To read this blog in order start at July right at the top of the blog archive and progress down in order. This is an account of my battle with anorexia and bulimia

Wednesday 20 July 2011

year 10 -1992

I started my new school skinny and consequently had to remain that way. People made comments on my skinniness, asking if I ate, or was I sick. They said I better be careful or I may turn anorexic. Well, the thing is, the moment you start dieting, losing weight, and become very self conscious of your body I think it gives fair reason to say one is anorexic. That’s where the biggest trap arises. An anorexic does not think they are anorexic because they simply believe they are not skinny enough. I wasn’t anorexic, of course not. I wasn’t skinny at all. And I did eat. I always ate breakfast, which consisted of a toast with jam. I had to eat dinner, but had alternate plans with what to do with the food afterwards. I always made an excuse to have a shower after dinner, claiming that it helped me feel less full. They believed it so I wasn’t really worried. What they didn’t know was that it made me less full because I wasn’t really absorbing all the food. I was terrified of someone hearing me or walking in on me. I was aware that my actions were wrong, but unaware of how they were affecting me physically. I became very defensive when having a shower ensuring that no one was to walk in on me. They must have thought this was peculiar yet never questioned it. I felt as guilty and ashamed as anything but now it was becoming too frightening to not do otherwise. To mum and Mim I was having suitable meals through out the day, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. In spite of this, my weight loss was becoming apparent. No one understood how I could lose weight yet still be eating. What they didn’t understand or know was that my intake of food was actually rather insufficient and not nutritional. Yes, I had toast for breakfast, and I did pack my lunch for school, and I did appear to eat dinner. But, the dog actually had my lunch. Before school in the mornings I fed my sandwich (which I had prepared the previous night in view of mum and Mim) to Lady. Every one was still asleep so they were oblivious to the fact of Lady was being fed my lunch. Poor Lady was probably gaining all the weight I was meant to have gained.
By this stage mum was becoming a bit concerned. She started asking around if I was eating or not. She even rang the school’s girl counsellor. She approached me one day saying she really would like to talk to me. I complied to this because once again I was doting on all this attention. I went up to the office with her and listened as she told me of mum’s concern for me. She then told me that I was looking thin and asked if there were any problems. As if I would tell her, I didn’t even really know her. And at this stage it still wasn’t such a big problem. It was, at the time, only a goal to lose weight, not totally a fear of food. I let her know that everything was fine and there was absolutely no problem. She questioned my weight loss and I just told her I must have just been growing up. She let me off the hook because there wasn’t really much she could do about it anyway. Soon after seeing her the overall school counsellor asked to see me for the same reason. I was becoming annoyed because I was tired of mum prying into my life and assuming things were wrong and that I had problem. However, I almost trusted her because she was such a lovely person. I gloated to my group that I was made to see these counsellors because my mum thinks there is something wrong with me. I was keen to see their reaction. I knew I was losing weight, but needed people to tell me I was skinny, ironically I refused to believe them, comparing myself to other skinny girls. I needed them to always acknowledge I was skinny and to notice I didn’t eat because I felt it was the only way to get noticed by them. To be honest, I seriously wasn’t happy in this group of girls. They were the “in” crowd and I so was not. I was extremely shy, barely saying a word to anyone for fear they may laugh at what I was saying. They were rich, affording new clothes, shoes, and whatever else. At home we coped with what money there was but couldn’t necessarily afford added luxuries. They spent weekends at party’s drinking smoking and getting with guys. I was far from doing that, it wasn’t even in my personality. I was aware that I was excluded from many things, but pretended I didn’t care. I was safe knowing I did have other friends out of school with whom I did have fun with. One friend was Lyn. I actually met her through my group of friends at Katoomba High. She used to go there but moved up to our home area a few months before I went to Katoomba. She actually became part of the family in some ways. Mum seemed more of a mother to her than her own mother. Lyn spent many weekends with us, and we had a lot of fun. She brought out a side in me that many people didn’t see. I felt confident and accepted by her, therefore was able to open up to her. We did quite bizarre things together. Sometimes she walked up to someone in the street and looked him or her straight in the eye and just laughed. Or we would stop dead in the middle of the street, look up above us pointing and making comments. Passers by stopped to look up as well, and sometimes we had a group of people around us.
Unfortunately Lyn experienced her own problems at home. Her father was rather aggressive and abusive. One night we received a phone call from Lyn’s aunt to inform us Lyn attempted suicide. This broke my heart. Thankfully she was caught in time and taken to hospital. We went to visit her a few times while she was in hospital, asking her about the issue and what made her do it. Sadly it was the influence of her father who told her to “go and kill herself”. It makes one realise that despite how happy and confident someone appears on the outside, they may feel all ripped up on the inside, causing consequences such as these. Lyn’s suicide attempt was a cry out for help to get out of the situation she was living in. Her aunt and my mum discussed alternative living arrangements for Lyn. One arrangement was for her to live with us and come to my school. I was really excited about this because her and I were like best friends. I thought having her at my school would solve all my problems. She moved in with her aunt in the end. I often went to visit her during school holidays. One holiday when I was there, her aunt and uncle took us to a dance night. It was really for older people but we had fun anyway waltzing the night away. There were sandwiches and other foods there, which we ate. We joked about trying most of the foods on the table then actually did this. An overwhelming indignity came over me. I couldn’t believe what I did. What a pig! As soon as we got back to her house I pretended I was feeling sick. I made a quick dash to the bathroom and got rid of everything I had eaten. After doing this I had to go on pretending I was still feeling a bit sick so I went straight to bed. The next day was good because I had the excuse of feeling sick from the night before so I didn’t have to eat much. I looked forward to holidays because it meant having fun with Lyn and not being depressed about my friends at school.
Despite my unhappiness at my new school I didn’t regret leaving my previous High. The new high school enabled me to concentrate more on music. It did also have a nicer atmosphere. Mum disagreed on this fact however. Because of the location of the school, in North(richer side of town), mum associated it with snobs. Suddenly I became the “little bitchy Snob”. It really saddened me that she saw me as this, but I was far from telling her I was unhappy there. She would have delighted in that fact, knowing she was right and I was wrong. Admittedly I did change, but so would anyone who changes schools. Mum often asked “What’s happened to the little girl who used to laugh and sing and play her keyboard?” I tried to convince her that I was the same person, although I knew I wasn’t. Instead I became defensive and said I was no longer a little girl, and I have more things to do now. Mum claimed I was becoming rather moody and grumpy, but didn’t relate it to weight loss. Neither did I actually.
By now, others were noticing my weight loss. If it wasn’t weight loss they noticed it was how skinny I was. One lady at a bus stop remarked that I was a skinny little girl, saying I looked like I needed a good feed. I said that it wasn’t true and that I could be skinnier. With that she gave me a strange look and said if I were any skinnier I would whither away. I gloated with what this lady said. A complete stranger noticing I was skinny. The catch with this I find though is the sudden desire to become skinnier.
It’s like living up to an expectation. Okay, someone has noticed you are skinny, now the goal is to become even skinnier. Weight loss in itself is an achievement. Anyone can score high in a maths exam and achieve an award for it, yet the only way people know is if they are actually told about it. Anyone can achieve high grades in music, but people need to be told about it. Then the problem with telling people about these achievements is that it looks like one is bragging about them selves and sooner or later they become the “squares” who people stay away from. Weight loss isn’t like that. It’s a slow achievement which doesn’t have to be told about. It is something people notice and comment on. Not something they resent you for, but rather something they are concerned about. It’s that little bit of attention that one desires. It is a visible need for attention, and this was one way of gaining people’s attention. I think though it may have become my topic of conversation around many people and may explain why I wasn’t talked to very much. The thing is that I wanted to fit in that group because they were so popular. I don’t know how getting skinny could have contributed to that. Looking back on photos I can see that I wasn’t happy in that group, and they didn’t really care about me either. It’s unfortunate that as we grow
up we don’t see how school has such a big impact on individuals. There is the urgent need to fit in and be accepted socially. The “popular” group places so much emphasis on being perfect, having money, and having boyfriends. If you don’t go out to party and drink and smoke that means you are nothing to them. They cast you out as though you are not good enough. Even living on the other side of town seemed unusual to them. I was rarely invited to events with them, and now I think it was probably for the better because how much would I have enjoyed it. Hardly! I managed to form a close friendship with a girl in this group, Brodie. She admitted to me that I was different from the other girls in that my mind and conversations weren’t always on the same things as the other girls. “Interesting” was how she considered me, and the others were boring. She wasn’t happy in that group either, but she remained in it.

linking on with FYBF at with some grace,  flash blog friday at twinkle in the eye, PYHO with things i can't say,


  1. just saw your blog for the first time from FYBF. Thanks for sharing your story, very brave x

  2. I can relate to the dynamics of high school life. How fickle and shallow teenage girls can be. Thank you for the insight in to anorexia. I have two girls who will be teenagers before I know it, it is helpful to have your account and what I should be looking out for when they go through this time fo their lives.

  3. Hello there, nice to meet you through FYBF. You have an amazing story and I am sure that reading it will be really useful to others, who share some of your experiences and may have kids or themselves going down the same track.

    I do find the font quite hard to read and it would be great to break up the text into shorter paragraphs as that's always easier to read on computer. When you have an important story to tell, it's brilliant to make it easy to read as well. Thanks for your bravery.

  4. I've been reading your posts for a while now. You've really opened my eyes to what goes on behind someone's story of anorexia.

  5. It's awful that parents can say such horrible things to the point it send their children to suicide. Luckily your friend Lyn was saved.
    Keep telling your story. I can see how it's cathartic for you.

  6. It must have frightened your mother terribly. It is a hard road for all.