Wednesday, August 12, 2009


When I was a kid I was fascinated with tops. I don't know what it was about staring at an object spin, but tops could hold my attention much longer than most things. Maybe its because I can identify with a top. I've always felt my life is at the point when the top starts to teeter, losing speed and balance; wavering in all directions hoping to catch balance.
It wasn't too long after I lost my weight that I started gaining the attention of the opposite sex. I wanted someone to want me. Make me feel worthy, a boyfriend. Just that word, boyfriend, had so much weight to it. For me at 14, a boyfriend meant you were attractive and fun to be around, it meant you mattered. If a guy thought you were worth dating, it was the determining factor that you had worth.
I met Owen at a pizza parlor. He played baseball for his high school and they were celebrating the Seniors last game. Owen was a senior in high school, and 18 years old. He was very tall and muscular. He played the sax, and was a Jehovah's witness. He was the first guy to like me. There was something about him that demanded obedience from me. I hardly spoke a word to him, I would just follow him, hanging on everything he said. He wouldn't tell his friends about me because I was only 14 and he had a reputation for taking advantage of girls. I was his youngest fling.
The last time I saw him was at his house. I came over for dinner and to meet his family. He had a large family. There were 6 boys, with Owen being the oldest at 18 and the youngest being 4. His dad was a big man, I could tell he was once a handsome man, but years of stress and raising 6 boys wore down the handsome ruddiness of his features. His mother was also larger in size. She told me she was happy to have another lady in the house. I could tell she was embarrassed by her boys behavior, and did her best to correct them quietly, with a little avail. The boys were rowdy and rude. I witnessed quite a few tussles between the brothers while I there. I felt very uncomfortable and uneasy, no matter how much Owen told me to relax. He had 2 brothers closer to my age 13 and 15, who mocked him openly about dating someone they could date. At one point during dinner, he yelled at his brothers in a booming voice causing me to drop my fork out of surprise. His outburst made me more uncomfortable and uneasy than I had been feeling. After dinner he took me upstairs to his room and told me to lie on the bed. He pushed me down to my back, and began to reach into my pants. In a panic I froze and blanked. All I remember was crying and telling him to stop. I felt so ashamed. I locked myself in the bathroom and cried. He coaxed me out, and tried to get me to calm down. He told me that he didn't know I would freak out, and I was silly for freaking out. When my parents came I gave Owen a solemn goodbye and climbed into the car. I was silent all the way home. I didn't tell them at first about what happened. Had I told them immediately I'm sure their reaction would have been a different one. Instead I let what had transpired settle inside, stirring up unwarranted guilt until I finally spilled over into a confession. I didn't want him to get in trouble or anyone to think badly of him, so I told my parents that I had asked him to touch me. I was grounded for 3 months and told to never speak to him again. I felt like I was even more unworthy for affection than before I had met Owen. That I had been become tainted and no one would want me. It wasn't until years later I removed blame from myself.
Immediately following the incident, Owen broke up with me. He also told me to not tell anyone what happened at his house. For whatever reason, I was heartbroken. I was back to being to being unloved, unnoticed, no worth, and now less to offer.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I started high school lithe and tall. My peers hardly reconized me on the first day of school. My braces were removed early in summer, and I emerged from our suburban on the first day of school a new person. For the first month of school I was treated like a foreign exchange student. My class mates would talk to me, but most interactions were strained and short. Melissa and I reconnected again after a few months, but our friendship was strange and unfamiliar; as if the few years before of our tight bond was all a dream. I had forged an invisible wall between myself and everyone else, without even knowing it. The new me didn't come without much consequence.
At the beginning of the second semester of 8th grade, I settled in myself I was sick of being labeled as the fat girl. I knew my braces would be coming off over summer vacation, and my dream of starting high school as new person could be realized. I put myself on a diet and began exercising as religiously a nun said her prayers. I had started a snowball down a hill, as the weight melted off, the snowball gained speed. When school let out, I gave up most solid food and lived off of water and health shakes. The monster of despair grew in me, soon anorexia was living breathing entity in my being, that molded to every fiber in me. I became obsessed with thinness. It was giving me all I had craved. My parents worried over my thinning frame, and would often come to chat with me. Even if it was over not eating enough, it was attention I craved. My siblings looked at me with sadness in their eyes and did all they could to talk to me and see to that they watched me, marking every item in a mental checklist of what went into my mouth. My peers were more accepting of me, and I would often get second glances by boys in the halls.
For a while me and my monster thrived off the attention. People where sure to pour compliments on me, hoping that through their words it would give me what I needed to stop my unhealthy obsession. All it did was further stroke my ego, while the monster in me further marred my vision of myself.
By Christmas of my freshman year, the pity and caring had become anger and frustration. My parents no longer sat and talked with me, my brother and sister no longer looked at me with pity, and the glances became stares of disgust in the halls. Everyone grew sick of my frailty, feeling they had failed in their attempts to save me.
I didn't care about the attention anymore, I was too far gone. My monster told me, food was the enemy, Food was poison. Dinner had become a showdown of wills, as no one was allowed to move a muscle until I ate; with most nights taking hours of screaming and crying before I would break down in frustration and eat. My parents quickly learned that this was doing more harm, as they too became enemies and were shut out of my world. They would watch helplessly as I punished myself with exercise for every bite I took. My mother had enough and made me an appointment with my pediatrician. The doctor weighed me, looked me over, and told us, I looked fine. That I was in the healthy weight limits for my age, and she didn't see anything that alarmed her. My mom rebutted her telling her I was sick, so the doctor compromised with a threat, "I'm going to bring you back next week, if you have lost any weight, I'm admitting you to the psyche ward for evaluation". That week I ate most meals, with much guilt, trying to please my parents and the doctor. When it was time to be weighed again, I had gained a pound. "She's fine, its normal for girls her age to feel fat". From then on my parents avoided the subject and acted aloof to me not eating. They told themselves I was just acting normal. I spiraled further.
I grew more and more distant, shutting everyone out who opposed my monster. I became hardened and sad. Trapped in the hell I forged for myself and my monster. In February the monster lost control, and for the first time in months, I saw what I really looked like. I was passing quickly by the mirrors in the girls bathroom, dodging my reflection as I always did, when out of the corner of my eye I saw what looked like a skeleton with skin. I stopped, jealous of the figure searching the large bathroom for the girl, before I realized, that skeleton with skin, was me. I stared eyes open as wide as they could go at my gaunt figure, horrified at what I saw. My eyes were sunken in surrounded by black circles. My hair was thin and stringy, my clothes hanging off my body, as if on a hanger. My cheeks were hollow and pale, my once full, pink lips, now thinned and white. I realized how little control I had over my monster. It was killing me, I looked like death.
After climbing into our families suburban that day, I told my mom I wanted help. My mothers grip on the steering will tightened and her knuckles turned white. "What did you say?", she said, staring at me in me shock.
"I need help.. I don't look well". I stared down at backpack by my feet. My mother with little emotion and replied, "You do look sick. I will make an appointment with a counselor."
There was no more talk about it the rest of the night. My mother called a family friend who was a counselor and made an appointment. I met with him a few times a week, and slowly the monster in me shrunk in size. My monster still growled in my depths stirring up guilt from time to time, but for the most part, it was silent. I still longed for acceptance and love, but finding it in thinness wasn't the way I was going to find it anymore.
I ended my freshman year as an alien in my school. Everyone knew that I had anorexia, rumors of speculation had spread like a wild fire through the school; and just as I was labeled before as the fat girl, I was now the anorexic; even after I got healthy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Mike was shorter guy, shorter than me. Which wasn't unusual, since I was one of the tallest girls throughout all of elementary, but it was more prominent in sixth grade. He was funny, and athletic. He was an actor and often missed school for auditions. I had a monstrous crush on him, and he knew it. Most of the time he would act nice to my face, then say horrible things about me as he walked away. I was too dumb to realize he was a total jerk. My brother and his older sister were in the same grade. Both our parents were highly involved in all the activities that the 8th graders did, and we were both drug along. His sister was an athlete and pretty. One of the cool kids like my brother. I know my brother really liked her, but was too busy trying to look uninterested to grab her attention. I got stuck tagging along for the 8th grade homecoming dance, Mike happened to be there too, tagging along with his parents.. It was that night, he got desperate enough to talk to me. Before I knew it were walking around the campus, laughing and joking about our older siblings, and all the ridiculous things they did as 8th graders. In my head I was reeling with the idea he might actually like me. When we got to the lockers he looked down at his feet and and shyly asked, "do you want to be my girlfriend?". I felt as if my feet were floating above the ground. "um, ya.. sure". I replied trying hard to play it cool. We parted ways and he told me he would see me at school the next day. I couldn't wait. The next morning, I put on my favorite dress, did my hair, even put on a little lip gloss. I found him first thing on the playground the next morning before school. He was hanging out with friends gathered around the tall metal slide that most kids didn't use because its hot surface no matter what the season. It was the playground monument for the cool kids.
"hi mike!", I said nervously, knowing I was standing on the cool kid holy ground.
"What do you want?", he said coolly. I stood motionless and stunned. "Oh.. you thought I was serious?". He looked over at his shoulders as the other kids snickered. "I was just kidding I wouldn't really be your boyfriend.. Your ugly". My eyes started filling with tears. I tried hard to retain any composure I could muster. "I don't care..", I said my voice shaking. I quickly ran off and got a pass to the bathrooms. I cried and cried. I had never felt so crushed. I locked myself in the bathroom for an hour, trying to get myself together for class. I was late for school, and got sent to the principles where I was given detention. I would not tell them why my face was tear stained and what had happened on the playground. Mike and friends teased me for weeks. Calling my name and saying "hey Summer, you want to my girlfriend? JUST KIDDING!". If I could have dug myself a hole and died, I would have.
Thankfully, my elementary misery ended, and I started middle school. I was even heavier and more outcast than before. But unlike the previous school years, I made a real, close friend, Melissa. Melissa and I had one common love for the many teen beat heartthrobs, and as well as the same awkward size that made us inseparable. She had short blond hair and the prettiest features, including the bluest eyes I had ever seen. Her parents worked tirelessly to keep their large home and expensive cars. Her mother was German and they would speak German around me. I loved listening to them, wishing I could join in. We spent every waking moment of junior high together. Melissa was spunky and had odd sense of humor. I loved her handwriting how it was rounded and sweet, like her. She would dot her I's with hearts or circles. We spent many sleep overs talking about the crushes we had, how we would be beautiful, tall and thin in high school, and get married to one of our many celebrity crushes at 16.
First period was PE. I hated PE with everything in my being. I loved my teacher. She was tall and boyish. Would always say, "Summer, be PE tough!". Hoping in some way to inspire me to one more crunch. In the spring we did soccer. I hated soccer more than anything. I was picked last, and couldn't kick the ball well. I always found some way to be excused due to my period cramps or allergies. In the second week of soccer, Melissa told me she liked soccer and wasn't going to stay out. I was mad and felt betrayed. As I sat in the gym watching the clock, one my classmates ran in calling me. Melissa was playing goalie, because of her size and the mud on the field she slipped and broke her femur. I ran out as fast as could. Pushed past the teachers and faculty to stand my her side. I waited until the ambulance came and watched as the loaded her onto the stretcher and into the ambulance. She winced in pain, shaking in the shock. I called my parents immediately to tell them what happened, hoping they would take me straight away to the hospital to wait by her side. My brother was in baseball at the time, and had long practices everyday. It required a lot of my parents and just like before I was pushed to last in line for their attention. Melissa was on many pain meds and could rarely awake to talk, three days after her fall she had surgery to get pins in her leg. I could never seem to get my parents to drive me to her house. Before I knew two weeks had passed and I had hardly talked to her or seen her. Those 3 weeks she was out of school were the loneliest, I had ever experienced. I imagined that's how she felt at home. I was only able to visit her once in the 3 weeks. By the time she came back to school, she was a stranger. I still held her books, helped her with her locker; but she was upset that her best friend hadn't been there with her. I was ashamed that I couldn't have been either. From that point on, our tight bond started to unravel. When we started high school we were totally different people. Her with a new set of friends, me with my obsession.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I grew up in a pit. That's probably the nicest thing I can say about my hometown. Everyone knew everyone, but not in the happy, lovely Andy Griffith show kind of way.. It was Mayberry's evil twin. It was barren, dusty and lonely. Tucked away from any large city. Once you moved there, your chances of leaving were next to none.. I used to call it my purgatory.
I was born to loving parents. Who worked hard to give me the life they dreamed. They never really succeeded that, and because of guilt, it became easy for them to cast me aside. They turned their sights to making other people happy, at me and siblings expense. They were good people, and I loved them dearly.
I had an older brother and a younger sister. Both equally as annoying as they were lovable. My brother was dark, tall and thin. He had a prominent jaw line and apple cheeks that I envied over. He was artistic and was good at pretty much everything he tried. He was good at being cool without ever putting forth any effort.
My sister was light skinned and had a round face and large, round brown eyes. She was short and chubby. She was smart and could figure just about everything out. She had long pretty fingers that glided over our piano like soft a breeze, filling our house with Mozart and Chopin. I remember when she was a baby, how she seemed to be calculating everything. She would watch and take notes in her head, as if she was archiving the information for when she could use it.
In elementary, I was the fat girl. I went to a big school. Even though it was big, it was easy to stick out. I was quickly labeled. My parents were well known, their reputation did nothing but hurt mine. They were always bending over backwards for people trying to make everyone happy. They were too busy to hear my dreams, or watch my one person plays, or help me with homework, because of that I was desperate for attention and acceptance. Which my longing for approval did all but get me what I desired. I was ridiculed by my peers, and hated by my teachers. It became easy for me to escape into my dream world where everyone worshiped the ground I walked on, and pined for every word I would say. In my world I was the best athlete, the smartest student, and prettiest girl.. Everything in the real world I was not.

I did have a big heart. I wanted everyone to be accepted and loved even if I couldn't be. In third grade a new student came to class. He was black, and and heavy. In my school, in my city, both of those were a crime. He had a goofy smile, and deep interest in people. My peers laughed at him while he was introduced to us. He shifted and and swayed under the stares of all 23 students on him. He was sat in the table behind me. I wanted a friend, and he looked the person to be one.

We had an awkward friendship. He was quiet and very reserved. The most he said to me was, "mmhmm", "yes", or "no". I happily talked his ear off, and was thankful I had someone who would listen. We walked around the playground me gabbing, him listening intently. In my mind he was all I had been needing, in his, just he wanted acceptance. We got teased daily. Especially by Tiffany. Tiffany ruled the playground. As she mocked us, I would stare at her perfect round freckled cheeks. Auburn hair, that was always in high ponytail on top of her perfect head. She always wore designer clothing, and had all lisa frank school supplies that I coveted. Her mom picked her up in her red convertible. I hated them as they drove away, auburn hair waving in the wind. She would call Brandon my boyfriend, and say I was desperate.
I could tell that hurt his feelings. She had been taunting me since kindergarten, so I had become calloused to her teases. Brandon had not. Even though we were good friends, his parents didn't like that all the other students made fun of him. It wasn't long before they pulled him out of school. I wished my parents would have done the same. There were many "Brandons" that came through. I befriended them all, was taunted by Tiffany for all, and most of them didn't last the whole school year. The ones that did we formed a group of misfits that stuck together through high school. We were friends because we had to be. No one else would take us. At our school you were either cool or not cool, there was no inbetween. We had good times together, but never formed a deep, lasting bond. We would join in on the teasing of the other, if it meant we were cool for a day.
Over the years I had many crushes. Most of them becoming that pretty literal to my psyche.. crushing.. Before I got chunky, I had a few boyfriends. First and second grade were the best. I had not gained my "baby fat" as my mother called it, and at that time, being hyperactive and imaginative was still cool. By the time summer had ended and it was time to begin third grade, I was heavy and labeled as weird. From there my boy problems started.