While processing my feelings about my mother, I've been able to see how much my older girls have in common with me. They are "parentless" in regards to their biological families, like me, AND they have so many people in their lives that love them so much; like me. I know they were perfectly placed into our home. And I can't wait to make them #foreverfamily!
I remember having a physical around the age of 12 and I was in the car with my mom and reading the doctor's observations of me that day. I went down the list and stopped when I came across the word "obese." I was shocked to say the least. My mom laughed it off and said, "You're active, you're fine." But to me, if the doctor said it, it had to be true. Was I really obese? I didn't think so, but then I got to looking at the other girls my age and saw that my body didn't quite match theirs. I was maybe 5'6"-7" tall and a whopping size 11. It wasn't until then that it really dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, he was right.
I couldn't shop where my friends shopped because the clothes were too small and didn't fit me right. Having my mom say, "Kate, you need to shop in the misses department," broke me. I didn't want to shop in the misses section. I was a "junior" for crying out loud! So I attempted to "fit" into clothes that didn't fit me and just went from there.
About a year later, a friend of mine shared with me that she was anorexic. I talked with a teacher and got more information about it to help her, but wouldn't you know, while I was "helping" her, I, too, became anorexic and bulimic. I popped diet pills for awhile, but when one popped in my throat, that was the end of that method because it tasted nasty. I ate very little and whatever I did eat, I'd excuse myself, make sure the bathroom was clear (usually the upstairs bathroom), and do my business of purging myself of the calories I had consumed. I also made sure that I was very active. I played volleyball and basketball and weight-lifted. So I was definitely burning the calorie count.
I got real good at hiding, or so I thought, my body from everyone from seeing just how thin I had become. At my lightest, I was 123 pounds, which is not healthy for a 5'8" frame. Now on top of all of this, my emotional stability was nowhere in sight. I would break down at the dumbest things, so naturally, being anorexic and/or bulimic allowed me to take control over the things in my life that I didn't think I had control over. I tried to do it on my own and didn't want to ask for help in any way, shape or form. It wasn't till one day that my math teacher came over to give me hug, when she stepped back and looked at me. I was wearing my backpack and an over-sized sweatshirt. She asked if I was okay and I responded quickly and walked away. I knew right then and there that my secret was out.
She then spoke with Mrs. V, my "mom" and mentor, and the intervention began. I broke down, mainly out of embarrassment for being caught, but also a little angry because I was losing control over the one thing I thought I could control on my own. During lunchtime, Mrs. V. would provide me with food and would make me sit down and eat. I couldn't leave till I had finished what she thought was appropriate and stayed at least a minimum of 15 minutes to let the acid start its work on the digestion process. Let me tell you, I ate a boat-load of Balance Bars. I haven't touched them since!
I was to check-in with her everyday and provide her with a food journal showing how I felt when I ate the food. If I had a bad day, she didn't criticize or give up on me. I know she prayed, and still does, for my healing. She continued to love me for who I was, faults and all.
I stopped these harmful behaviors by the end of my senior year. I had a long road ahead of me. Even today body image issues come up occasionally, but I don't do what I did to myself then. And now with kids, I do my best to be a good example for them.
Well after we broke up 3.5 years later during freshman year of college, I was an emotional wreck because I thought I was only going to sleep with one man for the rest of my life. We continued to see each other as "friends with benefits". Yeah, that went over really well... Once we decided that enough was enough, I realized how very little I thought of myself. Combine this with drinking like a sailor and you've got a treacherous combo.
I would drink until I knew I would be able to pull off the I'm-drunk-but-still-know-what-I'm-doing-but-I'll-sleep-with-you-anyway. At one point I wondered if I had a drinking problem. This is when I decided that it was time to get my crap together. I got tired of it all. And the only thing I could think of was to get away from it. So I called my grandparents and said I was going to follow them to Washington State and transfer with my job. I gave my roommates two weeks notice...and then I was gone. I was going to have a fresh start...
Part III next week...