Thursday, October 4, 2007


We have a lot to catch up on. This week has been one of extremes.

I think I have mentioned once or twice before that, being an SM is hard. But being an SM half way around the world, while fighting an eating disorder, and feeling completely insignificant to the people around you; was more than I could take on Tuesday. I broke down. I really did.

After a rough night feeling so horribly alone, fat, ugly, pathetic, disgusting, unable, incapable, inadequate and everything in between, I cried myself to sleep. I woke up Tuesday morning weak and exhausted. I prayed a desperate prayer for strength and headed down the stairs to my bike. I was really dreading the day. I got on my bike and started to cry. I rode past the guard and cried. I rode past the waiting moto drivers and cried. I went past all the locals, just starting their day and cried. I didn’t just have tears in my eyes. I was, all out, holding nothing back, sobbing. The Cambodians always stare at me anyway. At least Tuesday they had a good reason. I was a sight to see and the topic at every family’s dinner table that night for sure.

I made it to school. I tried to gather myself together. I walked towards my classroom, but the thought of standing in front of students terrified me, and I started crying again. There were 4 students waiting outside that day. They got very quite. I walked in, shut the door behind me, and wept so bitterly, it actually hurt. Thatched walls make up my classroom, so no doubt, my students heard me. But I could not stop. I nearly fell over as I reached my desk. I caught myself with both hands and bent over at the waist. I think I started hyperventilating. I could not catch my breath. I was gasping for air. I sat down. I forced myself to breathe. It was time for staff worship.

I quickly passed my students on the way out the door. I met a teacher on the way and asked, “Do I have anything under my eyes?” At her look of concern, I started crying again and just walked away. I tried to sit in the back at worship, but I didn’t last long, so I half-ran to the bathroom. I found an empty stall, sat down, and cried. A few minutes later, Fay found me. She held me for several minutes before I could actually form sentences.

I told her how horribly lonely I felt. I told her that I felt invisible to most everyone here. I told her I needed someone to care that I had come half-way around the world to Cambodia. I told her how empty, lost, and insignificant I felt. It felt good to talk, but it didn’t make me feel any less alone.

I had to go on with the day. Looking back, I wonder if there is some reason I could not stop crying. Because as the day progressed, people saw me as human. They saw me cry. I couldn’t hide it. My students asked why I was crying. A few Cambodian teachers tried to communicate with me through kind smiles and a few words. I talked to the principle for awhile. Until I “asked” for what I needed, people didn’t know how badly I needed support. I can’t complain and exist in a life I don’t like until I have done everything possible to change it. I didn’t intentionally cry my eyes out on Tuesday. I can’t just break down every time I need something. But that was my feelings at that time. That was real. That was everything I was I feeling in that moment. I could’ve stuffed it inside, sucked it up and gone on with my day. I did try. But I feel like I truly allowed myself to feel that day.

Back at our apartment, I asked my roommates if we could talk. I told them I needed to feel like somebody cared that I was here. I told them I regularly felt like the third wheel. I told them that once in awhile I need them to say, “Heather, how are you doing?” I even told them why. The words just flowed. I told them I am fighting an eating disorder, that I don’t expect them to mother me through this. But I asked them check in with me once in awhile. I want to have bad days and actually have someone I could talk to.

Only time will tell if I ever get the support I need here. But I feel like I am at least headed in the right direction. I have planted a few seeds. I have asked for what I need and I will continue to do so. My good friend Troy Beans often reminds me, “Your life is your fault”. I am doing what I can, with what I have. I will continue to remember that I cannot blame anyone for my life. I have to be an active agent in my own life, not a spectator. I can’t let situation, circumstance, people, or places, decide my life for me. I am trying desperately to live with purpose. Maybe I am on my way. God help me.


ashley said...

At your best moments you are known by the people you know. I'm so proud of your determined honesty.

As Mr. Blake says, you can only do your balanced best. To some degree I agree with Troy but you can only do so much. Give yourself room to breathe and a break too. What you're doing is hard.

I love you.

caitlyn brianne said...

Heather know I'am praying for you!!!! Hang in there! I wish so much to give you a hug, lol I wish i was a better friend!!! hehe but i pray for you everyday Bo! Hang in there He will get you through! love you lots!

Anonymous said...

Heather---Each time you are this remind me to be real! I am so proud to be your friend! I love you more! Sandy

Chris Blake said...

Heather Bo,

As Mr. Blake says, "The key to life is commication."

So, you used the key today. Hooray! This gives others permission to be aware and involved concerning your life. (Do you think they are all mind readers?)

It's also liberating to know that you matter immensely even when you don't seem to matter at all. You do matter immensely. You are not alone. That's good news.

Remember the content of our talks. Enjoy the journey! Go with God.

Your old prof and pal,
Mr. Blake

PS: Ashley and Ben bought a cool house!

Jim Moon said...


I've gotten behind on your blog. I just read this one this morning. I heard a guy say once that if your head leaks it won't swell. So don't be afraid of having a leaky lid once in a while. I'm proud of you.