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Writing and Work of Steff, aka "Liz", age 14
You are such a fat cow!!!!! - A journal entry
|Page 2 Has
more of her writing
Today in March of 2008, I realized I didn't have this file linked to my page on emotionally abusive mothers. I thought of Liz because she was the first teen I remember who told me that she felt like she was in a "black hole." It was in a text message. At the time I remember starting to write something about how she didn't know how she got in the hole, so it would be hard for her to get out. Then the other day I was chatting with another teen who has not yet been as damaged as Liz and she wrote this about being in a deep hole.
You might say Liz's mother "wrote the book" on how to emotionally abuse your daughter. A lot of what I learned from abusive mothers, I learned from what Liz told me. I also spoke to Liz's mother on the phone, and just by that short conversation it was clear that Liz had been telling me the truth. Her mother had sounded cold, calculating, threatening and capable of violence. Liz's father also confirmed her violent and manipulative nature.
On a personal level for me, Liz's story is one of the saddest. As of April 2006 she was 18. We met online when she had just turned 14. By her journal writing it was clear that she was already self-harming at 13 years old. When she 14 she started telling me about what was happening at home. Her parents found out we were talking and threatened me and punished her. Eventually they convinced her I was trying to break the family apart and Liz stopped talking to me for over two years.
Then in May of 2005, totally out of the blue, I happened to get an email from her that she says she accidentally sent to me instead of someone else named Steve. So I emailed her back and wished her well. Then she emailed me back again and soon we were chatting. Later I might put copies of our chats on here, but I will just say a few things now. Liz now defends the mother who abused her. She now has no interest in talking about feelings. She has been going to parties and getting drunk and having sex with people she does not love. She confirmed that it was true that she lost her virginity, while she was drunk, to one of her mother's friends at a New Years Eve party in her mother's house just a few weeks before she turned 15. She also told me she has not been in love in the past few years. But she made it clear she has had several sexual partners. She also told me she is currently seeing someone who has a girlfriend. And she also told me where she is putting her mind to work. A mind that I called exceptional at age 14 - Pizza Hut.
Here is an editorial I wrote about the day she told me all of this.
Last update March 2008
You are such a fat cow!!!!! (journal writing at age 14)
Allow me to introduce myself. My name, or as I am called by so-called "doctors" is Anorexia. Anorexia Nervosa is my full name, but you may call me Ana. Hopefully we will become great partners. In the coming time, I will invest a lot of time in you, and I expect the same from you.
In the past, you have heard all of your teachers and parents
talk about you. You are "so mature",
"intelligent", "14 going on 45", and you
possess "so much potential". Where has that gotten you,
may I ask? Absolutely nowhere! You are not perfect, you do not
try hard enough, and further more you waste your time on thinking
and talking with friends and drawing! Such acts of indulgence
shall not be allowed in the future.
Your friends do not understand you. They are not truthful. In the past, when your insecurity has quietly gnawed away at your mind, and you asked them, "Do I look...fat?" and they answered "Oh no, of course not", you knew they were lying! Only I tell the truth. Your parents, let's not even go there! You know that they love you and care for you, but part of that is just that they are your parents and are obligated to do so. I shall tell you a secret now: deep down inside of themselves, they are disappointed with you. Their child, the one with so much potential, has turned into a fat, lazy, undeserving adolescent.
But I am about to change all of that.
I expect a lot from you. You are not allowed to eat much. It will start slowly: decreasing of fat intake, reading the nutrition labels, cutting out junk food, fried food, etc. For a while, the exercise will be simple: some running, perhaps some crunches and sit-ups. Nothing too serious. Perhaps drop a few pounds, take a little off that fat tub of a stomach. But it won't be long before I tell you that it isn't good enough...
I will expect you to drop your caloric intake and up your
exercise. I will push you to the limit. You must take it because
you cannot defy me! I will imbed myself into you. Pretty soon, I
will always be with you. I will be there when you wake up in the
morning and run to the scale. The numbers become both friend and
enemy, and the frenzied thoughts pray for them to be lower than
yesterday, last night, etc. You look into the mirror with dismay.
You prod and poke at the fat that is there, and smile when you
come across bone. I am there when you figure out the plan for the
day: 400 calories, 2 hours of exercise. I am the one figuring
this out, because by now my thoughts and your thoughts are
blurred together as one. I follow you throughout the day. In
school, when your mind wanders, I give you something to think
about. Recount the calories for the day. It's too much. I fill
your mind with thoughts of food, weight, calories and things that
are safe to think about. Because now, I am already inside of you.
I am in your head, your heart and your soul. The hunger pains you
pretend not to feel are me, inside of you.
Pretty soon I am telling you not only what to do with food, but what to do ALL of the time. Smile and nod. Present yourself well. Suck in that fat stomach, dammit! God, you are such a fat cow!!!!! When mealtime comes around, I will tell you what to do. I make a plate of lettuce seem like a feast fit for a king. Push the food around; make it look like you've eaten something. No piece of anything...if you eat, all the control will be broken...do you WANT that?? To revert back to the fat COW you once were?? I force you to stare at magazine models-those perfect-skinned, white-toothed, waifish models of perfection staring at you from those glossy pages. I make you realize that you could never be one of them. You will always be fat and never will you be as beautiful as they are. When you look in the mirror, I will distort the image. I will show you obesity and hideousness. I will show you a sumo wrestler when in reality there is a starving child. But you must not know this, because if you knew the truth, you might start to eat again and our relationship would come crashing down. Sometimes you will rebel. Hopefully not often, though. You will recognize the small rebellious streak left in your body and will venture down into the dark kitchen. The cupboard door will slowly open, creaking softly. Your eyes will move over the food that I have kept at a safe distance from you. You will find your hands reaching out, lethargically, like a nightmare, through the darkness to the box of crackers. You shove them in, mechanically, not really tasting, but simply relishing in the fact that you are going against me. You reach for another box, then another, then another. Your stomach will become bloated and grotesque, but you will not stop yet. And all the time I am screaming at you to stop, you fat cow, you really have no self-control, you are going to get fat.
When it is over you will cling to me again, ask me for advice because you really don't want to get fat. You broke a cardinal rule and ate, and now you want me back. I'll force you into the bathroom, onto your knees, staring at the void of the toilet bowl. Your fingers will be inserted into your throat, and, not without a great deal of pain, your food binge will come up. Over and over this is to be repeated, until you spit up blood and water and you know it is all gone. When you stand up, you will feel dizzy.
Don't pass out. Stand up right now. You fat cow, you deserve
to be in pain!
Maybe the choice of getting rid of the guilt is different. Maybe I will choose to make you take laxatives, where you sit on the toilet until the wee hours of the morning, feeling your insides cringe. Or perhaps I will make you hurt yourself, bang you head into the wall until you receive a throbbing headache. Cutting is also effective. I want you to see your blood; to see it fall down our arm, and in that split second you will realize you deserve whatever pain I give you. You are depressed, obsessed, in pain, hurting, reaching out, but will anyone listen? Who cares? You are deserving; you brought this upon yourself.
Oh, is this harsh? Do you not want this to happen to you? Am I unfair? I do things that will help you. I make it possible for you to stop thinking of emotions that cause you stress. Thoughts of anger, sadness, desperation and loneliness can cease because I take them away and fill your head with methodical calorie counting. I take away your struggle to fit in with people your age, the struggle of trying to please everyone as well. Because now, I am your only friend, and I am the only one you need to please.
I have a weak spot. But we must not tell anyone. If you decide to fight back, to reach out to someone and tell them about how I make you live, all hell will break loose. No one must find out, no one can crack this shell that I have covered you with. I have created you, this thin, perfect achieving creature. You are mine and mine alone. Without me, you are nothing. So do not fight back. When others comment, ignore them. Take it into stride, forget about them, and forget about everyone that tries to take me away. I am your greatest asset, and I intend to keep it that way.
I don't want to be diagnosed as anorexic. I really don't. But
I don't want to be fat. I am a perfectionist and my body is not
up to my high standards.
Some people say this disease of the mind has no cure. Well, I have a cure. A personal one. But it can't be put to the test.
I need to meet someone that understands me. Those kind of humans are rare. Nobody in my life, as in properly in my life (i.e. not online) understands me. If I could just meet someone who instantly clicked with me. I just need to. I am never going to conform to society or change for the sake of others. I am changing now but I can't help that. I just don't know the outcome yet.
Misc. Journal Entries.
|I really want to feel loved by someone. Someone who can hold me and kiss me and be there. Accept me and not criticise or try to change me. See beyond the exterior. But it wont happen. It never has, so why now? I seem to be invisible to everybody.|
|Last night we went out to get a video and, to cut (pun not intended) a long story short, we ended up coming home without one because of my "greediness, selfishness" and various other insults thrown at me by mother. So I went to bed feeling extremely depressed and started poking myself with my compass. I made two marks, about 5-ish centimetre away from eachother and decided to join them up. It bled. A lot. Now it stings.|
What makes a mother, a good mother, a great mother, a bad mother, an abusive mother
When Liz was 14 I asked her to write what she thought made someone a mother, a good mother, a great mother, a bad mother and an abusive mother. Here is what she wrote:
If woman has given birth to the child, this makes her the mother in that she is related by blood and carried the child in her womb etc. However, his might be the only thing that makes her the mother
A good mother
A good mother loves her child and gives them what they need (food, water, clothes, a place to sleep etc). She also hugs her child and makes sure her child knows she loves them regularly. She cares for her child and helps them grow up.
A great mother
A great mother gives her child what they need (food, water etc) but also gives them space to grow, learn and "breath". She doesnt try and make her child something that theyre not and allows them to be themselves and explore different things. She doesnt invalidate or punish her child, but instead encourages them to learn from experiences, not "mistakes" or "misbehaviour". She loves her child and shows it and she knows she doesnt own her child and supports them in what ever they choose to do with their life, knowing that its their life, not her own. Her child grows up very happy and healthy, knowing how to meet his/her own emotional needs.
A bad mother
A bad mother punishes her child, imposes rules and maybe doesnt let her child know she loves them enough. She might also stop her child from doing things (unreasonably) and when asked why, get all defensive and say things like "its for your own good".
The more she doesnt accept the childs individuality, the more likely it is that the child is going to feel outcast and out of place. The child might be more likely to rebel.
An abusive mother
An abusive mother might do all of the above but also physically punish her child. She would place all the blame and responsibility on the child and make the child feel completely worthless and undeserving of anything. The child would have no self-confidence or self-esteem and think its wrong to say theyre good at something. Everything they do would not seem good enough for their mother and the child might get depressed as a result of the way their mother treats them.
An abusive mother would manipulate her child and also emotionally abuse them. She would shout at her child and make them cry. She would always be putting them down and invalidating them by saying things like "I dont care what you think, your opinion doesnt matter" "Im everything, youre nothing" and "What did I do to deserve you?".
Things My Mother Has Said
If you don't stop it I'll make you go and live with your father (an empty threat; she never wanted me to. Whenever I would go pack my bag or put my shoes on she would say, "You're not going now")
I think you're suffering from depression
I wish I'd never given birth to you
You're not my daughter, no daughter of mine acts like this
I really don't care about what you think
I will bring you up how i want to and there's nothing you can do about it
I dont want to hear your opinion unless you're asked
You make me feel really hurt
Youre so selfish
All you care about is what people think of you
Youre supposed to be the clever one, why cant you work it out?
Im everything, youre nothing
Youre a minor, I can stop you
Theres nothing you can do about it!
You need to go to the doctors because your behaviour isnt normal
What did I do to deserve you?
Being with your father does nothing for your looks. You look much better now youre back with me.
I think all perverts should be shot.
Anyone that cuts themselves should be locked up in a mental institution.
Piss off and never come back
You dont deserve [insert object/feeling here]
You think you know everything
I think you should be a model. Youre very photogenic. Ive got some lovely photos of you.
-She said this soon after I came back to her. Im sure shes trying to keep me. She also bought me a skirt and some shoes.
Liz added this note.."Of course, thats not
I felt hated by Susanna when...
She would shout at me.
She would compare me to my brother or step-sister or any of my friends, saying things like Seb doesnt do that, or I bet Laura doesnt behave like this
She would shout at me and then cry and say "It's all your fault"
Back me into a corner and come right up close, shouting, with this mad rage in her eyes and then shut me in my room
She would laugh at me with her husband she would give me these looks, then look at her husband, and turn away laughing
She told everybody willing to listen about my "behaviour" and how rude I am etc and make herself seem completely in the right and me completely in the wrong.
When she used to bitch about me, basically. (Probably still does) She would criticise everything I said or did
She kept making out that she wished she'd never had me. I said to her once, "But you chose to have me!" and she said "Well, I wouldn't have had you if I'd known it was going to be like this"
She made faces, like rolling her eyes, when I told her something
She realized when I said something she didn't believe or something
She placed blame on me for almost everything and then told me to say "sorry"
She never let me explain things to her when she was mad so sometimes she was mad for no reason because she didn't know the full story
She shouted at me for not saying sorry and because sometimes I would say, "But it doesn't mean much if you've told me to say it, does it?" Then she would get even angrier
She would get as many people as she could on her side, backing her up and reassuring her that she was right and I was wrong
She would call up the rest of my family whenever I'd done something she considered really, really bad (like when I said "You're such a bitch, just leave me alone") and tell them the whole story haha and then get loads of sympathy.
She told one of my cousins about me wanting to and live at dad's and she said to Susanna, "Don't worry, shes just being a brat. It'll pass" That hurt. Like it was just some phase. Like I'm not old enough to be able to judge things and make decisions
An Unsent Letter to My Mother (From chat May 11, 2002)
why is it that you pick up on everything i supposedly do
whenever X or Y do something that is wrong in your
eyes you don't notice. you said so yourself when i asked why you
never notice when they hold thier cutlery wrong. you said you try
not to notice every thing that they do wrong. but i know you think
manners are very important. so why is it that you seem to actually
be looking for things to criticise me about or shout at me for?
i always feel like i've done something wrong. i'm just trying to be
you are a bitch to me most of the time, you know that? you
always scream at me and tell me you're trying to change me "for the
better". well let me tell you something. i don't want to change.
when i bring up the subject of when i go to bed and basically
wanting to make desicions for myself you turn nasty. do you want me
to feel trapped? probably. you always say thay when i start acting mature
you will treat me mature. yeah, whatever. that day will never come.
you make me feel so depressed all the time, sussana. you're not mum to me
anymore. you make my life misery.
you tell people we have an "open relationship", that
i can talk to
you about anything and do talk to you. er, no. i never have.
and we do not have an open fucking relationship
the fact is i never know how you are going to react when i ask
about anything. you think you are a good mum because you give me
money each month and let me on the computer and shit. that's not
being a good mum. and why is it that you always go running to
your new husband? like you can't deal with it on your own. it being me.
and my opinions etc. you gang up on me. but you are the leader, the
bully. i can't wait to leave and get out. don't expect me to come back
Text message Dec 10
i feel so confused and down. im in a black hole & the only way out is ending it. i need to stop it. i can't take it anymore. i feel more ready everyday. im sorry.
Threat About Keeping Secrets
on sunday (yesterday in fact) my phone rang while my mum was
room and it was my friend edd, asking me to meet him in burger
king. my mum listened to the whole conversation and after goes:
"who was that? it sounded like a man. Was it dad?"
me: "a friend, a boy"
mum: "a boy"
me: "yes but he's gay if you must know"
mum: (getting angry) "don't you keep secrets from me. if you ever
keep secrets from me you're never going out again"
me: ok ok
mum: don't talk to me like that
you see? sigh. anyway since i'm being timed, more later
(what she means by "i'm being timed" is that her mother would only allow her a certain amount of time on the computer each day. I think it was 30 minutes or 1 hour - but it depended on the mother's mood)
A chat we had when she was feeling suicidal -- sepchat1.htm