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One spectrum after another

by Luka
(California)

I remember being a bit of a people pleaser growing up. I didn't mind staying in the house and making no friends, so long as my mother was happy with me. Over and over I would come up with random quips and tidbits of information to tell aloud to my mother--not because I actually had anything to say, but because I wanted to hear how smart she'd say I was.

This changed when my mother decided to send me to another school. I'd previously argued that I didn't want to go there..only to end up there about a week or so later. After a quick placement test, the school decided that I needed to be placed in the 2nd grade rather than 1st (mistake #1).
Once I got there, however, it seemed every. little. thing. I. did. set off the children. If I spoke, they'd complain I talked too much. I was harrassed almost daily with calls of 'fat,' 'ugly,' and 'stupid.' Granted, my father believes this was only due to the children being raised by bigoted people..I'm not sure what to believe. As far as I saw it, there were a few other dark-skinned people in the school and they weren't harrassed. Only me. By the time I entered third grade, it became 'common knowledge' to me that I was just fat and needed to lose weight.
I complained repeatedly to my mother, yet instead of proactively removing me from the school, she only asked if I wanted to leave (mistake #2--I was still convinced I could get them to like me).

Halfway through thrid grade, my mother had another child..then everything shot to hell--she became loud and angry, my grandmother did nothing to really assuage the situation (though I can't blame her since she was having her own medical problems), and I started eating more and more in response to the continuing bullying (which would not stop until I graduated at age 12). I was convinced my mother wanted nothing to do with me, so I attempted to strangle myself with a thin cable..I only stopped because my mother came into the room and glared at me as if to say 'GET OUT.'

At school, I started to steal others' food, and I ate and ate and ate at home until I thought I might burst...then I ate more. Needless to say, this didn't help my growing 'weight problem' (as the doctors later came to call it). Other habits also started to form: I started to grow very tired for no apparent reason and I counted steps, avoided cracks in the floor, syllables, and took up a 'tic' of starting EVERYTHING with the right side of my body (I'm left-handed, but I would hold a pencil with the right hand as well and make the first mark with the right hand; if I failed, I would hit myself).

Around age 10 I was anywhere from 126-130 pounds. A lot of it went to my face, so I apparently came across as older to other people; as such, I've been attracting attention from grown men ever since. It was also around this time that I was molested by a female classmate. I think these are probably the reasons I'm so afraid of sex.

I didn't change until I hit 13.5 years old and was in the middle of 10th grade. I was told, at 5'4.75" and 173 pounds, I had symptoms of juvenile diabetes. I remembered my paternal grandfather died from complications of his diabetes, so I finally agreed to go on a diet (though to me I just thought I needed to lose weight). In the first month I lost and kept off 10 pounds...much to my mother and grandmother's irritation. They started to harrass me over what I was eating, claiming I was not eating enough and accusing me of being anorexic. If anything, I was closer to a compulsive over eater (I remember hearing a man on TV mention it in the background and I burst into tears).

(Mistake #3) Since they found themselves so sure, I found myself on the pro-ana sites afterwards. They would say to eat __ amount of calories and I'd easily triple that in a few moments in the day. In response, I started taking my brother's laxatives--I reasoned that he had so many that no one would notice (they didn't) and that if I could put it in I could also take it out. Time and time again I'd swear not to do them anymore, but I did. I'm not sure what pulled me to even take them--every site I visited told otherwise.

This grew to meal-skipping, water fasts, and more binges/laxatives. Only when I moved to my father did this change...that is to say, it got a hell of a lot worse.

I was ~144 when I moved in with him, but with all the high fat foods he had I simply could not keep it off. I'd learned from an anonymous source how to purge (mistake #8592306906) and March 25, 2007 was the first day I got up more than spittle (it was Breyer's Double Churned Vanilla Ice Cream). The only thing that kept me from purging everything was a call from my best friend. She would later completely drift away from me due to college becoming her everything, and I would later drift away from the world with bulimia.

To make this LONG story short(er), I started cutting, obsessing over my earrings, tiles, corners, numbers and lines, and purging consistently until I left my high school at 17.

College really just made it worse--at least in high school I talked to people. Around this time I started cutting again, restricting, and popping laxatives like they were candy. My family feels irritated I won't get a job, but what they don't know is I'm so afraid of what I'll do with that money should I find employment.

I attempted suicide again a few weeks before my 18th birthday...and considered it again only a few weeks ago due to the impending eviction (I'm now 20).

As things stand I've relapsed after a nine day reprieve from my addictive habits (which include binging, purging, restriction, overexercise and cutting). I considered entering the armed forces to get away from all the stressful situations in which I've found myself, but it seems I can't thanks to bulimia. It's taken away my joy, my friends, my willingness to make any more, energy, opportunities, and will to live.

I left out a lot (crappy memory), but I really just want more than this sorry excuse of an existence.

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community


The Bulimia Recovery Program