Ninth grade had come and gone and I could truly say I was done. I had given up. Nothing seemed to have gone my way for the past two years or so. We often hear stories about teenagers struggling in their high school years but my life had turned into a literal nightmare. I struggled my way through grades eight and nine but when summer finally came around everything seemed to be too much.
In my earlier years, I had always been a popular person. I had lots of friends and was well liked by most. For some reason as I grew up everything started to come crashing down. I was the first female at school to develop and form of breasts and curves for that matter. Not only did this lead to lots of chit chat among the other girls but it also lead to the boys thinking it was ok to take advantage. I guess horny little grade eight and nine boys just could not contain themselves but unfortunately that lead to me constantly feeling insecure and as if I did not belong. Boys would follow me into the bathroom and ask to touch my chest constantly. They would offer me hugs everyday simply so that they could feel my breasts rub up against them. Every day, after dealing with the constant harassment, I would go home and feel completely worthless. As a female, I always wanted to be a powerful person with goals and aspirations but these tiny little boys seemed to have the power to make me feel completely worthless. I always felt like I did not have anything more to offer this world then my body. That was all I was. Skin and bones.
Because of the attention I was receiving towards my body, I often felt confused as to why it was only happening to me. I started to feel out of place and that I was "fat" compared to the other girls simply because I had boobs and booty. I was never one to want to stand out and be noticed. I much preferred fitting in and sliding under the radar. The constant attention my body was receiving lead me to a dark place when it came to food and eating. I stopped eating and when I say stopped I mean completely stopped. I drank a lot of water to fill my stomach and sometimes had the odd banana and apple here and there but that was it. When I got home for dinner I would nibble at whatever my mom had cooked that night, but as soon as I left the table I would go to my bathroom and regurgitate everything that I had consumed. This became a habit for the entire summer. I dropped weight extremely quickly, but since I had developed these eating habits, I could not seem to stop even once I had reached my ideal body goal. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to be paying attention to the fact that I was sick and losing weight. My parents were always too busy with their own lives and careers to pay me any attention. Until I ended up in the hospital one night, nobody had any idea what was going on with me physically.
The hospital was a turning point in my life. As I look back and reflect on the entire experience, it makes me sad that I had to reach such a dark place before realizing how hazardous I was being towards myself. It was in the hospital that I realized I had to getaway if I ever wanted to be healthy again. I could no longer deal with the constant chatter and attention my body was getting so I decided to move. I did not just move schools, in fact, I didn't even just move cities. I decided to move to Australia and attend boarding school. At first, I felt defeated because I had given up but, I simply no longer had any fight in me. I had been dealing with body image issues for two years and it was time for me to focus on myself and loving the way I looked.
At the beginning, Australia seemed promising. The school I was attending was an all girls boarding school with strict rules and regulation. We all had to wear identical uniforms which was nice so nobody stood out and felt out of place. Of course Australia came with some side effects too. I constantly missed my mom and the few friends I had. Unfortunately, I ended up in the hospital again after a couple months from being malnourished but as time went on I slowly got better and life was looking up.
My year away inspired me. All I wanted was to return home and show all the people that I had changed and no longer cared what they thought about my appearance anymore. Of course that is easier said then done but I definitely did care a lot less. I was no longer embarrassed to be seen eating and I finally felt comfortable wearing cute little tank tops like all the other girls wore.
Of course I would be lying if I said that I absolutely love my body now. Still to this very day I have my insecurities and sometimes I still get treated like an object but at least I know in my heart that I am so much more then that. My thighs might be a little thick and my bum might not be perfect round and bouncy but I realize now that there are other alternatives to starving yourself that will help me to achieve the same goals.
Every day I work on loving myself and I realize once I am happy with the person I am inside and out, the right person will come along and love me for a lot more than just my breasts...