Posts Tagged ‘ Food Issues ’

In Retrospect

A few days ago, I wrote a post for Band Back Together about my struggle with self-injury. It was hard to write, more difficult than I’d expected it to be and for several reasons at that. One of the reasons: Remembering the beginning. Remembering the reasons, remembering how confused and scared I was. Most of all, remembering my mother’s role in it all.

I started hurting myself when I was 10 years old. My injuring increased in severity and frequency over the years and at 13 I threw in an eating disorder for good measure. When I was 16, I put myself into therapy and at the first appointment we were going over my history and when I mentioned the age I started cutting, my mother turned to the therapist and said “Yeah, I knew she was doing that.”

She knew.

She knew that her 5th grader was cutting herself with x-acto knives and she didn’t. say. a. word. Not one word. Not to me, not to a doctor, not even to my dad. She washed the blood stains out of my clothes and silently watch me kill myself. Years later when I finally attempted suicide, putting myself into a coma, Mom didn’t visit. Not one time in the weeks I was in intensive care. Not so much as a phone call or a card sent with my father. No word for a month.

My mother let me stick with my self-destructive mission and didn’t bat an eye when it nearly killed me. My mother belittled me and insulted me for everything from my grades to my weight. My mother told me one day while driving me to a doctor’s appointment, “Sometimes I just want to drive this car off the road and kill both of us…put us both out of our misery.” She threatened to commit me to a state mental health institution. She forced medications on me and played the victim in therapy sessions. My mother was too self-centered to put on her big girl panties and deal with the problem in front of her. Her 10 year old child was screaming out for help and she ignored her.

She ignored me and I can never forgive her.

Mistake

Today, I binged.

Two liters of mountain dew, a pound of M&Ms, and a bag of potato chips…gone. Thousands of calories consumed in under an hour. It hit me like an electrical storm, throwing me, zombie-like, into the kitchen. I ate and ate, mind numb, until as quickly as it came, it ended. I started to shake as I realized what’d happened. Embarrassed, ashamed, heartbroken, scared. I didn’t purge, not like that makes it any better.

I’m upset with myself, but that won’t help anything. I shouldn’t -can’t- dwell on this misstep, and instead choose to make my next choice a healthy one.

It’s okay to make mistakes, Amber.

Please, stop crying.

Journal Entry Sunday

March 8, 2010 “Undress”

180 this morning. Won’t make my birthday goal unless a miracle happens. I’m hoping to get to 170 instead. I’ve been doing well, so I think I can do it. Pilates everyday. No soda. No more than 1000 cals per day. No exceptions.

So today was Eden’s doctor appointment. She’s going to have surgery on april 14th. We’re going to replace the tubes in her ears and remove her adenoids. I’m a little nervous, but everything should be just fine.

Her doctor asked me today if I’m a single mom. I said Yes and he said I’m a really good mom and that he was impressed with me. =) Made me really happy. It’s nice to be validated like that. He’s told me I’m nice before. He’s a nice man. And a good doctor. He’s done a really great job taking care of Eden and making me feel at ease.

I want to buy a new car. Maybe I will.

I’m so ready to graduate and start working. Can it be next march yet? I’m starting to think I might want to work on the administrative side of things over clinical. Either way, I’ll be happy, but that’s what I’m thinking. I’m definitely going to do an hour of pilates tonight. maybe more. And I’m going to take a bubble bath and pamper myself a little bit. I deserve a little self-care. I need to finish my homework too. Just math and anatomy. Shouldn’t take too long. Maybe 45 minutes.

Anyways.

I’m bored.

Love-Amber

Of a Life Lost

2006 wasn’t good to me.
I turned 18 that year and I graduated from high school, but after that it was pretty downhill. I struggled through my senior year, having been diagnosed as bipolar the year before, being subsequently overloaded on meds and frequently hospitalized. The trend continued after graduation and I went away to college. I was only there a week, when the campus psychiatrist said I had to take leave and enter an eating disorder treatment facility. I convinced my parents to keep me out of treatment, but in return I had to leave their house. I was on my own.

Very on my own.

More hospitalizations, more and more meds. Then the headaches started. In january of 2007, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Not cancer, but still horrifying. Two weeks later, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

My world had ended.
I was an 18 year old unemployed college dropout, living on disability, and very sick. I had no family, mine having long abandoned me. I had no friends, having alienated everyone around me. I spent all of february psychotically depressed. Perpetual panic attacks and mocking voices punctuated the time, eventually culminating in my february 27th suicide attempt. Everything I had was lost, including my future.

That night, I turned off my phone and swallowed over 200 pills. Thousands and thousands of milligrams of psychotropics and narcotics. I took handfuls of pills, puked, passed out, repeated. I cut my arms, took more pills. I kept going and going until I couldn’t bring my hand to my mouth any longer, and then I laid down.

Hours passed.

On february 28th, I was found. I was taken to the emergency room, then transported to a larger one. I spent the next few days floating in and out of consciousness, some section of myself continuously pulling me out of the coma.

Something in me wanted to live. Something in me begged my heart to beat, my eyes to open. On march 2nd I woke up. I saw my arm, the cuts held tight with steri strips, bruises from multiple needle pokes, and an IV site, I followed the line up, then noticed an EKG lead, followed it up to the monitor. To the right of the monitor – my father. He sat there and he smiled through tear-soaked eyes.

I knew then that I was loved.

After recovering in the hospital, I returned home and started again. My suicide had been successful, that girl died that night. Three years later, I’m a new person. No meds, in school, a new mother. I don’t regret my actions. Death gave me life, new perspective. Everyday I’m grateful for being given a second chance, and I make the most of every minute. I’m actively involved in my medical care – now knowing I’m neither schizophrenic nor bipolar. My future was not taken away from me – It was given back.

New life, Indeed.

Unspoken

Body image is hard for me. I look in the mirror and I hate what I see, I hate the bloated, distorted version of myself I see cackling back at me. She’s practically mocking me. Not practically…she IS mocking me. She tempts me back to bulimia, hoping my shear disgust will translate into 500 sit-ups or a 6 day fast. Maybe a binge, maybe some laxatives. She hates me.
And I hate her.

In defiance, I’ve hung at least one picture of my daughter in every room of our home. Seeing her reminds me of the purpose of my fight. Seeing her smile makes me do everything I can to keep that grin in place. My eating disorder will only steal her smiles and I know this.

I can’t kill Eden’s mommy. I cannot. Eden would much rather have a slightly overweight, but happy mother than a thin, frail, depressed one. I know this, but my reflection still yells at me and I still struggle to ignore her pleas. Some days are worse than others, but no day is without it. Maybe, someday it’ll happen– my mind will leave me alone. Maybe.
Hopefully.

Until then, I’ll continue the fight, and keep my face from showing it. My 2 year old has no business seeing my pain, lest she become embattled with her reflection as well.