How Social Media has contributed to my Mental Ilnesses!

Hey everybody,

Bear with me with this one, i know i will be going past-present-past and everything in between!

Here’s a visual for you:
A young girl.. No older than 13, sits in front of the computer in her room until the early hours of the morning. She talks to her online “BF” of whom really turns out to be a girl “pretending” to be a super hot “scene” guy with a side fringe.

One night, for some odd reason she feels depressed and hates herself, probably something to do with the bullying, her insecurities and fears of having real relationships with people. She looks up on google what overdosing on panadol can do. She finds it can cause sickness or in severe cases, death. She knows she probably doesn’t have enough to kill herself, but she is determined to hurt herself in some way. She takes as many pills as she is brave enough to take.. Probably 5 or 6.

She waits.. While having a conversation with her online “BF”. She starts to feel quite ill and scared, so she confesses to her online friend of whom tells her to eat some white bread to soak up the pills. The bread works. She is ready for bed now.

What a terribly silly thing for a 13 year old girl to be doing. If i had been my own parent, i feel i would have done things differently.

Fast forward to 2017, i am reflecting on my life and my traumas and my issues – and how social media has “helped”.

The thing is, i thought it did, it gave me a place to be in contact with people, a place where i didn’t (always) feel scared to express my feelings. What i would conveniently forget is that it has caused me great anxiety. When i was in high school i remember wishing i was a “favorite” friend on Bebo and Myspace, only to feel dissapointed that i was almost always left out. I don’t blame every friend i had for not being “friendly” enough. Looking back i know i didn’t communicate well, i had no confidence and whenever i tried to fake my confidence i almost always felt embaressed.

When i did show who i was inside, a bubbly, weird, extremely passionate person, i felt people thought i came on too strong and if i didn’t get my desired reaction, i would immediately assume everyone thought i was weird. I manifested this myself, but it is all i knew and i had to learn it somewhere. I learnt this from my parents.

Don’t get me wrong, i love my mother and she has given me unconditional love. When she was 1 year old, her mother had a stroke and ended up in a wheelchair. Her older brother and sister has both experienced there mother in her happy, confident state, my mother only experienced her mother in a wheelchair, a lady once in control, now not. A traumatic event for anyone. My mother then was rarely allowed to leave the house other than to go to school and to see her closest family friend. My mother was and still is shy but passionate. We are similar in this way. When she began raising me at 28 years of age, she had no idea how to teach a child to be social, she was never taught much herself.

It was just me and mum most of the time, with the exception of boyfriends here and there, of which she would argue with regularly.

We were poor, as mum was working hard but as a single mother who gave up her work as an ambulance officer, things were challenging as she went on to commercial cookery and then nursing like her brother and sister, she studied hard, left everything to the last minute but almost always passed. What i could never understand is that when we could have had much more, she smoked weed. She had a lot of inner anger and insecurities, so it would have helped her cope, but it didn’t help me. I don’t remember doing much at all with my mother, she told me we went to the park as a baby but i don’t remember anything when i was school age, apart from special occasions like my birthday and visiting family for Christmas, but even those special times at Christmas i held dear, slipped away. As i grew older i found i didn’t feel as loved by my extended family and when the holidays around them dissipated it was even harder to connect with them.

My mum spent a lot of time in the computer room with her bong. I remember once i must have said something rude because she slapped me over the head and i accidentally banged my head on the dresser, it was an accident of course but all i wanted her to do was express how sorry she was and give me the most loving hug in the world, but instead she said in a very distressed voice “I didn’t mean to do that” and went and sat back on her computer. Although she was sorry and felt bad inside, which i knew even before we spoke about it just after Christmas in 2016, the child me just thought i was unworthy and unloved and that’s why i got hurt.

When i was in year 7, i actually had some friends, although one of them was a narcissist which made things hard as that caused her to bully and manipulate the shy and well-meaning people like me. If what happened next hadn’t of happened, i may have experienced much less trauma than i have.

My Papa died, my mothers father. We were all so upset, he was our backbone, so kind, generous and we loved him so much. 2 days earlier i had slept over at his house as was our regular ritual. My Nana lived in the nursing home next door to Papas! We all thought she would be the first to pass, as she was in a wheelchair and in a nursing home. It would have hit her the hardest as Papa used to visit her every single day and make her feel at home even though it would have been very hard for him to watch his love grow old and start to forget. She slowly gave up after that, and soon enough she passed also.

My mother did not cope well. As well as her weed addiction, she started to drink heavy, more than just one out of control “Thursday Spa Night” per week with her friends, every morning she would come home from night shift and start to drink, some days by midday she was passed out drunk on the couch. As a teenager, this made me very angry. I didn’t understand how she could live her live drunk, stoned and with a messy house. I loved my mum when she wasn’t slurring, why didn’t she see the person she could be? Mum was diagnosed with Post-Natal Depression. Papa never got to meet Ruby, the youngest and i think that may have been the reason she spiraled so quickly. She got some anti-depressants and i think it helped. She still drank and smoked, but i think it was less emotional and more habitual, making it easier for her to control. I don’t remember where my cutting fell into this, but mums reaction was not good. “You’re a fucking idiot!!!!” made me feel much worse about my situation. Mum bought me boys board shorts for the pool to cover my legs, but never sent me to a doctor and i don’t know why. We were bulk billed so i don’t know why! She sent me to get something (i forget what it’s called) in my arm to prevent me getting pregnant when i was sexually active, but she didn’t get my mental health checked! I will note my hormones then went wild so i had to get it taken out.

I had no respect for my parents as a teenager, or myself either. All i saw was the weed, the alcohol, the messy house and the fighting between my long term step father and my mother.

After sneaking out many weekends and rebelling, my mother hit her wits end and sent me to my fathers over the holidays with the threat of me never coming back. My dad forced me to come to every Tae-kwon-do training session(6 days per week), which doesn’t sound bad to me now, but teenage me was feeling lazy and didn’t want to do anything that i didn’t want to do! I still don’t believe in forcing your child to do anything (within reason), this only caused resentment in my case, and for most other teenagers.

My dad also has depression, so he was hard to be around at times, he would never take anything out on another person, but was so hard on himself, but always did his best not to show it, but it was transparent.

I remember dad inviting some of his friends over, two adults and their 19 year old child from taekwondo, they were having a few drinks and dad allowed me to. When dad was in the toilet,the 19 year old was taking shots, and as someone who had drank as many weekends as possible as a 14 year old, i decided to challenge him by downing a shot without screwing up my face, the rest is a bit blurry until everyone was saying goodbye and me and the drunk 19 year old started making out while the adults were outside.

Annnyyywhooo…. Later i was vomiting drunk and told my father that i made out with said 19 year old. I remember him telling me i shouldn’t kiss anyone i don’t love. I remember thinking he was a prude, but kind of on to something, although i believe everyone should be able to have a little fun when they’re single, just maybe not how i did in my teen years.

Anywho… I’m was off track. After all this, when i was 15 i ran away into the arms if Gary, the narcissist who sexually, physically and emotionally abused me for around 3.5 straight years and severely manipulated me when we were separated. I remember my resurface on social media just after the birth of my beautiful daughter. My fitness pal. This site helped me eat more calories when i had anorexia and orthorexia, but once i hit the end of my calorie comfort zone, i didn’t go higher until me and Gary separated. I started to get into all of it again and the second time i left him i really got into the #FITSPO movement. The problem was, as someone who had struggled with severe insecurities, this gave me such an overload of information, instead of me sitting on google researching nutrition and health, there was a bunch of things all these bikini athletes and bodybuilders were doing to get their results, they were always almost more extreme than anything you would find on google that wasn’t “pro-ana” because i didn’t even know i HAD an eating disorder, i was just trying to find something to focus on other than the abuse that my mind was repressing. Social media i today realized was the kicker to my repression, PTSD, depression and anxiety. Social media had me try all of things all of these people i viewed as “better than me” were doing. I was barely a bodybuilder yet and i was trying to cycle the most extreme diets as a part of my desire to “fit in” somewhere. This fed my eating disorder, not a desire to hurt myself or make myself stick thin. But failing these diets and extreme training programs had me hating myself instead, i didn’t feel like i was good as them, once again.

I am not saying every post i have made was full of a desire to fit in.
I am saying that my mental illnesses fed off of it. It was an excuse to fulfill my need of communication and helping others, without having to go out and make friends who could help me, i’ve always been a giver and this decision will help me give to myself.
I am not always controlled by my disorders, much less in 2017 than i ever have been –
BUT if i want to fully recover, i need to step out and make real friends instead of relying on this crutch any longer.
Cue the irony of me posting this on a form of social media, but long ago i deleted facebook and just the other day i permanently deleted my instagram account.
When i need to unload my thoughts, i will write on here. Writing sometimes scares me so this blog will be a positive thing for me.

Much love and take care,

B.Rose X

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Listening to Your Desires

Hey Amazing People,

As you may now, throughout my life i have experienced self harm, domestic abuse and eating disorders and due to my PTSD i did sink into a depression that i was quite oblivious of. I thought i was doing all i could to achieve happiness and i didn’t think life was that bad because most of my life has been a lot more traumatic. I got angry at myself for not being grateful for what i had.

I am grateful now and i can see the light at the end of the tunnel, i’m at a point now that i can see the end of taking pills to reduce my symptoms. I have realized a LOT recently.

I wanted to move on straight away from my problems and this and my very smart mind helped cause my “repression” of many memories, many traumatic and some happy ones involving others due to my subconscious belief system that “everyone hates me”. Which is completely untrue.

For many years i have been striving for the ultimate physique, the ultimate personal training business and i desired to help change peoples life deeply. All i tried to do without a reliable memory. Due to my eating disorders and being in touch with my ex, this created almost constant trauma which caused my brain to continue my repression, making it hard to fully absorb and work through information. How do i know this? Because as my repression fades and keep fading i REMEMBER things i have studied and learnt and i have also become better at learning and absorbing information! Amazing!

I now realize there is nothing wrong with my goals and i have such passion that i CAN achieve them. My eating and exercise disorders were caused by my intense PASSION without self belief, i felt i needed to go to extremes to get where i desired to go, when all i needed was to believe.

My mind is working and i will keep moving forward.
I will keep testing the waters and may stop taking anti-depressants withing a few months!
I am ensuring 2017 will be as stress free as possible all the while achieving my goals.

STAY STRONG!
B. Rose X

Overcome a Guilt Mentality!

Hey guys!

Today is a good day, but i have found a trigger.

It’s called guilt.

It’s the holidays and my daughters kinder is conveniently still open all weekdays apart from public holidays, she goes three days per week and this fits perfectly with my work in the hospitality industry as i have sometimes unpredictable hours. I feel guilty today because i didn’t end up working today (i was meant to but will be working Saturday night and Sunday instead) but she still has kinder so i still took her! Which is great for her because she loves it, she gets to play and learn but i feel this guilt inside like i’m not a good mother for not spending 24/7 with my child. They charge you for your booked days even if you don’t bring your child (unless you give a fortnights notice for absence) so i guess that’s another understandable reason to still take her.

This makes me wonder why i feel so guilty when everything is positive. It would have to be my “worry” habit. When i look back at my life, i know there was some happy memories, but i know there was also consistent traumatic memories. As a child i worried a lot. It’s easier to change this habit now that i know what it is – Just A Habit!

I also know it has to do with my ex partner and his mother. They would constantly criticizing my parenting skills. Any small mistake i would make – they would tell me and even when i was doing something positive, they would spin it with their negative perception to make it seem negative to me. This really effected me at the time. I am frustrated and feel annoyed that i “let them” “prey on me”. I remember being accused of having an eating disorder before i even had one and was accused of dieting my child. Which i will note, as a test when i was in a recovery phase (i’ve had a few realisations that never set in, but i never stopped trying, i was confused and didn’t know what was wrong with me) i actually counted up Blakes meals for the whole day and found she ate 1400 calories that day as a toddler. This was more than many people ate when dieting, this made me more consistent at keeping my calories higher! If a young toddler needs that much, eating less then that as an adult seems absurd!

I know i am a good person, but the perception of negative people is still lingering. I will power through and shed the guilt. I am me, i am amazing and i make good choices.

 

Much love, Stay strong,

B. Rose X

Today is a Beautiful Day!

Hello lovely people,

Today is a beautiful day.

We got to sleep in and the three of us took Christmas presents to Billy and I’s bosses before Billy started food prep at midday. It was very nice to see them out of work, it gets hectic before and after Christmas.

Tomorrow i get to work, unsure what time yet. The holidays and sleep in’s have made me very calm and balanced, so i know i will be great at work this coming week! I will put all my efforts into keeping calm and collected, eating enough and ensuring i take nothing personally at work. Sometimes the smallest people things say/do can make me believe intensely that they are annoyed at me or dislike me. Small things like not being involved in conversation (even though when i get like this i’m extremely hard to talk to – not good for being included in coversations!), i start to make up stories in my own head. For example “why am i never included in conversations? why am i not interesting enough? everyone thinks i’m a freak and they’re scared i’m going to have a panic attack” even though most people don’t even know about my problems! Starting on January the 1st i am starting 31 days of 31 deep breaths. This will come in handy at work, whenever i am feeling off or making up stories i can take these breaths and ask myself if these things are really true, which they usually aren’t. Sometimes people think some milder things about me and behaviour, which is usually caused by these things i think in my head. That hurts the most because it feels like it confirms all the crazy assumptions in my head. For example: “you were rude”, to me, means that everything i said above, like “i’m a freak” must be true, but it’s not.

Thanks for reading.

Stay strong and make life gains!

B. Rose X

Memories & Finding meaning for them.

Hey Beautiful people,

I haven’t blogged for a while and although i don’t feel i have much to say i know it’s what i need to do and it will feel better when it’s on the page.

Christmas has been blissful, i had forgotten what really relaxing was, i sometimes get caught up in being as optimal and as fast as i can in life, and i forget what it’s like to really enjoy relaxing. Spending time with loved ones, simply and although i haven’t seen all of them yet, has been for the best. It’s easy to forget about stresses like money and housework when you are having so much fun.

This has got to be the first Christmas that hasn’t had me stressing about food. Food as been part of the fun for me, i’ve eaten so healthy and then enjoyed some lindt truffles and M&M’s without thinking about how to justify it to myself. Balance.

Today has been interesting, i woke up this morning and my boyfriend mentioned to me that my behavior has started affecting our friends and not just family. This upset me a lot, as in the moment when i act that way i feel no control and i know i can feel myself healing and i know soon that it will be a distant memory, but i mustn’t let my insecurities cause me to spiral down again. Pleasing others has been a trigger for me, if i disappoint someone in any way i have fallen apart in the past(goal is to talk in the past tense for obvious reasons). My day has neither been great nor terrible, which is PERFECT for me as i did not fall down the terrible side!! I did however find some old photos of myself, purposely and saved them to my phone. I suffered from repression during and after my relationship with my ex. REPRESSION, with no D. My subconscious mind repressed all memories of the abuse, almost all the time. A focus on fitness was an easy distraction. Looking at old photos of me during my repression (i remember a lot now, there’s still things i do not but i’m working on it!) would usually make me feel ill, but i felt bittersweet. In the more recent past i have beaten myself up for my past decisions and who i was during and after that relationship, but this time i felt quite proud of myself as even during my eating disorders i saw some happy memories in the places i felt comfortable, pictures of my beautiful bub, pictures of me with my best friend Mel and pictures of me at home, although my childhood has some painful memories too, or lack of good ones. I will note, i feel closer to my family than ever although we live far away, i feel that our relationship is healed, although the memories may not yet be. I now only feel sad about the memories of me not feeling in control of my life and not knowing where to go, fighting to get somewhere where i thought i would feel better about myself, not realizing that i needed to heal my domestic abuse first, and learn how to remember again.

Although i remember now, things aren’t always peachy. A counselor once said to me “could it be that you are so used to worrying, that it’s just a habit now?” and that is so true, but realization is everything. I realize it and i can change it. My life around me is now safe, the only person hurting me now is me with my behavior caused by my PTSD. Every day i get better, i am very smart and i know i can make a permanent, powerful change.

 

Thanks for reading, i will make a more structured post ASAP 🙂

B. Rose X

Comfort Zones

Hello, Bethany here.

Before i start, i would like to say at times i am terrified at writing how i feel. I would rather spend time in my story of perfection than go in depth about the fact that regardless of my best efforts i at times still have a dark cloud over my head.

I often fear what will happen if i write or verbalize what i really think or feel, as it feels that it proves i’m not as “normal” as i try to be; I then realize being “normal” is not all its cracked up to be and if hiding my hardships and struggles is normal, i don’t wanna be normal. I want to help others overcome their own struggles.

Comfort Zones

I feel the definition is stretched at times. To me, stepping out of your comfort zone is not doing something you don’t desire to do, it’s doing something that you may not have done that may be scary that helps you reach something you DESIRE!

For Example –
Stepping out of your comfort zone to achieve your health and fitness goals is NOT doing “said” amount of exercises you dislike because you need to use willpower to achieve your goals.
Stepping out of your comfort zone IS trying new exercises that you have never tried before that will help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Another part of stepping out of your comfort zone is your mindset. If you have a negative belief system built around something that will help you achieve your goals, then even if the action is very positive, it will only have negative results.

For Example –
As a person who has struggled with eating disorders in the past i had created a belief system that every time i would make an effort to be healthy and in shape, i would do something to stuff it up (as i apparently had with previous eating disorders). Being a very persistent and determined person i kept doing the things that would result in me “stuffing up” even although they were very positive actions as i had linked those actions with failure. This fed my binge eating disorder because it wasn’t about being deprived from food anymore (as it was with my anorexia and orthorexia) it was a negative belief system.

If you are stuck in this roller-coaster, slam the breaks by changing your belief system. Realize why your belief system is wrong, try asking yourself if your belief actually makes sense and if it is true. For example, i have asked myself recently when making healthy choices i was avoiding due to the pain of my belief systems during my eating disorders “will eating this healthy food make me feel better or will it make me feel the same as eating some processed food or even like i’m restricting myself?”. At first this question didn’t have much of an answer because it had been a while since i had eaten as healthy as i had in the past, but it got me thinking. It sparked some repressed memories. I remembered back to my healthier times where healthy eating actually got me through some of my trauma from abuse. It reminded me of how the highs from eating healthy helped balance out my lows. So i became curious, curious if a simple change from white rice to brown rice and quinoa could make me feel much better. It did! Questions create more thoughts and more thoughts create change, ask yourself the right questions and you can change anything you like!

Why didn’t my deeply ingrained healthy eating patterns stick around after i experienced my eating disorders?

As i mentioned above, stepping out of your comfort zone is not doing something you don’t desire to do over and over.
My eating disorders changed my view of food from positive to negative. So regardless of how many healthy habits i picked up along the way, i still viewed food as negative.

When recovering from my eating disorders i needed to view all foods as positive as first(i don’t think i knew this, but i knew i needed to change after i stopped being vegan, this is where i feel my overall recovery began and the start of unraveling my repressed memories). I needed to break through the pattern of restriction by choosing the foods that even my physical and mentally healthy self would never dream of indulging in! The calorie-density and macro-nutrient breakdown in these “junk” foods i chose more often than usual, helped me enjoy them – meaning i could see them positively.

My ED habits of course made me desire to stop at times, and sometimes i did give in; but i always ensured i got back on track and didn’t restrict. I couldn’t do that to myself anymore. Slowly but surely, as i healed my relationship with ALL food i started to intensely crave my brown rice, green juices, fruit, raw vegetables etc and even vitamins and BCAAS. I am still not vegan and don’t intend to be, but it brought to light my desire to eat more ethically and healthily – without the eating disorder i used to do this to the extreme.

My recovery was me really stepping out of my comfort zone.
My S.O.M.C.Z checklist (stepping out of my comfort zone):
– Desire to achieve said goal – CHECK
– A little (or a lot) scary – CHECK
– Positive reasons to achieve goal – CHECK
– Knowledge to achieve goal – CHECK

I am proud to say i believe my eating disorders are well and truly gone; just a memory full of learnings and things i can help teach people how to overcome!
My anxiety and depression from my trauma – still a long way to go.
Positive outlook from this? MY EATING DISORDER WAS MY BRAINS WAY OF HIDING MY MEMORIES AND ENFORCING MY REPRESSED MEMORIES! Now that my ED is gone, my memories are coming back each day.

I hope you have gotten something out of this – Feel free to message me.
I’m here to help those with low self esteem, eating disorders, abuse, trauma or others just wanted to better themselves<3

Much Love, B x

My Story; From the Beginning

Hello All,
Bethany here.

This is my first post, so i will go into my past, present and future with you.
It may not be pretty but it has made me the strong person i am today and if you work really hard, you can turn your weaknesses into strengths also ❤

As a young girl, i was quite shy and insecure; always trying to please others, hoping they would like me. I found myself lacking a positive environment, becoming friends with others who did not fit into the “norm”. Being bullied and school and having a low self esteem and simply desiring to fit in is what sent me down the path of self harm at just 12 years of age; that and music were my escapes. That turned my dark place even darker, but one day i just decided it wasn’t worth it anymore. I wanted to get better, but my scars on my legs and wearing boys board shorts to the pool only increased my bullying. I no longer harmed my body, but i found my self worth kept sinking and i felt worthless inside. After ceasing self harm, i let my hair grow out it’s black color and embraced my brown locks again. I stopped wearing eye make-up and tried to wear colors often. I made new “friends” due to my new look, but did not know how to fit in. I remember stealing clothes from people because we were poor at home and i just wanted to feel beautiful.

As i grew up, now prettier and almost “popular”, i decided drinking and promiscuity would be my new outlets. Every weekend i would try to find a party or place to drink, as many teen do; although my reasons dark. Being young i am very lucky i had limited resources to do these things and soon enough the parties were fewer and far in between. I then at 15 met my ex partner and the father of my child. This makes me feel sick to write this as the innocent adolescence above seems much less painful than what happened next. This guy was 21, had a house and a car and seemed to live a stable life. I remember the first time i visited his house, my 14 year old friend pressured him to buy weed and we smoked and drank the night away. All we did was mess around and watch TV, but my friend decided she would like to be cupid and helped convinced each other that we liked one another. As insecure as i was, any attention would attract me as it caused me to feel loved and liked. She at last locked us in his room where we slept with one another. I stayed another night with him after that although she went home. I decided i would like to live with him as i did not want to live at home anymore, my mother and stepfather fought a lot at that time and i would always argue with them also, being a teen. Within two weeks i was all moved in. I remember my first sign of what was to come, a call from him while he was at work, accusing me of cheating on him at his house although i didn’t have a car or any way to get anywhere. So soon in the relationship i was brought to tears. As we were together longer he got more controlling, i would get choices less often and he got more aggressive. If i had not cleaned the house to his liking, i would get yelling and belittling conversations. Soon enough he started to hurt me, so much that i currently don’t remember as i blocked it out long ago, but every time i go through this story i remember more. He controlled what i would wear, where i would go and how i would feel. He made me feel even more worthless than i already did. There was a time where he threatened i would get my head kicked in if i didn’t have sex with him, as he had already hurt me before, i complied. He would break my things, kick me out in the cold for hours on end if i did not do as he wanted. I was breaking every day, the worst part was; i thought i deserved it.

He had told me he could not have kicks due to his asthma medication, so we never wore protection. But, now i cannot help but think that was his own excuse, he wanted the happy family he never had, he did not know how to create one. 6 months into our relationship i fell pregnant, i was scared out of my mind, but he wanted to keep the child and i was scared to be alone so i kept it. 4 weeks in, i had a miscarriage, i put this to the extreme stress my mind and body was under and my young age, still 15. It was hard, as i had just accepted my situation. At this point, i didn’t care anymore, i was just an object, owned by another. We did not wear protection after that either. 2 weeks later i fell pregnant again, with my beautiful Blake. She gave me my strength from then on. I stayed with him for a lot longer, but i fought back. I started to slowly realize what he was doing was wrong, although it took a while. After Blake was born, things did not get better with our relationship, he was still controlling and abusive and was not helpful with our newborn daughter. Since the hospital, i had started to diet and exercise. Within two weeks i was running for the first time, not the best choice after a cesarean but it gave me a happy feeling i had not felt in a while. At first i was making healthy choices, although uninformed, i wanted to improve myself and looked online for answers. My then partner would abuse me for buying healthy food and threatened to throw it out. As i attempted a healthy eating plan he accused me of having an eating disorder as i did not want to eat unhealthy food, he would humiliate me in front of others in regards to my weight and eating habits. I feel this and surrounding circumstances caused me to actually start practicing disordered eating. I took it to the extreme, starting a food journal, counting kilojoules, forced exercise and within 3 months after birth i had lost 14kgs from 60kg to 46kg. I was visually pale and slim, and could not eat out or where i had no control over the food. It was easy to take this too far as i had low self esteem & was enduring abuse. I needed an outlet, something to control and a scream for help! I eventually got sick of feeling so low in energy and everybody telling me i was too skinny, i had started lifting and wanted to gain muscle so i did start to try increasing calories but still restricting between 1200-1700. I finally found my strength to leave my partner, funnily enough because he threw out my oatmeal because i was eating “too slow” for him! The fact that this was such an extreme overreaction to the circumstance made me realize that i deserved better, i deserved to have freedom.

Within two weeks staying back at home, i had saved for all my own furniture and had rented my first house. At 17 i had no life experience but i just wanted to feel free. I felt lonely and confused about not wanting to be alone, but i filed an intervention order anyway and me and Blake enjoyed our new house and living a stress free life! My eating habits were healthy too! I would still get sad time to time, as all i seemed to have was my family. I had no friends and no one to love like i had tried to love my ex. I found a gym in my home town and found some kind people to train with and enjoyed training there, Blake was even small enough to sleep in her pram while i trained. It was blissful. Being so shy, no one knew what had happened, i didn’t want anyone to know. I don’t think i remembered, as soon as he was gone i just forgot all he had done to me, it was too painful. This is called cognitive dissonance.

I remember looking through oxygen magazines, at all the bikini and fitness models and though “i could do that!”, so 3 months out, i prepped for my first bikini competition. I had little idea of how bikini competitors trained or ate, so i kept reading and kept changing and changing my training and diet. This stressed me out a lot, this is where i started to struggle with binging and restricting. I wanted results now, i needed an achievement to make me feel like i stood for something. I didn’t place in my competition and felt the post-comp blues.

At the hearing of my intervention order, i was very naive and i spoke to my ex. I convinced myself he was a changed man and we got back together. He would visit me at my house and we would spend time together, but i would not let him bring any unhealthy food into the house, not even flavoured tuna. I threatened to kick him out if he didn’t agree with this. It was like i was protecting myself by trying to control him like he had me. Eventually he moved in with me and he convinced me to move away with him to Queensland. I didn’t mention earlier, but i had been to QLD with him before, he had choked me up against a wall and given me a black eye, all while i was pregnant. I didn’t want to go again, but i was lost and agreed to anyway.

He was no longer physically abusive, just emotional. We argued daily and i struggled with isolation, binge eating and restricting worse than ever. When his job wasn’t working out, we finally went back home, where he abused me for buying a roast chicken.

I left… Once again.

This time was harder, when i walked out of his fathers house with Blake, he followed me and took Blake from her pram. I was 3 months without Blake before the police found her and returned her too me. I was so excited to see her, but so traumatized.

All my furniture was lost in QLD, so once again i found a house and new furniture and started living my life again, accept i let him be part of ours, as Blakes father, not my partner. We organised a custody agreement and arranged his times to have Blake. I wish i had never done this, as it prolonged his affect on me and i remained hurt and confused so long. I had a long term struggle with eating and exercise and my self esteem; but i kept trying to be happy and i must say looking back i was very strong for all i have been through. I have competed in two bikini competitions since then, placing 6th in both.

I started seeing my current partner on my 20th birthday and we have now been together coming on 2 years. He has helped me unravel my past and keeps believing in me even though this story is not what he signed up for, i am living far away from my ex, creating a safe and blissful family life for us. I have my own car and belongings and have left behind my fears and uncertainties.

I still struggle with my memories, and am on anti-depressants to help with my diagnosed depression and anxiety. I used to dream about my memories of the past and have flash-backs which caused many of my symptoms. Now i can finally focus on the now and our positive future together.

NO-ONE deserves to feel unworthy and be treated this way.

I am spreading the message of self love and want to reach out to girls who have struggled with depression, eating disorders or abuse. We are normal, loveable people who have found ourselves in these situations we don’t deserve and we CAN pull ourselves our and live positive, healthy and functional lives!

EAT WELL, TRAIN HARD,  LOVE YOURSELF!

B x