Cindy's Story Anorexia Nervosa

My name is Cindy. I am thirty-two years old and have had anorexia since I was eleven when I was raped for two weeks by a friend of the family. I remember very little of what happened except for the rapes themselves, how disgusting the man was, how terrified I was{he said he would find me and kill me should I tell anyone} and I remember, and will never forget, these words he said to me as he was on top of me, "I like you because you are chubby like me". Directly after these two weeks I was molested by my uncle and brother for the remainder of the summer. By then, I was already gone. They had made fun of my body, teasing me about my breasts, so when the summer ended {all of this occurred the summer of my eleventh year}, It became clear to me that were I not "chubby" none of these things would have happened. Even today I struggle with this idea}. I began a diet and running regimen and lost 40 pounds. The next summer I was still 5'4" but now I weighed ninety pounds.

As anyone who knows about eating disorders knows, it only gets worse without help. I spent my entire years of junior high and high school obsessing about my weight and starved and binged from 90 pounds to 120 pounds. By the end of my senior year in high school I was taking laxatives, diet pills, running every day, smoking cigarettes and doing speed. I weighed 80 pounds.

Perfectionism and self-loathing. That my mother abused me physically when I was a child only adds to the self-hatred. When I was eighteen I sought help in OA and therapy. It has been a long road since then. I have been hospitalized twice and seen countless therapists, nutritionists and been to several 12 step programs.

Here is the good news: I have worked through so much! I put myself through college when I was 23 then graduate school after. I am a writer and am in a meaningful {notice: not abusive or emotionally abusive relationship!} for, possibly, the first time ever. I am, though it is painful, at a healthy weight. Recently I have decided to see a nutritionist because though I eat enough and weigh enough, it has become apparent to me that I do not know what to eat. I plan to not only see this nutritionist but also do what she suggests.

Like others have said in their stories, I feel I will always have this illness--I have learned, for example, to begin to accept the fact that I will never have the ability to see my body OR my achievements in a clear light. I will often think I am eating too much. I will always wish I were thinner than I am--but this does not mean I need to follow through with matching actions to these thoughts.