What I had to tell my partner about me.


The other night Dave and I got in an argument, which would not have been an argument in another dimension of time and space.

One where Dave understood part of who I was.

One where I had given Dave the information to understand who I was.

The argument centered around a piece of cake. Strawberry. Gluten free. Vegan. Possibly the happiest I have ever felt about a piece of cake.

He was telling me that my face lit up when I talked about the cake. I cut him off because I was incredibly embarrassed. 

One of the things I've been working on in our relationship is not interrupting. I struggle with it and am making more of an effort.

This interrupting wasn't me being impatient or not listening, I didn't want him to keep talking. I felt my face wanting to flush and I just needed to talk my way out of his calling attention to my happiness over this cake.

I was OK being happy, just not talking about it.

After that we got tangled up. I wanted him to understand that when you are a disordered eater, allowing yourself to truly find pleasure in cake, not deny yourself the cake or overeat the cake because you feel shame for wanting the cake or for just feeling in general, is a big fucking deal.

I didn't want him to repeat himself and tell me again that my face lit up when I got the cake. I felt shame at this point.

We tangled some more. His needs colliding with my needs. The day went from crazy joyful wild tiny moments of life changing proportions to feeling like I was going to throw up.

We left the restaurant. I was almost in tears. 

I left the cake on the table.

It took us almost 24 hours to finally talk. We haven't had a fight in so long, we both were mush inside the discomfort of it. I was so confused as to why he wasn't understanding me.

It took me almost 24 hours and a tantrum to find words that led him to understand why this was such a thing for me.

He has no past with disordered eating with anyone he knows.

I had never talked to him, other than casually, about it. He had no idea a piece of cake could hold so much feeling. He had no idea that I was finally feeling free from the disordered eating I've been inside of.

Because I haven't talked about it. I want him to see me. But not that part of me. 

I want to be seen by him, but within strict boundaries of what I allow.

When he does this with me, it makes me crazy.

As he softened and realized that this cake argument that seemed like the stupidest of arguments was actually a deep wound, a deep story, I started to cry. In that way you cry when something that has been hiding, and now has light cast upon it, rises up.

I cried. For a while. It took us a few tries. I did Ok even though I was fighting against wanting him to know this part of me.

Up until a few months ago, and I've been doing this work of trying to be free from body shame, I have lived with the intention of being smaller.

I'll call it a cleanse, I'll go raw or paleo or fast or create enough drama that I can't eat. All in the name of being smaller.

One of my favorite things to hear people say used to be, "You look like you've lost weight."

I liked to be smaller.

I liked to control my feelings through hunger. The less I would eat the less I would feel out of control.

I don't do that anymore. I don't have rules (which I loved to break) anymore. 

I eat noodles if choosing noodles feels like kindness. I eat bananas if choosing bananas feels like kindness.

Telling Dave about my desire to be 'small' sucked. Like, I hated it. I did it. I made it through. I had a vulnerability hangover. 

Because that isn't how I wanted to be seen.

Maybe because I am terrified that he secretly wishes I was smaller. That he will wish that he didn't get the time of my life when I started healing all my shit and put on 20 ish pounds. That he will think it is an excuse for gaining weight. That he will judge me somehow every time I take a bite of food now.

So, I let him see me. With all of those stories crashing through my body.

I let him know me. I explained to him the first time I realized that I could become smaller by eating less and how it controlled my pain.

That night at dinner I was wearing an outfit that was being guided by my free spirited get in the car and go find an adventure part of self. She spent the day thrifting in a different state. She was wearing all black, all thrifted finds.

I didn't know when I chose that outfit and that part of self for the day that she would be leaving the gluten free vegan strawberry cake behind so that she could lead me to a new layer of being seen. (Pun not intended but cute.)

Looking back, I see that her entire vibration was calling forth being seen. Being brave. Being new.

It never looks like how we think it will. Arguing with Dave hurts my heart, I can feel it beat differently. His stomach was a mess. We were so sad that we were in this place again. 

And. It wasn't that at all. We weren't back at anything. We were being called to go further forward.

He wants to see me. He loves to see me. I was controlling what he knows about me like I was controlling that food.

Because maybe if he knew, he would leave.

Or maybe, if he knew, he would see me.

I would be loved. More.

I would feel. More.

Because I let myself be seen.

(Are we all craving strawberry cake now?)