KL had returned, and we went to some required groups where we were forced to talk about our problems with each other. We did several different activities, such as evaluating our anger, or planning goals. This confused me, as I had thought that we were going to have to receive some special individual treatment the entire time, but everything was in groups.
“Okay guys, after lunch we’re going on a trip!” one of the activities directors explained. I got excited because I thought that we were going outside!
“Where do you guys want to go?” she asked the group. The options were apparently the park or McDonald’s. KL spoke up and asked for McDonald’s, and the group agreed. I was excited that I could already get out of this place!
“Okay, so I’m going to take KL, Ryan, Nick, Brie, and that’s it I think, right?” the nurse questioned. I felt like asking if I could go, but then she asked “You guys are the only ones who have been here for at least 24 hours, right?” Everyone nodded.
“Sounds good! Ready to go? We’ll go get all of your shoes and head out!” I heard her say as I was stuck in a cloud of thoughts. As I faded out of the midst, I heard another nurse tell two of us that we would just be able to sit around and play games or just talk. She must’ve also been new.
We sat in silence at the table we had eaten lunch on, and just let our eyes wander around the room. I glanced at her wristband. Her name was Kate, and she was 12, a year younger than me. I decided I would try to make the first move.
“Uhh.. Hi..” I timidly muttered. She looked up, and forced a smile.
“Hi,” she replied, softly.
“I’m Melissa,” I said as my voice trembled.
“I’m Kate,” she answered. We sort of just exchanged glances, and awkwardly went back to our inspecting of the room. We would talk now and then, but it was strange because everyone’s attention was on us; there were no other patients to worry about. I felt as if each and every one of our actions were being carefully and individually analyzed and charted, so I sat still and in near silence.
Eventually, Kate and I both got bored of the silence, and decided to talk a little bit more. I learned that she was there because she had cut herself. I felt bad for her. She was twelve years old. That was only a year younger than be, but it seemed like it should be such an innocent age.
Confusion and pain struck through my body. I realized that I was not the only one who felt so horrid with every breath I took. The loneliness and abandonment started to fade away as I began to know Kate. Meeting her was a joy for me, because there was finally someone who understood me.
After about an hour, all of the other kids came back into the room, all of them talking about getting real food finally. That scared me, knowing that the food here was awful, because I didn’t want to eat in the first place, so now I may not be able to cover up my anorexia.
At this point in the day, I just went along with everything. How hard could it be into tricking them into thinking I was happy? I mean, I’ve tricked everyone else for years, so this should be a piece of cake.
That I wouldn’t eat.