Wednesday, January 12, 2011
At three still innocent and not tainted.
My name is Emma. I'm 30 years old from Christchurch, New Zealand.
I have had anorexia, bulimia and serious self harm since I was 11 years old 19 horrible years.
I can never remember ever being happy. I grew up with a very abusive father and an extremely sick mother in and out of hospital. I also have an older brother who was a bully and treated me like a slave.
With my mum being so sick I had to run the household from a young age. Also, my father had very high expectations of me to succeed in everything: school, music and sport. I would get up at 5am and not stop until bed at 9.30.
I developed very early, being flung into puberty age 9. Primary school was good. I was popular, extremely bright. My teachers loved me.
But the summer between primary and intermediate something changed. I became the kid everyone picked on, for being bright and ugly, though only 11, I suffered from terrible painful acne and had big breasts and hips. I was sent to the deputy principal for him to teach me alternative subjects. He sexually abused me for those two years. It was then, at 11, I began cutting. I had no idea what I was doing it just felt good.
Also, I began skipping breakfast and throwing away my lunch. If I couldn't be pretty I wanted to be skinny (although I was 5'4" and 102lbs) and I hoped I would lose my breasts, which in my mind caused the sexual abuse. I did tell my parents about the abuse but my dad told me to "stop fucking lying, you'll wreck that man’s life." At this age I started viciously hating myself, wrote my parents off.
By 13, my extracurricular activities were: Hockey (4 teams), athletics, cross country, cricket, volleyball, touch rugby, flute, choir, orchestra. So I was doing 5-7 hours of exercise.
By age 14, I was cutting daily. My anorexia fueled up. I added 2 hours of running before school; faked breakfast by shaking toast crumbs onto a plate. I gave my lunch to girls in my class. My PE teacher caught on when she found me passed out in the changing rooms. Soon I was fainting on a regular basis. I was sent to guidance; they set up a hospital admission for me as my weight dropped to 76lbs and my cutting was no longer secret. But my parents refused consent as they considered themselves perfect and I was not going to ruin their reputation. They said I was anorexic and self harming to make them look bad.
At 16 I agreed to go to the youth section of the psych hospital. By then I was abusing laxatives and diet pills, and my cuts constantly needed stitching. But once again my parents decided imprisonment at home was a better option. I was tormented and overdosed on sleeping pills and anti depressants had my first of 100s of public- medical hospital admissions. My heart was affected.
At the same time somehow I was a hockey and athletics rep and A student.
At 17, my last year of high school, I was so depressed, all I could focus on was self harm and my ED which had evolved to bulimia. I would cut class to binge and purge then cut and burn. I had begun to experiment with burning myself with acid.
At 18, I ran away to another city where I spiraled out of control. I inflicted third-degree burns that needed grafting; took massive overdoses. The first I woke from a coma in intensive care with a tube down my throat. I was committed to the psych hospital and all year I was either in intensive care or in the psych hospital. I was transferred to a private hospital that specialised in eating disorders and Borderline (diagnosed at 15). I hated it and was there for a year.
After 2 1/2 years in hospital I was sent home to my parents, seen as a failure soon to die.
Now 21, I fell into a bad crowd and was back to anorexia. 88 lbs, I spent 4 hours at the gym then spent the rest of my time drinking and smoking weed. I was raped three times. Then one night I was involved in arson. I was sentenced to 2 1/2 years prison. I served 7 months.
Trying to cut this short, since then I have been in and out of the medical and psych hospitals. Anorexia, Bulimia, self harm and suicide is all my mind could contain. I should have been dead at least 50 times over. Doctors have told me I should be dead, they wish I was dead, and I was a waste of time, space and money.
At 30, sitting here, I am scarred completely, both arms and legs. I've had 24 skin grafts, I have severed many tendons, I have faced amputation 4 times. I cannot have anymore surgery as my left arm is all scar tissue inside and out; it is weak and doesn’t function well. I have had bone and vessels and muscle cut out of my leg and arm due to being burnt. I have brain damage, as I have had 7 cardiac arrests and 3 respiratory arrests. My heart is damaged; it could stop at anytime. Bulimia has robbed me of my bowel: 3 years ago it stopped working. The pain was horrific. They operated; my bowel is black and decayed all due to my 100-a-day laxative addiction. I have capped teeth.
I have been told I'm one of the worst cases of self harm in the world by my British psychologist and American psychiatrist.
My arm after surgery after I’d severed 3 tendons.
My leg after more grafting.
I feel like I have just been regurgitating facts and I'm not baring my emotion. My life has been wasted. I started self harming to cope. I thought I controlled it...I could stop when I wanted to...same with ED, but it's just not true.
I live an isolated life, I have been banned from hospitals. They've had enough. I have tried, I really have, but what’s the point when no one cares and no one will ever love me because I'm deformed.
All I ever wanted was love. I just don't know how to 'get a life.' I don't know how to make friends. I hate justifying my existence.
I should have a job like a normal person, but I’m so tired from all the meds and the depression, the hopelessness. Currently, I weigh 108lbs. I've started restricting and purging again. I wish my parents had just bought a trophy and not conceived me. I was discharged from mental health two months ago deemed ‘incurable’.
A pic of my tattoo of mental health awareness ribbon.
Since I feel I have been relatively emotionless, I have added a couple of my poems from a book I had published this year:
Drains of colour
Black mourning in my eyes
Too many times
I’ve stared death in the eye
I could feel his cold
Stagnant breath on my cheeks
His skeletal fingers
Fingering my lank thinning hair
Ana, he calls
I’ve come to pick your bones
Don’t fill me
With false prophecies
I want to lie
Free of parasitic guilt
Free of self consuming hate
Nothing to feel
Through my body
An unanswered cry
In an empty room
Impartial I lie
Unturned and empty.
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