Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This is Me in a Sad, Weird Little Nutshell

I was born a la vaginal birth one hot summer day ten minutes before my twin brother. I was a really smart baby, but also a total whiner. I wasn’t very cute, and I’m dead serious.

When I was five I almost died. I was in the hospital for a loooooong time and had two surgeries. Appendicitis turned into Peritonitis and it was a close call. So I made it, eventually, sans an appendix but with a gained a fear of the world. I knew that life could be taken from me at any time. I had no control. And it scared me.

Growing up was okay. I loved my twin brother, and we were together almost every minute it seemed. I had a few friends.

I really liked to play sports, especially basketball. I was always quite the tall one! Elementary school wasn’t all that bad (aside from my debilitating anxiety) until my 5th grade teacher died. She just didn’t come back after one weekend. We waited and waited in our classroom for what seemed like hours, until the principal told us what had happened. And then the new replacement teacher made me see the school therapist because I didn't seem to be "handling it well." I seriously always tried to be sick on the Thursday afternoons she'd come to get me.

Un-fun times.

Oh and then once in 6th grade during Middle Ages Week all the girls were paired up with a boy, and I was paired up with a deaf boy who was also mentally retarded. (What is the PC term for “retarded?” Is there one? I’m not trying to be crass or rude.) I remember that he had a huge crush on me, and at first I was angry that I couldn’t have fun and participate in all the activities like all the other boys and girls were. But then I remember Mrs. H pulled me aside and said she knew that I was the only girl who was kind enough to be with him who would treat him like a normal kid and not hurt or make fun of him. She seemed to think that I was kind and special, but I didn’t know why. I still don’t, to be honest. I remember when the week of festivities was over; he gave me a pink rock in the shape of a heart. We remained good friends after that.

Oooh. Also, one summer when I was ten I got beat up in a movie theater. So random, so funny. (At least it is now.)

Junior high was balls. Isn’t it for everyone? I was really depressed my 7th grade year and wore gross jeans and baggy hoodies all the time. My two best friends in elementary school were no longer really my friends. I didn’t really have anybody, at least, not at first. But I did have my English classes, which I excelled in. I always had the highest marks and eventually my teacher pulled me aside and told me she wanted me to go to the honors class. I readily agreed. I mean, what can I say? Junior high was full of not growing boobs but growing everything else. I went from a teeny little toothpick to a woman. (Well, a boob-less woman.) It was rough.

High school started better. I had my BFF, M, with me and we were next door neighbors and had a lot of fun with each other. I had my first “real” boyfriend then, and had fun hanging out with my friends and with Brett’s group of friends. I started modeling, and that’s also when my ED went from only thoughts to actually actions. By the time I was 17 I was full-on restricting and had an emaciated BMI. But nobody knew, not yet. Even I didn’t know I had a problem. I was just doing what I needed to do to model. It wasn’t a “disorder,” it was part of the job.

I was also nominated for prom queen which was THE.MOST.SURPRISING.THING.EVER. I still remember the shock when my name was announced. People liked me? People thought I was pretty? I was stunned. I still don’t get it.

Then my parents forced me into treatment before I was 18 and legally adult and could refuse it. I went in two months before I was to graduate from high school. Yeah, missed that rite of passage.

And then a miracle happened: someone loved me. Someone wanted to marry me.

But I relapsed and went back to treatment at 20. Adjusting to early marriage is hard.

And then because I’m a total reject and don’t learn from my mistakes, I started modeling again. I had so much fun in L.A., but it was still a bad, sucky idea.

I went to treatment again when I was 22. I had to leave my precious baby boy when he was only four months. I still tear up thinking about this.

But now I’m here. Recovering outpatient, drinking Boost, sometimes tubing it up, and loving writing Blogxygen and all my readers.

And the amazing thing is this: once I dared to shed just a little bit of ED off, I'm finding I like to do things other than starve and obsess about my weight. I like to sew. I might even be a bad-A seamstress. I like to be a clumsy, novice interior decorator. I LOVE being a mama: giving C his cereal and watching him try to use a spoon. Cuddling with him. Playing with his hair when he asks me to because I know he's sleepy and it makes him feel safe and calm. Loving my husband more than ED. Trying to love me. I'm learning, I'm progressing. And it's goooooood.

I’d like to think that if I were to write another short autobiography in time, it’ll only get better and better.
Hopefully because I’ll have repressed my entire junior high experiences into some deep crevasse in my brain I hope to never open again.

And that is me in a sad, weird little nutshell.

Any questions?


Tanya said...

FIRST, now that's a rare event.

Brie I can relate so much to a lot of this. Well the opposite of a boobless woman though...I went and got too big. Anyhow I digress. You are amazing and you are wonderful and the strength you emit makes other people see how much they can fight too. So I thank you...from the bottom of my heart.

Heth said...

This was so honest. So real. So you. I didn't know you back in HS or JH, but I did when you were 17 (I guess you were in HS then). You hide a lot of who you are inside, and I'm not sure why, because you're so much more than what you think you are. You're writing is a great start to letting other's "in" and I enoucrage to continue it. You're one of a kind...(cheezy grin). I know you're sad about leaving modeling, but I'm so happy you have decided that it kept you stuck. That shows how much desire you have to recover. And being a bad-ass seamstress is awesome! You're also a great artist, by the way. And I think you'd be an incredible interior designer. Will you come do my house????

licketysplit said...

I can't wait to read the unabridged version :)

Kara said...

Thanks for the mini-auto. Speaking of autos - remember auto readings at the Center? Bleech. I'm really glad that as you shed parts of ED you are realizing that you like other things - that gives me hope. Thanks.

Pattie Cordova said...

Is it weird that I have this total attachment to your blog? I love your writing and how you spin your experiences. and I know exactly what you mean about being a momma - I love it too. Anywho... keep on writing 'cause we are reading it.

Krista said...

You have touched me with this story. I need to get on the ball and remember why I need to recover. I'm glad you have found reasons to live and things that you enjoy more than anorexia. I need to be getting ready for tx and instead I am sitting here with tears in my eyes thinking about all I have to live for.
Thank You!

ania said...

Dear Brie,

I'm not sure exactly why, but this really is one of my favorite posts of yours yet.

I don't think I've anything else to add.

Oh - other than the fact that your mother and father have the same shaped eyes and nose. Do you know what I mean?

You kiddos were going to inherit some degree resemblance without fail. I'd say also, that genetically, any offspring were clearly going to be aesthetically favored.

a.k.a - What a beautiful family.

With warmth....

Kyla said...

everyone else has said it. t his is beautiful, honest, touching. Thank you for sharing. Oh yeah, remember how you were going to send me your center auto? do you still want to? pretty please?

Heth said...

Oh, I forgot to ask...are you the one wearing all looks kind of fuzzy to me.

Heth said...

Okay, I answered my own question...I just blew it up bigger, now I can see you!! How come you're wearing blue and most everyone else is in white? Did you get the wrong memo? J/K of course, you look radiant in that color!

Lisa said...

This is beautiful, Brie. Thank you for being a brave Bad-A and writing it.

Katherine said...

thanks for being real.
thanks for being you.
thanks for making me smile today because even though you've gone through some major crap, you still have hope. (and it sounds like a very strong renewed sense of hope. me likey)
thanks for continuing to try.
thanks for making more than just an effort.
thanks for doing what you need to do. for you.
thanks for making me proud of you.
thanks for kicking ass and taking names

brie said...


you caught me! i got the memo to wear khaki pants and a blue or white top. i just didn't know it was light blue...woops. all my sibs tease me and say that "of course" i'd try to steal the spotlight, haha. whatever, the shirts hot. :)

and katherine, your comment rocks my socks. i miss you!

brie said...

thanks guys for all your love and support 'n stuff. i was just thinking that i wanted to say that...not sure why. this wasn't a very revealing post, but it was still kinda hard to hit the "publish" button anyway. so, thanks for not, like, booing me or something. ;)


Penny said...


I responded to an earlier Blog of yours which I read and then realized you might not go back and read things from the past, so I am also putting it in here.



This is your Dad sending a note on Mom's blog. I read your blog on writing a book and just want you to know that I have always thought it was and is just a matter of time. I saw your talent, beauty and goodness a long time ago. You have so much talent and ability and I know you have struggled a lot to find it and have confidence in yourself, but as your father, I have always believed in you and I always will!!

I love you a lot!

tawny said...

Brie, love the post and it's honesty! you are such a good writer, always have been. And don't we have the best dad ever?! BTW, I loved your royal blue shirt, you could wear like puke green and still be the "hot" girl of the fam!! LOVES~

Heth said... have such a cool dad, Brie. To take the time to read your blogs and then respond. That's awesome. And Yippee!!!! Is there an award for winning about the bright blue shirt???? : )

Well, you definitely stole the show, that's for sure, but in very glamorous way, stay like thate Brie. Be you and if it means wearing a 1970s weird shirt while bowling, than go for it.

Okay, random comment, but I have a brain be nice.

satisfiction said...

Brie, this was a fantastic entry. Thanks for sharing your nutshell self with your readers. I'm glad I have your blog to read.


Laura said...

Nice to meet you, Brie.

Debbie said...

Wow. Just came over from Piece of Cake and this post blew me away. You are an amazing writer and you have so much to tell us. Thank you for sharing your life.

Devon said...

Beautiful...absolutely so. I'll be waiting for the next one.

Jenny Bay said...

Brie, you are amazing - I have honestly always looked up to you and have such fun memories of hanging out with you. Love ya!

NoSurfGirl said...

Thanks for sharing :)

JR high totally sucks. I've repressed a lot of those memories I think... and the ones I do remember have surprising hold, still, over my self-image on certain dark days.

It really is a process, huh?

Brooke said...

Hey Brie,I'm always the last to respond. Sorry. I loved this post--it is so honest and real (in a quick way) about you. I'm glad to have you as a sis' ps. I love the pic of you and Bran in the yellow shirts. For realsies!