I've been working on organizing and decorating my guest bedroom for my grandpa's arrival and I spotted my box of high school keepsakes that was tucked away in a closet. It had yearbooks, my cap and gown and a few different journals. So I decide to read my journals for a few minutes to see all the silly things I wrote for a good laugh. Unfortunately, I had completely forgotten that I'd also written my thoughts on contemplating suicide…and not just once…but 3 times over about a 4 year period. It made me sad to read it and it made me even sadder when I realized the main reason I even thought of suicide back then was that either I was being picked on by classmates about being fat or that boys didn't seem to want to EVER be more than friends and when I showed interest they'd starting teasing me about being fat. It seriously hurt my heart to read lines like, "I should just do it, in a couple minutes I would be dead," or "I keep laying on my parent's bedroom floor looking under their bed at my dad's shot gun, I should just do it, why am I so chicken to do it?" or "How many pills would it take, 10 or 100, I don't know but I guess I just take as many as possible to make sure I don't wake up." None of my best friends are aware even today that I felt that way back then. No one knew or even had a clue I felt that way.
I was a great student, had a ton of friends (and we all know in Junior High and High School, sometimes as kids our definition of a friend is used loosely because good friends don't stab you in the back and they do defend you when people are mean to you, they don't just stand around like nothing is happening), never did drugs, never had sex in high school, never did anything really illegal except I did drink starting at the age of 17 at parties. So I was by no means a problem child to my parents. But I had weight issues starting at the age of 10 or 11 and we know how cruel kids can be on that subject. I was beaten down emotionally on a weekly basis, and when I rode the bus in Junior High I'd even say it was more like a daily basis. Then the fighting with my mom started. At the time she had not been diagnosed with depression and she would fly off the handle. Yes I got pushed, I even would get smacked. It's amazing that she's my best friend today but she had a horrible childhood that spilled over into her adult life and at times she was a bad mom. It was really hard because none of my friends ever got grounded, definitely not hit or smacked, so I kept most of it to myself. Around 9th grade my mom finally got help and started medication that helped most of the time. We definitely had bad moments but I remember even in Elementary school her throwing plates into our dining room and they broke against walls and furniture and every other week she'd tell my dad she was going to divorce him and making my sister and I decide who was going to stay with her and move to Oregon or who was going to stay with my dad.
Having kids of my own now, I really watch my husband and I's arguments in front of the kids. Sometimes I'm furious and just have to save it until the kids are in bed because I don't think they need to see it. And I've talked before how I try and feed my kids healthy food so that they don't have a weight problem like me and get teased growing up. I have to admit whenever I see a really chubby kid, whether they are 6 or 15 years old, I feel really bad for them. I'm sure they are getting teased and I wonder if they ever feel like dying like I did when I was a teenager. There have been several stories in the media over the last couple years of teen suicide and I'ts heart breaking. I'm not sure what inside of me never allowed me to take the next step and for them it did. Obviously life does get better. I also realized after reading my journals, that this weight thing is a huge deal that really needs to be taken care of now. I've dealt with these issues for far too long. And most importantly, I have to do it for myself. I should have lost the weight back then, but I can tell you it would have been so that the people that made fun of me would stop, I was seeking their acceptance. Now, I'm approaching 30 years old and it's time to do it for me and my acceptance of myself.