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I am not perfect and I never will be

My struggle with bulimia started on the day that my father told me that nobody could like me. He said it during a fight and out of anger, but it's often when people are upset that they say what they really feel.

I turned to food not for comfort, but as a way to punish myself for not being good enough. I would kind of drive on pain, thinking somehow that I deserved it. Everything in my life was proof that there was something wrong with me.

Why else would my grandmother hit me instead of giving me food? Why else was I bullied all through elementary school? Why else was I sexually abused for almost four years? Why else was I raped at a party? Why else was my mother always trying to change me? Why else did my father tell me that nobody could like me?

By college my whole life revolved around the bulimia. Binging and purging was all I could think about. Then one night I had a binge-and-purge session that was a little out of the ordinary, as I for the first time threw up blood.

I went on the Internet and typed in "side effects of bulimia" and was mortified by what I found. Even though I still thought I deserved to suffer, I didn't have a death wish. So I decided to quit, cold-turkey. Of course that didn't work. I relapsed, and I relapsed and I relapsed.

I went on the Internet again, and this time I typed in "what causes bulimia?" I learned about the importance of eating healthy, especially the importance of B-vitamins and healthy fat. I also learned that sexual abuse and rape can be a cause of bulimia. So I analyzed my entire life, and this time I pretended to look at it from a strangers perspective.

Doing so changed the way I viewed the situation. I was too young to do anything that made me deserve to be hit and deprived of food by my grandmother. My bullies have all given me sincere apologies and I've seen them change. My abuser has also changed, though I'm not expecting an apology. Sometimes I regret not telling anyone what he did to me, but we both have to live with what he did, and I actually think it's worse for him. I probably could have fought and screamed when I was raped, but the abuse had taught me that the more I fought, the longer it took. I know that my mothers need for control, really has nothing to do with me. It's her comping mechanism, which I have learned to ignore.

I started to eat and exercise healthy, and began to think of bulimia as double punishment. I still have days were I am tempted to binge and purge, but whenever I do I think about how I deserve better. When I feel weak, I think about the words of a friend "you're stronger than you think."

Cause I now live in a new country, I do well in school and I've made new friends who like me for who I am. So even though I'm not perfect, I can't be that bad.

Thanks for letting me share my story!


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

The Bulimia Recovery Program