These pictures are of a cartoon girl called Emily Strange. If I could draw a comic book version of Ana, she would look something like Emily Strange.
Ana isn’t just my eating disorder personified. Ana isn’t just a nickname for anorexia. Ana is another part of me. I experience Ana as an angry teenage girl. She isn’t just me as a teenager. She has long straight black hair and very pale white skin. She has dark eyes which are usually downcast. Her fists clench when she is angry. She wears hoodies, dark clothes, army boots and skirts. She is slim and looks like she could sneak around very easily, light on her feet and quiet. She is filled with anger and yet she doesn’t take up much obvious space. Ana is my inner child. Ana is my alter ego. Ana is my eating disorder. Ana is self harm and suicidal thoughts. Because Ana is a scared, teenage girl.
Ana is the part of me that doesn’t trust you.
Ana is the part of me that wants everything or nothing at all. Complete loyalty, or no friendship.
Ana is the part of me that feels like nobody believes me. Ana doesn’t feel heard and when she is angry, she hurts me rather than expressing herself assertively.
Ana acts out, but that’s because she’s young. She’s probably only 14 or 15 years old. She doesn’t have life skills. Her anger is a mask for fears she is too afraid to share. Her prickly exterior is a mask hiding deep vulnerability and shame.
Ana feels worthless. Ana feels helpless. Ana feels like punishing me is the only solution to these feelings.
Ana acts like a complete spoiled, controlling brat, when she really wants to be rescued. She makes unreasonable rules rather than admitting she is afraid.
Ana craves safety, yet acts like she does not need protection.
Ana blames herself for being abused. Ana feels responsible and wants to protect me by keeping me alone. Ana tries to push people away with self harm, suicidal thoughts and eating disorder behaviours. Ana thinks if we are smaller and take up less space we will be safer.
Ana is me. At least she is a part of me, but I don’t know how to make peace with her, forgive her, accept her and come to a truce. I don’t know how to integrate her, so that we become just one adult person again. I’m not sure how to soothe this angry child inside of me. We lack compassion for each other and for our younger selves.
I hope one day I can truly feel that Ana deserves forgiveness for hurting me. And that she can forgive me for not protecting her.