National Eating Disorders Association

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had to get tested--feel like everyone hates me

So, one of my eating disorder triggers is feeling like people are mad at me. I know, it's ridiculous and I had been working on it over the years with a lot of success actually. But covid screwed it all up. I already was feeling the collective anger in the air, so to speak and struggling with being made fun of for wearing a mask by some of the more ignorant folks around. But now, I have returned to work out of necessity. (We opened and I'm a single parent. I have to work). I ended up in contact with someone who was showing symptoms of the virus and I had to get tested and quarantine until I got the results. It was negative for me. (The person with symptoms still does not have her results). And now, I just feel like everyone is mad at me. My employer was being mean about it until I explained my living situation. I live with my young son and my parents. But until then, they didn't even understand why I would get tested unless the other person's results came back positive. I can't wait who knows how long until she gets her results to even get a test! My family would have (rightfully) made me self-quarantine until I knew. So, I had to pay out of pocket for the test to get it right away as going through my doctor was going to take too long.
Anyway, once I got the results, my family was happy but my parents seem mad at me. Like it looks like they are disgusted with me, based on their facial expressions. I've asked if they are angry and they said no, but they scoffed and said it really dismissively. Now I have to got back to work tonight and I can't stop thinking that my boss and coworkers have been making fun of me for even getting a test at all.
I just really need some encouragement and maybe a way to stop these thoughts. Thanks everyone.

Words of comfort

hi catdragonfly,

I could have written the post you just did. One of my greatest fears is that people will be angry at me, that nothing I do will please them, that simply by virtue of me being me I am "wrong". Please take comfort, if you can, and the very strong probability that this is anorexic thinking. It's delusional.

I'm 71 years old, I've been battling this disease ever since puberty, and I've been hearing that voice all those years. Sometimes it overwhelms me. Covid has handed it a megaphone. It yells and yells and yells and yells. It takes everything I have to send it to its timeout chair. It always comes back.

Covid should not be stigmatizing, but we are a society that stigmatizes as if it were a reflex. You're very wise to get yourself tested, especially given that you are caring for a child on your own. If you live in a part of country that scoffs at face masks, I am so very sorry. You are being socially responsible, compassionate, and mindful of others. Everybody should be wearing a mask in reciprocity. Everybody.

We have been cooped up for five months. You're right. People are mad. The air is full of anger. You're not imagining it. But it's not about you. Not one bit. If someone loses it with you, almost none of their rage has anything to do with you. I know that's hard to hold onto.

It's happened to me, too. I look vulnerable because I'm so thin. No matter what I do, how I dress, what makeup I wear or don't, how I walk, I'm a target. If someone wants to lose their s***, I never look like I can defend myself. (I'm practicing this.)

I wish I could protect you. I wish somebody could protect me. But sometimes we are all just out there in a world that seems aimed at us. But the important word is "seems". There is no real target. That's what's so hard about all this free-floating rage we've pent up since the lockdown.

You have dignity. You are decent and humble. You have wonderful things about you that no one can ever take away from you.

Please be good to you.



This proud NEW YORKER says THANK YOU for getting tested and being responsible and wearing a mask. I am so sorry anyone would give you a hard time about ANY of this. And if it makes you feel better, everyone and their mother in NYC has gotten a test (or have been tested multiple times), there is ZERO stigma at all - I hope it starts to maybe feel more like that wherever you are. <3, STP

It is a really tough time for

It is a really tough time for a lot of people right now and it sounds like you are just doing what needs to be done in order to get by and make your life work. IF your family and boss are mad at you, it seems unjustified, but it could be that they are not and you're just finding ways to make their reactions feel like anger directed at you. I'm not at all saying this to be dismissive or mean because I have done the same thing many times. I have learned though that sometimes I turn self loathing/ anger into something I project onto others. Perhaps nobody is actually mad at you, but you are stressed and upset and making yourself feel like they are?
I'm glad you explained your situation to your boss-- it sounds like there was some grace given once there was some understanding.
I hope everything is settling down for you and that you are feeling more positive.
Good luck.

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