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Bulimia and my marriage

by Stacey

Three in my marriage, there was only room for two.

I thought I had it under control when we moved. We were starting fresh in Cyprus. I was so excited. Away from working in the kitchen. Food was not so easy to get hold of, I was going to be able to spend more time with my baby girl and husband. It all seemed perfect. Then the realisation hit, hard. Swimwear. I'd be spending a lot of time at the beach, in the pool and in shorts. My legs would be on show, my wobbly ugly legs. So bulimia knocked, and I answered. Hubby was on night shift and I answered. Bread, raw potatoes, anything I could find. 
I lay in the toilet after terrified, I knew that I could never win. I knew everything good was over.

I hid everything. I thought moving would sort everything. I was wrong. I thought I could hid it. Till someone caught me out. We hadn't even been in our new home 12 hrs before he knocked on my door. M was not a stranger. I had met him a few years earlier through an ex. He seemed nice. He seemed to want to help. I was wrong. He just wanted everything. I made friends with his wife, L. His daughter made friends with mine. I did enjoy the attention, I just imagined it came from hubby. It reminded me how we were to begin with. M would always tell me how good I looked. Laughed at my jokes, buy me drinks. Bulimia was there, still helping me when I was down about my weight, still reminding me how relief felt. 

I never wanted it to come out, I never wanted to be found out. But after working late in the bar, having a few drinks, I got caught. In the toilets I let bulimia win, and M knew. On the walk home it all came out. I told him everything and he was so understanding. In a way it's what I wanted from Hubby. I wanted more than anything to beg him for help. To tell him I wanted help, to tell him I finally needed help. I couldn't help myself. I know I should of, but instead I didn't.

M was to begin with very kind. But then he started to play with my head. Telling me if I told anyone it would all be over, Hubby would leave, I'd never see my Baby girl again and no one would understand. Between him and bulimia I believed everything I was told. After a night playing poker, I went back to his and fell asleep on sofa. Waking to extreme pain in my side, I realised I should be at home. I realised it was Hubby that should be looking worried, not M. When the nurses asked if there was anything they should know, I lied. I didn't want to, but he said not to say anything.
Hubby walking into the medical centre made my heart lift. I realised he was here and I should stop. Everything. But then I found I had an infection in a half sized kidney. It was scary. Worst still. After scanning me, they found evidence I had been pregnant. My world fell apart.

I carried on as best I could. And until Hubby went away for the night I managed. Sitting alone it all became too much, my loss, my fear, my self disgust. The morning after, M texted to ask how I was and told him what happened. I dropped Baby girl at a friends, and went straight to nurse. I confessed bulimia had a hold on me and felt relief when they smiled and said the hardest part was over. I could finally get help. Then M and another friend V turned up to help. I went back to baby girl and waited for Hubby. 

Fear. That's what I felt for weeks, and M played on it. Taking advantage and my mind let him. I went home to England and hoped when I came back it would all be over. Instead, M pushed. He would make me feel down then pick me up. I was so confused. Then the night before I flew home. I got the call, emails had been found. Hubby was distraught, I wanted to run. I couldn't believe I had let myself get taken in. Somehow I managed to get on the plane, and get home. I was so scared I nearly fainted when I saw hubby. M was gone. And I felt free for the first time in months

Days later I saw E, my nurse. She helped, no judging, no emotional blackmail. Just someone to listen, and help. Help not take advantage. I so very badly wanted to talk to Hubby, but he seemed disconnected. We had connected, but never over the bulimia. My marriage now had 3 people in it, Hubby, Bulimia and I.

I saw two faces every time I wanted the relief bulimia gave me. And they got me through. I got on track, I got a job, started to see what I was missing at home. I missed my family. I was finally getting them back. Holidays, days out, time together... Heaven. Then Christmas last year, we stopped connecting. I don't know why. But Hubby wasn't interested. I started to feel bulimia. Just in the dark corner, but there. I kept it at bay, I did not want to lose Hubby or Baby girl.

Then hubby went away. I watch some choice videos online, I went and read websites about bulimia, but it never lead to it making a come back. But in a blind panic, I thought of Hubby seeing this, so went to delete it, and deleted it all. One week, no history. It was the push I wish I'd never given. M was back on island, away from me but enough to put doubt in Hubby's mind. I had no way to prove nothing had happened. I wish to this day I did. But instead I lost his love, trust and my soul mate in one move.

For months my marriage was on edge, my mood swings returned. Bulimia got closer. No purging but everything else. I could eat, but not idea what. Junk was all I craved, I wanted the relief, but instead I got anger. It was all aimed at myself. Hubby was struggling, the air was toxic, so I went out. A lot. It was easier to run than face it. Never again will I run.
Hubby returned to uk for a operation. I panicked. Part of me knew that 26 th may was last day my family would be together. 

I pushed, and pushed. I couldnt help it, the bulimia fear took over, and i couldnt stop. Pushed and in the end..... It was over.  So bulimia won. My fear of my Husband not loving me became true. I hit almost rock bottom. But bulimia was not to take,over. Baby girl needed me and I needed to be a mum. I will always take being a mum over bulimia now. I can't be a wife, soul mate, best friend. All I can be is a mum. 

Please believe me when I say, I would change it. I would go back to the day I almost told him, 9th may 2010 in Manchester over coffee. All I can do now I deal with the heartbreak and move on. You cannot let bulimia win. It will always try, but you can be stronger. Please learn from my mistakes. If you have someone you can trust, tell them. Don't let it control you, or you will lose everything like I have. PLEASE

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program