”I still haven’t been released from the words and numbers that sneak up and stab me, hurt me when I think about eating. But I’m learning. I have to start all over again. It may not come in one day, maybe just gradually. Some days I let it in, through a smile, a laugh, a hug… I will awaken in my own time.”
Those were Camille’s final words before the black-out.
“Camille” and “Jeny” are my characters. I’ve “known” them for a long time, seemingly. A year ago, for a Dramatic Literature assignment, I got to write their untold story in a one-act play.
I feel blessed.
Before I began writing, all I really knew was that I wanted my work to peer into the strife and havoc of suffering from an eating disorder.
But I was scared.
And I was reluctant to begin writing, because I didn’t want to enter that world. I tip-toed gingerly around Jeny’s pain, and especially Camille’s. Camille was a “sufferer in silence.” Camille was “invisible” next to Jeny.
“Everyone treats me like I’m nothing, as if all I am, is Jeny’s pitiful shadow. Jeny was an absolute roller coaster, a ride that led me to this. No, no, I don’t blame her for my problems. But I could have been someone on my own...”
But finally I set my fear to the side, and I let Jeny and Camille speak to me. I let my own personal demons speak to me. And I just want to say, it was healing. Writing the play healed me far more than it hurt me.
I didn’t hold back. I wrote about eating disorders, and I wrote about self-injury. Originally, I didn’t intend for the play to be so open about cutting. I wanted to subtly hint at the fact that Jeny and Camille purposely hurt themselves to deal with their emotional pain. But the issue of self-harm was on the forefront of my mind, so… I let loose.
My body stays still, but my mind runs in circles all the time.
My body stays still, and it bleeds to feel something I can understand.
I tried to gather my words, but they were broken, shoddy, and cheap.
They left me empty, till I realized, my body too could weep.
The issues of eating disorders and self-injury will always “set my heart ablaze.”
I am impassioned, but, it gives me a little bit of peace knowing that two girls named Jeny and Camille were given a voice. (As was I.) My play, entitled Porcelain Dolls, was performed exactly a week ago at my high school.
I feel so fortunate to have had this opportunity… Jeny and Camille were portrayed flawlessly by two talented aspiring actresses at my school, that I picked for the roles. (It’s eerie, almost, how much they truly were Jeny and Camille. The fictional characters that I envisioned over a year ago came alive on the stage, thanks to their acting talent.)
So… I just wanted to share that with the two of you that actually read this blog… I could probably write on and on about Porcelain Dolls, but no one really wants to hear me blather…
But anyway. I will always treasure the memory of my first play… It’s a sweet way to end my senior year.
And maybe I’m not completely done with Porcelain Dolls, who knows. The staff at my school is trying to fit in an encore performance in front of the whole high school before the year end, but at this point it may not be possible. But maybe at the start of next year?
My hope is that this snippet of a play could give a small bit of healing to someone who needs it. Maybe it already has. I know it’s certainly helped to heal me…
My play is just a small accomplishment. But I treasure it, nonetheless.
I hope that this is not the end, but just the beginning.
Stay strong everyone.