anxiety and depression

‘It started innocent. I figured I’d skip a few meals, run more. I never imagined the horrible, disgusting things I’d do to myself. I had only wanted to lose 15 pounds.’

“At first, it was run-of-the-mill diet talk. ‘Cut carbs! No dairy!’ Then I saw picture upon picture of skin-and-bone bodies. I was repulsed and intrigued. Soon enough, I started feeling guilty if I wasn’t cutting out meals. I spent hours a day fantasizing about food. I’d cry in the mirror as I plugged calories into my food journal.”

‘What’s wrong?’ My tattoo artist emerged from the back, visibly shaking, crying. ‘I just HAD to take in this moment.’: Mom loses twins, ‘uncommon’ first names combine to match name of tattoo artist’s late grandmother

“He’d gone back to trace the footprints of my babies, Leonor and Buchanan, both stillbirths. I was wondering what was taking so long, and started to worry my tattoo couldn’t be done. ‘I don’t want you to think I’m crazy,’ he said. ‘But my grandmother’s name was Leonor Buchanan. She just passed.’ I looked at him in complete shock.”

‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I hopped into his car, not yet understanding what pedophilia was.’: Male sexual abuse survivor finally realizes ‘it wasn’t my fault’ after 32 years

“He began by saying, ‘I bet all girls at school have a crush on you.’ My mom wasn’t looking. In a moment’s notice, this stranger had given me the attention I’d tried for years to get from my dad. For 2 years, he made me believe that I was ‘enjoying it’ because I had physical response to it. I believed him. It took me 13 years to call it what it was: abuse.”

‘People went out of their way to ignore me, as if being fat was contagious. Others used me as a lesson for their kids. ‘Look! This is what happens when you don’t eat right!’ I couldn’t find happiness, so food was my escape.’

“My weight got to the point where standing was painful. My wife got used to my answer being ‘no’ to everything. The panic set in. Was my weight ruining her life? Was I trapping her? Did she resent me for that? Did she still find me attractive or fun to be around?”

‘He said he ‘knew what I had done.’ My clothes were all thrown on the floor. My boyfriend was kicking me out.’: Woman escapes abusive ex with bi-polar disorder

“I asked her what was wrong. She told me she didn’t know how to tell me, but I should probably get home as soon as I could. My boyfriend had called her to let her know he was throwing out all my stuff and kicking me out. ‘Why?!,’ I asked her crying. My boyfriend yelled at me, saying I needed to get my (explicit) out of there now.”

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