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Living with ED for 30 Years: Louise's Recovery Story


This four-part article was written exclusively for by Louise J. Twardowski, a member of In this article, Louise discusses how her eating disorder evolved, how she struggled with alcohol and purging as an adult and how she finally found the help she needed.

I guess I will start at the beginning. I was born in 1962, and my mother committed suicide when I was 2 years old. My father and I were greeted by my aunt and uncle on my father's side. Life was good even though I knew something had changed. Even at that age I would put my fingers in my mouth to "gag” in jest, like little children do.

Starting a New Life

Now I wonder if I ever saw my mother do it as I was growing up. She was very tall and very slim. I didn't realize it before. After a few years of living a pretty stable life, my father decided that he wanted to purchase a farm, and thus, all my misery and suffering began.

He had asked his younger brother and wife to move in with us. He did not charge them a thing. One day when I got back from church, all the furniture had disappeared. Not a single thing was left in the house. They had taken it all. After this, my father then proceeded to ask his father to live with us.

The Grandfather

He just wanted someone to be there when I got home from school, and when he had to work night shifts. My grandfather had always hated me. I witnessed many fights between my father and him. He called my mother a tramp and other awful words. I also knew that my grandfather was a drinker.

Things turned for the worst on the day when I had my first period, at the tender age of 9. I vividly remember coming home from school that night. My grandfather was so polite and touchy. He told me that he loved me and all that baloney. He then proceeded to touch me in the genital area.

The Rise of ED

I knew this was not right, and after he was done I ran upstairs and locked myself in my bedroom. I remember being a normal eater before the abuse. Mind you, sometimes I overate sweets and other foods, but this was something any normal child would do.

One day, my father and grandfather had another one of those brawls. My father kicked him out. I thought that everything would be better now, but a few weeks later, my father touched me as well. I just did not understand why people were doing this to me. I was scared all the time. I vomited and had diarrhea for years.

Later on, my father met a woman, the same woman he is now married to. She and I never had a good relationship. When she became part of the household she put us on a diet, and so ED was born. I was 13 at the time.

In Part II of this article series, Louise discusses how her eating disorder worsened and how, later on in her adult years, she began to struggle with drinking as well.