It wasn’t until recently that I realized I struggle with an eating disorder. As a teen, it was much much worse, but now I find myself thinking about it. Thinking about what drove to feel the need to harm myself in this way.
As I have stated previously, my adopted mother was a big woman. She was constantly on different diets, but nothing worked. I guess out of a way to try to make herself feel better, she would regularly comment on our weight.
I was a tall skinny kid. I weighed like 110 and I was 5’6”. My mom would comment any time I was bloating. Telling me that I was getting fat. That would lead me to not eat for a few days. If I did eat, it would only be enough to make me no hungry. There were times I forced myself to throw up. I only forced my self to throw up a couple of times. It was too painful.
One time my mom called my two sisters and I into the living room. She had a sewing measuring tape in her hand. We had to line up. She measured our busts, waists and hips. She wrote down the measurements and told us to tell her who was the smallest. We were all basically the same size even though we were different heights, but my shortest sister was the ‘smallest’ by the standard that my mom had set. She told “Breanna” to get dressed, she was going to buy her new clothes. Patience and I wondered why we wouldn’t get new clothes. We were told it was because we were too big.
There were many times that I had to take the shirt off my back and give it to Breanna because she looked better in it. There were times that Breanna could borrow my things, and she wouldn’t have to return them. Her closet got bigger while mine ant Patience’s was dwindling. Breanna told me multiple times when she borrowed my things that I had a week to come get it or it was hers. Our mother agreed. However, I could not borrow Breanna’s slip when my skirts showed a pantyline. I was always told to take my skirt off and give it to her because I had outgrown it.
My mom always let my siblings pick on me. I picked on them back, but I would get in trouble. My brother “Moses”. Got into wrestling. When he was still a toddler, I would wrestle with him all the time. Once he got stronger than me, I had to quit because I kept getting hurt. That didn’t stop him from trying to wrestle me. His favorite thing to do was put me in an ankle lock. Well, it was extremely painful because he didn’t know how to do it right. If I cried, he put more pressure on it. If I screamed for help, I would get grounded. He would just be told not to play with me because I couldn’t take a joke.
One specific incident that sticks out in my mind that he did this to me was one of my last weeks at home. I had packed my suitcases and headed home. I was dreading having to live out of suitcases because I knew my mom would complain that my suitcases were on her dresser that she had in the hall closet. I get home and my brother Moses keeps taking my stuff. He keeps punching me and he was a big boy. He was a preteen and he was big. He would punch me as hard as he could and laugh about it. My dad would laugh and tell me to toughen up. Well, I got tired of the beatings, so I took his prize blanket. Yes, he was 11 or 12 years old with a blanket that he dragged around everywhere. So, I took it and hid it under his bed. My plan was to wait until he was looking for it then put it back on his bed like he had over looked it. We played these types of jokes all the time on each other.
Moses went looking for his blanket and mom asked each of us if we knew where it was. I said no. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. My mom had played that same joke many times. I went to our bedroom and was pulling the blanket out and my mom walked in. It caused a huge uproar of where I was called a bald face liar. I tried to say that we played that joke all the time, but no one would listen.
The next day, Breanna lost her MP3 player. To this day, I have no idea what it looked like other than it was white. I was playing “Dean’s” XBOX when Moses and Beanna violently came into the room. They ripped my controller out of the console and flipped my video game chair over and pulled my hair. Moses puts my ankle in a hold and I start screaming. (The year before Breanna tricked me into getting on her horse bareback. I was thrown and I hurt my ankle, knee, and hip really bad. My mom refused to take me to the DR, but when she broke her ankle, but ambulance couldn’t get there fast enough.) So, Moses had me in an ankle hold and I was screaming. Breanna was yelling that I stole her MP3 player. I had my own, why did I want hers? I was in so much pain I couldn’t breathe. I denied I took it. I didn’t, but because my parents called me a bald faced liar the night before, I was a liar in their eyes. I tried to defend myself to my dad, but for days he told me I needed to give it back. I found out that Breanna had went through my suitcases. So, in anger, I pulled them out and dumped everything on the floor. She went through it all and said, “You didn’t take it, it isn’t here.” By that time my dad had came back and apologized for thinking I took it. I felt better. But then he said, If you took it, you need to give it back. “If you don’t stop them from treating me this way, I will leave and never come back.” I said. The verbal and physical abuse lasted until I ran away for my wedding.
After the wedding, I switched to being vegetarian. My parents loved that. They would constantly offer to bring me fried chicken. It was so hard to turn down. So, instead of trying to help me with this dream of being a vegetarian, they constantly were telling me that it is stupid and wanted me to fail. Well, it has been almost 3 years since I had fried chicken.
I went home after the wedding for a visit and my parents made fun of my husband. They went on to talk about how I had gained weight and I told them it was normal when a person starts eating healthier. They didn’t care. They told me how much happier and peaceful things were without me there.
I know I wasn’t the perfect kid. I didn’t tell my siblings that I loved them. I know I picked on Patience so much when we were growing up. I admit that it was wrong and I am so so sorry for it. I don’t know if my parents let her read this, but I wanted to tell the world.
I was so wrong for picking on you. I was so wrong for not being a good big sister. There is no excuse. Please forgive me.