Sunday, December 18, 2011

My ED story (The Good Parts)

When I was very young, about 9, I stopped eating. At the time I was an average kid. Maybe a little taller than most and maybe a little thinner, but healthy in every way. But my family didn't agree. They believed that I was getting (or would get) fat and told me things like "If you keep eating like that no one will marry you. No one wants to marry a fat pig" and "You know it really isn't healthy to eat so often. You really only need to eat once or twice a day". Being a child (who was at the time also being raped, beaten and emotionally abused... but that's all another story) I believed them. Some times, I still do.

So I stopped eating, and I learned to look at my hunger as weakness and the flesh on my body as deplorable.

Between the age of 9 and 18 I gained less than 20lbs and over a foot in height. I developed a heart murmur, my menstrual cycle was all out of wack, and I had a permanent tremor that got so bad at times I couldn't hold a fork to eat.

I saw these things as signs of my success, and the people around me all supported me in killing myself with hunger.

The bones in my hips protruding were beautiful. The bruises that covered my body (due to iron deficiencies) were wonderful. Passing out after standing up was a sign that I was becoming the perfect woman.

I would be loved! I would have the family that I had dreamed of! I would be good enough!

I have one person to thank for me not ending up dead and for being able to go through the next almost 20 years of recovery. The man that I dated in high school. He was the first person since I was a child who cared less about what I looked like than about the person who lived in my body. Not to say that a teenage boy didn't care about my body (again, that's another story ;-) ), but he talked to me. He in a million little ways let me know that as long as I was there and healthy, he was happy.

IT WAS THE FIRST TIME ANYONE HAD TREATED ME THAT WAY!

It was a revelation to me! So I started on the extremely long, slow and hard journey to be someone better. Someone who would live to be old and gray with this amazing person who loved me just for me!

I started making terrifying choices (like gaining weight) and getting out of the little shell I had put myself in so I could learn what it meant to be healthy. When years later a boyfriend told me he wasn't attracted to me because I was fat (at 30lbs under weight), it was his problem, not mine and I left him.

I still have so far to go with this, but it is happening. I am a healthy weight for the first time in my life and I can eat a meal without thinking I'm a bad/ weak/ fat person. For me, these things are miracles!

In a lot of ways, that is exactly what they are.

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