We are all “wintergirls”. Ti’s wander around, not dead, but not truly alive. Ti’s wake up and dress and go out but have no connection to the world except the enless cruelties of the perps. Ti’s are in a way, ghosts. Ghostly we go through our day. We cry alone. Everything alone. Other ghosts sit outside by the Dumpsters looking for trash to sell, some ghosts float on a drug induced high gotten from a psychiatric clinic with a diagnosis based on mere guesswork. No one cares. No one cares the ghost was a human being with a mother, a father, a family, a future. Identity has been removed and replaced by the slanders of the enemy. There is no ending to it. It’s for life. Like the eating disordered girls in the book we are living ghosts caught in our own worlds.
For them, the nightmare sometimes ends and the sunshine of earthly life begins again. They are subjected to teams of doctors, shrinks, family members, church members, eating plans, group therapy, etc….they get a chance, we don’t.
Ti’s walk alone. No holidays, birthdays, anything. Even the Sabbath is spent alone fearing the perp antics from the church “members” will make any Sunday outing worthless. You go to the doctor, you go to the store, you go to Social Services when they summon you. If you are brave, you go on a walk to get the air and to at least see God in nature.
Then, the perps attack you as you walk, and you cower in fear as your body grows weaker and sicker.
Books grow way overdue as you dread the long ride on public transport that will make your life a living hell as perps create a circus in front of you. At the library, staff watches you as if you are a criminal. “Patrons” continue to perp you even in the “quiet room” where you go to read and have peace. Finally, you walk out of the library, ghostlike, back tothe bus for another round of abuse, and then “home” weary and depressed at all the perping knowing it does not end when you enter your front door. Then the V2k begins……
Maybe Next Year in Jerusalem.
“You’re not dead, but you’re not alive, either. You’re a wintergirl . . . caught in between the worlds.
You’re a ghost with a beating heart.”
Eating disorders is never an easy topic, but Laurie Halse Anderson weaves it into a riveting, eye-opening read. Eighteen-year-old Lia views food as numbers (calories), striving toward an ever-decreasing goal weight below 100lbs. Her former-best friend Cassie struggled with binging and bulimia, finally dying alone in a hotel room after Lia ignored her deathbed phone calls. Haunted by Cassie’s ghost and struggling with cutting, anorexia, and strained familial relationships, Lia spirals further downward into self-harm.
Before writing this book, Anderson consulted psychiatrists, doctors, recovering anorexics, and pro-eating disorder websites and chat rooms, in order to accurately portray the struggles. Psychologist Miranda J. McDermott calls Wintergirls “the best fictionalized version of…
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