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Hi! Please tell me, do you like hamburgers? Those wonderful toasted sesame seed buns… and delicious smelling juicy beef patties... a slice of melted cheddar... mmm... isn't your mouth already watering by just imagining it?
Yes, I also like hamburgers. But they turned my life into a living hell and even caused me to commit a crime. My name is Stella, I am fourteen years old, and this is my story.
It all started approximately three years ago when I was almost eleven. It was only three years, but I was noticeably younger. Not only by my age but also by my mentality.
But I beg you, please do not blame my mother! She gave birth to me shortly after graduation, and even into her thirties she still did not have enough experience to anticipate this unfortunate coincidence.
Well, I was lost.
We lived in the suburbs of a big city, and we usually went shopping in a neighborhood I did not know very well. And it happened right there. When we had bought everything we needed, my mother went to get the car so that we didn't have to walk all the way to the parking lot with our heavy shopping bags.
I moved off the sidewalk a little bit while I was waiting. And I saw that there was a bus stop, with a bus leaving. And suddenly I saw my mother taking the bus! I didn't even have time to think, I just jumped on the bus, following her, and it was only when I was inside that I realized that the woman I thought was my mother, was not really her! She just looked similar, with the same hair and clothes that looked like my Mom’s. I was so shocked that I managed to travel a few miles before I got off… in a totally unknown place!
Now, I have no clue why I didn't just approach somebody and ask them for help, explaining that I was lost. I was probably so ashamed of my mistake that I just couldn't think straight at the moment, And also, I was really scared. I was walking alongside this unknown neighborhood around unknown people, trying not to draw any attention to myself.
Mom found me in the evening, with the help of the police, but I was totally stressed by that time and it AFFECTED me deeply!
Especially one episode. When that terrible day was almost over, I had become really hungry, to the extent that I got cramps in my stomach and my hands were trembling. I wanted to eat so badly that I even stopped being scared. So when I saw somebody’s untouched hamburger in a carton box on an outdoor table in some café, I did not hesitate. I don’t know who left it or why, but it did not matter. What mattered was that I still remember the taste of this hamburger, and the feeling of my hunger retreating. Also, that I felt safe while I was eating it. That was the day my eating disorder began.
After a short time I ate hamburgers for breakfast, for lunch, and for dinner. Actually, I was able to stuff some other food in my mouth, but with difficulty, and it always had some consequences. Fruits and vegetables smelled STRANGE now and I could get nausea from a single apple. I would get this feeling that I was putting something inedible in my mouth, something that my stomach would not be able to digest and metabolize… and which had to be gotten rid of ASAP. So if I was forced to eat something apart from hamburgers, I had to go to the bathroom to empty my stomach. It was not hard - throwing up helped me to pretend I was eating normal food.
I did not say a word to my parents, and I carefully concealed my new habit. You might ask how I managed to do this? Well, it was a piece of cake: my parents were young and they thought that food was not something that has to even be cared about that much. They almost never cooked at home and loaded the fridge with packaged products and the simplest meals which I could always cook with the help of a microwave. And also, my parents’ way of life is kind of unusual. They both work as administrators for a night club and live a more nocturnal lifestyle. So we never had dinners together. As for the babysitters… well there is nothing simpler than tricking a nanny.
When I got older, my parents decided that it would be much easier if they left me some cash so that I could order take out. And guess what I ordered? Of course, hamburgers.
The junk food did not really have any impact on my looks - I am a normal height for my age, I am neither fat nor skinny, so if hamburgers did any harm, then it was only to my hair and nails - which became dull and weak. Sometimes I got some unpleasant hives on my neck and chest, which I hid under my clothes. I also had some digestive problems… but I’d rather not talk about those.
Music by Epidemic Sound: www.epidemicsound.com
11 Jun 2019