Friday, April 4, 2008

Age 28

For more than 20 years, I have hated my body. Every aspect of it - my skin, my hair, my size, my height - down to the freckles on my shoulders. Over those 20 years, I have been a compulsive over-eater, exercise bulimic, anorexic, bulimic, ED-NOS, and at times, even recovered. I've been pre-med in college, an EMT, a firefighter, a 9-1-1 dispatcher and teacher. I've gotten married, have two wonderful children, and while they give me purpose, the only time I ever felt validated as a worthwhile human being was when I was sickest, and at my thinnest. All the good I know I've done, the people I've helped, no one ever noticed me, appreciated me, respected me, except when I was skinny. I curse and hide my body. I look at my old scars, criss-crossing my arms and thighs where I once used to injure myself and I wonder, since it's been years since I hurt myself, that means I'm recovered, right? So I skip some meals, and stick my fingers down my throat when I do eat, but so what? Right? Denial is more than a river in Egypt.

I'm scared for my daughter. That she'll endure the same hell I've lived in my whole life. I walk a tightrope between worry and obsession with what she eats, how she eats, etc. I worry that my son will face the same image issues or that one day, maybe unknowingly, he'll judge someone else's worth based on their appearance and weight.

I don't need money or a big house or cars and jewelry to make me happy. If I had one wish, it would be to be rid of all my body image issues and disorders and