Dysmorphia

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Facing the World Pt.1

It felt beyond strange to be leaving the clinic, it had almost become more of her home than her actual home, she felt safe there and protected with the doctors and their clipboards, she had put on nine pounds and felt more healthy than she had in a long time, it felt like once she left all her positive progress would shatter and she would become crazed once more.

They left that afternoon in Chase’s car and headed to the department store twenty minutes away, Florence couldn’t believe this was actually happening, never in a million years had she imagined that she would be buying a dress to an event she had vowed to never go to, what place did a fat girl have at the biggest social event of the year?

‘But I’m not fat’ she reminded herself again and again.

When they finally arrived after a car journey of utter silence she was shuddering.

“You’re good Florence” Chase placed his hand over hers “You’re so brave to be doing this and I’m so proud of you”

“Thanks” she managed.

When they reached the fourth floor of the department store full of occasion wear she had to stop just to take the scene in, there were dresses in every style and colour imaginable, floor length, mid-length, ruffled and bejewelled.

“I won’t fit into any of them” she whispered.

“Florence!” Chase turned to her “You will fit into them, you’re getting so much better, don’t let this set you back”

And he was right.

Two hours later she emerged from the shop triumphantly after picking out the most beautiful azure dress.

When she got back to the clinic for some reason she craved being alone, today had been a whirlwind and she just wanted to step back from everything and think things over, Chase looked positively drained from their expedition so she ordered him to go home and rest, to her surprise he had agreed.

Florence needed time to think, so much had changed, Oakwood had once seemed like the worst nightmare she could possibly have, but now it seemed the clinic had been her saviour, she was so confused about everything, and most of all about how hearing that she had gained weight hadn’t sent her into a mental breakdown.

She was planning on walking into prom hand in hand with Chase, yet she didn’t know anything about him except that he was kind and that he had saved her. She vowed then that she would make him tell her what he needed to tell her, she may not have been ready for it, but with the amount of emotions she had off-loaded onto him she reckoned he should feel able to share his life with her.

She did something then that she had never thought she would be able to do, she rifled through her backpack of belongings and pulled out her notebook, the notebook her mother had given her that seemed like it had belonged to a different girl, she suddenly felt an urge to read each and every page, because that girl still existed, she was just stronger.

She opened the notebook to the first page, the words were slightly blotchy because of the tears she had shed that day but the entry was still decipherable.

Today has possibly been the worst day of my life, I’m the fat girl now, but I’m not going to be anymore, not if I can help it because I, Florence Clarke will do anything to not be the fat girl anymore...

I’ve done my research, I know how to manage everything, I won’t lose too much at once I don’t want Mum or Dad to notice or be worried but I will no longer be that girl, the one everyone pities.

The List didn’t just take away my friends it took away everything from me, its funny how I built up my whole life on a lie, how I was so superficial that I thought the people who cared about me, who said hello to me in the corridors wouldn’t turn on me at the slightest provocation.

But it would just seem ironic to call a skinny girl fat, and skinny is just what I intend to be.

Florence

She felt her own tears mingle with those of her past self, she had been so alone when she had written those words, she should have trusted her parents, she should have done so many things differently, she turned over the page having a twisted curiosity, she needed to know what else she had thought, this was her only look into how her brain had worked, to fully recover she needed to let go.

There are just some things too horrible, too terrible to contemplate that I just don’t like to think about let alone talk about, but there always there, always lurking in the depths of mind.

When I was little I used to pray to become older, becoming older meant you had your life together, you were mature and could face the trials and tribulations. When you’re older you’re popular, you’re composed, confident and clever. Now the thing I crave the most is to be young, I would love to be young and carefree

Florence

Florence wasn’t even making a conscious effort not to cry anymore, she let the tears come still wishing she could climb into the pages of the books and hug the sad girl writing these words, hug her tight and tell her better and brighter days were coming, she wouldn’t feel alone forever, things were going to change, with trepidation she turned the page and began to devour the words penned neatly.

Its so funny how one day you’ll have all you’re friends and the next you can turn into complete strangers, the closest friendships torn apart over petty things that seem monumental at the time.

Other girls in their year fought, groups changed and split up, new members were added to the mix but not their group, not Lauren, Madison and me, we had never gone for an day without speaking to each other, our friendship didn’t rely on drama to keep it alive, it relied on us always being there for each other through thick and thin, it was the four of us against the world.

It was.

Florence

She hadn’t really had much time to think over her lost friendship with Cooper, Lauren and Madison what with being locked up in the clinic but now that she gave it the entirety of her attention she could see that she had made some mistakes to, jumped to assumptions, she should have given them time to adjust, not shut them out and ignored their messaged so quickly. But what was done was done, she turned the page once more.

I wish that it didn’t have to be this way, that I could be normal again, that I could look at food without mentally counting up calories in my mind, but they did this to me and what’s done cannot be undone.

Society was a cruel place to dwell in, all the judgements all the assumption and this every growing need for everyone to know everything about everyone else, people can’t just leave people be, they have to stamp out any rebellion against social status, because if the system came crumbling down then where would we all be? We’d be like sheep separated from our shepherds, unable to keep up with the world changing around us.

Humans were made to be followers, even the leaders among us are followers

Florence

Letting go was going to be a lot harder than she had first thought.

How easy it would be to end this all... they say it’s the cowardly choice, I believe its brave.

When I was in Year 6 our neighbour Miss Bailey killed herself, my mother said she had gone to live with the angels, I later found out that she had been severely depressed after suffering miscarriage after miscarriage.

The Bible says people who commit suicide go straight to hell, people say there’s always hope, always light at the end of the tunnel.

All I see at the end of the tunnel is a train plummeting towards me

Florence

Florence finally closed the book, that was enough for today about all she could take, she curled up with the notebook clutched to her chest, imagined she had a girl almost half her size hugged tight to her, she wanted to travel back in time and hold the pieces of that girl back together, stroke her hair and whisper in her ear that life was worth living.

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