I am not worth it. I don’t know it, but I am worth it.
At a young age, I believed and convinced myself I didn’t matter. If my biological mother - A.K.A. NJ* - didn’t want me who would. This is how I felt from a very young age. I didn’t know any better because it is human nature to gravitate and trust your mother. I wasn’t worth her getting up, her taking care of me, her filling my basic life needs. So my story begins after my parents divorced but in reality it was happening since I was a baby but just kept getting worse as I got older.
By the time I was 6, my parents divorced and I was told everything was going to be ok. Nothing was. I was told that the only thing that would change was that ‘mommy and daddy won’t live together’. Yeah ok, right. Within one year, my whole life changed and nothing was ok. I was living with my father and NJ* sold our house, moved away, quit her very good job, and I was visiting her every weekend. My father got remarried to my stepmother, M.E., who I call mom. She was the person who cared and raised me when I moved in with my dad. Within the next year, visits with NJ* were every other weekend or whenever she decided to show up. This sucked, I cried every weekend, beat the crap out of my mom, cried myself to sleep, and had no control of my life. I feel like my heart was ripped out of my chest and I felt so empty, like I had just lost the one thing in life that mattered the most to me. I wondered why I was not worth NJ* traveling 30 treacherous minutes to get me and whenever she did show up, she complained. When I was at her house, I took care of her and my therapist said I became parentified- basically I was the parent. I felt I was not worth it. I did not matter and I truly believed if I took care of NJ*, she would love me.
Fast forward to the end of 4th and the beginning of 5th grade, I tried to get control and this was the start of my eating disorder. After all, eating disorders are all about control or should I say people who don’t have control and are trying to gain control over something. I stopped eating almost everything. Foods I ate and loved, I stopped. I would refuse to eat until she came. I went days without eating as much as 500 calories a day but this did not change anything, she still never came and said ‘eventually I would have to eat.’ I started out at 117 pounds and by the end of 5th grade I was 84 pounds and I was in and out of Children’s hospital and diagnosed with Restrictive Eating Disorder due to abandonment issues. The cycle begins.
Throughout 5th-7th grade, my conditioned worsened and so did my relationship with NJ* and everyone around me. I was now into therapy, seeing a pediatrician every 2 months, going back and forth to Children’s and was referred for an inpatient hospitalization. NJ* refused to participate in any therapy or hospital visits which again convinced me, I was not worth it. It didn’t matter who came with me my dad, my mom as the one person I wanted didn’t show up. I was out of school, started with social issues and by 8th grade I was diagnosed with PTSD, Severe Anxiety, Depression, Restrictive Eating Disorder and put on medication. I spent most of my days with my mom and wouldn’t let her out of my sight and had to be with her. I spent most of my days at her office. She was my safe place but I took my anger out on her and everyone else around me because I was angry with NJ*. At this point, I now had a psychiatrist, a therapist and several specialists at Children’s for various medical issues.
Fast forward to 8th grade, my condition finally started getting better when I realized I had to cut off my ties with NJ* and live my life. Therapy taught me that NJ* had the problem. As much as my brain told me it was not my fault my heart told me differently. I had difficulty back then and still do today accepting I am worth it. I started to eat and gained all my weight back, I started going out with friends, and taking care of myself, my relationship with family improved. However, my body started to deteriorate as the damage was already done. I had severe colon damage from lack of fluid and food and had to have procedure after procedure. With restricting fluid now, my condition came out in another form. I was told it is called self sabotage. Whenever I do good, I ruin it because I don’t feel I am worth it. It is done subconsciously. I participate in therapy every other week with my mom, who takes me to all of my appointments.
Now we shift to 9th grade to the present date. I have had no contact or visits with NJ* since 8th grade. It sucks knowing that my mother didn’t want me, since I was not worth her trying to help herself get better or to try to engage in raising me, helping me through my psychological issues as well as my medical. She turned all those decision over to my dad and mom. As of this moment, I have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and my entire diet had to be changed due to the damage done to my colon and stomach. I have severe acid reflux and my body aches all the time. I take 14 pills a day and I’m 16 in an 80 year old’s body. I still to this day have great difficulty following a diet plan to help me with my diet. As soon as I do good and get put in remission, I relapse. However, my anorexia - Restrictive Eating Disorder is in control but I will always carry the diagnosis. It is a challenge daily both emotionally and physically. I still miss a lot of school because some days I just hurt all over and my stomach is in so much pain. It affects my focus because now all I do is think about food. Food that now I cannot eat because of my numerous stomach issues. It is a vicious cycle.
Emotionally I am ok. I know I am loved and I know my family cares. I know I am worth it. I have dreams and I have goals. I know I will graduate, go to college, and have many more milestones that NJ* won’t be attending. I will try not to let NJ*’s actions and s***ty parenting define who I am or interfere with my ability to be happy and productive. Many years of therapy behind me and both my dad and mom never giving up has taught me I am worth it but some days it is hard to believe. I know there are many of years of therapy still ahead as I question the type of parent I will be. I know NJ* has some form of mental health issue but I still feel if she cared enough she would get help to make sure I was ok. She would have come to visit me during my numerous surgeries and hospitalizations. She would call my therapist and show up to one of my appointments to see how she can rectify the damage and our relationship. Note here, my mom and I called and texted her every week for 4 years to invite her before giving up and she never showed up to one. Instead NJ* calls my mom to tell her all about her life. I hope that one day NJ* would just say she is sorry and she loved me and she understands why I feel the way I do. I know my brothers love me, my sister loves me, my entire family loves me, my dad loves me and I know my mom loves me. They have never gave up on me no matter what I put them through and how many times I kicked them when I was younger crying. I just wish someday NJ* tells me she loved me and it's not my fault. After all, she is my biological mother and they are supposed to love their children and tell them that they are worth everything.