As a child, I never had a chance to spread my wings or to be happy about the little things.
I had to grow up fast. As I did, I learned that being beautiful, along with having green eyes, was
actually a curse.
“Green-eyed devil” is what SHE called me, the one who ignored me and chose never to protect me. Rarely a word of praise fell from her mouth to my ears.
I wasn’t quite black enough or white enough.
My curly hair was neither coarse nor straight.
I was different from all the other little girls in my neighborhood. For being different, I was tormented and teased.
I received unnatural and unwanted attention from those who were meant to protect and guide
I had to grow up fast.
Growing up fast forced me to become an adult child.
It also forced me to master the art of becoming invisible.
That is when I met my friend OSFED.*
OSFED and my cloak of invisibility went hand in hand.
OSFED liked to be called ED.
We became fast friends. Wherever I was, there ED was.
ED taught me new skills that I came to master.
Along with invisibility, my new mode of protection, ED kept me safe from unwanted attention
and unnatural affection.
When I wanted to truly disappear and could not manage to eat, instead of the food, ED taught
me how to swallow my pride, along with my hurt and the pain.
As a child forced to be an adult, ED helped me through it all.
ED helped me be a sister, mother, and friend to the siblings I was forced to raise.
Through threats of foster care, home after home, high school, wedding bells and parenthood,
ED was always by my side.
As the years flew by, ED and I became inseparable through breakups, makeups, happy birthdays and holidays…
…changing pampers, first days of kindergarten, skinned knees, along with teaching each child
about the birds and the bees...
…vacations, graduations, teaching life’s lessons, and having unconditional love for all four of my
…divorces, ups, downs, through depression and despair…
…my dear friend ED was always there!
The kids left the nest and the love of my life took his last breath.
In an instant my life changed and it was back to just ED and me, all over again.
ED and I fought for control of my life, putting our friendship to a test. We fought over whose
version of living was best.
During this time I felt like I was dead and they forgot to bury me.
Meanwhile, ED was full of life and oh so much energy.
For countless days, ED told me not to eat. Because of my body size, no one suspected a thing.
One day I decided to get help. By then, I was only a fraction of myself.
Soon I found myself surrounded by caring people trying to mend me in a place unfamiliar yet
so safe to be. I was in a community full of healing and sending a message loud and clear…
…that one size does not fit all and each person should be evaluated and treated as an individual
with a unique set of challenges and strengths…
…that the process of healing and recovery is not linear or easy. Sometimes it’s slow and rocky, moving at “sloth speed.” But together we will get there.
If you have been overlooked in your eating or emotional disorder like I had been for so long, ”hiding in plain sight,” we want you to know we see you and we want your voice to be heard!
My friend ED, who I trusted from the age of 11, is STILL trying to convince me that my life is
not my own. But ED is wrong.
All you beautiful people who are fighting the fight to finally get ED out of your life, please pray for me in your prayers tonight.
Pray that I may carry on.
Pray that I may be strong and kick ED out of this place in my head that it calls its home.
Pray that together we have the power to reach those who have been overlooked for whatever reason.
*OSFED stands for Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder, the diagnosis formerly known as EDNOS, or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. OSFED refers to people who have the symptoms of eating disorders but do not meet the criteria for a specific type of eating disorder.
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