Being very anxious as a small child
Having fears of the house catching fire because of my bad thoughts
Fearing going to school
Fearing swallowing food.
I guess that ending up with anorexia was probably preceded by the fear I had of swallowing ANYTHING as a child. Obviously I think this has something to do with my early fears of taking tablets and the fact that I was forced to take them, plus the fact that I was forced to sit at the table and choke down cold vegetables until I retched and cried. I guess I began to equate my mouth with shame and fear. I was also very vocal and learnt that people were often ‘annoyed’ by the fact that I talked too much and too loudly. I became very anxious about people disliking me for my talkative nature, and I often tried to hold off on speaking. I was very very self-concious and afraid of people rejecting me. I guess this fear was realised later in life.
The first time I remember cutting I was 15. I was in a pretty negative place. I was certainly depressed. I would come home from school and shut myself in my room so that I could cry in peace. I became very withdrawn and socially anxious. I was in a very damaging group of friends at school who all self-harmed or had eating problems. A lot of them had also suffered abuse or trauma. I guess I came from a stable, middle-class home and I always saw myself as the ‘sounding board’ who would never do something as ‘silly’ as cut myself. I guess I was worn down, I was very very unhappy at home and I tried it in the vain hope that it might work for me like it seemed to for my friends.
At the time I was quite chubby, although in retrospect I never weighed more than around 8 stone so I think nowadays I wouldn’t have been picked on as much. I was severely bullied, at home and at school. To my father I was a waste of space, worthless, a hypochondriac. He would tell me that he couldn’t talk to his friends about me because he was too ashamed to have me as a daughter. NOTHING I did was ever good enough, nor was it ever going to be. just recently I asked my dad what he would do in my position regarding whether I should take a degree course or drop it. In response he said, ‘if it were me I’d just do it’, meaning without all the heartache and drama that I seem to create. He simply cannot understand why I can’t ‘snap out of it’ and be better, just like that. In fact, I don’t think he believes that there is anything actually wrong with me. Rather that I just like to find excuses for doing nothing and for why my life is such a mess. I’m not the daughter he wanted, nor will I ever be. I am a disappointment to him always. As a child I idolised my father, and each harsh word choked me, each violent act forced me to withdraw further into myself and punish myself more for not being the person he wanted me to be. day after day after day he would put me down, tell me I was making up how I felt because I was lazy and wanted attention, treating me like he was totally ashamed to have me around. Even my mother was so ashamed of my cutting that until a couple of years ago I wasn’t allowed to show my arms when I’m with her. As I child I was taught that I should be ashamed. Ashamed to be fat, to be noisy, to be anxious, to be a cutter, to be ME. In retrospect I don’t know that anything I did would have been good enough. But as a child I tried and tried to be good, to please my parents. In turn I got more and more beaten down, and eventually it wore me into the ground. Hence the suicide attempts, the cutting, the ED, the BPD….the FEAR of being me.
I will get back to these thoughts. Obviously I just couldn’t sleep. My head is in a mess tonight. I want to break free.