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Something Fishy: A Personal Battle with Bulimia Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Joanna Frizzell, United States Feb 9, 2002
Education , Health , Culture   Opinions
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I am a recovering bulimic. I have been bulimic for the last 5 years. Everyday I've gotten better and better. Small step after small step I have taken in my battles have added up. And I have come here today to talk about this demon of mine, this demon that has been in my shadows for so many years, that is now passing with the blowing wind.

As a child I was very dreamy and playful. Life was full of light and laughter for me. I made tons of friends everywhere I went. I grew up with Puerto Ricans, African Americans, Chinese persons, Vietnamese persons, Brazilians, Cubans, Russians, Italians, Mexicans, and many more. My life was always diverse and interesting. I was always intent on having fun and learning more, and helping more. My mother always tells me stories about how I used to give away my shoes to someone who didn't have any, or how I stood up for my friend who was being bullied, giving the bully some taste of his own medicine. I was a very sensitive child but by no means a quiet one. I was also the problem child out of my family. I was impulsive, passionate, and could be quite a defiant handful. My mother has always understood this energy and my need to express. My father on the other hand, tended to and still tends to stifle that energy of mine.

The vibrant energy that I radiated was not taken away until I had to move to Iowa to live with my father. I did not like leaving my mother. I loved my mother, I was her baby girl. And I left her all alone to be swallowed by a black hole. I would not have gone if she had not told me to, but I did. And as soon as I was in Iowa there were immediate obligations for me to tend to so I forgot my pain for awhile. I went to school and like a good girl got all A's.

Coming into the 7th grade I was considered the the most popular, prettiest, and smartest girl in my class. I was in the gifted and talented class, picked for honor choir and honor band, involved in Odessy of the Mind, invovled in sports (softball, basketball, soccer, volleyball), in the Talent Show for singing, and of course still an all A student. I also went to church and Sunday School every service and was involved in the church's youth program.

This time in my life appeared to everybody as sunshine and rose petals, yet I was dying inside. I was suffocating and choking on all of the expectations and conditions being shoved down my throat. No more than a year before it had been publicly known that I was going to be moving out to Arizona to live with my mother. I missed her so much and couldn't wait to hop on that plane and fly into my mother's arms. Everything was planned, everything was going so well....until.....my father and the Frizzell gang started circling around me like vultures, picking at every piece of me, crowding in on me, invading every part of me. They would not hear one word of what I had to say or of what I wanted. My father was so damn sure that he knew what was right for me. He couldn't have been more wrong!

I did not get to go to Arizona, instead I had to call my mother and tell her that I would not be coming. And NEVER in my life has there ever been anything more hurtful and more cruel that I have had to do. I was just a child and my father used me against my mother and even worse myself! And what for? To protect himself from pain.

It was this event that put me at his feet and made me his puppet. I was defenseless against his wants and desires, and how he should have me be. It was this event that has been the root of so much of my misery. Going back to my 7th grade year I was acting out the role of my father's perfect daughter. Smiling at everybody with the pain of the world resting in my stomach. It was during this time that my bulimic self made it's presence known. And it would be that year that this imagined world of my father's would fall to pieces.

After the phone call with my mother she had banged on the walls and asked the Universe what she must do. And she got her answer by deciding that if our father would not let us go, she would come to us. My mother made her way from Arizona back to the town of her childhood in Iowa, giving up all stability she had worked for in the process. We planned with our mother in private as it was very evident to both my sister and I that our father was not going to let us go anywhere. Well he found out, and he found out by going through my personal journal. He reacted by taking us unwillingly to Omaha, Nebraska. He did not let us call or tell anybody where we were going. After two days away from school and with no contact we came back. He thought that he was no longer in danger of us leaving. But on that coming Sunday we sneaked out of the back door of the church into a car that my mother was waiting for us in. And with only the clothes on our back we fled that horrible place. After this incident my father disowned me and my sister for quite sometime and the Frizzell family treated us like we were bad aliens, except for my Grandpa Charlie.

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Joanna Frizzell

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congratulations joanna
filippo&nicola | May 9th, 2002
I have to congratulate me with you, Joanna. you are a very brave person, because you have been able to fight against your problems day by day, without surrendering, and then you have been so brave to tell the others your problem. it comes from my hearth:"congratulations Joanna!!!" if you want to speak with me, you can send me an e-mail at linusfilippo@libero.it again: congratulations filippo'88

Lisa Campbell | Jul 11th, 2002
your storey was very touching. i feel all tingley now. thank you for sharing your experiences.

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