Yes, our house was located in one of the most stunning areas within the Indian summer. Pennsylvania gets just so vibrant during the autumn months. Dutch county around the corner, and an engineer once working on the Apollo 11 project as the neighbour to our right, an elderly lady closely following the O.J.Simpson trial from within her greenhouse to our left. Both my host parents were affluent Professors. Interestingly enough, the psychology degree did not guard her from insecurities regarding her beak nose, so she had it done.
Their grown daughter would come round and we would take her two sheep dogs to the nearby fields. Something I now dream of doing. Autumny landscapes would inspire us all to frolic through the leaves for hours. It could have been heaven. If only there had not been the fridge, those dark nights and those myriads of tears. School got me a certificate for excellent achievements in my French class. Also, I managed to get a scholarship worth 20,000$ for art college, all the while attending overeaters anonymous meetings and binging on frozen foods only thawed by those flooding tears.
In the evenings I would go running for an hour, crawling around the neighbourhood. One patch of land in this very fancy area was inhabited by a trailer and its owner. The town was so fine, 5000 would apply for one teaching job. There was a big auditorium and I could have spent my time working on silver in the gold smith club, free of charge, understandably. Instead, I frequented the dark room developing photos. What a joy. Coming home after the after school club I would find my host parents still absent. I would open the fridge and, seeing that within a few minutes it was empty, I began ravaging the freezer.
Frozen tortellini stick in my mind from those antics. There were industrial sized packages of them, and, seeing it took too long to heat them, frozen morsels would find their way into my mouth, alternated by throwing them into the bin and then picking them back out again. All the whilst crying and sobbing at my own inability to stop this apparent nonsense. Soon I would not only frequent a therapist, but also visit OA meetings, sometimes twice a week or more. I got a sponsor and I began to identify with being a food addict.
My sponsor was a lovely chubby lady in pink sweat suits. I think I never saw her in anything other than those. I saw pictures of her being super model slim and, frankly, gorgeous, yet she claimed she was happier these days. I found it hard to believe. Soon I was taught that I would have certain trigger foods, such as starch and sugar. So, I would go around telling people I had an allergy to those food groups. And, my eating somewhat became less frantic and out of control. Yes, later in hospital I was classified as a bulimic, yet not one throwing up but a sports bulimic.
Hospital was no longer in PA though, in fact I never went back to take up that scholarship. You should have heard their reaction after I told them I would turn it down. No one in their right mind turns down a scholarship, and, I certainly agree. Well, I guess I can’t change the past, and I don’t know if I want to. I don’t go to OA anymore, even though I had a more serious stint at anorexia in between. Those days though are so far away, hidden underneath piles and piles of fallen leaves. Only occasionally the wind blows to reveal what’s underneath and prompts it to resurface for a while until it finally whithers away for good.