What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here.  Today’s guest post is by Brooke Felix.

I’m eighteen. I’m diagnosed with GAD and depression, and episodes of OCD. For as long as I can remember, I thought I was fat. From the age of two or three, I remember my cousin calling me fat. And, compared to her skeletal frame, I felt ginormous. My mother has struggled constantly with her weight and anxiety my whole life and my father is a health addict who’s a cyclist and anti-sugar. When I was fifteen, I entered into an emotionally and sexually abusive relationship with the most popular boy in the year group and you can imagine what that did to my already low self esteem. When I broke it off with him a year later, I began to feel better, but for the anxieties of my final school exams, and I began to care less and less about my relationship with food. But then when I was seventeen, I discovered feederism.

Sometimes I would be aroused by the thought of gorging my self sick and the growth of my every limb, sometimes it was the thought of me aiding someone in that path. But once the climax had arrived and the fantasy was over, I would want to throw up my guts and rid myself of the evil thoughts within me. But I can’t throw up. Since my hideous ex-boyfriend had entered my life, I have had an inability to puke, voluntarily or otherwise. So, my old habits of self harm would creep back in and I would punish myself with the pain of slicing open my skin. And I still do this.

At the beginning of this year, I started to question my identity and my inbuilt self-hatred lead me to believe that I was really feeling gender-dysphoria and that I was transgender. After struggling for six months, I came to the conclusion that I was not in fact trans but I did have a serious problem with my body image.

I never thought of myself as having an eating disorder – except for the time in year 11 when I would only eat things with a certain taste – and so it never occurred to me to tell anyone about my relationship with food. I thought I was too fat to be anorexic and I didn’t think my methods of purging were serious enough to be called bulimic, so I never sought help.

I am so embarrassed by this relationship with food that I haven’t even told my psychologist of three years, and my best friend is the only person with an inkling of what’s going (thus he is the one that referred to me this site). But I have an appointment with both my psychologist and my psychiatrist and I intend to tell them everything I’ve written here and maybe everything will be okay.