Women's Empowerment Month Collection: Kristen H.
I got to interview one of my sisters by bond, Kristen H. From the moment we met she's been the most fun, one of the most maternal, yet she sees right through you types I've met. But it's all in, like in a great way. Read the interview for more details.
TRIGGER WARNING! Readers Beware! There is sensitive material ahead. Kristen helped save me from a lot when we first met, and so my questions surrounded a little of that. Eating disorders and mental health. I will add hotline information I was able to use and was given at the end of the interview. Kristen and I were able to get help with what we needed but we both strongly encourage others to get help as well.
Kaylyn Gabbert: I remember when we met, how you caught on to my lousy eating habits (minor way of putting it)/ minor eating disorder (more accurate way to describe it). You were the first person to actually get me to eat a meal each time you caught on. Is that because you had experience with that?
Kristen H.: Actually, yes, I myself have suffered through my own eating disorder. As a child I would rarely eat anything, no matter what my parents tried to feed me. As I got older, into my late teens/early twenties, I began to have some stomach complications that set off another eating disorder. Some of it was of course to be thin like society wants us women, but a lot of it was mental and physical hell. They're hard to deal with, let alone get over.
KG: Did it help that we'd eat together? Because I didn't feel as pressured when we ate together. In fact, thanks to you I finally was eating enough to stop hallucinating (both audio and visual hallucinations).
KH: It definitely helped eating with you. Eating with friends helps diminish the anxiety of everyone watching... Even though I know they're not haha
KG: Did I ever tell you what caused mine? And if not, can I?
KH: You never told me but you can c:
KG: When I was growing up, I was only a couple pant sizes bigger than my mom and sister but I was made fun of. Like I was really fat, and when I was thirteen, just starting to care about body image more and other things my mom, in anger yelled, "You're fat, ugly, and you'll never get a boyfriend." Her and I were already having issues, but those words brought me to a dead stop. Boys in the dating sense weren't necessarily a priority anyway, but now that someone I loved and trusted thought I was fat and ugly, so I stopped eating all my lunches at school. I'd eat in front of her and my dad but mostly to keep up appearances. Only once was I nearly caught. When I lived with my dad. A doctor mentioned something so I got better at keeping up appearances. I actually didn't get better at eating until I moved in with my In-laws. I still struggle, but they know and are helpful.
And those words still haunt me despite the fact that I'm recently married.
KH: Well she was a bitch for saying that. You're not fat and it's not like you can go out and exercise (Neither can I and I'm gaining weight lol) so it's like.... if you wanna be that petty, tell her to go look in a mirror.
I don't know if my dad and mom have said some nasty things to me too, and I don't know what drives people to say things but they do. Obviously you proved her wrong.
Was that the one I met?
KG: Yes, it was. [Can't share the rest of this response. Too personal and this conversation does not continue]
On to the next question, I swear that even though we only hung out for a short time, you always knew what to say or do during my vulnerable moments, even if you couldn't be there directly. Would you be comfortable sharing why you always knew the right thing?
KH: I wouldn't say that I ever knew what exactly to say, I would just hope that it was the right thing. I knew whenever you were sad and you are like a little sister to me; so I would instantly go into a big sister role and try to cheer you up or give you the best advice I could.
KG: You were like the older sister I desperately needed, especially then. Like when you told my older brother B (by bond) to stay with me when I was getting checked out at the mental hospital the day after I attempted suicide. Did you ever go to one to get checked out?
KH: I did get checked out and was thrown into detox due to my addiction to painkillers. I was treated like a criminal and their methods did not keep me sober, believe it or not my late father saved me. Now off the drugs I no longer feel suicidal. Addiction is such a cruel thing to go through and I recommend anyone going through anything discussed? Please get help. It is possible.
KG: May I ask how your dad helped you through your addiction to painkillers?
If it's not too personal
If you don't want it added in the interview, say the word, and I won't. But as your friend and sister I am curious. If you're comfortable sharing.
KH: I'll have it added c: no shame.
I was heavily addicted to oxycodone, to the point of taking 90mg at a time.
It was so bad that my ex (dumb as he was) would give me 300 dollars a day knowing where it was going and even had the audacity to act shocked when he admitted to knowing.
One day I was withdrawing hard core, like it would kill me sort of pain and my dad said all he could find was suboxone. It is a safer form of methadone and you place it under the tongue.
I was so afraid of new meds that it took a year before I got the courage to try.
It has kept me sober since.
So not only did we talk about eating disorders here, but I recently got reported on Facebook for my eating disorder by five people so I actually have hotline information for that as well as the National Suicide Hotline. I'll be honest and say that besides the National Suicide Hotline, I have not called or texted these numbers. I collected them thinking they could help others. I'm going to therapy for my issues currently.
Crisis Line: Text help to 741-741
Drug Abuse and Addiction Hotline: (844) 289-0879. (Notes: It's a 24/7 number; Message from Kristen: Let them know that cold turkey is no way to treat addiction. Some meds and drugs need medical supervision. A good support system from a medical supervisor is important.)
National Alliance for Eating Disorders: (866) 662-1235 (Note: Mon-Fri: 9-5:30)
National Alliance on Mental Illness: (800) 950-6264
National Eating Disorders Association: (800) 931-2237
National Suicide Prevention Line: (800) 273-8255 (Note: Follow what Kristen told B and me don't go alone to the mental health facility if it can be helped. She knew what she was talking about.)
The Trevor Project: (866) 488-7386 (Note: for LGBTQ+ youth, friends, and family members)
Trans Lifeline: (877) 565-8860