Grace King was an only child brought up by her mother, a single parent. She had a normal childhood and was always a high achiever with a positive attitude. But without her father’s acceptance and love, underlying feelings of rejection, inadequacy, and guilt engulfed her. Her great-grandmother died, and Grace had her heart broken by her first love; guilt, regret, and self-hatred soon set the foundation for her to fall victim to the vicious grip of bulimia.
For more than ten years, she struggled to free herself from bulimia’s hold and became lonely, depressed, and desperate. After years of self-destruction, disappointment, and regret, her conscience collapsed, and she longed for her healthy and meaningful life back more than ever. Grace was forever grateful for the friendships she forged and for the relationships she endured, knowing how much they had taught her about the meaning and purpose of life. She was always hopeful that one day, looking in the mirror would bring back the feeling of acceptance and happiness to a now repulsed, sad, and lost soul.
She embarked on a transformational journey that depended on the choices she made each day. Her heart was filled with endless hope, courage, and commitment to searching for the solution toward knowing herself again and being true to herself. Through prayer, she found the path that led her to the light and allowed herself to be cured.
It was through surrendering her bulimia to God, she learnt to love and forgive herself and she finally embraced her healing. She is a survivor and hopes her story will help save other lives too.
I remember the moment when I first realized that I was bulimic. I was in my mother’s house, in the bathroom, and I had just made myself vomit my food down the basin drain, and quickly pushed it down with running water. I felt both excitement and fear. I had just started a new chapter in my life, one that I had no true idea of what I was getting myself into. I was 16 years old. I am now 32, and I have been recovered since the 19th of December 2003, just over 7 years. I have had one relapse, after mis-carrying my first baby. I am telling my story, and sharing my victory, with the hope that I may help someone who is going through what I went through. If I can reach out to help one person, then my pain and suffering would have been worth it. Please note that some of the information in this book may be triggering and is not intended to be harmful in any way. I’ll begin with sharing some background on my childhood. I was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was an only child, raised by my mother. My memories of childhood are filled with an abundance of love, especially from my mother, my grandmother and grandfather, my aunties and cousins. However, there was also a sub-conscious sadness; a sadness that I would have denied. I never knew my father. Not by choice. He chose not to know me. When he found out my mother was pregnant, at 18, he left her as it would have disgraced his religion, and he was not willing to take responsibility. So my mother had me just before her 19th birthday. I remember meeting him once; I must have been about 2 or 3. I remember my mom getting us ready and prepared for this ‘big day’, “… You are going to meet your dad today…” mom said, so I Dressed in my best Dress and the house was in perfect order. I don’t remember his face though; although, I do remember his presence. What I do remember is my mom and him talking, probably more like arguing. He took twenty rand out of his wallet, threw it on the table and said, “… buy the child some food…” and walked out. I never saw him again. Growing up, I never really missed my dad. My mom was always very open and honest with me about him and what had happened and why he wasn’t around. When I was ready, she would help me find him. I didn’t feel a great need for him, as I had everything I needed. My mom, my grandma, my grandpa, and there was certainly never a shortage of love and affection in our family. Although, there was at times, a shortage of food and money. When I was about 9, I wrote my dad a letter. My mom always encouraged me to seek the truth and look for my dad when I was ready. I wrote to him to say, that I wanted to meet him, and get to know him as my dad, even if it was only one time, nothing more. I said I didn’t want any money from him, just to look in his eyes, and see what he looked like, so that at least I could say that I knew my father and so that I could identify with that part of me. Any one that knew my dad, and had met me, always said that I looked so much like him. I wanted to see that too! I included a photo of myself in the letter. My mom posted it. We went to the place my mom suggested we meet at, the Yugoslav club, and we waited, for hours. He never showed up. Later that week, my mother got a phone call from my dad. He said, “It was your fault you fell pregnant, she’s your mistake, and I want nothing to do with her!” He sent the letter and the photos back to my mom. I can’t really remember exactly how I felt, but I remember feeling disappointed. My mom always made me feel like it was his loss that he didn’t want to be a part of my life. I never felt liked I ‘lacked’ a dad because I was so spoilt with an abundance of love from my mom and my family that it never seemed like he was missing. I must have numbed the pain.
Grace King is a mother, wife, recruitment specialist, and author. Through the pain and suffering of battling with bulimia for many years, she embarked on a spiritual, emotional, and physical journey of self-discovery, which led to her healing, her survival, and her enlightenment.