#IAmASurvivor are stories from women of all walks of life, telling their stories of survival. Everybody is a survivor and all stories deserve to be told. These stories are all in their own words.
Growing up I was subject to a lot of unwanted criticism of my body. Mainly from my own family. The worst person was my father. He would criticise my body and my weight and tell me it was just because he was worried about my health.
Growing up I wasn’t particularly fat. In fact, my problems with my weight began when he started criticising me. I will never forget him putting me on a set of scales and taking note of my weight.
He would tell me I had to lose weight or I would have to go and live with him and my step mother until I lost the weight.
As someone who grew up only seeing him once or twice a year and having very little contact with him this scared me beyond belief. Was I really going to have to leave my mum, my brother, my step dad and the rest of my family to go and live with a man who made me feel so bad about myself? A man I barely knew but called himself my dad. This fear stayed with me every time I had to go to his house.
I used to cry at the thought of visiting him. I’d diet and try and lose weight. I’d pack as many pairs of control underwear I could find to make me seem smaller. Oh I forgot to mention, this was all before I hit high school, which in Scotland means I was younger than 12.
What he didn’t realise was how badly he was damaging my relationship with food.
Food became a bad thing something I was ashamed to be seen with. I’d sneak snacks to my bedroom and eat in secret. This caused some serious weight gain and some serious anxiety to go along with it. My self esteem was non existent. I hated myself and my body. All because of my dad being so thoughtless and cruel. I don’t have a relationship with him anymore and have no desire to re connect with him. He caused me so much unhappiness and trauma growing up. I am so lucky that the rest of my family is so loving and that my mum and step dad are nothing like he is.
I have come such a long way.
I am starting to deal with my mental health and I have found so much love for my body. My name is Kaitlin and I am a survivor of an emotionally abusive parental relationship.
To connect with Kaitlin, just click here.