I’m doing really well. This is amazing and awesome in the literal meaning of the word and I’m so grateful. Being this healthy is not something I’m used to, you have to understand.
I started therapy when I was ten, when my sister started having severe behavioral problems (and started physically abusing me, but no one knew that) and my parents started noticing my severe anxiety and developing issues with body image and eating habits. I had a terrible therapist in the “and how does that make you feel?” kind of way. When I told her that I was very afraid of my sister she told me that was ridiculous, and when I expressed how anxious I was always feeling she told me to not take everything so seriously. I stopped saying anything during our appointments and what I now know are my OCD compulsions started taking over my life.
Over the next two years I developed an obsession with my appearance and my weight. I started restricting my food intake and when I was molested the day after my bat mitzvah by the son of my mom’s best friend, everything went spiraling down. I started having trouble with speaking and my nightmares became a nightly affair. My sister would crawl through my bedroom window drunk or high almost every night and she would threaten me and hit me and trap me and tell me terrible things. My obsession with my eating habits was no longer an obsession–it was my life.
A few months after my bat mitzvah I went to a Jewish summer camp for three weeks. I started fainting and falling and at the end of the three weeks I was so underweight that I was in constant pain and my child-sized clothing wouldn’t stay on. A few days before Halloween, I was placed in an eating disorder treatment facility, and my sister was taken to a lockdown therapeutic boarding school.
Going through treatment was actually a wonderful experience. I mean, it was terrifying and awful and I was crying every day for the first few weeks, but my therapist, Liam, was so wonderful and when I had trouble talking he would just smile and give me a blanket and tell me what he thought about the movies I had gotten him to watch until I could speak again. When I got my first letter from my sister and nearly had a breakdown he called his boyfriend and had him bring their Great Dane for me. He was an incredible human being and I owe him my life. When I graduated treatment, he gave me a journal and a small silver bracelet, hugged me and told me that he knew I would do great things with my life. He cried and thanked me for being the daughter he could never have.
I was able to keep my body healthy after treatment, but I was ostracized at school and became horribly depressed and suicidal. When I started high school people didn’t ignore me and they were even nice to me and I became comfortable with my new therapist. Then she died and I couldn’t hide my anxiety and depression at school and I was ostracized all over again.
When I met Rose and Toska they became my first friends, and “they changed my life” will never be enough. My head was still being an ass, and I couldn’t seem to get it to work right. I was hospitalized for the first time for suicidal thoughts and then again for attempted suicide. Pro tip: don’t get stuck in a psychiatric ward because they’re fucking horrible. I overdosed again a few months later, and was hospitalized again. I made it about six months, but I attempted for the third time right before last Christmas. Things went to absolute shit. Mum yelled at me every night, telling me I might as well drop out of school because I couldn’t do anything right blah blah blah.
Then March happened. A morning of screaming and crying, 46,500 mg of Tylenol in an abandoned house, vomiting blood and shaking uncontrollably. Three days in intensive care and they were telling my parents I might not make it, and mom was screaming at me and when she left dad stayed next to me on the hospital bed and told me everything would be okay. And it was, I had to spend nine days in the psych ward again, but something fundamental changed after the bottle of Tylenol.
It has been five months, and I haven’t had a single suicidal thought all this time. It hasn’t been perfect, but I managed to finish the school year, learned how to ignore mum, and started working on dealing with my OCD with a new therapist (but exposure therapy sucks ass).
I don’t know. This whole being a functioning member of society thing is pretty weird. I’m enjoying myself. I’ve been biking and running and chopping firewood and doing pushups every day. I’ve been cooking and baking and interning with a local artist and I even applied for a job. I could kick my 13 year old anorexic self’s ass, and it feels great.
And then there’s Evelyn. God, she’s incredible. I’m so lucky I found her, and I’m so lucky she chose me. Her southern belle accent is music to my ears, and she’s putty in my hands when I call her princess.
This whole new world is strange and exciting and a little bit terrifying, but I feel like I’m finally becoming who Liam always told me I could become, and when mum starts yelling at me for being worthless and lazy I just remind myself that I could throw my nearly-finished 15 college applications straight in her face.
I think I’ll be okay.
Live long and prosper,