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If you suffer from an eating disorder now or have in the past, please email Joanna for a free telephone consultation.



Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.


it definitely helps to write out my thoughts. Sharing them in this format of anonymity is healing for me ~ more healing than just keeping them in my journal. I have been working on these hurts in therapy..more so lately than ever before. I don't want to dwell on things, I don't want to be a victim. I just haven't had the strength to move through this stuff. I am trying so hard now, I think, because I have children of my own. I would kill someone if they touched my children. To ever think that my 4 year old would lose her soul, her entire being, at such a young age enrages me. My abuse started about then. It went on for so long that I expected it. I waited. I didn't tell anyone. I literally left my body when it happened and came back when it was done. I climbed into the pictures on the wall. I took trips to islands where the sun was setting, casting pink and orange glows on the water around it. I imagined what the people were like who lived there. If boys were nice to girls. When I was about 6 I experienced a molestation from a stranger at a family Christmas party. I was in a basement. I just stood there. I expected it. I didn't tell anyone. From a very young age I learned that this is all I was good for. I assumed I had a mark on me somewhere. I knew it wasn't right, or did I know? It was weird, I guess. Predictable. It went on for about 5 years until I was 10 or 11. My gfather died when I was 12. I felt relieved. I forgot it all happened for years and years. I was a perfect child. I was a pretty good teenager. I was popular, I was head cheerleader, I made good grades. I hated myself and I didn't know why. I used to think of ways to kill myself because I felt so empty, and I didn't know why. I pushed my abuse so very far down inside me. I wanted someone to help me, but I didn't know what they could help me with. so miserable. so much self hate. Yet I was the first to give back, to be the school welcome wagon for new kids, to lead a peer counseling group. Of course, my eating disorder was already starting to emerge. My self image was terrible. Horrible. But I didn't know why. On the homefront I experienced verbal and emotional abuse from my mom. I was a whore (?)~ how did she know?, I was always going to hell, and told to leave her house more times than I can remember. I was a good kid. But ~draw a circle around me~ I was a target for her rage. this feeling of being marked still follows me around. I feel everyone knows about me, my secrets, my shame. People must laugh at me and talk about me. Maybe some people feel sorry for me, or are even horrified by me. I am gross and pitiful. I am no good...so keep moving...these are the thoughts that dominate my mind, sometimes loudly, sometimes under the surface, but still there. Joanna, if I could pick a place to start to heal with all this, it would be to figure out a way to feel I am not this person I think I am. I don't know how to look for a "guide". I guess I thought my therapist was my guide. I will have to think more about how to do this..I mean, it already happened, so I don't know how to take someone back with me to guide me through it all. any suggestions on how I would do this? could you get me started? I may be making this harder than I need to. Tracy

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