So we often see, and comment on how girls younger and younger develop eating disorders. I have watched a documentary in the past about Dana the 8 year old anorexic and it resonated.
How can a child so young wake up one morning and decide not to eat? To exercise rigorously?
Still, I am the answer to these questions. I was a child and I was undeniably young. It was through this that no one noticed. I was so young that it became normal for me to not be hungry, to be interested in working out, to eat the bare minimal and everyone accepted that. It wasn’t until I was 16 that someone even noticed and by then it’s already far too late.
Recent blood works have discovered that I don’t need iron to function. I starved myself so much of my life that my body will get sick if there is too much iron – why? because I trained it that way. I can not eat for a week and be perfectly fine.
I found myself contemplating the other day how it is I never ended up in hospital for an eating disorder – especially when I got to 30kg. a 16 year old shouldn’t be able to function at 30kgs. It’s abnormal and still no one knew. No one knew – no heart attacks, no seizures. I watched a short film which said “those who start [starving] thin are a disease, and those who start fat are a success story”. So what about those who lived their whole life as an anorexic? What about me? I have no idea who I am without the voice in my head. I keep wondering. Am I the rule or the exception?
The thing about eating disorders is that you keep going until you die. Why? Because you keep telling yourself if it was bad you’d already be dead. 30kgs
I know stories of anorexics who get to 37kg have a heart attack and are treated. I know stories of anorexics who lost 10kg in 2 months and were rushed to hospital for urgent feeding. I know stories of anorexics who didn’t eat for 7 days and had to go to rehab.
I guess that means I won the anorexic game. I never got caught. I started so young that my body liked the hunger. I got to 30kgs and I wasn’t treated. I lost 10kg in 1 month and was complimented at school for my determination. I can eat for 21 days and still live.
So what makes a 5 year old girl decide to stop eating one day? For me… I was alone at 5. I had no friends at school and the people in my class called me fat. Fat little piggy. I stopped eating lunch after a boy named Ryan told me if I wanted to grow up pretty lunch wasn’t the answer.
I would give the other children my lunch – I never wasted it. That wasn’t my style. I cried at night when my parents where trying this new diet here and there and would make me go on it too so that I wouldn’t have problems with my weight.
I stopped eating breakfast when I said there just wasn’t enough time to eat before mum took me to school. I said I was tired and I would always fall asleep. Yet no one thought that a 5 year old would be starving. No one thought to check my habits and then it was too late.
SO how does a 5 year old become an anorexic? You let her become anorexia.
There is no longer separation between myself and anorexia. We are one. We are the same.
Be careful what you say to children, you have no idea how they’ll take it.
A Recovering Survivor