Tuesday, December 8, 2009


From Charli:

"I have been reading all of the stories of all the beautiful people on your blog. I don't expect my story is as heart-breaking or even as recovery inspiring as theirs. I don't even know why I’m writing to you. I guess I just need to write it down. Even if it just gets lost in someone's email inbox.

Writing this is the only way my story would ever get told. I don't talk to anyone, I have lots of people that love me and would listen but when I try and talk my throat closes up and I feel a deep sickness. Even writing I can feel panic overtaking my body and my poor little heart is racing.

I guess I should start with who I am. This should be the easy bit but I don't really know who I am.

I am Charli.
I am 17.
My birthday is 9th February.
I am 5 foot 9 and a quarter inches.
I have brown hair that reaches past my waist.
I have blue eyes.
I am the palest of all the people I know =]
I wear glasses.
I am anorexic purging type.

I wish I didn't have that last point but I do.

I have had an eating disorder since I was 9 (or that’s as early as I see the manifestation) when I began restricting. When I was 13 I began making myself sick. Two months before my 16th birthday I was found out by my mum in the worst way. She walked in on me purging my dinner that I had made for her, her boyfriend at the time, and me. I was so ashamed. I wept so much I couldn't breathe and I couldn't look her in the eye. I couldn't explain.

Then there was CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) which just made me see how stupid I was for thinking the way I did but didn't help.

I slipped into anorexia.

And then the bulimia came back in a vicious way and I didn't see it coming. I didn't know that it could manifest itself that way. Packets and packets of diet pills and laxatives a month and exercising until I couldn't stand up.

I am still here, nearly 18, in a cycle of restricting, purging and exercising.

I have realised that my eating disorder used to be the solution to a problem but now it is a problem.

When I was younger I was always the tallest, always the "biggest." I was always the mum and never the baby, always the wheelbarrow driver and not the wheelbarrow. I was chronically bullied for being fat even though I was what you would probably call average, really.

But one day I was called a whale and I looked in the mirror and I thought, "Oh my god, I look disgusting. They are right, I am huge," and pinched and pulled at all the fat on my body until I was red and bruised. The next day I didn't eat.

The bullying didn't relent and from that point on neither did my disorder.

My family is broken. My mum is an emotional rollercoaster, going from damaging man to damaging man with no gap between.

My father committed a crime when he was younger that has shaped his whole life and mine. He has two younger children and a fiancé that dislikes me. She is 20 years younger than him.

My grandparents are estranged, really... giving me money for birthday and Christmas.

I don't really have a family.

I have many lovely friends though. 4 with eating disorders.

I have a boyfriend of 19 months who previously had an eating disorder. I love him so, so much. He taught me to trust and to love again after what I refer to as the "incident".

The "incident" is called this because I can't name it. It happens to other people and not me. He was my ex-boyfriend and it happened on the 3rd of January 2006. Was to be his second chance to prove himself as a decent person to me. But really what happened tore me apart. I had nightmares, couldn't eat, couldn't talk. I was the hollow shell of who I used to be.

I am what you might call a high flyer. Bright and intelligent. Emotionally intelligent towards anyone but myself.

The worst thing is the fact that people see me as the pretty, rich girl with a wonderful family, wonderful boyfriend and wonderful life. Why would I have any reason to cry? Why would I have any reason to be in a bad mood?

What would happen if they knew? My world would fall apart. Everything is built upon what they can't see.

I want so desperately to eat a sandwich. To be normal. But I don't eat bread or butter or meat or spreads.

I know I need to recover but if I let go of this will I fall? I know my body is dying from the daily purging, lax, exercise and lack of food.

I have been in hospital for passing out and "unexplained" pains. The doctors are on to me but I am so, so scared. I need the strength. To get the strength I need to talk to the people I love to get the support but I really can't let myself trust anyone to that level.

I want to scream.

One thing that gets me through is the fact that there are others like me that have recovered. After going to the depth of their ED.

It also saddens me that some people die and that others like me can't see the way out.

I am only 17 but I feel as if I have already lived my life 1000 times over.

I can't even write everything here. And I expect you are bored of my whining now.

I don't know who I am. I don't want to die. But I don't want to be this fat either.

Where do I go from here, Medusa? Do you know the way out? Please help me.

I'm sorry for taking your time.

From a very scared little girl.


I have written Charli privately, and am hopeful that others will respond to this dear girl's cry for help.

~ Medusa

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Brandee said...

wow. My eyes are brimming with tears making it hard to comment. Charli, I just want to wrap you in my arms and let you cry and get it out! Our stories are so similar right down to my mom having numerous boyfriends, being bullied, and being told by a guy when I was a teen I needed to drop a few pounds even though I was a dancer and 5'8 and had a normal figure then. I also had an "incident" at 16 by a 28 year old at a party against my will that devasated my entire world even to this day~
You write extremely well and you are not boring by any means.
Please contact me if you need support. jacknsethsmommy@aol.com I am also on facebook under Brande Gomer (brande with one e).
I am 33 and battled 20 years and feel I am finally FULLY in recovery. Not easy but doable. The more support the better.
hang in here with me hun. you are worth the fight!

Anonymous said...

You are not alone. I know that you know this, but I cannot stress it enough. Many people are suffering in similar ways to you and your story. You said that you put everyone else first in a way. Maybe you could designate a certain amount of time per day to dedicate to yourself. Do something that you love, even if it is for only an hour a day. Your words have helped me to feel not so alone, maybe I can do the same.

I'm pretty close to your age (19) and have suffered for years. Here is my email in case you need to talk: mmpapek@hotmail.com

Stay strong!-Jac

Anonymous said...

Dear Charli,
I can't even begin to say how your story moved me. I'm deeply inspired by your strength (cause let's face it: If I were in your position, family-wise, I wouldn't have had the courage to go on).
You know what? You are already on the right path, cause realizing that there IS help, that you CAN get better is about 10% of the way.
Yes, sure, what many people don't realize is that the remaining 90% are full of agony, anger, fear - but also that it is so worth it.
What I said in my story (Kate's story) is that you have to keep going, and you are. And this in itself is something to be proud of.
Charli, I would love to get in contact with you. I feel you have a lot to give, and I in return hope to can say so about myself.
I would very much like for us to email. Gosh I am so weird at times.
But the way you wrote really tells me that the two of us have a lot of things in common.
So here's my email address:
I so hope you're going to write me.
People say I'm actually a good listener, if that is even possible via email.
With all my best wishes,

J said...

Charli that was the most heartbreaking this I've ever read, the fact that you have managed to even let it out is amazing. I hope you can find it within you to tell someone what you told Medusa, this blog is read by loads and loads of people who can relate, and who care, you're not alone, don't ever give up because help is always there, if you feel you can ask for it. xxx

Anonymous said...

Dear, Dear, Charli:

What an expressive, articulate, brave girl you are! I initially read your post because Charli is my daughter's name. By the end I was crying. You remind me so much of myself at your age, it's slightly jarring, the only difference is that you are able to identify and communicate your feelings so much better than I ever could. That should give you hope that you can eventually recover... being able to convey your thoughts and emotions correctly is so crucial. My heart goes out to you, all the things you said in your post touched me so so much.
Keep writing.
Keep talking,
even if it is to strangers on the internet, it could be a building block, it could help you get used to speaking about your disorder. Do not feel ever that you are whining. Don't ever let anyone make you feel that it is. Speaking is part of how we heal, and listening to others such as yourself is theraputic for your listeners.

Anonymous said...

Hello there this is Charli. Have just realised a typo. It was 2006 and not 2004 in which the incident happened.

Thank you all so much for your support.

Recovery is coming slowly. Very, very slowly. It became easy to eat more. But i'm afraid i have relapsed of the reacent weeks and i think my body has begun eating itself again.

I have been with my boyfriend for 27 months now but i am going away to university soon and i fear that i will lose his support.

My grandfather passed away on tuesday the day after his birthday.
I winessed it all and did my best to save him but my efforts were in vain and he died. I am numb.

I finished my exams and i am awaiting the results. I am hopeful but time will tell if my hope will be rewarded.

Just a small update. Writing it down has just made me realise why i may have relapsed.

Love and hugs

Medusa said...

Oh, Charli, I am so sorry to hear of your grandfather's passing. My sincerest condolences.

Stress will often bring on a relapse. I hope you are doing better now.

Please know I am thinking of you and sending hugs your way...