Beauty from Pain.
by Lisa S
(Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)
My head hurts, I feel weak. I have blue marks on my hands and legs, and I always feel like i'm about to pass out. My hair falls out in clumps, I am always shaking, and I am always cold.
I am still fighting against my anorexia.
And i am not proud.
I am 17 years old and it has been almost two years since anorexia took a hold of me and my thoughts. I have never been to a treatment center but I am still trying to fight against the thoughts in my head, and with the help of my boyfriend, I am succeeding.
I have always been a chubby girl from birth and I have always loved food. I just never thought I would end up like this. Having my whole life being about control.
I was always bullied, all through primary school and in the first couple of years of my high school, for my weight mainly.
Hearing the words "Fatty" and "Fat Rolls" coming out of the other girl's mouths never helped.
I remember getting kicked out of little friendship circles for not being like the other girls. Not being able to run as fast as them or stand next to them because I was too chubby.
My whole family has been a little overweight and I guess I caught up in the act as well. Always depending on sweet foods and fast foods to get by the day. It was the routine we lived by. Until I broke from it and started to get into another more, controlling routine. I'm still not proud to admit.
I have never had control over my life, from what I ate to how I acted. My parents controlled all my thoughts and my actions. I had no say no matter what the situation was.
Physical abuse was part of the situation as well, I had to keep silent otherwise I would get beaten even more.
But the emotional abuse was not just the name calling by my cousins or brothers. It was far more than that. Deeper than something so simple.
My father has never been proud of me, and I barely see him (even though we live in the same house). I don't have a strong relationship with my mother even though I see her everyday. I hate being at home.
I keep all my secrets and every day thoughts to myself. My parents think my anorexia is just a phase that I am going through.
They always tell me to eat or else I will pass out and end up in hospital again. I don't expect them to understand, because they don't. That is why I choose to ignore the idea of talking to them about it. I have never been able to express my emotions to my parents. Neither of them.
All my father wants from me is to get a great ATAR in school and go to a university that he can be proud of. My mother is no different. He has not once spoken the words I love you to me.
This year is my last year in high school. I try hard at school, but I don't get the marks he wants. And after a stern talking to and a slap on the wrist, I finally realised something. He was right, he always is. I am never trying hard enough to get the marks he wants and that is why I will always be a failure.
But he doesn't understand that I can barely concentrate in class because all I'm thinking about is the next meal and when it will be. And how I was going to lose it after.
My mother has her favourites. My two younger brothers. And as being the oldest and only daughter, I have to set the example for them. It's not easy.
My parents still treat me like I am still 6 years old and that I cannot even think about how the world outside is like. I have dreams about being free with my future husband and have him taking me away from my controlling family and let me truly be happy. Genuinely happy. I am hoping that my future husband is my boyfriend I am still with.
I remember a time when I thought I could finally open up my feelings to my mother and have her support me in my thoughts and actions. Hoping she would tell me she would love me and give me a nice big hug that ended everything.
That was definitely too good to be true.
Instead, I got her crying hysterically, screaming about me changing and how "I wasn't her daughter anymore" and that "I was possessed by evil thoughts". This resulted in her being more controlling of my actions and emotions.
All I wanted was for her to accept that I am growing up.
That was the day I vowed to never talk about my thoughts or feelings to her ever again. And I never have since that day.
I guess that's why my anorexia starting sprouting to life. Accepting that I never have a thought to share and that I have absolutely no control over what I do or say around the house. My food was the one thing I found I could control without anyone telling me or noticing that I was changing.
I hated not being able to eat sweets like before but then it felt so good to say no. Being dominant and control what I put in my body felt so good. I finally had control.
Although I thought I did.
Once Ana took it's grasp in my mind, I never thought the same again. I started wasting away. The colour in my face started to drain away, my hair was thinning out. I started getting purple marks on my skin.
I drank more than two liters or water every day and ate nothing else but fruit or vegetables. And when my mother tried to make me eat a meal I would have a spoonful then work it off in the middle of the night.
Until a night where I was exercising because I had a fight with my mother about not being able to go out with my friends to the movies.
I was doing jumping jacks until I could feel my heart beat so loud, I could hear it in my ears. I thought I was going to die.
That was when I knew something was wrong.
I was too scared to go to the doctor's and so I looked up my symptoms on the internet.
I started crying. I didn't want this demon inside me. I knew what it was capable of doing and I didn't want to be a victim of it as well.
But I didn't what to do.
I felt so alone.
I usually don't believe all the diet websites and health related topics and information they give out but I have also seen this first hand in my best friend.
But she beat the demon and is now happily together with her boyfriend. I hope.
I decided to go to the counselor in school because I thought maybe she could help me. Instead she gave me a lecture about how if I don't start eating properly again then she will call in my parents and have a talk to them. Claiming that this was what I wanted and to have their attention, then everything would be okay.
I stopped going to her and decided to keep my thoughts to myself. It was getting so hard to do anything anymore. I could barely walk up stairs without feeling I could pass out.
Every waking day was getting worse.
I was getting so cold I would wrap myself in layers of clothing and still shake uncontrollably.
I became severely depressed about everything and became easily agitated even over the smallest things. I would stay up all night crying about how I can't tell my parents anything.
I wanted so badly to tell my mother about everything and to hear her say it's going to be okay, but I knew it wasn't going to happen.
It was getting out of hand. I got really scared.
A couple of weeks had passed by before I spoke out to my boyfriend about what was happening to me. He was so emotional. I didn't know how to break it to him so I didn't use the words anorexia nervosa. Instead I used 'feeling down about myself' and 'don't like the way I look'.
He understood and kept repeating to me that I was beautiful.
I really did want to believe him but there was still doubt in my mind that what he was saying wasn't true at all.
I still felt like I wasn't beautiful enough for him and that he could do so much better than me. But he kept disagreeing and repeated the same words over and over. "I love you the way you are."
After that, he helped me so much about not being afraid of food and that I don't need to act this way to be happy. He was all of my happiness and all that I needed. (no matter how cliche that sounds). It was true.
I was so scared that he was going to leave me after he found out but instead he stuck through it with me until now. And I thank him so much for it.
Although now there are times in which I can't tell him what is really happening because I know he will be disappointed. But I still try my best to hold onto his words and his love.
He changed my life.
Until this day I am still fighting against the thoughts in my head. But with the help of my boyfriend and friends at school, I am now a happier person than before but still depressed about my parents. I still imagine that one day my mother will hug me and promise me everything will be okay. And that my father will hold me and tell me how proud he is of me.
But when the time comes, I know now who truly makes me happy. My dear boyfriend. I love you so much. And I always will.
I pray every night that I will finally overcome this monster in my mind and I know that with the help of God, and my boyfriend, that the time is near.
I guess the point i'm trying to make here is that you are never alone. No matter what Ana tells you, YOU make the decisions. You don't have to let her control you're life.
You are strong and definitely BEAUTIFUL.
I hope that everyone got something from this story in a good way and that it can help them.
I believe in you and I know you can make it through.
The battle is strong but you are a great fighter.