I was sexually abused when I was 15 years old and effectively hid it for four years thereafter. This forever changed me and how I viewed myself. Slowly from there on out, my eating disorder took over and it wasn’t until I was 19 that my past came out.
Thankfully I had an army of people fighting for me on my road to recovery; my father, our faith in God, and my incredible outpatient team. I worked through my trauma, learning how to cope, while in treatment and slowly but surely my body, mind, and spirit began to heal. I learned that I matter. I’m a daughter of God. I found the inner self that was unjustly taken from me years before. I saw that I could be more than what my mind was telling me. I hid for so long and I did not want to be that girl anymore. I chose, and continue to choose me.
I want others to know that it takes time. That it is hard and your mind will fight you every step of the way. That it will hurt to eat. But, you keep fighting! Don’t hide. Talk, cry, ask for help. One day food will not be your enemy. You’ll be able to look at yourself in a mirror without crying.
What I went through changed my life. It changed me. I’m proud of who and I am no longer ashamed of what I went through, nor am I worried about what others may think. I want to help other girls know that healing and hope are real. That we are strong and important. We are not just numbers. Fight. Fight for you. You will never regret it.
I am a 38-year-old Mormon and mother of two.