Living on my own gave a sense of well being. No one there to take advantage of me, no one told me what to do, and I did not need to put myself in situations that may cause me pain. What a change from my previous life. This is when my relationship with food came into play.
Food was my only true friend I thought. When we would have the good stuff to eat I would eat it all so my boyfriend would not eat it on me. This lead me to eat all the food I can so I would not go hungry. I did not like the hunger pains that came with not having food, so before my boyfriend could eat it all I would eat it cause I was just so scared that I would not have enough to eat. Then this one day when I asked why he would eat all the food, in my mind he was, he always said to me “there is more in the store”. I never though of it that way as I did not have abundance of food that I did not have to worry about. I always wanted to make sure if I wanted something that I would get it out of my cupboards, not the store. This became a hoarding problem. I would spend my extra money on food to just have in my cupboards, and if it was running low my mood would decrease. I did not understand where my depression was coming from during my early years. Today I realize that yes there is more food in the store and I do not have to hoard all the food I can for a rainy day.
Then the cycle of comfort food came into my life. I would eat and still today eat for the comfort that it gives me, and not just when I am hungry. I begun to gain weight steadily, and I just could not control myself. I would get angry with myself for eating so much that bulimia set in. If I would eat too much and felt uncomfortable I would make myself throw up. If I felt like things were out of control I would throw up. It started to take over my life, and I did not want anyone to know. I hid this from my boyfriend also. It was not hard hiding it as it would only really happen when I was at home. The effects still haunt me today. As I do get the urge to vomit when I feel things are out of control, or that I just eat for comfort. This cycle is like an addiction where you feel awful, then you vomit and it feels all better again. You know you should not be doing it but you do it anyway. I always thought that if no one knew what I was doing it was ok for me to continue. Then came the times that I would gorge myself with my boyfriend while out on a date and wonder how do I not let him know what I am doing, so came the times that I would over eat and not be able to vomit, this lead to me gaining even more weight causing my self-esteem to lower even more. The more I would gain the lower my self- worth was lowered.
As a young adult I did not realize that over eating was a addiction but it is. Eating for comfort is an addiction like any other type of addiction. I prided myself as not having an addiction to alcohol or drugs, like my older sister, but the consequences of my food addiction were just a dire. No one ever knew that I had this problem till now, as I am writing this blog. I was ashamed to have this addiction and the weight gain that it caused. At first I thought that I would be able to loss weight with bulimia but that is not always the case. You have to be doing it consistently to loss weight, I would just do it when no one was around to notice I had the problem. I would watch movie and interview with individuals with the same problem and did not think mine was a issue as their disease was so much more advanced. No matter how often or to which degree, this is a disease that needs attention, this lesson I would learn later in life after the damage has been done. By the time I realized what I was doing to myself I had gained 60 lbs in 2 years, along with being bulimic during times of great stress. This disease still comes and offers its ugly head to me at times even today.
One day I got this phone call from a man asking for Jackie, mom. I told the man that she had passed away 2 years ago and asked who this was on the phone and he hung up. Down deep I believed it was Harvey asking for her but did not get the chance to ask his name. Even if my mom was alive I would not have given him her number if I knew. I did not want him back in our lives at all. After everything that we had been through with him, he had the balls to call and think I would give him her number. If mom was alive I knew deep down that she would go back to him, even though he caused more problems than his worth. I resented just the thought that she would go back to this horrible man. I resented that she would let him do the horrible acts of abuse to us and say that they did not happen. Why would I give this man the number, to cause more heart ache and pain. That would be the last time that I got a phone call asking for our mom from a male caller.
Tanya and I were really close and she came to visit me in my apartment. I had to go to work and left her there to rest. My boyfriend had his own key so when he came home he could get in. After work I took the bus home, and when walking down the street to the apartment I had a strange feeling that something had happened. I knew that he had cheated on me with Tanya. I don’t know how I knew but I did. When I walked into the apartment I asked what had happened and noticed that Tanya had given my boyfriend a bunch of hickies on his neck. All she could say to me was “I had to prove he was not good enough for you.” I just could not believe that my sister would do this to me. What did I do to her for her to hurt me like this? What did I do to him to hurt me like this? I did not know that it was her insecurity that was causing her to be provocative with my boyfriend. Does this give it as excuse to hurt me? No, but this would seem to be a problem through out our younger years what she needed the approval of men for her to feel any self worth. I just could not be promiscuous like Tanya, she had no remorse for hurting me she thought what she had done was just fine, she wanted me to break up with my boyfriend so she could have me do what she would like me too. I did not realize that she was so manipulative, and it affected all the relationships that I had with people. I never did forget what she had done and the effect it had on me, even to this day, I wonder if she would attempt to seduce my husband.
This was the first time that I felt betrayal since the betrayal of our mother. Of course I had to break it off with my boyfriend that really hurt me, he was the only one that I told everything to, the only one I really trusted. He was the first male that I was not scared of, that would not take advantage of me the way the men took advantage of me in my childhood years. I couldn’t kick Tanya out as she had no where to go and after all she was only 15 years old when this all happened. So Tanya stayed with me for a few more days then went back to Stacey.
During my time away from my ex-boyfriend I went to a party at Tracey’s, a friend. They all were drinking just like me and then I past out on the sectional and their cousin with a cigarette lite on other part of sectional. I remember prior to falling asleep asking him to make sure that he put his cigarette out before he passed out. I still do not know what made me wake up but I did in all the smoke. I ran upstairs to get everyone up, I thought the cousin was dead as the smoke was going right up in his face and did not want to deal with it. Tracey came down and moved him off the couch and took him outside for fresh air. Tracey asked why I did not move him I just said “I don’t know”. I honestly thought that he would be thankful for me waking everyone up but that was not the response that I received. I know deep down that I saved everyone that day. If I hadn’t woke up we all would be in heaven now.
After a few weeks I had gotten back together with my boyfriend and life was good. He made the promise not to do such a thing again, and I believed him dearly. I missed him, I knew if we were together I would not have been in the situation with the fire, then I thought, what would the consequences be if I was not there. I would have had to go to a funeral where I had lost 3 people I adored. So I think the break up was ment to be so I could save them from the smoke that was coming up and may have been a silent death.
Graduation day came for me. I was so excited. I bought myself a new dress and heals to wear for the convocation. It was black and white frilly on the bottom and lace on the top, to me it was beautiful. I invited my dad to come and see me graduate and all he could say to me was ” ya you graduated but now what are you going to do with it?” . I was so hurt by him saying that I just came up with “I don’t know”.
Convocation was a big deal for me as I was the first to graduate high school, from both sides of my family. I could not have been prouder of myself. I assumed that my family would be just as proud of me also, but I just go the what you going to do now??? statement that hurt me deeply. I questioned “why can people just not be happy for me? why do they need to be so negative about the my accomplishment.” It seemed that the only people that were happy for me were the ones that were part of my life through homes that I lived in, and of course my siblings. Hearing my name called to walk up to the stage made me teary eyed as no ever expected me to graduate because of the life that I came from. Walking across the stage to receive my diploma was a time I will cherish for the rest of my life. It was a statement saying “I did it even with all the adversity I had to go through”. “I did it against all the odds against me”, and the most important at the time was “I did it on my own”.