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by Caitlin
(Pennsylvania, united states.)

When I was in 5th grade I moved from Virginia to pa. My dad is in the marines so I'm used to moving, but this time was different...

I'm naturally very shy and don't make friends very well, and I was just making some really close friends in Virginia. When I first went to pa I was so mad at my parents for making me move again and mad at myself for having so much trouble making friends, I shoplifted. I was pretty bad at it too, I got caught and had to pay a fine. but, getting caught and having my dad shake his head at me saying he was "disappointed" have kept me away from illegal things and kinda give me the power to say no to drugs and such when they're offered at parties...

Anyway, so now it's 6th grade. first day of school with a bunch of people I didn't know. (nothing new!) but the thing different in this situation was I was at middle school. It wasn't elementary where I had just one class where I got to meet everyone, I was kinda on my own. And I was on my own during lunch too. Everyone had friends to sit with at lunch already, and I had no one. So, I sat alone and kinda looked at my food, but was too embarrassed to actually eat it alone. Then, after lunch we got to go outside and everyone else was playing, I sat on the curb alone, this kinda traumatized me in a way. To have to be the new kid and sit there alone and have no one talk to you. This continued for about the next two weeks until this girl, Somy, asked me to sit with her. Of course, I did. But my fear of eating in front of people was still there. I just couldn't do it. I went through all of 6th and 7th grade skipping breakfast and lunch, and then eating very little at dinner. I didn't notice this until later, but this was the beginning of my eating disorder. The summer of 8th grade I started pigging out on foods until I got sick, feeling bad for myself, and throwing it all up. I still wouldn't eat in front of people. but I would go home and eat junk food until my stomach felt like it was going to burst, and throw it all up after downing a can of soda(to make it easier) slowly, into the middle of my freshman year it faded out and I got more comfortable around my friends...

I still can't eat if no one else is, or I'm the only one there, but if people attend around me, I can. Sometimes I'll still fmgo home after practice and a bad day of school and eat until it hurts, but it's a lot more rare then it used to be. This is the first time I ever shared my whole story, and it's a lot harder then I thought.

Sometimes I still cry and scream about that first day in 6th grade, but I think I've forced myself to be more social since then. It's still hard fit me to this day.

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Article by Shaye Boddington
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