I am not the girl I used to be, that I once knew. I don’t know me anymore. Everybody changes throughout the years, but my change wasn’t positive. I developed anxiety, depression and an eating disorder- all severe. If you talked to me when I was ten, I’d be just fine. If you put cake in front of me, I’d eat it all without even giving it a second thought. Well, not now…
It all started going downhill when I was in seventh grade, during field hockey season. I was the awkwardly tall girl, the ugly one. I felt like a misfit. I began feeling like nothing I did was right, that I wasn’t good enough for anything or anyone. I didn’t know what was happening or why I felt this way, I was oblivious to what was going on. Too young and neieve to understand mental illness.
In field hockey practice, I couldn’t run as long or as fast as the other girls, I couldn’t do as many push ups. I felt huge compared to all of them with their toned bodies, but I didn’t want to quit. Being on the field hockey team meant you were cool at my school, and my self-confidence was already low, I needed something to pick me up. I became the goalie. That way, I wouldn’t have to run during games and embarrass myself, but I’d still be a part of the team. Excluded, but I still had somewhere I convinced myself I fit in. I had a hard time socializing with the other players, so field hockey began to make me miserable. I wanted to fit in for real… I decided I needed to lose weight. Skinny means happy, right?
I started at about 160 lbs and dropped all the way down to 118 lbs all within two months. I was blind to the illness that was taking over my mind and body. Anorexia made my depression levels shoot through the roof. I began to self-harm. By eighth grade I had started losing my friends, dropping them one by one, isolating myself. This is when I was first brought to CPEP (Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program) and was hospitalized. I’d tried harming myself by taking pills before, but it never did anything. This time, I was so depressed I didn’t even have to take any pills. My school guidance counselor was talking with me, and ended calling my mom telling her I needed to go to CPEP. I was in the hospital for a little over a week, it taught me nothing… If anything, being in the psych ward and seeing other people with worse scars than me just made my depression worse and triggered me.
An eating disorder both physically and mentally kills you. You become more depressed and self conscious than ever, and ontop of that you start becoming weaker and colder every day. Each meal I’d skip would bring me one step closer to death, whether it be a death caused by me purposly, or if I just dropped dead like a fly from starvation one day. Death seemed like such a luxury to me… I became blind to everything. I wouldn’t have to deal with my problems, I wouldn’t need food, I could be skinny and pretty… It seemed so perfect in my head.
My cutting started getting worse. Deeper, more often, more places. I’d wear sweaters all the time and try to keep my tears tucked away when I was at school. To the naked eye, I would’ve just looked like any other happy middle school girl on the outside… But if you could read my mind you’d be in tears. The things I thought about myself were downright awful, things you’d never even think a young girl would think about her worst enemy.
The only person I’ve ever hated more than I hated myself, was my sister’s boyfriend. When I was 14, he raped me. I went to the police about it, but it was too late. All the evidence was gone by that point, and obviously he wasn’t going to admit to it. You would think that my own sister would beleive me, but she chose him over me (her famiy). We haven’t spoke a word to eachother in over two years and still live in the same house. So as a result of being forced into sex, I lost a sister.
To regain control again, I went and slept around, which I never was proud of. After a little while, I started thinking more and more about what happened. I hated myself because I felt as if I could’ve prevented it or at least done more to avoid the situation. I stopped sleeping with random guys because the fear of that happening to me again grew so strong. Now, it takes a lot for me to even kiss a guy without having flashbacks and being terrified of it happening again.
A year later, it did… Only this time, it was worse. I didn’t even know the guy, and I tried even harder this time to stop it from happening. I knew this time I had to go to the police sooner rather than later, so I did.
Being raped once is hard enough, but twice? It’s awful. Especially this young. It really messes you up, it ruins your trust in other relationships- even with your friends. You isolate yourself and blame yourself for everything that happened.
Something else I blame myself for is losing a baby… I once thought I loved someone after I accidentally got pregnant. I guess I just didn’t want to be a single mother. Sadly, I didn’t have to worry about that for long. It ended in a miscarriage. I grew to love that baby even though it wasn’t even an actual baby yet, but still, losing it was one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me. And it was all my fault. Maybe if my eating was stable it wouldn’t have happened, but it was for the best, I wouldn’t have been able to support the child or give it the life I’d want it to have. But now, there’s the question- will I ever be able to have children? Not knowing might hurt more than if I knew the answer, but I don’t…
About a year after my eating disorder first developed, my parents began noticing I was getting thinner and took me to a nutritionist who I began seeing weekly for about a year and a half. They ended up sending me to a residential care unit in Boston, MA for two weeks. It was rough, but it helped for a little over a year. I could feel myself starting to relapse.
I would do anything to go back to the girl I used to be… To have friends again, to be happy. As you get into your teenage years, I feel as if things get worse for everybody. Most people end up losing friends and dealing with drama. But some things just shouldn’t be happening.
When I was in fifth grade, I found out my father was cheating the night of my field hockey banquet. I started bawling and ran to the bathroom with my friends following me. A couple years later I told my mom. Now, six years later, they’re finally moving towards a divorce. Dealing with the fact that I was the one to tell my mom and ruin the family is awful, and I’m constantly being reminded of it.
On June 3rd. 2014, my friend passed away due to a motocross accident. Nobody at my school really knew him besides me because he lived in Kentucky. One of my best friends at the time said that she was glad that he had died. She didn’t even know him, how could someone have the audacity to say something like that? Especially the day after it happened… I ended up getting in a fight with her at school that day. They didn’t really consider it a fight though, they called it a “psychotic attack” because of how vicious I was and the fact that she didn’t hit me back. I ended up having to go to a hearing because of it and was suspended for the rest of the school year. There was only a couple weeks left though so it wasn’t too bad.
These experiences have made me stronger and smarter. Things will never be the same given what I’ve gone through and experienced, but I’m hoping one day I’ll find happiness in myself again.
This isn’t the end of my story, it’s just the beginning…