I grew up in a very wealthy family. Everything was always so extravagant in our house, and clean and perfect. My dad was a perfectionist and he expected his family to be perfect, or at least look it from the outside too. I remember my mom purging on many occasions. She’s had a handful of plastic surgeries and botox treatments. Dare I say it, she taught my thinking from a very young age that I had to be thin, lovely, dainty, and perfect. That I had to dress my finest and always say what everyone around me wanted me to say.
I started ballet as I begun Elementary school. I loved dressing up in the leotards and pink tutu’s. I loved dancing in front of big groups of people for recitals. I loved it until I was in 6th grade and my dance instructor told me that I was gaining weight. She told me to be careful of that, because even a few extra pounds can shift the way you dance. She went on to say that I dance beautifully and just to be aware of certain things. I went home and cried, that was the first time I ever skipped a meal. Before that, I would just eat very small portions and like my mother always taught me, avoid the deserts at all costs.
Around the same time my parents fighting took a turn for the worse and they were divorced before I knew all of what even happened. I quit ballet and chose to live with my mom. I started to count calories obsessively and my weight dropped very low.
My mom, being the way she is, found a boyfriend immediately. And when that one didn’t work out, she’d find another one, and another one, and another one. These men were in my house, sleeping with my mother and because my mom knows how to pick ‘em some liked me a little too much.
I don’t like going into details. But, when I was in 8th grade I was sexually abused by one of my moms boyfriends repeatedly. When I finally told, my mom didn’t believe me, she thought I was lying because I wanted her to break up with him. That was the first time I cut myself. I felt worthless, like nobody cared about me at all.
All through high school I dove into my school work, getting the best possible grades I could, a part of my own perfectionist personality. I was at the library more than I was at my house. And when I was done at the library I would meet up with friends to avoid going home. I started dabbling with alcohol, drugs, and sex. When my mom bought me a car, sometimes I wouldn’t even come home. She never even bothered to call.
I had a friend named Dee who was a lovely friend, and my memories of her are so fond. She skipped school for a few weeks and I was worried. When I went to her house, her parents told me that Dee was at the hospital because her white blood count was so high and she would be undergoing all these tests. I was worried but honestly it didn’t bother me until the diagnosis came back that she had leukemia. It was so rare for a high schooler to get leukemia, she was one in a million the doctor said. After a tough fight of a whole year she died, having been told she was in remission twice. It was devastating. And, traumatic for me. That was when I decided I was going pre-med, oncology as my specialty.
My whole life has been a roller coaster affect. There are so many side stories and little things I could say that have shaped me. Fights with friends, betrayals, boyfriends that have cheated or said mean things that stick to this day, rare conversations with my father… all of these things kept the voice in my head repeating: You’re not good enough.
Now, it’s brought me here. I’m in my first year of college, pre-med. I have gained some weight because of my boyfriend, but am losing again (don’t tell him). I moved in with my boyfriend, who is also in college. We both work part-time and I’m trying to simply just make it. I still love alcohol, and sometimes it’s a problem. I attend group therapy for my eating disorder as well as individual counseling. I still SI every now and again when my emotions take a turn for the worse. I’m still broken, I don’t know what else to say.
I wish I could tell you I’ve recovered from my eating disorder, and from the memories that haunt me. I wish I could tell you I was happy and healthy and moving on to bigger and better things. Instead I’m still stuck in this giant hole, and sometimes I’m so content to just curl up in it and cry myself to sleep.
I want to say before this ends that I am very grateful for my friends and my boyfriend. With out them I would have crashed a long time ago.
Thank you for reading my story. It’s not over yet … and I hope to add on to this one day that the sun came out for me, and the storm passed.
Much love, A