white mentalities, perfectionism, stress, a chaotic home life, anxiety provoking transitions (puberty, moving, ect.), and the media.
     We live in a media saturated world. Everyday girls are bombarded with images of women they should aspire to look and be like. There are products for concealing every flaw imaginable: wrinkles, cellulite, acne, ect. Women are constantly objectified as beautiful and sexual beings, not real people with thoughts and feelings. In my opinion, we have lost our souls in this industrial technological world. Values are warped and priorities are skewed. We are a society obsessed with beauty and many will do anything to obtain it.
     Ultimately, my goal for this photo series is to deglamourize eating disorders. They are wretched diseases that are not glorifying or rewarding. They extinguish your will to live, render you a hollow shell of your former self, and blind you from the truth. You become your own worst enemy. I am tired of witnessing girls struggling from something that isn’t worth it. I want people to love themselves for whom they are, not for how they look.

Silent Undoing

Your limbs flail wildly above your head as she jerks at the strings attached to your body. You are her circus puppet and devote yourself entirely to pursuing her every whim and desire. You do not dare challenge her superiority even though you know she’s slowly killing you. You do not dare sever the tenuous strings that bind you to her like iron chains. You are nothing without her. She breathes life into your limp, cadaverous body. She gives you something to live for, something worthwhile, something that places you on a pedestal of greatness. She whispers encouragement each time you contemplate caving in; praises you each time you lose a bit of weight or skip a meal. She is delighted by the hip bones jutting violently beneath your taut skin. She is your only love; the only one you’re utterly faithful to. You need her and she thrives of your devotion. She substitutes everything you lack. She fills your dismal void with purpose. And because of this, you are forever indebted to her.

Silent Undoing

Every day you trace each bone with tender admiration. The jab of your elbow, the protruding collar bone, and the deep indents in your knees all motivate you to continue your crusade for perfection. So rapt are you in the quest for the ideal body, the ideal soul.

Silent Undoing

Eating is like a sacred ritual. You are very cautious of what passes through your lips. Every morsel of food incites a wave of nausea and fear. Most days, you prefer to eat nothing at all. And soon enough, this becomes very easy. The hunger pangs in your stomach delight you for they are indicators of progress. Once those disappear, you’re convinced you don’t need food at all. You’d much rather prefer to be light on your feet anyway.

Silent Undoing

Was this perfection? Glimpsing in the mirror, you see thin ratty hair, sunken eyes, and sallow skin. You no longer look human. Instead, you look like a monster, emaciated and emotionally devoid. You’re dying. Yet you can’t stop because she has become engrained in the very fibers of your being. You identify her, worship her. You’ve lost everyone and everything; yet you don’t care. You have her. You are her.

Silent Undoing

You have no control over your own mind. She infiltrates the crevices of your conscious, dictating your actions and warping your perceptions. And you let her do this because you’ve lost faith in yourself. She haunts you with her chilling demands and pushes you to an unbearable state of madness until you can no longer differentiate between who you used to be and who you are now. And no matter how hard you try to silence her, to expel her from your thoughts, she always remains, reminding you of your inadequacies and failures. She taunts you with promises of a fulfilling future; but what future? Your destiny is in the form of a generic hospital bed where you’re hooked up to IVs and heart monitors, where you’re force fed through a tube if you refuse to eat. What you’re working towards is the ultimate self-destruction; You’re greatest ambition is to die.

Loss of Innocence

     When I used to think about going off to college when I was younger, I always imagined myself as someone else; a coming-of-age woman with features much more beautiful than my own. And now that the end of high school is rapidly approaching, I realize the ridiculousness of that illusion. I will never be anyone other than myself. This seems so obvious but sometimes the simplest statements are the most startling epiphanies.
     I can faintly see myself now in three months, the same face, the same clothes, perhaps slightly longer hair, and an iridescent radiance emulating from my skin. "This is it," I will think as I walk through the aisles lined with fellow students wearing graduation gowns, "this is the end." Relief will consume me; never again will I have to walk these high school halls. I will look over to my dearest friends and smile for I know they will be thinking the same thing. But as I dwell on my good fortunes, I know that I will be hit by a wave of great sadness. The child within me will die the minute I take my diploma for I will have crossed the threshold into adulthood. The days of carelessness and naivety will be no more; I will be thrust into a world I am not yet able to comprehend or function in. Graduation is more like a funeral for lost innocence than anything else. 
     And after it all, after the celebrations, the congratulations, and the countless glasses of champagne, after it all I will sit in solitude and have to confront the bitter sweetness of leaving my childhood behind.  Not only that, but also my friends. My closest companions and I will be separated, torn apart by our dreams. And even though I know that distance will not faze my friendships, I can't help but mourn the death of an era I'll never experience again. That era being characterized by languid afternoons, getting high and doing everything but really nothing at all, and chain-smoking, endless photo shoots, and aimless driving. We have to give some of that freedom up now that we have more responsibilities; now that we're entering a new phase of life. 
      I am sad yet strangely elated. For although I must move on, I am comforted by the fact that I'll always have my memories. And at night, when I am alone in an alien place, I will revisit my teenage years. And I will still be able to taste the sweet flavor of youthful freedom. 

where the wild daisies grow

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Confession au clair de lune

     Although I don't think of you often, you cross my mind every once in a while. I can't explain what I feel when I think of you. It's a strange sadness intermingled with relief and animosity. Sometimes I despise our demise. I find myself missing the warmth of your body and the sound of your laugh. I miss our clandestine meetings, the sweet kisses, and the intimacy we shared. Yet I feel foolish for being nostalgic for such things because in reality, you made me feel empty. There was a time when you fulfilled my expectations; but I'm different now and so are you.
     When I see you in passing, it makes me sad; not because I can no longer obtain you, but because it all ended so terribly. But what could I have done differently? Nothing. I did my part, as did you. But the difference between us was that I felt things at an intensity you could never fathom. And although I never loved you, I cared about you. And trusted you. And to see you walk away with from me feeling lighthearted and liberated crushed me. After our last goodbye, I sat on the cliff and wept. I wept for your carelessness and naivety and for my foolishness for trusting someone so narcissistic.   I made a mistake, one I hope to never make again.
     And now there is nothing left to say. This is the last time I waste my words on you.



     You are so close yet I am afraid to reach out and touch you. I fear if I do, you'll disintegrate and the opportunity will wither and die. You have no idea how often I dream of you: your lips against mine, your hands upon my body. I fabricate scenarios in my head of us, creating elaborate conversations that have never occurred. At night, when alone, I become drunk with these lovely illusions; they almost seem real. But then when I awake, I am dismayed to discover your absence from my side. Sometimes I feel you want me too but how can I be sure? So often do I mistake kindness for coquettes. So often do I make advances only to be brutally confronted with rejection. These experiences have weakened me and so I remain distant and laconic.
     There was a time when I was content to exist solely in my dreams, to interact with the specters of my imagination. I loved them, cherished them, used them as inspiration for poetry and prose. But now I am bored. I long for real, tangible human connection and to be understood, to be appreciated. I long to touch and to be touched. My craving for flesh has become insatiable for I have had no outlet. I feel so alone. 
     I dare you to emancipate me from this unbearable loneliness.