“If you aren’t destroying your enemies, it’s because you have been conquered and assimilated, you do not even have an idea of who your enemies are. You have been brainwashed into believing you are your own enemy, and you are set against yourself. The enemy is laughing at you as you tear yourself to pieces. That is the most effective warfare an enemy can launch on his foes: confounding them.”
The past year, those two traumatic events, the rape and baby left me with severe depression and non existent self worth. Well, not so much baby, but the rape destroyed my self esteem and confidence. It made me hate myself, I couldn’t bear to look in the mirror and see this weak, shaken and pathetic person staring back at me.
I am a diabetic and in the past I have been known to omit insulin sometimes, if I was depressed, anxious or just going through a bad time. That is a common way for diabetics to lose weight, although a highly dangerous one. For me it was more about being in control of something, but also to a degree, a punishment I guess, I was in a bad way.
After forcing myself to confront the rape and how I was feeling, because god damn I ignored it for so long, well, I grew to hate myself. I questioned why he did it and convinced myself it was down to me, somehow.
I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t strong enough, I wasn’t smart enough, I wasn’t pretty enough for him, I was a time waster, I didn’t make things readily available for him, I was selfish, I was horrible, I was a waste of time, effort and energy, basically what a complete sack of shit I must be, right.
I was none of those things, but, the rape being done by someone I loved, I ended up convincing myself of all of those things. I pounded them into my head until I believed them with ease.
So I’m sure you can imagine that it was with relative ease that I managed to take it further.
You’re fat, Catherine. You look like shit. Bags under your eyes and awful skin. You’re disgusting. You’re ugly as sin.
See he used to tell me I was beautiful daily, but he did what he did so suddenly every compliment he ever gave me seemed, untrustworthy and untruthful.
I decided to go low carb. I lost a stone and felt great. I joined the gym and although I felt vulnerable suddenly surrounded by men (never like that before the rape), I could see it was a positive thing to be doing. I felt better about myself. It was nice.
I still felt dirty, I guess. Broken by the rape and once you have lost all of your self worth and self esteem, well it is an incredibly slippery slope once you are on it. I began limiting certain foods, suffering from bad depression and anxiety by this point. During this time no one else knew what he had done, so it was eating away at me, but I felt unable to share the burden.
I didn’t need to lose anymore weight at all, but I found myself wobbling my thighs many times a day and feeling ill just looking at myself. I carried on limiting foods, not noticeably I don’t think, but like, looking up recipes all under 250kcal and passing it off as a health kick, when deep down I knew that it wasn’t the sole reason.
My anxieties were at an all time high and I was always feeling queasy. My family would hear me being sick most days and I would pass it off as panic, but along with the weight loss I didn’t really feel like I was fooling anyone really.
I fought hard not to fuck about with my insulin requirements. I had made myself very ill doing so before and DKA is my worst nightmare, there is only so many times you can win a fight against ketoacidosis.
Shamefully I would look up those horrible sites while in bed, the pro ana or pro mia ones, where troubled people share extreme diet tips and the like. I felt bad even having an interest, when the people on there were clearly very ill, but as I said, when your self worth and esteem is non existent, you find yourself in all manner of messed up situations.
I successfully purged a few times, but I never wanted it to become a habit. I became exhausted. By this point my family had been told about the rape and they were offering me with paid counselling sessions and the like, hence my PTSD therapy.
Sometimes I was too anxious to eat. I knew my Mum was on edge, I could see her watching me come out of the bathroom after a meal or out and about etc. Perhaps unintentionally on her part, but yeah, I noticed it.
The last time I was sick was last night, on baby’s anniversary. I was feeling full of anxiety again, I went to the toilet in the pub and made myself sick. It was not for any other reason then I was just feeling so nervous, but there was a sense of familiarity about it, the little voice in my head almost saying ‘welcome back’.
Weirdly, I only had a very brief flirtation with purging, but my mind was so quick to almost link it to a euphoric release, which I never thought I would describe puking as!
See what I mean though? When you are at a low point you find certain things alluring that you would never have even thought about before, and it scared me a lot. I didn’t want to end up that way.
Recently I kind of slipped the other way really. Depression and exhaustion has led me back to comfort food. I have recognised this and to stop me from wanting to go down that destructive path again, I have taken up running instead, currently in training for my first big race.
It’s been hard, you know, staying afloat this year. I’m not sure if I can identify as strong or weak just yet. Time will tell and more importantly, the truth will out.