Saturday, August 7, 2010


“Hi medusa,

My name is Natasha and I am 18 years old.

When I think about my life, I’m never really sure when exactly I started hating myself.
I had suicidal thoughts when I was around 9 years old.

I was raised thinking I had no worth, no place in this world.
My stepmother starved me, beat me, and ridiculed me daily.
Despite my father telling me I was beautiful and wonderful, I felt like a true piece of crap.

I ran away at age 11 and was placed in a foster home.
My life only got worse from there.
I was abused there, so had to go to my mom’s house.
My mother was doing cocaine/meth and drinking a lot so parenting me wasn’t her concern.

I was really depressed all the time.
I always felt like I didn't belong anywhere.
Nobody wanted me... nobody could ever love me.

Then at 13 I met first boyfriend...
come to find out he also was into drugs...drinking...and abuse.
But he told me he loved me. He gave me attention. He made me feel like I had worth.

Zach ended up changing my life forever, more so than Julie,
In fact, she is a raindrop compared to the storm he brought on.

Zach raped me, almost every day, for the 8 months we were together.
He took my virginity by knocking me out, and continued to do so.
I HATED myself. I blamed my body for his actions. I STILL do.

Now I was 13 when we got together, but while we were still together
I turned 14 and started my period.

Like any normal teenage girl, I had bodily changes afterwards and started getting hips and a new body that I still struggle with today.

So he told me these words that I remember so perfectly to this day, “You look bigger. You’d be so much prettier if your bones were sticking out."

So I took his advice, and starved myself. From that day on, I was NEVER the same. ever. I went from 115 to 91 instantly. And stayed that skinny for a while.

I was cutting everyday, hating my body more and more with every breath I took.
I couldn't handle what I felt, I still can't. He took my femininity, he stole my freedom, he destroyed me.

I continued starving myself, or hardly eating anything at all, over-exercising up until I was about 16-17.

I went into a treatment center for depression because I had tried killing myself.
In that place, I met a girl who was bulimic... well, she was anorexic too,
but she explained how better she felt after puking, how much relief she experienced.
And for me cutting wasn't doing the job anymore, none of it was.
I either had to kill myself, or find something else to forget everything, something else to make me numb.

That very day is when I met my best friend and worst enemy: bulimia.

I have been bulimic for almost a year now.
I went through phases at first where I did it for a little bit, then stopped for a few days even a month one time...but now a days I do it almost everyday, usually all day.

My life is miserable. My life revolves around the next binge, the next puking session...

I HATE my body, but I hate myself more.

Everything I see in the mirror is a disappointment, regret. Its not about being skinny anymore, it’s about forgetting, it’s about dealing. It’s about coming to terms with the pain I feel inside, which I cannot do.

I can't face myself, I can't face the memories... the hurt.
I don't see my life ever changing.
I’d love to be normal, happy, and free again.

I have so many goals and aspirations but my problems hold me back from all of them.
I destroy myself and my body because he destroyed my soul.

If I could go back and change it all and be normal, even chubby, I would.
This isn't worth it.
It never was.

I believe I’ll die doing this and feeling this way.
I’ve lost all hope.

-thanks for listening
xoxo Natasha”

Follow on Buzz


"Dear Medusa, it’s been a while...

I can't realize the situation I am right now; it's just surreal to me, after reading all those mails I'd sent to you.

I wish my story was published, but I don't know if my English is good enough or even my own story.

Anyways, I want to share it with you.

At first, I have to admit, I was reading your blog to get some information about disorders. Not to inform myself about the illness, but to get tips from every case.

I wasn't conscious about what was happening to me. I thought it was just diet, and not eating, or skipping meals was my "habit" for losing weight.

Well, my habit did work; I did not just lose weight, but my willingness to live, to enjoy and to stay here on Earth.

I was so depressed at the time, and confused because it was supposed to make me feel happy, but my weight was never good enough. And I'm still working on that.

I went to recovery because of my parents, and I thank them a lot, even though I didn't want it. I was forced.

Treatment wasn't easy at all, I went through hell. But I met the most wonderful people, and the other girls in recovery were angels that helped. I call them sisters of sorrow.

I had to leave the place because I was living in another city, at first with my mom, but then alone and it wasn't helping very much so I came back home to continue the treatment here.

I'm still battling with anorexia and bulimia after 5 years of not knowing it was an issue. I called it DIET (but it was really without the "T").

Here is a poem that one of the girls wrote me and I just feel it deserves to be shared with people that are still struggling as I am.
The reason I am here is because of them, the ones who care. After feeling nobody as if nobody did.

So that's my strength!

Thank you very much to have read

Sending you lot of love,

May Hope”

"Para mi linda May,

The reason that we met might not have been such a positive one,
but thanks to that, an undescribeable friendship had just yet to begun.

We understood each other more than anyone else possibly could
For we were always left... alone, feeling desperately misunderstood

We shared the mutual sensation as if were we in jail,
for any negative comment on our weight would upset us, even the smallest detail.

Before I met you, I chose to hide with and from what lived with me most
Like if I didn't live with it at all, as if it were some kind of ghost.

Food I would constantly forbid,
that's the problem that I always hid.

Until one day I arrived crying to some unknown place,
and the thing that I most remember was your warm and welcoming face.

Telling me that everything was going to be alright,
as if you were trying to guide me with some sort of light.

I could see the terror in your eyes,
as you tried to calm me cries.

All I wanted to do was to help you calm down,
even though I was the one with the frown.

As our friendship grew at such a fast pace,
I began to realize that you are not a friend at all that can be replaced.

You have helped me overcome so many things, so many fears,
please excuse me as I wipe my tears.

Always keep in mind, that although me maybe kilometers apart,
forever you will be in my heart.

For you to had to have fallen in this journey I call life, I feel blessed,
Maybe you can join me on the rest of my quest.

For when I saw that there was no point left to live anymore,
you helped me open my wings and soar!

Remember that I'm ALWAYS here,
whether we may be far or near.

You're one of my best friends,
and I know that we'll always be tight till the end.

~ Elis Donadel."

Follow on Buzz


“This is my story:

I wish my fingers were so quick as thoughts running my mind when I think about it all

My anorexia started in second or third grade of secondary school, so I was 16-17. I’m not sure how exactly it started, maybe it’s enough just to say that I have always been very desperate person. There was always a blank place in my mind I desperately deserved to fill. I used to read books, write stories a lot. I was talented in drawing and painting. I liked singing (as I do until now but I’ve never had courage to show it, I still think it is horrible as everything I do, I have, everything of my person is so BAD and so it was yet then - under cover, looking happy, but it was there hidden)

I was doing my best in school. I wanted everything perfect. So it was with my body. I got an idea to lose on weight just a little, just a few kilograms. I had 60kg or more that time for my height 170cm. I wasn’t very muscular in that time and had a lot fat on my body. I started to realize that, what I hadn’t been interested in anytime in the past. Girls were so beautiful. So thin. I saw them in school, in TV, in magazines and I saw myself.

I felt so poor, so fat, so disgusting, stuffed in jeans. But it all was only beginning, just thoughts running in my head and nobody knew it would spread like it did.

I started with healthy food and that became a perfect camouflage at home - a scene for parents and whole surrounding. I liked it very much in story at your site: anorexia is lonely place. One is seeking to beat loneliness, get rid of horrible thoughts, bad things that other say, and falls into even more horrible loneliness. Once I wrote a poem in desperation, about a horrible secret no one could ever find out. I have always been very secret person. And there are dark things laying deep inside me, haunting me and tormenting me even today. I have never had a good friend. I have never had anyone. Nor today. I am lonely. Because of my secrets. I am tired of it. But I hope I am improving, I am not so vulnerable about people as I used to be, and I am getting out of my shell gradually. This is one of attempts. To tell the story, that other people heard only shreds of it.

So I got very consumed in my new obsession. I was reading articles and books about healthy food, diets, exercise, losing weight and I developed my perfect functional system! Gradually, I started getting slimmer. Slowly and I liked it. I told myself - I had never been able to admit I am anorectic even to myself!! - I didn’t understand those girls who just don’t eat and think they would put off. I was eating - a perfect composition of sacharids, lipids, and proteins and doing exercise to not lose my condition. I had even muscles on my arms. No fat but muscles.

So I had my perfect food system, and I was proud about it, thinking I am not anorectic, but the PROBLEM was I fell in love with my figure getting thinner and thinner, so I was eating less and less and less. There was time I ate one graham roll a day, did a lot exercise, walking and all. Chocolate was something unthinkable, fictional taste, fictional thing I couldn’t afford.

People started telling me how thin I am and I liked it even more. I liked the thought that I shock them. I have always been very quiet, lonesome and sad girl. Maybe this all was just one of all another unsuccessful attempts to get rid of this bad part of ME, the part I hated! So I didn’t have to care very much in my small world of calories taken and burned, taken and burned and so on and finally only burned calories.

Finally I was eating just vegetables and very little of it.

Everything was alright until my body started to give out. Within some time - I don’t know how time passed in my mad circle, but it had to be some years. That time I had only 42 kg for 170 cm. I really don’t remember what time it took. Only things I remember from that time is getting weaker. Started to guess there must be done something. I was afraid of eat. But I knew I couldn’t go on like this because I would die. I was still enough aware of things - thanks to God!

I got terrible depressions, horrible anxiety I’d never wish anybody and the most horrible thing about it was: IT HAD TO BE KEPT SECRET. Nobody could know. "I cannot tell anybody or I would die!" I was so afraid of telling things people, getting help. I forgot to say I still have some kind of social phobia or something. And signs of AvPD [Avoidant Personality Disorder] fit on me exactly.

I had problems with constipation. It was more tolerable thing to say, so I looked up help to cover my problem and to help myself. Later I somehow got in issue of thyroid gland. I really don’t remember how. But my father used to say I am too slim (finally noticed) and insisted on going to doctor. Even he would never admit I could have much worse problem. He thought he raised us perfectly. So once again I camouflaged it all with dysfunction of thyroid gland. A friend of mine - my friend Anorexia - was in my case very very intelligent and slick. Doctor wrote anorexia in my list and I demonstratively laughed about it with words he didn’t have anything to write there and I’d bet my father didn’t even know what is anorexia.

They wanted me to stay at mental hospital. I argued that and we came to arrangement I will have clinical treatment so I will go to sessions with psychiatrist.

I escaped.

And continued in my madness.

Anxiety was with me all the time. The summer came and my heart was getting very weak. Many many times I almost fainted. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t go out very much. I was on examination and they found out my heart is getting dysfunctional. And I still wasn’t willing to admit I have to eat. I’d get outburst of anger and anxiety and fear until I thrown the food away.

It was piling up gradually, all the thinks that forced me to do something. People were shouting at me on street bad things about my figure. I wasn’t able to run for bus, I had to stop and I almost fainted. The sun shining and I felt like in hell. And in the middle of all that I recollect that I used to like sun, I used to run well, I used to race with boys, where’s my strength.

I started to feel sorry for myself. I don’t even tell about all those tears I cried. I had a feeling that everything in my life is now rounding around my food problem. I perceived world through narrow view of it but I was fortunately enough perceptual. Every word, every thing I saw, everything I saw connected with my problem but I didn’t see it as a coincidence. I stopped to fear and started thinking. A book got in my hands. It wrote about God, about purpose of Man - to develop in our physical universe. I believe in karma, and in free will and I think that one is always able to change a destiny if he wants. "A strong spirit cannot get into weak body." - was a sentence that affected me very powerfully and even now I have tears in my eyes - despite my semi consciousness I am stumbling now.

I realized how much I was abusing my body. I realized I got my body to get through this world, to discover life, to learn how to live good and tackle with my own faults, defects and mistakes. There was written it is never late to change and to start over. And that helped me much because I felt so horribly drown in my problem I could never get out. But this was so insistent, so urgent, it filled whole my mind and then I realized I couldn’t live more this way and I have to do something about it. Then like a thunderbolt from a clear blue sky came a strong decision to start to eat and get strong! I was afraid of bulimia and so I never got into that and I am proud of myself how I did it.

Even today a mention about anorexia gets in my ear, and all I feel is just nostalgia. All buried in past. I even got some ideas I could start over as it helped to occupy my mind with something I saw as very important and very good, but I am not able. Because I don’t see a reason in that anymore. It was enough. I realize I could never think like I used to think and count calories like mad - now it seems to me so ... vain. But I don’t say I am free of thoughts and worries about my figure - they are still with me and will be there up to end of my life.

When I started with anorectic thoughts - or when I stopped to eat I was completely healthy and strong young girl. Just with a little psychic problem. Today I have those problems back and as a souvenir from my old friend left just heart arrhythmia, dysfunction of thyroid gland and another untold secret I had to keep for myself. Just like an oath.

My psychic problems continued, my figure got normal, and I started to drink. A lot! But secretly. There were bottles piling up in my wardrobe and I had problem to get rid of them.

It started to do brainwash with my mind so the edge of necessity forced me to stop. I still a kind of liked myself to not allow that. I wanted my mind! Today I cannot even smell alcohol.

Today I am addicted to tramadol. It’s prescription drug I’m getting illegally. Now it’s almost one year.

Finally I got rid of all the bad feelings I had - failed relationship mixed into it and I wasn’t able to get over it. Even now I start shake, my heart thumping in my chest, so I have to get my dose. I love that. I still have a bit clear mind. There are no those bad feelings, but there are no good feelings. I feel just empty. I don’t know what is to be happy just because I reached something I wanted. It all just pass me, the emptiness I always tried to fill is now getting greater and greater like some huge chasm I am falling into.

I don’t say I am free of thoughts and worries about my figure - they are still with me and will be there up to end of my life. And even though I thought a friend of mine - dear anorexia - is gone. It will never be. She is still with me, destroying me by even worse and more dangerous means. I am addicted to tramadol. I like it because of states it brings me, and because of the fact I lost 10 kg of weight since I started to use it.

So the circle is starting anew with new scene on new stage and new, dangerous things I am playing with.


And I don’t know what has to happen what would force me to quit. But I know that with every won battle with myself, I also kill and lose a part of myself, I get a little emptier, a little sadder, a little more bored of life, more cynic and more desperate.

And I am still afraid of getting help from other - its unthinkable - and I cannot help myself. So I am stumbling in my never ending circle so far and up to - nobody knows, maybe until I die. No one ever knew, no one ever will, and maybe it is the best like that.”

Follow on Buzz


As I will be out of the country from August 9th until mid-September, 2010, with limited or no Internet access, please hold off sending me email and/or your stories until my return mid-September. Many thanks!

To those who have recently forwarded their stories and/or emails to me, I will do my best to respond before I leave on Monday, August 9th.

~ Medusa

Follow on Buzz

Monday, August 2, 2010


“My life was saved by a stray cat my mum and I saved from the streets...

I have survived every aspect of childhood abuse that began at a very early age and continued for many years. It is impossible for a two-year-old to speak, let alone express and interpret adult emotions.

Internalisation results in repression, self harming and feelings of self worthlessness and most commonly eating disorders that affect MEN and Women.

I have been living with Anorexia Nervosa for 20 yrs and although it did take my life in the year of 2000, I miraculously survived and through music am making a difference in peoples lives. It takes time, perseverance and emotional intelligence but it is possible to reverse these effects with a supportive network of friends, health professionals and people like ourselves who can offer support.

I have now maintained a healthy but low BMI for approximately 3-4yrs. It is similar to diabetes in the way we 'manage it day by day'. It is a miracle that I am here typing and if it weren't for the stray cat my mother and I picked up off the street, I would not be here.

Without going into graphic detail, the day I decided to end my life my cat kept running back and forth to my mother who was sitting in the loungeroom. She knew something was wrong and she found me lifeless, no pulse. I had lost all bodily functions, and she and my father dragged me to the loungeroom for the paramedics.

Mum said it was the first time she had seen my father cry. He was a very sad, mixed-up man and I have no anger towards him at all. I'm not making excuses for him but I know he didn't mean to hurt me as a child; he just didn't know how to show emotion, which is very typical in an 'eating disordered' household. It has taken 17 yrs of therapy to get to where I am today and alot of self determination and hard work.

I was on life support for a short time. Mum didn't come to see me as she knew this would be the last time after countless times of attempting to take my life. I remember waking and the Dr's telling me that I had had 3 seizures.

I am still here and although, since the death of my father in 2006, it has been very hard, I have had only two minor relapses but now have heart irregularities so need to be kinder to myself.

It is very hard when the abuse has stolen your every self-esteem. It stunts your growth in adult life. Having an eating disorder is bad enough as it stunts your social/employment life but with the abuse on top of that it is overwhelming to think about.

I have never shared part of my story publicly or the issues of Dissociative Identity Disorder as a result of major abuse. I'm taking every day as it comes right now. There are so many childhood survivors out there all over the world and if this reaches anyone of you, I hope that you are able to find some inspiration.

I too have told her that I forgive her for not protecting me from another family of perpetrators who were very sick individuals and the worst of all. She says she cannot forgive herself and she has her own issues but will never get help so in a way I feel 'responsible' for holding her up emotionally. The worst of my perpetrators has passed away from a drug overdose and the other two have been in and out of gaol. The youngest also turned up to my high school many years ago now. It was awful. He bragged about what he and his brothers had done and I was teased from the other boys in my class alot.

My ED was triggered at the age of 6 as this was the only reaction I got from my mother and I was diagnosed at 15. By not eating was the only way I could grasp my mother's attention. I learnt that this was the only way I was able to communicate with her.

The repressed anger that I experienced, which later commonly develops into some sort of self-harm, began when I was first abused at the age of two (not perpetrated by my father) I was medicated at the age of 3yrs for 'temper tantrums.' Then, at the age of 6 when my father behaved inappropriately towards me, I was put on an anti-depressant for anxiety and bed-wetting, I also had to have a brain scan for my 'changeable moods'...funnily enough, the scan showed up nothing!

All I can do at times is laugh to get through. I don't know if I have a future but am taking each day as it comes. It all seems like too much so I'm writing alot lately, hoping to get all of this negativity out of my brain.

I am also planning my first student Christmas concert for this year that the owner of the restaurant I play at has so kindly let me use as the venue! How lucky am I!!! This, in a way, is giving me a reason to keep going, living knowing I have my students depending on me for guidance.

I was saved only by a stray cat. If my mum and I hadn't saved her, she would not have been there to save me. Mysteriously, she disappeared a few years later. It makes you wonder if we really do have guardian angels...

I want to use my artistic attributes as a way of advocating the long lasting effects childhood abuse has on adult survivors, men and women.

As an artist/performer, I use art as a ‘voice’, an external instrument to express what I cannot in words. I believe we as artists with common interests can help each other and encourage each other through positive influence.

Apart from freelance photography, I am a classically-trained pianist and teacher. My students age from 5 yrs to 55 yrs; it is never too late to follow a passion. I teach to ‘Motivate, Educate and Encourage’. My students motivate me; they give me a purpose for living life to the full.

I also volunteer at various nursing homes and hostels providing musical entertainment in a therapeutic environment. Apart from performing, I have worked as piano accompanist for various seniors choirs. I have worked in musical theatre and have worked with the Nepean Bell Ensemble, an ensemble of youth and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Having worked as a volunteer in aged care I would also like to advocate the issues surrounding residents such as depression, loneliness and isolation.

Beauty is seeing the smile on the face of a resident at the nursing home who, in a catatonic dementia, clutching a doll they have had since they were 12 years old, momentarily breaks free and begins to sing when I play their favourite song, even if now and then they tell you TO SHUT UP! :)

Beauty is connecting with another person who may not get any visitors because their family and friends have passed on.

I believe you get in life what you give. Grow, follow your dreams and celebrate achievements, big and small. Become involved in your community, volunteer, believe in yourself, have faith and never give up. With our life’s experience we all have so much to offer the world".

‘Breathe to live, not to just exist’.

~ Liza”

Follow on Buzz




I recently started reading your website, and I’m already obsessed with it. Now I wanted to share my story with you.

I've been suffering from an ED over 5 years now, and I'm only 17 years old. It usually is anorexia that I am suffering, but I've also gone through phases with Bulimic-Anorexia, Orthorexia and ED not otherwise specified. I've also been a Pro-Ana. At the time I'm suffering from Anorexia and depression.

During last three years I've met about 10 different shrinks, but none of them can help me. It's like I'm immune to help.

The thing is that I've never been clearly underweight. I have always been what you can call normal weight, and it makes me freak out. I really do hate my body. I want to change it so much that it will kill me.

anorexia, anorexic

I know that this ED will kill me some day... I can't carry on too much longer. I hate my life, and it makes me angry knowing that this monster inside me takes all the control I have. I have no one to talk to... My family doesn't know about this, my friends don't care and so on... I really don't know what to do if I can't get into a hospital, but the doctors think that I'm not sick enough... I really don't know how sick they want me to be, 'cause if this will last longer I will die...

The only friends I have are suffering from eating disorders too, and usually we just talk about how to get thinner and stuff... Some of my other friends have left me, because they thought they can't bear with me any longer and they thought that I'm faking all of this...

Some days are better than others, but all I can' think about is food and how much I need to exercise and stuff... I'm exhausted and tired. I want to tell someone about my situation, but there's no one I trust... I'm like a broken little bird who needs some love and care, that's all... I'm mommy's little helper that doesn't get enough attention...

With lots of love,

Anonymous Ana.”

Follow on Buzz