Hello. It's me. Your oldest child. Your
forgotten child. I should start out by telling you just how sorry
I am- but I need you to hear this. I need you to listen, because
I don't think I can tell you this again. I guess I should start
at the beginning.
In the winter of sixth grade, I began to fall apart. I had been throwing away my anti-depressants since the start of the school year, and it took you a full year to catch me. A full year. But it isn't your fault, I was sneaky. I would pretend to take them, but instead of swallowing them I would spit them back into my cup of water, and they would wash down the drain. Gone.
I stopped eating that year. I lost weight very, very quickly- over 20 pounds in a month. At the lowest and the darkest, I was 73 pounds and exercising constantly. I could see my ribs, and I hated what I had become. I was disgusting. But I had to keep going. You may be wondering what set me off, considering that I was always a chubby kid who never cared about her weight, or calories, or the fat content in her granola bar. That's what did it. I didn't want to be the fat, ugly girl anymore, the accomplice to her thin blonde friend. I wanted to be the one that was idolized, not the dumpy girl standing a little behind her. I craved the attention that my classmates showed my friend Lydia; she was the pretty one, what did I expect?
I weighed myself constantly, and although the doctors commented on my low weight I never gave my secret away. You didn't notice that your only daughter was wasting away, but why would you? Who would want to spend anymore time than absolutly necessary with someone as hideous as me? Eventually, my friends found out. That was awful. But they helped me get better for a bit, until I could eat enough to keep myself alive. I gained a little weight and felt better. But during the summer between sixth and seventh grade, I started slipping again. Without my friends to help me, I couldn't stop. I started cutting and contemplated suicide on a regular basis. Still no one noticed. No one noticed that I refused to take off my jacket all summer, terrifyed that someone would see the scars criss-crossing my arms. A patchwork of healing pinks, fresh red slices, and white ghosts of scars.
I lost more weight. My world was nothing anymore, I had begun using sleeping pills to keep myself in a dream-like state for most of that summer. It was my own little hell. But then, I tried to get better. You found out that I hadn't been taking my pills (it was about time), and I spent more time on the therapist's couch then I'd like to admit. I began taking them again, but they didn't help at all. I started gaining back some of the weight I had lost, and I made friends. But then that doctor's visit. That awful day. Since I had been gaining weight as a result of trying to eat normally, I had put on about forty pounds, leaving me at 120. A normal weight for my relatively tall height (5'5). But still. When you took me to the doctor, everyone flipped out.
I was put on a diet. Do you know how much that hurt me? Do you know the soul crushing pain I felt at my own mother basically calling me out for gaining weight? I felt awful. I attempted suicide a week into my new 'diet'. Needless to say it didn't work. The pills I took did nothing except give me a horrid headache. I began cutting again. It was like opening up a pressure valve to all the pain I felt on the inside. I wasn't good enough.
So naturally, I turned back to my old eating habits. But this time it was harder to get back into the rythem of starving that I was used to. Seventh grade ended, and it had been a horrible year. Kids at school bullied me, and I was the victim of sexual assault on more than one occasion, from more than one person. I told you, but you did nothing. Passed it off as me being dramatic. Why did you do that? It took me so long to be able to starve again, my body was so used to the healthy foods that I had been feeding it recently that it rejected the mere suggestion of restricting and starving. But I did it. So far this month, I have eaten a total of 500 calories. In the entire month. I was finally in control again. I was still fat and hideous, and you were still pushing my 'diet', but I was in control. I was happy. But I was still hurting. At least once a week I seriously consider suicide, but on those nights I call the suicide hotline before I can go through with it. You still haven't noticed the cuts on my arms and legs, the words carved into my stomach. Maybe someday I will be able to tell you this. Maybe.
Your daughter in pain