Lori's Sister Friends and Family

For whatever reason, strangers feel they have a right to criticize you and your appearance and behaviors. To my sister, what these people thought meant the world to her.

My sister, Lori, who is by far the best looking of us siblings, is currently 5 ft. 8 and 105 lbs. She has the most amazing smile, the brightest, whitest teeth and the most gorgeous green eyes. There are three of us sisters. I am the oldest and my two sisters are fraternal twins. They say in twins, one is always a little "slower." Lori has dyslexia and is compulsive about everything. The combination of the two makes it hard for Lori to love herself. No matter how well she does at school, ( a perfect 4.0 at college for three semesters), no matter how many friends she has or how many people tell her how great she is, she feels worthless. I can speak for her on this because she has told me this about herself.

As her older sister, I may have not been any help throughout the years. Like Lori, I've always battled with weight and when we were younger, I'd always call her fat to take the attention off myself. She would get so upset when I called her names that she would let it stop her from enjoying anything. I didn't always call her names, but more than she could handle, and more than I should have. I guess I always knew that Lori was special and if she did feel confident or did lose weight, I would be the ugliest one of the three and I didn't want that. I knew she was weaker than I was and I used it. Such a great person I am right? I haven't called Lori a name in a long time, but she does not get over things easily. She is 25 years old and I haven't made a fat comment in over 15 years. It is all my fault? Maybe. Is it partially my fault? Definitely.

We didn't have it easy growing up. Our father was an alcoholic with a knack for verbal abuse. He'd wake us up when he came home drunk, sit us on the couch, and degrade our mother, relentlessly, in front of us. He would then tell us how we were just like her and would never amount to anything. I remember sitting there thinking, "we'll see about that you $#@&!" His degradation sessions made me stronger. Everything he would say about us, I was determined to prove wrong. In fact, over the past several years, my sisters and I have been doing great. We all went to college, none of us have ever gotten into any major trouble and we are the envy of some of his friends whose kids are either pregnant, on drugs, or jobless. We all work hard and love life, or so I thought.

Last Christmas, I bought Lori a workout set. It was a nice fleece and matching wind pants. I thought I would maybe help motivate her to start walking more. She has a great metabolism. All she has to do to lose weight is walk about 30 minutes a day and not eat after 8 p.m. and she'd drop weight so easily. I was jealous that she could lose weight so easily. At 5 ft. 9 and 170 lbs., I workout four times a week for an hour a day, and have to watch everything I eat not to go back up to 200 lbs., which is where I was four years ago.

Anyway, she started working out and in no time, she had dropped 20 lbs. Everyone told her how beautiful she looked. She had this healthy, happy glow to her. About a month later, I came home to visit and she looked like she lost another 20 lbs. Everyone started worrying because of the obvious weight loss. We found out that she was taking diet pills excessively. She was also working out constantly. She would find reasons to go the grocery store and then walk there and back. Usually twice a day. She would also swim twice a week and walk everyday for an hour or two. She never sat down and she was eating less and less. The next time I saw her, she weighed 115 lbs. I cried when I saw her. Her face was all sunken in and her hair was a mess. She had tried to find ways to style it, but it was falling out and she just wore it back. She stopped having her periods and was only drinking water and eating only lettuce. She was short on breath and tired all the time. She would lose concentration easily and found it hard to stay alert, even while driving. She was scared to be alone. She'd ask our friends to come and stay with her until my mom or sister got home from work. It was just out of control.

My mother told Lori that she had a dream about her dying. My mother is not one to make things up, and Lori knew this. So, we admitted her onto the Mental Health floor in a hospital. She has been there 9 weeks and has not gained a pound. They put her on Paxel, but it didn't work. They recommended shock therapy and we all refused. She has just been transferred to an eating disorder clinic and will start a program there this week.

We saw that little things have always bothered Lori much more than they should bother anyone. If a customer was rude to her, it would ruin her for at least two days. She would be depressed and think about it the whole time. No matter what anyone said to her, she could not let it go. We were always dismissive about those things.

"Lori, that guy was an idiot, why do you care what he thinks?" Is what we would say. Sometimes I would really talk to her about the scenario and ask what she could have done differently, or made fun of the guy not having anything better to do then pick on people. It seemed to make her feel better, momentarily, then she would go right back to feeling like crap again.

Anyway, she is on a very long path to recovery, (hopefully) and we are all trying very hard to help. It's taking its toll on us, physically, mentally and financially. We don't have much of a family unit to speak of, and this matter is ripping us apart.

For anyone who is reading this and thinks they are Anorexic, I urge you to please, realize that people do love you, even if you don't love yourself. Please don't hurt yourself for what you think others think of you, it's not true. You are beautiful, inside and out. Killing yourself isn't going to prove anything.