We all have our stories to share, our troubled paths we have walked. I know I write about a lot of things in this blog, gaming, kids, mostly gaming lately, but every once in a while I would like to write something about me. I figure in the end, this is my little piece of the interwebs that I can keep for myself. I appreciate every one of you who has read my words, liked it on Facebook, or here. Those who have commented and those who just read and move on, every single one of you I adore. I want you to feel like when you read my blog you have come in for some conversation and maybe a cup of coffee/tea. I have both (and Mountain Dew, I always have Mountain Dew).
I want to share things about me that you may not know. Since we are getting to know each other as friends, (and we are friends, right?) I feel sometimes things may come up. I have my causes that I like to support in whichever ways I can and I am going to talk about one of them today.
Eating disorders are a huge part of today’s world and they have been for a while. It doesn’t just happen to teens, adults, girls, boys. It isn’t just people who eat a little, none at all, or everything. It isn’t just starving or throwing up or a mixture of the two.
Mine started in middle school. I guess if I had to go back, I could say it started before that. I came from a family of women who were on the larger side, and when my aunts would visit my grandmother they would stand me in front of them and tell me not to get fat. They said the word like it was a disease, a disgusting thing that happened to people when they weren’t looking. I was terrified. How could I avoid catching fat? What would I do if it caught me? I would stare at myself growing up, looking for any sort of sign that I had done something wrong, my aunts would come and shake their Winston cigarettes at me while telling me I didn’t listen to them and caught it. I became ashamed.
In middle school, at gym class, they started weighing you, in front of others. The fear came back. It started as a small voice, telling me the nurse was going to tell me I was ruined. She would send me home with a note telling me I had lost all my chances at life. I started obsessing over the numbers and I started to not eat. That summer I remember living off of half a bowl of cereal a day. It was also the summer I started my life long love affair with coffee.
I seemed to make it through the school years without catching it, and also balancing the dangerous act of not eating. I had to eat enough in front of people so they wouldn’t suspect, but have days where I wouldn’t eat because internally I was freaking out from the calories the day before.
Then I had babies. At the same time, this is when my confidence rose. Looking at my children, I started to care less about what my inner voice said. I told it to shut up and I marveled at the beautiful thing my body had done.
Their father started spending less time at home and more time out. It didn’t take me long to figure out what was going on and the truth set in. He had his own demons, different then mine, and other females to share them with. Females that didn’t have two babies. The voice started to come back, but I pushed it down. I told it I was determined that I would be strong and that I was worth it. There was nothing wrong with me. My spirits started to get higher when I accidently met someone else. It wasn’t intentional, but isn’t that how it always goes?
He told me I was pretty at first. He would come to hang out with me and we would talk for hours. All of the things that I loved alone for so long, I now had someone to share this with. I wasn’t alone. He told me I was pretty. I told him my past stories, the things I was too afraid to admit.
One day, out of the blue he told me I was not good enough, that looking at me didn’t turn him on. He told me I gained weight and threw me a bottle of diet pills. He left the room with me standing there holding them. It had finally happened. I caught the fat. I was too disgusting for anyone to look at. I took two right away and proceeded to start my dance with anorexia.
One yogurt a day is what I ate until I started to get sick. I would cry at night, smile during the day. Everyone would tell me how great I looked, how I had to tell them my secret for losing weight. My secret was shame.
I ended up in the hospital and was told I would have to lose my gallbladder. He told me if I gained weight afterwards he would leave me. He had done some research on what the gallbladder was and he felt it was a deal breaking body part. If I couldn’t uphold my end of the bargain then there was no use of him allowing me the privilege of standing next to him.
I had my surgery, and I maintained my weight. I started wearing bigger clothing to hide in. I felt better wrapped in a blanket or two, and I would never be caught without clothes on. He told me I was disgusting and a monster. I wish I was making this up. I wish I could tell you that I screamed and yelled and fought. I wish I could tell you that I thought I was beautiful enough.
I can tell you eventually I did have enough and I did leave. It took way longer than it should have, but it was done. I couldn’t see that maybe this was his way of keeping me to himself, that instead of him keeping the world away from me, I was hiding on my own.
I’m still working on thinking I am beautiful enough. I am still battling sometimes with my inner child, fearing a note home telling my aunts I misbehaved and contracted fat, but I am doing much better.
I write this because I am not alone. People, not just girls, but people, lead this life. Whether it is because of reasons that seem to be as old as you are, or control, people make these choices. They don’t see what others see. They see damaged people. They see misshapen and ugly. They never see beautiful.
Everyday I challenge myself to see beauty. To see it not in just myself, but outside, in others, accidental beauty, and in things that were always just meant to be beautiful. I don’t want this for anyone, and I want to prove that you can get through it. You can even keep your gallbladder. If you are reading this, and you ever had a moment similar to mine, go look in a mirror, if you don’t have a mirror then find something reflective. Find something beautiful because it’s there in you. Don’t hurt yourself anymore. It doesn’t matter how many people may think you are beautiful if you can’t see it.
It isn’t going to happen overnight. It won’t be easy, in fact, it is the hardest road I have ever travelled. It’s so worth it though. Walk with me. I will hold your hand and we will talk about all things beautiful and ugly. We aren’t alone. I won’t leave you alone. I think we have all been alone for far too long. Let’s see how beautiful we are. I am beautiful enough and I hope by reading this you can recognize your beauty, or at least commit to trying to find it. There is no one like you, no carbon copy, and you are too important for us to lose. I am starting to feel the same about myself. So let’s hold hands, and let’s skip down this path in the woods. Let’s go find others and tell them they are beautiful too. Let’s make all the friends and drink all the coffee and show they world how lucky it is to have us in it. We are more than beautiful enough.
I love you all.