It’s revealing and awkward for me to share this story so publicly. Traveling way back in time to 1981 seems a bit self indulgent and weird. At the same time I know this is an important part of my eating disorder journey. If you are reading this I want you to know I harbor no bitterness or anger, I do not feel sorry for myself, I am now completely free in mind, body and spirit.
5th grade. In 5th grade I was the tallest, biggest, most developed girl in my class at school. This is funny now seeing how I am short, 5’ 3” tall and am petite in size overall. Back to 5th grade - being the tallest, biggest (as in largest in size around, chubby, fat whatever you want to call it) and most developed girl in my class was downright awkward. I didn't handle it well. I felt big, tall and awkward. On top of that I was boy crazy so in order to "feel pretty" I chased the boys to try to get attention.
To make things worse, abandonment issues set in as my family went through a devastating loss when my sister committed suicide. As a 10 year old I was left to collect information by overhearing conversations and observing what was happening. In hind sight, I can understand this because losing a child, especially due to suicide was something my parents had to deal with themselves, something I can never fully feel the weight of and hope I never go through. Nonetheless, as a 10 year old, dealing with my feelings and the loss of my sister on my own I felt abandoned and desperate. When girls feel this way it is highly likely they will try to fulfill their needs for acceptance and love with trying to be socially accepted into a group and with guys. This time in my life (chubby, awkward, feeling abandoned at 10 years old) was the beginning of a long road, searching for love and acceptance through social groups and guys.
On to 6th grade - the boy chasing increased and the attention received also increased. It takes boys a little longer but by 6th grade they realized they could tease and touch the girls who were chasing them and it became appealing. I was no longer the tallest or most developed girl in my class but I was still chubby and ahead in the development area. The boy chase continued - I caught a few and was passed around a bit too. Sadly, I didn't mind. I was feeling accepted. Still chubby and awkward but accepted and in my mind that was because of the attention from boys. I wanted to keep that going as long as possible.
Then, on a bus ride in 7th grade, I was catapulted into a lifestyle of starving in more ways than one...
Photo Credit: Bryan McDonald, Flickr
I'm Heidi & I am so happy you are here...
If this is your first time visiting this page and reading my story first let me say thank you for reading! This is a story with layers and layers of history and details that have lived in my brain and heart but only now are being shared "out loud" . I truly believe I am free now, keeping in mind having an eating disorder is really something that never fully goes away, it is something that is with me to this day but I am free because it no longer controls me.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder or suspect you are, please get help! There is no shame and stigma's are being broken!
Wife, mother, psychology major, writer, dreamer, God chaser, book revolutionist, passionate about people and society past, present and future...
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