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My Battle With Recovery After Eating Disorders: Part One

How It Started.

By Carol TownendPublished 27 days ago 9 min read
My Battle With Recovery After Eating Disorders: Part One
Photo by Elena Leya on Unsplash

This is my story about my battle with eating disorders in the past, and how I still fight with food today.

This story is going to be written as a series. There is a lot to focus on, and it is painful to write. I felt it would be easier for myself as a writer and for the reader if I wrote it in chunks.

Please note: If you suspect that you or someone else has an eating disorder, it is important to seek help from a professional. Eating disorders are dangerous, and you should never try to treat them alone.

The Struggle Tonight.

I sit on the couch as my husband hands me a plate of my favorite food, Pasta. My husband sits on the couch opposite me and starts eating his food. He doesn't think about how much weight he might put on; he simply enjoys the pleasure that the moment of eating is supposed to bring with it.

I stare at my food. I pick up my fork and slowly stir the pasta, it looks tasty and I want to eat it, but a thought creeps into my head,

"Will I get fat if I eat this? Haven't I eaten enough already?"

The truth is; I haven't eaten much all day.

I haven't felt hungry. Mentally, I feel full because I ate a curry for tea last night, and now my appetite is not really there.

"I will put on a lot of weight if I eat any more."

This is a silent worry thought from the past when I experienced two eating disorders.

I manage to push the thought away, and I eat my food though I can see myself as I was in the past with every mouthful.

Though my plate isn't close to partially empty, I hand the rest to my husband.

"I'm full," I tell him.

I can't eat much without filling up too quickly as my stomach can't handle a lot of food after my past battle.

Suddenly I feel psychologically sick. This means feeling sick without actually feeling it. It is a mental process in which my brain tries to process the fact that I have eaten food without purging myself.

I try to focus on reading in order to push the feeling away. It is important not to make myself vomit.

If I am going to reach full recovery, I have to teach my body to keep food down.

I think of many ways to get rid of the food I have eaten. I feel guilty for feeling full, and it takes everything out of me not to purge or go back to taking a laxative or diuretic just to force the food out of my body.

Images of over-exercising, vomiting, binging, and over-eating in the past, all pass through my mind. I feel tempted to empty everything out of myself, just to get rid of the guilty feelings and fullness that eating has injected into my brain.

I stop myself.

No matter how hard this battle is. I am not Carol from the past. I am Carol who knows that I have to eat in order to stay healthy. Carol whose learning to like food. Going back to my past is not healthy. I must keep pushing forward.

I focus on reading and talking about anything but food with my husband. Eventually, the feelings disappear, but this is not the end...

Where It All Began.

It started at school, something I never told my parents or my teachers about.

I was bullied at school, physically, mentally, and sexually. I was often told I was fat, my breasts were too big, I smelled, I was ugly, and many other nasty things about myself.

I was physically beaten most days both during and after school, and I was sexually assaulted several times by both girls and boys.

I spent most of my days checking my weight, my body, and my face for flaws that weren't really there.

I hated looking at my stomach in the mirror. To those who loved me, I was beautiful and not fat; but when I saw my reflection in the mirror, I saw a fat stomach, lots of spots, an ugly face, flabby arms and legs. There was always something wrong with me.

I didn't think anybody loved me, and I felt truly worthless. I didn't believe boyfriends or girlfriends saw something in me, and I felt ugly. It was rare for me to have a boyfriend or girlfriend at school or home, as the majority of boys and girls were bullying me anyway.

I felt ashamed and embarrassed to be me, and I was always blamed by my teachers for being a troublemaker when they saw me trying to defend myself against the bullies.

The bullies always got away with it, and that made me believe that something was wrong with me. I tried talking on one occasion, only to be silenced by blame instead.

I started having if onlys:

If only I was thinner

If only I was prettier

If only I was more fashionable

If only I was stronger

If only I was more intelligent

If only my hair was thicker

If only I didn't have freckles

If only my eyes were blue

If only I was blonde

If only I was tougher

These thoughts still creep in, even though I have had help to deal with them. Years of bullying, mental torment, and body shaming do that to a person.

Therapy helps, but it does not erase the tormenting thoughts or memories. It's not magic.

Every day of my middle school years became a traumatic event of bullying. We used to get changed in the classroom, and I was always faced with some really horrible comments such as:

"Look at the size of her melons."

"Her legs are like sticks"

"Her tummy looks like a blob"

Ha! Ha! FlabbyCarol!"

These comments were followed by being prodded and stabbed by the children using various sharp items such as pins which were usually forced into my breasts which started to develop when I was around 1o years old.

I walked into school one day with a girl who I thought was a friend. For privacy reasons, I'll call her Abby.

Abby had been looking out for me from the first day I started middle school, and she was in my class. We used to sit together and play in the playground together. We were friends all the way up to me leaving the school. Abby was seen as a friendly but humorous girl in the class; she was also very popular.

After about two weeks of friendship, her behavior changed. She suddenly became louder, more hyperactive, and disruptive in the classroom. I thought that she might have been having some problems at home, so I tolerated her behavior and remained friends with her.

Like most girls who were friends at school; we spent time talking in the girl's toilets.

On one particular day, she decided that she wanted a private chat. As usual, we headed into the girl's toilets. I thought we were going to chat about what was bothering her, until she pushed me into a cubicle, locked the door, and started touching me sexually.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. Don't tell anyone. I can get into trouble." Abbey told me.

In truthfulness, I was far too disgusted with myself to tell anyone.

Who would believe me anyway? We were just schoolgirls, and this kind of thing at my school was expected of boys, not girls.

It was seen as a taboo that girls could become sexual with each other. I would have been laughed at and dismissed.

Abbey hid her actions well. Some days, I went along with her just to stop her from carrying out the threats she aimed at me.

"I'll stab you if you tell anyone." She once told me.

I was beaten by two girls in the playground, and on the same night when I walked home alone, I was assaulted by two boys.

When I got home that night. I headed to my room. I usually did this after school so that I could listen to my music. However, on this night I felt like the lowest of the low.

I scrubbed myself clean in the bathroom until I was sore without looking at myself. I tried to see myself in the mirror as I combed my hair, but all I saw was a sickening fat blob who wasn't worthy of anything but being used as a punching bag.

I remember heading down the stairs for tea, not wanting to eat because 'it would make the fat blob worse.' However; I knew that I would be in trouble with my mum if I didn't eat, so I forced it down me. After tea, I headed back upstairs to my room where I danced hard in order to 'get rid of the fat.' I had danced violently for a while, but when I stopped I still felt full and fat. l locked myself in the bathroom and put my fingers down my throat in an attempt to empty the 'fat contents of my stomach.'

Mum had company downstairs, and she was busy; so I knew that there wasn't a chance of being found out. I never told her about what had happened at school because I felt 'dirty, embarrassed, ashamed, and guilty for having done something that my parents would have deemed disgusting.'

I cried alone in my room all night that night, but my story didn't end there.

This was just the start. The beginning of a traumatic journey that I battled for years and faced alone.

This is a very difficult story to write. It is a story that reveals something I battle even today, in a way I have never told it before. The reader should be warned that this is not a story for those who are sensitive to this kind of material, and reading should be decided by the reader based on the content warning. This will be a very triggering story for some, so reader discretion is advised throughout the whole series.

I would like to say a huge thank you to those who have just started reading. I will be turning these chapters into a published book that will explore a deeper side of this story than I can write here. The chapters in that book will be longer and more detailed.

Once again; I thank you for reading. Please remember, you can heart and share my story. However, please be sensitive when sharing. Also, tips are optional, but every tip left gives me a writing boost; so if you choose to leave one, I thank you for that too.

traumarecoveryeatingdisorderCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator

Carol Townend

Fiction, Horror, Sex, Love, Mental Health, Children's fiction and more. You'll find many stories in my profile. I don't believe in sticking with one Niche! I write, but I also read a lot too.

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Comments (1)

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  • Kageno Hoshino25 days ago

    Dam that's hard, hope you are doing well now

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