Starved, suicidal and surfin’ the Net

It’s 3 a.m. Does your teen daughter have an eating disorder? Is she online?

Illustration By Jamie Paiva

If you’re trying to kill yourself through starvation--or by any other means--get help from people who care. Call Northern Nevada’s Crisis Call line at (800) 992-5757. Reno psychiatrists Brie Arnette and Elizabeth Harrison treat eating disorders; call 322-7717 or 322-7771.

A secret online community of anorexics have taken the “I’m OK, you’re OK” ideals to a new level. Not only do the pro-anorexics offer each other unconditional love and understanding, they also swap starvation diet tips, participate in group fasts, offer advice on how to hide your “ana” from nosy family members and share inspirational pictures of emaciated model Kate Moss.

A friend went online looking for dieting tips and stumbled upon the site from which I’ve included the following excerpts. These postings were clipped from a recent 36-hour period at a bulletin board that’s part of an extensive Web site seemingly maintained by a 15-year-old girl from Canada. After much debate, we’ve decided to follow advice from psychiatrist Brie Arnette, who treats eating disorders, and not include the URL of the Web site.

Please be warned: This is real. And this is scary stuff. The language might offend you. But it will give you a glimpse of what’s going on in some of the media-saturated minds of our culture’s young women.

amie 10:22 p.m.
I saw the ugliest fattest woman tonight. She was eating her ass off—or should I say on, lol. I feel fat … I wonder why. Oh yeah, it’s because I have four asses and two chins, hurhur, what a dumb ass I am.

Nuria 2:12 a.m.
ouch my throat hurts from puking. Today I had about 250 cals worth of candy!!! But no lunch and threw up dinner, had an 80 cal breakfast, but that’s too much. I hate this sooo much. I want to be thin. I wish I were so thin I looked sick and weak so everyone would notice. Today I saw this pretty, popular girl at my school (who is if anything a little heavy) eating a chocolate bar and sandwiches and she’s always happy and confident even though she’s not skinny and I wish I could be like that. I wish I could just accept that I’m not naturally stick thin and eat without punishing myself.

Kris 2:47 a.m.
Yeah, Nuria, I know exactly what you mean! The girl at my school that is sooo popular has the hugest nastiest gut. It’s revolting! And at break, she eats a biscuit w/ tons of butter, a pack of Reese’s cups, then during the next class she brings M&Ms. Then a huge-assed lunch and then still eats fast food. Gawd I hate myself.

Kris 2:50 a.m.
Where is Jen?

-*Zoe*- 5:07 a.m.
Awww I’m so sorry kris! :( *big hugs* i tried msg’in you but you’ve been away for a while now. i love ya and hope you’re okay babe … xoxoxo love ya lots.

darcy 9:49 a.m.
those geocities fuckers!!!!!! they deleted my thinspiration page!!!!!!! and my mom found my laxatives again!!!!!!! that whore!!! i don’t know where jen is, but i am worried about her … argh, and after almost 2 months of not cutting, i sliced my ankle all up last night. its pretty deep … it didn’t hurt though. i wanted it to hurt and it didn’t.

-*Zoe*- 10:25 a.m.
Darcy, I’m so sorry!! geocities does suck!! grrawl! which pages did they delete? the cutterslut one worked for me … im sorry bout the laxies … what a bitch … bleh …

amie 12:08 p.m.
Darcy I’m sorry moms suck big ass mine does too sometime. Jen always posts i wonder where she is??? hmm??? Where is Eva i haven’t seen her either??? I purged again. I didn’t get it all up though. i can’t do shit right. well i’m going to go eat some ham now god i suck!!!

darcy 12:37 p.m.
arghhh … i ate 3 reeses cups. (i’m a pig). they deleted the thinspiration one, fragileperfection. it pisses me off.

daisy 12:41 p.m
I think eva said her computer wasn’t working, so she couldn’t come on that much.

-derangeD Jenna- 4:25 p.m.
I’m back, if anyone cares. I’m back early because my mom got mad at my stepfather, like the stupid bitch that she is. I hate my life. I’m seriously ending it soon. … I am trying to remember how I used to be. I never was a bad person before. I was sweet and feminine and the thought of starving was not beautiful to me, it repulsed me. I was lovely and the perfect southern girl, outwardly … demure and shy smile and promise-of-prom night attitude. So saddeningly hopeful for the future. So sure of myself. Where did I go wrong? How the FUCK should I know? I hate myself, I honestly do. I seriously have no reason to live and no intention on doing so.

Oh, yeah, vacation was great. I shopped and bought clothes that I don’t want to wear because I’m too fat. Guys hit on me the whole time. Can’t they see that I’m UGLY and GROTESQUE. I don’t deserve their attention. I used to feel proud when people noticed me. Now I feel embarrassed for them at their excruciatingly bad taste.

I thought someone loved me. That was my first mistake. I should never have believed that someone could actually love me. I have proved to be every bit as retarded as my father accused me of being. Not that you guys really care. You have this amazing “as long as it’s not me” attitude towards me. I have noticed this. I love you guys, though. I hope you’ll miss me when I’m gone.

Marie 7:17 p.m
. jenna, i feel for u babe. just try n do the things we talked about :( i hope things in the end work out well. im not eating tomorrow, and if i do, im only eating ice pops, can u believe those things have 20 calories, only 20. And they take a while to eat, so they feel like they fill u up. I will only have 5—100 cals … im also buying some diet pills tomorrow … do u always have to take 2 a day, or can u take it however u want to?

daisy 7:55 p.m.
Jenna~im sorry you feel the people on this board don’t care about you, maybe it’s because everyone has so much problems on themselves its hard to worry about others. but no matter what you think, everyone here cares :)

amie 11:13 p.m.

Jenna please please don’t do this. i know what you mean about no one loving you. no one loves me either. i don’t love myself and my world is empty and hopeless. feel better hun. i would miss you to death.

-derangeD Jenna- 12:19 a.m.
"… loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness.” So true.

Kara 2:49 a.m.
Jenna, I, for one, care. I honestly do. … I love you girls. No one else can understand like you guys do. Oh god, tonight I outdid myself. I had five fucking eggs, four pieces of toast, a handful of blueberries and a handful of macadamia nuts and half a bag of popcorn. I feel so disgusting. I hate knowing I am going to kill myself.

Kris 10:56 a.m.
Kara, ive been wondering where the hell u were! im glad ur still alive n, well … im glad ur alive. *sigh* i want to die. I’ve been researching the least painful ways to end life. i cant cut myself, i cant shoot myself and i dont want my parents to find me. i dont want anyone to find me … i want to wither into nothing in my sleep and never wake up to feel again … i know all i do is whine on here, but u guys are all i have.

darcy 12:48 p.m.
kris, its ok to whine. You gotta get it out of your system somehow. … my stomach is so empty. I had the breakfast of champions … pills, water and diet coke. Tasty.

darcy 12:50 p.m.
has anyone heard from jen yet??? she usually emails me every day but its been awhile now … I am so so so so so worried …