Hey You Guyyyys
As stated before, unlike the Prelude, the first chapter begins at Glennon’s birth, an event that is well celebrated. Her first words of the chapter expresses that.
I was loved. If love could prevent pain, I’d never suffered.- Glennon Doyle, page 1
This woman is Glennon Doyle. She had the perfect life. Her dad was a high school football coach, her mom was gorgeous, admired and gracious, her little sister was sure of herself and then there was Glennon admired for her beauty with wisdom beyond her years, smart but complicated. It’s as if everyone is in the matrix and she’s on the outside looking in. Glennon knew with her beauty came with a responsibility but being smart and bold came with more.
I begin to understand that beauty warmed people, smarts cooled people. I also understand that being loved for beauty is a tenuous situation for a girl. Years later, when I become less beautiful, when I no longer have regal ringlets to pat or perfect skin to admire, when I’m no longer small and simple and precious, I wonder how I’ll ever be worthy of offering or receiving love. Losing my beauty will feel like a fall from grace, rendering me useless. It will be as if I have not kept my end of the deal and the whole world is disappointed in me. Without my beauty, what do I have left to warm people with? -Glennon Doyle, page13
I hate to quote what seems like a whole paragraph but this is the basis in which I have to stand to write this review because her life seems perfect but this right here is a peak to her internal conflict. At a very young age, around 10, she begins to yearn to disappear and I can’t put my finger on why but this does it. From there she recalls seeing someone on tv wait for their household to go to sleep to sneak to the kitchen to ravenously eat ice cream just to throw it up. Although the woman is 30 years older, she relates to the need of release found on the woman’s face after she finished. She wanted to disappear so I’m sure she figured that she might as well get relief out of it. She soon is pretty deep into it, when she feels depressed, she fills the void with food and when she feels guilty, she purges all of it. Once purged, she feels euphoria, something that is her own, a place where she can hide and no one but her goes to feel safe. At thirteen her parents notice. Her method was to sneak to the kitchen fill a cup with food and grab an empty cup for the “release.” She began hiding them under her bed and the stench is causing them to be found. Like any concerned parent, they speak to her, take her to therapy and feel helpless when it doesn’t work.
In high school, she perfects her philosophy and decides to hide in plain sight so she becomes a cool kid. This strategy helps her blend even better so she sends a representative of who people want her to be and at night with her two cups the real her can come out when it’s safe. Eventually, boys begin to notice her and she has her first boyfriend, Joe but it seems as though she’s just really going through the motions so that she can conceal who she really is. One of those motions is to have sex with Joe but she describes it as “something that happens to her body while I’m here waiting for it to be over but I don’t think Joe knows. Or cares.” Her relationship with Joe had me clutching my pearls. Seriously, when Joe graduated his present was a box of condoms that his parents gave him in front of her because he was on his way to beach week. Needless to say a couple of days later, Joe was arrested for rape but she never addressed it. At the end of reading that I was like “OMG, that’s so traumatic and disrespectful that his parents would do that. I wondered what type of people they were and why Joe didn’t stay arrested?” But he got out due to inconsistencies in the story which probably meant that his parents had pull as was able to pull some strings. She eventually breaks up with Joe but soon finds another to sex, party and drink with.
In her senior year, she has a meltdown because after lunch she could find an empty bathroom to “relieve” herself and somehow finds herself in the counselor’s office begging for help.
I’m so tired. I’m so uncomfortable. I think I’m going to die. Call my parents. I need to be hospitalized. I can’t handle anything. Someone needs to help me. -Glennon Doyle, page 25
Unfortunately, they really didn’t hear her and ended up taking her to a mental institution which I’m sure instilled her feelings of loneliness. According to Bulimia.com the proper treatment should’ve been therapy, group therapy so that they might relate to others dealing with it, nutritional counseling, family counseling or even antidepressants. Sadly, not only did she have to deal with her internal demons, now she felt that she was a burden on her family.
Have you ever felt that you were a burden on anyone or was anyone a burden on you? How did you deal with it?
Part 1 is to be continued…