Other Ramblings...

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Santa Leave Your Sleigh Behind and Other Songs.

You know when you find a portion of your childhood you thought was lost and it brings back all sorts of memories which were really deeply buried?

Well, it being the beginning of Advent, I've dug my Christmas iTunes playlist out, and remembered the lyrics to some songs we used to have on tape (remember those!?) when I was really little.  A quick Google has proven that they a) did once exist and b) still exist on iTunes.  And, so, I'm now spending my Sunday night being all wistful about my childhood.

And, the more I listen, the more I keep thinking about, well, things.  

Was Geoff always inside me?  Even before I started school?  Did the little Kate, complete with scruffy hair and denim dungarees, who used to dance round the living room to Santa Leave Your Sleigh Behind always have the OCD and the eating disorder inside her?  Was it really always lurking, just waiting to come out? 

I guess the answer is that nobody really knows the answer.  It's one of those things which is anecdotal only and also takes into account whether you really believe that the Strep. virus causes the onset of Obsessive/Compulsive type disorders.  

As far as I'm concerned, I was a very anxious child.  As a baby, my Mum always tells me, I was the first child ever to be returned early to its mother from the creche because the staff couldn't settle it.  I was the only child who had to leave playgroup at three because they couldn't last the hour and a half without their mother, and I was the last child in my class to cry all morning, every morning and have to be taken home for lunch every day when I started school.  I think the not-very-technical-term is 'clingy'!

What does puzzle me, though, is that I was the last person you'd ever imagine would become slave to an eating disorder.  I had absolutely no perception of body image at all until I was sixteen-ish and then only because people told me that I had really nice legs (I'm blushing behind my laptop!).  What I wore didn't - and, to a certain extent, still doesn't - bother me.  I never thought that I was fat, but I never thought that I was thin either.  I came to the whole eating disorder game fairly late: where most girls start developing symptoms whilst in their teens, I was nineteen by the time I started developing mine, and also at home by myself for most of every day, since I was on my 'gap year' before starting University, so there wasn't any peer pressure to succumb to.  Yes, I was working, but with a group of entirely middle-aged women who were nothing but entirely supportive.

In my head, I can see the three year old me.  I am dancing around - in slow motion - to Christmas music, wearing a tartan skirt, knitted cardigan and little white tights.  There is my whole life ahead of me: endless possibilities.  

And all I want to do is apologise to that three year old Kate.  I am so sorry, I want to tell her, that we've ended up here.  So sorry that I've wrecked your body by starving it.  So sorry that I've spent years and years and years worrying about things.  I'm so sorry that you were so full of excitement and wonder and awe and now that same brain-space is filled with worry and anxiety and sadness.

But I don't know: maybe that was what was meant for my life?  Maybe nobody could have changed anything?  

Or maybe I'm trying to pass the blame?

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