I wish I could pin point the exact day it started, the moment that demon slipped into my mind. The one that took most of my childhood that I could never get back.
But when I look to the start of the destructive disease that prisoned me in my own hell, it was passed down to me by my own mother.
I was always an optimistic, happy, young and carefree little girl..however, that little girl had to grow up quickly -when you’re moving more than you can count, your new step dad puts so much fear into you heart that makes you sneak out and run away to a cemetery to sleep because there’s no where else to go..when you spy through the tiny keyhole into your mommy’s bed room and see her injecting heroine..And later when you confront her in tears, she lies and tells you “it’s just my medicine, baby.” However, you know too much now. You know it’s heroine. You’re too old for your young age. You’re in 4th grade and you don’t have anybody tucking you into bed, no one to eat meals with, no body to watch you at your basketball games, nobody to tell you happy birthday or I love you.
Your mom is with the fresh faced man that changes every night, and your real dad is off with another woman, with two daughters, making money in the big far off world of entertainment. A phone call would have done the job.
This little girl was me. When our lives aren’t as pretty as the movies, or anyone around you, when you have no one to look to or get advice from and you haven’t even hit puberty, you have to try and make do and get through your dark world as best as you can. My way of coping came through eating disorders.
I was living in the same cold prison walls as my mother, although we lived in the same confined spaces, and I was by blood her daughter, that didn’t grant me the love and acceptance I so desperately needed. I tried everything to earn it. I would stay up long hours cleaning the house, making straight A’s, excelling at everything in school, and still love her when she left bruises on my sister and me. However, none of that seemed to work. I saw from a young age that the only thing that held importance in her life was beauty-vanity. I was mesmerized by my friends relationships with their mothers, I’d quietly cry myself to sleep every night, wishing for a mom that would love me, like my friends moms….my wish was never answered. I thought something was very wrong with me. Not only did my dad not want me, neither did my mother.
When I was 10 years old, I stepped on a scale at the doctors office and I weighed 1 3 0 pounds. I was disguisted, but not as much as my mother. You see, it was the result of cooking for myself, since I had no parents present..So my meals consisted of hamburger helpers, pop tarts, white breads and anything microwavable. I was young, I didn’t know that those things would make me gain weight, I didn’t have anyone to teach me… And, I’ll never forget that look of disguist that penetrated across my mother’s face when she saw that number. She really hated me now.
Around that time I had started to become obsessed with losing weight. Because I knew if I did, my mom would surely love me if only she could see my ribs. I passed by a magazine stand at the beginning of summer after 6th grade and Nicole Richie was on the cover. I quickly grabbed it and couldn’t believe it. “This is how I need to look” I thought. I already previously toiled around with starving myself, and my mom put my on the Atkins diet, (which installed a huge fear of carbs for me, that I finally am getting over this year) but this..this was different. I inhaled the biggest high thinking about myself looking like THAT. I became addicted. From that day forward and all the years building up to it, I stepped into the waters of a burning hell, that I couldn’t climb out of completely until my 22nd year of life.
When looking back, I cry for that lonely, young, innocent girl.My eating disorder started off with starving, however through the 12 years, I created new ways to diet, and it constantly was on my mind.
I would go days without eating, I’d chug diet pops and sleep to skip eating. When I couldn’t do that anymore, I started something even more dangerous. I made friends with bulimia. When I wasn’t starving, I would go through phases where because I was so desperately hungry I’d end up eating whole pizzas, pints of ice cream, boxes of cereal, French fries -literally everything in the matter of one sitting, then run to the bathroom to throw it up. There were times in my childhood when I was throwing up up to 15 times a day. Then, came other forms of losing weight. I’d excercise for hours a day, run miles and miles, wake up in the middle of the night to do situps, just because I couldn’t forgive myself for that bowl of cereal I ate. It was pathetic, and I was so lost in my own world, my own control, that I couldn’t see a way out. Plus, with the resounding voice of a mother telling you “look, I’m a size double Zero.. And you’re a 1!!” That puts the pressure on you 100 times more.
There were times, where I’d go through plateaus and not really be so obsessed with it. Those moments were when I was happy. I’d have a couple of “good months” just to be plagued by a new, worse form of disease. I hated myself. H a t e d. People and friends would tell me I was beautiful, and I remember when my wonderful sister, Virginia, once asked me while having lunch together, “naynay, everyone in the world can tell you that you’re beautiful, why can’t you just believe it?” That made me stop and that moment, for some reason that question held importance, and it made me want to search for an answer.
I came to find that it was because I thought the only way people could love me was if I fit into a certain type of beautiful. If I had the perfect body, the perfect face, the perfect hair. Because that’s how I felt loved by my mother. If I was skinny and beautiful enough, she’d like me more. So, I thought everyone in the world was like that. However, for me personally, I look at people’s hearts, and their character. That’s what holds importance. Who the F cares if someone is a little “chubby” or doesn’t have the perfect _____.
So, why did I not look at myself like that? How was it that I had so much grace to give to people, yet spared absolutely nothing for myself? I couldn’t understand. My medicine lied in the hands of God.
After being told your whole life you’re not good enough, it’s nearly impossible to change your mindset. I bet most of you reading this had parents telling you that you are loved, special and unique. The first time I heard those directed to me was when reading my bible at 18. I wanted to believe it, however it was a lot harder done than said. I typically run away from anything or anyone that tries to come close to me. I finally started to let something in.
God sent me beautiful people. Beautiful, amazing, angels into my life. From my incredible boyfriend, to my adopted family, Jason and Virginia, to the greatest friends on this earth..they all helped me in their own ways loving me, and making me realize truth, instead of lies that were installed in me as a young girl.
The journey of self acceptance, and conquering my eating disorder has been anything but easy. My days were once filled with anxiety, tears, self hate and guilt. Now, it couldn’t be more opposite. I’m such a huge advocate of excercise and fueling your body because you only get one to live in, so do it right!! Beautiful woman aren’t just curvy, they come in all shapes and sizes from 0-20.
Be thankful that you have a body and it works. (My boyfriend always humbles me when he tells me that;) )
I can hardly believe myself, just how much has changed. I can now look in the mirror and see my beauty, instead of just my flaws. I wanted to write this for so long. After a few hours and tears..I write this to anyone..I write it to say that there is hope. That some cards we are dealt with aren’t the Aces or the kings. However, no matter what, please have hope. And if you are struggling with an eating disorder, or any kind of self harm, please tell someone. I couldn’t fully recover until I let it out my secret after years of hiding it. Please know that each one of you is a beautiful human being that God created specially, just exactly how he wanted. “Comparison is the thief of joy”, don’t compare yourself to others, and learn to see your beauty when you Look in the mirror, not your flaws. In a superficial world, with media telling us what is “Beautiful” remember, the most beautiful thing is a beautiful heart. Confidence is sexy, and bashing on others is not!
If you got to the end of this, thank you for taking the time to read it. Love you guys xoxox
Me now, a healthy 110 pounds. My lowest 88, and highest of 135.