I had no sense of control, and started with eating nothing and ended with eating everything. In a matter of 36 months I went from 98 pounds to 145 pounds. It was my own form of self harm. Starving myself because the hunger pains felt like a punishment, or stuffing myself until I wanted to vomit. Either way it helped distract me from the real problem. Maybe both were also a desire to control something, everything else in my life had been decided for me, and no was never an answer I could give. But I could say “no you can’t have any more food” or “no you’re not done eating yet”. Either way I was ashamed of my habits, knowing something was wrong on both ends of the spectrum. But most of all I think I was wanting someone to see I was hurting. That bigger problems lied a little bit deeper than anyone cared to look.
I am a happy kid. A near perfect kid. I make good grades. I take AP classes. I have a job. I work hard in everything I do. I wake myself up to make it to early morning practices. I hold multiple titles in my sport, and trained hard for each of them. But my family never seems to be satisfied with what I do. They don’t care about me they care about results. They never noticed that I was sick, or that I needed help.
I was in a horrible situation and struggling with depression. I thought change would help. I decided to start over. I met a boy. A wonderful, compassionate, patient boy; who little did know would change my entire life. I fell for him fast, but I hated being touched. The first time he kissed me I began to cry. I didn’t know how to explain what was going on, only that I felt completely and utterly terrified. I simply did not know what to do in that situation. I knew rationally it was him, but my mind was somewhere else. I flashed back to a time in my childhood.
I was young. I had no idea what was happening. I should have been loved. I should have been taken care of. I trusted him. I had no idea that it was wrong. That he wasn’t suppose to talk to me like that, touch me like that, make me do those things. I was too young.
It wasn’t once. And it wasn’t twice. That was what my life became. It was day after day, week after week, for three years. And no one noticed. No one stopped him. No one fought for me. I was a child. An innocent child and I deserved to be fought for. But no one did. I had been taught by him, my voice was better unheard.
I never thought about it again. My mind never even went to that place. When I was 11 years old I told finally told someone. I was then forced to talk about something I couldn’t, and forced into a treatment regime I was not ready for. I was told I was lying about my story. And not a single time was I told if I spoke up I wouldn’t get in trouble, and not a single time was I told that it was not my fault. I hated that place. The following summer was when the anorexia began.
I dropped to a low weight of 95 pounds, from an original 128. Again no one noticed. No one cared. I eventually put the weight back on and recovered slowly.
It got worse before it got better. I fell asleep in class because I couldn’t sleep at home. I liked doors closed so I could hear someone new walking in. I liked to sit with my back against a wall so no one could sneak up behind me. I couldn’t stand being touched because it made my heart jump and my lungs stop working.
When I fell in love with the boy we started doing things that “normal” high school couples do. But for me it wasn’t normal. It was a trigger. He was my trigger. When we did things it didn’t make me feel happy and special like it did other girls. It made me terrified. I would break down into panic attacks, sobbing and not being able to do anything. I was experiencing flashback, this was when it got really bad. He didn’t know that I had triggers. He didn’t know that I physically couldn’t say no when I didn’t want to do something. He didn’t know that simply looking at me the wrong way, or not looking at me at all could trigger something to snap. He didn’t know what was going on or what to do. He didn’t know if he just left after us doing things without holding me that I would breakdown and/or have nightmares that night.
It began to snowball. I lost control. I was no one longer the one driving the car of my life, my PTSD was. It controlled my thoughts, my sleep, my relationships, and my perception on the world and myself. I couldn’t focus because it of this I began binge eating putting on almost 20 pounds in 8 months, trying to grab control anyway I could. But still tried to keep it together the very best I could. Keeping my grades up, continuing to work, to train, to compete. But there’s only so much one person can handle. Once the results began to slip I began to fight more and more with my family. I was slipping. I was losing it. And the fight in me was gone. I can honestly say on my darkest days there was times where simply ending things seemed better than having to fight through another day. But rationally I knew it couldn’t rain forever and the sun had to eventually shine again. There had to be hope.
My loving boyfriend remained patient and compassionate with me. Helping me through my panic attacks, and learn to cope better with my PTSD. He saved my life and probably didn’t even know it. He encouraged me to attend therapy and since then my life has improved immensely. I wish someone would have told me it was not my fault, and I was not in trouble.
So I am telling you no matter what your story, or what your past it was not your fault. And you are not in trouble. You are strong enough to fight this. You are strong enough to step forward and ask for help. It will get better. Remember, it can't rain forever.
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