Anorexia Nervosa
Jennifer's Story

My parents got divorced when I was 2. My mom had to work so hard to make ends meet that I barely remember her in those early years. My brother and I were passed around a lot to whoever could watch us until we were old enough to go to school. I had real abandonment issues as you can imagine. Then my parents both got remarried within one year of each other when I turned 4. My mother, brother, and I moved to my stepfather's house. I had always hated change and that's all I ever had.

Everyone loved me very much. But my father, as he had a new family and more children, grew more and more distant. Our visits became fewer and farther between. My stepmother never really wanted us. We were placed permanently in the outskirts of their family. I didn't take this well. I had no self-esteem and my mother tried to get me involved in different activities and sports. I went along with it because I was a child who always did what grown ups told me to do, but my stress started manifesting itself in physical ways at that point.

I began with the stomach aches. I became increasingly melancholy. I tried hard to do my childhood duties, but it was with stress and difficulty. Nothing was ever easy for me. I became a perfectionist as time went on. More stress for me! I wanted to blend in with everything and not make any waves. I was happy being just another face in the crowd. I was popular, kind, and I hated myself. Looking back now, it's easy to see I had a chemical imbalance and some unfortunate times, which caused my depression, but back then I just thought I was a loser.

By the time I was 12 I started wishing I could die. Growing up wasn't getting any easier. I started taking my father's rejection hard. Being his only daughter, I thought I would be special to him. Turns out I felt like a leper. In high school I suffered from sexual abuse from two staff members. This was my undoing. All my coping skills went out the window. I became a different person. I was indirectly blamed by the "powers that be" at the school. They actually asked me what I was wearing. So of course, I thought I must be some kind of evil and I brought it on myself. I became so withdrawn and my grades plummeted. I wanted to die in the worst way. I had flashbacks and nightmares. I couldn't escape when I was awake or asleep. I stopped eating. I got down to 90 pounds and didn't get my period anymore. My mother was out of her mind with worry.

I had a very hard time finishing out the school year with my teacher who did and said vile things. I felt powerless to help myself for some reason. I was like a deer in headlights. I began throwing up juice at lunch. I felt like I was expelling all the shitty feelings in me that had no where else to go. I was purifying myself.

The years passed and a lot of things happened in my life, a lot of good, a lot of bad. I have had Anorexia ever since I was 15. I'm 24 now and I still struggle. I had gained a lot of weight back when I got married at age 20. The next month everything changed again. I stopped eating for one week and lost a lot of that weight. I have been dwindling for four years. I'm 5'6'' and weigh a hefty 110.

After divorce and many life changes, I am ready to get married again to a wonderful supportive man. I want to be 100 by my wedding next June. I'm not happy with that. I know that is NOT a good goal to have. There's nothing wrong with me the way I am. However, when I look in the mirror I see a FAT girl named Jennifer. Not ever good enough or right enough or pretty enough. I started recovery again. Who knows, maybe I'll beat this disease. I want to have children and find bliss in my life. And there's not enough room for all that and Anorexia too.