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My Way of Punishing Myself (Trauma & Abuse)

by Dana
(Vallejo, CA)

My emotional eating began when my parents divorced, my Grandma died, my Mom's addiction to Meth spun out of control and myself and 3 siblings were separated and forced to live different family members.

I quickly grew overweight around 11 years old and remember young boys from my school throwing rocks at my head calling me pig, whale and making fun of my drug addicted mother who lived close by. I began exercising and dieting around this time and it became an obsession.

At 14 I was raped by a 28 year old. I started shoplifting laxatives and starving myself. I was in and out of psychiatric wards for attempted suicide on several occassions.

At 15 I was a runaway and met a 38 year old man who got me pregnant with my son. He was abusive and I had a high risk pregnancy, extreme depression and gained a ton of weight. I remember working out 2 hours a day after my son was born and one night after going out to dinner with my sister, I overloaded on some brownie sundae. I was so sick my sister just told me to stick my finger down my throat and puke it up. I did.. and it was such a relief. This quickly became an addiction for me and everytime I messed up on my diet I would binge.

I have on again off again periods of bulimia. I noticed when things were okay, I'd stop. I soon found myself a single mom on welfare, full time college student and just trying to survive. At the time I was sharing custody of my son, however, when my son was 4, he exposed that his father had been molesting him. My bulimia came back in full force at this time. I was dealing with CPS interviews, a full time job, school and a son who needed psychiatric care. I would lose it at times, charge the cubboards and eat packs of cookies, crackers or whatever I could get my hands on. I eat until I felt sick. When I purged, I could hear voices in my head.. sometimes mine, sometimes my son's father, calling me worthless, piece of shit, ugly, fat etc. Things calmed down and would go back to controlled eating and exercise habits.

My next 3 relationships with men were all either physically and/or emotionally abusive. One of them tried to kill me... the others would just cheat on me and put me down. I had an addiction to alcohol and drugs and like the Bulmia, these addicitions came in waves, hitting the hardest when I was triggered.

I remember at one point when my bulimia was bad, I would get stressed at work and go buy 3-4 jumbo cookies, a large bottle of water and I would walk outside around the building while I shoved the food down my throught. I chugged the water and would go to a private restroom. Sometimes I would get frantic if I purged and I didn't feel an adequate amount of puke come up. I've even been so sick as to stick my hand in the toilet I puked in and grab the puke to try and estimate how much of what I ate came out. On the days that my body refused to let go after a binge, I felt complete distress, depression and misery.

My last purge was a year ago and I relapsed last week. I started a detox diet that was really strict after I started dating a guy. I thought that if I lost Xlbs I'd get my self esteem back. I'm a recovering alcoholic so I think I was trying to find a new addiction and chose my body. Anyways, the guy didn't fall through and I felt rejected. Just as I felt rejected and unloved by my parents, my abusive lovers, my classmates as a child. I felt rejected and I snuck 20 Hersheys Chocolate Nuggets from the cupboard at work and ate them within 5 mins. Ran to the work bathroom and puked. I have now been repeating this with food, chocolate and everything about 3-5 times a day. I feel so worthless and so undeserving of love that I have been having suicidal thoughts; however, can't leave because I couldn't hurt my son. I'm struggling financially, I'm filled with self-hate... and all the while when I purge, I scream nasty things at myself (not outloud) but in my head. This bienging purging thing signifys to me the loss of power I have in my life... and the purging is my way of inflicting pain on myself. I often times wish I could stand outside of my body and beat the shit out of myself. People don't get why I'm so warped about my body, they all say I'm really attractive and fit. The more I think about it.. the more I feel like I've dealt with so much abuse, I've learned to abuse myself. I dream of the day that I can love myself. Just so hard as I really don't feel like I've been loved. I also dream of the day that a man will love me. A good one. I need to end this vicious cycle, but it's easier said than done. All I know is, I'm going to take it one moment at a time.

Thanks for listening.


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