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Karen Carpenter

by Bernie
(Bedford, TX)

I read Janet's information (bulimic for 30 years) - and can very much relate. I am about there - 42 years old next week. I can remember hiding food young. I can remember watching The Best Little Girl in the World - and wanting to be anorexic. I loved the way she looked. I wanted to feel bones. I went that way for a bit - but I hit puberty early and enjoyed my curves. And I still binged and hid food. I think I was about 10 or 11 when I discovered throwing up, laxitives and such. When Karen Carpenter died, I used the Ipacac (sp) for a bit to see how close I could come.

After that - I don't remember a time when I haven't been bulimic. I will go through healthy times - usually on Weight Watchers - where I feel like my body is working. I will exercise and actually be hungry rather than crave food. But I still use laxitaves and throwing up or starving the day after a binge to control weight - even on the good days.

When I was pregnant - I did ok. I did not gain too much weight - and did not throw up often. I have two beautiful, healthy, confident girls. I am scared to death that I will do this/give this to them.

Today is one of the kind of days that make me crazy. This will happen at work from time to time - I will eat too much - and I won't be able to throw up. My mood and spirits are awful. I am not a good mother with the food in my stomach. I can feel my pants get tighter, my flesh get larger. I hate it. I, like most bulimics, I imagine, know where and when they can throw up. I know which restaurants have private bathrooms, I know which bathrooms at work are least frequented. In college, I would throw up in the plastic grocery bags in my dorm room - and then throw them down the chute. So today - it has been hours since the binge - and I did not throw up. I am scattered - not in a great mood - and I feel ugly.

The funny thing is - it is hard to define the binge. Some days it is two or three bags of mcdonalds. Other days it is just three normal meals. I like to go to bed empty - and maybe hungry. The only food I don't fret over is fruit - but that is not something I binge on either.

I apologize for bad spelling or grammar above! I don't want to be this person. I like about 60% of me. I want to be that 60%. I don't want my kids to remember me always dieting or always in the bathroom after dinner.

My husband is wonderful - and will support me. I just don't know how to let anyone help me with this after this much time. I should be able to do it. In a way - I feel like I have cheated on him. I have this other life - he knew a bit about it before we married, but we have never revisited the topic. So basically - I cheat with food, with my fingers down my throat, with laxitives, and with selfish focus on my body rather than our lives.

Any and all guidance, suggestions, hope, and humor are greatly appreicated.

Thank you.

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

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