I can’t remember a time when I haven’t hated my body. I moved into the house I currently inhabit when I was in third grade. I’m not sure when I first become insecure about my weight, but I do know my first memory of what was to become a dysfunctional relationship with food occurred in my old house (meaning before third grade). I was sitting on my couch, watching Arthur. My mom had just brought me a blue, fish shaped bowl of gold fish (appropriate). As soon as I had finished the bowl I wanted more. Also, at an age at least younger than eight, I hated myself for eating that bowl of goldfish.
My second memory occurred in fifth grade. I was taking a bath in my parents bathroom and they have a full length mirror. I had already taken off my pants and was standing in front of the mirror in my underwear and a pink t-shirt with a white hibiscus flower on the back. I will always remember that t-shirt. I remember looking at my stomach, pinching it, and hating it. My stomach has always been the root of my insecurities.
Throughout middle school I remember going through phases where I would tell myself I would exercise every day and only eat fruits and vegetables. These phases never lasted long, but my weight never left the forefront of my mind. Now, I look back on pictures of myself as a kid and realize that I was never big.
My sister is two years younger than I am and was always the naturally “skinny” one. Not that I was ever the “big” one but she was the one whose ribs you could always see, the one whose hip-bones jutted out when she was in second grade. The one my mom would have to make “special” high calorie granola bars for. I wanted to be the one to eat those granola bars so bad. My sister and I have always been close, best friends. When I was a freshman and she was in seventh grade she came into my room and told me she wanted to loose weight. I was immediately angry (I had always been a little bit touchy about her weight- I hated when my parents or family friends commented about how skinny she was.) I said “the only way it would be possible for you to loose weight would be for you to go anorexic.” A week later she stopped eating, a week after that she went to the hospital for the first time for nutrient deprivation. Two weeks later she attempted to take her life for the first time.
I can’t imagine a time in my future when I will ever be able to forgive myself for what I said to her. She has been battling with depression and suicidal tendencies for two years now. To this day, she has attempted to take her life 3 times. Although everyone always says I am the one keeping her alive, keeping her from finally committing 100% to one of her attempts, I will always see myself as the one who pulled her into that hole.
In fall of 2010, everyone in my family, except for me, was clinically diagnosed with depression. Although my sister had obviously been diagnosed years before, this was, and I believe will eventually be, the end of my parents. They care about her so much, and have done everything they can think of to save her from herself. But when everything they tried failed, they felt like failures themselves. I stopped going out at night, I stopped hanging out with my friends. Instead, I stayed home to try and pump life and happiness back into my entire, broken family. I was also scared that if I wasn’t with them for one night it would be too late. I began to have gruesome nightmares about coming home to find my entire family had killed themselves. I became an insomniac- I haven’t slept well for months. I am so scared of what will happen when I’m not there. When I leave for Spain this summer, or college. But I know that if I stay around forever they will suck me in with them-and I don’t know if I could ever escape.