A series of overwhelmingly miserable events caused the worst time in my life. The corona virus pandemic kept me apart from my soulmate, Vince, who knows me best, and is the only one who is able to support me fully. He is the friend from my dreams who always wishes to keep me company and play with me. He is sensitive like me and accepts me as I am, empathising, and understanding how to help me with my emotions. He is the only human on this Earth who I do not experience social anxiety with. My mother exploded in anger at me when I was trying to listen to the cravings of my brain. Her care burnt out when she stopped caring for herself: she denied my need to see Vince and make personal choices about my recovery, forcing my life to be all about food. She said that she was being angry at the bad voice but she was really traumatising me. Because I expressed that I wished to chew something rather than drink milk one lunchtime, she screamed that I have to leave, and that I am a stupid horrible ungrateful girl, and she wants to put me in a recovery unit. She threw bananas at me and I still feel their heavy impact on my skin, and the pain in my mind. She was not herself for a long time, as the Mum who I know would never try to hurt me like that, sabotaging my peace and happiness with negativity and oppression. All of my progress towards living the way in which I really want to which I made with the therapist Jessica was undermined. “How…does a broken heart
Get back together when it’s torn apart?
Teach itself to start
Beating again”

I became so full of grief at being separated on this Earth from my true friend that the bad voice told me to just stand on the train tracks because I cannot go anywhere–I cannot step on the train to go to meet him. I have been penpals with him for ages, and I know that what is most meaningful happens spiritually, on the inside, but I am only human and just need a hug once in a while to feel that I am not alone.

I wrote to my therapist at the time, Suzy, that I was having suicidal thoughts. Just thoughts. I wasn’t going to act on them. I believe that people have responsibilities. Having my best interests at heart was one of them, and she failed me. She freaked out and without my consent told my parents about my suicidal thoughts; my whole family cried. They were uncontrollably frightened and couldn’t think clearly enough to support me–they forced me to go to CHOP. I found out my weight from the discharge paper, resulting in needing to turn the car around and go back, because I wasn’t able to know my weight while being safe.

Overcoming my anorexia once has let me learn that my needs must be accepted, or I will not be all that I could and should be being in the one life that I’ve got. I was sent to Friends’ Hospital and the nightmare in my consciousness externalised around me, as I found myself trapped isolated and bullied. It may appear that I am now out of that prison, but I am still there in my dreams. I struggled for months to meet my basic physical needs like brushing my teeth, going to bed on time, and getting out of my pyjamas in the morning, as I wandered about the house, unable to focus on anything which I love, but escaping reality through a computer game in which everything which I create remains unbroken.

I can see from my parents’ perspective, as they were very frightened and wanted me to be safe and feel better. They brought the things which Vince asked them to so that I might stay at his grandma’s–the weighted blanket and lotion which has a smell reminding me of my Grandma Rosie. I was still upset that instead of seeing Vince, I was forced to go to CHOP, and then the Friends’ hospital where I sat alone on my bed for hours trying not to cry. The only thing which I had to look forward to was seeing Vince; he is the light at the end of the tunnel. He got me through the traumatic experience. I began saying that I will only go to Vince’s grandma’s house once I got out of Friends’ in desperation because I knew that this was a life or death situation. The bad voice said that my parents would trick me. I told my dad that I need him to listen, otherwise I wouldn’t feel motivated to reciprocate; I needed him to stop apologising when I told him about my feelings. My dad seemed to be angry and said that I was only listening to Vince, while telling me that my experiences are wrong and ignoring what I said. I was starting to feel hopeless because he said that he wouldn’t do what I need; I felt that I was not being taken seriously. I remember when my dad said that he was sorry that he couldn’t promise to take me to Vince’s grandma’s house and hung up. I had even more trouble with sleeping at night in that hot engine-noisy place because of what he said. He jumped to conclusions about Vince, thinking that he was persuading me to stay at the hospital. I felt like my dad was agreeing with the bad voice by just wanting me to come home because I all ready made it clear that it is dangerous to be home.

A couple of nurses bullied me, and one of them also sexually assaulted me. I was only eighteen. I did not feel at home in my body because of a forced refeeding during anorexia. I went from a really low weight to one where the internet told me was almost obese. My whole body hurt because it did not feel like my own, and this bad voice in my head tortured me. This nurse acted as if she was being kind by putting her arm around me to lead me to see the dietitian….Her arm went from my waist…and crept down to my bottom, where it lingered and put pressure on it as she pushed me. One time when I was using the toilet-room, I heard her in the hall calling my name. She made fun of me: “I have to call her in a British accent.” She unexpectedly tore the curtain hanging over the door-way aside (there was no door) and there I was using the toilet. She looked at me, smiling, smiling. I tried to cover myself with my hands and put the curtain back, but she tore it open again. “Are you coming to eat breakfast?” she asked.

“I’m just getting ready.” “I’m just getting ready,” she repeated, mocking my accent. I was too terrified to change my clothes or shower for five days (the shower was revolting anyway).

I was tricked and lied to about ‘Friends’ Hospital.’ The name is verbally ironic: the nurses damaged my mental health, ignored and failed me. I was abandoned in my pain.

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