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

Tuesday 19 July 2011

year 9 -1991

Year 9, 1991
The Manifestation

It eagerly crept into my body, but it is not so eager to leave
This was more of a significant year for me than any other at the moment. In a way it’s when the eating disorder really began to rear its ugly head. I believe that it is always there but is obscure. It manifests it self in small ways at first making it less obvious that a bigger problem is yet to take over. Then sooner or later it emerges completely and that’s when it becomes the trap. Anorexia is not a disease I have, but a disease that has me. I feel I am encased by it, frightened to step out, fearful of what will happen with out it. At the moment I am at a stage where I have opened the cage and I have gone wandering to find out what will happen. The door is still open for me to come back, and occasionally I step in for a quick look. I want to be able to lock that door behind me and never return. I am afraid, yet sometimes curious, that if I step back in it may be for good and I will never have the opportunity to come out again.
I began year nine this year. It seemed like any normal year to me. This was the year we were able to select our own subjects, and I must admit that I was rather content with the subjects I had chosen. It was a bit disappointing that I wasn’t able to do German, but instead I did sculpture. School aside, all other things were going well, until one Sunday when Mim, John (a friend) and I decided to go on a picnic. We had this picnic planned for only a couple of days, but were really looking forwards to it. Mum agreed to let us go, yet sometimes with her it’s hard to tell because she may say one thing then go back on it and use it to make us feel guilty. She sometimes used loneliness as an excuse. I can understand how she wanted to be involved in her daughter’s lives, as she was lonely, and she was afraid of losing her only family. Sometimes it got to the point though that enough was enough. We are individuals who had a life of our own. I did feel sorry for her, but I also felt claustrophobic from her. Our friends all thought she was great (and I don’t deny that she was). Not every parent tries to be involved in their children’s lives and have fun. When mum was in one of her ‘I feel like being cheeky” moods we had a riot. She rang up the local pizza stores and asked for a pizza to be delivered to her, but gave the address of the family in our road. We would then all sit and watch as this pizza got delivered to this family. It was rather funny considering it was a 50 year old woman’s idea. Mum often allowed Mim, a friend and I to go for walks at night providing we didn’t go too far or get up to too much mischief. Sometimes we removed For Sale signs from one house to another, or we took bins from the kerb and left them on someone’s front door with a note saying “I loved you so much I followed you home”. Mum was cool with this because she knew about it, and we weren’t harming others or ourselves. So, basically I guess she was like any other parent, but sometimes was more involved than should’ve been. If she was having an off or lonely day, we knew about it in the sense of having a guilt trip played on us. Back to the morning of the picnic day, Sunday. Mum awoke extremely early claiming she felt very peculiar. She said that one side of her felt all stiff and she couldn’t move it. We were unable to discern whether it was the truth or not because we had had a fight the night before about going on the picnic and how we would be leaving her alone yet again. We told her she should ring an ambulance if the pain was that severe because there wasn’t anything we could do. She retaliated with saying that we didn’t care if she was dying, and we were selfish, an ambulance couldn’t do anything for her because she refused to go to hospital. A minute or so later the pain miraculously disappeared, she went back to bed, and remained there even when we left for our picnic. This gave Mim and I good reason to believe she was giving us the usual guilt trip trying to stop us going. We drove out to a creek for the picnic and also had a swim in the river. It was a glorious day, and we really enjoyed ourselves. Sadly our day took a turn for the worse when we arrived home in the afternoon to find mum unconscious on her bed. Naturally we all went into panic mode, not thinking straight about what we should do. Instead we stood there wondering how long she had been like this for. Eventually we rang an ambulance, which took her up to the Base Hospital. We all went up shortly after. Mum had been placed in the Intensive Care Unit, and would soon be flown to Royal Newcastle Hospital. A blood clot had formed in mum’s brain as a result of a fall on Friday night, thus causing something similar to a stroke. Her head needed to be operated on urgently to remove the clot. It was distressing to see mum hooked up to the machines. She did not recognise us, and was mumbling something in German. Both Mim and I were scared for her life.
The next day at school I barely told a soul what had happened. I didn’t know how to tell them because I didn’t know how I should conduct myself. The only person I told
was my year adviser, and that was only after Mim and I discussed what we should do and where we should go. Our options included staying at home and every second day Mim’s Godparents would drive us to see mum, or having regular payments sent to us by Charles and Lana. Lastly, pack our bags and stay with Charles and Lana, (who had moved to Katoomba), until mum recovered. We chose the latter on the grounds that we were unsure how long recovery would take. So we packed our stuff and waited for Charles and Lana to come to us to take us back to Katoomba. We were to stay with them and their young sons indefinitely.
During our drive to Katoomba, Charles commented that we both looked slim, Mim especially. He said we were both malnourished, possibly anorexic. There, that word again. Anorexic. He said it meant a person is too skinny but thinks they are fat. Well that didn’t fit our description at the time, because both of us were happy with our body shape. We got into a further discussion about it and I believed at the time that it was just a label for skinny people who needed fattening up. I think it was their goal then on to keep us from anorexia.
We stopped at the hospital mum was at, to see how she was. It was a few days after her surgery so she was still pretty weary. Mum recognised Charles, Lana, and the boys, but didn’t know Mim or me. We both quietly found this hard to cope with, but neither of us spoke up. The whole situation was traumatic enough, especially seeing mum in the state she was with drips hanging everywhere, and staples in her head from where it was cut open. It was a result of this situation that mum's problem with alcohol became apparent. Charles approached Mim and I one day to let us know of the alcohol level the doctors drained from Mum, and that she still had a high level of alcohol in her blood. Naturally we found this hard to believe so denied every word he said. Who wants to believe their mother is an alcoholic. Maybe sometimes she drank too much, but surely that doesn’t class her as alcoholic. It must be a ploy for us to turn against mum, or he’s just exaggerating the truth. Nope, it’s all true. It explained her strange moods, one minute happy and normal, the next cranky and weird. It also explained the strange glare she sometimes had in her eyes. At times mum sat on her chair and looked at you but really she was looking no where. Her mind was consumed by alcohol. I often wondered why mum couldn’t walk a straight line down the hallway, or why she had to keep her hands on the wall to remain steady as she walked. I believed her numerous excuses of tripping over her slippers or the rug then landing on the floor. Sometimes late at night when Mim and I were in bed we would hear a thud then a cry for help. We ran out to see mum in a heap on the floor, claiming she slipped. Well, now we discovered the truth, and it wasn’t going to get any better. The nights of her falls became frequent and infuriating. Some nights neither of us got up to assist mum to her feet. Other nights we ended up in fights about her alcohol. We told her it was the drink doing this to her, and she mumbled something that didn’t make any sense. She went to bed angry and awoke late the next day not remembering a thing about the night before. This was more frustrating than anything.
Alcohol was clearly something mum tried to hide from us over the years, but sadly we found out the wrong way when she ended up in hospital. As mum was recovering in hospital, Charles and Lana thought it would be in my best interest to be sent to school. This really worried me as I had never changed schools before. But it was done, I was soon enrolled at Katoomba High School. Surprisingly I really liked it there and had no trouble fitting in and making friends.

linking with things i can't say for pour your heart out
                  twinkle in the eye for flash blog friday
                 with some grace for flog ya blog friday
                you know it happens at your house too for TGIF
                 learning to play and playing to learn for flash back friday blog share
                diary of a SAHM


  1. Oh my goodness this story is just heartbreaking. I am so sorry! You have been through quite a lot :(

  2. Thanks for sharing something so deep and personal. I have a relative who is going through the same struggles with anorexia. She has done so for the most of her life and she is in her late 40s now. I have never known much about anorexia until I seen her deal with it first hand. It is certainly heart breaking and not many people have enough understanding about it yet xxxxxx

  3. Oh this is such a heartbreaking story. I'm so sorry you had to go through with it.

    On another note, IBOT is about a new post you have written, hence the I BLog on Tuesdays. It's not about sharing older ones, just so you know.

  4. OMG I hung onto every word. What a terrible experience for you at such a formative age. I am going to read more of your bog, it is an important story that you are telling.

  5. Oh, this is such a sad and heart wrenching story. I am so sad for you and the childhood you should have had. Thank you for sharing. Rachel xx