I was just five years old and I remember being at the dining room table. Any typical five year old might be enjoying her spaghetti bolognese while her loving parents chatted away about their days at work, and how much they loved each other. Ya…not so much. My parents were screaming obscenities at each other while hurling plates of food at each other. I remember my father ducked and the plate (ironically from their wedding china collection) ricocheted off the wall instead of the intended target, his head. As the spaghetti noodles stuck to the wall and the meatballs went sliding down to the floor, I remember thinking it was quite normal for a family dinner at home.
My parents made the Sopranos look like the Cleavers. If my father wasn’t slamming the door as he sped off in his car, my mother was taking all of his clothes and burning them in the fireplace, or breaking into his place of business and doing her own CSI investigation on his bank statements.
Now is where you would hope my story makes a turn for the better, where I get a great step father and I get that Pie in the sky family I deserved. Ya….not so much. I got a new step-dad all right, but he was anything but a father. In fact he was mean and cruel, abusive and hurtful. This of course meant more fighting, and yelling, and unstableness. Three years of it, until my mother finally had enough and packed it up and moved it on out.
I used to say that my family put the DYS in DYSFUNCTION. By the time I was thirteen I knew no other way to communicate my feelings, but then to get angry. I grew up in the ring, so by the time I was a teenager I had become quite the little prizefighter. I had to wear gloves to deal with all the punches that were thrown at me.
My mother and I disagreed quite a lot as I got older, as most teenagers and their mothers do, but I had no second parent there to referee. It was my mothers way or else about everything, how I prayed, and who I prayed to, what I ate, and how often. If I dared defy her, this would throw her into a rage, which resulted in me once getting a phone cord wrapped around my neck, and several times plates of food or other objects thrown in my face.
The only way I knew how to be communicate was to fight, but I had nobody there to fight with me, so I usually lost. Then one day, I decided to fight in another way, it didn’t involve fists, or swear words, or punching down a wall.
I decided I would display my anger my taking it out on my body. All that rage, all that madness that had been beating within me for so many years came in the form of running 6 miles a day, consuming nothing but diet cola and sugarless gum or eating 2 extra large pizzas, and then throwing it all up. It came in the form of taking massive doses of narcotics to knock myself out, or by taking massive amounts of amphetamines to keep myself up. It came in the form of fighting anybody who tried to take it away from me. I held on to it like a baby does a fistful of hair.
I took all that and locked it up so nobody in the world could touch it. It was my rage, and my rage alone. Nobody could mess with me, and the biggest ammunition I had was in the palm of my hand. I could now use my Eating Disorder to get back at everybody in the world who had used and abused the shit out of me.
Did it work?…..well.stay tuned and I will tell you in part 2:).