In my travels, I meet lots of amazing people. I meet women and men who are brave enough to face their inner demons. Recently, I met McKenzie Tabor.
At a candlelight vigil for eating disorder victims, McKenzie read aloud a poem that she wrote about her personal struggle with anorexia/bulimia. I was deeply moved and asked her if I could share it with you. She said, “Yes!”
Please read her poem below. She wrote the original version of this poem during her junior year of college, which was about one and half years before she began treatment.
Thanks for sharing your words with us, McKenzie!
I wish they knew….
by McKenzie Tabor
I wish they knew how often I think of my body, my flab and even food,
When only fasting, purging or working out can bring calm on a stormy, cloudy day,
The times it lifts me up when my mood seems gray.
I wish they knew what I always meant,
Or how that is the only way to make me stand when I am bent.
I wish they knew I feel protected and safe when all of this is a “you”,
The people who actually know the real me, are so few.
I wish they knew about my dreams,
Or how I think we make a fabulous team.
I wish they knew the reasons why I am always sad,
But I hide all of my feelings and pretend to be glad.
I wish they knew how much I love it when I don’t eat anything,
Or the control, power and relief it brings.
I wish they knew how much I am out of touch,
Because I hate myself and my body so freaking much.
I wish they knew how I feel in their arms,
Don’t they know my fat will crush them? Sound the alarms!
I wish they knew how I look forward to “you”,
The shine of a perfectly cleaned toilet is a marvelous view.
I don’t really wish they knew what I was thinking,
Because they would see through the mask and know I am a disgusting, weakling.
I wish they knew my whole life through,
And after it all, they thought no blue.
I wish they knew how much I want them to see me,
In a radiant light that seems so dreamy.
I wish I knew how to make them see,
But I don’t have any great qualities or wonder in me.
I wish they knew what I can’t give,
Some love but real joy or excitement I can’t live.
It’s not in my box or my safety net,
They don’t understand how much I truly fret.
I wish I knew what to feel,
The quest for perfection, the disgust, what is real?
I wish they knew the millions of directions my mind flies,
Even though I try to make everything perfect, I still miss some loose ends and ties.
I wish they knew why I can’t walk away,
From my strength and control, I dare not stray!
I wish I knew what that future holds,
But through all of these trials, will I grow old?
I wish I knew what my life means,
In my hindsight and what is left to be seen.
I wish I knew what they are feeling,
Why can’t they see the failure, the imperfection, and all that is reeling.
I wish they knew that I hate when they ask or offer concerns,
I can take care of myself, I am not a fern.
I wish they knew how they make my skin crawl,
When they pretend they can not see all my rolls and tell me I am thin after all.
I wish I knew why they tell me I have a problem, they love me and they care,
All I can do is tell them whatever and offer a blank stare.
I wish they knew how angry they make me,
I want to yell at them and tell them perfection is not pain free.
At this moment, this morning, this very day.
I wish they knew how much I hate and despise myself and all the obsessions about food,
Nothing about it is amazing, wonderful or true.
I wish they knew, I wish they knew………