Throughout my childhood, I suffered silently through feelings of self-hate, paranoia, and the fear of disappointing my family. Although I performed well in school – performed being the operative word – I was never truly happy.
My fear of doing “something wrong” stopped me from truly experiencing the life I was, at the time, blessed to live. My childhood passed me by without any meaningful friendships – or, for that matter, really any friendships at all. At an age where I should have had innocent relationships with my peers in order to understand myself and really blossom into the person I would have become, I studied hard, had manners, and always did the right thing.
But I was fat.
And this was always held above my head as the ultimate failure. My wealthy relatives on my father’s side insisted that my mother had “made me fat” out of spite to embarrass them amongst their friends in high society. My father asked, although out of concern for my health, whether I did not want to sit in a chair without taking up the whole thing. And my mother continued to feed me.
Early on I realized that there was something
going on with me that was not quite right.
For some time I believed it was just part of growing up. But this faded quickly as my friends moved through the passes of puberty, making mistakes, and experimenting all the while coming out on the other side unscathed. I did nothing for fear of the consequences.
Each emotion hit me like a ton of bricks. I hated myself. I was a failure. I was fat. I was ugly. I sliced my fears into my skin. I didn’t understand.
But I was perceptive enough to know I needed help – so I asked for it. Although I wasn’t taken seriously by my family – you’re healthy, you have enough money, you have everything you could ever want and more – they eventually gave in around age 14 and let me see a therapist.
That lasted about three sessions. My mother, also being emotionally unstable (I hear these things run in families), fed what information she saw fit to my doctor. My doctor never seemed to remember my name, what grade I was in, or much of anything we talked about – at, I’m sure, hundreds of dollars an hour. The one thing she did seem to remember, however, was that she was convinced that I was
pretending to have multiple personalities.