This is very hard for me to do. I am a young girl, about to turn 20, and I have one more year of college to go. I have read your blog for over a year, and truly think the stories you share are wonderful. Therefore, I would like to share my story with you.
I have lived all my life in third world countries. Since I have been 12-13, I have always been in the top 5 % of my class, I have always been the girl organizing social events, doing as much as possible outside school hours and so on. In some way, I always used to do as much as possible. And I still do. I even managed to get into a great college. There has just been one problem in my life: my self-harm and numerous EDs.
What I describe here above was not intended to sound conceited or anything like that. It’s just how many people see me. But, that is not how I would describe myself.
My EDs started when I was 13 and slightly overweight (I weighed 130 pounds at 5'2).
I used to be a ballet dancer, and for the institution I was dancing ballet at, I had to lose weight. Back then, I was too proud to do so, and decided to quit ballet. And here is where everything started.
As I was resentful at the ballet institution for wanting me to lose weight, a Tuesday night after eating a lot of food, I looked at my toilet seat and decided to throw up. I threw everything out. Even nowadays I can remember the blood I puked that one night. But things haven’t been any better since then; I would even say they have gotten a lot worse.
After my second purge, I started to cut myself on my arms. I felt as if my life was a BIG mistake. My parents noticed, and said: "Is everything ok? Do you need more attention?" I told them that everything was OK, and stopped cutting, for a while. I started soon after to cut, but this time, hiding my cuts. And so I went on puking and cutting until I turned 16.
When I was 16, I had actually gained weight (and a lot of it). I weighed 186 pounds at 5'5. And a day at school some guys from the grade above were making a list of "the ugliest girls at school", I got number 3. They hang it in the hallway. I remember all my friends saying stuff like: "Ann u are not ugly! really!!" or "Ann u are not ugly! just a little chubby!!" But I won’t ever forget what it felt like to feel all of people’s stares, and pity. And that’s the day I started losing weight as a crazy: less than 4 months later I was 125 pounds (so I had lost over a 30% of my body weight in just a few months!).
Of course, my parents where thrilled (at first). They had been pressuring me to lose weight ever since my ballet school told me to do so. But when my nutritionist warned them about the excessive amount of weight I had lost (and which was abnormal for that short time period) they started to worry. I even passed out 2 times at school. All of this got my parents to threaten me to send me to an ED institution (even though I was not yet underweight). And again (just like it happened with my cutting habits) I told them it was OK, I would stop losing weight. But of course, I didn’t.
I hold on to that weight (with a few variations for a few months) but then, after a guy I REALLY liked left me for another one, I started losing weight again. I had gotten to 111 pounds in just a month. I remember my intense happiness the day I stepped on the scale to see "111" on the screen. I was 17 going on 18 by that time. And even though I know that intense happiness was wrong, I am almost sure it was the last time I felt really happy.
Now, I'm 19, I weigh almost 145, and have gotten back to my bulimic face. And even with all my ups and down with my weight, my parents don’t seem so concerned. Even with their "threats", they never did. I love my parents, but I wonder whether they haven’t realized during these last 7 years that there was something not right with me, or that they are just too afraid to see.
The worst part is: my dad works for this big worldwide company that fights hunger around the world, and I feel like such a hypocrite for wanting to starve/be thin. I have seen several undernourished kids with my own eyes, and even though I know it’s not healthy, I can’t stop to wish to be so thin that all you can see are bones and skin. I know it’s not right, but I can’t stop loving bones. I feel so tremendously guilty, and yet, I can’t stop. And the worst thing might be the fact that I have never admitted to anyone to have a problem but my best friend (who knows only a short part of the problem).
Many people have confronted me; I always deny it. And believe me when I say I know it’s wrong, but there is something with cutting, stop eating, binging, puking that I need. I would like to not have this, but I can’t stop. And even though I have had many things in life, I still am not happy. People keep on saying how pretty or beautiful I am, how well I've done stuff in my life, and all I do is to question myself to know why I’m still living.... I’m trapped in a hidden world; a part of me wants to get out of it, but another part of me feels like I can’t.
I used to think when I was 16 "this will pass, it’s only a teenager’s thing", but as I’m starting my 20th and many people tell me I act as a much older person, I’m starting to doubt about the end of this. I guess what I want to say is: I have been keeping inside me a huge secret, a secret that still has no ending...
I hope this message isn’t too long, I only want to get better, and I know the right way to do it is to start talking about it. This might be my first attempt to try and get better.
Thanks for your work,
Hugs to all,