I thought that for once, as promised, instead of trudging through my dreadfully boring day-to-day existence, I will explain some of how I came to be in this position...FLASHBACK ALERT!
Think back to the year 1999... I was at the tender age of fifteen. The same year that I started having the dreaded 'curse' each month, or there abouts. I also started stressing more and more about why I was unpopular, chubby, ugly...you know the sort of banter that goes on in a pubescent girl's head.
I was ALWAYS an anxious kid. Everything made me freak out. These neuroses came from my mother, I swear. Silly things like we had to dry our hands before touching light switches so we didn't get a shock, we had to use a separate pan to boil eggs because the shells released deadly toxins....I really don't know how I didn't just sit in a corner and shake like a nervous wreck.
So how does that relate to my teenage troubles? I guess it just meant that I was very on edge and terribly self-conscious. Because I was constantly criticised and rejected at home, I felt like my entire circle of peers was doing the same. Of course it didn't help that I was murderously bullied.
Actually, the worst bullying incident I remember happened when I started college (age 17). Our college was across the road from a park, and sometimes we would skip class to go hang out there. Now, a gang of my supposed 'friends' thought it would be a great idea to torture me by wrapping me head to toe in duct tape, put me on the roundabout and leave me there to rot. As you can imagine, it was a pitiful sight and I have NEVER been so mortified in my life, considering these people who called themselves friends never bothered to come back. God, I cringe even thinking about how hard it was to hold back the tears while the only friend that stayed around pushed herself to me in her wheelchair and untied me. I feel so embarrassed even writing that story out....but it goes a way to explaining how alone and pathetic I was in my teenage years. Insecurity sure is a curse.
Anyway...back to school days. I got in with a bunch of kids who, like me, were pretty messed up about the world and how it had treated them. I had always 'hurt' myself for attention as a kid, without realising what it really meant. I would scratch myself or pour hot water on my arms so mummy and daddy would take notice and make me better. I would pretend to be ill ALL the time so I didn't have to go to school, and succeeded to the extent that in the year of my GCSEs my attendance was 30% and I was taking taxies to and from school. Anxiety riddled wasn't the word.
So yeh, I guess I knew from a young age that physical pain takes away the hurt inside and gets you love and attention from people who rarely give you what you need. I think this may have been a phase if I wasn't in said group of misfits. There were the abused kids, the bitter-alcoholic-single-parented kids, the poor kids. And I got really big time sucked in to their ways. Pretty much all of us had some kind of ED or were self-harming.
I remember the first time I seriously did it for real. I had contemplated it for months, agonised over it, wanted it to help for me like it did for my friends. So I took a compass and carved lines into my arms. I guess at the time it felt good. It took away some of the hurt and abandonment and deep, aching loneliness that a mucked up teenager goes through.
I'll leave the cutting there for now...don't want too many freak outs at once!
But I guess I should say that the summer of that year, before my final year in school, I was SO anxious (repeat pattern of 8 year old kid) that I couldn't swallow and I lost a ton of weight. When I went back to school in the autumn I was suddenly liked MUCH more. I guess being the fat kid really does suck.
Problem was, even though I had better friendships, I was still messed up at home every night and I guess I had already begun a cycle of starving myself and using physical pain to block out how hopeless I felt.
Cue Prozac, the cure-all for depressed kids, right? Well. Not really in my case but I took it faithfully. Still do.
I guess with all this mess around me I decided the one thing I would NEVER do is get fat. So I freaked out over my weight, dropped out of college and concentrated on my weight loss full time. Sad, hey?
Needless to say by the winter of 2003 I was down to around 68lb (pretty near dead) and was given days to live.
Now bear in mind that my loving parents had not mentioned ONE WORD to me about how terrible I looked, how I never ate, how when I wore 4 layers of clothing I was still a bag of bones.
I guess they stuck their heads WAY in that sandpit.
In a fit of craziness I prayed, and it came to me that if I didn't leave I would die. I remember being crawled in a ball on my bedroom floor sobbing because the pain my stomach was SO bad. I was GREY. It was scary, really scary. My hair was falling out in clumps, my periods had stopped, I had lanugo on my body. I had scars and bruises all over my back from obsessively exercising in my room.
I will still never forget how absolutely near death I was. I was so weak I could barely walk, let alone DO anything. Any movement made me exhausted. Like, the deep down, aching, painful tiredness like when you've just trekked all day and night in the snow. And did I mention the cold? Blue nails, blue lips...white fingers.
Enough. Back to my crazy escape - I packed my bags and flew to Australia to stay with my Aunt.
I will never forget the awful look of sadness on my father's face at the airport. He knew how sick I was, deep down, he just didn't know how to express it. His eyes told me he thought I'd die trying, I'd never come home...
This feels very convoluted and is pretty draining so I will pick up where I left off next time... at Heathrow waiting to board a Boeing 747 Singapore Airlines flight to Perth.