About the contributor: Liv

My name is Liv. I am 21 years old. I like to play guitar, sing, run, practice yoga and all fun things. I am outgoing, open-minded and I love to meet new people and experience new things. I wasn’t always like this though. Growing up I was physically and emotionally abused by my mother. This caused low self esteem issues, anxiety and depression. Being a tall girl, I was bullied at school over my height and weight. I’ve always been thin but because of the pressure to be thinner, I developed eating disorders. I was anorexic for a few months until my sisters realized I wasn’t eating at all. So to side questions, I turned to bulimia. I lost insane amounts of weight which added to my anxiety. It became bad enough I could hardly function in public without suffering an attack and panicking to the point I would have to leave. For close to a year, I would do anything to not leave my house. No one noticed though as I didn’t have any friends at school. I was self-harming, cutting anywhere people wouldn’t be able to see. I saw this as being the only source of pain relief. Who could I tell about what was going on? No one ever listened or believed me. Plus I was terrified. Terrified of my mom following through with her death threats, terrified of letting my sisters down, terrified of basically everything. My life was a black hole of nothing. I couldn’t see a future where I liked the outcome. Then I met the guy of my dreams. Or so I thought. The first few months were a dream. He was kind, a gentleman. He brought me flowers, understood my need to take things slow and did things right in my mind. Because of him, I was thrown into the “popular” crowd. I had friends. People wanted to be around me. I was no longer too fat or too tall. He noticed my eating habits and made me feel pretty enough that I started eating healthier. No longer was I trying to starve myself to be beautiful because to him I was. He was my best friend. Someone I could talk to about everything. He was the outlet I needed. But about a year of dating, things changed. He became controlling, wanting to pinpoint my location at all times and who I was with. Soon after I had made all these friends, I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere or be with anyone unless he was there. He told me what to eat, what to wear. He pressured me into situations that I knew I wasn’t comfortable with. As time passed, I knew this relationship wasn’t right but he was “perfect.” In my mind, there was no one better I would be able to call mine. He had helped me overcome so many of my issues. Maybe this was just the love I deserved. It took 3 years for me to end that relationship. I wish I could say that one day I just woke up and decided that was it, but that didn’t happen. It was little things that slowly turned my life around. My sisters (I have 3 of them) stepped in and had an intervention of sorts with me. They knew I needed help and by that time, I knew it too. It’s been three tough years but I am growing into the person I never knew I could be. 💜

-Liv

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