MOST DEADLY FRIEND
"It was my best friend. My survivor.” Michella says, as she sits in her studio apartment Ishøj, a town near Copenhagen. It was her best friend who was there for her as a child, when her stepfather began to abuse her for what would be several years, touching her in ways he wasn’t supposed to. It was her best friend who listened to her when she was walking home from school, wondering how drunk her mother would be, whether she was in a fighting or a crying mood.
It was her best friend who sent her to the hospital four times in a span of more than two years. It was her best friend that almost killed her. The eating disorder is still a big part of Michella’s life but now, she wants to live.
Michella runs with her mothers dog in a Park in Ishøj. Being a child in a household like this means to be in a steady war, a constant stress. You never know when, what or how it will hit you the next time. It’s psychological violence against a child during a vulnerable time in which one should be given special protection and care.
Michella looks at one of her self-inflicted scars from earlier days. She tried to fight back in order to gain control over her body and life again. First, she developed weird eating habits. When she ate strawberries, for example, she would have to cut them into tiny pieces before she could eat it. She began to control her weight, playing a lot of sports, and eating less. When her weight decreased, she became happy. Slowly, it started to overtake her life.
As a young adult, she started making strict rules for herself. On warm days, as she called them, she would try to sweat. On cold days, she would try to freeze so her body so it would have to work harder. On some days she would throw up after each meal, and on others she wouldn’t eat at all. These became routine for her.
She fights, with every meal, against her wish to be thinner. When she was 21, her illness reached its peak. She couldn’t move and couldn’t sleep because she had no energy left. She started treatment at the hospital after the suicidal thoughts began.
She doesn’t want to go to the hospital again. It would be the fourth time in a span of more than two years in hospitals for being underweight.
The sickness is not always easy to spot. Not everyone affected looks underweight or severely skinny.
The eating disorder is still a big part of her life but now, she wants to live.
When she was 21, her BMI was 14, means extremely underweight and she took 140 laxative pills every day. Now she takes around 40-60 a day.
At the peak of her illness she couldn’t move and couldn’t sleep because she had no energy left. She started treatment at the hospital after the suicidal thoughts began.
“I want to have a boyfriend. But I need an italian boy, because they are beautiful and nice and funny and you can have a really good fight with them. He has to be muscular in an nice way. And not fat. And he has to have nice teeth, because I also want to kiss him.”, Michella says, then she adds “And I would love to just being more normal.” Michella says.