I was yet to discover that the grass isn’t always greener. The arguments started only days after we got back home. It was a lot to do with spending so much time with each other, all of us grieving differently, and stress. I was lucky though that I had the Smith’s and Jess and Chris to lean on for support.
Mim and I were at a point where we had to decide whether or not to keep the house. We decided to keep the house and all of us live in it. After questioning how it would work money wise with James living in our house, I learnt quickly from then on to bite my tongue or otherwise be snapped at. I knew we were entitled to rent money but was disgraced for even mentioning it, as though I was some money hungry bitch. Since then it has been one long continuos saga where I always appear as the bad one. I am not money hungry, just aware of what I deserve and am entitled to. I thought to myself how lucky James is to be living in a furnished house rent free. We ended up in little arguments over many pointless things over the time, so I was relieved to have a busy schedule.
I became involve in the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Jess and I shared the role of the Fiddler on the Roof. It was such a privilege to have this role, despite the fact of how nerve wrecking it was. I actually had to get up on a stage prop roof to open the entire show with a solo. Many hours a week were spent at rehearsal for this.
I was also helping out Liz, the violin teacher, to teach 5 - 12 year olds the violin. I really enjoyed this because I felt productive in what I was doing. To see the little children advance further each week was beautiful, and to know that they enjoyed it too made it more special.
It was around this time that my eating patterns had changed. I wasn’t consciously deciding I needed to be skinny, it was more a decision that I wasn’t happy with how anything was going. I felt uncomfortable at home, yet wasn’t ready to go back to the mountains. I had no job, but was afraid to look for one here, as I really didn’t want to look there. And I was tired of being confined to Mim and James’s way of living. The way I saw it was that Mim and I owned the house together and we all lived in it. We should be living our separate lives yet still respecting the other person. But I felt trapped by them as though they were trying to be my guardians, treating me as though I should live their way and eat their food. I put a stop to that and started cutting back on eating the meals that James cooked, making my own meals (usually consisting of a measly sandwich). This was an extreme change which neither Mim or James liked. I am not sure if this was because I was eating less or because I wasn’t eating with them.
In May, just before Fiddler on the Roof, it was my 21st birthday. Mum hadn’t even been gone for two months so Mim went out of her way to make this birthday special. Her and James had arranged dinner at a restaurant for some friends and us. I knew how much effort Mim put in to this and wanted to show my appreciation by eating properly. I didn’t order too much from the menu, but it wasn’t a pathetic amount either. Mim seemed satisfied with what I ordered, so that was good. In the end I had such an enjoyable night that what I ate didn’t even matter to me. The orchestra members in Fiddler also made my 21st memorable by giving me cake and singing happy birthday in the middle of a rehearsal.
In addition to being involved in music things, I also went back to do voluntary work at the preschool. I cut my food intake here too. Usually I looked forward to the morning tea we all shared - cake, or biscuits. I had decided though that if I am to cut my eating habits I may as well do it everywhere. To refuse the sweets was difficult at first but eventually it became easier. I shocked the teachers by saying no and telling them I wasn’t hungry. They made some remark about how they hope I am not on a silly diet as I am skinny enough. I told them I was okay and I would get enough energy from the sugar in my tea. It was hard to conceal the hunger growls though. Saying no though made me feel I had some power especially over my stomach.