28 days before my 9th birthday my father left our family, I was devastated, my life shattered, my hero....GONE.
I suppose its not normal for a nine yr old girl to read books like "Go ask Alice" and dream/wish I was Alice, that I could numb out like she did and suffer the way she suffered, I was 9 and wanted to hurt, hurt on the outside so that someone, anyone would know that my insides ached.
So I did what i could tolet those around me know that I was in pain...I screamed and yelled, I would hit my sisters and myself, I would threaten to jump out of windows, lock myself in the bathroom with the razor and tell my mother I was going to slash my wrists...I was literaly screaming for help, but no one came and my mother fell very ill with extreme anxiety and dehibilitating depression, she didnt get out of bed...for almost a year, at around the 6 month mark my grandmother came to live with us for what turned out to be 6 months, someone needed totake care of us, and apparently my attempts as a 9 yr old werent panning out as I thought they should be....I was 9, my middle sister (s) was 7 and (L) the youngest was 4, I thought I had it all under control, I fed my sisters ( so what it was mostly frosted mini wheats and Total cereal) I got my middle sister and I up for school and got us on the bus, I guess somehow my mother managed to bring my youngest sister to pre-school but when we returned from school she was either back in bed or cruled up on the couch in a ball...crying and shaking..
So my grandmother came to take care of her...oh and us I suppose...Life was very scary, I was afraid my mother would die or kill herself and that I would be left to take care of my sisters...( I didnt realize that they didnt let 9 yr olds have custody of thier sisters...so I went on believeing I had to make sure everything stayed "okay" cause afterall it was my job)
I suppose it was then that I decieded that I needed someone to save us... but I dont think I realized that til I was about 13...until then it was me, I was the girl who would save her family...and I tried, I really did...and eventually my mother got better and started to retake over her role as the "mother" but by then I was bitter, who did she think she was taking over my job and telling me what to do...so my 9 yr old self came back and I needed to hurt so that people would know that I was in pain...
I beleive that was the onset of my eating disorder...it would come and go...I wouldnt eat for a day or 2 and then I would eat again...it was fleeting, it wasnt serious and definately in my head was not a problem because if it was SOMEONE would have noticed, someone/anyone would have tried to save me from myself...but no one did...
my mother remarried ( well she became engaged when I was 14 freshmen yr highschool) and that was when Anorexia came to my rescue, Anorexia became my hero, it stopped the ache in my heart and made me feel strong, a few months after my mom remarried she noticed I had lost allot of weight, (she saw me changing in my room) she freaked out, and immediately called our pastor and her friend who was a nurse...they staged an dinner/intervention...when I refused to eat ( I was so relieved...they cared) it turned ugly...but as the night drug on I finally reached for the pretzels and began to eat...and as soon as I ate that first bite, I was cured, at least to my mother...and so highschool went on like that...I would eat/starve/exercise...gain/lose...over and over
and no one knew how much I hurt...all I wanted was someone to save me...
and became so depressed I couldnt get out of bed...I wanted to die, no one was coming to save me, there was no point...I needed this pain the pain of the last 9 yrs to end, but I was to afraid to do, so I turned back to my old hero..Anorexia...and this time, I jumped in deep...
I met Mike when I was 18 ( I graduated young 17) and I thought I had found my hero, it was him, surely he could rescue from my pain and my misery, surely he could love me enough so that the hate I had for myself would disapear...but he couldnt, he was sick too, he was 10 yrs older then I and a chronic severe alcoholic, he could be loving and sweet and wonderful and like dr.jeckell and mr.hyde he would change into what I look back on must have been some kind of incarnate of satan...beatings and tongue lashings of telling me how useless and worthless I was, that I was lucky he loved me because no one could ever love someone like me...followed by profuse apoligies, that it would never happen again, things would be better, that he loved me, to forgive him...and I ofcourse I did, in the mornings I would think my hero had returned and at night...he was gone.
sidenote: I was officially diagnosed with AN when I was 19 but I refused tx, denied I was sick and went on to live some half ass life.
The fallout came when I was 21, I hadnt seen my mom in sometime, I avoided her, I knew I didnt look well I didnt care and I had this great fear she wouldnt either so I just starved myself into nothingness...when I was 21 I collasped at work, my b/p was so low it was unreadable and my pulse was so high they couldnt count it...I couldnt see, or move, or talk, but I could hear...its kinda silly because as I look back on it my greatest fear was not that I was dying but that they were going to lift me from the floor and see how "fat"I was...( I worked in an alhiemers home) so when one of the custodians who worked there lifted me from the floor and layed me on the bed...and I heard his words and the fear in his voice "oh my...shes just bones..." see I wore scrubs to work, with many a layer underneath, yes they all knew I was thin and didnt eat but when they can see you because the emt's have ripped off your cloths to put moniters on you and possiable shock your heart back, they all saw the bones...I couldnt see but I could hear the gasps, and I was humilated.
As I layed in that hospital bed, surrounded by doctors my mother rushed in ( my supervisor called her) and she too was horrified by my appearance, I wasnt quite sure what they all saw, but my only thought was "NOW, someone will save me, Someone will be my hero"
The doctors informed my mother of my illness, that she needed to get me immediate help or I would die, she readily agreed, she insisted I come home to live and do a PHP program, that I gain weight, that I stop this abuse on myself...
Although the thought of going into a program and gaining weight terrified me, I was all for my mom taking over and saving me from myself...Finally, I thought again...my hero.
But after 12 weeks in the program and minimal weight gain she was fustrated,as was I ....I was pretty naive to think that all I needed to be cured was for my mom to love me and take care of me...Ed was far to strong by that point, and I far to unwilling to participate in my own healing, after all it wasnt me that needed to change anything it was EVERYONE around me...couldnt they see I COULDNT help myself, I needed someone to save me, I needed a HERO.
I was Discharged from the program into the care of S, who was/is nuturing, and kind and loving, and strict and stern and understanding...and everything I wanted my mother to be...I moved back in with Mike because I was so angry at my mother for not saving me, and besides I had finally found her, my hero, yes S would save me, she would cure me and I wouldnt have to hurt myself anymore...
but yrs went by, I was still very sick...I had babies and stayed sick, I couldnt figure out why after so much therapy, so much tx, so much verbalization of how much I hurt inside NO ONE would save, I just didnt understand where my hero was.
So I stayed with Mike, we had 3 babies, the abuse/apology cycle continued and I stayed sick...I prayed that Mike would get better so he could save me...but after so long, I no longer wanted to be saved...death seemed like a nice option, I half assed attempted a few times but really I just wanted (again) someone to save me...
Last november the final straw was pulled when my tx team told me that if I didnt leave M, they would be forced to call child services as the violence in the home was just to much and they could get caught in the cross fire...that was all it took, them telling me that I could lose my kids, I left the next day, I was determined that even if I couldnt save myself I could save them.
But even though I left him, my hope for him to Recover and be my husband and thier father was not gone, I held onto that hope that all would be well until march 19 2010...that was when all my hope for my future and for someone to save was smashed...he was dead, I was alone...who was going to save me now.
I have spent the last 4 months in hell, afraid to move, to breath, to live ( all of those things are still true) but as I talked to S last friday, she asked me "Tara, what is it you want?...What are you waiting for?" I looked away from her and sat there in silence for about 2 minutes...and when I looked back, this was my response " I have been waiting for 20 yrs for someone to come and save me, I have been waiting for my knight on that white horse to ride me off into the sunset since I was a child. I am so scared. My Hero is not going to come, there is not going to be anyone comeing to save me, I have to save myself." as tears streamed down my face I continued..."Its time, I need to save myself, I NEED TO BE MY OWN HERO...its time."
She smiled, she came and put her arm around me and said "Yes...Yes its time, but you dont have to do it alone, I will help you learn how to be your hero, Im so proud of you...its time."
So I am sitting here writting, letting you all know, Im not waiting anymore...I will save myself, I will be my own HERO, my journey will not be a straight line, but it doesnt really matter because I am in charge of my destination...I am charting my course, I am not 9 anymore, I dont need someone else to save me, I can and will save myself...and when someone asks me who my hero is, I am will look them right in the eye and say ME!!
Be your own heros guys, its taken my 20 years to realize this, only we can save ourselves...but the good news its not to late...FINALLY I figured it out...I AM MY OWN HERO!!!