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Hunger
Bullying and other types of abuse. Bulimia

By: Elena B. Arregun Osuna.

Hunger
Bullying and other types of abuse. Bulimia. Copyright 2012: By, Elena Beatriz Arregun Osuna First edition. March, 2014 All rights reserved.

Cover and layout design by, Ral Reyna Prez Printed in Mxico

Without limiting the rights under above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

Table of contents _______________________________

Prologue I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. The hiding place Hidden for forty five years History of life With my will torn It is better to come out from hiding Bullying and bulimia Pure adrenalin bursting through the skin

5 11 22 46 77 85 106 128 143 191 206 241 255 280 293 297

VIII. The ill person seeking for another ill person IX. X. XI. XII. Patients, not so patients When the light was extinguished My last days in the clinic Back home

XIII. Little dolls all around my head XIV. A reunion with myself Appendix. Epilogue.

Prologue

Its very hard to write a book based on my own life and relive past experiences that hurts so deeply. This book has meant to me, a lot of pain, fear, tears, real and imaginary time, time well spent and time wasted, but also a lot of satisfaction and relief. It covers, from the beginning of an unknown disease in my adolescence, up to the most brutal experiences and the descent into hell of a disease known as bulimia; condition of the soul, silent and progressive, which destroys both physically and emotionally to the one who suffers from it.

It is an endless struggle, a hate against humanity, a feeling of being assaulted and abused at every moment, always on the defensive, always hiding, cheating and lying. It is a fear of being mocked, ridiculed, betrayed, disappointed and at the same time, is like having a bandage in front of your eyes that blocks you of seeing the past or to accept changes or positive situations. It is a life that is not life because is invaded by bitterness, by an incessant feeling of powerlessness and helplessness, emptiness and a terrible loneliness. That is only part of whats being bulimic and be infected up to the bones. Nobody imagined such a degree of self-destruction. Unfortunately my parents died without knowing about my situation.

While I was writing this book, I experienced emotional ups and downs, periods of control and tremendous relapses. At the beginning I liked to waste my time doing other less important things on the computer to not fully face my terrible experiences; I resorted to eat candies and junk food to release my stress while I was writing, or simply I left my home under any pretext. I never stopped drinking some fluid while writing this autobiography. Even if it was only a cup of coffee with low calories sugar, because remembering past experiences into the deepest of my being, made me feel a huge emptiness that filled eating sugars and carbohydrates, symptoms of the disease itself. I deceived myself doing unimportant things and avoiding the start of this autobiography by fear, fear of bringing to the surface the truth of become vulnerable to the world, to describe situations of so much suffering that I had lived since I was little.

During a long period of time, I attended therapy to overcome my past, but the best therapy I have ever received has been the writing of this book. Each line was written from the bottom of my soul. Sometimes I had to stop because my tears were blurring the screen of my computer and I had to make drastic stops to mourn of impotence. It has been a shouting, a throwing out everything from once and for all. I had been in silence for thirty-five years and I could not wait anymore.

Everything in my life had been radical, there was no medium term; I was either completely healed or I was completely sick. Thats the way a bulimic thinks. The term bulimic has never pleased me. I heard it for the first time during my internment of forty five days in a rehabilitation clinic. This word seemed to me absolutely self compassionate and strong. For me has been hard to deal with it through all my treatment. However I have understood that only an unhealthy judgment as mine could obsess me, for being slim.

Miraculously, after so many years of abusing my body, I have no physical consequences of this illness. Fortunately my esophagus was not damaged, nor neck remained bulging, and my teeth enamel is intact along with normal tone skin. I was saved, because my periods of overeating and vomiting have been intermittent. I never vomited out more than three times a day and could pass years without resorting to this irrational slimming method, until twelve years ago when I lost total control over my way of eating, after a furious and wrenching struggle against a treacherous and fulminant cancer that ended with my mother's sorrowful death. I started to smoke as a relief; I reached the point of smoking two packs a day. When I suddenly quit smoking, I gained ten kilos in one month.

With ten kilos over my normal weight, I had three consecutive pregnancies. My children have one year and a half of age difference between them, so, when my first baby was four months of age, I was already pregnant again, and with the second one, was the same situation. During my first pregnancy I gained eighteen kilos -my weight reached up to eighty two kilos- and during the second and third pregnancy fourteen kilos. During those years I never was able to reach my normal weight, so, my desperation during those three years was disastrous. Between pregnancies I always kept within ten kilos over my normal weight, the same kilos that I gained after my mothers

death and that I definitely, have been losing with big efforts as long as Ive been releasing myself from my victim role.

I had confinement periods to avoid being seen of that size, because, one thing is being pregnant or newly calved, and other is being fat and pregnant at the same time. Although, these fluctuant quantities of kilos are serious matter, sometimes I compare myself to terrible cases of compulsive eaters who have reached to weigh up to hundred or hundred and fifty kilos without being pregnant, or bulimics who had their teeth damaged because of so much gastric acids. Bulimics who have had esophagus surgeries because of hernias or with chronic gastritis, with their index and middle finger nails yellowish, with their skin stiff and hollow gaze. I had come to believe that my situation hadnt been so serious and that I hadnt reached the pain bottom of which everybody talks at Eating Disorders and AA meetings. Maybe I hadnt lived something like that, but I know that one of my painful bottoms I had to live, was when my first son was four and a half months of age, and was a very sad situation.

Suffering from this illness is a torment, being unable to control your way of eating, being addict to sugar and refined flours and to say daily: I will start tomorrow, it is going through life, experiencing failure after failure, disappointment after disappointment, it is to damage your self esteem, your willpower up to the extreme of disappear them. You can promise to god, to your husband and to the whole world that you would be able to control yourself the next morning, but it is when you realize that this suffering is so much stronger than you, and that you cant achieve the change by yourself.

During my internment, my recovery was based on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous program, where I found out that my escape during so many years had been my compulsive eating before any situation to fill my enormous inner emptiness that I had, after having permitted being abused. Many years I lived assisted with psychological and psychiatric therapy, treated with anti-depressants despite my resistance to take them. At the present time, Im almost free of all this. Im coming out.

I have visited specialized clinics, I have read, I have searched, I have found some answers, but life gives you the hand in an amazing way giving you the correct ones.

During my endless search I found a person who reconciled me with god and with myself. And who convinced me with facts that there are people who despite they have died, they never leave us.

I fervently believe that this illness is curable and I have studied about the matter. At the rehabilitation clinic I introduced myself as: Elena, bulimic and neurotic, but I was never completely convinced of it. Despite the fact the therapists clearly tell you, that you will never stop being a drug addict, alcoholic or bulimic. Because we will be sick for life, my inner voice told me the opposite.

Since long ago I stop being bulimic. Every day I had advancements, along with their inevitable setbacks. But I could be able to find out so many things that I was unable to see before. Each step forward, meant a step back, but you have to be very tenacious and disciplined for being able to take bigger steps forward. Im convinced that: time, discipline, the will to overcome, the faith in god, the psychological aid that I received in my multiple therapies and the support of my husband and family were enough factors that guided me through the storm in where I was living, and taught me to put my feet on the ground. Sometimes the ground beneath me moves a little bit, but with the help of so many skills I have developed, I stabilized my base again.

I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart, to so many people who crossed my path in helping me. First of all to the angel who I have as husband, my three suns I have as sons, my brothers, my brothers in law for supporting me, and the radical change of attitude who was generated in the family since I confessed them my problem. I am sure that we are more united than before, more sincere, and that now we show us affection openly.

To my therapists A, B, C, D, because without their patience, affection and comprehension. I wouldnt be so plenty and happy as today. Specially to my therapist C, the undefeatable Clarissa, for having believed in me since the beginning; to Perla for her unconditional help and love; to Claudia, Hector and Dominique for her friendship and support; I also thank Yolanda and the priest Juan Antonio Torres (C.L.) Christ

Legionaries for his valuable opinions, to all nutritionists, to my beautiful mates of internment to whom I remember with so much joy, to so many beautiful people who I met during my stay and finally to the people of aid groups.

This is my testimony; since long ago I wanted to vomit out to the world everything I had lived and felt during so many years. I want that people like me know that there is a path to recovery and I would like to help them. This is a very difficult path to follow but not impossible. Its a day to day struggle, constant and fierce. But it worth what it costs.

Now in my daily walking, I find harmony, joy and gratefulness for so many beautiful things I own and who I am now thanks to everything I have lived.

I tried to write this autobiography realistically, objective and without exaggerations. Although some things here described seem to be part of a science fiction novel. Everything here written is real, has actually happened.

I know this is not the first book who talks about this topic; there are many more, but of what Im sure is that this one has been written with all the transparency, sincerity and most of all, from the bottom of my heart and the willingness to overcome my problem.

Some names, nationalities, and physical appearances of some people here described, have been changed to protect their identities.

To my parents, two extraordinary beings of which I was fortunate to inherit everything I am.

To my wonderful husband and my three rays of light.

To my friend Dora.

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The Hiding Place


Sweat in my hands, a chill going through my back, a repressed weeping, visceral pain, helplessness and terror every time I saw my torturer coming towards me. With the time, this feeling became in a daily fact that I learned to accept and to live with it through all my childhood ".

Maribel and I were playing at the playground outside our apartments. I was swinging at the swings and she was jumping from the slide when we saw him coming from afar, with his sadist face coming toward us. Immediately a feeling of terror invaded me. Such familiar shaking that I felt every time that happened; a chill went through my body, my hands sweated and I started to tremble. I was faking that I was unable to see him, but I could feel his cold and penetrating gaze heading over me.

He approached to Maribel without stopping looking at me, until I couldn't pretend anymore, then, with his index finger he made his characteristic signal, which meant that we should join him at the apartments rooftop in five minutes. Then he went away.

As usual, we walked in silence one toward each other with our heads down until meet us, then obediently we went to the rooftop up to the maids empty room in which lived the fear, helplessness and submission of two innocent and threatened girls.

At that time I was seven and Maribel was six years old. We were two happy and healthy little girls. For me, that kind of experiences were not novelty because since I was five I had felt that kind of threatening fear with other boys. But nothing was compared to this.

Cuauhtemoc was a twelve years old boy; he was five years older than me. He was a liar, ugly, false and abusive boy. I don't remember when or how that dark game started. But it was becoming more frequent.

We got to the rooftop after climbing up a lot of stairs and there was Cuauhtemoc ready for the action with the utility room keys on his hand, watching us with hunger and

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thirst for lust. He opened the metal door, and the musty, cold and penetrating smell of old mattresses stacked all over the place, hit us like a slap in our faces ... unforgettable. Next, we sadly watched the last rays of light coming through the door, just before he closed it, for then remain immersed in semi-darkness.

Maribel and I were like two automated robots coming into the room one after the other, for then take off our clothes already by habit. Then, he started with his frightening game, switching between Maribel and me. He got above us without undressing and put us a pillow on the face pushing it strongly and almost drowning us, so that we couldnt remove the pillow and see his genitals. From then on, he did whatever he pleased. He turned us face down, face up, sitting, standing, he caressed us violently, and played with us just to discover new things. Miraculously, thanks to the pillow, there was never a penetration. Years later; I would discover what the reason of my claustrophobia was. One day I dared to tell him that I already knew the reason why he didnt want us to see him, and I said him: That it was because he wanted to introduce us his "candystick". Then he asked me, that who had taught me that and threatened me saying that I shouldnt ever mention it again. When he finished playing with one of us, he took a few breaks, for then starting to kiss our mouths and to insert his tongue up to our throats. Then it was the turn of the other girl, who was at the corner of the room, naked and defenseless, waiting to be used, handled and abused like an object, at will of her owner. Thereupon, he examined us, like doing awful experiments with our intimacy. The final step was the worst; he forced us to introduce our hands inside his pants and to touch his genitals until he would satisfy his sexual instincts. I dont know how much time later, our torturer allowed us to get dressed and left us free not before saying: You know you shouldnt say anything, because everything we do here is dirty, disgusting and nasty. Its a very bad thing to do. If you say something, your parents are going to punish you very hard, and Im going to tell, that you were the ones who forced me to come up to the rooftop. So, its up to you.

We both went out running from there, from the jail, from the torture, free from the fear of being caught by our parents, with our integrity violated and our sexual instinct

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dislocated. Abused, mocked and threatened, but after all we still were innocent and cheerful girls, who momently could block the pain to continue jumping at the playground of our apartments, pretending that everything was all right. The next day, a new torment would be waiting for us.

Not pleased with abusing sexually of us, Cuauhtemoc told everything to Xico, his younger brother. He would spread the gossip amongst all the boys of the block. It was usual that Maribel and I went out to buy candies to the corner shop and to play around the block and hear to all the boys laughing and yelling: Hey everybody, Look! There are the slutties of Maribel and Elena. Whores, you are whores. Cuauhtemoc fucks to both of you! They put their index and medium finger between the nose doing that obscene sign like a V, Maribel and I simply turned around and we went to play somewhere else.

I remember that those abuses were increasing day after day and each time was more perverts, sadists and painfulness. Sometimes Cuauhtemoc caught us alone either to Maribel or me. He lived in the apartment just in front of mine. So, when I came out from my home, he was already waiting for me, because he had been spying me through the eyeholes door, with the door half open waiting for me to come out. He peeked a little and made me that terrible signal meaning that I should go inside his apartment. The fear was invading me once again from top to toe, I was feeling the chill and the helplessness, I trembled again and my hands were sweating; I wanted to beg him not to do it that day, that maybe tomorrow, that I dont wanted to do it alone. I hesitated, but he noticed it and threatened me with a signal, meaning that he would tell to my mother if I wouldnt go with him. I kept in silence and I repressed my crying; I closed my doors house behind me and went helpless and dumb towards his territory.

Cuauhtemoc took advantage of any occasion to touch us with his nasty hands. Maribel and I used to play throwing us down holding a rope from a log cabin toward the grass. He came once in a while in broad daylight pretending that he was holding us every time we came down. Obviously, when he received us, he introduced his fingers in our panties and without anybody noticing.

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The years passed by and I was about nine or ten years old. Cuauhtmocs dad was promoted of rank in the Army and changed his residency to a house inside the same military zone, but no longer at the apartment in front of mine. I felt a great relief when I heard of this.

Cuauhtemoc was friend of one of my brothers, the one who is five years older than me, so, he sometimes visited him at my own house. Without a doubt, he was an expert faking tenderness and caressing my head. He had a half sister who was friend of mine and who lived with him. She was two or three years younger than me. At that time, she was still very little, she was maybe five or six years old. Sometimes I ate at her home or went to play with her; there I would saw Cuauhtemoc with his pig face and his thick and disgusting lips. Even though I felt protected and I was trying to ignore him, in an occasion I dared to look at him defiantly to his eyes. He just looked me back cynically and went to his bedroom.

This daring action of mine would have a very high cost for me. Days later, he trapped me alone in the rooftop, locked me into the utility room and told me that he preferred me alone than with Maribel. Atrocities was what I lived that afternoon. Giving a detailed explanation of what happened on that day and in some other occasions would be embarrassing, morbid and useless.

All I can say is that he said that he had learned everything, watching pornographic magazines. Only god knows from where he got them. He got up to the point to pee over us. The last vexations to my intimacy happened when I was thirteen years old, which it means that Cuauhtemoc was already an adult. He was eighteen.

Long after, my mom heard a rumor saying that Cuauhtemoc had forced his halfsister to do dirty things. Immediately she warned me about him and told me that I should let her know if he tried to molest me. I thought to myself: and I never mentioned anything to her.

For those years, a campaign about children sexual abuse was launched on TV, and

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Whose slogan was: Keep your eyes wide open, and tell it to the person who you trust the most. When I heard it for the first time, I was watching TV along with my brother, the one who was Cuauhtmocs friend, and I exclaimed loudly: ! And now, what for! He remained in silence and minutes later he asked me: What do you want to mean? I didnt answer him a thing.

Maribel and I kept silence during a long time. I remember by 1996, almost twenty years after the sexual abuses began from Cuauhtemoc, we went to a bar with our respective husbands and under the influence of alcohol we started to talk about our torturer.

I was impressed listening the way she remembered the experiences that she considered the most traumatic and the way which I remembered mine. Even though we had lived the same experiences, we both had different memories. To my surprise, her husband hadnt idea about what had occurred to her, I told her that my husband already knew everything since I met him. She said there was no reason why her husband should know about it, I got the impression that she was terrified of her husband. Besides, by the way she was talking; I realized she was trying to block those unfortunate experiences, up to the point of trying to convince me that she hadnt been affected at all. She pretended it was funny what had happened to us. Even, she told me smiling about other abuses she had suffered by her cousins and other persons. I was really amazed about her reaction and it was then when I told her:

-Hey Maribel, we have been keeping the secret to that wretch for almost twenty years, dont you think its time to talk? For almost twenty years -Well, I dont know about you, but I was not affected at all. It doesnt make sense in talking about it . I didnt agree and decided to talk about it in a familiar gathering at my home when my mother was still alive. I took advantage of the occasion when my brother was joking about Cuauhtemoc and was then when I yelled to them that I had been sexually abused by him for many years. Strangely, no one at my home paid attention to such a devastating revelation. I dont know if it was the familys ne gation that prevented them

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to take seriously such kind of comments or maybe they simply thought that I was kidding.

Although, there were isolated comments, like the one of my sister in law who said: Thats terrible for a child, or my brothers who asked me if all that was true. Incredulous even he went to ask Maribel at a party. She confirmed it. But she emphasized that she didnt know if I was affected, but she was perfectly well and that was it all. Nobody seemed to take importance to the topic until was completely forgotten. I felt I looked like a liar or exaggerated and nobody was taking me seriously.

After spending some time with Maribel, I realized that she was also bulimic, because every night she was abusing of the most aggressive laxatives in the market, and she was always worried about her weigh. She was saying she had tried to induce herself the vomit on several occasions, but her eye veins got dilated, so, that method hadnt work for her. She also accepted that if it hadnt been for this situation, she wouldve used this method.

In her adolescence, Maribel went to live for one year to the USA, gaining a lot of weigh and became obese. She was seriously affected due to this fact; and didnt stopped saying that she had ruined her body which now was full of stretch marks and cellulitis and that she had tried to commit suicide taking pills in more than one occasion. She was taking amphetamines and was almost impossible to have a coherent conversation with her; it seemed to have affected her nerves and neurons.

She used to show several pictures and videos from when she was fattest than ever to everybody who came to visit her at her house, as a sign of triumph. To her misfortune, her body shape didnt help her to be as slim as she wouldve liked it, because she has wide legs and hips, and her thorax and arms are very thin, a fact that overwhelmed her a lot. I never knew if she liked to work out a lot, or she had vigorexia (1), it seemed to me she was living in an illusion and she was very aggressive and depressing.

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I saw again Cuauhtmocs half-sister when she was about twelve years old. From being a beautiful and slim girl she had become into a fat girl. I would never know anything about her, after that reunion. At that moment, I didnt relate, that child sexual abuse may cause eating behavior disorders. But Cuauhtemoc wouldnt be the only one to commit such sexual abuses against my person, although, definitively were the most violent and traumatic to me. So much so, that I remember details, odors and expressions so vividly as it had happened yesterday. Many other boys and adolescents, who lived inside the Military Residential Zone, also abused me either alone or in group since I was five years old. Even my cousin much older than Maribel and I kissed us in our mouths since we were seven or six years old. I was incapable to mention something to my family, feeling me unclean, sinful and used. I made my first holy communion at age nine. I was prepared in my school; I chose my godmother and wore the same nun dress that my sister had used time before. Everything was ready, but there was a serious problem that I was terrified to face it: I couldnt understand how Id dare to confess to the priest that I was doing indecent little things with men. Of course Cuauhtemoc had done a very good job washing my brain, so, I felt impure, sinner and the guilty one of all this. I was so embarrassed to do it, but I had to. I didnt feel worthy of wearing a white dress, feeling me dirty of my soul and body. The first time I went to confession, one day before my holy communion, I didnt dare to tell anything to the priest, so I took my first Ostia(host) with the feeling of being unpleasant and dirty. Soon after, I would confessed to other priest, that I hadnt confessed all the truth at my first confession, and now I was willing to tell him what Id omitted. I took courage, and I said him literally: Ive done dirty things with men. He stayed very serious and asked me what kind of things I had done with them. I couldnt say anymore than: things. The priest had compassion, and explained me that it was a very serious sin. He asked me to promise him not do it again and gave me a penance of praying a complete rosary.

I was so ashamed, that I walked all around the church and put me in the line again at the other side of the confessional for trying to confuse the priest, in case he wouldve seen me, and I the priest confessed me again. At last, I felt myself completely pure.

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Another occasion that comes to my mind was when I was eleven years old. At that age I was beginning to eat compulsively and my body began to turn slightly overweight. I remember my endless comings to buy candies at the pharmacy all afternoons. Usually I used to buy, two small boxes of chocolate candies called Duvalin and Nucita. On my way back to my home I had already eaten them all. I used to eat at an amazing speed. One of those afternoons, coming out from the pharmacy, I saw a bald man of about fifty years old, wearing a suit and tie and was getting out from his car. He was desperately looking for something out in the street. I was coming eating one of my chocolate candies, when this man casually found me on his way. He got close to me and told me that he was looking for a little dog and asked me if I could help him to find the dog. Nave and well-intentioned, I started looking under the cars, whistling and screaming, but the dog never appeared. Immediately he proposed me going into the building across the street to search the dog, and I fell in his trap. We went walking towards there, and I started to climb up the stairs; was then, when I realized what really was going on. Then I started to run in a panic, climbing up the steps at full speed until I passed him.

For the first time in my life, I tried to defend me, throwing down the candies that I was carrying in my hands through the hole of the stairs, hitting his bald head... Oh god, how I remember his disgusting bald nape! The old guy was running desperately behind me and turning to look upwards, until he almost reached me at the rooftop. Yes, the same old rooftop. At that moment, I couldve run toward the wall separating the buildings roofs and climb it in seconds because I had done that several times before, but panic left me motionless, once again. Now I had the huge and thirsty man in front of me. I was terrified of trying to escape and unleash his fury. Frightened, I said him that the dog wasnt there. He stood looking at me, and suddenly asked me: how much do you weigh? I answered that I didnt know that information. Then he asked me to put against the wall, I obeyed him stumbling. He grabbed me by my waist on my back and started to rub his genitals between my buttocks several times from top to down. And there I was once again, abandoned and disarmed allowing that this unknown could satisfy his desires with me.

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Quiet and obedient, I remained in that position for a few seconds that seemed to me like hours. When he finally backed away from me, I turned to see him! I never will forget his perverse and triumphant smile! He seemed ashamed and not knowing what to tell me, so I walked backwards away step by step and ran quickly to the stairs of my homes building. I felt persecuted, so before getting to my home, I walked several times around the block in order to not let him know where I lived.

When I got into my home, I found my sister sitting in her bed reading something. I was trembling and I sat in front of her, wanting to tell her everything what had happened to me, but I didnt dare. She turned to see me and I smiled nervously. She frowned like suggesting that I was acting very weirdly and continued her reading. Many times my brothers have asked me the reason why I didnt tell them what was happening to me, and the reasons seem endless. For fear of being misinterpreted, for shame, for a profound felling of guilty; for the big age difference between them and me, situation that produced a lack of communication at home, because I thought they were not going to believe me, because I didnt trust them, because my parents never warned me that something so cruel could happen to me, for fear and more shame.

Approximately when I was sixteen, my relative less expected also tried to abuse of me. Years before, other cousin five years older than me, had tried to do something to Maribel. I would never forget an occasion when Maribel came running to my room being followed by my cousin and shouting to him that he was disgusting. He was laughing with his stupid smile and his appearance silly and clumsy. I never knew what he did to Maribel but years later, at her sisters wedding, he kindly offered to help me, to get out of the car and grabbed me by the upper arm. We walked a few steps by a pathway when I felt his hand trembling and his breathing getting faster. Suddenly raised his finger and touched aside of my bust. I took off from there immediately and incredulous I kept walking to the salon where the wedding was going to celebrate. I never said a thing because, I thought that nobody would do something, that wouldnt take importance to it or maybe they could misinterpret the facts, blaming me of what had happened.

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Somehow I had a beautiful childhood, but in the other hand was very painful, so I decided to block the sad part and keep it in secret for a long time.

As a result of the sexual abuses committed by all this boys and men to my person and due to the psychological damage caused by their endless violations to my intimacy, barely entering into my adolescence, I brusquely rejected the male figure of my home: my father. He was the one who unfairly, paid absolutely all the consequences of my frightening secret.

It was a summer night; and I remember it was just getting dark when my friend Ana Elena left me at my home saying goodbye to me waving her hand from inside the car. I said goodbye cheerfully and went upstairs towards my houses entrance door.

I was very happy, because that afternoon, we had spent a phenomenal time. My friend and I were seventeen and we were coming back from the bowling, where we had met two very cool and handsome boys, all the way back to home, we had been wondering, if they would call us that night or until the next day, and where they would invite us. I was thinking about that, while taking out my keys from my tiny purse to open the door. I late a little, because I never targeted the keyhole, finally, I turned the lock and opened the door and I saw my brother, the one who is five years older than me, sitting at the hall with a buddy. When I came in I stood paralyzed. Immediately a feeling of terror invaded me completely, that shuddering so familiar to me since I was a little girl; a chill came through my body, my hands started to sweat and I started shaking. There was him! The detestable monster that had caused me so much pain! There he was! The violator of innocent girls, the disgusting Cuauhtemoc; he was smiling looking at me from top to bottom with face of desire and satisfaction. There was my brothers friend, who sickened me just of remember him, my torturer, the disgusting sexual depraved, the rapist of my privacy, the one who had stolen my innocence at so early age. There, he was, cynical and confident, convinced that his disgusting and pervert secret never had been or never would be revealed. It was sitting at my own homes hall and was my opportunity to shout him the repulsive he was, in front of my brother, that I was not anymore the helpless girl that he had raped years before, now it was the

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moment of truth. It had been a long time ago since that physical martyrdom had finished, but the mark would last indelible in my memories and in my soul.

Soon I would be discouraged seeing my brother being so happy with his buddy aside. I thought he would mock of me and he was not going to take seriously what Id say to his buddy. Even more, I thought he was going to say my mother that I had been rude to him.

I closed the door after me, still looking at him very closely with fear. Suddenly I got back eleven years and there I was again, the harassed little girl waiting for his harmful finger signal, but this time, there wasnt any signal. Instead of that, he dared to tell me watching my bust: oh, how you've grown! I couldnt do anything else than laugh nervously.

The helpless and trembling girl remained in silence as usual, and rushed to climb up the stairs toward her room just to disappear as soon as possible from her torturers pervert gaze.

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Hidden during forty five days

The therapist C was watching carefully to each one of the patients in the clinic meanwhile I was telling them my history and how was that I started developing this disease. There were men and women from all ages, nationalities, different status and with all kind of addictions. I was the only compulsive eater and bulimic on the group. I felt that my problem doesnt seemed to them so serious compared to alcoholism or drug addictions.

Everybody was in silence. Nobody seemed to understand what I was saying or showed any interest about what was happening to me. After a few minutes, a strong man with pointed nose dared to start the feedback, asking a trivial question.

How many brothers do you have and how old are they?

I have three older brothers. The eldest is nine years older than me; the next one is my sister who is seven years older, and finally my younger brother who is five years older than me. With such a big age difference, we all lived our own lives. So this is why I turned very friendly to other people.

The therapist C stepped in saying:

Ladies and gentlemen, feedback is not about trivial answers and questions, consists in observations made to your buddy about what you think about her disease and advices on how you could help her getting through this. Anybody else is interested in participate?

The comments that I received were vague and forced. I realized that they had no idea about what was going on with me.

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At this clinic I would stay a minimum of forty five days. On May 13th, 2003, I entered in the clinic and met my bench fellows. Women with eating disorders as me, compulsive eaters, bulimics and anorexics, I never will forget that shocking image when they took me to the gymnasium to meet my anorexic companions. My first impression was finding three skeletal women, two were almost girls and the other one was an elder woman. All turned to see me at the same time. The woman who was with me, to who we called "technician", presented them to me. One of the two girls, who was practically on her bones, asked me smiling:

- How many months pregnant are you?

- Four and a half- I answered, hiding my astonishment. At that moment I felt a lump in my throat and wanted to go back to my house. I realized that this was a serious matter and that I was no longer playing "hide and seek."

Half an hour later we would be having dinner together and I would know their names: Marina, the lady who I had seen at the gym, forty-five, anorexic, Alexia, one of the two anorexic girls who were practically in bones was fourteen. Alexia, was the youngest in all the rehab center, a new face was Barbara, seventeen and bulimic, Dalia, which had asked me about my pregnancy, twenty years old, anorexic ... she weighed twenty-eight kilos! Days later would be integrated Karine, eighteen years old, anorexic and bulimic and Dora who was nineteen she was a compulsive eater who weighed one hundred and twenty-five kilos. And finally me, thirty-two years old, bulimic and with four and a half months pregnant.

When I met Dora for the first time immediately I felt relief, because I would not be the fattest in the group. Also I was relieved for not being the oldest one. I wondered what I was doing there at thirty-two, surrounded by a bunch of teenagers, and why I had waited twenty years to act. I comforted myself, remembering that this disease was completely unknown and ignored at that time. I do not know what actions could have been taken in 1982.

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Contrasting with Alexia was "Don Pancho", the oldest patient at the clinic who was interned for alcohol abuse. He was seventy-five years old. Both always would be my inspiration in moments when my spirits faltered.

The night of my entry had been somewhat difficult because, as soon as I sat at the dinner table, I realized that none of my fellows were talking and the silence was stressful. The dietitians were alternated to join at any time and we were forbidden to go to the bathroom for the next two hours after eating in order to ensure that we would not use the toilet to induce vomiting. That night, Fanny would take care of us; she would be the one, who would be in charge of my case along with other nutritionists during my stay.

I started to talk in order to break the ice, and I headed to Alexa -I asked to her, how long have you been here? -Thirty-five days. Ten more days left for leaving. She answered. Not knowing what else to ask, I said the first thing that came to my mind. -Andhow have you been? Alexia smiled slightly and did a long pause watching to the nutritionist. I felt that my question was out of place. Afterwards she turns to me and tenderly answered.

Well...things are going fine although has been kind of difficult, while kept smiling lowering her gaze towards her plate.

I ate some of the meal in the dish. To me it seemed an exorbitant amount of food: rice, beans, meat, "tortillas", cereal, yogurt and pawpaw. The rule was to finish all we had at the plate in forty-five minutes maximum. If we did not comply with this, we had three opportunities to replace food for a food supplement called Ensure. At the third Ensure, They would introduce us a nasogastric tube through the nose down to the throat to feed us. Finishing lunch, we had to fill our "Everyday Food" specifying in writing absolutely all we had eaten at each of the meals and two snacks.

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At my arrival I was received by two smiling receptionists who took me a picture. Before entering the clinic we were forced to sign a contract and a series of documents where among other things we authorized the personnel in charge to use the nasogastric tube. The contract specified what the clinic was committed to during the patient's hospitalization, we were not given a copy, but we were forced to sign it after a quickly reading in presence of a technician who forced us to expedite the process. Those who refused to sign the document were fired from the clinic a few days after covering the total cost. When I finished the paperwork I was led into the building to check all my belongings.

They opened all my personal belongings one by one to carefully observe what was inside, even the liners were checked from up to down. They took off keys, sharp objects, fragrances, money and medicines. I was carrying my angel doll from the brand "Geli, which fascinates me and what I always carry in difficult times; they smiled when they saw her. But they checked the doll anyway; I was also carrying my moms portrait. They did the same thing with my handbag. Then they led me to a small closed room where they asked me to undress and take off my underwear. They checked seams of my bra and my clothes. Once dressed, I went to an interview with a general physician and finally I was introduced to my main nutritionist Fanny and to the rest of the technical and medical staff.

When all this finished, I unexpectedly was called from the reception. I went to meet one of the smiley receptionists that one hour before had received me, but now had a very serious face. She approached, to ask me if I had paid the total cost of the internment. ButI argued, I havent even unpacked and I dont know for how long I would stay here interned. -That doesnt matter-, she told me immediately. If you want to stay, you have to pay in advance the total cost of your treatment; the same day of your entry, otherwise I would need to ask you to leave.

- What?... I did not travel a long journey just to be kicked out from here one hour later. Why dont you talk with the admittance responsible?

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-No, I will ask you, to talk to the person who is in charge of your stay.

Incredulous, I entered again to the clinic, and asked them to borrow my cell phone, I called my husband immediately and he told me that the money deposit was made, and they would have their money the next day.

Early in the morning, I was called again from the reception to informed me that the money deposit was insufficient. -I have a scholarship-, I told, to the receptionist in a bad mood; I didnt pay three hundred thousand pesos ok? I just paid thirty thousand. If you have any problem, talk to the admittance manager and ask her for an explanation. She looked down on me, since the moment I mentioned the word scholarship. She remained in silence, and answered me with a gesture.

Since that moment, every time I crossed on her way, I tried to be as rude and rough as possible with her, just as she had been with me. I could not believe the greed present, in the clinic.

The very first meal at the clinic was the best because it was our welcome. Only on that occasion during my long stay I was no forced to eat everything that was on the plate, so I left most of the meal, while I was mentally counting calories and imagining how much I would increase my weightiness on month and a half eating that way. I calculated ten Kilos, at least. Our daily routine started from five forty-five am to ten oclock pm and would be as follows: the eating disorders patients also known as TCAS all females at that t ime, the first thing we had to do in the morning was to pass to be weighed to the bascule, in order to control our impulses for knowing our weight. Next, we were taken to a special place to pray to God or the superior being in which each one believe in. When we had finished that, we would take a half an hour walk at the green areas outside of the clinic, then at seven oclock am, we were rushed to do our beds, take a shower and prepare to

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take breakfast at eight and be ready to start a long day full of activities, workshops and group therapies.

Two times a week we had half an hour free on the afternoon to swim at the pool and to do exercise. Our mealtimes were strict and inflexible: breakfast at eight a.m.; lunch at two p.m. and dinner at eight p.m. including two collations in between meals, the first at eleven a.m. and the other one at five thirty p.m. All the activities through the day were plagued by the famous serenity prayer that say: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference

With this prayer we opened and closed all our activities.

Tasks were assigned to the patients according to each one personality and every week positions were rotated. For example, the one in charge to awaken everybody usually was the laziest and the one in charge to direct the prayers was the one who claimed to be atheist; the responsible for the gardening and indoor cleaning was the dirtiest and untidy, and so on. On weekends we had permission to watch a movie related with all addictions treated in the clinic. It was then when I saw for the first time the movie Leaving Las Vegas, starring by Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue, and I found inconceivable that someone could drink such amount of alcohol everyday during 24 hours a day, being unconscious and damaging his body to such degree. I respectfully asked to my alcoholic mates if that was true and answered me that such it was the crude alcoholism reality. They told me that that illness, takes you up to death after going through a tortuous and depressing path. Some just smiled. I was in shock, when I realized that I had lived in a rose cloud until then. I hadnt seen in my life the cocaine, the hashish, the acids or any other drug that werent the marijuana to what I saw by accident when I was twenty one years old. Today and thanks God, I still dont know about such drugs and have no intention to know about them.

On Saturdays the clinic organized exercises and group dynamics that were very entertaining. This helped us to integrate among us. We also had a spiritual guide, who was our link with a superior being. At that time I was very distant from God and it

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seemed incredible to me that the whole recovery, were based on the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), where you humbly leaves your addictions and your will into Gods hands so that his will be done and to heal you.

Having taken some courses into Tibetan Buddhism, where oneself is responsible at hundred per cent for your own acts, seemed inconceivable to me taking this simple action to delegate your lifes responsibility to God.

Into the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) program, the Second and Third step explicitly talk about it, and so it is how this healing method starts to work; when you accepts your inability to heal, you defeats yourself and then, you leaves your healing in the hands of your Superior Being. This method has done and continues doing miracles all around the world and I have no doubt of its effectiveness, especially for Alcoholics and Drug addicts, but in my case wasnt that effective. As I always was questioning this method, my therapist made me repeat several times extensive and profoundly this two steps. She left me make exclusive to me, profound and endless exercises of introspection and analysis of spirituality and humility; she fought against me in order to make me leave my bulimia in Gods hands. I wrote without stopping during those forty five days. I took out and relief, but by no means, could resign my own responsibility of my illness.

Saturdays and Sundays were also the days when we could make and receive phone calls. We all were stuck like limpets to the phone cabins since fifteen or twenty minutes before the scheduled hour for being able to take one of the earphones and listen to our loved ones. Such was the sadness and loneliness felt at the clinic, regardless that we had activities scheduled during sixteen hours a day in order to maintain us busy. On the first week of internment we werent allowed to talk by phone; it was at the beginning of the second week when we could do it and also we could receive visits. The visitors came on Sundays at four p.m. and could stay at the clinic until seven p.m.

Three hours and one hundred eighty fleeting minutes to talk, hug, cry, apologize, forgive, overwhelm feelings and to relief. We could receive all relatives we want to; of course all their clothes and purses were checked before their entry. After the three short

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hours of visit, you could see your relatives leaving with their broken souls and waving goodbye from the entrance door, the same door from where we would come out successfully long after, if we could stand our stay.

During the first two weeks, all psychological and psychiatric exams were applied and that was when the therapist along with the psychiatrist, determined the required days of stay according to the results obtained. I was trembling of fear that I might stay for ninety days, the maximum internment period known at that moment, because by then I would have seven and a half months pregnant, and wasnt sure I could stand so much time.

I remember perfectly well that on the first day after my entry, I was desperate to run away from the clinic and go back to my home with my husband to receive the warmth of his affection, to be spoiled and pampered to caress my belly and let him stick his ear to my belly for hearing the beating of our firstborn. But that wasnt possible, I had made a drastic decision against all odds, pregnant for my first time whose conception had almost cost my life, so running from there at the first day didnt figured within my own expectations. Lets fight! I thought to myself, and so on, I would go counting the endless days that I was scheduled.

Inside the clinic, anybody caught misusing the facilities, using the phones at hours not permitted or having sex, were reported. There were multiple romance stories told by the corridors, of couples discovered in full romance. They had been expelled and sent back to their homes. Also there were stories from alcoholics that had escaped to spend the night at a disco club who were also discovered and expelled from the clinic. All new comers, stayed during three days in a place named: detoxification zone , which was far away from the rest of the dorms. Having already met our room mates, we were escorted over there. This would be decided by the therapists depending on our characteristics, sex and personalities.

Since my arriving, I was very intrigued about who would be my room mate, whether was an eating disorder patient whod understand my problem; a drug addict who may have anxious attacks at midnight and wanted to hang me; a violent alcoholic

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whod want to drink a perfume and I had to snatch it from her and we would end fighting, or a depressant one who may try to commit suicide beside me while sleeping. I imagined the most terrifying stories trying for being ready for the worst.

The spiritual guide was a very well prepared man who helped us to write letters of mourning, to recover the faith in ourselves and to connect with our Superior Power. He perfectly knew how to touch your heart in the deepest way. Almost since the beginning, he asked us to make plasters masks which we painted it at our liking. The mold would be our own face and with them we would work during long sessions. Without knowing it, with this exercise each of us embodied our personalities and he interpreted each detail of the mask like he was reading our minds. I kept on eating my vast dish, while I quickly was analyzing all my mates personalities. Little by little we were communicating. I was the most disinhibited of all, and rapidly I tried to integrate everybody with comments, jokes, stories and anecdotes. My illness "to please" came afloat immediately and instinctively I took the role of best friend of everybody, the one whod ensure their fears, whod counsel them from heart; the mediator, the conciliator, the funny in the group, without even thinking that I was there to be helped and not to help somebody that might be better than me. But I didnt realized of this, then my violent nature would sprang, right after the dinner I was into Dalias room, who had invited me to talk a little bit before assisting to our nightly meeting. She told me that faith was the only thing keeping her there, because she had spent fifty endless days away from her love ones, and she still had another forty days remaining. Due to her serious condition, and weighing twenty eight kilos she had been scheduled with ninety days of internment as minimum to stabilize her weigh in order to offer her an integral therapy. She showed me the picture when she arrived at the clinic and she looked like a skeleton with her skin stuck to her bones, prominent cheekbones, bulging eyes and haggard face. I got scared when I saw the picture, but I freaked out even more when she lifted up her blouse to proudly explain me that she had gained some kilos. The skin was completely stuck to her ribs and there was a round hole where the stomach should be, her thorax size seemed inhumane to me. I felt like crying. At that moment, I wondered who were mentally worse, if the bulimics

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as me who ate compulsively for then vomit out to avoid getting fat, or the anorexics who dreads to food. I gulped and faked my astonishment as she continued talking.

-Here, I would pray twenty hours a day to God so he may give me the strength to go through all this. Let me tell you, that during the first days. I spent all my time crying locked inside my room and I didnt want to get out. My parents did a big effort to get me here and I have to do it! I still have forty days more. I will be the second patient being in this clinic for three whole months. One bulimic did it, so Ive to do it as well. -Of course you will! - I answered her joyfully-. You cant stand back after so many battles. Finish your ninety days. -You dont know the kind of people that Ive seen going through these corridors! Continued- . People from many nationalities, artists, politicians, famous people, rich girls, etc. People you could never imagined that are drug addicts or alcoholics! There are a lot of gossips among patients! Thereve been secret love affairs that havent been discovered. Theres a guy named Frank who is a moron. He is a drug addict and alcoholic, but is very aggressive and flirts with all women. He is loutish and a macho. Today youre going to meet him. But be very careful with him because for sure he is going to try something with you. He does it to all women who enter here. -Do you mean hed want to have an affair with me? -Thats a good one! - But, Im pregnant -It doesnt matter! - Replied- They dont care at all! They come here to hook up with somebody and thats it. They are lunatics. Look, most of the people here is rich, so they want to take advantage of it and see if somebody can maintain them.

I was laughing uproariously and immediately knew who was the guy she was mentioned it. Hours before, he had invited me to come into the dining room; he was a young, tall and brown man overflowing of kindnesses. I figured it was him, the guy that Dalia was talking about. Immediately afterwards she took out from her suitcase many little boxes with breath mints and offered me one. with my eyes wide open, I told her that it was prohibited.

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-It doesnt matter, woman- Insisted smiling-. Come on! take one. I have a lot of them. Believe it or not, here you can get everything, doing barters and stuff like that. Some patients introduce alcohol, candies, marijuana and even kept money in their bags hiding it in secret compartments so the technicians cant find it at the entrance.

I wondered what could win that type of persons doing such kind of things. They were fooling themselves. If they had already taken such a difficult decision to intern for their recovery, they shouldve taken seriously, because not all people had that opportunity. I even thought that Dalia would never recover and I felt sorry for her. There she was, with her arms stretched offering me the mints, after fifty days hospitalized, I couldnt believe it! -No thanks, I answered ashamed- Im a sugar addict and this is my deathly venom. I wouldnt like to begin wrong, after having done such effort for coming here.

Dalia put the mints inside her suitcase without saying a word. We looked at each other when the alarm rang for going to our AA meeting and we went out of there. In such meetings, once I was feeling comfortable, I would tell, countless violent and depressive life experiences, titled by me, as Horror Stories thatd make laugh, entertain and think to everybody in there.

Two days later, Dalia came early in the morning to say goodbye to all of us, because her parents had come to pick her up. She was so happy. She gave me a beautiful stamp of a virgin with a prayer printed in the back side. I asked her astonished:

-How...are you leaving? Come on Dalia you still have thirty eight days left of stay. She turned to see me with sad eyes but with a smile in her face. She gave me a kiss. I hugged her and I was about to cry. -Im leaving- whispered in my ear-. I cant stand anymore. I really miss my family so much.

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We gave us our phone numbers. She turned around and went out decided towards the exit door without even watching back. I watched her skeletal and reduced body from behind, running away from there with the force of a Hurricane. Somebody exclaimed: Poor! She never recovered. If you hadnt completed your internment phase, you didnt receive any honors from the therapists or fellows nor encouraging words or farewells, also you couldnt earn your diploma or the commemorative medal which certified that youd completed your internment. The clinic didnt recognize you as a discharged patient. You were leaving with the Tail between your legs just like a coward running away: as a complete unknown which in no way had stepped on the clinic.

Now, Dalia was leaving without finishing her treatment, could I withstand three months locked in here? Soon later, the psychological exams results would clarify my doubts. Id been confirmed that I would be intern during a forty five days period!

At the beginning, inside the clinic Frank and I made a good team. He was a rebel who was willing to disobey the authority at any cost, I instantly felt completely identified to him. The day after my entry, he lend me his phone card and covered me, so I could call to my husband but he got caught up and was reported, of course he didnt care at all. I was forgiven because I was a newcomer. After this, I liked him even more; it is worth mentioning that he never tried to flirt with me as Dalia had warned me. The one who did so, was, a deep blue eyes patient and drug addict named Gabriel, who made me feel nervous due to his shamelessness conduct so I had to report him many times. Luckily for me, he went away very soon from the clinic without finishing his treatment.

Frank spent his time mocking about everything and I was his sidekick. He tried to hook up to every woman coming into the clinic trying to get something, but nobody paid attention to him at least while I was interned, because he was a loudmouth; he boasted of having had sex with over one hundred women and he felt like the great conqueror . He was so worried about his personal care and so many stories about being a Don Juan that some patients asserted that, he actually was homosexual and he was trying to cover up the truth with that lie. Look, he even has baby wipes in side his

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suitcase, said in an occasion one of the patients. I never understood what had to do this with being a homosexual. There were rumors that he had had several fights with other patients and staff members for being too rebel and aggressive, and that he almost had come to trade blows with other fellows in more than one occasion.

Anyway, I still liked the guy. Since there was any kind of soda or coffee, (except decaffeinated) inside the clinic, to avoid caffeine addiction, we promised to each other that as soon we would be out of the clinic to have our required weekly analysis, we would drink a coke on each ones honor.

One afternoon when he was coming back from out the street, the first thing he did was coming to see me at the corridor; he touched his stomach and burped so loudly that the noise was heard up to the technicians module. He gave me a kiss on m y cheek and told me: In your honor I realized he had drunk the coke , although I never knew with which money he paid it. When I went out to the street I wasnt that lucky, because the nurse escorting us never left us alone for a second. However Dora and I had taken advantage of a doctors appointment for weighting us, but the nurse discovered us and gave us a tremendous reprimand. From then on, she would look after us more closely.

Every Wednesday took place the patients and clinic managers weekly meeting. Among others attendants was Michelle, the principal manager, a very thin and well dressed woman who had blue eyes and her hair painted very light blond. She had good poise and was quite arrogant. Her presence at the multiple purposes salon immediately overshadowed other directors, therapists and personnel in charge of the different areas and activities of the clinic. Everybody adulated her like in a sort of reverential cult and you could notice they feared her.

Afterwards I found out that she was also anorexic and had been interned on several occasions in another rehabilitation clinic. I also found out that not only her, but all the personnel working there including therapists were former addicts on recovery: alcoholics, drug addicts, bipolar, depressives. I wasnt very convinced; if it was right that Michelle our director had that kind of problems.

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Long after my departure, I knew that she had suffered tremendous relapses and that she was hospitalized two times due to her malnutrition. After this, she was fired from the clinic because she was having affairs with an alcoholic patient and also for her financial mismanagement. Taking advantage of her experience she opened a Step Clinic, who still exists, just in front of the same Rehabilitation Clinic. This was my first weekly meeting Wednesday. All the staff present was ready to talk, to hear complaints, suggestions and to announce changes in activities or other notices. At first, each one of the patients introduced themselves, saying their names and their kind of addiction. I was so exasperating in saying: Im Elena and bulimic. Having a tag for life seemed to me like pure masochism, laceration, remembering to myself that I was sick and that I was an addict at each moment of the day. It was to put lemon to the wound and dont let it heal. In no way I was or I will agree being nicknamed as bulimic during all my life, but none of the patients seemed to be upset about it nor questioned the recovery methodology. I was the little black sheep who was always arguing and questioning everything, just along with other patient.

The bibliography we were using was based on texts from Alcoholics Anonymous program from the thirties and forties without any update or modification. I had read that this twelve steps method had made wonders on alcoholics and even drug addicts but had nothing to do with people like me suffering from eating disorders. It seemed to me that there were many situations that didnt fit well on context and that they wanted to impose us at any cost.

The talk began, and Frank and I were sitting together. While our fellows were talking one by one I was observing them in detail, analyzing their faces and trying to understand their addictions. By the stratospheric amounts of money charged to be admitted at the clinic, I could expect to see only rich and exclusive people coming from the highest social levels, perhaps some famous and a lot of juniors from all over the world. But actually here was a mix of all types of people. Most looked like regular people; others definitely were from lower social levels who claimed to have a lot of business to cover the cost of their stay of course nobody believed that. Also were some university students with scholarships, some juniors and some politicians, an artist and

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a singer. People from different nationalities and customs, and some people from Mexico.

Michelle, the director, seemed to pay too much attention to each comment that was said, and she was taking note of everything. It was so her supposed concentration that even looked false. Once in a while, Frank got close to me to whisper something, but with his tremendous voice tone, everybody could hear everything.

-Look at her! ha, ha, ha, fuckin bitch, like she was interested about something else than money. This institution serves only to fill with money the owners bags and thats all. They dont care a damn about something else. I dont know why we are having these ridiculous meetings, if they wont do anything for us, the patients.

Everybody around us was turning to see us and were laughing covering their mouths with their hands. Once in a while, the directors gaze turned to us for then quickly return to the subject she was talking. The technicians were gesturing desperately behind her trying to silence us. I was laughing uproariously to my self and was analyzing the lady with her impenetrability and importance pose.

It was my turn to talk and her huge blue eyes - for my liking too bulging, like sickly- landed compassionately over me. I didnt know if she really felt compassion, or was just acting, but she pretended very well. I just said that I was expecting that my stay would be helpful and that I was grateful to everybody for the warm welcome they had given to me. At the end of the meeting, we joined together at the rooms center to pray the Serenity Prayer then we went out quickly toward the garden, the smokers to smoke their cigarettes and the ones who wanted sun and air, to breathe fresh air for a few minutes before the next activity began. Later in each of those meetings, I would express a complaint supported by many patients who didnt dare to talk, but that they were agree with me. As usual, I took the role of leader and protector of noble and unfair causes, instead of focusing on my recovery.

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On the first weekend of my stay, we received an unexpected guest: a snake. It was small and grayish and was crawling around the yard. One of the cleaners noticed it, and warned us loudly. Immediately, all the patients were aware and ran to see the show. The reptile was cornered while all the patients, like invaded for violence, were throwing stones with sadism and hate against the animal. I stopped for a minute to watch the brutal scene and the possessed faces of those who were killing the poor animal. I am not part of Green Peace or something and I think that human beings are first than animals, but punches and violence anguished me. I was furious facing such brutal scene. One of the most actives was a skinny, idiot and ignorant guy, who was enjoying brutally beating the snake that was almost inert. I will never forget the guys face when the blood came out from one of the snakes sides. He seemed so thirsty for the red liquid that he was excited and clenching his metal teeth. His name was Alberto.

After an intense week of conviviality between Frank and me, the neurosis characteristic of both exploded like a bomb. I remember that we started to be aggressive to each other. One morning before breakfast, I saw Alberto at the garden throwing rocks at one same direction. All the dining room windows were made of glass, so you could see from inside to outside. Frank suddenly joined him then Alberto threw a giant rock and something fell from the tree. Both screamed with joy and ran to see what they had hunted. It was a dying dove, with its peak bleeding but was still moving with spasms.

After watching so crude show, somebody possessed me; an unspeakable rage went through me from head to toe and I felt my face burning of fury. I remembered having experienced the same feeling ten years back, at the beach, when all the staff members of a hotel surrounded a skinny poor man and kicked him on his head and all over his body just because he had tried to steal a pair of sneakers from one of the guys. I got amongst the kicks trying to defend him but a strong man pulled me away from there. The mens faces were full of fury and hate unlimited. I started to cry while kept hearing the solid punches and the sorrow cries coming out from the mouth of the poor man.

I ran away from the dining room and came to where they were very pleased watching the dying dove.

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-Whats wrong with you, pair of freaks? - I shouted to them frenetically- Why did you kill the poor bird, what he did to you, and you! - I said turning to see Alberto- do you enjoy watching animals suffering or what?

The rest of the patients around got close to see what was going on; but pretending not to be very interested and preferred to have breakfast. The truth is that nobody dared to say something. The only one standing there was me. Alberto lowered his gaze and didnt know what to answer me, while was holding on his hands the dying dove. Frank was even more cynic.

-You mind your own business and get out of here! - answered with a big mocking and hateful smile. I kept with my fists clenched.

-Poor of you- Freaks! I Said to them, and got into the dining room like a wild animal. He shouted something on my backs but I didnt want to hear it.

In that moment, my eating disorders fellows were entering the dining room embraced. Dora and karine saw me walking very angry, and they asked me what had happen to me. -Ill tell you now- I said, going to the food counter searching for a glass of water. Dora followed me up there. Franks table was just in front of ours, so I started telling everything to Dora almost shouting, with the intention that Frank could hear me, I was insulting to the animal killers. Everybody listened to me but feigned dementia.

I was finishing the story, when Frank stood up furious with his fists clenched and walking speedily towards me like he was going to beat me. Dora and I got scared and we stood paralyzed. He stood in front of me threatening and ignoring Dora. Because he was much taller than me his chest was almost touching my chin at how close we were. He stood watching me with his eyes sparkling of fury. I was challenging him raising my face threatening, my hands sweating and feeling a hole in my stomach before the fear of being attacked. At that moment as in many others I didnt take into consideration my obvious disadvantage being a woman and above of all because I was pregnant. Frank

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was a drug addict and neurotic who hadnt had access to drugs for weeks. His reaction could be unpredictable.

The atmosphere became tense for a few seconds. I glanced at Dora, who stayed by my side like a salt statue. I still cant understand what flash of reasoning flooded Franks brain, but suddenly he repented about what he was going to do and stepped back grabbing a piece of bread and shouting to us:

-You better go to eat, fucking fatties! -Whats wrong with you? Dora shouted him. I was burning of anger; I stayed thinking for a while and answered him: And you better go to powder your nose, fuckin junkie! It looks like he didnt hear the last part, because he went to sit down at the table as if anything had happened. Nobody mentioned the incident or did something about it. Dora and I stared at each other with eyes wide open and we went to sit at the table.

That morning I lost my appetite because of my anger, but I had to eat my daily portions as usual. As soon as I finished my breakfast I went to the Director s office to report the incident. She received me very worried and told me that she would take action of the matter. Fanny, my nutritionist, scolded Frank for having used our Achilles Heel to offend us, obviously he didnt gave a damn. I narrated the incident at the individual therapy session and at the end of it; the therapist told me which would be the new way of presenting me before my talking. I would need to say: I am Elena, Bulimic and neurotic.

-From now on this would be the way you should present to the others. Is it clear? asked me very serious. -What? Dont tell me that! I answered defensively and feeling me attacked -. It is already very unpleasant saying Bulimic! And now I have to add neurotic. -Thats right. Its going to help you very much to control that goddamn arrogance of yours. -But

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She didnt let me speak one single word more. She finished the session and went out running without allowing me to address her. I was terribly ashamed to admit in front of the other patients that I was neurotic. Besides I found it unfair because due to the fault of such an idiot like Frank I would be nicknamed as a neurotic and he wouldnt receive any new nickname. I felt that everyone was going to laugh at me. For better or worse Bulimia was an illness in which I was the martyr, but in the neurosis I would be the bad of the story, because I would become the aggressive and bitter one who couldnt stand the world and wanted to revenge on whoever for being unable to face the problems straightaway. Oh, my god! I thought. The curtains were clearly opening and I had to take advantage of my stay at the clinic for gaining something more than only my recovery of my eating disorders and this implied to stop being the respectable pregnant lady unable to hurt anybody, martyr and pure.

I had to talk about my rebellious period, of my social alcoholism on my adolescence and youth, of my bunch of nonsense and ridiculous I had made while drunk, of the occasions when I fell unconscious, of what unfair, manipulative and false I had been to my friends and of all the people who I had abused of, most of them wellintentioned pretenders whom I used just to pay my bills, and to made them invite me where any places I wanted for then throw them away like garbage not caring about their feelings. I had to bring to the surface all the sleepless nights, arguments and issues that I had caused to my mother; the disobedient and challenging I had been, the risks which I was exposed week after week just to go partying at any cost.

And it was not just everything about alcohol; I needed also to talk about my insolence and unconsciousness. Of the violence contained in my soul; of my pride, of my anger who got me to the point to expose my husband to fight against six or seven security men, leaving him all scratched and with his clothes ripped; of my thirst for revenge, of my aggressiveness to people, of my resentment against so harmful persons that I didnt dare to face, either for convenience or fear and that I hadnt sent them to hell; of my terror to be betrayed and abused by human beings.

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All this was bubbling inside my chest like boiling water; warming me from head to toe, until I realized that this was the time to stop pretending that I had been good, saint and noble during all my life and that I hadnt done anything wrong to anybody. I had to stop protecting myself saying that everything what had happened to me had been lifes injustices because if reincarnation really existed, in my past life I had probably been a very bad person and now I was paying everything I owed. But no, that wasnt the truth, actually I was paying by far, all the harmful I had done to others in this very lifetime, making them feel like a human wreck, inferiors and sillies, humiliating them; taking advantage of my manipulative skills to achieve my goals; using them, but at the same time being used by others more smart and selfish than me, without even noticed it. That was the way my life circle was marked, the same that I had to break once and for all.

The truth was that I had never left a bill unpaid, sooner or later I had paid for everything, and I had seen it with my own eyes. No heaven or hell after life. Here, every day I was living my heaven and hell. After a long time of thinking alone, I took the right choice and I started the change. That night at the AA meeting I introduced myself for the very first time as bulimic and neurotic and everyone laughed uproariously. They didnt know if I was joking because of Franks episode or I was talking seriously. It had been the days topic because many patients had come to me showing their disagreement and to insult Frank behind his back. Frank used to sit down in one of the front seats, so I could see him sideways. I talked about everything I had been thinking and revealed to my fellows that I wasnt a saint and that I had made a bunch of nonsense throughout my adolescence just to attract the attention. I talked about my fight with Frank and thanked him for showing me the new path I should take thenceforth toward my recovery. Buddhists say that problems are opportunities, and this was the best example of that. Minutes later, it would be the turn of my enemy Frank to talk. He talked on bad mood and gave me the most hypocrite thanks that I had ever heard. However I wanted

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to see him somehow reprimanded and I was pleased with that of: Everything is paid in life. If I could be part of it, it would be better to see it with my own eyes. Next morning, Wednesdays meeting started within all the staff and the patients. We were presenting one by one and expressing disagreements and concerns. For my big surprise, my fellows were beginning to dare to comment about the points in which they agreed or not.

I sat many seats ahead of Frank on purpose so I could talk before him. I was again ashamed of presenting myself as bulimic and neurotic but this time I showed my disagreement. It was Franks turn to talk, who was visibly overwhelmed and upset with me, he was talking to everybody but me and avoiding my sight. -To tell the truth, I dont know why youre doing so many problems for such a stupidity like yesterdays.

-Please Frank, moderates your vocabulary- interrupted the Director.

-Ok, sorry Madame said mockingly, and continued- nobody realizes that Elena was the first one who offended me, she said to Alberto and me that we were sicks, isnt it ?.-Asked to Alberto, who with his insignificant personality was keeping his sight fixed on the floor and just nodded. Now it turns Im the bad of the tale, when I ignore her. Since long ago I didnt like her, because previous Saturday she complained of all the men, saying that we all were ruffians, because we always took the best seats from the girls when we saw the movie. I dont give a damn about her; so, I dont know why she is messing with me. At any time I disrespected her... -What?, you didnt disrespected me? -I interrupted frenetically after hearing him rant about me with no remorse- if you are capable of saying to a pregnant woman and other patient go to eat, fucking fatties, I dont know for whom you can have respect. -I didnt say it that way; I just said: go to eat! interrupted, shouting. -Dont be a coward! -I shouted him back- have the guts to sustain your words

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-Lets see, lets see, this is getting out of control. -Elena please let Frank finish speaking, then you can continue- Michelle interrupted again. -So, thats the way it is- Frank said a little bit more calm, -I have no problems with anyone else than with you-, I laughed on purpose -Believe it or not- here we all get along very well, nobody messes with anybody, and we help each other in everything we can.

Dora and I were alone front to front in the circle, because she was sat across. Suddenly she began to silently mock and to imitate him making funny faces. I was holding my laugh but Frank noticed it and turned to see Dora, she faked like nothing had happened but he was staring at her, until she turned to see him, he only shook ones head showing disapproval. He got upset, and said that he had nothing else to say. Then it was my turn. -Well, lets see, that Im the only one here having problems with you, is the biggest lie Ive heard here. Since I come here Ive heard a lot of complaining about your attitude and behavior; everybody is ranting about you behind your back and is saying that youre a maniac and neurotic who fights everybody and you're looking for nothing but trouble. -Lets see- I turned to see all the patients- everybody are complaining about Frank with me, why dont you dare to complain in front of him?

There was a sepulchral silence. I was looking one by one to all the men who had criticized Frank behind his back. All they were in silence and lowering their heads each time I watched them, I couldnt believe it! Dora was shaking her head incredulous. At that moment I knew that those patients were very much alike to all the people which I had knew. Very few had the guts to be sincere and say the truth front to front. Telling the truth is not to fit on society I thought. I insisted again, until Frank attacked me:

- What do you want from me- you want me outta here or what? -Why I would want such a thing? - I answered him. The director intervened again.

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-Well, thats enough. I want you two into the center, I want you both apologize to each other, and shake your hands.

.I turned to see Dora who was barely containing her laugh. She gestured like, Holy shit! Then covered her mouth. Karine was also laughing in silence. I felt all the glances lying on my face that by the time was red like an apple. Frank didnt hesitate and was the first to stand up without taking his sight off me. I stood up reluctantly waiting to be begged, but everything was in silence. Frank held out his hand and I did the same. He pulled me toward him and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

-Excuse me please- said loudly so everybody could hear him. -Excuse me- I answered him, looking at his eyes. Everybody started to clap and he hugged me. Immediately everybody stood up and we shook our hands to end the session. Frank rushed toward the exit and my therapist followed him. Later she would tell me that he was crying and that she had congratulate him because for the first time during his stay he had defeated himself.

That morning at the group therapy, one of the patients with his tale between his legs, told me that he knew that I was expecting their support about Frank s abuses, and he noticed me very mad at them because they hadnt said the truth. He added, he c ould see it on my attitude because I didnt even wanted to look them, but he apologize d saying that he had nothing against Frank, and that even he seemed to be a good person. Remembering the bunch of complains he had said against Frank the only thing I could think, was that he was even more coward than I had thought.

That night at the AA meeting, Frank went up the stage to thank everybody for not having betrayed him.

-I want to tell you all, that today has been a very good day- started to talk very happy-, I thought I would be nominated making reference to the famous TV show: Big Brother - but I wasnt - and he continued joking.

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The next morning Frank was at the direction been reprimanded for having messed a patient saying him gay, homosexual! and for almost provoked a fight. That patient approached me to say that I was completely right about Frank, but that the night before he hadnt dared to say something fearing violence or retaliation from Frank.

Three days later Frank would be fired from the clinic, because of another fight with other patient.

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History of life.
I am the youngest of four brothers. Amongst them exists two years of age difference, but the younger between them is five years older than me; so my sister is seven years older than me and my oldest brother is nine years older than me as well.

My father was born in Pachuca Hidalgo. Mxico, a small city located 90 kilometers away from Mexico City. He was the smartest, intelligent, cultivated and loving person I have ever met; capable of leave with the mouth open to any I.Q. scholar.

Quintessential champion of mental calculation in his school years, my father had an extraordinary capability of concentration, prodigious and photographic memory and a vast culture due to his insatiable thirst for reading. He had read complete collections of all kinds of books.

He studied the medical career at the National University of Mexico, UNAM generation 1950, with two specialties: Infectology at Atlanta USA and Clinical Microbiology in Toronto, Canada. Besides, he got the grade of General Brigadier of the Mexican Army and Armed Mexican Forces. He was a genius who even invented formulas and artifacts, inventions which he never registered and which later, were misused for other people. Like a good genius my father was disperse and distracted.

A man, who despite being so talented was incredibly noble and simple, He hated politics, bragging or the desire for taking economical advantage of his position at the army or as a physician. He never sought recognition or awards; he always was immerse in his two great passions: his family and medicine. Happy and honest until his death, he had an incorruptible ethic and moral.

He also was two times national champion of fencing, with this kind of example, my brothers and I inherited universal values such as loyalty, honesty and respect for family and life.

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During the fifties, a group of German scientists came to Mexico for training some doctors in the use of the first electronic microscope in Mexico. After some exhaustive and hard exams, one expert told my dad that his results were impressive and over the average: and that he was one in a million in having such kind of intelligence.

My dad was so funny and modest, that every time he was telling this story, he used to say that the German woman had said that, because she wanted to flirt with him.

I remember him reading one of his many collection books bound in leather in his free time. So cultured as a result of so much reading, dad knew by memory geography, history, names, dates and locations of monuments and streets of several European countries as if he had lived there for so many years. People were astonished when he confessed them that he had never gone to Europe. We used to play a knowledge board game very popular in the eighties called Marathon obviously he always won us by far. When he was tired of winning us, he retired to read at his favorite couch. My father was a walking encyclopedia. Didnt matter that he was forty-four years older than me and that what I was studying in those days, he had learned it decades earlier. He could answer by memory any question that I would make him and about any subject, whichever it was, Math, Spanish, Geography, History, Chemistry, Biology or algebra.

However, this incredible and unique human been was sick of diabetes since his mid forties. As a good gourmand he took the decision to live the pleasures of living the time he had left to live.

My father was such an admirable person, that twenty seven years after he passed away, is still remembered with respect and affection from all those who had the lucky of having him like their teacher at the Military Medical School. Every time I met with some of the specialist or principals of the different areas of the hospital, all of them very respected military doctors due their rank and experience, I just need to say my surname for being immediately questioned if I am the daughter of Arreguins Teacher I still had the fortune of being taught by your father, they exclaim gratefully.

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Each year my father's mates meet to celebrate the anniversary of the generation, the wives organize a breakfast or lunch where all the doctors go accompanied with their families or just with their respective wives. During the celebration some members of the generation say some words previously prepared. The next day or several days later gather again to take a trip to the beach or to a province usually of Mexico. Over there they already has their hotel room booked along with the itinerary of activities, during two or three days they have a great time laughing, singing and remembering old days, then they return to their homes very happy and rested.

The only time I attended one of those events was in 1995, nine years after my fathers death. On that occasion I heard to one of the co-generation of my dad talking very beautiful and eloquently. He took the floor before breakfast and started to talk, at first joking with his fellows, then started to speak in a more serious tone about the achievements of the generation and other material that he had previously prepared. When he addressed the subject of the most exceptional students of the generation, my dads name was mentioned in five or six occasions, referring of him not just like one of the brightest students of the school, but also as the smartest person that he had ever known. I felt a lump in my throat and try to hold back tears so that my mother would not see me crying. When I took a glance on my mom, she was already made a sea of tears. So I also started crying without inhibitions.

The serenades his students brought to our house on teacher's day were endless, because besides all his qualities he was very charming, joker, paternal and witty. That is why all people liked being with him. Friends of my brothers fighting to have dinner at my home as long as my father was present for joking with them at the table.

My dad loved the pleasures and luxuries of life; he had refined tastes and was a quintessential gourmand. Chubby and cheerful, he enjoyed taking us every Sunday to eat at the best restaurants in Mexico City, whether were of Mexican food, French, Cantonese, Italian, Spanish, Mediterranean or from other parts of the world. He was the first in line when there was a new restaurant opening. My mother was born in El Rosario Sinaloa, Mexico a small town of northern Mexico. She was an exceptional cook, with a unique seasoning. She could easily

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prepare the most complicated dishes and desserts from all over the world and cooked them deliciously and with her very personal touch.

For her, was imperative to feed all her family with the healthiest and first class food, therefore she bought the freshest food she could get. Very early in the morning she went with her merchants (marchantes) and brought to home, fish, meat, vegetables and fruits of the season, the freshest that she could get. My mom bought the fish and the seafood at La Viga . A market known for having the freshest and best seafood in the city, over there you could see the fishes jumping among the nets. She bought tortillas newly made at the tortilleria, and bread freshly baked. She rarely went to a supermarket, and by no means there was a soda, candies or a pound-cake bought at the neighborhood store in my house. Junk food was only seen in my house when my mom organized the famous domino matches of my father and his friends on Friday nights. I used to sit down beside my dad, watching him drinking his big and rounded cognac glass while I ate chips by handful. Of course frozen food didn't exist, and if they had existed my mother would never bought them.

All the food we used to eat was natural, without conservatives or chemicals. Fresh fruit water was made of papaw, orange, watermelon, horchata typical Mexican water made of rice; daily we ate soup, a main course dish, fruits and vegetables and fruit as dessert. There were no bread," tortillas" or cookies over the table at dinner time, only tortillas were served when a typical Mexican dish like mole was prepared, just then, hot tortillas were put on the table available to all the family.

My school lunch consisted regularly of jicamas or cucumbers prepared with salt and lemon, a ham sandwich with cheese, onion, tomato and lettuce, one fruit and fresh fruit water. It seemed very strange to me looking candies and junk food jumping out of the lunchboxes of my classmates. Even, to some of them, their parents just gave them money to buy junk food at the little store of the school. My mother was into everything. Like the proverb says: Behind every great man there's a great woman. She was also worthy of admiration because after living a very difficult childhood, lacking of economic resources, she studied a technical career and

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English language to get ahead. She was ten years younger than my father. She was a tireless fighter, with tenacity, will of iron and determination to achieve her ideals. With four kids she managed to pick us up at school every day until we were in high school, and if it was necessary, she picked us up even the university.

Already married with children, my mom taught English classes.

Since six o'clock in the morning she was getting ready for teaching her English classes; she went shopping at the markets, later she cooked; picked us up from school; Daily we had dinner together including my dad; on the afternoons she took to me and my sister to ballet classes two or three times a week; in a trice she could transform the dining room into a classroom for helping us to do our homework; then, she gave several hours of English classes. Later, she cooked the dinner; pick us up from the ballet and so on. In summary she always was aware of all her family. One day she was offered to open an English school, but my dad asked her not neglect their children, and she withdraws the idea.

At that time was not usual for moms to sit down to do homework with their children. We all four were enough responsible for doing our homework, eat and play the rest of the afternoon in our free time. We were responsible for our playtime and our study time; as a result of this, we all had outstanding grades.

Every morning my dad took us to the school, for later going to work, giving infectology and microbiology classes at the Medical Military School, of UNAM (National University of Mexico) or at the Universidad Anhuac del Norte where he was also founder of the career.

My dad had two laboratories where he worked on weekends. One lab was located in the street "Sierra Nevada" very near to Santa Teresitas church at Lomas de Chapultepec. It was a rental house that my dad shared with two pediatricians. The second one was located in Zacatecas street # 228, office 206 in Colonia Roma (one of the oldest and classical neighborhoods of Mexico City) where, after great sufferings and hard work, he had purchased his own Clinical Analysis Laboratory where he received a lot of work from private and public institutions, such as the ANDA (National

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Association of Actors). In both labs he had employees covering work shifts through all the day, but as in all cases there were honored and grateful employees, but others robbed him and took advantage of my dad.

At the laboratory of Lomas de Chapultepec my dad had hired a woman named Lucila, who had no professional career or medicine studies. My dad taught her everything about the lab, how to take samples; cultivate them and the interpretation of laboratorys tests. Very soon she became an expert and would win my dads trust, patients and physicians. So great was the confidence of my father on her, that my father left her in charge of the lab on the morning shift. My dad also introduced her to the pediatricians and she started to work for them as well. In the service room of the house, were living the cleaning personnel, a married couple with two children. My parents were always charitable and kind to them.

Years later when my father died, Lucila took advantage of this entire situation, and would request to my mom to be partners in the laboratories, for the only reason that she was the only one who knew everything about it. When my mom denied, Lucila opened a lab just in front of ours. Incredibly, my father's best friends of a lifetime, began to support her, and started to send work to Lucila. Definitely my mom opted to accept Lucilas proposal and became partners. After some time of endless discussions between them, my mom finally resigned her part to Lucila.

Unlike the "Lomas de Chapultepec" laboratory. The laboratory located inside the Hospital Central Quirurgica had numerous employees through the different shifts. My dad worked there usually on week ends.

Occasionally my mom used to visit the two laboratories to help with the administration and to review the supplies needed.

We almost daily had guests at home, it were for lunch, dinner a celebration or anniversary; Sometimes our cousins came from out of the city, my dad's friends from different places, whether for one reason or another my house was always crowded.

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My parents always celebrated our birthdays at home, the celebrations were great, it had everything, piatas, balloons, the guests were all our friends, cake made and decorated by mom, homemade food and music. On Some birthdays my parents rented a children's party room with pool of sponges that was what it was fashionable. Until we turned eleven or twelve years old, the parties were that way. Later, when we became teen agers my parents continued celebrating our birthdays with a gathering with our friends and a piece of cake.

My mother also painted oil paintings, sometimes on weekends; she put us to paint with her. She also had a SINGER sewing machine with pedals, with which she sewed hems, tablecloths, fixed broken clothes and patched them. Unlike my father, she was thrifty and she preferred made things by herself. On weekends we went to the Club del Estado Mayor Presidencial (which is an exclusive club for the army and presidential staff) or to a summer house of a military doctor, friend of my father that was located at Cuernavaca, a city located 53 miles from Mexico City, nicknamed The city of Eternal Spring it is the favorite of Mexico Citys residents for having their summer residences. At that house adults played fronton and the children swam happily in the swimming pool.

On holidays, Summer Camps didnt exist at that time. But if they had existed, Mom would not have let us go, because we always had plenty of activities to do. On holidays we always traveled to some place inside the Mexican Republic, this was how we first visit all our beautiful country. We traveled in all possible ways; by car, bus, or plane. But we did not stop visiting the four cardinal points of Mexico year after year. Whether was a virgin beach of white sand, smooth as powder, or a sea of seven colors where despite the deep you swim, you can still see your feet through the crystal waters surrounded by little fishes, a river, a lagoon or a dreamlike waterfall, ruins or archeological monuments, staying invariably at the best hotels of the cities or towns we were visiting.

My parents always preferred to enjoy those family trips rather than save money for buying a mansion or a luxury car. They spent on our education and enjoyment, more than in any other thing.

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My four brothers and I studied at the best and most prestigious schools of Mexico City; My sister and I studied in the private and religious college named, Ignacio Luis Vallarta which was exclusively for girls, this college belonged to the nuns of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit; my brothers at the Institute Cumbres exclusively for boys and belonging to the order of the Legionaries of Christ. We always had everything; but more than anything we had plenty of love, and considerations. We had the lucky of having two wonderful and amazing parents.

Due to the big difference of age that existed amongst me and my brothers, we always were out of phase; we almost never played together or neither showed interest on each other activities. When my sister became a young lady, she took me with her to her dates as her Chaperon and sometimes, bought me tickets for going to attend the Bolshoi Ballet, the Cuban Ballet or the National Dance Company Ballet. I should say that she was my closest sister. I have to say, she was the only one of my brothers with whom I got along.

My friends and neighbors with whom I related for a long time at the Residential Military Zone were four: Minerva, Maribel, Marcela and Jazmin. With Jazmin I started to get along when I was eight years old and she was older than me.

Jazmin came from a family with terrible bad eating habits; they ate chips and candies almost all day long without having a formal dinner at the dinner table. At first I was amazed when I came to her house for playing just after meal. I found her preparing herself a bunch of fries with lemon and chile. What the hellhavent you eaten? - I asked her amazed. -Oh yeah- she answered very cool- But you want some? I refused categorically to eat just for eating, explaining to her that I wasnt hungry. The same thing happened to me at Maribels house, which had the fridge full of frozen pallets and ice creams of all flavors; into the storeroom had sodas, candies, chocolates and artificial flavorings like Tang and all kind of other junk food. I remembered that

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Maribel liked to eat for breakfast a toast with butter with liters of honey that her mother prepared her. All this, was the opposite of what I used to eat at my home and called very much my attention.

The days passed by and due to my daily living with Maribel and Jazmin I fell in temptation, and years later I ended eating candies and junk food of all brands just like them.

My brothers and I had strictly forbidden going to sleep to the house of some friend or neighbor and also for going to summer camps, even though they were in the surroundings of the city. I had permission for going to sleep just with one cousin of my dads side who lived in Edo. de Mexico (the state next to Mexico City) . Over there, I stayed for several days and had fun with anything and anywhere. As I was a very innocent and playful girl I liked to learn the manners of my older relatives.

My aunt had six children, four women and two men. She took every opportunity to treat me like Cinderella and put me to wash dishes, to make beds, to cook, and to wash the bathrooms that had been used by eight persons and other home duties that I never did at my home. I remember that the only food we had for breakfast, lunch and dinner was bread and beans during the days of my stay. Two of my cousins the middle ones charged me for everything we did, even for an ice cream, and they forced me to borrow money from my father.

Back at home, I told everything to my mother, but the only thing she said, was: your aunt is very abusive! Put you to wash everything its the limit! And that was it all. The next time I went to stay there, the same thing happened.

My uncles always had economical problems and my four cousins used to go with my father each time they had the opportunity to ask him for some money. My uncles were sassy, rather than be ashamed, caused them laugh and they said: come on, let that your uncle give you some money, he has a lot. My uncle was always very envious and abusive and he and his family always asked for money to my dad, and they never paid him a penny. My uncle was not even a shadow of what my father was.

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Like in all families, there were fights between brothers, and I was the most insulted by them because I was the youngest. In one occasion I was watching the 1980 Olympic Games on TV accompanied of one my brother, the one who is five years older than me, the girls of rhythmic gymnastics started to perform their beautiful routines. I was almost nine years old and I was agile and graceful because I had practice Classic Ballet since I was five. At that moment, I said loudly that I would be the one that would represent Mexico at the next Olympic Games. My brother turned to see me incredulous and laughing loudly he said: Silly Ugly how can you think you will be going to the Olympics. After such kind of comment I never thought again in going to the Olympics, because I felt very silly and unable to achieve that kind of goal.

When I turned eleven, I started gaining weight and suddenly, my girl body turned into a woman body; my legs and hips started to molded, my waist marked it and my breasts began to grow.

Along with my physical development, I stopped being a playful and loving girl to my father and turned into a cold, rude and distant pre-teen. He was still the same lovely and playful daddy who looked for me for playing and singing opera and child songs modified for him to make them funny. He always awaked us on that way. But I didnt sing with him anymore. When he came to search me, I hid under the sheets when I heard him approaching to my bed and not allowing him to give me a goodnight or good day kiss. I didnt know why, but I started to feel my intimacy invaded and I defended myself by keeping my dad away from me. Despite my countless insolences, my dad never stopped to be always by my side. He understood perfectly what was going on with his little girl because I was turning into a teenager. Besides of this, there were other reasons that made me stay absent even more from my family.

At that time, my brothers used to made fun of my body, because they were also teens as I. My body started to change drastically, I gained kilos and I became chubby. Every day before dinner my older brother started to insulted me saying cruel words such as; So, what are you going to eat today, piggy or You are such a Pig, Arent you ashamed being so fat?.

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The dinner time, turned into a nightmare to me, because every day my older brother mocked of me until make me cry, then I stood up from the table and went upstairs to lock myself into my bedroom until everybody would finish dinner. Surprisingly, my other brothers and my parents nobody said anything or scolded him despite they were present.

Many years later I would confirm with other eating disorders patients, that these kind of weird family situations were very common. Here, the expression;, Even in the best families occurs such kinds of situations, fits very well.

One afternoon, after doing my daily routine of get me up from the table, I took eight marshmallow pallets that my mom had for rewarding her students and I devoured them in a few minutes. Afterwards, I started to roll and cry on my parents b ed.

My mom came into my room and asked me what was going on with me. I answered her that I was tired of being mocked and ridiculed by my brothers. Then, she furiously scolded my three brothers and forbade them to insult me again on that way.

It was so, that when I was twelve and being with all my family on a trip to Cuernavaca, came to my mind that if I itched my throat I would vomit everything what I had eaten, then, I could easily lose weight. After eating, I came to the toilet and bent down to introduce my index finger up to my throat. Immediately and like if it was a hose, all the undigested food came out. I emptied my stomach completely and I felt very well, very light. That was the first time that I did that, but soon, it became into a daily practice. For not be listened when I was throwing up, I also vomit in the shower of the summer house where we were vacationing. One morning, my mom noticed that the showers wall was splattered with vomit and blamed my oldest brother, thinking that he had gotten drunk the night before.

I was listening to the discussion in silence. My brother was insisting that he was not guilty. But my mom never believed him.

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Thanks to my discovery in a few days my figure had changed; now, I was a svelte girl. I remember taking the weigh scale to weigh me in front of my sister. - I weigh forty five kilos, arent you envious? - I asked her mockingly. She kept silent. Sometimes she also annoyed me, comparing to me and asking arent you envious? - So, I just did the same thing. At that time, nobody knew anything about eating disorders or nobody talked about it, of course I had no idea that such a thing was something so serious, progressive and mortal. Much less knew that I had become bulimic, so, ignoring that I had a psychological disease derived from various circumstances lived trough all my childhood, I looked for all kinds of methods to lose weight regardless the risks, because I preferred to die instead of being fat.

One day I heard to my mom saying that she was sick of her stomach and she had a snake inside her body called solitaria. This snake swallowed everything my mother had eaten and left no trace of food. Mom always was very slim, but due to this illness she lost even more weigh, immediately, I made a plan, because I wanted to have my own solitary to lose weigh, but, where those solitaries lived? I consulted the family doctor (my dad) and faking innocence asked him where were that bad snakes that mom had. My dad explained me that they lay eggs in dirty and unclean places, and then grow up and develop in the stomach.

To me, such idea seemed magical: being able to eat everything I liked it without getting fat. Next, I jumped out to my house garden; I saw a section without grass and took a handful of dirt and put it inside my mouth. I almost threw up trying to eat such kind of food, so I ran to the kitchen for a glass of water and drank it entirely. Every day I repeated the same action in secret. Miraculously I never got sick by eating so much dirt, and luckily I never ate any solitaria.

I remember that I had long periods of time in which I didn't even remember to vomit, except sometimes when I had food binges. I had developed an almost uncontrollable fondness for eating chocolates, fries, pancakes and ice creams. At the beginning, my food binges were moderated. Despite I spent all day and night counting

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calories, I had some control over my way of eating. Maybe once in a while I exceeded eating chocolates but nothing more serious than that.

My love for sports, since I was a little girl, helped me to burn all those extra calories, and to have an athletic and shapely body. In my case I have never suffered from vigorexia (1), because I have always practice sports for having fun and compete, but not to lose weight.

Other situation that helped me, was my innate outgoing personality, I mean, I have never been able to stay immobile for a long time, not even when I had my third cesarean, so each day I had a world of activities to do and I burned calories without stopping. Being impetuous also helped me to keep me active after my three consecutive pregnancies, and for being able to continue doing exercise even nowadays.

My love for exercise and dance dates back when I was five years of age and I joined the National School of dance of Fine Arts (EDN) to study the professional ballet dancer career at these Academy founded back in 1932 by Nellie Campobello, besides the career of classic ballet, other dancing classes were imparted, such as Mexican regional dance, contemporary dance, Spanish dance and other subjects as anatomy, history of dance, workshops, amongst other classes. There was an exclusive kind of dance class in the school, named Ritmos Indigenas (Indigenous Rhythms) who was taught by teacher Maria Velasco Ortz. This subject was very important and we wore typical Mexican dresses and accessories, and we also learned our roots and where we came from. The most advanced students, who were already capable to use pointe shoes, dance the most complicated dances, from different parts of the world.

The staff was of first class, many of them contemporary of Miss Nellie, such as the already named, teacher Maria Velasco and professor Enrique Vela Quintero, who used to use his walking stick to mark the rhythm of Spanish music. From this school many world class Mexican dancers had been graduated, like for example Amalia Hernandez and Josefina Lavalle.

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Actually, it was a complete career which my sister and I were studying along with our regular classes at the School. It consisted of approximately ten years of intense preparation, for been ready to present the professional exam, do social service and present the Thesis and finally graduating. There existed two professional careers; Dance Teacher and Professional Dancer. The director, who was also the founder of the school, was also a writer, choreographer and a professional dancer.

Nellie Campobello was a mature and stunning woman. She wore her white hair collected with a bun; she always was wearing make up and wearing fancy and elegant clothes, such as high heels shoes, elegant hats and fur coats. To me it seemed like she had came from another century. When Miss Campobello arrived to the classroom, we all kept paralyzed, giving her all our respect, then we started to sweat from our hands and greeted her in chorus.

Next, we began to dance in front of her, and then she started to correct us aloud.

-Well done! - She shouted, while raising her legs almost touching her ears without grabbing the bars.

We trembled of fear watching her, because we thought that being an old lady, she could fall to the floor at any moment. But that never happened; she was more agile, flexible and had better balance than any teenager.

That school was legendary and unforgettable. It was located at Campos Eliseos, one of the most known and beautiful streets of Polanco district in Mexico City. It was an old mansion with two floors, built at the end of a huge garden, and had a basement with large picture windows. The ground had been modified for the school purposes, so they had built a small security house guarded by an old man who sold chocolates and mazapanes (A typical Mexican candy) to the students. Once inside the ground, there was a small house on the left side, which was used as a warehouse, and behind it a two floor facility for the classrooms.

There were cement floor over the grass, forming a path leading to the classrooms and to the old house, on the first floor was located the Direction of the school and on the

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second floor there were more classrooms. The entire interior of the house was made of wood. The stairs leading to the second floor creaked like in a horror movie.

Placed into the floor there were small gates leading to an obscure mezzanine, it was from there, where one of my childhood friends called Lilia and I, used to break the light bulb of the classroom for not having classes. When the light bulb fell at the end of the mezzanine and broke in pieces, a tremendous noise was heard rumbling throughout the house, right after this, the secretary or some teacher stood up and climbed up to the stairs to see what was going on, but we were already well hidden in the small wood lockers embedded in the floor. We fitted perfectly in fetal position, and once there, we closed the doors while we were watching through a little hole heeled shoes almost touching our noses.

We never were caught doing that prank, and, as there was no replacement for light bulbs, the classes were cancelled. Those years, were years full of learning and practice, thousands of histories and deviltries lived on that academy. In that academy I spent a very productive and happy childhood.

I should mention that I was a restless girl, mischievous and even cruel. I took advantage of the nobleness of my friend Lilia, and handled her at my will.

We saw each other through the entire day, by the mornings at the school, and in the evenings at the Academy, so I owned her in exclusive. Poor of her if she dared to hang out with other girls rather than me! I even felt jealousy of her. She invariably ended asking for forgiveness, although I was the guilty one, and promised me eternal friendship. Years later she would rebel against me thanks to my big mouth, and I would pay the consequences.

The casona had a huge garden with trees and plants on it, some of those trees were already dry. Right in the middle of the garden, there was an old and twisted tree with its branches wilted and touching the ground. It was my favorite tree. In other times and still alive, must have been the happiest tree of the garden, with so many girls playing around him with his branches simulating a swing, or telling tales of terror under its shadow. Around this tree, there were more trees and plants of all kinds; there we

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used to play to the seesaw with a fallen trunk in the middle of other trunk and who had many years abandoned there. Moving the trunk a little, you could discover a whole population of insects living underground, such as, cucarachas, baby faces, ants, worms, and even a snail stuck to the cortex.

At nigh, the house was terrifying, so, other of the things that we enjoyed the most, was to invent horror tales at the terrifying garden, challenging us to each other, to see who dared first to look the witch throughout the basement windows where we thought she was living. In one occasion, when it was just getting dark, Lilia dared to looked first and suddenly screamed of terror and turned to me with such a freaky face that left me very terrified. -Hmmlook- she told me in secret and trembling with fear and grabbing my arm strongly-, there's someone down there in the basement.

-The witch? I asked with terror.

-I do not know, it is moving and looks like an old man or an old lady who walks with difficulty from one side to the other. -Whaaat? I asked her horrified and with my hair stand on end.

Then I bent down gulping, covering the reflex of the sun over the window with my hands, to block the visibility, and be able to look inside, then I started to see objects like tables and chairs that we had already seen before, but I didnt see anything moving, until suddenly, something passed in front of the table for later vanishing into the shadows.

We both jumped, and I noticed that Lilia was also watching, and that she also had seen the same as I. We held from our hands and we stayed looking to each other with our eyes wide open.

-What is that? - I asked feeling my heart in my mouth. - see?

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-I told you...someone is down there- Lilia said-, its may be a madman. We have to tell the director, what if its a thief?. Lets see Again, both bent down to look, when something occurred that made us jump up to the Heaven! Our teacher Cristina, right hand of Miss Nellie and one of the first teachers of the school was standing right behind us.

It had to be Lilia and Elena again! What are you doing down there?

We both turned to see her and I remember that her face was red and transformed by anger. Although she had a strict and strong character, we rarely had seen her so angry. Immediately she grabbed us from our arms and picked us up from the floor and hurting us, she took us brusquely to the school administration. There, in one of the classrooms, we received the scolding of our lives. She yelled us tirelessly and threatened to expel us from the school if she found us again snooping through the basement windows. She didnt give us a chance to say a word. Teacher Cristina went out furious from the classroom, and slamming the door she left us alone and scared.

We stopped looking by the basement during a few weeks but our curiosity was bigger since the day we saw something moving inside. We even found a hidden door leading to the basement that was locked, and with many locks, one of the locks was made for ancient keys. We looked through the eyehole, but something was blocking our vision. We knocked the door slowly to see if somebody reply us, but nothing happened. Occasionally we heard noises of someone crawling and we went straight out from there. Without giving up, we decided to look for the famous ancient key, so with it, we could open the door.

We created many strategies to achieve it. The first one was; to ask questions to the secretary so the other would look for the key around all the office. After not finding the key anywhere, we conclude that teacher Cristina had the key inside her purse, so our next strategy would be to enter dancing into the classroom pretending distraction so we could hit the purse and thus achieve throwing all the contents to the floor - Oh god, how

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fun we had, planning everything! - Once there, I would apologize, meanwhile my friend would put all things into the purse, one of us would kept the key into the ballet slipper and ready! We tried this for a thousand times and every time was funnier, but we never accomplished it. The only time we did it, - the purse was closed-, the teacher decided to leave the purse over the piano.

The only thing we had as consolation was to keep watching through the basement windows making us sure that the teacher was giving classes, so she couldnt catch us again. We kept trying until the image was clear and we both agreed it seemed to be a very old man with his white hair wandering around the basement. We had not clear whether it was a man or woman, if he was sick or if he was even able to listen, but it was our secret and we never confessed this to somebody. Our feeling gradually became from horror into tenderness for such a lonely old man who seemed to be insane and enclosed inside that dark basement.

Teacher Cristina Belmont was a petite woman in her mid forties; she was short, slim and wore hoary hair. I do not remember which tooth was missing from her mouth, but a hole appeared when she talked and the rest of her teeth were grays. I remember her flared skirts with colorful flowers. She taught us classical ballet and was very strict and good at her labor. She studied at that same school and she could take decisions in the absence of Miss Nellie, who sometimes was absent for short periods of time. She could hire new teachers, inscribed new students, selected pianists -The classes were with piano music live-, she directed public festivals and concerts at the Ferrocarrilero theater. In short, she was in charge of the Academy. Because of her advanced age, and being single and with no kids Miss Nellie had no inheritors, so she trusted everything to Miss Cristina.

For a long time, this school had a great reputation for its high level of education, and because it was unique in their type. When a festival or examination took effect, we used new dresses, depending on the type of dance; we make ourselves up and went on stage shining of excitement and security. The dances and choreographies were really masterful. But months after I turned eleven, everything would change for me.

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On January, 1982. My mom and Lilias mom after going to a mid course exam, questioned the professionalism of the school, because they didnt noticed significant progress in our choreographies like before; the choreographies were repetitive and the teachers didnt put the same interest on them. It seemed like we were in the same grade for second or third time. They decided to talk directly with Miss Campobello, but had been absent for a long time and she wasnt present, so they had no other option than talk to teacher Cristina. She had no time, so she attended them reluctantly and very fast. Without knowing it, that would be my last visit to the National Dance School.

I still had three years left to finish my professional career as ballet dancer just like my sister had done it before. I was already capable of using pointe shoes and I was among the top students of my class. Mom told me that we would wait until the next year to see if things improve at the school and then she would enroll me again. Lilias mother was more categorical, because she took out from school immediately to Lilia and also prohibited her to continue getting along with me on the mornings at the school, saying we were an explosive duo wherever we would be. She said that we had wasted our time for two years and I was a bad influence to Lilia. Immediately, she enrolled Lilia in other dance academy but that one had not the career of professional ballet dancer, but she preferred that, instead of allowing us to continue making our pranks at the other institution. When Lilia told me, my whole world collapsed. I couldnt imagine going alone to my ballet classes without my inseparable friend. Everything would be different. Spite of that order Lilia ignored it, and we continue being best friends in the college for a few more years.

The next year, things were going from bad to worst in the dance academy. Despite this I called by phone to ask if I could have my subjects revalidated, which I had already finished and re-register in the same degree to finish the grade, but the person who answered told me that I could not possibly do this and I should study the grade since the very beginning. I did not want to be twelve years old and be at the same class with girls two years younger than me. I asked to talk with teacher Cristina, who never took my call, as well as I never ended my professional ballet dancer career.

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This is one of the things that I would change from my life if I could live it again. Although the situation of the academy was far from be excellent, I could be able to finish my many study years, with a title in my hands.

It was until year 2000, almost twenty years after I went out from the National School of dance, when I heard of Nellie Campobello again, but now on the sensationalist press. I remember have recognized teacher Cristinas face while captured by on TV camera; she had been a fugitive for many years. She was the same lady, but oldest, with the same look and expression on her face. The news anchor was saying that she, along with her former husband and a lawyer, were being accused of kidnapping to Miss Nellie Campobello, and for having her in terrible conditions locked in a small room during years, where she while unconscious was forced to sign a testament leaving all her heritage to Cristina Belmont. Among the heritage, there were invaluable drawings, sketches and paintings from famous Mexican artists, such as; Jos Clemente Orozco, Carlos Merida, Roberto Montenegro and Julio Castellanos, who were used in their choreographies, there were also properties, real estates, writings, jewelry, pianos, dresses for the choreographies, Persian rugs and carpets and many other things of an inestimable commercial value.

On the news, they were saying that the body of Miss Nellie Campobello, who had been disappeared since 1985, had been found in a small town of Hidalgo state, Mexico. And that she had died of starvation on July, 11th of 1986. Between 1999 and 2002 this scandal came up to public light. The two men involved were imprisoned for two years, but time after, they were released from prison due to the lack of evidence. Cristina Belmont never was imprisoned.

The first thing that came to my mind, when I first heard of this, was the poor old man, who Lilia and I used to see in the basement of the casona. And who we felt very sorry for him. I suspected it may have been a female, an old woman, maybe the same Nellie Campobello who had long been absent from classes was locked in her own academy. It gave me chills just of thinking about it.

Thanks to many years of practicing ballet, I was an expert creating choreographies for contests and traditional Mexican dances. In the early eighties, we would met a group

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named Parchis a childrens music group, formed by five kids who wore the colors of the board game Parkase: red, yellow, green, blue and whi te who was the dice. Their names were Tino (Constantino), Yolanda, Gemma, Frank and David, they were the ones that revolutionized the childrens music. In their songs they talked about, peace, joy, friendship and love, they were so famous that they even filmed several movies. They were unique in their style, a group of kids for the kids. In addition to recording music, they won international prizes, had weekly comics, posters, toured the world, they were guests on TV and radio programs and their songs were listened around the world. They were the only idols I've had in my life. All the girls wanted to be Yolanda who was the prettiest girl and the yellow card, and all the boys wanted to be Tino the good looking boy, and the red card.

In one of their many tours to Mexico City my mom took me to see them to Pabellon Azteca who was outside the Aztec Stadium and that was used for presentations of several musical groups. When they appeared on stage I was shocked and stop breathing from the impact of seeing them. My mom had to pull me for getting me out of the shock.

Unfortunately this group would disintegrate a few years later; it was a misfortune, because they gave us a very happy and magical childhood to thousands of children around the world. There has never been a band like them.

Adults nowadays, who were children in the eighties, wait anxiously for their reunion for being able to take our kids, to one of their concerts. Their beautiful and innocent messages written on their lyrics would be very useful for the children and youngsters from today, who are bombarded of violent and decadent messages through the TV and the internet around the world. With the boom originated by Parchis many other childrens group were created around the world. When I was thirteen I started to get along with a precocious girl nicknamed The Baby. She belonged to one of those musical groups, situation that lead her to live a very precocious childhood. It called my attention because she was permitted to do

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everything I couldnt do, such as; using rude vocabulary, being messy and shameless and challenge the whole world. I liked a lot going to babys house and live and do banned things. As a result of her bad influence, I also became rebel and rude. She introduced me to the most dysfunctional adolescents of that time and I felt like the The best damn thing, so since my entry to my unsupportable teen age, started my evident reject to the male figure of my home who was my dad, situation who made worse my family life.

One afternoon precisely by those years, coming back from the school, I was taken suddenly by my mother to the Central Military Hospital to see my dad. I had no idea of what was going on. When I came into the room I found him in bed, with a hospital gown and two or three tubes connected to him. I was very shocked. Mom told me he was sick, and that he would come out from the hospital soon, and so it was.

Soon, I had my daddy back in home, smiling and playful as always. He lose a lot of weight in a very short time and all the food containing sugar was prohibited to him because of his diabetes.

I remember that everybody in the family hid the cookies, chocolates and the mangoes from dad. He started to be weaker and had a haggard look. He couldnt work like before and I saw him more often sitting at his couch, always reading a book. Since I have memory, I can remember how much he enjoyed chasing to me and my sister for giving us affection spanking, but he didnt do as often as before, he didnt make jokes anymore, not dance or composed funny songs. As I said before, he always said that he would preferred to live eating and enjoying everything he liked the most, although this would shorten his life.

One afternoon, at dinner time he started to throw up profusely over the table. We all kept silence and we realized that things were going to worst. Since then, the bad streak of my family began and wouldnt leave us in peace for a long time. Such as William Shakespeare wrote in his book, Romeo and Juliet: Despair does not come alone, but in pairs.

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On September 19th, 1985 the following year, took place the fatidic earthquake that practically destroyed Mexico City, and collapsed the Hospital Central Quirurgica in district Roma where the laboratory of clinic analysis of my parents was located, the one in which they, had worked so hard to own it. The manager of the building informed my parents that the building would be demolished. After this, my parents forgot completely about this building.

Two years ago, I went personally to that building, just to make a macabre discovery. In no way my dads office was demolished, it remains in place and is still used for business purposes, the scriptures are still intact and on behalf of my dad. Those people have been taking advantage of this for twenty seven years. Everything was a hoax, one of many frauds that the manager did at that time, nowadays he is already dead, but his daughter continues to live over there. Furiously, I tried to recover the building but all my efforts were in vain, it was too expensive and exhausting, because the original scriptures are lost. My brothers and I were practically robbed from our building and they continue doing it, without any remorse.

Due to this situation, my family went through a very difficult economic situation, money inflows fell and new problems appeared. One morning, one of my brothers was driving my dads car, way to the school. My father was sitting on the seat aside until we left my brother at the high school. Because I didnt know how to drive, my dad took the steering wheel up to my secondary school, when we arrived I got off from the car slamming the door and without even saying goodbye to my dad, to thanking him, or giving him a goodbye kiss. I was intending to be cold to him, because I didnt want to be approached by him as he used to do it. I wanted to get him angry with me, so I wouldnt direct him the word or sight. Later, I would realize that my father had lost his vision from one eye, because of the diabetes and that was the reason why my brother was driving instead of my dad.

That afternoon, my mom would speak to me very seriously.

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-Why are you being so rude with your dad? He already told me, that you dont even say goodbye to him, when he takes you to the school, give him a kiss! Dont you understand he is very sick?

At the beginning I was doing my best effort for being more loving with my father, but later, I returned to act the same. My brother also spoke to me very seriously one afternoon, when we were coming back from the school.

-Hey, I want to tell you something. I know that you are in the middle of your adolescence and that you think you are the prettiest girl of the world and nobody deserves you. Ok, its fine, believe so and live immerse in your own world along with your friends, just remember that you have a very sick father. You dont realize it, but he is sickest everyday and you are the only one of ours, that doesnt even get close to him, -whats wrong with you? -what have he done to you?

At this point, although my arrogance was forcing me to restrain myself, my tears started to came out like waterfalls from my eyes; I turned quietly to the window, pretending that the words of my brother hadnt affected me. When he saw such a selfless reaction on me, he raises his voice.

- Elena!, my dad is not going to live very long!, you knew that ? He is diabetic, he has no vision in one eye and is losing the other, havent you noticed how aged and slim he looks? -dont you realize he doesnt joke like before? Then, I couldnt fake anymore, and exploded into tears, covering my face with my hands. My brother turned to me, and amazed, he lowered his voice tone. When we arrived to our destination, I got out running from the car, so, he wouldnt be able to see me crying. That night, I couldnt sleep; thinking about what would happen if my dad would die. I promised to myself, go to kiss him and hug him early on the next morning.

When I got up, I ran to see him; he was bent down, looking for something into a drawer, and giving me his back. I was trembling with fear and my hands started to

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sweat. I was stood up silently, thinking how I would do such thing, I felt ashamed, because I had many years without showing him my affection. While I was thinking about it, my pride was filling my head, suddenly he turned into me and I had no other option than saying; Good morning, then I turned embarrassed and ran down stairs.

Hours later, I bumped into my dad, who was standing in the hallway leading to my room. He looked at me very sadly. I was paralyzed without knowing what to do. -Why dont you love me?-. He questioned me unexpectedly-. All the girls love to her daddies- added with a paternal tone on his voice, waiting for an answer. I didnt know what to answer him. My stupid vanity made me look like a fool, looking at him very coldly, evading the question without saying a word. I cant now remember if he was who went out first, or if I was the one who closed the door.

Those are heartbreaking experiences that are unforgettable.

The last time I saw my dad alive, was when I said goodbye to him when I was leaving to a trip to Mazatlan, Sinaloa, my mothers homeland. He was sitting at his couch reading one of his books. Surely, I had done to him one of my rudeness, because he was cold and distant to me.

-Bye, dad- told him in a hurry, waving my hand. -Ok, have a nice time, - answered me without even raising his eyesight. That was it all. I would never see my father alive again. Two days after I arrived to Mazatlan, I was at the beach, when I saw some relatives wearing sunglasses and coming to pick me up.

-Your daddy is seriously sick and he is at the hospital- told me my cousin-. You need to return to Mexico City, right now. Im going along with you.

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I felt cold in my neck and my hands sweated. A fatal lightning crossed my mind for a few seconds and made me think that he was dead, but soon I changed my attitude, in order to look strong in front of my friends. When I went to say goodbye to my dearest aunt Teresa, I noticed that she had teary and red eyes, the same as my aunt Ofelia, her sister. I continued blocking my thoughts and pretending that I didnt realize nothing. We took the first flight back to Mexico City.

When we arrived, a cousin picked us up and took us to his house, I was very surprised, because the first thing I wanted to do, was to go to see my dad at the hospital. -Whyre we going to your house? I want to see my dad. -Ok, now we are going, but first we need to go my house. While being in his house, his wife, without asking me served me a chicken soup with vegetables. -Eat the soup- said to me very kindly, it will comfort you. My heart began to beat very fast while I was imagining the worst. All this was very strange. Maybe, they were preparing me for giving me bad news. I ate the chicken soup. Immediately, my cousin who was tall, strong and rude in dealing asked me to go with him to his room, already there, he took a sheet of paper and started to draw a human body with a blue ink pen.

-You know that the heart sends blood to the brain to make it work; he was saying meanwhile he was tracing a line in the drawing, which was going from the heart of the man to his brain. When the heart stops working the brain is paralyzed, that is what its called vegetative state. He hadnt had to say more words. All through the day I had repressed my feelings, trying to ignore the reality. I was not fool, from the bottom of my heart I knew what had happened, but I had the hope, that everything would have been a mistake. Tragically, the bad news had now been confirmed.

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Immediately, I screamed a cry of pain and I threw myself over the bed full of impotence, and sadness of the emptiness that I was feeling in all my being. It was true, what so many people had warned me, my father had died! I wouldnt have a father at fifteen!

I would have given anything, for having him one more time in front of me, asking me if I loved him, and be able to answer him yes!, able to tell him that I loved him with all my heart, that he was an exemplary and lovely father; shout to him how much I admired him and thank him the much he had worked for giving us the best; run to his arms to receive his hugs, listening his jokes, taking care of him while he was sick just as he had done it so many times when I needed him. But I had been stubborn, haughtiness and selfish. I was unfair and rude to him when he needed me the most. Because of my stupid rebelliousness and my fakeness of pretending on being rebel and independent, but pretend to whom? To the bunch of sick teens who I had as friends? I had sacrifice my dads love because of that? To be admitted in a social group? Questions like these would torture me going around in my head for a long time. Now, I wouldnt have another chance.

So many years later, being in therapy I would felt some comfort when my therapists made me understand, that all the obvious rejection to my father in my early teens was the result of so many years of being abused for so many males and for so much time.

At night, when we got to the funeral home, before getting off the car, I still asked to my cousin if everything was a joke. As soon as I touched the floor, I vanished from the scene and started to see things like if I was watching a movie. I dont know if this is a self defense mechanism of the human body but I saw myself arriving to the funeral in slow motion, wearing a blue flowered overol (long denim dress) -the same outfit that I was wearing at the beach, hours before-, contrasting with the black dresses and suits of everybody else; I noticed, that all the people who turned to look at me, were heartbroken and with tears in their eyes.

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I saw my brothers and my mom crying with their black outfits; the inseparable friends of my dad, militaries wearing their uniforms coming in waves to giving their condolences to my mother, my cousins and relatives coming from all parts of Mexico and outside of Mexico, friends of my brothers, my neighbors and ex neighbors, students and former students of my dad, Lucila, the employee of the laboratory carrying a flower arrangement in flood of tears, , wives of militaries embracing my mom, civil physicians, the employees of the laboratory who supposedly had collapsed months before in the earthquake and many more people from everywhere.

I remember my pediatrician getting close to me accompanied of my mother, for checking my vital signs and to look into my eyes with a little light. She is in shock Olvia but it is normal dont worry. He told to my mother, and took her out of there, to saying her something in private.

I was motionless with my mouth open watching everything and without dropping a single tear. Moments later I was took into a dark room for giving me a tranquilizer. All appears in my mind in scenes or like flashbacks. I remember the rosaries we prayed, thousands of flowers and crowns with my fathers name written on them, more people arriving in the dawn, his brother arriving devastated from Toluca the next morning accompanied of his family, friends and more friends of my brothers and me alone, without a single friend or fellow with me. All my friends I had had in my childhood werent there, where were the evil ones? They were never thereever were.

Looks like yesterday when my father used to hold me by his hand for walking together inside the military hospital. I was about eight years old and I was wearing a yellow dress and was combed with two braids. My dad was wearing his impeccable military uniform with great dignity; he also was wearing his military cap and insignia. I will never forget how all soldiers and other military crossing his way, greeted him with military demeanor and opened his way. I felt super proud of him, I felt huge beside him, I ran ahead of him without stop grabbing his hand, for being able to see his face always smiling. I knew I was protected by this great man whose hand covered my small hand for complete.

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I had the same feeling, when being a little girl; my father would take me to his laboratory and showed me through the microscope the amoebas and bacterial cultures stored into petri boxes and which, he was taking out from the refrigerator. He lifted me in his arms, and sat me in a high chair so I would be able to see through the microscope lens. Once there, he put the sample below and focused the instrument, my father brought me closer to the lens and it was incredible! I could seeing the bugs moving, I was amazed, and I sat aside him with my mouth open.

Shortly before his dead, being already a pre-teen, it came to me again that feeling of proud and admiration for him, starting from my spinal bone and going all through my body until made me jumping a little bit. When my father was quite a General, with his uniform full of emblems, we went to see him to raise the Mexican flag at the Zocalo (the main square of Mexico). That honor was only conferred to a privileged few. He was joined of two soldiers and the three would march exactly at the same rhythm, uprightly and proudly, then, regardless of my arrogance and ingratitude, I couldnt avoid recognizing how important my father was, at that time.

Through all the way from the military funeral service up to the French pantheon, respectful honors were presented to my father. It was something dignified to his rank and importance. A large group of soldiers marched perfectly synchronized and escorting the hearse carrying the body of my father, while listening the funeral march. Once inside the pantheon they carried the coffin up to his grave, they formed one more time and started to play with trumpets the military hymn, and to launch cannon shots meanwhile the coffin was laid on the floor before been buried. Minutes later, other company of soldiers would carry down the coffin and covered it with earth. It was something solemn and impressive.

Mom asked the soldiers if they could open the coffin, so she could see her husbands face for the last time. That was too much for me, I started to see all dark and I fainted.

Everything happened suddenly, on the morning of July, 21, 1986. My father had gone out to work early, to his laboratory of "Lomas de Chapultepec" As a good eater, he had gone to have breakfast, and to buy a book that was missing to complete one of his

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multiple collections to the restaurant and library Sanborns. He was Going out from the restaurant, walking on the sidewalk, when he suffered a massive heart attack, falling on the floor on the very busy Palmas avenue.

This happened at broad day light, and with the continuous traffic of cars that forcibly had to stop at the semaphore located in that corner, in presence of pedestrians, policemen, newspaper vendors installed in their newsstands just in that corner. None of those people were able or wanted to help him, when they saw my father fallen and suffering from a heart attack. They saw impassive how he was dying alone bit by bit. People walking by there, simply continued their way.

Months later, the news vendors and candy vendors who were there, said that indeed they had seen my father falling, but they had thought he was a homeless or a drunken man, and was why they had not helped him. How, a very well dressed man and with a book in his hands, may look like a drunkard, falling unconscious, in the morning?

Minutes after my dad fall, a lady who was a Red Cross volunteer, was walking by there and called an ambulance which would pick up my father. Once inside the ambulance, such lady found an ID and read my fathers first and second name.

Because they were very uncommon names, immediately she knew who my father was, she was mother of a classmate of my oldest brother at the medicine faculty; my brother has the same name of my father. Quickly, she called my mother but trying not to alarm her, my mom came out running from my house along with my oldest brother, not without calling before to the Military Central Hospital asking for an ambulance that could carry my dad to that hospital. Once into the Red Cross and being ready the military ambulance for carrying my dad. The doctors told my mother the devastating news. My dad had passed away, before or during the way to the Red Cross.

The medic who had saved so many lives and who had contributed so much to the Microbiological Clinical in Mexico; the man with an incorruptible ethic and moral, the professional; the general so respected and admired because of his rank, the brilliant joking and humble teacher, the teacher so beloved by his students, the human been so

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cult and with a prodigious intelligence, the smiling, joking and playful husband and father; Had died alone and helpless, on a cold sidewalk, one summer morning.

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With the will Torn.

Two days after my fathers death, we come to my house and my sister instinctively ran to the kitchen to hide some cookies in the oven, so that my father could not eat them. When she realized that my father was not there anymore, she started to cry with me and with my mom. My mother embraced us, and told us: we are going to get through this. I promise you. And so she did it. Despite her great suffering, quickly stop complaining and she had the courage of acting as mother and father, as of that moment.

Immediately I started having beautiful dreams in which I talked to my father, this was repeated almost every night and always were different and with different messages. There were days that I awoke with the certainty of having been with him. At the beginning, I wrote them down, narrating my experiences. Later I stopped doing that. Eight months after my fathers death, my oldest brother, the one who is medic, married her girlfriend of a lifetime. Relatives came from all over Mexico, among them, my moms family from, Mazatlan. It was a very nice celebration; it took place in the garden of a huge house in El Pedregal de San Angel an elegant suburb located in the south of Mexico City. We all were very excited about it, because he would be the first in the family to get married. I went to the beauty salon to do my hair and makeup, and I dressed up into my lady dress.

Alfredo was a nephew of mine, two years older than me, to whom I loved with all my heart. My mother was the youngest of all her sisters, the eldest one was fifteen years younger than her, such kind of age differences existed in the family. Since kids Alfredo and I were very close, because on vacations he and his family used to visit us here in Mexico City, or we went to visit them to Mazatlan the city where they lived. We were so many cousins, nephews and other kindred we always spent incredible good times being together, either was visiting museums, going to the pyramids of Teotihuacan, to La Feria of Chapultepec, Six Flags, at that time known as Reino Aventura, and so on. When we were going to Mazatlan going to the beach was enough for us.

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By year1987, Alfredo was eighteen years old and he was an amazing basketball player, he was just beginning to study his professional career at Guadalajara, was intelligent, brilliant, athletic, handsome, and had a brilliant future ahead. Between him and me, always existed a physical attraction impossible to hide or denied. Since an early age, we realized that between us, there was more than a simple family relationship, but we knew, that this was strictly prohibited between relatives. However fighting against the rules of nature and from the heart is hard to do. As soon as we became teenagers, we couldnt fake any more.

I will never forget the day when all my cousins were returning to Mazatlan after spending the holidays with us at our home, during two weeks. I was about fourteen, and I was in floods of tears. My dad who was still living, told my mother: Olvia, this girl is in love to her nephew. -Of course not! - I answered defensively, barely being able to speak, because of so much crying.

-Remember the saying: - said my father, while turned to me, - Ms sabe el Diablo por Viejo, que por Diablo- "With age comes wisdom.

I was furious and trying to hide my sadness, but since that moment, despite that I had tried to dry my tears, I couldnt contain anymore.

The attraction and fondness, between Alfredo and me, was an open secret among my whole family. They always were trying to keep us apart, and in case he wanted to go with me to some place, they sent somebody to join us like chaperone. Even so, we managed as we could for being alone, even if for a few minutes.

Letters and phone calls were coming and going; we promised ourselves everlasting love, so we planned escaping, to get married in secret, once I would become an adult. At my brothers wedding, I was sixteen. The place where the banquet took place was full of guests, and all Alfredos family was present, except for o ne of his brothers. His grandmother, my dearest aunt Teresa or Tere, had come accompanied by one of

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her sons. Also was another cousin called Roberto, along with his wife and kids, he was much older than me. We all were happy and enjoying the banquet. Alfredo and I ahd been dancing, partying and singing, but we also had been drinking too much alcohol. We were sending kisses at distance, and every time we crossed each other, we reminded secretly about our upcoming marriage. Without a doubt, he was my first love. It was getting dark when my mother realized that I was quaking of happiness. So he asked to my cousin Roberto, if he could take me to my home. Of course, I wouldnt wanted, so I hid myself and went to sing and dance with the Tambora Sinaloense. Minutes later, I noticed that Alfredo was no longer at the party, so I went to look for him at Robertos car. His father had seated him over his legs because he was completely slept. Right away I tried to get into the car, but there was no place for me. Both families, Robertos and Alfredos had squeezed to fit in the car. Alfredos family would go to stay at my house, and Roberto would go to his home with all his family. But, I didnt care and tried to get into the car, forcedly, crushing all who were insi de, right then, my mom came furiously to pulled me out of there.

-You are drunk!- shouted me enraged -get out of here, there is no place for you!, Stubborn! Without knowing it, my mom had just saved my life. They started the car and went forward. I continued, dancing and singing alone on the dancing floor, I was completely drunk of happiness. One of my brother s friends offered to take us home, to me and my aunt Tere. We both got into the car singing traditional Sinaloenses songs. At the periferico (freeway), by the Feria de Chapultepec some policemen had blocked the way and leading us off the road and saying that a terrible accident had occurred. Immediately, my aunt started to say, that something wrong might had happened to our relatives. -Dont worry, Mrs. - my brothers friend said-. Here in Mexico City, accidents take place every five minutes.

But she was still very nervous, until we got to my home. When we got into the house, I realized that despite Roberto had left the party almost one hour before us, he

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had not come yet. A breath of tension, started to invade my house. I was lying on the couch of the TV room, waiting for my beloved Alfredo, and thinking about what I would tell him when he would arrive. My mother was not in the house; he had gone, I do not know where, with my brother and my aunt Tere.

The next thing I remember is my sister and me, being alone in the house. I was laid on the couch wearing pajamas, when suddenly the phone rang. It was a call from the Red Cross saying that we should go to see our relatives, because, they had suffered an accident and were seriously wounded. The remains of drunkenness that I still had, disappeared immediately, right after my sister hung up the phone.

-Get up from there! - My sister shouted terrified. This is very bad. Roberto and the others had an accident and are in the Red Cross!

We got out from my house in a hurry and we got running to the emergency room of the Red Cross. When my mom saw us coming, she turned to see my sister with her face bathed in tears, and shouted painfully from afar.

-This is horrible! Alfredo and Roberto are dead!, the rest are seriously injured. Inside my head I kept hearing, again and again: Roberto and Alfredo are dead, are dead. At that moment I felt an indescriba ble pang of pain in my guts and heart; it was like I had been knocked down with a tremendous punch on my face and I started to wallow and to scream like crazy.

-Oh, no God- please no- That is not true! - No, no!

There was no way to comfort me, the tears were flowing out from my eyes like water jets, I was hitting me against the wall, while my brother was holding me with his two arms from my back, trying to stop me.

There are no words to describe the intensity of suffering that I felt in that moment. Has been one of the most painful moments of my life, along with the dead of my parents, and I also remember it in slow motion.

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For me, that couldnt be truth, I wanted to be awaked from such nightmare in hell. God does not exist!, it is an injustice! I shouted, with all my strength. Weeping, faces of sadness, moans and cries were hearing all over the place. My aunt sitting in a corner, couldnt stop crying the death of her first grandson, my mother was coming and going all over the place with tears in her eyes, I heard the cries of my brother behind me, was a total chaos! Suddenly, I wanted to assure me that Alfredos dead body, was the one that was over the steel plate of the emergency room; I pulled out off my brother, and ran like possessed toward the entrance, but he followed me and threw me to the floor, telling me that I could not see him, because I would be shocked, for the rest of my life. A male nurse came out rushing from the emergency area, and asked to my brother to hold me tightly while he would injected me a tranquilizer, right there on the floor. I was out of my mind; I couldnt stop regretting and twisting on the floor, I did not want to know about anything, all I wanted was to see Alfredo, thank god, I was not allowed. His face was completely disfigured and had his neck broken.

The accident had been so absurd, that one minute or thirty seconds later or before and nothing would have happened.

Coming back by the freeway (periferico), from south to north, Roberto was driving by the high speed lane. Beside him was sitting the youngest Alfredos brother, who at that time was of short stature and chubby; beside him was his father who was carrying Alfredo over his legs. In the back were coming all squeezed: Alfredos mom, her younger sister of about eleven years old, and the wife and three kids of Roberto who were about fifteen, ten and five years old respectively. Nobody was wearing the seat belts. Just in front of La Feria de Chapultepec, a truck full loaded with pigs, was coming on the opposite side of the road, in the fast lane and at excessive speed. The driver was falling asleep at the wheel. Suddenly, seconds before Robertos car and the truck, were going to cross their ways, speeding caused the truck to lose control, causing that so many tons of weigh, broke the left side of the truck, leaving the pigs falling to

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the other side of the highway, just on top of the Alfredos car. They could not have had worse luck. It was something incredible to believe.

Instantly, Roberto had his neck broken by one of the pigs who fell on top of the roof, the car was out of control. The rest of the pigs were still falling, covering completely the roof. Another pig broke Alfredos neck killing him instantly, because he was sitting over his father legs, he had a higher and vulnerable position; the car out of control crashed against the contention wall. Alfredos dad had suffered a terrible wound in one of his arms, his mother had her forehead open and her legs seriously wounded; his sister had her head opened; Robertos wife had suffered serious internal injuries and had six ribs and the sternum broken. Was barbaric! The three sons of Roberto had only suffered slight injuries, and his brother the chubby one saved his life because he was of short height, so he remained alive between the two who had their neck broken. By six oclock in the morning, back into my house, I remember holding a doll that Alfredo had given to me just a few days before and started to rock her among my arms. All Alfredos belongings were given to my sister; they were all covered in blood. I kept his wallet, a sweater and his watch everything was bloodstained. When I opened his wallet, I found that the only picture he had was one of mine, that I had sent him by mail four months ago. That tragedy would make me lose my faith in God and to hate him for many years.

Days later, I went to visit my other relatives to the hospital, then I saw a terrible scene of two children lying over the white sheets beds and crying the death of their parents.

Roberto was a great person, humble, cult and honest and was at the top of his professional career. The burial took place at El Fuerte, Sonora where his parents lived. His wife having been in serious condition and about to die got through out of this months later. Shortly afterwards, they moved to Monterrey and since then, I have never seen them again. Alfredos younger sister was the first one coming back to my house, bald and with her head sewed, the rest of them were still hospitalized. I was forbidden to mention her,

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anything about Alfredos dead. The first thing she did when she saw me was to ask me about Alfredo. I lied to her daily and locked myself to cry, over hours inside my room.

That Monday, I went to the school made a human wreck crying without control. I asked permission to miss a few days and my sister and I flew toward Mazatlan with all our family to assist to the funeral service who would take place over there. When my nephew arrived to the Mexico City airport, she joined her parents, days after of the fatidic accident, but she didnt found Alfredo.

I will never forget in my life, the expression at her face when she received the fatal news. Her dearest and oldest brother was now dead.

The scene in the plane was extremely painful. Watching to a whole family physically and morally destroyed, seeing to parents coming back to their home to bury their son, it was tragic. Alfonsos mother was on a wheel chair, because she was unable to walk, his father had his arm cast, immobilized and walking with crutches, my nephew with her head open and crying inconsolable, her brother with scratches and shocked. Alfredo was also on that plane but inside a coffin. During all the flight, my nephew and I hadnt stop mourn and talking about Alfredo. When we arrived, the rest of my cousins and uncles had gone to receive us. Although, they were trying to hide their feelings their eyes were filled of tears, as soon as they saw their people coming down from the plane, their own blood coming down on wheel chairs, wounded, bandaged and using crutches. It was a terrible scene, but the worst was still to comethe casket.

The funeral service was a concert of cries and lamentations. All the friends and fellows of Alfredo were there, his former girlfriend of lifetime, his brother, grandparents, relatives, uncles, people and more people. Before the transfer to the pantheon, he had been honored at his school, where the school band played. The funeral was heartbreaking. Youngsters down on their knees, crying and seeing how the casket was slowly coming down toward his final destination in that hole of dirt. I gave him back the photography which he had given to me; his friends threw letters and gifts. The

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most touching scene was when a basketball signed by all his team mates, was thrown to the grave.

The night when we came back to Mexico City, when I got into the house, I went upstairs just to lock myself inside my bedroom. As soon as I closed the door, I started to feel a beautiful energy invading me bit to bit. At that moment I knew it was Alfredo. I closed my eyes to let me go, then, that energy invaded me completely. It is one of the most beautiful experiences I have experienced through all my life. Years later a movie called Ghost was released, it was starred by Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. In the scene when she closed her eyes to feel the energy wrapping her, it is when his spirit was visiting to her. When I had that experience in my bedroom, I knew that such kind of experiences were for real.

Thenceforth, I also started to hear peculiar tiny noises on the roof, every time I was coming into my room. When I wanted to hear the noises, I asked Alfredo to do it, and immediately I started to hear them, with a smile in my lips. I started to have hundreds of dreams about him of such intensity that the only thing I wanted to do, was to sleep all day long. I could saw him perfectly well, with his basketball ball on his hands walking smiley towards me; I saw him with his face destroyed, always on sunsets. In my dreams he gave me clear messages in which he was asking me to get ahead and assured me that he was now living in a better place. Sometimes in my dreams, he was beside my father.

At the beginning, I stopped eating. I used to eat absolutely nothing through all day. Later, I started to eat bunches of sugar and junk food, and started to gain weight. I had recourse to the Bulimia, and the endless cycle began: binge eating - guilt- purge. Soon, the suffering I had contained and hidden after my fathers dead would come out along with this new loss. All nights I prayed in silence asking to God, whom I hated, that please wouldnt let me wake the next morning. I prayed to be together with Alfredo and my father, and then I could be happy again. I asked him to that suffering be over. I left notes hidden under the pillows, saying goodbye to my mother and to my brothers, and explaining them that my pain was insupportable and I preferred to leave this life.

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Specifying, that I could never be able to commit suicide, so whatever would happen would be Gods will. In the mornings when I realized that was still alive, I cried desolated and took the letter from under the pillow to repeat the ritual once again at night.

Five months after he passed away I went to Mazatlan, only to live a martyrdom of memories. One afternoon being his brother and I watching TV, we heard a basketball ball bouncing with great strength at the basement of the apartment; we got scared because there was nobody except us in the apartment, then silently we approached to the basement gate, my cousin was so terrified that he better went out, while I kept going down step by step. I turned on the light and saw the basketball yet bouncing.

For many years I would kept the things and belongings of Alfredo, turning this into an auto-flagellation. His pictures, wallet, his bloody watch, his letters, the sweater, I had everything kept, in a sort of sanctuary inside a drawer. Each time I was visiting Mazatlan, turned a martyrdom being remembering and rummaging his belongings, watching my brothers wedding video in which he appeared dancing, listening the songs he used to sing with his guitar, crying, lamenting like a widow with no future or illusions. I took the role of martyr, deeply till my bone marrow.

One day I took the decision to throw away all his belongings I had in my sanctuary and burned them, deleting from my mind that painful memory and transforming it into a positive image of Alfredo; like an athlete, smiley, joker, just as he was.

But the wound was still there, building my character and my future behavior and filling me of resentment and anger, which I wanted to, scream it out to the whole world.

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It is better to come out of hiding

Since my first dates with my husband, I was completely honest to him, and told him about two events which at that time I considered totally isolated: the sexual abuses I had suffered since child and the bulimia, which got out of my hands after my mother died on February 2000. He understood everything without doubting a second, and three years after our courtship began, we got married.

After three years of being married, I tried to get pregnant, but it was very hard to accomplish. It was not after several treatments and a surgery in which I almost lost my life that I could get it. On the first months of my pregnancy I started to wonder, if wouldnt be reasonable to start worrying seriously about my illness. Twenty years had passed since the first time I had induced me the vomit, I was already tired of not being able to control my compulsive way of eating chocolates, flours, refined sugars and junk food at any time; of inducing me the vomit two or three times a day without any results, because, I could not lose weight easily, like when I was twelve; my clothes didnt fitted me well, and I daily wore the same black and broken pants for going to work. I was depressed and I was screaming for help.

The first thing I thought was to join to a group of people suffering from the same illness than me, and who could understand me. Thats how I got to a branch office of Compulsive Eaters Anonymous.

Horror Story I - The Chasing

Narrated during my internment in a AA meeting,.

It was a Saturday morning in late 2002 when I arrived scared to my first meeting of Compulsive Eaters Anonymous, in a branch office located south of Mexico City. As I didnt know the exact address where the sessions were taking place, I left my car parked in a small place that I found in the street.

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Once I finished my maneuvers and being out of the car, a car caregiver approached me to asking me for how much time I would stay, where I was going and demanding to pay her ten pesos in advance, a very common situation that happens in the streets of Mexico City. I was very angry because of her insolence, and because she had appeared from nowhere once I had parked and without helping me at all, I turned away without answering anything. I couldnt hear something she shouted to me. She was a short and chubby woman, who seemed very arrogant.

I kept walking toward the meeting with repressed anger, I was very uneasy and thinking about what that lady would be capable to do to my car. When I got to the place, I was told that the people attending the meetings had free parking inside the facilities. However, I didnt want to be late at my first meeting so I entered just at the time I was informed, the meeting would begin. What happened next would leave anyone who would have the best intentions to rehab, very discouraged and without the minimum intention to return to that kind of meetings, for the rest of their lives.

When I came into the meeting, I came across with two women, who were quietly speaking. As soon, I crossed the entrance doorway; I greeted them saying, Good morning, they turned to see me without saying a single word. One of the women was slim and had a crystal eye, the other one was plump. I thought they were also attendants to the meeting.

-Good morning- I said for the second time.

They did not answer; they turned to see each other, as if an alien had entered their meeting room.

Is it here where the meetings of Eaters Compulsive Anonymous take place? I asked to them, a little impatient.

Finally, the one with a crystal eye deigned to produce a sound.

-Who told you that? - asked me coldly.

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I called the information number, and they gave me the number of this place. I called to ask at what time the meetings would take place, and somebody gave me this address and the schedule-. I answered and wondering if I was at the right place.

- Ahh! Phone information? - asked the fat one frowning, looking to her mate. Thats not possible; they dont give that kind of information by phone.

-Well, they gave me that phone number on the 040, I explained even more impatient. - Am I at the right place-?, the meetings take place here or not ?, I asked again, I couldnt get out of my head the car caregiver and thinking that she might have broken one of my car side mirrors. -They turned to see each other, again, frowning-Well, thats not possible- said the one with the crystal eye challenging me again, -. They dont give that kind of data. Who gave you this address? I realized that I was at the right place, but they seemed to be more part of a secret sect than Eaters Compulsive Anonymous members. -Ok- I said, ready to explode- , whatever-. Are the meetings here or what? I was told they start at this schedule. The two women were still watching me without blinking and with face of disparagement. Took them a while to give up, but finally they did it. -Yes- answered angry the plump-. They are about to start.

-Thank you! - I screamed, and ran away to see what had happened to my car and ranting against those two bitter women. When I got to my car, the car caregiver wasnt there anymore. I checked my car superficially, ensuring me that everything was ok. I immediately got into the car and went to park it at the parking lot of the building. When I turned the corner. I heard a strange sound, but I didnt care. I kept driving till I got to the place, andsurprise! The

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back tire was perforated! I confirmed my suspicions, but I had no time to look for the caregiver viene, viene so I ran to get punctual at my meeting. As if by magic, the room was almost crowded. I couldnt explain how that couldve happened in just a couple of minutes.

A lady with her colored blond hair and well dressed seemed to be the one who would perform the session. She briefly looked at me, and turned to see the two chicks with which I had been, like to confirm my identity.

The meeting started, and several people stood up to talk about overweight, sexual abuses, bulimia and other topics related to compulsive eating. For the first time I heard that other people were also sexually abused when children and something inside my head made click. It was also the first time I heard a male saying he was anorexic. Despite the talking, there was something that I didnt like it at all. The mood was heavy, and there was a constant exchange of glances between a particular group of people who were sitting at the left side of the room. It was noticeable who the new ones were and who were the habitus, because they were talking to each other just with their glances. The woman who was presiding the session was mysterious and everything in her seemed fake; the other women, the fat one and the crystal eyes one, nailed their penetrating sights on me from time to time. I was imagining writing a terror story with these three women as characters.

For an instant I thought about talking, but I did not dare. Then like guessing my thoughts, the woman at the stage, turned to see me and headed to me. My hands started to sweat.

-Hey, miss, yes, you the new one- said looking at me and making that everyone else would turned to watch me-. Would you like to say some words and introduce yourself to all your mates? -No thanks- I answered kindly.

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The gaze of the lady turned cold and sharp, although she kept smiling falsely to the rest of the audience. -Ok very well- maybe next time-, she added. A small basket was passed, to voluntarily donate an economic contribution. I took out some coins of my purse and when I left them in the basket I noticed how those three women were counting my money. Everybody who was on the left side took out paper money from their wallets to put them inside the basket; all were showing a kind of veneration to the lady, everyone was quiet and respectful; they looked like hypnotized or crazies. I wanted to run away from there.

At the end, without any explanation everybody walked to the front holding their hands. I also did it as well. Next, they started to pray and to sing songs about God with their eyes closed. I did not close my eyes by a second, because my survival instinct was keeping me alert. At the end, I turned, and got out from the room. -We wait you the next session! - I heard the ladys voice on my back.

Then I turned, and I was astonished seeing such scene. The lady was stood looking at me very smiley along with the other two women one on each side of her, watching me very serious. All others were leaving or were collecting their belongings.

-Sure!- I replied in the distance , with the horror story going around inside my head, and thinking in which part of the story such scene would fit.

When I was leaving, I looked for my car, and the broken tire immediately brought me back to reality. Quickly, I opened the trunk, just to find that the spare tire was deflated. I took my cell phone but had no credit. The store that sold the phone cards was under my nose but it was already closed.

I was furious, tired of abusive people and of not finding anybody who could help me to overcome my Bulimia; sickened of compulsive eating to fill the emptiness I had in my soul, achy of my esophagus and my head of so much vomiting the things that I did not dare to face; disappointed of so many fake people who criticized me for having

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been sincere or judged me and hated me without even knowing me, annoyed with myself for been so dumb and noble, up to the point of giving myself to people who did not deserve it; full of anger and impotence for the losses I had suffered at such an early age, envying the people who still had their grandparents alive when I did not even had my dad alive; sick inside of suffering so much pain and betrayals during so many years and for not have been able of getting respect, sacrificing my self esteem to please others, jaded of envious and hypocrite people and invaded from feet to head of all kind of resentments, wanting to revenge of the whole world, and now this it was enough!

I exploded like a bomb time and I started to cry of rage without believing what was going on. I called my husband from inside a restaurant, the same call that of course I had to pay, and rushed to search the caregiver. I wanted to revenge from everything once and for all. Of course, the woman wasnt there anymore and curiously no one seemed to know her. I went to ask to the newsstand that was at the corner, to a frame vendor, to her helpers, to a small home-cooked restaurant, but the woman seemed as she had faded away. I searched for a patrol everywhere and none appeared, but I didnt give up. I walked towards the main avenue to wait for a patrol, but for my bad luck not even a single patrol appeared during fifteen minutes. I was coming back to my car, when suddenly a man approached to me discreetly, and told me, that I could find the caregiver hidden inside the beauty parlor. Immediately I found the place and went towards it.

I came in, slamming the door of the establishment, and those in charge turned to see me astonished.

-What do you want? - One of them asked me. I took a quick look inside the place, and I realized that the caregiver wasnt in there, but I saw a winding staircase leading to a second floor. Immediately I crossed the hall and started to climb the stairs with rapid strides, regardless the things the employees were shouting me. I climbed up the last stretch soundlessly and there she was! The street woman, completely ignoring that I had found her, she was giving me her back while looking through the window, making sure that I wouldve gone. I approached to

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her in silence, almost touching her, and suddenly, I screamed her in the ear so loudly that she gave a jump and went to hit hard against the wall. She turned to see me terrified, with her face transformed, not believing what was going on and covering her face with her hands to protect herself. Watching her like that, I understood the effectiveness of the method the robbers use to succeed: The wow factor. She was completely helpless in front of me.

I started pushing her, claiming about my broken tire, screaming at her and throwing punches to her thorax. As she was very short, she was able to block my punches, while walking backwards keeping away from me. I told her she would pay me the tire, but she refused, so I continued beating her. I shouted her that I was tired of people like her. Suddenly, I snatched her purse that she had inside her pants, and started throwing her tips to the floor. I decided to keep the rest of her money to pay my tire, so I ran away down stairs, with her purse and the rest of the coins. One of the employees who was seeing the scene at the bottom of the stairs, yelled me; get out of here!

The car caregiver came out behind me and shouting that I was a beggar. I mocked of her, saying that the beggar was she, while taking out the money, but I had no place to hide the money, so I carried it in my hands. Suddenly a twenty pesos bill dropped to the floor, she pounced on the money, but I shoved her away, she hit against a cars door parked there and fell to the floor. I picked up the money and ran away. She came after me very angry. I threw the empty purse to the floor and with my hands full of smalldenomination bills, and coins slipping through my fingers, hurriedly climbed up the stairs of a luxurious restaurant and entered up to the desk front.

As the caregiver had no permission to get into the restaurant, started shouting that I had robbed her, immediately, two patrols appeared, and parked just in front of the restaurant, I couldnt believe it! When I called them, one hour before, they didnt appear by any chance. The receptionist was looking at me very nervously; I was explaining to her that she was lying, with my hands full of coins falling from my hands. I watched two policemen getting off from their patrol; they got near her, offering their help. I hid behind the entrance door, barely seeing how she was pointing me, and the policemen looking upwards looking for me.

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-There is an emergency exit? - asked to the clerk in low voice. -Yes!- she answered, doing her best for helping me-. Over there, by the kitchen! Told me discretely and pointing with her finger. Without hesitation, I ran to the kitchen, crossing through all the personal who were wearing white clothes. At the end of the hallway, I found a kind of subterranean, leading towards the parking lot; I crashed with some trash cans and continued through the tunnel. Far away I saw the main street. My hands were sweating because of the stress, then I realized that during my escape I had let fall more than half of the bills and coins I had collected.

I stopped short behind a wall glancing what was going on some steps ahead over the same block. I watched a third patrol parked and several officers surrounding the restaurant entrance, while the caregiver was still waving, describing what had happened. There were more people; among others, the helpers of the woman, who barely two minutes before had sworn to me not knowing her, there were also the employees of the beauty parlor, who were supporting the version of the woman. I escaped in tip toe, being able to cross to the other side of the street without being seeing. I came into the parking lot of the meetings building, at last I felt safe.

At the same time, my adrenalin level came down and the remorse came over me. I started feeling very guilty for taking away their coins to a low-income person who made her living by caring cars in the street, while I was looking the little of her money that had left. I thought of returning her money, but it was too late, for that.

My husband came in minutes later, and took out the spare tire from the trunk in order to fix it. Quickly he placed it in its place, we went toward the house only to discover that the tire had not been flat, it had only been deflated by the caregiver.

After telling the entire persecution story to my husband, I put my hands inside my purse to show my husband the money that had left, but something weird happened, the five hundred pesos bill with which I had left at my home that morning had vanished. There were only the few coins and paper bills of low-denomination of the caregiver,

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which I was able to rescue at the end of the escape. I conclude, that destiny had claimed my injustice that way. After hearing me, my husband got angry at me and stood up. -You dont last a second, when you have already paid your mischiefs- he scolded me and left me alone sitting on the couch.

After all that catastrophic experience, I would not come back to such area, for a long time.

END
When my esophagus pains, became unbearable, I requested an exam named endoscopy in which a tube is introduced through the throat to see inside the esophagus and look if it is damaged, meanwhile I told to a military medic about my bulimia, saying to him I was bulimic since twenty years ago. He watched me amazed.

-With all my respect, I would like to tell you something. You eat so much, because you are hungry of God; you feel an inner emptiness, and you want to fill that hole inside your heart, by eating.

I was impressed, listening to a military medic talking about God, definitively it was a message. We shook our hands. Days later, I would have the results of the endoscopy, thanks god everything was in order.

The next thing I did was to look into a list of doctors who covered the insurance of the company where I worked at that time, in that list I found a therapist who provided private consultation at her home. I will call her, my Therapist A. At that time, I really didnt trust in psychologists, because I had the idea that nobody could help us, better than ourselves. However, I was convinced of wanting to help myself, and that I couldnt achieve it alone. My Therapist A was a very professional lady, and what convinced me the most of her was her perseverance and will for trying to help me getting ahead. Even though she needed her salary did not mind the time we spent in each session. Sometimes the

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sessions were so absorbents and intense, that lasted two hours or more, and she did not charge me any overtime.

She was a woman of about fifty five years old, of a strong character but friendly, mother of two. She had a daughter my age, which casually I had known years before. Suddenly the relation got tight and I started to see her like my protector and she, maybe started to see me like her daughter. She left me hard tasks to deliver the next session and our mutual effort gave great results. I could say that she was the first person who gave me a general idea of what a therapy is about.

Despite this, one or two weekly sessions of what in psychology jargon is known as Ambulatory Therapy, were insufficient. The bulimia was stuck up to my bones, so I needed it something more radical to detach the bulimia from my mind and spirit.

I decided to make a pause in my therapies, and began to assist Tibetan Buddhism sessions at Casa Tibet Mexico, time before, I had attended the introductory courses and this kind of life philosophy fascinated me. The fact of practice meditation, in order to reeducate the mind, leave your attachments, leaving away dislikes and using this philosophy for positive purposes, seemed to me the most powerful thing that could exist.

During three years after my marriage I tried to get pregnant but it was very difficult, and was not after having a surgery and of an amazing experience with some healing teas, came the fantastic day when I received the notice that I was pregnant for the first time. The science and faith as a whole, gave result. It was then when I started to be seriously worried about my bulimia, because now I wouldnt hurt not only to myself, but also to the child who was being born inside my body and which was fed of me. I couldnt longer vomit to slim or take pills to lose my appetite; because this definitely would bring terrible consequences to the fetus.

After celebrating the great news with my family, I went to have a coffee with two very good friends. One of them was Yolanda, who was very sympathetic and talkative; she worked at a radio broadcaster and was commenting that in some occasions, radio

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stations provided scholarships to people and workers of the company, in many different areas, either in education, health, entertaining etc., these scholarships were part of commercial exchanges on advertising spots. -This fellow worker who we sent for free to intern to the rehabilitation clinic, just wasted the time, said Yolanda, -it makes me angry! Thousands of people would like to have an opportunity like this one and besides outside of Mexico! She is a bulimic without a remedy. She was interned for ninety days with personalized and group therapists, psychiatrists who prescribed her antidepressants treatments, specialized nutritionists in eating disorders, spiritual guides and all the staff at her orders. Over there are also interned, neurotics, alcoholics and drug addicts, this may give you an idea of the experience of the specialists dealing with those mental diseases at that clinic.

She made a pause while biting her cookie and sipping her coffee. -Airplane tickets-, the stay, treatments, and medicines paid, didnt cost her a cent! And she returned the same or worst than before. It costs a fortune being interned there. But what bother me the most is that she continues having binges of eating, and vomit at the employees bathroom and she believes that we dont noticed it! With the noise she does! Besides, she goes to the bathroom like fifteen times a day. Every time she goes to the bathroom we followed her on tiptoe, we came in, crouched to see her feet and, there she is, standing in front of the toilet!...what a jackass!... she had her feet the other side that when you sit in the toilet, you got it ?...feet ahead!...

My other friend and I were laughing the way she was telling the story, but I did not hear one word more than she was saying, my imagination started to travel to the place she was talking about, and I watched myself inpatient in such clinic outside the city, out of my daily routine, with all my will of recovery. Working with experts at the issue and meeting with people of all races and nationalities suffering from the same as I, people that would fully understand me, and living together with that people for a long time; I would come out renewed, healthy, healed, and happy. I just wanted to be alone a couple of minutes, for thinking about it. -Im going to the bathroom- I told them standing up and grabbing my purse.

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-What? Are you also bulimic and are you going to throw up? - Im going to have my eye on you eh? Yolanda said jokingly. We all laughed loudly of Yolandas joke. Or at least, I feigned that the joke had amused me.

Once in the bathroom, I looked at my reflex in the mirror, and in my eyes there was a glimmer of hope, I wouldnt let pass this opportunity! After two minutes of thinking about it, I decided better enjoy my chocolate cream pie with a cup of cappuccino, and talk alone with Yolanda on another occasion. Two days later, I called her and told her that I had something very important and delicate to talk to her. We agreed to see us the next day at the radio station.

When I got to the radio station, I waited in the reception for about twenty minutes. During that time, I was planning how to confess her that I was bulimic and needed her help. She finally came and sat beside me.

-What happened? - asked me hurried and smiling as always. - Cant tell you here- I said, looking around to all the people going and coming -. Please let's go to my car.

-It is that serious? Are you on drugs? You need money or what? - asked jokingly. The receptionist burst out laughing.

We went outside, laughing and we got into my car. I asked her to be serious, and with a lot of courage I told her I was bulimic since twenty years ago and that I had the urge to have treatment because of my pregnant. Yolanda didnt know if I was joking or saying the truth, so she asked me to repeat it. But soon as she realized how serious my condition was, she got nervous and started to getting out and getting in of my car. -This cant be true- she was saying waving her hands - you, bulimic? - I never could have imagined it.

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- Well thats how it is, I answered, while gripping the steering wheel with my sweaty hands. -BuBut bulimics are people with a very low self esteem, insecure, very quiet, all the opposite to you...how it could be possible. - Well thats how it is, I repeated again nervously, watching for her reaction, but feeling that I had taken off a huge weight from my shoulders. Before her, my husband was the only person to knew it. -Come on Elena! Dont fuck me! Please dont tell me you can't handle t his bullshit. You disappoint me. You have character and guts, you are a leader...dont tell me Im wrong and you are really a weak!

-I don't know any longer-. Weak and strong at the same time I guess, said to her smiling sadly. My self-esteem has not been very well for a long time.

-But if this buddy to whom we gave the scholarship is insignificant- She continue arguing; she has no character, no will, is manipulable -What do you know; maybe deep down Im actually like her.

-Hell, no! - Answered, getting into the car-. I got along with you during the five years of the university; we have gone out on several occasions, I went to your wedding, Ive seen you working and achieving your goals please do not compare to her! I know you. You were vice-president of the Society of Students during the last year of the university; you acted in plays having the leading role, dancing, singing, come on...

I never thought that my friend would be so reluctant to accept my reality. It hurt my pride seeing her so altered and disappointed about me.

-To everybody you ask, nobody would believe this from you! She added, by going to the street again.

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We continued arguing for a couple of minutes, while she realized the news, going in and out from the car. Finally she gave up, kept in silence and she sat down watching me frightened. She closed the cars door in order to hear me. I realized she already had digested the news. -Yolanda- I told her, lowering my tone voice trying to calm her. Im coming to ask you, if you could help me to be admitted at the clinic where you sent your coworker. I already have researched the costs and my husband and I do not have that amount of money, its a lot! Do you think you could get me a scholarship?

-You can get through this, don't you? She insisted, turning to see me straight in the eye- Are you really thinking about being hospitalized outside of Mexico City with a baby inside your belly? Along with a bunch of drug addicts, alcoholics and crazies? Think about it very well Elena.

-I have already thought it well. Since twelve I am bulimic, I am thirty two now. I know its not going to be easy- I answered her.

She lowered her gaze, and remained thoughtful in silence. Im going to help you she said to me, turning to see me, now more calmly; I have to fix some matters with the rehabilitation center. Please, call me in three days.

We hugged, and she went walking very serious and thoughtfully towards her office. I started the engine car, and waited to see her leaving, waving her hand for saying good bye to me, but this time she did not.

Three days later, Yolanda gave me the data of the person of the clinic, with whom I should interview me.

The conversation was easy. After hearing my story, the interviewer sent me immediately to a specialized therapist in eating disorders, who would take the final decision about my internment. To this new therapist, I will call her: my Therapist B.

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I will never forget the first time that I met with my Therapist B; she was a woman of about fifty years old, of strong character, mother of three, good looking, slender and very pretty. I told her about my childhood, the sexual abuses I had suffered, and of so many other things that now I found them bizarre and that happened to me when I was a little girl.

-Do you understand the link between having been sexually abused since such an early age, with your compulsive eating, and then feeling regrets, and then going to vomit?- it was the first question that she suddenly threw me like a punch.

-Not very well- I answered fearfully. -This is a cyclic process- continued. It is your way to heal your angry and your impotence against such abuses. As you have not been able to overcome such abuses after so many years, your best allied is the food. With her you comfort yourself almost unconsciously and then comes the shame and worry of getting fat, is then, when you throw up all the undigested food. It is a way of self-punishment for having permitted being the sexual object of so many people, but you need to understand you had not the age to defend yourself.

I made a respectful silence; despite I had a lot of doubts around my mind. She was just blaming my parents and asked me: -Andwhere was your dad when all those abuses happened-? -At work, I answered-And do you think it was right that he was working, while you were suffering?-He didnt know it. Besides, he was as cute and tender as a Santa Claus. -Yes, but even Santa Claus takes care of his sons. And, where was your mom? She added. - Working. She was teaching English classes on the afternoons.

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I remember she smiled mockingly, and said: -So, it was more important to work than taking care of her daughter? I remained in silence thinking because I had never thought about that on that way. -Butit was necessary for them to work to get us ahead-I answered, besides, they had no idea about what was going on to me. We lived in an apartment, inside a military zone full of soldiers and security personnel all over the place. They never thought that something like this could happen to me, otherwise

- Otherwise, what? - interrupted me amazed-, why they didn't receive the signals that you were getting fat?, why they didnt scolded your oldest brother, when he made you standing from the table and made you crying before eati ng?, why they didnt stop to watch closely your marked reject to your father in your adolescence?, why they didnt questioned the reason every time you finished eating went straight to the bathroom?...

-Because this disease was completely unknown! - I said defensively. They would have done the impossible for helping me if they had found out- I felt my voice cracked. I took deep breath- Im going to ask you please dont blame my parents of anything because I dont want to have resentments against them for the rest of my life. Were other times, there was less danger.

-Less danger, eh? - interrupted.

-Yes, less danger out in the streets. You psychologists and therapists always want to blame parents of ours misfortunes. I admire and love my parents, and no one is going to make me change my mind.

My Therapist B looked at me smiling and told me that she liked that I were so stubborn, because that would be very useful during the therapies.

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That day, she didnt touch my parents topic again, but she would d o it later and in many occasions, trying to convince me that there was an unconscious resentment in me, toward my parents and brothers.

Years later, with a lot of fear and with my deepest sorrow, after forty five days of internment and innumerable years of therapy, I had to accept that, yes, it had existed great neglected of my parents to my person, and also from my brothers. I lacked of protection from my own family, and being defended of so much abuse, humiliations and attacks during my childhood and adolescence. That lack of interest about what was going on me made me feeling mistrusted of them and not being able to tell them about my suffering and to keep my torment in secret. The clear signs shown were not noticed or were misunderstood by my family. They watched me like the smallest in the family, but I was indifferent to them.

I got into my mouth that bitter mouthful; I chewed and savored it slowly, I swallowed and digested it until expel all out of my body. Today, I have no hard feelings to my parents and neither to my siblings.

The next week, my Therapist B decided to send me to the rehabilitation clinic. Talk to the interviewer and in twenty four hours she got me the scholarship. My husband and I only paid a symbolic fee, according to the parameters of such clinic.

With four and a half months pregnant of my first son and having arranged everything for being admitted at the Rehabilitation clinic, I asked my brothers to meet me at my home, without their respective couples. When they got to my house we started talking about nothing important and joked a little bit. My husband got out from the living room. I interrupted the talking and asked them if we could talk seriously for a moment, then I told them: Ive been bulimic for twenty years. Our parents died without knowing it. Next Tuesday Ill get into a Rehabilitation Clinic for a month and a half the least. I am not asking for anything, just wanted to let you know. There was a long silence. I dont remember who of my brothers asked me: Why you hadnt told us? I started to tell them my interminable story and my urgency for being hospitalized for not affecting my baby. All three were overwhelmed; there were

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disagreements and comments about my radical decision, my brother the medic, suggested to me other options and my sister was crying, but I was convinced of it, and there was no human power that would make change my mind.

Noteworthy that this decision has been one of the most difficult of my life. It had already been twenty long years of self-destruction and doing unimaginable atrocities to avoid getting fat. I already knew that I would be coexisting with very depressive and sick people, but I was also convinced of having the character to achieve it. All this loneliness and abandonment I had lived since child were useful to provide the basis, getting the courage to face this illness by my own.

Two days after having told everything to my family, to my Therapist B and to my friend Yolanda, I went to the Airport only carrying my little suitcase. To my friends, relatives and other people, my husband and I, told them that I was going to travel to Minnesota for visiting a friend. I had to: unsubscribe from my courses at Casa Tibet, ask permission to be absent from my work of recorder of voice-messaging, and stop practicing meditation.

My husband took me to the Airport, but he would not wanted saying goodbye to me, he only gave me a quick goodbye kiss, I got off the car, and when I turned to see him, he was watching me with his eyes full of tears. Soon he started the engine and went out.

The night I got into the clinic, I attend for the first time, one of the famous; Alcoholics Anonymous (A,A) meetings. We would meet every night, after dinner, to hear and be heard, to vent sorrows and sufferings, to laugh or to talk about some suggested topic.

Talking in front a group of unknown people, knowing that all of them suffer from serious addictions is very stressful. I was impressed of hearing, that, the ones who talked at the podium, started their talking, saying: "Im Alberto, drug addict and alcoholic, or Im Maria, bipolar, suicidal and codependent, or Im Eddie, neurotic and heroin addict. They talked with such familiarity and without causing any reaction at everybody present, that was a brutal awakening into such unknown reality, till then. I

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thought that any thing I would say, they would not be interested to hear it, because I considered that their experiences and sufferings were much more traumatic and serious than mine. With time and daily coexistence, I realized that simply all experiences are different; there are no worse or better experiences, all affect in different ways according to each individual. Pain threshold is different for everyone, and what for someone may affect them a lot, to others it may cause them none emotional alteration. One matter was certain; everybody in there had only one thing in common, we all were living with our sick souls. We were all gathered there, to heal.

The great day finally came, the day I would meet my personal therapist, to whom I will call my Therapist C, and who would become part of my therapy group.

My Therapist C was a woman of about forty years old, mother of three, and famous for having an iron spirit, and also for having the ability to rummage into the deepest of their patients soul to make them shout the truth. Sympathetic, but cold, with an impressive personal history full of life experiences and addictions, the same that gave her such an amazing personality. She was always well dressed and wearing makeup, her makeup matched perfectly with her outfit. She wore youthful, light and very trendy outfits, she was slim and everything fitted her well. She never showed without her hands nor feet painted. Flirty and feminine, had a firm and hoarse tone voice. She wore high heels and change accessories and purse daily. Always was Impeccable and perfumed. She was not pretty but very attractive. She could not hide that she was an expert conquering the male sex.

She got into the consulting room, looked quickly at me and started the session without welcoming me. I would remember this much time later and I complained with her, and with a lot of resentment.

It was my turn of talking. From that moment, I started vomiting all kinds of feelings with the intensity and speed of a hurricane.

Words written on my diary during my internment. Monday, 19th, May 2003.

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Today I remembered that the spiritual guide said last week that I was a manipulatortoday, I laughed a lot again. My fellows of TCA are just waiting a comment from me for laughing. As Alfred is very funny, I proposed to all to make banners to cheering him when he was talking in the AA meeting of yesterday, and it was a complete success. Each of us drew and colored each of the initials of his name. We all sat in a row, and when he went up to the podium, we show the banners where it could be read A L F R E D. It was very cool!

I met my therapist, and I think we will get along very well. She is very cool! In the morning, Fanny, to vary didnt let me go to the walking. She punished me, because I went on Saturday and disobey her by doing the complete tourwhat a nuisance! The other day she also punished us, because I went alone to the bathroom along with Barbara and Karine. She came pissed with a technician, and was watching only to me and questioned me, who had gone to the restroom that night. Nor that I were the mother of all other for responding! I dont want everybody depends on me, but thats what I have gotten. At first, Im helping them all for gaining their confidence and then I dont know what to do. The same old thing. I cant deal with it. I swam today, I feel uneasy because I dont want to be unpopularfor gods sake! Instead of worrying about myself. Patience, be patience, I have a long road to go, and has been just a weekwill I endure all the treatment?

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Bullying and Bulimia

A free man, is the one who expects nothing Edward Young

Jazmin, one of my four friends from my childhood, who had terrible eating habits and who lived at the Military Zone, was almost one year older than me, although she seemed five years older than me, because of her physical and emotional development. She was my neighbor and had a lot of complexes; she was also the most liar girl, Ive ever met.

Unfortunately, she had a different education and background than I, and she endorsed me her traumas when she had the chance. My god, the things she invented! Only I could believe such kind of inventions! For example: on my birthdays parties, I invited her along with my school friends, she invented that my friends moms felt of high society and had entered my home saying that was messy and dirty as usual.

Of course I was embarrassed and that comment caused me a huge emotional conflict, and Jazmin knew it. When I could think about it coolly, I realized they had never entered my home; because they left their daughters in the garden, for later pick them up. Besides, my home never was messy or dirty, I dont understand why I believed her.

Jazmin had a lot of cousins and uncles who talk weird and were inventing all kind of gossips.

When we reached puberty, she told me that feminine pads caused cancer. To make matters worse, at that time, it was unusual for parents to talk about hormonal changes in girls, much less of sex! So, I knew a little bit because of the curiosity of my little friends

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who repeated everything they heard from their older sisters. At twelve, I had my first conference about Menstruation and Sex then I understood everything, and I started to cry. Jazmin and I, used to play the famous marbles game, which we invented. The marbles were two families, who lived nearby, and got along daily. Each family had children from all ages, teens and kids. We had our libidos so awake for our short age, that, of course we did couples with the marbles, and that turned into an exciting sex game, who we loved to play. We made scabrous and romance stories. Sometimes she played the male role and other times I did it. To be honest, she did it much better than me and I loved to hear her.

Besides my world in my house of the Military Zone, sometimes charming and others terrific, I had another world at my elementary school. The Ignacio Luis Vallarta College, where everyday we prayed, sang, and the ones who had already made our first communion, could confess and receive communion, saying a beautiful pray at the end. I felt myself satisfied, happy and in peace. I don't remember, what they did for living, but some of my classmates parents, had a lot of money, some of my classmates liked to brag about their luxury cars from the most expensive brands in market, they all lived in the most expensive residential zones in the city such as Las Lomas, or Lomas Virreyes. Since little ones they were despots and superficial. You could hear six years old girls talking about money all the time and about the fancy car her father would buy. When I heard such things, I kept amazed, with my mouth open.

I never have known, and I never have been interested into cars. But in my family we had two cars: a Ford 200 that my brothers nicknamed El Fierrari and a van Rambler American so I told my classmates that we had a Fierrari without even knowing that was a brand who my brothers had invented, so, everyday I were picked up by mom, in our Ferriari-

There was a girl especially cruel and materialist called Liza. She was a blonde dwarf, who liked to brag of belong to the best society of Mexico and of having lots of

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money. Im not a tall woman, actually Im of average height, but since then, Ive found out through my life and through different stages, a personal theory: That most short people I have met, have much of perverse. With this, I dont want to mean, that all short people are evil; it is just a coincidence that it has happened to m e.

Liz was not the exception, she was a complete snake. She had a group of slaves, to whom she handled at her will. If you were saying any comments that she didnt liked it, she resorted to her Slaves for trying to humiliate you, -just because she felt superior to everybody-. Also there was one Magdalena, which lacked attention at home, and thats why, she was so obsessed trying to draw attention at the school. Monica, her older sister, was her ally in every whim and abuse. Any comment that she did not liked, she ran to tell Monica, for threaten us on putting us a report.

I will never forget an occasion at exit time. I was eight years old and was coursing second grade of elementary school. We were lined up by heights when Magdalena got close to me. She was holding the book bag between her legs and saying, "Look at me! I can do it without hands". I turned to see her and said; wow Magda you are really a magician. Five minutes later, I saw her coming very smiley toward me, along with her sister Monica, who was seeing me with a look of angry in her face. It was not the first time that something like that had happened to me. I felt scared and remained immobile waiting for my punishment.

When they got where I was, Monica stood in front of me with her arms crossed, yelling and scolding me: what are you saying to my sister? I shrugged and turned to see Magdalena, who was in the back laughing about the situation. I told Monica that I had not said anything offensive. She threatened me saying that that was the last time I approached and spoke to her sister in that way and that I was not allowed to disturb her anymore; otherwise she would put me a report with the director. I just nodded nervously. Next, she swept me with her gaze from down to top. Magdalena, remained watching me mockingly, and went to form to her place.

At that time I didn't know that a student could not report other student, not even if she was a sixth grader. I realized that we were simply terrified by the older ones.

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Magdalena, not just abused of me psychologically for many years, but also to many other girls, without anybody noticing it or would give importance. More than one girl was insulted for her until weeping, to others she made them kneel to apologize; many girls were terrified by her.

Nevertheless, my six elementary school years were great. I have the best memories of such huge school located at Avenida Constituyentes, with three patios and incredible facilities and four classrooms for each grade. Years ago that no longer exists and now its abandoned.

I remember that I used to learn my subjects very quickly; so, I got bored while the teacher was repeating for a second or third time the same subject, was then, when I began to talk or to throwing paper planes. Even so, always that the teacher asked me something, I was able to answer correctly.

We were always a trio of students, who contested in the exams for being the top of the class, invariably, the same trio always finished in first, second and third place.

In sixth grade, I was chosen as the representative of the school to compete for a national award named "La Ruta de Hidalgo". Such contest consisted in presenting exams of the subjects: Spanish, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Mathematics to sixth grade students who were competing for their respective schools, either were private or public. The winner was awarded with a trip travelling through some states of the Mexican Republic emulating the route that *Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla had traveled, to start the independence of Mexico, in September 15th, of 1910. The first stage was local. The winner of the first stage would compete later representing his city, the winners of the second stage would compete then for their states until finding a National winner.

Mother Isabel, principal of my class in sixth grade, had told me about it, just one day before the contest. That afternoon I had had a children's party in Six Flags, Mexico. When I lose an eyelash my friends told me: make a wish, I imagined myself winning the first place in the contest. When I got back at my home, I only had the opportunity to give a general review to my notes.

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The next morning, about ten students of several Schools from the zone and I, were gathered in a small classroom. The responsible gave us the exams, and I was the first one to finish it. When everybody else had already finished, the responsible started to check the exams right there, immediately she turned to see me.

Then she asked me: -You were the first to finish, right? - And I felt that my heart would come out from my chest.

Yes! I answered intrigued. Congratulations! You are the winner! When I came back to the classroom, all my classmates welcomed me with standing applauses. My friend Lilia, proud of me, hugged me and kissed me on my cheek. When I got into my house I told my parents the good news. Two weeks later, I went into an office of the Public Education Secretariat SEP (Which is the Mexican office of Education) to present my second exam. This time things were fairly different, because all the winners of the first stage were gathered into a huge classroom. Everything was gray and cold; people giving pencils and exams were coming and going all over the place. I was watching a bunch of sheets with multipleoption questions over my tiny metal desk. I took a lot of time solving the exam that seemed to me more difficult than the first one, but finally I solved it in time.

Days later, would come the notification that I was among the top finalists, but was still missing the final computation to find the winner. A new ovation took place into the classroom. Mother Teresa, at that time the primary principal called me to her office, and gave to me a book named: The gift of the Star, by Og Mandino and Buddy Kaye. Mother Isabel, my main teacher, was proud of me as a peacock and treated me like if I was made of crystal. My star pupil used to call me, when she arrived on mornings.

After that notification, we never heard again of the contest. Despite the insistence of the school, we were never notified about the final results, and neither, I received any

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constancy saying that I was the winner of the previous stages. Thats how I finished my elementary education in such a beautiful school full of charming memories.

Already in middle school, we were informed that the school gave a monthly Reconnaissance named Excellency to the most outstanding students of each classroom. Such event would take place at the school yard, and it was a complete solemnity. All the students and teacher's staff gathered at the school yard. Also, some vocal mothers and guests were invited. The Teacher Director was mentioning one by one the students that should go to the front to receive the Prize from the Director's hands. I dont remember how many Excellences I was given, but I still keep some of them.

On the other hand, unluckily to me, after getting along well with Magdalena the entire elementary school, we became enemies to death the following three years of middle school. I lived a difficult situation every day. Time before my two best friends of childhood, had been Maribel and Lilia, (the one from the ballet classes). Lilia and I were inseparable, but we had friends in common from the school, with whom we used to play and dance since we were children. With one of them whose name was Mayela. I mocked of my great friend Lilia. It took longer ringing the recreation time bell, than Lilia in finding out. Since that episode, she became my worst enemy and joined Liz and her group for making my life impossible. Of course, Mayela denied having said such thing to Lilia, and sometimes she was on my side and other on theirs, but most of the time she was on the side of my enemies.

So now, I would have two enemies: Liz, the materialist and superficial girl with whom I shared my childhood and Magdalena, they were no others than, the cruelest, cynical and brutal girls of my generation. There were many other girls that joined the evils group for fear. Among them, there was one girl named, Laura, who started to attacked me every day insulting me and making me disgusting faces. The others made fun of me. Everyday, I was by myself coming out of such kind of troubles; I knew I have deserved having Liz for enemy, but I couldnt understand why I got to this point of having problems with girls that I didnt even knew.

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At that time, the word bullying or school abuse wasnt in the dictionary or in the minds of parents or teachers. Nobody paid attention nor gave importance to this kind of situations.

My classroom was the most conflictive of all. It was completely divided in small closed groups; enemies were in the midst of groups; gossips, hypocrisy, betrayals and envy were daily situations. The word Solidarity did not existed, because when someone made a mistake and the whole group was reprimanded, always appeared the gossipy who wanted getting along with the teacher, and was going to accuse the one who had committed the fault. Thanks to this, several times I was sit in front of the desktop of Mother Director, reported for misconduct and threatened with being expelled from the school, but the religious always gave me another opportunity.

One morning, a very frightened girl came running toward my desk, telling me that all my enemies were planning to gather, for fighting me when I would be alone. Explained to me that they were asking all the classroom girls whether they were with me or against me, but the majority answered that against me because of fear. Told me, they wanted to make me cry and beg their pardon for the things I had said or did to them. Finally added, that she had nothing personal against me, but if she would have the chance to choose between me and Magdalena, Liz and their followers, she definitely would choose being on their side. She went out running, the same as when she came.

Suddenly, I realized that I was alone in the classroom, and in that instant, I saw them, entering the classroom in a row. Liz was heading the procession; I dont know the reason, maybe because being the shortest she was used to be the first one at the row, or because she was the leader. Among them, also were coming Lilia, Mayela and Laura. I was seeing more and more girls entering the classroom, and the row was growing, I counted more than twenty.

When they finished entering, they surrounded me threateningly, they closed the door and Liz started to complain about something bad that I supposedly had said about her older sister. From then on, all them, started to yell me vulgarities and insults. I

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remember I overcame the problem; I didnt cry a single tear. I also remember having responded appropriately to them one by one. As their goal was to see me humiliated and they couldnt get it - or at least, I didnt show it-, from then on, they made my life impossible, during the three years of middle school. Confrontations like that were a daily fact, they screamed to me, all kinds of insults and defamations in the schoolyard; if I was placed on the line of the school store they placed in front of me just to bother me, and without needing to buy something. Of course, they did this in group, nobody dared to face me alone. I never was a white dove and I would defend and attacked them as I could, but everything has a limit.

One morning that I was outside the classroom, because Laura had insulted me, saying things about my blonde hair and both were expelled from class, I asked to another cruel and manipulator girl who belonged to the group, named Alma Rosa: -Whats going on? - -Why, you all hate me?She smiled and answered to me: -I know why, but Im not going to tell you. And she never told me. I never knew the truth. From the last things I remember of that stage of my life. It happens that one day I argued with Lilia and she insulted me very rudeness, so I answered that she was an easy girl because she was too close to men, at her short age, besides, all the boys from Cumbres Institute talked bad things about her, and we all knew she had such a bad reputation. Then, she tried to hit me, I blocked the punch and went to the corner. The situation sometimes made me laugh, but other times I was terrified. She threatened me to beat me up the next day. It is worth mentioning that she was already a very big and tall girl, with huge hands, rude and strong like few others. The Next day I went to the school shaking of fear and looking all over searching for Lilia, I was afraid of being taken by surprise by Lilia; so I went hiding from bath to bath and from classroom to classroom until I got to my classroom.

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All her gang were watching me, laughing and talking in secret, but Lilia did not appear on any side. I knew she was in the school because some classmates had told me they had seen her. The gossip was spread through all the school to the point that girls from other grades were following me just to watch the beating. Of course, I wasnt going to let them beat me; I would do my best for defending myself until the end.

In the ad board of the corridor was an advertisement made with white chalk, saying: Lilia vs. Elena, the fight of the century. The word Lilia was written in capital letters and big size, however the word Elena was barely visible and the drawing was of a wrestling champ with her mask on, giant and monstrous, grasping of the neck to a human waste with her tongue out and blank eyes. I could do nothing more than laugh of the design, that by the way, was very well drawn. The lessons time finished, and nothing strange had happened. I wasnt afraid anymore. I was out of the school talking with a girl of name, Veronica, when suddenly I watched Lilia, coming very closely, directly toward me. I barely could react when she was right in front of me, with her arm lifted ready to give me a tremendous slap. I tried to bend, but seemed too late, I covered waiting for the punch, but it never occurred. When I turned to see Veronica, she was holding Lilias arm, and was trying to calm her, she was saying that those were no ways to solve problems. I was open-mouthed, because rarely somebody had defended me. I will never forget this.

Some years ago, I met again with Veronica, I told her I would never forget what she did for me, she answer that she would never erase from her mind, that she saved me from be beaten.

After that incident with Lilia, already in third grade of middle school, I decided that, the anguish and fear who I suffered everyday in the school were no healthy, so, I begged my main teacher, if she could urgently tell my mother that I needed a change of school, because I was very tired of so much stress.

I told her if she could invent, that I needed to meet new people and new places, but will never let her know that was because of bullying and problems with my

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classmates. I didnt want to worry my mother. I always felt that mom had enough problems with my brothers and I, and I didnt want to bother her with my unimportant personal problems. My main teacher did it like that.

My teacher asked my mother to meet with her, and told to her what I had asked her. My mom agreed and told me that I would go to another religious school and girls only. I jumped out of happiness and told to some of my classmates, and asking them to keep my secret. The next week, we went to the Mexican Institute Regina for requesting an admission form. We talked with the Mother superior of the school and asked us for my grades, when she saw them, she told me that I didnt need to make the admission exam, that I was already accepted. That school has the reputation of being very exclusive and of having a very long waiting list, but I was immediately accepted.

By that time almost at the end of courses, dance competitions took place inside the school, for elementary school students, I always liked to dance, and mount choreographies, so I gathered a group of classmates from other class and formed a gigantic dance team, divided in three parts: songs, costumes and scenography. After months of practicing, finally came the Competition day.

There were several judges and the entire school was gathered in the backyard. The first graders were the first to begin; then was the turn of second grade and finally we, the third graders. The first group was a total mystery, because it were rumors that they had hired a professional choreographer, but their performance was not as we had expected. Then two more groups performed, and finally was our turn. We step into the stage very enthusiastically and started to decorate it with card board bricks made with our hands, simulating a big city, we all took our places and danced like never before. We had no errors and we were applauded a lot. I also remember having heard some whistles coming from the right side of the stage. After finishing, I noticed that Liz, Lilia and her followers were sitting over there.

After us, was the turn of a five students group who did it really well, so everything was clear, the first place would be for them or for us.

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The judges were deliberating and taking notes. There was a lot of tension, noise, cheers and screams in the school yard. I was praying and crossing my fingers hoping to win the first place. At last the jury reached agreement and announced the winners of the third place, one of the groups of second grade. They picked up their recognition and they stood behind the jury. I had tickle all over my body and we all were holding our breath. Suddenly one of the jurors stood up and said:

-The contest has been very closed. This first and second place was nearly tied and we couldnt decide between one or the other. Both groups were excellently well coordinated and danced amazingly but there must be only one winner. The second place goes to the group of the three choreographies

The audience started to applaud us and we picked up our recognitions. We hugged and congratulated each other for our well earned second place. At the end, the first place was announced and the five girls yelled and jumped of happiness. Picked up their recognition and the three groups received a big applause.

At that moment, one girl of first grade of middle school came to me, showing me a piece of paper: Hey, Brooke Shields, somebody o ver there, says, if you could give me your autograph.

I heard a loud laughter coming from the right side of the schoolyard and I could see all my enemies group watching the scene. I realized they had sent the first grade student to mocking me.

Trying to seem very smiley, I told her: -Say to the ones who sent you, that I dont have a pen. When I did my lifes mirror at the rehabilitation clinic, I wrote in a sheet of paper, that this kind of attitude was one of my characteristic. I always exploited my qualities at

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maximum because I was proud of them, and this caused I were criticized and envied. They took advantage at any opportunity of vulnerability to ridicule me in front of the people I cared the most; invariably, I fell like a fish in net. From then on, I started to underestimate myself and started to act like they expected. My low self esteem was ideal for that kind of situations, but there was also another key factor that played a main role in all this: my will to please.

Despite I always had been secure of my capabilities; I needed the acceptance of others and had an insatiable thirst to belong.

Actually, these kinds of situations are normal in human beings, as long as they are equilibrated and not taken to the extreme, like in my case and of many other people suffering from eating disorders. It exists, a very marked symptom which is known as the Illness to please; it is well documented, and there are many serious studies which talk about it. When you act to please others, you are risking your security, your self esteem and your person, just for being accepted. Once you do it, youre capable to do anything; by intolerable it seems, just to belong. For example, being extremely kind to a person who you barely know, or doing favors to him even if he doesnt asked for it or flatter to people just to be liked. All these are clear signs of this illness. Denigrate yourself just to please others, tolerate any situation even if you are crushed. Sacrifice your own self esteem to please; those are some things with which I have had to fight through all my life. This comes since I was five years old, when, by fear; I accepted and allowed being sexually abused by several boys into a tent at the roof top of a building for the first time. Since then, I became condescending to vulgarities, insults, lacks of respect, and other unpleasant situations, faking that nothing of this was affecting me, and that I was strong enough to overcome it. It is a big shield with which you pretend to cheat everybody, but the reality is different.

That was, precisely, the shield that I handled when my classmates attacked me. I pretended that nothing what they said or made to me, hurt me at all and thats how I showed them, but deep down this kind of attitudes filled me with anguish, fear,

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insecurity and rancor. For strange it seems, deep down, I felt I deserved that. It was the right price I should pay for having qualities that the others girls hadn't.

The people suffering from eating disorders are susceptible; we tolerate a high level of pain or degradation. During the three years of middle school I suffered all kind of insults and aggressiveness without complaining at my home, and not just that, I remember having lived experiences like these through all my youth and maturity.

The first time I talked about this situation was with my Therapist B, she told me that people dont like begging or being underestimated, and that despite my nobility, I had an arrogant attitude to the world.

Almost on my graduation day, I received an unexpected letter. I was surprised to see a familiar writing, written with blue ink, in a folded sheet, saying: To Elena from: Laura. I thought it would be a offensive drawing of me or a good bye letter making fun and calling me coward in the name of all her gang. Although I was impatient to open it, I didnt do it immediately, because I felt Lauras uneasy gaze on my back, waiting for my reaction. I guessed everybody would start laughing, as soon as I started reading all the insolences I thought were written on the letter.

As soon as the class ended, I went running to the bathroom for locking me inside; assuring me that nobody had followed me. I opened the letter from a pull, and started to read it. While I was reading, my amazement was growing at every second, Laura had written the letter alone, without saying a word to the others, to apologize to me for all the hurt she had done to me all through all the middle school years, she said, that she had been a harmful person to me, and I didnt deserved it, that she wish me the best in my new school, which she knew it was very hard to be accepted for being so selective, but that I was very intelligent and capable. She added she was feeling very sorry that I had leaving the school, mostly because her fault, but that she would always going to remember me fondly. I folded the paper and started to cry.

Despite of all this, I continued seeing Lilia for many years. I searched her and invited her to my parties, because she appears in all my birthdays pictures. But, how could I keep seeing this person? By twist of fate, we found each other being classmates

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once again at the SOGEM (General Society of Writers) coursing a Diplomat for writers, and in the acting classes of teacher Emilio Caballero.

The circle had twisted and the history would repeat once again. Lilia was still seeing to those who had been my enemies at the middle school. Because of her, I met again with her group and went to a dinner with them to celebrate that Mayela was in Mexico. Yes, Mayela the treacherous, who had been living outside of Mexico for many years, could be anything more illogical? It was an auto-flagellation. The food was stuck in my throat only of seeing them and we barely crossed a word. They greeted me, just as I expected, as if nothing had happened. I cant yet understand the persons who tell me they dont remember anything about their sadistic classmates of elementary and middle school, which made them, suffer during entire years. I wonder if this could be true, and if maybe Im the only one that remembers everything, because I remember very well the suffering that they caused me, leaving a profound trace on me. One day, I received a disgusting message via email from an American witchcraft website. When I opened it, a Voodoo doll appeared, with his head hanging and pins all over her body, it was creepy! The doll had a signal saying: Hi, Im Elena. Immediately I sent a message informing of this to all my contacts. Hours later, the same message coming from the witchcraft website reappeared with the same voodoo doll and a biting message, saying: this hurts, isnt true"? Then, I decided to search the author of such attacks full of resentment and, for my big surprise, I found out that the responsible had been Lilia. So I called her to confront her.

Her first reaction was to deny all. Before the irrefutable evidence, Lilia accepted reluctantly and saying that everything had been a joke, that I was a ridiculous for taking rhe joke so seriously. At the end, she shouted me and asked me not to dial her again. Once again, she ended hurting me and erasing me from her life. I remembered the saying: If someone betrays you once, it is his fault, if he betrays you twice, its your fault. On September 1986, I entered to the Instituto Mexicano Regina, a school belonging to the congregation of Jesus-Maria, to study the first grade of High School*. The first day of classes I felt the gaze of all my new classmates over me. If they had

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been able, they would check up my panties. Despite this, there were also very kind fellows who welcomed me with arms open. I began to get along with the first one who stood in front of me.

Just a week had pass and I already knew who were the Intelligent, the nerds, the leaders, and even the easy ones. I liked the school very much and quickly I got into the basketball team.

To know how much interested they were in being my friends, I wrote a giant message at the chalkboard saying: Elena Arreguin Birthdays Party. Next Friday. Cocktail at Bandasha Club Please confirm and ask for tickets.

Most of them came in herds to ask me for tickets. They were giving me lists of people who they wanted to be in my list of guests, and even, they were asking me what kind of drinks would have at my party. The rest of them ashamed asked me, only for or one or two tickets.

One Friday, I organized a gathering at my home, and I invited to the ones who had ignored my invitation and to the ones who asked only for one or two tickets. Soon I had a group of friends and just one month after I was already receiving an invitation to spend a weekend in the ranch of one of my classmates.

In that school, I was accepted, I was part of them, like in all places, one or two malevolent existed, and curiously they were also short girls.

My three high school years were full of adventures, were terrific, magical and full of energy. I took part in every plays, choirs and workshops available in the school. Quickly, I made myself known as the outgoing, mischievous and restless teen that I was. I joined the basketball team and we were champions during two consecutive years. In second grade we traveled to the Regina school of Merida which was a branch of the one in Mexico City but in Merida, a city located south of Mexico, to perform a play, an in third grade I got the lead role for the performance of Fiddler in the roof then I

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fully understood the meaning of what many actors means about feeling the applause power. The Regina College received me, leaving on me a huge satisfaction and unforgettable memories from where I only got affection and approval. I also made great friendships the same that lasts until nowadays The day of our Graduation Meal I couldnt stop mourn and hug all my classmates while the music of a Mariachi group was listening on the background. On our prom night a friend and I gave the Oscars a plastic dolls made by ourselves, to each one of the Grads, provoking laughter and applauses from all the families. In that school I lived a complete different story from what Id experienced on middle school. I left the Regina School very delighted, for then getting into Universidad Anahuac del Norte and meet new friends. Immediately I made a new group of friends, I chose the most weird, introverted, nerds, or rebellious fellows and made my dysfunctional group of friends.

Already in college was when I began to realize of a phenomenon which still happens to me very frequently; there are some people, mostly women that, with the only fact of hear me or see me, they immediately hate m e. I didnt even realize of this. When someone told it to me, that affected me a lot, so then I tried to be the kindest and funny with those people just to get their approval. Of course the only thing I got was that they saw me like a fool, and made fun of me. Once again my Ill to please would emerge.

My college years were simply wonderful; I started to work like a freelancer to get experience. I took part in all workshops available, I staged plays and choreographies, I wrote histories and tales, sang, dance, I ran through the corridors, I jumped in every corner of the University, I recorded radio programs, I dreamed, I laugh, I loved passionately and also cried. On the last year of College my classmates and I decided to launch a campaign to compete to represent the Alumni Society of Communication Sciences. Our name of our team was; The psychedelic black form together, we created a very creative slogan: Communication creativity is dying, we need to save it with this slogan and without a single penny, we managed to call the attention, building Styrofoam graves that we put around the classrooms corridors to throw ourselves on the floor over the graves, acting like we were the creativity and we were dying while we

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were giving cempaxucitl* flowers. Sometimes we dressed in black because we were in mourning and others outfitted with psychedelic colors, flared trousers and platforms I had my hair straighten and parted in the middle. The members of the green team, our opponents, were the typical rich kids who were wearing T-shirts with their logo and slogan printed, which had financial support from their parents, they hired shows, TV and radio hosts, artists and other media characters to support their campaign, they went from classroom to classroom perfectly outfitted in shades of green and giving away t-shirts, caps and giving an eloquent and well planned speech, while we were presenting us singing and improvising funny lyrics. The Debate day finally arrived. For the first time in the history of students societies, the auditorium was crowded. When the mediator asked who had questions for the green form, one or two hands were raised, but when he mentioned us, hundreds of raised arms could be seen, and started to question us without control. Time passed by and we didnt stop answering all kind of questions. All the students from the career from different semesters were amazed by our campaign, because represented a big change to what was traditionally done.

On the Election Day a friend of mine was the President and I was the vicepresident we didnt stop laughing remembering the unusual campaign week and the good and funny moments we had spent together. Early into the night began the voting count. We were sure that we would lose. When the poll began we started losing by nine votes of the green form against one vote for us. Their president was full of pride but something unexpected happened minutes later. Suddenly we started to hear to the responsible saying black, black black once and again: the green for m president approached to be sure that the student was seeing correctly the opposite was happening! Just one vote for them and nine for us! My friend and I could not believe it and we turned to see each other astonished.

At the end of the election, we swept our adversaries. We would be the representatives of the Students Society of Science Communications School! We all jumped and screamed of joy and me and my friend started to mourn. It was our last year of university and we will make it big!

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The greens form president went out from the classroom frenetic and demanding that the urns should be re-open the next day, but all was in vain, we were the undisputable winners.

It was a year full of very hard team work, of getting sponsors, conflicts, triumphs and joys; it was also my first year working full time in an office, where I found out that being in front of the computer for eight years was very depressant to me, at the same time I was doing my professional thesis; it was a restless year. We focused to impulse the art into the university, every week the principal of our career had to my friend and I standing in front of his desktop calling our attention and asking us the reason why we had permitted the exhibition of nude oil paintings in the showroom or why we had organized a rock concert with a drug addict singer in the auditorium.

It was a painful year for us, because we grew up. It was the last year in which we could play while we were studying; for then, go out to the real world ... how it hurts to grow up!

More than ten years after we left the university, a student of Communication Sciences, of the first semesters, told me that the "Black Staff Psychedelic" would always be remembered as the one of the change, the challenge and innovation. That everybody still mentioned us with pride. I wept like a Magdalene, divine youth!

As a result of my outgoing personality, I used to gather all my friends whom I had met in different places, in college, my neighbors, and people who I had met at any place, and I also liked that they became friends.

Since I was a child, I was convinced that people were good by nature, despite the punches that life had already given me. Wherever I went, two very peculiar dolls were always jumping around my head all the time. The emotion, the adventure, the vitality and the joy were coming out from me, like a powerful wellspring. Nowadays, I have radically changed my thinking; I dont believe anymore that all people are good by nature.

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Terror History II - Lucky Stroke

Narrated in a AA meeting, during my internment.

One night I and a group of friends from different places, joined to celebrate the birthday of other of my supposed friends called Gabriela. Everyone there, had been friends from many years, Juan and Jos Maria were painters and pretended to be very cultured people. I thought I was among their best friends, and I felt like home.

The bell of the house rang. When it opened, a group of eight unknown women came into the house. They were ugly as few.

-Who are those spiders? -I said loudly.

Nobody knew them. We continue partying for a while. We went to pick up other friend and came back to the party. When I was coming into the house, somebody slammed the door in my nose. I kicked back the door and I noticed that everybody were in absolute silence. Then, I got close to greet some people who were arriving, having to pass in front of Jose Maria. He stared at me with angry eyes.

-Get out from here! Or I'll kick you out! - said aggressively -Whats wrong with you? - I asked him, not believing what I was hearing. -Get out from here! Or I'll kick you out! - said once again, with his eyes sparkling of fury. -Ok lets see, kick me out! - I challenged him. At that moment, he started to push me out of the house rudely. I was trying to take away his hands off me, but he continued pushing me. Once standing in front of the door he raised his hand and gave me a tremendous slap in my face. I stood frozen. I couldnt believe what was going on. After the slap, one of the eight unknowns, who was actually his girlfriend, jumped to hit me, but Juans mom stopped her. Then, I finally understood what had happened; I had offended his one week girlfriend.

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I fell to the floor and started crying, not because the physical pain but because my heart was hurt of being beaten by my best friend, my brother. Being present all the others friends that I had introduced, men and women, turned quickly to see what was going on, but they continued sitting and chatting. It was a chilling disappointment. No one did anything to avoid that Juan pushed me and hit me. My soul was aching to see that Juan was doing anything to get Juan out of his house. The only persons, who made something to defend me, were his sister and his mother, his sister never talked to him again.

Days before the incident, Juan and I had gone to eat to a fancy restaurant where we were talking about our future plans and we had a wonderful time. He didnt have any money, so I paid the bill. I considered him like my brother; and we had the entire confidence to each other and we visited us frequently.

Neither my supposedly friends of college did something to defend me. Not then or never. All they continued going to Jose Marias paintings expositions, they never reproached him a bit, and Gabriela, his girlfriend mocked me when we were at some public place with people we both knew, and repeating once and again that a man had punched me in the face. I asked her to stop ridiculed me. She just pretended surprise and innocence and promised not to do it again but the next day it was the same situation, but that wasnt all. Gabriela was an extreme selfish person, unable to make a positive comment about me or to my belongings. In any discussion she always was against me whether I was right or not. Two of her boyfriends had openly declared me their love, but I rejected them because I was respectful to her because I thought she was one of my best friends. When one of my ex classmates from high school started a relationship with one of my ex boyfriends, -situation that hurt me so much-, she always was telling me that they were so in love and happy just to bother me. I immediately changed my face expression, situation that seemed to fascinate her. Hundreds of experiences that I lived with her, showed me the kind of person she was, but I was reluctant to accept the truth.

On several occasions when we went out to dance to some discotheque or bar, she agreed in secret with the suitor who would take us back to our homes, to leave her first,

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knowing that I had an strict arrival schedule and she doesnt, when I claimed her on our way back, she always said that she was very tired and invariably I was scolded by mom on my arrival, thanks to Gabrielas whims.

Unexpectedly she announced us that she was going to get married to a divorced man but she didnt love him at all. Each time we talked by phone, she spent hours criticizing her husband saying that he was a neurotic perfectionist who kicked the baggage if he realized he had forget something; that he wasnt eve n useful to support her financially, so she also need to work; that he was bad in the bed and that sickening her the smell of his head that he left in the pillow. I repeated her again and again that those were the consequences of getting married for interest and would have been better not to married to that person, she always answered me: no, no, no I preferred to be a divorced woman than a spinster.

To be sincere, I was glad to know that she had failed with her plan. After many years of tolerating her jokes I dared to confront her. Gabriela excused herself with an incredible excuse, saying that she thought that I didnt bother when she talked about the punch I had got in front of other people. I told her that her excuse was silly and incoherent and that she perfectly knew how hurt I was, immediately she went away, and putted her head into the ground like an ostrich and disappeared from my sight. By the way Gabriela is also of a very short height.

As I always believed being the perfect friend, I expected to receive the same treat from everybody, but I was never pleased with the reciprocity. I gave myself completely and they had betrayed me. With this deep wound, I would live for ten years. Once again I cant understand how I could continue seeing my college friends. Each time I saw them, I felt anger for not being defended by them and for still being in touch with my aggressors. When I claimed them, they said that they didnt remember anything about what happened that night. Since then, I learned that people are vey selective, they only remember what suits them.

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To this incident, I named it the Lucky stroke because if hadnt had happened I would never open my eyes. And wouldnt be able to see how selfish and sick were the people around me were. The fairy tale of giving the life for my friends and vice versa had vanished from my mind. Because of my foolishness and apprehension, I would have blinded forever, and, I would continue seeing this kind of persons. The cycle never would have closed.

END

The day after I narrated this story at the AA meeting, my therapist C asked during the group therapy: -Lets see, lets see, who is the most asshole, the one who said that friends are perfects, or the one who believed it.

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Pure adrenalin flowing through the skin

That morning, Maribel and I were playing at the seesaw when we were hungry. We went to look for some chocolate pastries and junk food to Maribels house. But nobody was in there, so we decided to go shopping at the store in front of her house. We hadnt any money and I knew it. Being the oldest of the two, I counted on Maribels would trust me at hundred per cent and would do whatever Id said.

We got into the store and I took chocolate pastries, chips, and a soda, I gave most of the things to Maribel and when we were at the exit, I whispered in her ear: keep everything in your sweater just like me; we are going to leave without paying. Maribel turned to see me with her eyes wide open, and became very nervous, but had no option to obey me, because the exit was a few steps away from there. She followed me until she reached me. We passed in front of the policeman and went out coldly with our stolen merchandise. Once outside, we went running and laughing loudly and lounged on the grass to eat everything.

I had loved the sensation of fear that caused me, the possibility of being caught; it was a very peculiar feeling. My blood flowed out rapidly through my veins just of thinking, of being caught stealing something. It was pure adrenalin.

We both were in silence lying on the grass face up for a while, with our bellies and hearts full of joy. By there, many streets hadnt been paved so we could run freely through the huge grounds covered of grass and juicy pods from which we drank their liquid, thinking that it was super nutritious. The plants were full of ladybugs, butterflies and other insects flying by the grass, and there was also plenty of soil and mud enough for building castles and entire cities.

We also ate small apples from trees that were around the zone, and we were saying that everything was a matter of luck, because there were some poisonous apples that had already occasioned the death of several children. We invented all kind of

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stories about it, and got fun scaring other children who heard the stories. Deep inside us, we also believed that story.

-Did you like it, today? - I asked to Maribel. -Whatof today? - She said, pretending not knowing what I was talking about. -Come on, dont play dumb- I told her, about stealing things from the supermarket. -No I dont like it. It is wrong and you know it, its a mortal sin. Im not going to tell anything to my parents, but I dont want to repeat it. -Uh, what a squeaky! Ok, next time I will steal something, I will share it with Maribel and Im not going to give you anything. Maribel kept thinking for a while and answered remorseful. -Ok fine, I better would go to steal with you two the next time.

Years later when I was ten and she was eleven years old, we went in secret to the movies to see the movie The Exorcist. We loved to feel the fear to risk, to be caught, to be in conflict. She run away form the movies in time, but I was caught, receiving a very hard punishment for my disobedience

Just two weeks of being in the clinic, it began to hear rumors about the halls of a virus that was rapidly infecting patients. We were all scared. A few days later, they began to isolate the comrades who seemed to be infected, including Dora. Immediately, I was called to the coordination department of the clinic.

- Good morning, Michelle said with his monotonous tone voice-. How did you feel? I quickly was wondering what I had done wrong to have all this equipment waiting for me in the meeting room.

-Very well, I said coldly-

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- Please take a seat, she continued. We are very pleased and proud to have you in this clinic. As you know, there's a virus in the clinic and we are very worried about your pregnant condition.

While she was talking, all other patients kept a reverential silence and they barely seeing each other. Over there were present; my therapist C, two other therapists, several technicians, coordinators and the responsible in charge of the entrances and dismiss the patients. For a moment, passed through my mind the idea that I would be dismissed from the clinic.

-So, we all have gathered here to discuss about your particular situation and we have decided that you should leave the clinic today, as soon as possible. I want you to pack your belongings and take the first plane back to Mexico City. Here are the flights schedules- she gave me a piece of paper- you can call from one of the phone cabins and book your ticket.

I felt an ice bucket falling in my head and I kept stiff of amazement. I turned to see the faces of everybody present looking for their support, but everybody lowered their heads. -But, how? - I asked- this cant happen. My internment here has cost us a fortune and great effort to my husband and me. Im decided to continue my treatment till the end; you cant dismiss me on that way.

-Okay, look- the principal interrupted me- we are not going to risk your health here- You got it? Your pregnancy is the most important thing, got it? Its a precious treasure that we cant risk and your best choice is going to your home until everything is under control.

I could notice some heads nodding timidly. I looked to my therapist C. straight to her eyes waiting for her protection. She smiled me, but didnt talk a word. I felt trapped and forced to take a decision that I didnt want to take.

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And what about the cost of the tickets, the clinic would pay me? I dont have any money to buy two more round-trip tickets- I questioned them.

.No, Michelle answered quickly- you will need to pay them.

For the first time my therapist C. talked, but not precisely to support me. -You know that you are here thanks to a scholarship dont you? - We cant do anything more for helping you. -Thanks to a scholarship? - I said amazed. Of course! I paid thirty thousand pesos for my internment. I was almost fired from the clinic on the day of my entrance because my money deposit hadnt passed, and now I have to pay four plane tickets instead of two! -We have no option- said the principal, you have to leave the clinic today. Call me to see what has happened with the virus ok? If you can be back, you will be very welcome. Everybody stood up until I did it, then we all came out from the room, I was stunned, disappointed and furious, it was a Friday morning.

I called my husband for the second time since I was interned. He managed and solved everything. I packed my belongings and they took me to the airport. I felt like my wings had been cut from root. I talked to Michelle on the weekend to see how was going on with the virus problem. Everything had been a tremendous exaggeration.

The next Monday, I was back in the clinic. Dora and Karine were waiting for me sitting on the floor, when they saw me coming; they gave me a big hug.

A French man who was also interned, told me that everything they had done to me was an outrage; that the clinic should be responsible of my stay since the very beginning, and that they should cover the cost of my return, because the virus was inside their facilities. He explained to me that they had an insurance that covered that kind of situations, that they were rascals not committed to patients, and that the only thing they were worried about was that I may be infected by the virus and my pregnancy

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resulted affected, and then I could put them a lawsuit. He also explained me, how they had manipulated me to make me believe that they were worried about my baby.

When I finished my internment period and returned to my home, I resumed the case and sent several letters to the clinic director, demanding a refund of my plane tickets, that never happened and I decided to close the case.

That morning at the rehabilitation center we were told that a new bulimic fellow would join the group. Her name was Rita and she was seventeen years old. I asked myself again, why I had to wait twenty years to have treatment. Maybe in my adolescence just at the beginning of my illness my rehabilitation would have been easier.

Rita was a pretty and slim young girl, but disrespectful and gross. To her, the authority simply didnt exist in her world. We all were shocked seeing her breaking the rules once and again without shame or care, and most of all, without anybody scolding her. I was very angry, because despite I was an active and sports woman; I was prohibited to do my walks at mornings until they would have my analysis results, the same that I had been waiting for a week.

This was how Fanny, our nutritionist showed us her authority, because what the hell could happen to me walking half an hour a day. As I have never liked absurd impositions, I had disobeyed her since day one and she had punished me, forbidding me to take my daily walking on the next morning, saying that she was feared about my pregnancy. This walking at six oclock in the morning was something fabulous! We all appreciated them very much; we were able to see the sky painted with colors at dawn and we filled with pure energy along with nature.

Fanny was thirty years old and had a strong character but there was some bitterness in her, because her best years for getting married were passing, and she wasnt engaged to nobody. We all secretly made fun of this.

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The other two nutritionists: Sara and Marcia were younger and less strict. Between them and Fanny took care of us, taught us recipes, guided us in healthy feeding, and gave us workshops about nutrition and the properties and effects of food. The ironic was that there was only one nutritionist to take care of all the patients by turn.

Dora and I had fun, and we planned different ways for going to vomit in secret, something that it might have been possible if we wouldnt have been conscious about why we were there. I never threw up during my internment in the clinic.

That morning, as soon we were having breakfast, I started to question Rita about her bulimia. We were having fun listening to her, because we roughly knew our stories, and we were intrigued in knowing somebody new. Karine hadnt eaten anything since day one and putted disgusted face to everything. Alexia took years to eat a bite; Barbara was always sad and listless, unwashed and without a drop of make up during weeks, she also ate slowly; marina always were watching carefully all the dishes in front of her, and took long to start eating. When she finally made her decision, eating was for her a martyrdom that made her shiver. Dora trembled for not eating everything in front of her; I tried to eat as slowly as possible to take at least half an hour. The topic during the meals was always the same: the vomit. We laughed remembering anecdotes and our vicissitudes that we had done trying to take out everything we had swallowed.

I knew that Barbara used to throw up from five to eight times a day, every day; Dora besides being a twenty four hour compulsive eater, was also bulimic and induced herself the vomit several times a day but she could stop doing it for months. She said that she could eat a big size pizza and a liter of coke in two minutes. Of course we all believed her. Alexia and Dalia had come to the clinic grabbing the walls for not fainting of weakness. Alexia, ten months before her internment the only thing she ate was toasted bread with panela cheese and water during the entire day, however she argued that water caused her stomach swollen; Marina had already suffered a nervous collapse at the same institution, the therapists believed that she had suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. This was her second term of ninety days internment. Besides all this, Alexia and Dalia were also vigorexics. Now it was the turn of this new fellow to tell us about her bulimia experiences.

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-Rita- for how long have you been vomiting out? I asked to her. -Since I was fourteen- answered very cheerfully. Ive vomited like a thousand times since then, from ten to fifteen times a day. -Dont fuck around! - ten to fifteen times a day? I asked amazed. -Yeah,- answered with a big smile in her face- -Why? Its that too much or what. -Wow, well, here Ive heard horror stories but not so shocking. -And, what about you, how many times do you vomit a day. -Three as a maximum, and not daily. Im more paused. It could pass weeks, months, and maybe years until I return to my vomiting mania. Maybe thats why I dont have physical sequels of this abuse. I dont have my tooth enamel worn out or my nails yellow, or my esophagus burned.

-Eeeek!- she said while eating a little bit of her scramble eggs, sipped her glass of milk, bite a piece of bread, drank orange juice and made disgusted faces to the papaya; all at the same time and with an amazing speed- let me tell you about what occurred to me on a buffet restaurant, you know those of eat as much as you want-. It happens that I went alone and started to serve myself three or four dishes of all kind of meals available: soups, pasta, meat, salads, desserts, and after each twenty minutes of eating I went to the bathroom to vomit loudly for then returned to eat another four dishes of meal. The manager was looking at me very serious. -Hey- I interrupted her-. Dont tell me that you threw up making noises and everything.

-Of course! - answered with incredible impudence.

-I never was caught- - I told her- because with practice I learned to vomit without making any noises. For not been discovered having my feet turned in front of the toilet, I waited until all the people who were inside the restroom came out from there.

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-No, I didnt give a damn- she interrupted me while chewing- I always vomit noisily. Ok let me continue, after an hour one of the waitresses came to me very quietly.

-Miss, that guy who is sitting over there wants to know your phone number, but doesnt dare to ask you personally.

-I turned to see the dude and seemed to me very attractive. I complained to the waitress the lack of guts of the guy, but at the end I dictated my phone number to the waitress, she wrote it in a small notebook and went away. I looked her getting close to him and then he went away from the restaurant. I thought he would ask me to date him later that evening, but, what was my surprise that in five minutes my mom arrived hysterical and stood in front of me! I realized that everything had been a trick just to call my mom. I shouted to my mother and I throw out her of the restaurant. My mom very pissed, got out from the restaurant, but, not before scolding me in front of everybody. As soon she left the restaurant, the manager came to my table. -Miss, I need to ask you to leave the restaurant. Youre a very sick person. I stood up, and went out of there while everybody was looking at me. I have never come back to that place. While she was telling us her experience. Rita didnt stop eating for a single instant. Once in a while, she spitted pieces of food over the dish without caring a damn. She finished all her dishes and pushed them away out of her reach. What we all were watching was a typical binge, very well known in our lives but the incredible was that she did it in front of the nutritionist in turn, and she didnt say a word. I was startled by her disordered way of eating. We all turned to see each other, before such incredible show. -Eat and less talk! - If in forty five minutes you havent finished, you know what its going to happen.

-What is going to happen? - asked Rita, putting her pulgar finger nail, between her teeth to remove food scraps.

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-To the person who doesnt finish on time, will be given two food supplements, and in case she neither take it, a nasogastric probe will be introduced. -whats that nasogastric probe crap!, you cant do me anything that I dont want. She added furiously. -Its not what you want or not- said Dora-. When you entered here you signed a document where you authorized the employees of this institution to do so. -Well, you all are assholes! - Shouted furiously-. Thats why you didnt let me read it slow and you didnt give me a copy of the paper. Right? - asked to Sara. - Thats why I was about to not sign it- I replied getting into the conversation. Sara shrugged and answered trying to hide her surprise. -Lets see, here you are to obey the rules, and thats how it is. -Rules my .pants! - Interrupted Rita. Who could think in putting such ridiculous rule? Besides, I dont even think that you ever have done it; its just for having us frightened. This place is like a jail. -Rita!- but Rita didnt open her mouth again.

She turned to see us very smiley and shameless. We all hold our laugh. I enjoyed the way Rita questioned the nutritionists. Because I was also disagree in many things that there were taken as obligation. But it was not only me, we all enjoyed it. I liked Saras personality, but I was certain that it wouldnt take much longer to be severely reprimanded, just as they had done it to me, but meanwhile, lets have fun!

On the other hand, I was intrigued to know if people suffering eating disorders had the tendency of stealing, just like me, and if they had also been victims of sexual abuse on their childhood. My therapist C had explained to me that I liked to steal because having been my sexuality disjointed at so early age, I was used to live with the adrenalin at full, and stealing was a fascinating act for bulimics.

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I brought the topic to the dinner, taking advantage of the good mood generated hours before. -Hey! I got something to confess to you, that I dont know if you also have experienced it, I said in low voice to intrigue the others-. All got closer to hear well. It happens that since I was a small girl I liked grabbing others things, and it is a habit that I cant avoid up to date. Even if it is the cheapest crap of a store and costs two cents, I need to take it at any cost. Each time I go to the supermarket I end eating a chocolate, drinking a bottle of water or anything just for not pay it

Dora immediately shouted uninhibited: -Me too! - I love to eat everything I find at the supermarket and not pay a cent.

We all laughed, and I felt a great relief. Sara was seeing to us very amazed.

.Oh my god! - Exclaimed- someday you will be caught and you will end in jail.

-The more shameless you are, the less you get caught - I continued-. I was caught just once and was awful. I went shopping with my mother and a friend to El Palacio de Hierro (a luxurious department store in Mexico City). My mom took her way and told me that I could choose anything I liked it, she told us to meet her in half an hour at the payment cash. I started to brag to my friend and I took a trendy black top with tatting, and started to modeling, and told her that would not cost us a penny. Quickly I put it inside my purse. By the way, it was the ugliest and cheapest cloth in the entire store. The thing was to steal something. Later, we went walking through the entire store, and I was testing all kind of clothes, the dependents were watching us intrigued; I didnt imagine why they were looking at us in that way. After tasting some clothes I looked at my watch and guessed that my mom would be already waiting for us at the first floor. We went where she was, and my mom paid everything I had chosen, but when we were about to leave, the burglar alarm rang. My friend started to shake and got even paler than she was. My mom was asking what was going on. Then, one of the security guards said, that they would have to check my handbag. I told him that I wouldnt permit it because I had intimate things inside. He told me I had no option and that the review

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would be done by a woman for my tranquility. I looked around, looking for an escape and found a corridor that headed directly to the restrooms. Suddenly, I ran fast to the restroom, got into the bathroom, and locked myself in one of the cubicles; I took the horrible top out of my handbag, and when I was about to throw it away, a chick was in top of the door saying to me that I should get out of there immediately. Two security guards grabbed me from my arms as a vile criminal, and I was taken to the basement.

I had to explain everything to my mom, who was still upset and in shock. They took my fingerprints, a photo, and forced me to sign a document. My mom had to pay the double of the price of the horrible top, by the way, they kept the cloth.

When we went out of the store, my mom was crying and asking me the reason why I had done that. I had no answer to that. I felt like crap. I was about twenty years old. They looked at me with eyes wide open and didnt know what to tell me. Seconds later another fellow spoke.

-I have already been caught stealing cassettes from a store - Said Karine-. I went with a cousin to a music store, and the silly hid some tapes into her jacket and I kept some in my pants, but we got caught. When we were going out, a policeman returned us back to the store! They talked to our parents and all the show -That would cause me terror said Barbara, when she miraculously spoke-. Ive stolen some little things from my fellows rooms, because I live interned at the university, but if they would caught me, I would die of shame! -And what about you Marina? - I asked-, dont you have those kinds of habits? -Oh no, thanks god I dont- answered smiling- those habits are very bad.

-Then, you are the exception that confirms the rule. Almost all of us suffering eating disorders are burglars

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-That hasnt been nothing! Rita exclaimed, like she was waiting her turn to be the last one to talk, and give us an spectacular version of the topic-. Once I was caught in a store at San Antonio, Texas. I went to a Uncles house on holidays and we went shopping, he went with his sons and I went on my own. In a store of hair accessories like bow-ties, headbands, scarves, brooches and that kind of stuff, I grabbed some lipsticks that were near the entrance and I was hanging around for a while. When I was leaving the store the alarm rang and a policeman stopped me and started to say the thing of You have the right to remain in silence I almost drop my panties. Because I was underage they called my uncle, they got me in jail for twenty four hours until my uncle took me away from thereit was awful!

We remained with our mouths open. This girl, at seventeen, had already lived so hard experiences like being in jail.

Even I had been about to end up at the reformatory I started to notice, at first, that I was comprehended in my suffering and second, that my grade of bulimia never carried me to that kind of extremes. Maybe I wasnt so sick as I thought or I had been extremely lucky, with the big difference that these adolescents had few years being bulimics and anorexics but in a very high level and I had twenty years having bulimia in a moderate levelI always wondered; who would be worst, they or me.

-Hey-, I continued asking-. I also want to know if you suffered sexual harassment when children and if this is a characteristic of people suffering from eating disorders. Surprisingly, all recognized having suffered child sexual abuse, except Marina.

At the dinning room there was a food bar with snacks for the other patients, who was always guarded by kitchen personnel who knew perfectly who were the eating disorders patients. It was strictly prohibited for us being there, and to ask them for low calories sugar or any other food typical from our diet. They could not give us nor water to drink.

That afternoon, Fanny took us to the kitchen for teaching us how to prepare corn tortillas, from A to Z. Dora and I wanted to eat one tortilla. As soon fanny was distracted, we began to throw tortillas toward the dinner room tables and the noises

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that made when fell, were heard everywhere. Then Fanny turned to see us, so, we pretended paying attention to what she was saying.

Suddenly, we found the hiding place where the cereal bars and low calories sugar were hidden. We made signs to each other. I took a few seconds, thinking if I should do that or not, because I was there to work on my recovery and not for breaking the rules, but I preferred to have fun for a while. All others realized but they hold their laughter or were trying to distract Fanny so we could fill our pockets with low calories sugar packets, with the condition that we would share the loot with them. As the cereal envelope made a lot of noise when we opened it, Dora and I were talking loudly asking any silliness or coughing on purpose while we threw them towards to the dining tables, where one or two patients were sitting. They soon became our allies and helped us kicking the wrappers below the tables or pretending that they were scratching their heels while kept them inside their socks.

If Fanny had turned to see the tables, we had been immediately discovered. It was the laugh contained and the nerves of being discovered, what made this moment so funny. Fanny suspected and turned to see us seriously to our eyes, then checked us from head to toe. As soon she was sure everything was okay, softened her countenance and continued doing her duties. Dora and I could hardly hold our laughs. -Lets wait until the tortillas are sewed* at the comal*, said Fanny. I could not believe that a nutritionist, with a bachelors degree, mispronounced such a common word in the nutritions argot, so I hurried to correct her. -Cooked! Said in front of all- you said sewed and it is cooked. Sewed is of sewing with needle and thread. -I didnt say sewed! You heard wrong! Answered furiously- I said cooked.

-Ok!-I shrugged, smiling my triumph.

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Dora made a signal of approval and the class of: How to cook tortillas ended. Then we pretended going to sit at the table, and then, cautiously started to collect our cereal bars. The rest of the afternoon, we were carrying the bars in our bellies and butts and making noises at any movement. Of course, this caused us more fun.

At night we shared among us the entire endowment of cereal bars. With the only thing I kept was the low calories sugar. I put the wrappers in a compartment hard to find inside my suitcase.

Each week, technicians made a complete review of all the rooms, bathrooms, suitcases and its linings, clothes, personal items and removing those things they considered dangerous, such as, perfumes, sharps artifacts (except, razor blades), acetone, and all the food, specially to those of Eating Disorders. If they found us something banned, we were immediately reported.

I watched everybody acting shamelessly; disobeying the rules and keeping even cookies into the rooms. I was afraid just thinking of being discovered. Sometimes I concluded, that was the teen age adrenalin what made them act that way. And because I had already passed that period of my life, now, I was acting cautiously.

As a good maniac of order and cleanliness, I always had my bed and my stuff very well ordered, because the lazy, dirty and sloppy people who left their beds undone and their clothes on the floor also were reprimanded. Despite my pregnancy, I was always on time to do all my activities at six oclock in the morning. Although, sometimes I had a hard time waking up so early, I never missed the prayers or diurnal walkings; I ate everything they told me, I always had my duties done on time, took part in classes, I wanted to stand out.

As I was used to compete, I put to myself goals and purposes, in many occasions ahead of everybody elses rhythm. Things were going for better at the clinic. I no longer wanted to run away from there, I wanted to finish my treatment like a champion.

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The farewell ceremony to the ones, who had concluded their internment period, was great. You can watch all your fellows leaving the clinic full of pride, up righted as heroes, and like examples for those who were still there.

I dreamed about that day, and wanted to earn that great farewell. I sighed each time someone left the clinic with his head held high.

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The ill person seeking for another ill person


The Babe was that girl of whom I talked in chapter III, a school mate who was in my classroom since we were five or six years old. Precocious, liar and with the most dysfunctional family I have seen in my life.

She lived in a multilevel house, in which all the furniture was old and full of dust. Her mom was an exotic lady with a very atypical body; she was very much alike to a typical witch flying with her broom. She had a very Loud and scandalous voice, with a lifted chin and a terrible and black mole in her nose. She was shallow, vulgar and abettor. Her dad was a depressive and silent man with a chubby and sad face. He seemed like a character taken from a dramatic novel. She had two older brothers and one younger sister, and though all had the same characteristics on their faces, the Baby was the only one who inherited exactly the same witch face of her mother. She had reddish hair but damaged as a mop, she always was wearing a red bow on top of her head. Of Short stature, chubby, dirty and scruffy, that was the impression she always gave to those who met her.

Her family was used to to say rudeness at dinner time and the food was disgusting, both in taste and in appearance and of course unbalanced, so she had tendency to get fat since an early age. I got along with her because she was very sympathetic, but our backgrounds and principles were very different.

One of the first memories I have from her, is from when we were about eight years old and we were playing in the seesaw of my house. She suggested a contest in saying the rudest words that we knew in order to see who will be the winner. As in my house we werent used to say rudeness, she won very easily, reciting a series of vulgarities that left me very scared.

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Some time after, she entered a kids musical group where they performed at TV shows and in concerts. After the appearance of the mentioned group Parchis, the emergence of similar bands was in vogue, so it was a coming and going of many groups who vanished immediately. Because of this, since her eleven or twelve years old, the Baby went to the school wearing make up and bragging that she had gone on tour along with her band and her manager. Sometimes, just to show off, she invented that she was very tired and sleepless due to the hard essays with the band, and came to school with her eyes painted of purple just to make us believe her story. Counting this kind of experiences seemed a very cool thing to her. I remember my mom got her hair stood on end when heard this stories.

One day, she proposed me to be part of the group, because one of the girls had left her place vacant. I went to make an audition of singing and dancing at Televisa( The main multimedia mass media company in Mexico), days later they called me to say me that I had been accepted. I jumped for happiness and told it to mom. My mom asked to talk to the manager and questioned him about all this. The manager trying to look very interesting told my mom that it was the opportunity of my life, that I would become famous, and that I would have fans, that I would be touring around the world and that I had been chosen among thousands of girls. My mom cared a damn the titles or the money this man or anybody else could have. She was not impressed by anybody and treated all equally; either was the street-sweeper or the Mexican President, they were simply human beings who deserved respect, so she questioned the man by her way.

-And who are going to take care of the girls during the tours? - questioned with a doubtful voice tone.

-I will- He answered, -with big self-confidence. Then, my mother cornered him furiously. -And who do you think you are to make me leave my girl in your hands, I dont even know you. Now, tell me, if you are going to take care of the girls, who will take care of you?

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Since that moment my dream of being famous was interrupted with a resounding no coming from my moms mouth. I wept bitterly and complained during several days. I called the woman who had made the audition to tell her that I would run away from my home, if was necessary, but that I wouldnt miss that opportunity. She was very conscious and told me that without the permission from my parents, it wouldnt be possible.

Months later the group would disintegrate, but the frivolous influence of the artistic environment would mark Babys life forever.

The first time I went out with a boy on a date, was when I was thirteen, when a teens went to pick up us at Babys house, having her mom like our main accomplice. We both were the same age. I had to lie to my mother, telling her that I would be at Babys home, doing homework. I was very nervous; my legs were shaking of the fear of being caught, I was dressed like any pre- teenager. I was wearing shorts, with a girl blouse and my pony tail.

I was sitting in the hall waiting for my friend, when suddenly; she appeared wearing a white blouse stuck to her chest -at that time, she was flat like a wall-, also was wearing a mini leather skirt, high heels shoes, lips painted with scarlet red lipstick and loose hair. I thought to myself: I think that they are not even going to turn to see me. Finally, the gallants arrived, two fifteen years old teenagers. Babys mom was into her Celestine role, standing smiling at the door. Greeted the two brats with a kiss, said goodbye loudly and closed the homes door. I got in at the back seat of the car, still sweating and in silence, but The Baby was like fish in the water; talking incessantly, waving her hair from side to side and flirting shamelessly. She was speaking vulgarly and even started to smoke a cigar that the gallants had offered to her. I was remaining silent at the cars backseat and wondering why she was acting that way. Once in a while, I prayed for being back at home and hoping that my mom wouldnt find out where I really was.

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The date was very pleasant because the boys were decent people, but it happened that the most attractive of the two, didnt pay attention to anyone of us in particular, I mean, that knowing himself very handsome, he treated us in the same way. Back in her home, The Baby lay down in her bed and said that she was sure that he was very much in love to her, but they didnt talk to us again.

One night when we were fourteen, I was at her home when suddenly three roughlooking guys came into her house; wearing spiky hair, liters of hair spray, flip-flops, loose and torn jeans and smoking desperately. I didnt know that they were coming. They quickly sat in the living room as if they were at their home, put their feet on the coffee table, and started to talk to The Baby with an atrocious vocabulary. The one who seemed to be the leader was a certain Harry, an ugly, skinny, tall and sleepy face guy. His voice tone was monotonous and pretended to have experience in all things, because he corrected the other two guys, when they were speaking. He was looking at me with wolf face and smiling at me. I felt terrible and completely misplaced. I prayed again, hoping that my mom would pick me up as soon as possible.

A few minutes later, mom came to pick me up, but seemed me as hours. The Baby and I lived relatively close to each other just across a mountain. Now I was living at Tecamachalco and she in Bosques de las lomas , the residential suburb in front of mine. Although they were different suburbs, we could shout from window to window and listen perfectly.

Early next morning, she called me by phone.

-Yesterday my buddies were spying on you with binoculars! - said, laughing.

-What? - asked to her. -Yes, as soon you leave, we saw you entering at your room; you didnt close the curtains, so we could see you, undressing. The Baby was still laughing. I blushed ashamed and didnt know what to answer.

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-Dont worry; they said you were Ok, but that you were very prudish.

At that time, I got along well with a girl named Ariadna, who was daughter of one of my parents friends and was of my age. Ariadna studied at a nuns school just like me and we both were silly and innocents. We had two oldest brothers, so we were accustomed to see males in our homes. Despite these, we blushed each time we greeted our brothers friends and dreamed with our blue prince. She gave me a beautiful handwritten letter that had written to God telling me that letter was the most valuable thing she had; and only can give it to her best friend, who I was.

We went together to the movies, to parties, from where our parents picked up at twelve oclock, and we were excited when a handsome boy asked us to dance. Usually, the boys went in pairs for getting courage, and I always was the chosen by the most handsome.

In one of those Fifteen years parties of a friend of mine, it was present the most wanted and handsome boy of all private and nuns schools, a certain Eduardo, of which all the girls were mad about him. I didnt know him in person; I had only seen him once, but his fame was well deserved. He was chestnut hair, medium tall, with very manly and perfect manners. I told Adriana that I liked him very much, but she was dying for get invited to dance by him, she even invented that he had turn to see her. I didnt notice any of that, but I pretended to believe her, to not disappoint her. She challenged me telling me that she would win me and she would dance with Eduardo; that she would conquer him and that I would hang onto his ugliest friend. I laughed a lot along with her. Honestly, Ariadna was not physically graceful. She hadnt neither pretty face nor body, quite the contrary. At her early age, she already had her nose operated because she had inherited a crooked and aquiline nose from her father, she was short tall and chubby, with big love handles on her back and belly, had no waist, no neck, with skinny legs, in a wordshe was amorphous.

Suddenly, Eduardo stood up and came toward us. Ariadna pinched me so hard, that I cried loudly and whispered in my ear.

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-Hes coming; hes coming to take me out to dance. Told you!

But tremendous letdown she would have when, he held out his hand to me and ignoring her completely. I didnt know how to act and didnt want to see Ariadnas face either, but yes I could imagine it. I watch closely Eduardos face, and could find the reason why we all were crazy for him. He was really handsome! Then he pulled me by my arm to help me stand me up and started to take me with him to the dance floor. All the girls at the party swept me with her eyes from top to bottom, and were whispering in secret. I turned to the place where I was sitting with Ariadna, but she was no longer there. I felt sorry for her and tried to search her, but she didnt come out from where she was hidden for a long while.

The slow songs started and the boy, without doubting a second, got close to me, and grabbed me by my waist and started to take me through the dance floor. I felt my heart beating too quickly, my legs were shaking and my hands started to sweat. I was very ashamed for this, because I was sopping his hands with my sweat, but he seemed not to notice it. He got his face too close to mine and didnt stop seeing to my eyes. His eyes were metallic blue, smelled irresistible delicious and I couldnt avoid to imagine how it would be kissed by him. I turned my gaze and smiled to him nervously; he seemed very serious. He was quite a conqueror at fifteen!

He emanated an innocent magic that wrapped us completely; that charmed and fascinating attraction that is felt on the first dawns of sexual awakening toward the opposite sex, and that you never experienced again with such intensity with the passing years. That moment was unforgettable to me.

In those times, and in very closed Mexican society, if a young girl like me, dared to dance closely the slow songs, were branded as slut, so to speak: a bitch, imagine if you were kissed! I struggled to push him discretely, but he came closer again. More than a dance it was a silent struggle for keeping my reputation and what people will say, because we were the main attraction of the party. Wherever I looked, I could see envious faces waiting for the next thing to come.

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Time ran slowly to me, when, suddenly all lights were on, and appeared the birthday girls cake. I quicly unhooked of him, and went to the bathroom. When I came out, I found to Ariadna very smiley talking with many unknown girls to me. I got aside her and tried to talk her but she was ignoring me, the same as the other girls. I waited for them to finish talking. The others, turned to see me, laughed and left the place. Ariadna pretending, she hadnt see me, said to me: -Whats up? Lets go to the cake dont you?- and went ahead of me toward the table. I followed her walking rapidly.

-Where have you been?- asked her.

-Where?-answered very happy-. I was talking over there with Mariana Valverde, and Paulina del Olmo, didn't you saw me?

-Are you angry at me? -Angry?, why should I . -Because Eduardo the handsome asked me out to dance, and you wanted She started to laugh loudly and interrupted me. -didnt you know that he and his buddies made a bet to see who could get out to dance with the most ordinary girl at the party. I blushed, and completely amazed, answered her: -Oh no, I, the most ordinary? Of course I believed her and my face transformed of shame. Ariadna was smiling triumphantly from ear to ear. When she noticed I was anguished and unsecure because of her comment she smiled even further and gave me consoling pats on my back, saying:

-Such is life, my dear. No way.

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Such kind of comments would cause me a huge trauma and insecurity during a long time. It was hard to me to overcome such kind of slights, even more if they came from who I considered my best friend.

The rest of the party, I did not even want to see Eduardo again. I sat in a small corner where I was invisible to everybody and I stayed there. I noticed that he was looking for me. Ariadna was coming and going in front of him and his friends and she didnt even turn to see me. I went out of there like a phantom when my parents came to pick me up.

I was far away from understanding that such vile comment from my supposedly best friend, was pure furious envy against me.

Days later, my friend of the party, told me that Eduardo had asked my telephone number to Ariadna, but she had refused saying that he had say that I was very ordinary. She told that he was amazed and frowning denied having said such comment. Next, he turned furiously at Ariadna who was still flirting with him, and went out from the party.

Some years ago, both being already married, we met again by accident. We looked at each other strangely. As soon I recognized him, I couldnt repress a smile coming from my deepest memories. He smiled me as well, and each one followed their path. One good day, it occurred to me, to introduce Ariadna to The Baby. Immediately they started to make a solid team; they were laughing of everything and telling stories that seemed silly to me. By that time my dad was already very sick of the Diabetes. One afternoon, been alone the three of us at Babys house, I felt the need of being counseled and what better than from a good friend! I brought the issue of my dads illness to the talk, I talked about his weakness, and of his need to be more time at home and work less because of his delicate health. Before ending, The baby stood up and interrupted me so cruelly and saying: Your dad not worth anything and continued to talk to Ariadna. I kept speechless.

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Over time, the team of Ariadne and The baby got stronger, and more notorious. I could not understand what they may have in common. It was something like mine, but in another dimension; if sometimes I wanted to experiment with a certain morbid curiosity with The baby, Ariadna, meanwhile screamed to rebel and live the forbidden at maximum, and so she did, she have found the perfect teacher. In the blink of an eye, they became inseparables and started to leave me wide behind. I didnt longer knew if they if they continued seeing themselves, or which places they went, I just simply disappeared from their lifes. I remember that Ariadnas mom called to mine very worried, to tell her that the new friend was being a harmful influence to Ariadna because she had turned into a rude and rebel girl. Her mom was really alarmed. My mom was limited to tell that she should separate Ariadna from the bad influence of The Baby or otherwise she could loose the control over her daughter. It was when, my mom forbade me getting along with them, although, I would still seeing them secretly.

One night, Ariadna called me to say, that she was going to my house, to pick up the letter, she had written to God and that she had given me, because now, from one day to the next, the baby had become her best friend. I gave her all the letters she had given me, trying to keep some trace of our friendship trying her to repent. But seeing no reaction on her part, told her:

-I'm returning your letters, because, ultimately what you say in them, not worth anything.

She smiled, giving no importance to my words, took the letters and went away. It seemed that she was out of this world, like in another dimension. I could hardly believe that such a big friendship which we had raised and strengthened for so many years could disappear and that she would put Babys friendship on the same level in just a few days.

Months later I called her just to know if everything was all right, because there was negative rumors about the reputation and experiences about them, and I sitting on my rose cloud couldnt believe such rumors, especially, from Ariadna. She answered

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perfectly normal, like nothing had happened. We were about to turn fifteen and I still had Ariadna on top of my guest list, and in second place I had The Baby to invite them to my special Birthday dinner at a Restaurant located in the south of Mexico City, called Mauna-Loa. Despite all, I missed them a lot. I invited Ariadna, and she answered me, that she would be very glad going to my party. We talked about many things, and suddenly the Babys topic came to the surface. I told her that I was very hurt because they no longer invited me to go out with them but she blamed The Baby her new confident, confessing me that The Baby criticized me a lot and said I was an innocent nerd who didnt know how to deal with men, she also confessed me, the things she thought about the rest of my family, my parents, brothers, cousins, brothers in law, my house, my cars, breaking my heart in little pieces and burying the dagger right in my weakest point: my insecurity.

After hearing all this, I began to mourn without stopping. It hurt me so much, what she said about me and my complexes went up to the sky with all intensity. I lived many years waiting of what people might think about me; with the insecurity of getting on a car and not knowing how to turn on the stereo or to open the door and they thought I was an ignorant. Fearful and vulnerable, willing to endure such kind of aggressions and humiliations, just to be accepted by the people with I wanted to get along. Despite my naivety, I kept thinking after hanging the phone. I couldnt imagine, to The Baby talking of me and my family in such a bad way, and without Ariadna being talking about it. So I decided to call The Baby to ask her.

Indeed, The Baby accepted all without a hint of regret or shame, but she emphasized that Ariadna had also participated it. She said, that Ariadna had said half the things. The Baby feeling betrayed by Ariadna, proposed me to go her home to hear when she would claim her by phone. And so I did. I headed to her house, took the earphone from a bedroom while The Baby dialed Ariadna s number from another bedroom.

At first they were talking very happy, and then went straight to the point.

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-Hey, Elena called me telling me, that youd told her that I had criticized all her family and, that I had been the only one who did so. Is that true?

-Of course not! How you think I could do such thing, dude? Yes, I told her what we said about her family, but I told her that we both had said it.

-Then, why you told her If you and I, agreed not to say a word ever.

-Because, it came out of my mouth...and started laughing. -Hell no! How could you?poor dude. I really hope that you had told her, that we both did it. -Ohhh! Yes trust me, dont worry dude. Lets see if she stops to feeling the leader, dont you think? -Yes, poor. Well, just wanted to clarify. Bye. -Bye, Ill talk to you later. Despite all this I was thankful to The Baby, for having been solidary to me, and for having betrayed Ariadna. So, stupidly and blindly I continued considering her like my friend. They continued getting along. I never received again one call from them, despite, I constantly left them messages and I realized that they were refusing to answer.

When I turned fifteen, I had to change my friends. I invited my two best mates from childhood, Lilia and Maribel and to a third one named Amalia, who got along with me just for one powerful reason: she was dying of love for my brother and his friends. In turn she would introduced me with her cousin Alfonsa, who had the same intentions than her, and who would settle taking away my boyfriend just for one powerful reason: she was dying of love for my brother and his friends. In turn she would introduced me with her cousin Alfonsa, who had the same intentions than her, and who would settle taking away my boyfriend, and kiss him right in front of me. But this wouldnt be the last time that this would happen, years later, one of my friends from High School would marry my boyfriend from that time.

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Months later, I would find out that Ariadna and The Baby had broken their friendship forever. It was when the Pandoras Box was uncovered and I could know the real story. Ariadnas mom told my mom, among cries and screams, that her daughter was really bad, that she didnt know what she was consuming but her eyes got blank and suddenly fainted. That drank alcohol and smoked daily; that had attempted suicide by jumping from her window and with her earphones on, hed had to take out her from the catholic nuns school and she had ended into a bad reputation school, because she could not tolerate the discipline, and that she was hanging out with Harry and his buddies.

Her mom mentioned that Ariadna had invited The Baby to her fifteenth birthday dinner along with all her rebel gang and said they were prosaic and spoiled. She told my mom that they went wearing ripped jeans and sandals to a very fancy restaurant, were eating with their hands, were drinking the most expensive beverages and eructed at the table; that treated Ariadna and The Baby like sluts up to the point, that in an occasion her older brother had to defend her sister and had a fight with Harry. With the two struggling on the floor, Harry broke a bottle and nailed it on her sons eye. The older brother had ended at an emergency room, where, miraculously the doctors saved his eye. However the scar would remain for life, just as his soul wound.

The lady also tried to blame me, claiming to my mom about the bad friendships that I had, and asking her why I had introduced to Ariadna that depraved monster called The Baby. My mother never allowed this, and defended me by arguing that hadnt been my fault that her daughter would have searched an escape through such friendship. Besides, she reminded her, she had warned her about the danger of her daughters age in innumerable occasions, and that, she being her mother, had to put a stop at the first signs of such scandalous insubordination. When my mother told me all this, I was shocked. I was convinced that The Baby was the devil in person. I felt sorr y for Ariadna and hurt me a lot what she had been going through. Time after, Ariadna secretly, invited me to her birthdays dinner at her house. I went with a friend, but I told my mother another thing. I saw her, completely transformed and deranged. Had been attending to therapy and she became very slim and had her gaze empty, like in another dimension. She greeted me very smiley, ignoring, that I already knew everything that had happened to her. She was

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pretending being well, talked to me for two seconds without stop smiling and went to sit to other place. Her mom called me to greet me, gave me a big hug and asked me if my mom knew that I was at her home. I answered that not. She told me, that I shouldn t lie to my mother never again, and I should better go back to my home. You saw what it happened to Ariadna -remarked. I obeyed her and went out not before noting that she had aged a lot. That was the last time I saw Ariadna. What I did not know was that there was still much to be known. Being already in college, I met to Harrys younger brother. He was the boyfriend of a very tough classmate. One evening I was at my cl assmates kitchen talking with both, when Harry was mentioned it and immediately I relate d the name to Ariadna. I asked him if he knew her and answered laughing: -Dont tell me that you know the maid -The maid? - I asked him astonished. -Yeah, right, answered smiling-.Ariadna The maid was ugly, midget and fat, with a deformed body-made a pause while lighting a cigarette-. A greasy ball, with no waist nor neck, isnt she? -Wellyes, something like that- I answered amazed before such rude description. I realized that this guy was very much like his older brother, even in his appearance.

-Well, that chick was crazy of love about my brother. She was always threatening to commit suicide, throwing herself out the window, if he left her, and so she did it! The fat girl threw herself several times out of her window!- He was laughing loudly and turning to see his buddy - I think she rebounded back to her room ha, ha, ha,- my friend was laughing along with him. The ruffian Harry took advantage of her and put her to wash our shitted underwear and to cook, to clean the toilets, etcetera; I mean, all the things a maid does. Looking like thatwhat else could she do?

-Really?-.I was amazed, because I remember that in our houses, we never moved a finger to pick something, because we had maids who did the cleaning.

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Harrys brother and my friend didnt stop laughing, while she was asking him if the story was true, and he, barely able to talk, said yes. I also started to laugh of all that.

-Besides-, he continued-. She was very druggie. She was always high and drunk, we all fucked her, either conscious or unconscious, while Harry allowed itpoor wretch. I was very sorry for her anddisgust. She was a poor bastard willing to do anything, repressed slut with airs of fine girlbut, from where do you know that person- asked me, when he saw me astonished. -If you knew the decent person she was before meeting a witch nicknamed The Baby!- I told him, sadly. -Decent? - Asked me mockingly- I dont believe she had ever been decent!...The Baby!...exclaimed with disgusted face and faking throwing up. Visibly perturbed, kept silence for a second and stood still with eyes wide open, watching up front.

-Do you also know her? - Asked me- what a moron she is!. How you come here to remind me such a repulsive people? - Continued, laughing-. Hell no!, other of the ugly bitches dying of love of my brother- added with his monotonous voice tone while walking holding his girlfriends hand towards a dining rooms chair-. Besides, what kind of nickname is that? - Continued - The Baby ha! - said, making a silly voice. Thedrinker, might be. She is still a druggie and a drunk and she is so fucking fat. I dont know how my brother had the guts to fuck her. With what type of people you get along with!- concluded, pulling her girlfriend to put her over his legs and forgetting the subject completely.

-Poor chicks!- said my buddy laughing loudly- You stepped over the line! - I heard from afar.

I stood paralyzed at the kitchen, trying to digest everything I had just heard. I could not believe it. The things were really bad for Ariadna. I felt a chill on my back and thanked my mother in silence and with the heart in my hand, for having me rescued strong and bravely from that mud.

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Not satisfied after having witnessed so many disgraces, I accepted to continue getting along with the Baby. This fact would mark my way to interact with others, during innumerable decades: tolerate, be permissive, and not having been able to put limits in time or get respected although I wouldnt agree to something or although Id felt uncomfortable at any situation. As a result of this, I had accumulated hate and rancor on my chest for years, waiting for revenge of anyone who could hurt me.

Never, except in one occasion, I talked to the baby about this. I remember the day; Ariadnas subject came out to the talk. The only thing Baby told me about Ariadna was that she was crazy and that she felt sorry and sorrow for her, that sometimes she suddenly became possessed and her eyes turned in blank. That she was a drug addict and drunk and that she had kissed Harry under her eyes being him still her boyfriend. She mentioned that she had tried to commit suicide and that she had lost her virginity and reality. Since then, she had broken their friendship. We never talked about it again.

Despite all the obstacles my mom put me, and she was always aware of everything, I managed to keep seeing The Baby. She picked me up at the corner of my house driving her moms car and we went to go around. Obviously, she knew that my mother had banned our friendship, so she told her to her mother as well. One day, her mom called to my house reclaiming to my mom, who confirmed her that her daughter was a bad influence to me. Then, the witch very indignant, started to scream to my mother with a very rude vocabulary saying that my mom was a miserable person and hung up the phone.

It was at that time of conflicts and bad influences, when I met through The Baby, to one of the most controversial person of my adolescence. Her name was Lorenza and was our same age. It all started when The Baby told me she had met a chick who studied at The American College and that she was a slut, because had already fucked with everybody in high school, and junior school, and she had gone alone with three guys to Acapulco. One week later she knocked at my door, accompanied by a brunet girl, very chubby and smiley, it was Lorenza. I came out of my house and we went supposedly to do exercise walking by the street where I lived. That chick talked with a marked pocho accent. I thought that if she was the slut that baby had talked to me,

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what the hell I was doing with her now. But nothing coming from her could impress me; I rather would be impressed if she would have introduced me to somebody demure and well behaved.

We were walking by the street while Lorenza and The Baby were talking with a vocabulary worthy to blush the king of vulgarity. I thought they were two of a kind. I barely talked, because I didnt dare to speak nor the ten percent of the vulgarities that they were saying. Suddenly an Atlantic a brand car from VW, a popular car on the eighties in Mexico, got close to us. Three very handsome guys down the window and started to ask our names. I kept on walking with my face, red as an apple. Lorenza and The Baby followed the game. -Whats your name? - asked the guy sitting at the co pilots seat.

-What the fuck, do you care!- Lorenza replied laughing loudly, and faking that she was stumbling.

-They started laughing, and decided to follow us while driving slowly. -Why are you so rude, girl? Havent told you, youre really beautiful? -Go fuck yourself! - replied Lorenza yet mocking, and pretending she was running. I was really shocked and with my mouth wide open. Talking like that, to a completely unknowns! However, such shameless and insolent personality caught my attention and ultimately I liked it. Months before meeting Lorenza, I had prayed to God all nights asking him thatd put on my way to somebody more joyful than the shy and boring nerds with whom I got along, in and out of the school. It seemed God heard to my prayers, and sent me a storm coming out of the limits that I had known in my early fifteen years of age; a wind storm hungry for experiences of any type sweeping everything on his way, without any boundaries or measurements and with nobody who was aware of his life. As might be expected, since that moment, I hold on with all my strength to the tornado, and innocently I decided to fly along with him.

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I chose Lorenza as my dating teacher; she would be the one whod teach me how to get off with boys, to express myself, to drink beer, to smoke, to dress, to have my first drunkenness, how to rebel against my parents, and how to take me off the shackles, pretending that I didnt cared at all what others could say about me. Without even noticed it, I was getting into quick sands, and getting dirty of mud and grime.

The guys, who approached to us, swore that I was a fox just as my friends, because as the saying says: "Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.. They never could imagined, that the day when I drank beer so disinhibited and happy was the first time that I drank alcohol with guys and that I was dying of shame and wanted to spit out that bitter flavor of beer; they also couldnt have imagine that the red Marlboro that I was smoking was my first cigarette Id ever smoked in my life, neither that I didnt know how to smoke the cigarette or that the cough that caused me wasnt because I were sick, but because I was drowning with the smoke and the nicotine flavor and even less that I was virgin at hundred per cent of mind, body and spirit.

But sooner or later the true would come afloat. Although I was making my best to make them believe that I was just as experienced like Lorenza, it didnt worked. Our friends, being as adolescents as we, knew that Lorenza was far ahead of us. That couldve been the reason why nobody of them ever tried to abuse me. Like a saying says: one recognizes to one" and for more indecent that I wanted to be, the rose of my cheeks didnt vanish, not even time after hear obscenities and burps coming out from Lorenzas mouth. She knew very well with whom she was dealing, so much so she was embarrassed to confess me that she had already had sexual relations with several men and she denied it. Although she bought contraceptives just in front of me, she said that it was for the maid. As ridiculous as it may seem, I believed her and she knew that I believed her! Such was her insolence, that one afternoon they took me to Pablos house, her alleged boyfriend, they sat me at the living room, gave me a homosexuals pornographic magazine while were going upstairs and telling me that they wanted to talk in private. I obeyed them believing such a big lie, I remained sitting alone in the living room, I

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dont remember for how much time, but I do remember that I started to browse the magazine and my jaw fell down from the astonishment and disgust I felt seeing the pictures. My face was burning up to my ears. There were nudity pictures from homosexuals and lesbians in all imaginable postures; having sex in an endless orgyI wanted to run away from there! I got sick from my stomach, felt the heat coming up by my face and started to sweat, cause I never had seen something like that, not even similar! Those images stayed with me in memory as done with a chisel. I still remember the face expressions, the twisted bodies and the genitals exposed.

To make things worse, unexpectedly I heard the entrance door opening and I saw Isabel, who was Pablos sister, standing almost in front of me. I felt my breath lost and I had no other choice that throwing the magazine beneath one of the couches. She perfectly noticed what I was viewing at, and very surprised, she threw me a hurtful look.

-Where is Pablo? - asked me immediately. -Upstairs in his room- answered trembling of fear-; its talking to Lorenza upstairsinhis bedroom. She gestured annoyed, glanced rapidly to the couch where I had thrown the magazine and climbed upstairs towards Pablos room. I didnt knew what happened upstairs but I heard Isabels yells and remember to Lorenza and Pablo coming down minutes later, holding their hands and adjusting their clothes. -We have finished talking- said Pablo-, lets get out of here. -Next, Lorenza climbed over Pablos back and started lo laugh loudly. I stood up like a spring, sweaty and ashamed and followed them to the garages door. I didnt see his sister again and thanked God for it. I wouldnt have known what face to put if I had seen her again.

I remembered that my mom got furious each time she saw Lorenza coming to my home screaming my name and climbed over Pablos back.

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-What kind of ridiculous girl is she?-asked my mother with her face flushed like tomato, while peeking through the halls window. My mom couldnt fake her feelings. As a good northern, she was direct, sincere and disliked cheap politicking or hypocrisies. If any person seemed threaten her family, rapidly broke that relation. Besides, if something or somebody didnt like her, she openly demonstrated it and so it was with Lorenza and Pablo. Absolutely everything she predicted about the bad influences of the people with whom I got along and of my wooers that she deep down knew they were loutish, everything was fulfilled. Despite that my moms patience was about to explode, I kept seeing my friends circle. When we went to the movies I was very curious about Lorenzas way of sitting. Everything she did had to be cheap and ordinary, with the only intention to show off to the world that she didnt care anything about it. She brusquely putted her legs over Pablos legs, they spent the whole movie making noises and grunting like if they were having sex and laughing. If anybody dared to shut them up, Lorenza immediately jumped to insult the people or to tell them to go to a different place. People couldnt believe her behavior and she in response insulted them very ruthless. The people opted for changing their seats. I cant believe how she never bumped with somebody like her, who insulted her in the same way or gave her a slap. Or at least I never witnessed it. Pablo was always ready to satisfy Lorenzas caprices and exigencies, despite she treated him like a complete moron and was unfaithful to him with the first man that got in her way. When they fought she screamed and telling the worst vulgarities to him. I will never forget an occasion when we three were going out from Mc Donalds Polanco.

-Hey, but I give a fuck what others can say or think about us- Pablo was telling her very indignant.

-Ok well if you give a fuck what others say- then go fuck yourself, answered Lorenza with her pocha accent.

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-Fuck off! - answered Pablo annoyed and started to drive at a staggering pace.

Despite all this, Pablo seemed to be very in love with Lorenza and able to give his life for her. I now understand that their relationship was completely dysfunctional and co dependent. Pablo, with a very low self esteem and with a weak character, needed somebody scandalous calling the attention and making him feeling important, although this could lead him to the total denigration.

Soon, this relationship turned very peculiar because every afternoons, when I returned from my classes on my last months of third grade of mid school, Pablo and Lorenza picked me up to ride in their car, or to steal some stuff at the supermarket, -I remember Lorenza coming out with a chorizo hidden between her legs -, going for the Baby, eating junk food, listening music loudly from the car stereo, smoking, mocking to people, and singing the popular song Rock me Amadeus by Falco, everything was an adventure and random. Nothing was planned.

I felt rebellious, euphoric and irresistible. I was completely in another dimension and everything happening was magic for me. I was no longer the shy girl from the nuns school with outstanding grades and who felt intimidated when seeing a boy that liked her; now I felt like a great men conqueror, expert in the art of love, audacious, funny and vulgar. We frequently visited some of their friends who studied in a school named CEM, where all the laziest and disqualified students coming from the private schools were accepted. The same students used to joke saying that the meaning or the initials was: Packaging center for marihuana (for its meaning in Spanish).

Many times I doubted if Lorenza was really studying at the American College because the only thing she was doing was wasting her time with Pablo and spending his money; she never had homework or some responsibility to do. Today I know it was true and that she had been fired from the school several times due to her misconduct with boys and due to the lack of payment.

Everything was new for me. I never imagined that society would condemn me in such a drastic way, and that many time after Lorenza faded from the map, Id still

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paying the consequences and I would work a lot cleaning my stained reputation. In other words, I was completely proscribed from my social circle due to those bad influences. All the people who knew me were speechless seeing such kind of transformation.

Suitors were coming and going to my home; suitors called me from all over the world; wherever I went I attracted a lot of attention and they approached me to ask my phone number. Of course I was delighted. I started to dress flashily and fancy, I started to wear make up, I had a different hair cut, I transformed myself. I wanted to eat the whole world and that everybody noticed about my existence.

There were a lot of signals that told me that Lorenza, besides her bad reputation with men was actually envious, bad person, and a pervert friend, but I didnt want to see them. I remember that one of the first places that I went with Pablo and Lorenza was a fairground and over there was a very handsome American boy who didnt stop to watch me and to following me everywhere. Later he approached me and we talked for a few minutes. Lorenza was talking in secret with Pablo very close to us and was mocking of my English that by the way was very good despite I had never studied in a bilingual school. Since very little I studied English with my mom during the elementary school, and later I joined the Anglo-Mexican Institute of Culture to continue my studiesof the English Language, such institute was located at Antonio Caso Street. The gringo ended asking my phone number and told me he would call me. When we left the fairground I told them the excited I was because that guy had asked me my phone number and he had liked me a lot. -Do you think, he liked you, blondie? I did it! The thing is he couldnt approach me because I was with this hindrance of Pablo.

-Hey! - Pablo exclaimed pretending annoyance. -Well what do you want? Im gorgeous. -Then why he asked my phone number? I asked her, realizing that she was jealous of me

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-Come on! Well, to call you for then ask my phone number. The gringo actually called me, and he never mentioned Lorenza, but I never dated him, I dont remember the reason. In mid-1986, Mexico organized the Mexico 86 soccer world cup, and Mexico City was full of people from all over the world. It was a good moment to meet some handsome guys at the Zona Rosa, Polanco district, downtown or The Angel where we went to cheer and celebrate the Mexican team triumphs and of course, to hook up guys, all my self esteem and personal success was based on whom I will conquer that day; when the most handsome guy of the group approached me and I was Miss Triumphant for the rest of the evening, I felt superior and I showed off completely.

One of these evenings at the Independence Angel Monument (the most important monument in Mexico City), Lorenza found a friend of hers named Pepe, son of an Automotive Agency owner. Without asking my opinion, Lorenza gave him my phone number when he asked for it. Pepe looked to me like a sand-colored teddy bear; there wasnt in him a hint of attractiveness. He was eighteen, too whitey and with a lot of acne on his face, fatty, reddish and unattractive. Obviously he had the newest cars and was a braggart. However he got two friends, one named Carlos - for whom Lorenza died of love- he was brown, handsome and athletic, the other one was Luis, blonde and also very handsome and sympathetic.

One morning Pepe invited me to see a soccer game that would take place at the Aztec Stadium. When we arrived, told me we would go to his Fathers private suite inside the stadium. Half an hour later I was terribly bored sitting over there, with his nothing sympathetic family, and listening the cheers and the mess of the people in the stadium, so I asked him if we could join the rest of the crowd below us and he agreed. In such game there was playing Argentina against England. I will never forget the moment when we were going down by the stairs toward the general tribunes, we heard a deafening scream; the crowd was wildly cheering, but we couldnt see what was going on. Minutes later we realized that Maradona had just scored a goal, but helped with his hand, the same that later would be declared the best goal of the tournament. Later Diego Armando Maradona would declare which had been the Gods hand.

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Each time Pepe left me at my home, made a pause to say me how much I liked to him and asked me to be his girlfriend, to which I answered with a resounding but kindly no. he disliked this situation and each time was becoming more insistent. Lorenza was his allied and she also was trying to convince me, talking about his cars and money, but I didnt feel attracted to him at all.

Feeling defeated, Pepe invited Lorenza and me to eat at his home. They had agreed to make me spend a hellish afternoon. Their home occupied an entire block in Polanco district. There were several elder people than us in the house. When I arrived, I remember had seen a huge garage where several cars were perfectly parked and being waxed by its drivers. The house also had tennis courts and a pool. Some of the guests were playing tennis; others were swimming and some others were eating. Among the guests, was a Pepes friend who was the typical new rich guy with no class. A browned skin guy with bad smell, who felt like the king of the universe only for having a Mercedez Benz when he was only seventeen, arrogant and boastful, he was part of the agreement between Lorenza and Pepe and all the afternoon he was trying to denigrate me,. This guy, also named Pepe, immediately started to treat me like a whore, without even knowing me. We were all sitting on the side of the bedrooms window that was in front of the pool, and they began to ask me for throwing me to the pool. Carlos was also among them. Lorenza said that if I dared to throw dressed, she would follow me. But as I wanted to be funny I threw me dressed, but surprisingly Lorenza didnt follow me, instead started to scream saying that I was an idiot who only was trying to call the attention. Everybody were mocking me, and saying I was cheap. Carlos also threw himself and approached watching my head. -I knew that your blonde hair wasnt natural and it is painted - said trying to look down on me and got away from there. I had never dyed my hair. I couldnt believe it, but despite all these, I continued the joke and stayed swimming for a while.

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When I left the pool, I asked a towel to Pepe but he told me that he hadnt any that I should walk toward the locker rooms at the bottom of the house to wait for him. Soaked and shaky I went to where he told me. I came in through a corridor, when suddenly I heard screams and peals of laughter coming from the pool to the locker room. Seconds later, Lorenza and the two Pepes were pushing Manuel, Pepes youngest brother inside the locker room and locked the door. From outside, Pepe yelled me:

-There it is your heater so you will not get cold! We leave you alone, so you can rub to each other.

Then I heard everybody laughing and getting away from there. I turned to see Manuel with my eyes wide open and shrunken from the cold, he gazed at me with the shame reflected in his eyes. He seemed a lot more respectful and conscious than his brother. He shook ones head and began to punch the door screaming to his brother asking him to open the door. I stayed leaning in a corner. Tired of hitting the door, he sat over the floor.

-Those guys are jerks- exclaimed nervously-, how could they leave us locked here? I didnt answer him. From time to time, somebody passed by screaming through the slits: -Are you still having cold or do you need more time? The Hot Dogs are very good isnt it? And he went away. Each time someone approached, Manuel stood up screaming to Pepe: -Hey idiot! Get us out of here! Open the door! But nobody cared. I dont know how much time we were locked there , but I do remember being sitting when they came to open the door. Manuel got out like a bullet, but they didnt allow me to pass. Everybody were laughing and asking me how it all was. I was also laughing because of the joke, but I was dying for being back at my home; I had cold, thirsty and hungry. The rest of the afternoon, nobody offered me

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something to drink or eat not even a towel to dry me. When I asked for a glass of water, they denied saying they had any.

Not pleased with the way they had treated me, the next day Pepe invented that I was a whore who had had sex with his brother in the lockers of their house. To make matters worse, two sisters who were descendants from Spanish on second grade, but still speaking with the z, and felt like the elite of the Spanish Society in Mexico, were studying at the Mexican Regina Institute where I would enter months later to study the High School. Their mom was the typical arrogant lady from an elegant suburb named Polanco and which only purposed on life was to marry their daughters with some millionaire from the Spanish community who could provide them with the high level of live they thought they deserve. And Pepe was the perfect prospect.

The none attractive daughters, used to walk in front of Pepe during the Sunday mass at San Agustin church also located at Polanco. They smiled faking i nnocence and all days and afternoons they passed in front of Pepes house to see if casually Pepe came across with them. This gossip reached the sisters ears coming from Pepes mouth. The youngest sister, who I nicknamed The Walrus because of her resemblance with this animal, she was false and hypocrite as few. As soon I got into first grade of High School, she took care of tell to everybody that I was a complete whore, repeating what Pepe had said about me. Like everything in life, there were those who believed her and others do not, because they already knew the kind of person she was, and the nonsenses she used to say.

The rest of that afternoon, I had to tolerate the mocking and humiliations coming from everybody. The guy with the Mercedes Benz asked me where do I lived, I answered him that in Tecamachalco ( a suburb nearby Lomas and Polanco) but he mocked of me. A middle age sir who was playing tennis heard the conversation and said; I also live in Tecamachalco, whats wrong with it?

Having nothing more to tell me and muted by the tennis player, he just said: -Im sure you live in the ugliest house of Tecamachalco. Besides, you are not natural blonde and you dye your hair.

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-You are wrong- I still answered-. I can show you pictures when I was a baby it was almost white. Natural blondes have their hair in different tones. Its always clearer the tone that is exposed to the light sun. In the inside is darker.

-Oh really? And what can you tell about the brand of your clothes? It is from the flea market? I dont know which brand is, and I dont give a damn.

He stretched his hand and turned up my overol neck to see the tag. My clothes were not from renowned brands. At that time many youngsters were used to buy marvelous clothes coming from the USA in a street market that hold only on weekends at the third section of Chapultepec the biggest and traditional park of Mexico City. Some clothes, like for an example jeans were from renowned brands, others dont, but nobody cared about it. He turned to see me, and mocking of me dried his hand at the handrail. -You are cheap. You talk nothing more than vulgarities. Talking to you or with an inflatable doll it is the same. -Inflatable doll? Whats that? I asked him. -Come on! You know, the dolls that men use to fuck. They have a hole. Youre nothing more than that. I got a Mercedes Benz and I live here in Polanco, my dad has bunches of money and we belong to the highest social class, ok? He looked at me mockingly and sipped his drink. As usual, I laughed faking like nothing had happened and that I didnt care whatever they had told me. That was my shield before any aggression, the same that kept me vomiting during more than twenty years; to be able to heal the resentments and grudges I had accumulated for not having been able to defend myself at the right moment.

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When the night had come, I remember that I got on the back seat of Pepes car, he would drive and Lorenza would be her co-pilot. Before stepping into the car, Pepe jumped when he saw me and returned to the house for then coming back with a towel in his hand. I thought that he finally would give it to me, but instead he brusquely asked me to getting down of the car and put the towel over the seat, so I wouldnt wet the seat.

All the way back, Lorenza kept talking with Pepe about me, but in third person.

-Poor, she is so stupid. She imitates me all the time, she has no personality. She talks like me, scream like me, Im her idol, can you imagine? What laziness! Wherever we go, she does whatever I say to -Yes, poor -Pepe continued-. She feels inferior to us, and thats why she wants to be like you, although I dont believe she will get it.

-Come on! Of course not, never!

Then they turned up the volume of the stereo while were singing, making signs and laughing. We arrived to Lorenzas house at Reforma Lomas , a very elegant suburb in Mexico City. I was subjugated and with my moral on the floor. I didnt feel like talking, and though my clothes were almost dry I was still trembling of cold. My endurance for both physical and psychological pain was impressive. I got out of the car very anguished and went walking towards the house door. Lorenza and Pepe stayed into the car talking for a long time. I was wondering if she would be capable to leave me out of her rickety house.

When they finally said goodbye, Lorenza opened her house door without even turn to see me, but I quickly entered after her. Next, she got into her room slamming the door and locking it.

I stayed alone, sitting on a couch over the hall and called by phone to my friend who, by the way had introduced me to Lorenza and asked her if she could go to pick me up. On my way to my home, I told her everything had happened to me, she just couldnt believe me, so she confessed me that her dad had forbidden her to see Lorenza again.

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The next time I saw Pepe was when I lost a ridiculous bet that he and I had made, obviously he had the ninety-nine percent chances of winning. I had gone to cut my hair to Thomas Hair Studio the most luxurious and prestigious hair salon at the time, I had save money during months. It was the coolest thing to say that you had gone to cut your hair tothat Hair Salon. Coming out from the Hair Salon, Pepe saw me and that was when he proposed me the bet about my new cut hair. I said yes, pretending indifference. By the end of the week and after spending an exorbitant amount of money, I was cutting my hair at a cheap barber shop to pay the stupid bet. He was laughing and mocking of me once again.

The day following the disastrous dinner, Lorenza phoned me early in the morning with her vulgar vocabulary like nothing had happened. I was very hurt by her but I didnt tell her anything, she told me she would pick me up with Pablo in half an hour. To convince myself to go with them, I lied to myself that the things happened yesterday hadnt been so serious and I was overreacting. Once I believed it, I jumped and started to get ready to meet them at the corner of my house. Over there they picked me up and we headed towards Plaza Polanco, which was the newest mall at that time. As soon as Pablo parked, both jumped down from the car. Pablo opened the cars trunk and started to laugh watching something that was inside. She was screaming faking like if she was having sex on the street. Without knowing what was going on, I got down from the car to take a glance on the cars trunk to see what was inside, I could barely distinguished a long yellow artifact and some pomades into a plastic bag. Pablo took out the artifact and opened it from the bottom and saying that had no batteries on it. She didnt stop screaming and laughing. I didnt understand anything. Then, he took out one of the pomades and put it close to my face so I could read the label. It said something like erect.

-Erect?- I asked surprised- Pablo was hiding the pomade as it was drug or something prohibited by the police. -Yes, erect dont you get it? E r e c t i o n peniserection pomade

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-What? -I asked astonished- such a thing does really exist? Let me check. I tried to pull it out from him, but he didnt let me. He put again the pomade into the bag, took the artifact and closed the trunks door.

-You better take this- said to me giving me the long yellow artifact while Lorenza was bending of laugh.

-Ok-, and I started to walk all over the mall with the artifact in my hand, moving it like a rattle while they were smiling. I liked to make them laugh, and of course, to have fun.

Back at my home, they explained me for what was used for, and that its name was vibrator, I almost threw up from disgust and I washed my hands with alcohol. It was almost the end of the school year and the most expected party would take place it would be named Amadeus in honor of the mentioned song of the moment. The invitation had the shape of a pack of cigarettes with a mysterious monk mask printed on the front, all was yellow and black colored. Students from the most liberal schools in Mexico like the American College, the CEM, the Franc-English Institute, the Eton, and the Hamilton etc. were fighting for having an invitation of the valuable pack of Amadeus. Lorenza and Pablo got us tickets to the Baby and me and we were very happy. That day I took out my best outfits, I borrowed my two new dresses flans style (2) -with long coats with huge shoulders, very stuck and long skirts, and loose blouses what was in vogue at the moment, and lent them to Lorenza and The Baby- and I wore the old and knitted dress that Lorenza used everyday. We poured the complete hairspray can over our hair to get the stiff hair and fringed edge look, we painted with blue eyeliner and colored our mouths with pearly pink lipstick; we poured the bottle of Anais Anais perfume and ready!, the three would go to the most expected party of the year.

By that time, my parents usually picked me up from the parties at midnight. Of course Lorenza and The Baby could arrive at the time they wanted or not arrive at all.

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There was a rumor that a group of rude and conflictive girls leaded by a girl named Emma owner of a scandalous fame no less than Lorenza, want to punch the baby, which it meant we would need to defend her, so, that meant that they will punch to the three of us. I never in my life had been involved in a street fight. When we were ready, we went to Lorenzas house so Pablo could pick us up there. When we arrive, their mom was beating and shouting to his brother, in a grotesque way like I had never heard before. Not daring to enter the house, we crouched among the cars to hear the fight. The shouts could be heard up to the street. -What do you want, stupid drug addict? Youre useless! Get away from this house if youre not going to do anything, son of a bitch! -Mom

-My mom your ass! How could I have a fucking drug addict and alcoholic for son? -Their mom continued with her vulgar vocabulary-, youre such an ass hole! You smell like ass! Come on, get out of here and pimp yourself, so you can buy your damn drug without fucking me off! You must be gayloafer. We heard strong punches, kicks and the cries from Lorenzas brother each time he received one. He was about seventeen years old. I was in panic. Lorenza said us with signs that we should wait for Pablo outside the house. We went out on tiptoe. It was nine p.m. and the insults and punches continued for a long time. Lorenzas mother was the cheapest and vulgar person I had ever known. She was brown and had her hair colored of fluorescent yellow, her lips were always red, and she was always wearing extravagant dresses with low neckline up to the belly button. She greeted him with the middle finger vulgar sign. I never met Lorenza s father, because he didnt live with them. In fact, seemed not to have a father, she never mentioned him. When I asked her about it, she always said he was travelling. However, I guess somebody had to help them to pay the house bills for keep renting a house located at Reforma Lomas, one of the most expensive suburbs in Mexico City, besides, Lorenza

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and her brother had attended the American College, one of the most expensive colleges in Mexico City.

I never knew if her mom had one or several lovers supporting her, or if it was true that she had a real husband or ex husband, because she didnt work at all and spent the days smoking and talking by phone saying a lot of vulgarities with her silk coat on. She did not cook, didnt go to the supermarket, didnt pick up their sons from school and she never knew where their sons were.

The first time I invited Lorenza to have dinner at my home; my mom had cooked the most easy to do meal. Even so, she couldnt believe that we could eat the three courses: soup, main dish and dessert and everything home made! For her that was a delicacy. Commonly, she didnt eat formally, she used to steal things from the supermarkets or her lover or boyfriend in turn invited her to eat some fast food, like tacos or hamburgers at anytime of the day. Besides, entering to their house you could notice the total mess where they were living. They had almost no furniture, the few they had were old and rusty; it seemed like they were living in other place and that they only had the basic things for living, and ready to get away from there at any time. Despite the suburb where they lived, Lorenza always wore the same old dress, the same I was wearing that night, and a pair of old and dirty sneakers with white socks. She always got her nails dirties and bitten. There were some big contrasts between her daily living and a total abandonment.

Pablo picked up us, and all the way to the party they were insulting and arguing each other. When we arrived, she jumped out from the car because she was peeing and without any shyness, she pulled down her panties on the street just in front of the house and started to pee at a corner. The street was full of people just feet away.

Pablo stepped out from the car some seconds later, at the same time that ours; he took out something from the cars trunk and shouted to Lorenza: Im going to commit suicide Lorenza! Is that what you want? I love you! next, we real ized that he had a gun in his hand and was getting closer to her. The Baby and I were shouting him not to do it,

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while bending down and covering ourselves behind the car just to not see the scene. He went where Lorenza was and without caring that he was in front of everybody he put the gun inside his mouth. Lorenza shouted him rudeness and got inside the house.

The door was barely open and curiously nobody was looking at the tragedy happening a few feet away. Besides, the few who noticed it didnt care a damn. It was like if they were accustomed to see a gun inside somebodys mouth. Everything was happening intensely and very rapidly.

Pablo returned furiously to the car where The Baby and I were still hidden, opened the trunk, threw the gun and got into the party looking for Lorenza, not before heard some insults because he didnt respect the row. The Baby and I got in right after him.

Emma was a very tall girl and also very rude, so the three were trembling for fear and watching our backs. The party took place at Alcazar de Toledo Street in Reforma Lomas suburb. As expected, the assistants were not only rebels and liberals, but they also had a lot of money and felt like the owners of the whole world. Such was the case of Pablo, who also lived in a beautiful house located at a corner in Palmas street in Reforma Lomas suburb. When ignorance meets money is very dangerous, is a lethal weapon.

Inside the house down in the basement, they had installed a huge dance floor with lights, sound and ornaments hanging from the roof. Everything was decorated with the Amadeus packs of cigarettes and on the walls there were gigantic posters with the logo of the group Falco. They were hired the best Djs from the best clubs of Mexico City, who were performing their best mixes and setting the mood of the party. The party theme Rock me Amadeus was constantly sounding each sixty minutes, it was madness! Everybody singing and dancing like crazies each time we heard it.

It was also a gigantic drink bar with ice, snacks and sodas. Waiters were coming and going serving drinks in disposable drinking glasses. The house was quickly crowded; the mood was turning heavy. The Baby and I found Lorenza and Pablo kissing each other in a corner of the dance floor and we better went away from there. Minutes

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later, Saul, Pablos best friend came to the party and The Baby went with him so I stayed alone like a fungus. I was hanging around all over the place but nobody was turning to see me.

At those times it was used that boys take out girls to dance and for any reason a girl should dance alone, because immediately you were marked as a slutty. But in that party, seemed not to be used it, because I was seeing girls dancing alone or in groups at the dance floor, but I didnt dare to do it. Everybody in the party was in their own environment, with their group of friends. My wait became long and bored. Nobody came for taking me out to dance.

In an occasion when the three of us meet at the stairs, we saw from afar to Emma and our legs started to shake. Each one went to their hidden but the one that I choose result the worst, because was the exactly one that she chose. What happened next seems part of a script from a cartoon in fast motion. I hid behind a door that Emma pushed from the top, but the door was half opened, so I bend down and she slammed the door over my head. I went out running from there and walked away. When I turned back, I watched one of Emmas friends pointing to where I was and both started to walk towards me, so I rushed my walking and managed to hide me in a corner while they went by.

The last thing that happened was that I felt a hard push by my back when I was going down the stairs towards the dance floor. I never knew who had been, but of course I thought about Emma. I fell down seated on a chair that was under the stairs and started to laugh out of fear and nerves.

Almost at midnight, when I came out of the house to see if my parents had arrived to pick me up, I found The Baby seated over Sauls legs and kissing and crying with her mascara smudged over her cheeks. She told me that Emma had just punched her on the face. I went back inside to the party and suddenly a guy with his eyes red as a semaphore started to talk to me. Minutes later my parents came to. My mother got into the house to search me to where I was and grabbed me from my arm and with a furious glance that I will never forget. Without saying a word, pulled me out from there hardly and then I found my father stood up waiting for me at the street. When we went towards

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the car, one of the drunken teenagers shouted to my father: So long father in law! I felt furious hearing how this disrespectful guy shouted that to a respectable sir like my father.

-You and your little friends! - My mom shouted choleric when we were inside the car- The Baby snogging over a guy legs at the entrance of the house, what a show! Dont you realize?, the drunk guy with whom I found you was also drugged, he barely could stand up! Is this the environment that you like? For god sake Elena youre only fifteen years old!, all these irreverent brats are daddys boys they dont care about anything. You have another kind of background, you need to understand it! Here are no moral, no respect, there is nothing-! My mother took a deep breath and her red cheeks seemed about to explode- neither The Baby or Lorenza return again to my home, did you hear me?, you are forbidden to get along with this gals, and I dont want that you never see them again in your life!

The next time that Lorenza dared to go to my house my mom kicked her out.

My dad and I were in silence. At that moment, I felt like my world of enjoyment, cars, fun and my chances to meet guys by bunches had crumbled. I hated my mother, and made the purpose to continue seeing Lorenza and The Baby. Such was my foolishness that I did it so.

Years later, I would thank my mother the furious and firm battle that she did for taking me out of that environment at my early youth; she pulled me far away from the hole in which I was about to fall without even knowing it. My obsession blinded me completely. I know that I would never become what Im now without her determination and character.

One morning being at the school, The Baby suggested not entering classes. I had never done such thing before, so I found the idea irresistible, we jumped over a very high fence that was in the backyard and we ran directly to Sanborns a coffee shop/bar and store nearby the school. Once there, we sat to watching each others face because we had nothing else to do. The Baby had the idea to call Saul, Pablos best friend and the three ended up at the Bar of such store at eleven a.m. Of course we were the only

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costumers. The Baby and Saul started to kiss each other and I was afraid to drink some alcoholic beverage and return to school with alcoholic breath, so I went to read some magazines and greeting cards.

When I came back to the bar, Lorenza was completely drunk and Saul was almost carrying her. We headed to the parking lot, for Lorenza wouldnt return drunk to the school. Suddenly Lorenza didnt reach the bathroom and started to throw up right there. She soaked all her uniform and the entire ambience started to smell of vomit and alcohol. Obviously she couldnt go to the school on those conditions. I told Saul that he must stay there taking care of Lorenza until the exit hour and that I would return by walking to the school.

I got into the school through the back door, where the parking lot of the school buses was, with my heart jumping in my chest. Once inside the school I found out that the teachers had been searching me for inviting me to take part in a spelling contest representing the school. When I got into the principals office I promised not to go away again from the school for the rest of my life. The principal mother was waiting for me along with my spelling teacher and my redaction teacher to give me the details of the contest. I was trembling just of thinking that I was about to drink a beer at the Sanborns bar just moments before and I was grateful to God that I didnt. -Where were you Elenita? - asked me the principal mother. You didnt enter Miss Cristina class and we searched you everywhere. That kind of behavior is very abnormal in you. -I felt sick mother, thats why I went to the bathroom and then I was just walking by the school yard. Forgive me please. Of course they didnt believe me. Even so I still represented the school in such contest, but I didnt study almost nothing because I was very sure of myself. In consequence I lost the first place. My mind was into everything but not where it should be. That was the way like my brilliant grades and excellency rewards, remained in the third grade of middle school. From then on, I never returned to be the outstanding student that I was during all those years.

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Months after this incident, being in final exams of my last middle school year, I had gone out with my bad friends and I hadnt studied for my physics exam. When I had the exam in front of me, I faked that I was feeling dizzy and asked permission for going to the bathroom. Once out of the classroom I had no other chance than fake that I was fainting and threw myself on the stairs and hit my head against the wall in front of two nuns who were coming directly to where I was. They carried me and took me to the infirmary.

I was allowed to present the exam on the next day. That afternoon I studied and I passed the exam with ten (A), that were the last remains of what once had been an outstanding and responsible student.

The Baby appeared at the school until the next day of the drunkenness and saying that she didnt remember anything. That was the last time I took part of one of he r many tricks. I took revenge from all the horrifying things she had said about me to Ariadna by betraying her, just as she had betray me with Lorenza telling her all the nonsenses that she had told me about her reputation before I met her. We went to confront her to her house but the Baby started to yell and denied everything. At the end her dad kicked us out of his house. During many years I didnt know anything about her.

After my mom kicked out to Lorenza and Pablo we start to distance ourselves. My dad passed away and none of the three my supposedly great friends were present at the funeral to comfort me. Actually I was with Lorenza and Pablo in Mazatlan when I received the notice about my father and had to go back to Mexico City. They stayed one more month and they didnt even call me by phone.

Months later, I found out that Lorenza had gone to live to La Joya, San Diego I mailed her a letter telling her how much I missed our adventures and the fun we had. She replied me that she didnt want to see me again. Two years later I received a letter from her telling me the much that she wanted me and that she had valued my friendship being out from Mexico. She sent me some photos of her. I never replied her.

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From Pablo I knew that he had gone to live out from Mexico for some years because the police was looking for him blaming him of stealing silver and gold. That, gave me the answer why he always were carrying and spending so much money without having a job and wasting all the money with Lorenza.

I lasted several months to remove my bad influences that I had while I was living immersed in those environments. The gossips started to flow like a river without a caudal. Ex neighbors from the military residential zone and other people told my brother that I had a terrible fame everywhere. We started to receive anonymous phone calls from guys saying that I was a hooker and some of them dared to pass in front of my house on his cars and yelling me all kind of insults. To my other friends her parents prohibited them my friendship and got to the point of kick me out of their houses. They told me that I was paying the price for hanging out with the biggest hooker of all times. When I went on vacation to Mazatlan, my relatives from my moms side also disrespected me or insulted me in front of me. Specially one of them with whom I had grown since I was little girl and who I loved a lot, he liked to call me hucker because he didnt know how to pronounce the word in English. When I arrived early on the morning from a discotheque they blasphemed me assuring that I had spent the night with a Canadian guy in his hotel room, without having any proof of that. One of my cousins who was much older than me, said I had lost my virginity with his son who was only fifteen years old and kicked me out of her house, having to his husband as an allied of my friends for annoying me and to ridicule me each time I went to visit them. He even dared to say in front of my sister that I was going to get laid with a cousin of Monterrey, Mexico who was about to married. My sister didnt say a single word to defend me. When I told my mother about all these gossips, she just answered me: how rude is your cousin! Days after, my mom and my cousin talked by phone as if nothing had happened. My uncle from my moms side told me in front of all my family that I had a terrible fame and that I had already got laid with all my cousins. But nobody seemed to listen.

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Another cousin very much older than me, prosaic as few, irreverent, and violent, started to bother me since I was fifteen years old. He dialed my homes phone and when I picked up the auricular, he asked me: how many lovers have you had? Or sometime I found him talking to my mother in my homes living room when I was arriving from some place and he told my mom: Look aunt, she is coming from the Hotel. My mother laughed at his jokes. She felt between the rock and a hard place and didnt want to confront her relatives, to stop them, to give me my place as her daughter. After enduring the insolences of my cousin, one day I got tired and started to hang up the phone and to ignore him each time I saw him in person. Insults and aggressiveness everywhere, the same that I resisted just to keep the party on and pretending to be what I was not.

With my relatives from my father side was the same history. My cousins pretended to be open and liberals and they took out information about my boyfriends and the places that I frequented, for then, transform, lie and over do the things that I had tell them, criticizing me behind my back and saying that I was an easy girl and that I wanted to look just as Gloria Trevi (a famous Mexican singer known by her extravagances). Of course I wasnt a white dove; yes I drank alcoholic beverages, I dressed flashy with mini skirts and necklines, I was loud and liked to have fun also I said vulgarities, behaving in that way I couldnt expect that people thought about me in a different way.

Even so, each experience is a new chance to learn. Of all this I learned a big truth. Of all my relatives who said the worst atrocities about my person, none of them are an example to follow. All of them without exception had a long tail to walk on it. Thats the way that kind of people are. They overreacted and got scared of situations much less scandalous than some that they have committed in their past or are still committing.

Despite so much defamation I continued going to parties, gatherings, cocktails and discotheques with new friends; I started smoking and made myself a fame of good drinker, so it was very common that I organized competitions to see who could win me

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to drink faster a cuba in one gulp. I was nicknamed Elebria and that made me feel proud and funny.

Of course I had chosen a new group of friends, conflictive people from everywhere, egocentrics and rebels. Other kind of people seemed bored to me. It was a flattery for me knowing that complicated people wanted to get along with me, that they related me with fun and mess and that they consider me a superficial and adventuress woman. -Hey Elena- I dont understand you, told me a pretender while being in a bar. If you come from a good family, you are very cool and even feminine. Why do you insist being vulgar? Talking all that rudeness? It doesnt go with you, you look bad. Also you should quit smoking and drinking on that way. At that moment I kept speechless. Maybe that guy will never know. But Im very grateful to him, for having said that comment. Since that night I thought seriously about his point and Lorenzos influence vanished immediately. I realized I had no need to talk rudely to call the attention. If by nature, I was born joyful and sociable, I understood that I hadnt any reason to smoke except for feeling me more important, because I didnt even liked to smoke and as an sportswoman, I was just affecting my physical condition unnecessarily. I concluded that I had no need to drink wildly just to be The Funny of the parties and pretending that I was very rude and that I was a good drinker. I felt better drinking moderately and conscious of my condition, than when I ended stumbling or unconscious and throwing up in the bathroom. Besides I dont needed to drink alcohol for having fun or to disinhibit me. Since then and despite I took many years, I started to rediscover my real essence and became myself again.

Seven long years passed. I was in the middle of my college career when one day I was intrigued for knowing where Pablo was, I dialed his phone number and he answered me. Rapidly he went to my house and we started to remember old times. Suddenly he asked me for a Bible and started to read some verses. At the beginning I

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didnt know if he was joking, but soon I realized that he was acting seriously. I thought that he had changed a lot during those years. My mother didnt even recognize him.

I invited him and to his friend Saul to one of my birthday parties, He started to tell me in detail all his intimacies that he had done with Lorenza at the movies, in the streets and in their houses and I felt very angry of having been so nave in believing all their lies. We started to talk each other very often, but what I was doing frequenting a sick guy like Pablo?

As by telepathy, one day I received an unexpected call. It was Lorenza who was in Mexico, I couldnt believe it! She was staying at the Nikko Hotel and asked me to see her, because she had already two sons and wanted me too meet them. I talk to Pablo immediately and we agreed to see us at the Hotel lobby. We both were dying of curiosity to see if Lorenza had changed, but we never imagined what we were about to see.

From the elevator came out a young brunette, slim and well dressed walking toward us. She had long and straight hair; she was wearing necklace and golden bracelets, black pants Capri style and an Armani silk blouse. She was walking straight with her high heels shoes, was perfectly made up and had long and nails impeccable painted. Pablo and I could hardly believe what we were watchingit was Lorenza! We had no doubt about it.

She came up to me and gave me a big hug. To Pablo she treated him more coldly. She sat down at the table and we both kept watching to each other in silence for a long time. -How youve changed! Who are you ? - I asked her astonished-. -Now, Im a lady and mother of two children. She answered ashamed. -But who is the man who you married?-I asked intrigued. -Im not married. Answered laughing I live alone at Tijuana in a big penthouse and I have a jaguar parked in the garage.

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-Do you work?-Pablo asked fearfully. -Me? - She laughed out loudly-No way! The father of my children sustains me. -The father of my children? I thought to myself, What does she want to mean with that? She saw me and read my thoughts. -Its a long story. I will tell you later. She told me smiling. But tell me how have you been? Lorenzas transformation was stunning. In almost one minute of conversation she had just said one rudeness, when, seven years before of twenty words she had said, nineteen would be rudeness. She didnt smoke anymore nor chewed gum vulgarly, nor opened her legs while sitting. She was a totally different person. It seemed like she had enrolled in an intensive good manners course.

-Would you like something to drink? - Pablo asked to her clumsily, pretending he was no nervous. I dont drink either Pablo. It doesnt make any sense to me. -What? - I asked amazed, now it results that my smoking and drinking teacher is a boring and saint person. What happen, dont you get drunk like before? - I asked her.

-Oh yes but just once a month and in private- she answered me.

-Ok, well this will be your binge of the month!- I said lifting my glass.

Lorenza laughed loudly and expressively like before and then I could remember her very well. She just was looking to Pablo and me very fast without knowing how to act. - Ok, It sounds good to me; lets remember the good old times, she said, while calling the waiter for a drink.

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Once with our drinks, we made a toast and talked for a while, at the end she and I agreed to see each other early next morning for having breakfast with her children. We said goodbye warmly and just right when she was leaving she turned to see me. -Your mom, still doesnt want me? - She asked me from afar. -No! I answered coldly and shaking my head-. See you tomorrow! -But I dont say rudeness anymore! - She yelled me. -No! - I answered again, and thinking that that had been the least important reason for my mom to hate her. On our way back, Pablo and I were very incredulous and amazed. We couldnt imagine what had happened on Lorenzas life for being transformed in a totally different person that we remembered. I felt glad for her, and incredibly I could only remember the good times. The next day I met her two children, one boy and a girl. We sat at the restaurants hotel for having a buffet breakfast. -How I could be Pablos girlfriend- She asked me making a disgusted face-. He has awful big ears, oh my god its disgusting!.

-Well, you and your likings, I answered her mockinglyIt was then when she told me her story. When she was twenty years old she hadnt finish the high school. Being at La Joya California, she had spent her time dating a lot of boys and having party; she met a mature and rich man and started to date him. Despite he was married with children she didnt care. Months later she got pregnant. He asked her if that boy was of him, once she demonstrated to him that was his child, the man decided to bring her back to live at Tijuana Mexico, for being close to the malls of San Diego California. He bought her a big penthouse located in the best suburb of Tijuana. As I understood he doesnt live there, but he traveled a lot and went to visit her very often.

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As soon the man had his first child outside of marriage, he bought Lorenza a luxurious car from the brand Jaguar so she could take his son to school and to the pediatrician or in case of emergency. He gave her life of queen inside her castle and Lorenza decided to become submissive and refined just for not losing all the social and economical benefits that that man provided to her. Because otherwise, she wouldnt be able to achieved that social level. As if Lorenza was a mannequin he chose and bought her clothes, decided what color to paint her hair and nails, he also taught her how to eat and drink properly on fancy restaurants. When he got bored of her appearance, he asked her to change her look and took her to the best hair stylist of Tijuana. An entire theatrical performance for the benefit of both. For no reason she had permission to talk to his house, just to his office and to his cell phone at certain hours.

The time passed, and she got pregnant for the second time and gave birth to a girl. The reason why she was in Mexico City was because he had sent her to have plastic surgery for the second time. Months before she had had a Lipectomy (tummy tuck) that is a surgery in which the abdomen skin is cut and stretch to have a flat and firm abdomen. In this occasion she had also increased her bust size, and Im sure that if liposuction wouldve been in vogue in1999, she wouldve resorted to that procedure. She was going back to Tijuana the next day.

At the end, she confessed me that the man was brother of a governor of one of the Northern States of Mexico and she told me his name. She added that she hadnt seen her mother neither her family for so many years and that the last time she saw her mother had been at the airport with her two children, but she had rejected her by turning her face. I didnt know what to tell her, but I thought that a person like she, should have finished like that. Her life seemed to me fake, empty and trivial but sincerely she had fared quite well in life, better that I expected. Besides, she had everything she wanted. She called me by phone before my wedding to see if I would invite her to my wedding and asked me one more time if my mom still hated her. I answered her that yes that my mom still hated her and I didnt even think about inviting her. I have not heard from her since then, the same as Pablo, I stopped seeing both at once.

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It was until eight years ago by 2004, when I unexpectedly met again to the Baby accompanied by Alexandra a mutual friend of us who also studied at the Colegio Vallarta with us and who was divorcing for the second time and who had sick and possessive manias about material things and on her personal relationships. It seemed she wanted to buy us with her money for then force us to accept her manipulations.

Alexandra had invited me to dinner at her home. As many years had passed since I had seen her for the last time, I immediately accepted her invitation ignoring that she and The Baby were friends and that she would be present. It was a tremendous blow on my neck to see The Baby again. The Baby was fat, just as Harrys brother had told me; she was married with two children. I had heard a lot of rumors saying that she had gossiped very badly about me Up to the point of insulting me saying that I had had six abortions Oh my God! But there she was, smiling at me shamelessly. I asked quietly to Alexandra why she got along with such kind of people. I was astonished when I heard her answer, saying that The Baby was a super nice and innocent person. I laughed out while I was listening to her and told her that was not true and that she didnt knew The Baby well.

-Innocent and skittish? - I asked her laughing-. We definitely are not talking about the same person.

-But, she is a normal person; she is married with children- she insisted.

-Hey, do you think a person is normal when drinks alcohol in that way and gets fat like her? - I asked her astonished. I know she is an alcoholic.

-Why not, we all get fatter with the time- she answered me defensively-. And she drinks occasionally just like everybody else. -Maybe, but you doesnt weights seventy kilos by measuring a meter and fifty centimeter! Something its very wrong in her life.

-You are hallucinating! She answered me absurdly.

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Even though I tried to avoid The Baby, we sat at the same table along with our others four ex-classmates from the school. By then, I was pregnant with my second child and I was carrying my first son in my arms. I preferred to leave him in his baby carriage to get him away from the bad vibes.

-Oh come on!- The baby was saying-. When I was in the musical group I remember that was one member was a slut who wore make up since she was eleven. Then, you could see her kissing with guys.

-Hey- I interrupted her- you also wore makeup at that age and went on tour with the band.

-Me? Of course not! I was not allowed to wear makeup when I was eleven years old. My mom was super strict, she said to me hypocritically with her squeaky voice.

At that moment, the lasagna that I was eating got stuck in my throat by the impression of what I was hearing. So much falsehood and lies couldnt be conceivable, and much less knowing all her adventures and life experiences. I left the fork over the table and without inhibitions I headed to her. -What? For gods sake, but if you were the precocious child of the school! You wore makeup since you were an eleven years old brat. Dont you remember? - I asked to the rest of the guests at the table, turning to see them.

-Oh not at all! - Said Alexandra just to defend her and not allowing speaking the others-. Besides, who cares if the Baby wore makeup at eleven years of age or not?Alexandra added just to close the topic. -Well, I dont remember- The Baby continued, and if I did it was hiding from my mom, because she was just like a sergeant who did not let me go out even to the corner.

-What? This time I raised my voice tone up to the sky- Your mom was a bawd!

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All the others turned to see me astonished by seeing my dare of saying the truth about Alexandra right on her face and were about to laugh out loud. The Baby looked at me pretending like not understanding what I was talking about. I couldnt stand so much falsehood coming out from the mouth of such a monster. I couldnt tolerate it, but I determined that was not worth making tantrums.

-Hey. Listen!- she continued talking- we were the most healthy and innocent girls! Current generations are too heavy. You can see fifteen years old girls kissing and sitting on the lap of her boyfriends right on the street.

Suddenly, images from the past started to drop in my memory. I remembered her, at fifteen, seated on Sauls legs and kissing each other on the street during the Amadeus party -And get drunk even during the day I remembered her throwing up in the morning outside the Sanborns bar, the day when we skip classes -and they wear provocative and tight clothes

I remembered her when she was thirteen, wearing her transparent blouse stuck to her body and her black leather skirt on and coming out from her bedroom. Then, I couldnt stand anymore and asked her a question that she couldnt deny me. -Hey! And what can you tell me about Lorenza your neat fr iend? She was heavy isnt she?

-oh, but if I met Lorenza in the choir of Bosques de las Lomas church. How could I know how she was?

-But you talked me very bad about her before I met her. You told me that she was the worst whore of history and she had gone alone to Acapulco with three guys! - I screamed exasperated.

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Lorenza feeling cornered by my arguments, tried to turn around the situation grabbing my shoulder like trying to demonstrate that I was wrong. - Easy, friend, easy, I didnt know anythin g of that- were the only words that the cynic could improvise.

That was the last straw. Now was that the most harmful person she ever met, not only had transformed her into a fake sanctimonious, but now she denied her past and pretended be frightened of what she had done years before. It was such my confusion that I got to the point of thinking that she maybe was suffering blackouts for having drank too much alcohol and maybe she didnt remember that I had witnessed all her adventures. Otherwise, I had no other explanation to such shameless farce she was performing in front of me.

I remembered my poor friend Adriana and I thought that I would be delighted of having her sitting next to me hearing all the tremendous lies coming out from this snake with forked tongue, which became in our worst influence.

They started to take pictures and The Baby dared to lay her head softly over my shoulder. I stayed motionless because of the scare to jump to the other side right after the camera flash finished shining. She kept on talking about her wonderful and perfect family, about her magnificent fairy tale matrimony and incoherencies about her sister, saying that she was twenty-seven and extremely beautiful and that was the reason why she had no boyfriend. -What? - asked her other of the guests just mocking of her- I dont understand, why if she is so beautiful she has no boyfriend. -Its because she is so pretty that men get scared and not dare to approach her.

This time the laugh came out from the bottom of my heart. For the first time, the others followed me. I remembered her witch face and I couldn't help but laugh. Her sister was very much like her. I realized that I had to change my attitude in order to have

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a good time, I mean, instead of doing angers every time I heard each one of her hypocrisies; I decided to take it on the bright side and laugh at her ability to lie.

That way we spent the rest of the evening, until thanks to the lack of delicacy from our host, who never allowed me to go upstairs to her bedroom to put my little son on her bed and told me that my baby would be better in a sofa at the coldest place of the house and sent me to breastfeed my baby in the kitchen because that was the warmest place of the house of course I went out from there with my baby and never return. The neurasthenia and apprehension of Alexandra finally exasperated me.

Time after I would found out that in her first marriage, Alexandra forced to all her guests to take off their shoes before coming into her house and provided them some pairs of old bedroom slippers she had in her entrance door. She did all this in order to not get the carpet dirty with germs. I wondered how clean could be the old bedroom slippers that she and her husband had used. Another weird situation was that when some guest kindly offered to bring a bottle of wine to the dinner, she answered him that was not necessary because in her house she had it all, but when the guests asked her for something to drink; she only offered them a glass of water telling them that in her house they only drink water. Besides, she warned them that children were not welcome.

After many years having treatment she finally convinced herself for getting pregnant from her second husband. The Baby herself, had the nerve to call me to invite me to Alexandras Baby Shower, of course I didnt attended. Currently, Alexandra is getting divorced for the third time.

Later, I would understand that everything happens for some reason. The time is a wonderful ally. At the end of the day, what was doing Alexandra with somebody like The Baby? When I began to analyze her life, I clearly found out the answer. Alexandra was suffering from the same disease that me: A sick person looks for other sick persons.

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Patients not so patients

What I supposed about Rita, It happened. After some days of acting disorderly and without asking for permissions, using the gym as she pleased, eating disorderly and compulsively, it came the day that she was stopped.

Fanny enjoyed imposing control drastically to any person who dared to challenge her authority. She prohibited Rita to take her morning walks, also prohibited to use the gym and play volleyball on weekends; she corrected her grotesque way of eating and put her eyes on her in an exaggerated way.

One night at an AA meeting, Rita stood up to talk at the stage and for my astonishment; she started to cry and expressed us how she was feeling.

-To me not to exercise, not to burn energy in some way and to channel my anxiety is a punishment. I cant understand how they prohibited the use of the gym or take a walk on the sand. I was told that we didnt come here to become slim or to strengthen the muscles to get fit. They told me that if I wanted something like that I would better go to a Spa or to a Slimming clinic. That here we came to heal our spirit. Once we achieved this, we would start to act coherently and that will lead us to be physically healthy. Im feeling very tense because I feel guarded twenty four hours a day and dont seem me right -she made a pause-, today was a lousy day for me and I wanted to shared it with you all. Besides all this, I talked to my mother and she told me that my thirteen years old first cousin had become sterile because her anorexia. Her Fallopian tubes dried, she is not ovulating and she will not be able to ovulate never in her life she is just a girl!

Then, she started to cry right at the stage. When something like that happened, the others gave our support to those who were at the stage so they could go ahead.

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-Well, happy twenty four hours- she finished.

Everyone, applaud to her. It was the first time I saw Rita being so serious. When we finished talking at the stage, we use to say the phrase: happy twenty four hours making reference to a one more day of sobriety and control, whatever our condition was.

On the clinic Rita met a mature and married man who felt a Casanova; he practiced golf and boasted of having a lot of money. She started to spend a lot of time with him. When they were not together, she chose to spend time with a Mexican TV host who hosted a morning comedy show. She always was with one of the two and she found what she was looking for: attention. The days passed and these relationships become obvious, and although we would like to believe that nothing was going on, we realized that jealousy conflicts existed between the two men, it was more obvious in the mature man than in the young Mexican TV host who seemed not to care about anything.

They were reprimanded by the clinic employees but they ignored them. They were reprimanded again this time more drastically but they didnt care again, until they definitively were prohibited to see each other. Of course this caused a mayor problem and the mature man who had an explosive temper and was very arrogant, did an impressive mess, complaining about the stupid actions taken by the clinic and regardless the warnings he continued with his same arrogant behavior and challenging the authority.

His wife and children came to see him every weekend. I made tantrums every time I saw Rita trying to hide her jealousies and seeing from toe to head to the woman.

One day being in a practice of group therapy I had the chance to tell to the mature man just in front of Rita that he was a cheater and a dirty old man. He answered me that I was neurotic, trivial and exaggerated who wanted to draw the attention at any price. We were peaceful after that relief.

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Days after, he was kicked out of the clinic fro breaking the rules. He went out from the clinic one day before fulfilling his internment period, without honors, diploma nor recognition with his head and moral on the floor.

It was the second and the last time I saw Rita crying, this time much more loudly than the first one, because she barely could speak of so much crying and babbling that had been an injustice.

Months later, when I left the clinic, I found out that she had had affairs with both men. I also heard that the Mexican TV host had had a relapse and had been hospitalized again but unsuccessfully. His addiction to alcohol and drugs had led him to lose his marriage and even his job.

By that date, a story of sexual harassment by a Homosexual patient to other patient had been hearing through the corridors. The two men were room mates and the harassed one was telling that one night being about to get sleep, the homosexual had come out from the bathroom wearing a dental floss thong with a flower among his teeth and got close to him moving like a Hawaiian dancer. He, astonished and scared, got stuck like a fly to the headboard while the other guy was climbing the bed in four legs and crawling erotically with his lips shaped like kissing. Then he made a dash for the door and escaped asking for help and a change of room to the technicians. I di dnt know how the stalker was reprimanded but he said everything had been a joke.

That event was a continuous theme of mockery for the victim, because we all laughed out loudly since the first time we heard the story and each time we saw the harassed we made of him making him signs and pointing the stalker with sensual and provocative poses. He just laughed and felt ashamed. Because he was part of my therapy group I knew that the stalker had a pregnant wife. Later we would see him being visited by her.

Another therapy companion named Hector also drew my attention. He was a chubby and calm patient; he looked like a perfect gentleman. He was addicted to alcohol and drugs, but never lost his temper. It was rumored that he wouldnt finish his internment period because he was very pressed because of problems with his wife and

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children. In that therapy I would hear for the first time names of drugs such as: ice, crystal, glass, industrial products and resins, I knew how the heroin is injected, how the cocaine is inhaled with a kind of straw by heating it in a can until it becomes liquid; I knew about the different types of cocaine, different mixes of medicines and antidepressants to get high; I also knew about alcoholics that in extreme cases came to drink industrial alcohol or perfumes.

Hector was always the coherent, the passive, and the balanced of the therapy. The therapist used him a lot as example to others; he even guided us and scolded us. But one day Hector exploded and began to tell the most violent story I had ever heard in my life. -Im already tired of hiding something that affected me a lot since I was a boy - He said with desperate voice and moving her leg from u to down while he was sitting-. I had a disastrous childhood, my parents never cared about me and they didnt give a fuck about me, they never noticed if I had good or bad grades in the school or simply if I was sad. They always were assholes- he was sweating a lot and from time to time he took a handkerchief to wipe the sweat. I was amazed because I had never heard him saying a single bad word.-what it happened it was that my father was a compulsive alcoholic, a son of a bitch, a looser. All we, his sons are fucking alcoholics and drug addicts.

One weekend, when we all were already married, he spent all the weekend drinking as mad, he slipped by the stairs and remained hanging from his head with a leg stuck in the handrail. He was so drunk that he couldnt do anything and he stayed over there for two or three days. My mom was at my siste rs house very far from there. The next Monday my brother went to the house and found him still hanging and with a pool of blood on the floor. He was dead. We buried him and that was it all. But that brother is of whom I want to talk about. That son of a bitch named Roberto, my oldest brother, who now play dumb and pretends living a life without any problems, despite all the issues he has with his wife and children because of his alcoholism. That son of a bitch raped me when I was a kid. Yes! Just like that, one day the son of a bitch took me and raped me in the house. I can still hear all my screams and begs asking him to stop.

I started to have problems at my school and was afraid to come into my house because he would be there. My parents never realized about this, because the very

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cynical Roberto would deny everything and I thought that my parents wouldnt ever believe me-. I felt a prick in my stomach of the impression. The therapist was looking to everyone for then turned to see him with compassion. He was just looking at the floor while continued talking-. My mom used to play dumb even when she perfectly knew what was going on in my house. My other brother, the youngest, is a complete drug addict and alcoholic since he was thirteen or fourteen years old. My sister is a depressive maniac and also alcoholic.

It was a chaos living that childhood; I was the middle one and tried to help my youngest brother to get ahead. Now, the idiot is in vegetative state because a heroin overdoses. He has a daughter with a woman who is not even his wife; she is also a drug addict. That poor girl destiny is uncertain, but she has seen my brother pounding her mother, injecting heroin and very drunk. Now his wife is taking care of him in a public Hospital. Lets see for how long can stay interned there, because he arrived at the emergency room, but now he is hopeless and he is taking the place of other patients. The day they asked him to leave the hospital, he is going to die.

Now, I have money issues with my family, because the motherfuckers want to keep all my moms properties and they want to be inherited in life -he made a pause-. I need to come back to my house; I cant be here interned, while they are out there snatching things like vultures. My wife is bulimic- and turned to see me askance- and she cant take care of my children by herself. During his entire heartbreaking story, I didnt saw him shed a single tear. The therapist interrupted him asking us to convince him to finish his treatment. We told him all kind of things related to what we had just heard and tried to persuade him to stay, but I knew he had taken his decision. Three days later, he left the clinic accompanied by his wife, on a Sunday morning of visits. My roommate turned out be depressive and although she didnt talk much, she had told me that despite of being married with three children, life meant nothing to her when she was in her severe stages of depression. Those slumps happened to her even though she was medicated and was just thinking about dying.

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You have no idea how hard is to make an effort for trying to find some meaning in my life but actually the only thing that you wish is to die. I have tried to kill myself I dont know how many times, this is my third internment period in a clinic , I have visited the most renowned therapists and psychiatrists, but I cant overcome my illness. This is an illness that you can control but not heal. I didnt know what to answer her but tried to help her as much as I could while we were roommates. There were days when she didnt wanted to get up from bed, I uncovered her and told her that was already time for our meditation. She, very calm used to say me that she would reach me in a couple of minutes, but she never came. Therapists put her duties like for example, to awake to all the patients just to encourage her to participate. When she had that duty she rarely failed.

One day my therapist realized that I was trying to encourage her and reprimanded me hardly, telling that I was not in the position for helping other patients so sick just as me, that I should focused on my bulimia and my recovery instead of trying to heal others. Besides, she asked me if my roommate had asked me about my illness. I answered her that we had talk about it in a few occasions. She continued scolding me telling me that that was the reason that led me to have a hollow on my inside, the hollow that I wanted to fill with food and that I was in the clinic to helping myself and that was all. Despite all this, it seemed inhumane to me to ignore my roommate.

After two weeks, my roommate finished her treatment and left the clinic, but later I would found out that she had relapsed.

A sixteen years old patient had just entered to the clinic; he was a drug addict and alcoholic, his name was Juan but I nicknamed him Johnny because he was just a kid. It was hard for me to believe that such a brat had so many addictions and at his age he was already interned in a recovery clinic, and coexisting with people much older than him and hearing all those terrible life stories. I thought the same about Alexa, my anorexic fourteen year old fellow. These two teen-agers never stopped to amaze me. Besides, both were cute and with angelical faces; coming from wealthy families who paid without sparing the high cost of being interned in an international recovery clinic.

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Behind those angelical faces, there had to be something stronger than their parents authority for having gone up to the extreme of being hospitalized at their tender ages. Johnny had also been victim of Frank at his arriving; Frank had given him a warm welcome, pulling down his pants and briefs, saying: what a great ass you have! He had already reported the incident to the administration, but they hadnt paid much attention to him, so he felt relief when Frank left the clinic.

Alexa was about to finish her internment period and my therapist had offered her a farewell message during the group therapy session. I was on her same team. Although she was sad of leaving the clinic, she left the clinic excited and satisfied for having achieved her goal. The next day, we went to say goodbye to her at the corridor. When I saw her from afar, walking out from the clinic, I think to myself: Im also going to finish my internment. Johnny got along with the teenagers girls of eating disorders andwith me. He immediately made team with another brat of about seventeen years old, named Peter, who also was alcoholic and drug addict, so, immediately they understood each other perfectly well and was not a single day that they werent reported for having disobeyed the rules or for having done some prank.

Peter liked to brag that he had gotten marijuana cigarettes into the clinic, also chocolates, candies, tobacco and alcohol that he brought hidden inside his baggage. I believed him, because one morning he suddenly came into my room, hiding from one of the technicians and with his hands full of chocolates. When I saw him closing the door with a kick, I stood paralyzed in front of him he was smiling and opened his hands showing me the compulsive treasure that he kept. My mouth was watering of seeing the chocolates, so I pushed him away from my room as soon as I heard the technicians footsteps walking away.

He gave chocolates and candies to the eating disorders patients and he told he had already smoked marijuana and drunk alcohol secretly along with Johnny. Sometimes I laughed and sometimes dont as well as sometimes I ate the chocolates he offered me and others dont. the two brats always laughed out loudly when they talked about this.

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Before judging them, I wondered what would I had done at their age and suffering from their illness and if my parents would send me alone to a recovery clinic along with a bunch of boring adults and therapists. I decided not to stick my nose in that matter. They had to be convinced by themselves of wanting to rehabilitate and I wasnt the right person to convince them.

Inside our routine, one day a week we had a handcrafts workshop where we made plasticine figures, toothpicks figures, we decorated glass vessels filled with gel and adorned with small objects inside, flower pots, etc, everything with a psychological point of view. Inside this workshop you could find all kinds of material: water colors, oil colors, thinner, cardboard, alcohol, cotton, latex gloves, scissors, plaster, plasticine, etc. The keys were kept by a technician who for any reason could lend them to anybody except a therapist.

I can not explain, how it was that Johnny and Peter got into the workshop, but one night they were found inhaling thinner. It drew my attention that they blamed only to Johnny, it seemed that Peter neither existed Johnny acknowledged his guilt and faced the consequences. In other occasion, Johnny and Peter put some bananas peels to dry outdoors over the rooms rooftop saying that, once the peels were dry become an excellent drug. On that occasion both were also discovered and reported.

The personal therapists of each one of the patients presented reports by phone calls to their families about the advancements or setbacks of their loved ones, every time they were requested. Johnnys parents were always aware of his son, and not missed a single weekend to visit him. Both, his father and his mother were very concerned about him and spent hours talking to him and hugging him.

As soon they left the clinic, Peter and Johnny gathered again to plan their next prank. Meanwhile, Karine my anorexic roommate of seventeen years old, seemed to be wasting her time inside the clinic, but in a different way than Johnny, her economic situation was very precarious and it was obvious. Her way to dress and speaking and her habits said it all. Her mom, a TV network employee, had achieved with great efforts a scholarship for her.

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The day Karine entered in the clinic, I passed by the corridor to take a look at her and trying to understand who she was. As time passed, I realized that she was a teenager with an insatiable thirst for being attractive to the opposite sex; everything in her life revolved about men and how to attract them regardless their nationality or age. She believed she was the center of attention of all the male patients and therapists in the clinic. Her way of acting consisted to look like a little, weak, anorexic and helpless girl and to sit next to her prey in her free time. Karine was very tiny and slim without body shapes, insignificant with a sweet voice and innocent face. She had brown skin and big brown eyes. That was it all. Once the prey noticed her presence, she became into a loving kitten who purred snuggling over his shoulder to be comforted.

It is worth mentioning that love affairs among patients were forbidden, so men and women inside the clinic were living enclosed for more than thirty days and without any kind of sexual approach. It was logical that at the first hint coming from any patient, the prey would fall into the trap.

That was how Karine, since the moment she saw Johnny coming into the clinic, put her eyes on him and put into practice her technique. A few days later Johnny fell into her claws. She liked to brag of bringing all men crazy about her and to be sincere to Dora and me bothered us her attitude. We thought that if she wasnt there to work on her recovery. It was not the right place for finding a mate. We got angry seeing her stuck to men for later complaining in therapy that she was harassed, just playing her victim role.

One Saturday in which we had our coexisting workshop they made us form several teams of six persons, with the finality to compose and act a song containing a message against the use and abused of alcohol and drugs. My team was formed only for five men and me. One the men who I nicknamed Hercules, was a rude and strong guy with grave voice and played guitar in his rock band. Johnny was also part of my team. We decided to compose a rap song with catchy lyrics and rhythm, in which all the team could dance and sing but the main character would be the youngest member: Johnny who would dance in the center. He was wearing a cap the other way, shorts and a t-shirt with the phrase say no to drugs on it. It was about winning, and the best group would be awarded, so we did our best and put a lot of creativity and we did it very well.

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All the patients including the professor were laughing out loud when they saw me dancing rap with my huge pregnant belly. We shined in our choreographies and chorus and we received a lot of applauses but the best was Johnny, he did an outstanding work playing the role of a gang boy. He sang and danced on the floor and even made some rap pirouettes. At the beginning everybody voted for us, but later the competition began and at the end we tied with another team. We received absolutely nothing but we had a wonderful time, we used our brain and we participated as a team.

That afternoon Peter and Johnny had a fight and a patient named Germn intervened to stop the fight, he was a good looking mature man who among the patients he played the role of the protective of everybody we was the one who encouraged the depressed ones and intervened to solve problems. Germn had the mistake of confronting Peter and Johnny in order to know who had pissed over the pillow of another patient the night before. The patient attached had lost his temper and had turned violent and called the management to report the incident. As the two teenagers had already had problems with him, he assumed that they had been the responsible ones, so, he tried to punch them in the dining room at breakfast time. Johnny and Peter denied everything but they went to laugh out loud after the incident and they were discovered. Germn, acting like the mediator, asked them in front of the patient who had been the responsible of such an atrocity but they denied it all again, but in this occasion the patient couldnt stand anymore and threw a punch to Johnny but he failed and Johnny fought back with a kick and the fight began. Once, they were separated the insults continued. Technicians came in running to capture them and both were taken to different offices. For everybodys surprise, Peter hadnt moved a finger or said something to defend his friend and ally. He just watched the scene and slipped into his room once again. Why the offended patient only took retaliations against Johhny? Well never know. When I found out of this act of cowardice, I really got angry to Peter.

One hour after this incident, we heard that one of the technicians had found Johhny inside his room lying in a pool of blood with his veins cut and still holding a razor blade in his right hand. We all reacted amazed and ran to see the scene, but his

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room had been closed down while it was cleaned, and Johnny had been transferred to the detoxification area. We were informed that Johnny was alive with bandages on and sedated to avoid he would try to hurt himself again. I started to cry.

That night, I went up to the podium on my AA meeting and unleashed my fury against Peter, who always was sitting at the back seats. Normally the podium wasnt used to fix or to solve personal matters with somebody also present at the meeting, but I did it. I was interrupted on several occasions but I didnt shut up what I wanted to say. I expressed my feelings before such injustice committed against Johnny; I questioned Germn that with which authority he had dared to confront the two teen-agers with a neurotic patient thrice their age, emphasizing that such duty was the technicians responsibility; I attacked Peter shouting him that he was a Coward; I cried for Johnny and I felt the kicks of my son on my belly for the second or third time. When I stepped off from the podium. Peter went up to the podium to defend himself. I better went out for not listen him.

When the session ended, it was dinner time. Suddenly, Peter came to me ashamed and with his head down. -Theres something you want to tell me?- Peter, asked barely raising his head. -No, I said everything in the podium. I answered, watching him furiously. -Excuse me if I offended you, I didnt mean to betray johnny. Im sorry. And he went off, walking like a kid. The kid that he actually was. I kept watching him and I felt sadness and tenderness for him. -Ignored him!- Dora told me when she saw me watching him- hes very sick. He doesnt know what the heck is going on. You shouldnt believe him, that he is sorry, he doesnt give a shit about anything. Besides, he is a chicken. When he was doing pranks with Johnny he was ready and happy but when things went wrong, he just ran as a chicken!

-Yes- I answered still thinking-. I already realized about it.

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-You did it all right, telling him what you think about him, on his face. Dora concluded. I didnt thought again about the matter, until we finished the dinner, and then was Germans turn. I was sitting on the wall watching the horizon when he came by my back.

-So, are you mad at me? Asked me quietly. -You dont have to get into other peoples issues. You see what happened, I answered him severely. -You dont understand my point! I tried to avoid a mayor problem, but things turned violent. -Yes, but you should let the professionals to do their job, Johnny is just a kid Germn sat very close to me and looking me straight to my eyes, told me: -I understand that you feel affection for Juan or Johnny as you named him, and that your maternal instinct makes you to protect him, but understand a thing, he is wrong, very wrong. You dont have an idea what a baby with angelical face and blue eyes is capable to do. He seems very tender but has criminal and suicide tendencies -For Gods sake!...

-Elena, open your eyes. He is a troubled teenager that at his sixteen years old he has already tried marihuana, cocaine maybe heroin and he is an alcoholic. He has beaten his parents and sister; he had taken out knifes for trying to hurt someone, he has been fired from the best and worst schools of his city, he urgently needs help! Why do you think that his parents took the decision to intern him? Because they had no other choice! I am a father of two teenagers and I would have done the same even though would hurt me a lot. -But, he has been very cute with me

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-Because, he perfectly knows with whom. He is very smart and chose very well with whom to ally. In case you have not noticed, you are a key piece in this rehabilitation center; an influential and very important piece for patients and therapistsyou are a pregnant woman! The only pregnant woman who has walk through the corridors of this institution! You are an example to follow for everybody here, because you had enough guts for coming here to intern you alone during your first pregnancy, dont you realized? They put you as an example in all our therapies. Not just Don Pancho and Alexia are admirable, Don Pancho for being an alcoholic and wanting to rehabilitate being an elder man and Alexia for being here at her tender four teen years old and suffering from anorexia, you are also an admirable woman! What kind of lady comes to be interned to a place like this while pregnant? I would never let my wife to get interned along with a bunch of depressive and crazy madmen like us. My congratulations to your husband whoever he is, he is so brave!

I kept with my mouth open looking to Germn. I had never thought that I was an example to follow in the group therapies or that I was admirable. That has been a characteristic of mine through all my life, I dont notice when the rest of the people are expressing me something with their attitudes, I have always been blind on this, I need to be told things with words to get the messages.

There was something that touched me up to my bones: listening to an alcoholic and drug addict who had reentered to the clinic for the third time, said that he admired my guts, was too much for me. I felt an energy wave invading all my being and turned to see to the rest of the patients who were talking to each other nearby where we were. Each one of them had their own personal story and were worthy of admiration because they were struggling to overcome their problems, whatever they were.

I had no other option than smiling to Germn with my eyes full of tears and feeling me honored by his words.

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The next morning, Karine came in late to breakfast faking sadness. With her attitude she was asking for the attention of everybody sitting at the table, because she sat with her eyes downcast and there remained motionless and in silence. -Whats up?- I asked her, trying to cheer her up.

She waited until everybody else were watching at her, and looked at me sideways, making me a sign with her index finger asking me to shut up, and like meaning that she would tell me later. On that way, she achieved what she wanted: Everybodys attention that started to insist her to tell them what had happened. She smiled, and without any resistance, she began to talk, Its about Johnny- she said faking compassion-. He was allowed to see only one person before his parents come here to pick him. They said that they cant have here a person who has tried to hurt himself and he has to go. His parents come for him at noon.

We all were very aware of what she was telling us and we were watching her barely blinking. -To the only person he wanted to see among all patients was me.

She made a long pause and whispered like remembering that moment and just to have us aware waiting to listen the rest of the story. -Sowhat happened next?- Dora asked, shouting. -Shhhbe quiet- Karine answered lowering her voice tone and watching around like if everybody at the dinner room were aware of what she was telling and continued. -Well, he told me that he loved me, and that I was the only girl inside here that had made him happy and that he wanted to see me again as soon as I left the clinic. He asked me my address and phone number, he came over to embrace me and gave me a little kiss on my mouth.

-Ahhhh!- we exclaimed in a tone of tenderness.

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-He loves you in a good way- maybe he will look for you in a couple of months. -Hopefully not- she answered slighted. But I didnt believe her.

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When the light was extinguished


-Bone marrow cancer- told us my oldest brother, the one who is doctor to my two brothers and to me.

I felt my stomach turned and I started to cry from the pain that caused me hearing about the result of the diagnosis so much expected. It had passed several weeks of studies since my mom had entered to the hospi tal and the specialists couldnt find the origin of her disease. She had ten days with very high fever; she had drastically lost weight in the last six months and she was feeling very weak.

By then, I was only five months married and on my wedding day my mom had looked like a queen wearing her beautiful emerald green long dress, she looked beautiful! We had gone very early to the beauty parlor to done our hair and put on our make up. That July 11th of 1998 when my husband and I got married, was an exceptional date not just to us, but for most of the guests who later, would tell us that it had been the most amusing wedding they had attended. My mom and I were dancing, singing and partying till drop. At my twenty seven years old, my mom left me calm and married to an excellent man, so that was the way she delivered to the last of their children.

After hearing the diagnosis and after being crying without stop during more than one hour, I stood up with my insides broken. My three brothers and I headed to see my mom to the hospital. When we came into her room, she was alone and desolated, because the oncologist hadnt been too subtle telling her the bad news.

-Lets fight against the damn bug! - was the first thing that came to my mind to tell her as soon as I saw her, and pretending that the news hadnt affected me at all.

-Yes, against the damn bug!- she answered me, looking to the horizon.

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A few days after the notice, she left the hospital with all the courage to move forward and overcome the disease. Since that moment I promised to Our lady of Guadalupe, that I would go to visit her each month to the basilica to pray and asked her about my moms health. I told her, that if she made the miracle of healing my mother, I would go each week to thank her.

My mom was attending her monthly chemotherapy with great courage. As she had always been very independent, she went without telling to anybody and driving alone on her car up to the Central Military Hospital, where she took her treatment for then come back to her house located in the south of Mexico City, once in a while, I found out by chance, and I asked permission in my work to accompany her. I was entirely convinced that my mom would be healed and nobody could take off that idea of my mind.

For being I the one who lived closer to her home and I was just married and with no kids, I had become in her new confident and friend, because I was the one who saw her more often, we talked about many topics; we went out for a walk, or went to the movies or to some restaurant to visit museums, to the theater or just for shopping. She seemed to be getting better.

Sometimes, she went to pick me up to my workplace, and took me out of there to go with her to some place or to talk and unburden her sorrows with me. On my birthdays she wore me a cake made by her up to my workplace, and invited me to dinner. We never mentioned anything about her illness; it was as if anything were going on.

In mid 1999, the Pope John Paul II came to Mexico; he would pass right by the offices where I was working on his way to the episcopate. Quickly, I wrote a letter asking him for my moms health, because he was closer to God. I naively believed, that I could get closer to the Popemobile to give him the letter on his hands, because I thought he would go at a very slow speed, I was very disappointed when I noticed that he was completely guarded by patrols and police motorcycles throughout the way! Nevertheless I didnt gave up and asked to a co-worker who was friend of a Mexican

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Archbishop, if by his intermediation he could deliver the letter to the Pope. He promised to do it.

Through all her life, my mother had been a very positive woman, active, cheerful and healthy. Despite having given birth to four babies, she always had been slim, so I couldnt understand how a woman of sixty two years old, young and sportive who never smoked, drank alcohol, ate canned food or drank sodas, could be suffering from this terrible illness. Soon, I would find the answer, just in front of my noses. On 1986, after my fathers dead, my mother had devoted to get us ahead. Like she was a attractive and of very pretty features, she had a lot of pretenders but she was categorical and preferred to lived alone for the next eight years.

By 1994, my three brothers were already married and I had an employment and was finishing my bachelors degree. My mother and I were living alone in our house. One afternoon coming back from my work, I found my mother sitting and talking in the hall with an old man who was wearing a white coat. I was surprised, but I didnt make any question, until my mother introduced me to him.

-Elena, he is the doctor Guillermo Rosada- She told me very smiley.

I had no idea, who that sir was, but in that moment I saw a different shine on my mothers sight and I knew what was going on; at last my mother had accepted to date somebody. Minutes later, this man, eleven years older than my mother took my mothers hand and my suspicions were confirmed.

The only positive thing about that relationship was that at the beginning, my mom was excited like a teen ager. Every day she put on make up and wore fancy and beautiful clothes to receive that man at her house; she cooked for him delicious as she had always done but with a hint of coquetry, since many years I hadnt seen her so happy. Two months later, she dared to introduce her suitor to my brothers and they were glad because she was no longer alone.

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At the beginning, he seemed to be a perfect gentleman and he did efforts to gain the affection of her children, especially mine. He had all kind of attentions with me, because I was the only one living in my mothers house and he didnt spare in expenses; he filled the house with flowers, gifts and jewels for my mom, he invited her to lunch and dinner to the most expensive and finest restaurants in the city. It was logical that my mom was fascinated with this man, after eight difficult years living on her own and with a lot of responsibilities on her back; she was now living in paradise.

Months later, that man introduced us his only son, with whom I immediately made click because he was very sympathetic. Later, I would find that he was adopted and homosexual. We continued seeing each other for a long time. Mr. Rosada was only three months widowed, after being married for thirty years.His wife had died of cancer.

My mom was so excited to start a new life with a new mate, that she introduced him to all her friends and relatives, but not everybody received him very well. Many of those friends had been students of my father, so they were offended and stopped talking to my mom, not before reminding her, the deep respect they still professed to their teacher. My dads brother was also very offended.

My mom was undecided, because after being dating her suitor for six months, he proposed her to get marriage and moved to his house, which was located in the south of the city. This meant to leave everything, sell her belongings and to carry me to live with them at the house of that man, who was suffering from a heart condition.

After hearing countless opinions and advices, she took the decision to marry him, after one and a half year of having met him. The seventy three years old man, insisted to my mom to sell her part of the laboratory to Lucila her partner, telling her that she wouldnt have to work anymore, because he would maintain her for life. My mom obeyed him, sold her part of the laboratory and saved the money. Since then, we started to discover the worst inferno of our lives; that man was emotional, mental and psychologically sick: he was a misogynist.

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Since the early wedding preparations, he found difficult to keep pretending, and his real identity started to come afloat, my mother, like any woman in love and illusioned, shrugged off the warning signs, she married him and without knowing it she went to live to the wolfs cave to become his prey. But, she didnt go alone; I would be the only witness of absolutely everything what happened there.

In order that I could go to live to his house, he had to buy an apartment to his son, so I would inhabit his bedroom When the honey moon ended, he immediately sharpened his claws and became into the real monster he actually was: a miserable man, an egocentric, arrogant and materialist as few men. As he was liar and embittered, the few years that he was married to my mom, he spent his time trying to control and to embitter her existence. Macho, arrogant and false, he felt like a lady-killer, a wise and smart man, but he was just a boastful and ignorant man. He claimed to have European blood flowing through his veins and to be very sophisticated, but he actually was a prosaic ruffian who threw out his mother from his house each time that he felt like it.

Aware that my mother was helpless by not having a house nor an employment, because she had left everything behind for going to live with him under his influence, he took advantage of it to threaten her and trample on her. He had cheated her shamelessly using his masks during a year and a half; he trapped her with his lies and had planned everything perfectly well to make her suffer, so at the end, he could feel again the prides poison flowing through his veins.

But he not just cheated my mother, but to everyone who met him before my mom would commit the worst mistake of her life, the same mistake that Im sure, would cost her life.

After two weeks of marriage, I witnessed the first time that the old man threw my mother out of his house.

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-Thats it! Love is over- he was telling to my mother over and over again in an overbearing and cold tone while he was walking from side to side-. Each one to their own house and good bye.

-Each one to our own house? Which house? My mom asked him amazed and stunned.

-Anyway! You will have to go to live with your descendants or wherever- he answered sadistically. This is over.

I was sat on the TV couch, when I heard this for the first time. I turned down the TV volume to be sure that I had heard correctly and I kept speechless of the scare. I barely could see my mother walking from here to there very nervously while biting her nails. I got up from the couch. -Whats wrong mom? - I asked her, very scared.

-You better stay out of this! - That was the only thing that she answered me.

Thenceforth, the old wolf would try to turn my mother into a submissive and obedient woman; he punished her with the whip of his contempt not talking to her for several weeks; if they had to attend some event during the days that the man was upset, he was responsible for breaking the movie or theater tickets on my mothers face, regardless what they wouldve cost.

But, the stingy old man was very arrogant but not a fool, because when he needed to beg, he became into a helpless little sheep. The sassy old man, despite the responsibilities he had assumed, took him less than a month in asking to my mother to cooperate with the household expenses, claiming that he was running out of money and not happy with it, he didnt hesitate to asked me if I could pay half the salary of Juana the maid, and the bill of one the telephones. At the beginning, my mom and I agree to help him with the expenses, but it came the moment that I got sick of the situation.

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Later, I would find out that he had blackmailed my mom on several occasions, protesting that he had had to pull out of his house to his son, to letting us living there, and suggesting her to pay half the cost of the new apartment of his son. At the end, my mom accepted before so much pressure.

One evening, I told her: Hey mom, if you are willing to stand this stingy and mad old man at least he should support you economically, dont you think? He promised you that right? And he made you quit your job before you married him.

It came the day, that despite the constant impediments of my mother, I started to get into their issues. Especially on an evening, the misogynist had just offended my mother and being my mom and I standing up on the stairs, I started to scream furious.

-And who do he thinks he is? Who told him that he could you treat you on that way? You dont need to stand him. You have your four children on your side and he doesnt have anyone, he is alone because he is arrogant and hateful! Why you allow this after having had a gentleman like my father as husband? Poor bastard, he got such an inferiority complex that he shows his macho side to feel confident. You have more money than him and you dont have the need to stand him, lets get out of this damn house in this instant!

When I came downstairs, I came across him. The old man had been listening all, only a few meters away. I stopped, and looked him with defiance gaze. He evaded me lowering his gaze and moved aside to climb the stairs. With great satisfaction, I noticed that he was afraid of me. Days after that incident, he n icknamed me the guerrilla fighter. He wouldnt be the only one naming me that way, but he was the first one.

As much as I tried, I could not accomplish much if my mother wasn't really convinced to leave her husband. She had trouble recognizing that she had made a terrible mistake by marrying the man who had cheated to everybody. I think that she came to feel some repentance to my fathers memory, but she never expressed it. Despite we talked about a lot of topics, there were some things that she kept inside her heart and that were sickening her physically and emotionally.

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Separating from this man, despite the denials of some persons, it was to accept that she had made a huge mistake. On the other hand, she knew that sooner or later I would marry somebody and I would move away from the house, so she didnt want to live alone. I dont know exactly what she thought and no one will know.

The only positive thing about that relationship was that we became into the best friends and allies. We began to talk about topics, that years before, she would consider taboos; we consulted us, had fun and shared a lot of things. In that sense, I was very fortunate.

As she always had been a strong character woman, she finally showed it. She answered masterfully to all the aggressions of the old man and we laughed of him at his back. I simply listened to their fights in silence; but sometimes I got involved.

In the two and a half years that I lived in the house of the old man, my Bulimia increased up to the sky. Even though the relationship between my mother and her husband had ups and downs and I have relative control about my way of eating, the same feel of helplessness got me out of control dramatically. Was at that time, when after having induced me the vomit during almost ten consecutives days, my esophagus started to burn and I got scared. Having the old man as a medic in house, I consulted him and he checked me. He asked me to raise my arms and next, he started to pass his hand over my throat and chest, then he deviated and touched my nipples. I immediately jumped up, but I thought that as he was a doctor, he should know what he was doing. Once he finished checking me, he told me that he hadnt found anything wrong, but that he had enjoyed touching me here, putting again his grotesque hands on my breasts. I felt my face burning of fury and shame; I went down the stairs to call my sister and asked her if I could go to live with her. I took the chance to tell her, how my mothers husband had changed, and how he treated my mother now that she was living on his territory. I also told everything to my two brothers, but they thought I was exaggerating.

I called my husband, who at that time was my boyfriend, and told him everything that happened. He was furious. I thought about telling it to my mother, but I didn't want to hurt and disappoint her more than she was already. So, I decided to confront the old man in person.

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That same night, I saw them returning very happy and holding their hands from the movie-theater. As soon when I saw the old man alone, I approached him.

-Hey- I told him very serious-. Under any circumstance, I do not want to touch me again libidinously as you did it in the morning. It is clear?

-Excuse me please- he answered ashamed and lowering his gaze-. The doctors must not exceed with their patients. It will not happen again.

One morning, my mom had gone to the supermarket. After some hours choosing everything she would buy, she placed in the line of cash registers, when she noticed that her credit cards had been robbed! Immediately, she came back to the house to report the cards. When she was coming down the stairs, the old man was waiting her with her credit cards on his hand.

-What happened? - My mom exclaimed when she saw him-, where were the cards?

-I took them out from your purse- he answered cynically-. From now on- he continued talking while searching a scissors; I will be in charge of the bank account, because Im afraid that you will start to spend my money.

Immediately afterwards, he cut each one of the credit cards in front of my mom and dropped the pieces to the floor.

-This way, you could not abuse one of this days- He Added, leaving my mother mouth opened and scared.

The next morning, she went to the bank and asked to take out her money from their joint account shared with the old man and she opened a new one. She couldnt have done a wiser thing!

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As my mothers house was rented, we hadnt a place where to live and that was a good excuse for my mother of being hopeful that someday the old man would change.

This man was practically alone, he had two sisters; one was widow with one daughter who occasionally visited him, the other one was a retired spinster in her sixties, who lived with a woman in Cuernavaca. With this sister he had had a fight ten years ago and they hadnt seen again. He was also angry with his son, and since he got married with my mom, they had not talked again by telephone.

My mom, as a good mediator, called by phone to the two sisters and the son, and invited them to have dinner at the house. During that dinner, my mom achieved to reconcile them all, because for her seemed incredible that the pride of all them, had kept separated them for a decade This man, despite he was practically abandoned, he had gotten a familyus. Almost, every weekend my brothers came along with all their family to visit us and the noise didnt stop until late night. My mom, prepared big meals in which, we hang out, talking, joking and laughing and late at night we played Domino, cards . At first, Juana, the maid got angry, but she had to get used. The old man enjoyed a lot having all my family at his home. As my mother liked to enjoy life and he was a stingy man, she invited him several times to travel with all the expenses paid. The last time that my mother invited him, was a travel to Toronto Canada, where long years before, she had gone with my father. They were just married, and my dad had gone to make his specialty. When they came back from traveling, she confessed me very excited, that she had passed just in front of the apartment where she and my father had lived in such city.

By those days, I thought convenient making me a complete check up, to see the condition of my body after so many years of abuses, having pain on my esophagus, I went to the hospital. On my first appointment I had an esophagus endoscopy procedure. To my amazement, the results were excellent. I didnt even had signs of gastritis. I felt very lucky. Days later, my physician practiced me a procedure named colonoscopy to see if the irresponsible use of laxatives had affected my colon or my intestines, also he practiced me a complete x rays studio, to see if all my digestive apparatus was properly working. Everything was normal. As my esophagus pain sometimes spread, I even

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thought I had a heart condition. They practiced me a very modern examination in which the heart its seen at third dimension. My heart was in perfect condition. I also went to the dentist to check my teeth enamel status. It was intact!

After so much abuse and arbitrariness that I had committed against my body, I should be grateful to God for had not caused myself any damage. At those dates, the bulimia had been living with me for over fifteen years.

Six months before my wedding, I made the purpose that I would get to my wedding slimmer than ever. I started to follow a low calories diet, to do a lot of exercise, to induce me the vomit two or three times a day and to use laxatives. My tactic was successful and came to my wedding, weighing about forty five kilos; I looked and felt beautiful, but at the cost of my health. Two weeks later, I returned from my honey moon weighing two more kilos.

People, not suffering from some eating disorder, finds difficult to believe in all this, but its true. Bulimics can eat such an exaggerate amount of food and so many times in a day, that even inducing us the vomit, we didnt re ach to threw up everything out and the excess of calories it accumulates, making us get fat inevitably.

During the second week of my honey moon, we boarded a cruise to the Caribbean. The meals on the cruise are wonderful and plenty, so I ate everything I could through all the day and made four or five visits to the toilet to empty my stomach for then continue eating. Despite being very distracted, my husband sometimes noticed everything.

-Again to the bathroom? - He asked me when he saw me devouring three dishes at the same time- you are not vomiting again, right?

-How could you believe so- I answered him, for then going directly to the bathroom.

Sometimes, I even pretended getting lost in the boat and escaped to the first bathroom that crossed on my way. Then, I started to search my husband until find him.

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Bulimics and ex bulimics are experts in throwing up without making any noises and we could even do it, having our feet back to the toilet, I mean, like if we were sat over the toilet, all this with the purpose to not generate doubts in all the people waiting for their turn and watching our feet.

Usually, I waited until the bathroom was completely empty for peck my throat at mile a minute. Once I had finished, vomiting and amazing amount of food and liquids, I pulled the flush valve, dried my tears, blow my nose, then I waited a couple of minutes until my eyes irritation and the spots on my face similar to those that appear me when I cry, had disappeared. Afterwards, I went out of the bathroom very calm to wash my hands and to rinse my mouth with water, then, I was ready to continue my gluttony for the rest of the day.

That action was not that easy to do, when I was in a dinner or party in a private house, because existing only one guest bathroom, I risked that the smell of undigested food would betray me when somebody entered the bathroom after me. But I never was discovered. In extreme cases I got up to vomit in the shower. We are experts in deception, thats why this illness is known as the silent disease.

One month before I got married, I invited my mom and her husband to have a cup of coffee to say goodbye to them. When the three of us were sitting at the table, I briefly began to thank all the attentions that the misogynist had provided me, for then, started to lash out at everything I considered an arbitrary and infamy done by him. My mom, feeling so supported by me, also began to tell him everything she hadnt dared, and we destroyed him. On several occasions, I asked him which had been the reason of his radical change of attitude to my mother but he denied it, he said that he had not change at all; I complained about why he had thrown out my mom of his house, and told him, that an action like that, could only had been made by a person with no education and lout like him. I criticized his arrogance, his stinginess and his machismo. In short, what not I told him. He was so tense that the fork was trembling every time he tried to eat something. He left more the half of the meal.

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Feeling me relieved, after having expressed him, what was my opinion about him right on his face, I asked him to take care of my mom and to respect her, because I wouldnt stand one more of his villainesses and I would go for her to take her with me. the coward didnt reply me anything; he said goodbye to me at night and the next day I went early to work, but my mother would pay all the fury he had contained during that day and in the next two weeks.

On the weekends, I felt the atmosphere heavier than usual at the dinner. I noticed that lately the misogynist was dedicated to criticize and to annoy everything my mom did or told; if we were watching some photographs from when she was younger, the old man exclaimed that she looked very fat. As I noticed his dark intentions, I ignored the comment or answered him that it was not true, that my mom never had been fat, and that she looked wonderful. In my presence, he said that everything had been a joke, but when they were alone, made her angry until she mourned. I think that the reason of his revenge, was because in his archaic way of thinking, two inferior females, just by the fact of being women, had dared to telling his trues right on his face.

Another of his punishments was to not bathe during several days. He knew that my mom would get angry if after going to walk he returned sweaty and didnt take a bath. He did it on purpose. My mom always neat and tidy couldnt stand such a disgusting thing.

In an occasion, he got to the point of not taking a bath, washing his teeth and do not shave during six consecutive days, he was also wearing the same stinky sweatshirt and shorts with which he went to walk everyday. He also went to sleep in that way. My mom didnt even wanted to get close at him. It was meal time and the misogynist climbed up the stairs to greet everybody with his dirty clothes and smelling bad. My mom couldnt believe how far he was capable to go, just to contradict her. The rest of the evening, he continued hanging out with everybody with his furry teeth and greasy hair.

Two weeks later of that coffee and just two weeks before I get married; my mother left to the sick old man and went out of there carrying a little handbag. Later she would have to return to pick up the rest of her belongings. Gina, the neighbor across the

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street, was a gossipmonger as few people, she had witnessed the whole fight between my mother and the old man and had spread the gossip among the entire neighborhood, including to the old mans son. Everybody in the neighborhood noticed that my mom had gone out from the house among cries and shouts, and that she had assured to the old man that she wouldnt be back.

Just as we were cheated by the old man when we met him, he had cheated to everybody in the neighborhood who believed that he was a very well educated and decent man, a perfect gentleman, and couldnt understand my mothers behavior, but as the Mexican proverb says: Live a month with Andres and you will know how he is . My mom came to live with me at my new just married apartment in which I would live with my husband once we wouldve married. I congratulated her for having made that decision and went to the misogynists house to pick up some of my belongings. As soon as I arrived, he dared to try to convince me to stay living in his house, telling me that it was also my house and that I have no reason to go, but, I didnt even heard him. Obviously, I would be living with my mom. My mom and I, were sleeping in the king size bed that my husband and I had bought, it was hard as rock and we joked, saying that instead that I had used it with my husband in our first night I had used the bed for the first time with her.

After our wedding, she continued living alone in my apartment during the next two weeks, then, she went to live my brothers house. It was a blessing, having returned from our honey moon and found brand new pans, casseroles, groceries and food cooked by my mom inside the refrigerator. She left my kitchen ready to use. On our weddings day, everybody were wondering where the old man was, and my mom covering his misdeeds, justified him, telling that he had gone to an emergency appointment in the hospital, everyone believed her, except for one person: The old mans son. Knowing perfectly to his father and having had too many confrontations with him, he assured me that my mom was lying and that surely she had abandoned to his progenitor. He went directly to hug my mom and to congratulate her for having made that wise decision. My mother amazed, tried to lie once again.

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-Dont lie to me Olvia- he interrupted my mom-, I know perfectly well that resentful and bitter old man. I knew that sooner or later you would leave him. He is sick of hate, prepotency and resentment. You made the best decision of your life, you are on time. Dont wait to get sick of so much suffering, just like what happened to my mom.

His words seemed like a curse. My mom had to have heard word by word, what he had just said, and having thoroughly analyzed. But it was too late. Nobody knew, but the cancer was beginning to breed.

Weeks later, a good friend of the misogynist, died, and I was so irresponsible that I told it to my mother. As soon as I told her, I regretted. She decided to accompany him to the funeral. A few days later, she returned to the wolfs cave.

Now, she will be living alone with the monster, because even thought I would try to visit her as often as possible, I wouldnt be living there to defend her.

The months went by, and was on December, 1998 when we received the fatal notice. My mom looked slimmer than usual. Throughout the following year, she fought like a champion against cancer. She told me about her fights and arguments with her husband but she assured me, that when she left him, he had changed for good. I barely believed her. One afternoon we went to the Pink Zone to remember her English student years at the North American Institute of Culture and told me about all her adventures she had lived in that Institute. We walked very happy embraced, and went to La Auseba, a coffee shop where the most delicious profiteroles of Mexico City are sold and we drank a cup of capuchin coffee. Since then, I havent gone again to that place.

My mom had dedicated her life to help poor people. Maybe it was because she had a childhood so lacking in economic resources or simply because she was a good hearted person, but the good she did to many people, was worthy of admiration.

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She was the kind of person, that walking by the street couldnt stand to see a homeless old man begging. She immediately bought them food and gave them some money, not before make him promise that he wouldnt spend the money in alcohol. In the market she had her two oldies, which she gave them money every Sundays. Sometimes they told my mom it wasnt enough money and my mom just laughed and gave them more coins.

She supported her relatives and brothers sending them money and she was always available to give and to help them when she was asked to. When she invited some relatives to stay in our home, she lent them her bed, and went to sleep on the couch. He shared and gave everything he had without asking for something in return.

She carried his medicines punctually to a sick old man who collected newspaper in a carriage and who passed by our home. We went to visit him to a little cabin where he lived with several cats. Sometimes, also passed for him and took him in her car to pick up his newspaper to prevent him to walk.

But her most admirable act of generosity was when she found out that at two homes ahead of ours, was a property that seemed uninhabited because it was old, run down and dirty. The garage grass had overgrown and was yellowish and uneven. There was planted an old tree with giant branches with all his leaves. The gateway and the railing were unpainted and rusted, the paint of the house was corroded and the windows full of gray dust. It was the year 1986 and we were still living in Tecamachalco, I was in high school. My mother walked over the house to knock the door and an old lady came out, she had a gray and long hair collected with a ponytail and wearing simple clothes. She was a hermit and her name was Martita.

Since then, she took her out of her home and adopted her as a member of the family. She took her out to eat at home, bought her groceries and left them in her door; my mom gave her rides to wherever she had to go; my mom paid her light and water services bills. She even, helped her to take advantage of her empty garage, and offered it

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in rent to the neighbors, so she could earn some money of it. Martita started to earn some money and soon her mystery would be revealed.

She had been married to an American and had two sons. She lived a few years in the United States and she had returned to Mexico with all her family. She worked most of her life in an art gallery but she ran out of money and she had to close it. That was why her house was full of paintings, brushes and racks full of dust and cobwebs.

Years later, for unknown reasons her husband abandoned her and went back to the United States. Her two sons eventually also went to live to the United States. Martita was left all alone and supposedly helpless. Had spent many years living in those conditions without money and without seeing her family, but she was reluctant to sell any of her paintings or works of art. She was in love with her Gallery days and her memories were all she owned. Very quickly my mom, asked her sons phone numbers and called them to the United States, and scolded them like a two little kids without even knowing them. She told them that both were ungrateful for having her mother abandoned an in poverty. Months later something magical would happen.

One morning an unknown man named Erick, called to my home and asked my mother to pick him up at the airport. He was Martitas youngest son. My mom came out very rapidly to pick him up and they came together to surprise Martita. Martita didnt stop mourning of happiness; the same situation happened with her other son whose name I dont remember.

Their friendship lasted for a long time. My mother supported Martita for more than ten years, visited her and bought her medicines when she was sick, my mom also helped her to clean the house when Martita was unable to do it. Martita loved my mom and started to take out her valuable treasures for giving them to my mother, among them were old books and art objects that had belonged to the gallery.

When my mom married the old man, Martita remained with her heart broken, but my mother never forgot about her. My mom instructed my sister and a group of nuns

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from a convent close to my home, to care about her, when my mother couldnt visit her, and so it was. Years later, we found out that Martitas husband had sent money month after month since he had returned to live to the United States. Martita had an important amount of money in a dollar bank account due to the banking interests accumulated over twenty years, but she never collected them. Her pride led her to live in extreme poverty In early 1999, I saw an advertisement in a supermarket called Superama with the slogan: Anonymous heroes wanted. It was about a contest where you can suggested someone who you knew, who wouldve made an heroic act through out their life. Heroic act? I thought to myself: My mother has not only made one, but hundreds! I quickly filled the form with her data, and the next month we would assist to the awarding ceremony that took place in Superama. She won the first place and went reluctantly and complaining: Elena, only you can think about this kind of things. They gave my mom a complete larder and they took lot of pictures to her, which was just a little part of what she had given to others.

In late December of the same year, just a year after cancer was detected for the first time to my mother, she went to have a medical study to measure the amount of cancer cells in her bone marrow and had left very happy and optimistic. The result was zero cells affected. Since I knew that this miracle would happen, I did not hesitate a moment on the accuracy of the study, so I thanked the Virgin of Guadalupe and I remembered my promise.

My brothers and I had bought tickets to see the Nutcracker Ballet at the Fine Arts Theatre of Mexico, but my mother and I arrived very late to the theater and we stayed in The Alameda Park eating Buuelos (a kind of Mexican sweet fritter) and watching the kids having their pictures taken with Santa Claus and the Three wise men. At the exit of theater, we found my brothers and my mom told them that she had definitely planned to leave her husband. We all showed her our support and offered our homes, but she said she would wait to rent an apartment and would move there.

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That year, the Christmas dinner would take place at the old man s house. Weeks before I went to help my mother to decorate the Christmas tree and the Nativity Scene, we also brought and wrapped a lot of Christmas presents. Just on Christmas day in the morning my mother started to have a kind of flu and her eyes and nose started to weep without stopping, it was something unbelievable. She took some medicines and had to start using a mouth cover. Days later we had a family dinner. My mom prepared an apple strudel as dessert and I thought that if she could cook she was getting better. Since she arrived to the dinner I could notice that her face was more red than usual, in the night she was already shivering from cold although she was wearing a coat. She had very high fever. On the next morning, my mom called my brother to tell him, she had fallen and she was alone on the stairs with a lot of fever, and that she couldnt move. She also told my brother, that her husband had just eluded her on his way to his daily walking. My brother went to picked her up and took her again to the hospital. On December 28th she remained interned there. We all would be helpless witnesses on how her light would be extinguished day after dayuntil definitively died out two months later. On New Years Eve, I decided to decorate her hospital room with a lot of serpentines and confetti. I also brought a bottle of wine, but was confiscated at the entrance. I sang to her, hugged her and wished her the best millennium and New Year possible. As soon I was leaving the room, my eyes became a water faucet. All the way back to my home I drove bordering the sidewalks because I could barely see. When I arrived to my house the only thing I could do was to scream of impotence of what I was living. I had promise myself to save my moms life and I would get it at any cost. The torment lived during those two months its very difficult to describe. Day after day my brothers and I was expecting some good news about my mothers health, but the notice never came. At the beginning, my mom was slim but optimistic, although she had lost her appetite. On the mornings and nights she always had fever and the doctors couldnt stabilize it, she also had serum connected on both arms. Her four children and occasionally her husband took turns to stay with her at the hospital on nights. Each time she saw the old man that she had chose as her second husband coming she got angry and rejected him.

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By the mornings, we also shifted turns in which also took part my sisters-in-law, I wallowed over her hospital bed crying disconsolately, without being noticed, but it was such my pain, that my mom put her hand on my forehead and said: you look sad . To make her stay in the hospital more joyful, I bought animated posters with cartoons and animals smiling. I asked to my sisters-in-law photographs from their daughters and family, and decorated the room. On the wall facing her bed I pasted photos of all her four children, daughters and sons-in-law and grand daughters; I sang her the Mexican songs that we used to sang together and took jokes books to read her. Hidden on my clothes I carried my stamp prays to all possible saints, the same that I prayed once and again without stopping. Everyday I also prayed complete rosaries once or twice a day helped with a beautiful white pearl Rosary to make the counting. I wrote a letter which we all signed and where everyone told her how much we loved and admired her, and asked her to get well because we wanted her back in our lives as soon as possible. She had wept when heard it, but then she was happy. My mom had asked us not to tell anybody about his seriousness, but one day my sister and I decided to inform all our relatives. His brother was the first to arrive to visit her. He could not contain himself and started crying without stopping with me when we were leaving from the hospital in my car. My brothers and I asked all the people who knew my mom to pray for her. Prayer chains went through several countries up to Russia. Coming out from the hospital in the evenings when was not my turn to spend the night there, I went to pray to a church with my friend Mary. Relatives from Mazatlan, Torren, Sonora and the ones who resided in Mexico City started to visit her at the hospital. Everybody came out impressed or crying from the hospital room, which invariably was crowded of people who loved my mother. Long distance calls from friends and relatives could be heard throughout the day. The phone didnt stop ringing. Although the little kids were not permitted to stay into the hospital facilities, I managed to get my nieces into the hospital to see her grandmother. I made countless promises and sacrifices hoping for a miracle; I prayed and prayed until I memorized each one of the prayers; I went to visit all the churches where were the miraculous saints who had recommended me. On several occasions I was about to tell my mother that I was already pregnant, to give her a new reason to live, but I didnt.

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One of my brothers, the one who is five years older then me, got a Tibetan alternative medicine that had been sent from New Zealand. My friend Mary, told me about a healing teas that healed also the cancer. Years before, had saved his life to a sir being already hopeless from one of the most lethal cancer which is originated on the lymphatic system: Hotchkins or Hodkin, but could only get in Valles City, San Luis Potos. The next day, my friend Maribel my husband and I would be leaving at six a.m. towards San Luis Potosi. After eighteen hours of round-trip and one more hour we spent with the herb doctor, we returned to Mexico City at one a.m. of the next day. At six a.m. I finished preparing the healing teas, just the way the botanic had instructed me, and I left my home ready to give my mother her first doses. I had to hide the teas in suitcases to introduce them to the hospital. As a good wife, mother and mother-in-law of medic, my mom was reluctant to take them, until we all convinced her. I didnt care if the scientists believed in the teas or not, simply, I had faith on them. I asked to the survivor, who had saved from cancer, to talk personally to my mother. He accepted and went to see her. I waited outside the room hearing the talk on my knees and praying on a couch. The man talked in such a beautiful way, that I had to cover my mouth, to my sobs could not hear. He explained to my mother, that at the beginning he was also reluctant to take the teas, he had seen them like the last choice; he described to my mom how little by little his body became stronger and rehabilitated until his body was entirely healed. The teas had saved his life. My mom listened to him very carefully, she took the teas only two or three times, but suddenly she never wanted them again. One night, on which I arrived planning how to convince her to take the teas, I started to argue with her very strongly. -Whats wrong with you? - Why are you giving up now? - I started to raise my voice tone-. Take the teas and have faith on them. You are going to heal. She turned to see me with her watery and cold gaze she had on her eyes when she started to be seriously sick. -Let me die in peace! - She screamed. I kept speechless. She never wanted to unburden her feelings to anyone; she never cried, never expressed out her feelings, and never opened her mouth to tell us how she

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was feeling or thinking. With the only person she used the word death was me. It was that night. For a woman like her, being interned for the last two months of her life, without being able to move and lying in a hospital bed, was an inferno. Be a dependent person was the last thing she wouldve wished during all her life. On the first month of internment, we helped my mom to take some walks in the corridor; she went alone to the bathroom and sat down on the couch at intervals. On the second month she couldnt do anything by herself. One morning my mom saw on the TV news that an Arab billionaire had died of cancer in the bone marrow. -If this man who had at his disposal an excellent technology and the best doctors in the world, died of the same illness I have - she said talking out loud, I do not have salvation. I researched on the internet alternative health remedies and found out something not yet on sale, but had had good results in tests with cancer patients in the United States. Immediately, I ran to ask her doctor about this alternative medicine and he answered me: "Im going to investigate it. There was no time to investigate! Everyones reactions seemed very slow, as they were resigned. I despaired and yelled at the doctors to do something, I fought loudly with nurses and managers of the dinner room, I personally spoke with the director of the hospital, I was a bunch of impotence, nervousness and impatience about to burst. Without waiting for the response of the oncologist, I promised my mother that I would go the next morning to the United States to try to get that alternative medicine and that I would do one of my tricks to achieve it or if necessary I would steal it. -Come on daughter! - She answered me, already drawling-. Take money from my checkbook and go tomorrow for it. But I never went. I didnt want to separate from her for a second. The remorse that this would bring me, would last many years on my conscience, torturing my inner being. By those days I remembered having seen in a movie, a sterile plastic bubble to avoid being catching any infection in the environment. But that kind of artifact didnt exist in that hospital. Every day the news were more disappointing and frustrating. Nothing was going for better, everything was getting worse. The eyes of my mother were glassy and her

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gaze was lost. Sometimes, she talked to her mother already dead many years ago and with my Aunt Ofelia one of her sisters who already had died. Another alternative for hear healing was to perform a bone marrow transplant. The only one of her relatives with her same blood type was me. So, when they told me, I was already lying down on the plate waiting the surgery. This possibility had been contemplated since the year before, when the cancer was first detected, but the doctor s preferred to submit chemotherapies hoping this would be enough. By then, my mother was so weak, that such possibility had been discarded. I was wondering why we had waited so long and I get to the conclusion, that if my bone marrow could save her, why not my blood. After all, the stem cells that she had inherited me were the same that I would return to her. In between those days, there was a change of hospital and we interned my mother at the ABC Hospital. That's when i donated a half a liter of blood to my mom and asked them to transfer to her. I was told it would take a while to analyze it. The next day my mother returned to the Military Hospital and the blood remained in reserve at the other hospital. Exasperated, I yelled to my brothers to take her to Houston, but they told me that my mother would not endure the trip. My mother was very conscious about what kind of person his husband was, and asked me to take out of his house her checkbook, her cash and her jewelry she had hidden. I picked up everything, but I forgot the jewels. On that night, I would meet my mothers husband at the hospital. We were sitting in an outdoor bench, and he was smoking. -I want to tell you something that Ive just noticed -. The last time that my mother was interned in the hospital, you and she had had a very strong fight. On this occasion it happened the same; dont you think it is much of a coincidence? -you are right; he answered, and kept silence. The day after, my oldest brother would confess me that my mothers husband had come early on the morning to see my mother and had crossed him inside the hospital room. With the tale between his legs, the old man had confessed him what I had told him the night before. Suddenly, he had begun to mourn without stopping and regretting about what was happening and saying loudly: me and my stupidities. He said, like admitting his guiltiness on my mothers health. And these wouldnt be the last time, because my brother would become his shoulder to cry on in more than one occasion.

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Although the doctors have denied that my mothers mood wouldve influenced the growth of the bone marrow cancer of my mom, nobody would make me change my mind. It was so much the coincidence of what happened since my mother married to the old man sick of hate, that Im pretty sure that thats was what my mother got sick, as he had done it with his previous wife. Of course, the two of them permitted it. All that contained anger, the disappointment of have been cheated in such a manner, the helplessness of not knowing how to act and pride of not openly accepted that she had made a tremendous mistake, sickened my mother both spiritually and physically. One morning my mother told me: -If this man was pretending me, just three months after his first wife died, with whom he was married for thirty years, what could I wait? He will have a new wife just two months after my death. Prophets words. The old man, asked my husband to help him to sell one of his cars, in case the money was needed. He sold it immediately and gave him forty eight thousand pesos on his hand without keeping a cent. The same day, I had paid to my mother, two thousand pesos in cash that I owed her. She told me to give the money to the misogynist. To be stored it. The next week, my husband and I, went to pick up clean bathrobes and slippers for my mom. As I didnt have any money, I asked to the old man, if he could give me back my mothers money that I had given to him, but, which would be our surprise, when the old miser, told us that the money no longer existed! He said, that he had used the money to pay his cell phone, because we all had called from it, and that my mother had instructed him to pay the electricity and phone monthly bills of the house. Now it resulted, that he obeyed my mother! It was unbelievable that having forty eight thousand pesos, he had spent my miserable two thousand pesos, paying his personal debts. But his greed was just coming afloat. I looked a priest to talk to my mother about her fears and about what she believed on what would happen. When I got to the room, the priest was leaving and he didnt want to tell me anything, he just mentioned that he had confess my mother and that he would pray for my mothers salvation. My brother, the same of the alternative Buddhist medicine, visited his friend Tony Karam, founder of Casa Tibet Mexico and asked him to visit my mother at the hospital. After having watched her and talked to her for a couple of minutes, he

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confessed to my brother that my mother, as much had ten days left to live. They never told me. To my desperation and as a last option, I remembered having listened of people with extraordinary gifts who heal with rituals and dances and they embodied the illness, they are known as Shamans. My brother and I researched with a friend of him, who was very serious about the matter, and he recommended us to visit a renowned Philippine healer who was coming to Mexico, his name was: Emilio Laporga. Supposedly he healed with his hands using the energy, without thinking I went to see his presentation at the Cuauhtmocs suburb. I was surprised, seeing the number of people that had come to see him. I contacted him, and asked him to heal my mother. After paying his costly fee, he asked me to bring him some belongings from my mother and a picture of her, because he could not go to seeing her personally. He gave me some ointments to apply on my mom on certain body parts three times a day and I should cover her with the clothes that he had asked me. As we could we all did what the Philippine had told us. But the method didnt work. The last alternative that the hospital gave us was to perform to my mother the most aggressive chemotherapy available, but she would remain defenseless and very vulnerable before any infection. The doctor told us that this decision should be taken by her, because it was her life that was in risk. Bravely, She said to him that she would take the risk. Since that moment the visits were completely restricted and we were only allowed access to the room having clean hands and using a gown and cap mouths. We could not touch or get too close to her. After this treatment, my mother took the decision to say goodbye to her children, and brothers and sisters in law. We all were present with our broken hearts, using our covers, unable to touch her or hug her. She gave her blessing to each one of her descendants. -She never will meet my children! I screamed desperately and started to pray without stopping me. One Sunday morning I went to visit my mother. I was surprised of seeing her very glad, talking and joking. I did my best trying to hide my sadness and I became again the same joking and witty person with her. I started playing, hiding under her bed and I did something I hadnt done for a long time: I lay down beside her. We sang and we said nonsense. Then I climbed over the edge of the window and crossed the other side.

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-You are such a scale-dumb! She screamed me laughing, seeing how I couldnt return. I read her some jokes, I said goodbye to her with a big kiss on her cheek and I watched closely her glassy eyes. -See you tomorrow, mommy! I said her waving my hand-. Love you so much. For the first time in nearly two months I came out from the hospital, jumping of joy, because I was pretty sure that my mom was going to cure. That same afternoon I called my sister by phone and she told me that she also was very happy of having seeing my mother so glad and told me that she had eaten very well. To me that was enough, I was sure that my mother would be back with us very soon. On February 28th, year 2000, a few hours after I had seen alive my mother for the last time. The phone rang and my heart leaped. When I answered the phone, I heard the voice of her husband, saying that my mother had just passed away. I threw myself to the floor, screaming and kicking insulting to God, the Virgin and all the saints who I had prayed them with so much fervor. My husband came to hug me to the floor and we stayed there crying, I dont know for how much time. Someone as generous as my mother did not deserve to die at sixty- two years and on that way. So much effort, so much hope, so much pain ... Just ten days after Tony Karam 's visit to the hospital , my mother stopped breathing as he had predicted . Scenes like in slow motion, began arriving in my memory, of my brothers coming and going to the hospital; of my oldest brother interpreting the results that had just been delivered to him with deadpan face; the scene of my sister containing crying in the room the first time we saw my mother suffering from incontinence; the scene of one of my sisters-inlaw screaming with me as we talked in the blood bank; my friend Maria with whom I implored for the health of my mother every night; the scene of my husband looking at me very worried ; the scene from the miraculous teas , the Filipino healing with energy, the cancer survivor talking to my mother, my brother urgently calling and asking the alternative medicine package in New Zealand. All that effort done, for nothing. At that moment, something inside me died with her. The light had died out. I took the tobacco as a relief and started to smoke as a desperate. The tears sometimes came out from me, but I felt dried of so much crying. I was furious with God, with the hospital doctors, with the life itself and with the whole world. I hated myself for not being able to save my mothers life and I repeated constantly to myself that I hadnt done enough. If I had gone to search the alternative medicine to the United States, I

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would save her life; if I had demanded to the doctors to put her blood, I would save her life; if had gotten that sterile dome, I would save her - I was thinking day and night torturing me with stomach pain and my chest weighing me a ton. I came up to the extreme of thinking that I also had contributed to my mothers death, because so much anger I had caused her in my adolescence and youth. From then on, I would be guilty of the death of my mother. I was convinced that, as I was the most daring and determined of my brothers, had fallen on my shoulders the compromise of her survival. I regretted being fatherless and motherless at twenty-nine and of seeing friends who had alive and healthy not only their parents, but still had their grandparents alive as well. Bulimia came out completely out of my hands. My uncontrolled way of eating and purging, was alarming. Basically, I wanted to self-destruct me, thats why I also smoked. The next day after my mothers burial, my husband took me out to eat at a restaurant. At the exit, I remember having experimented, the same depressant feeling I had felt after Alfreds death, thirteen years before and came to my mind the idea of wanting to die. I started watching meaningless whatever happened in my head. I thought my brothers no longer needed me because their life had already made and my cute husband surely would later get a good woman who valued him and give him a family. The only person that I desperately needed was no longer there and I wanted to go along with her. In the distance, I saw a VAN that started and was heading towards me, and begged, in the depths of my heart that ran over me at that moment. But nothing happened. As with my father and my nephew Alfredo, I started having very vivid dreams where I had long conversations with my mother. At first, I wrote them. I also began to hear some very peculiar noises in the head of my bed. When I asked my mom to make them, I immediately began to hear them. It was an early morning in particular when I had such a strong and so full of meaning dream, that, when I woke up, the noise from the head of my bed was so strong that it seemed like someone was slamming against the wall. I was startled and sat down to listen. My husband was still asleep. Seconds later, the noise would disappear completely. I just heard the shutters of the room, as if something had fled out of the window, but it was closed.

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In that dream, my mother picked me up on a beach in Mazatlan, near the house of my aunt Tere, her sister. She was driving her old red Tsuru and was talking to me very gladly, about what she had seen where she was now. She got into the beach with her car, the sea and the sand were pink and yellowish and her car seemed to smoothly glide among the waves. She clearly told me that she hadnt finished talking to my father about their grand-daughters, because she had a lot to talk! She explained that Alfredo continued with his basketball ball on his hand being a champion, and that she wanted to show me a very special place. The rest of this extraordinary dream experience, I keep it to myself. Incredibly, four days after the death of my mother, her ex-husband was hurrying me to take out her belongings from his home. I could not understand what was going on, because the last thing I wanted to do was have to take the things of my mother out so soon, but he insisted. I was also surprised that he mentioned something of a life insurance policy that I should collect. The day of my mothers death, another strange situation happened, as I hadnt found in the shelves the white pearls collar, I had given at the end to my mom, my husband asked permission to the old man to look in his car. It was enormous the surprise of my husband, when he found there, not just the rosary but a lot of gifts that people had gave to my mother, and also brand new slippers and bathrobes that she hadnt even used. The rosary was hidden between the bathrobes. My husband picked it up and returned to the hospital room. The old and dirty clothes were still in the drawers of the room. We were very surprised. When he noticed our disbelief faces, he excused himself, saying that he had previously taken out some things of the room . I couldnt believe how such a thing had crossed his mind just hours after his second wife died. One morning I bravely went to the miser old mans house to pick up my mothers belongings. I started to fold her beautiful night dresses, still impregnated with her perfume, with my eyes blurred of tears; I picked up shoes, blouses and other clothes. Immediately I noticed that many fine clothes were missing, but I thought that they were at the dry cleaner. When I went to the dry cleaner to ask about the clothes, they told me that the clothes werent there. Then I started to look out for some electric appliances belonging to us. When I opened a drawer, I found out that the old man was keeping among his belongings, an electric typewriter nearly new. At that moment I wanted to take it out from the drawer. -Heydo you need it? - He asked me, amazed.

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-Of course I need it- I answered him shocked-. It is a very functional machine that I used frequently. Reluctantly, he allowed me to take it out. From then on, he would be stuck behind me like my shadow, supervising each and every one of the items I touch. He asked me to show him what I was going to take, before putting them in a box. I will never forget a black and white enlarged photo of my mother, which this monster took off of my hands. She was about sixteen years old and was sitting at the Mazatlans pier. She looked gorgeous. When I took the photo from the album of my own mother, he snatched me saying it was for him and he wanted to put that picture in the photo next to his first wife, because the two, were the "loves of his life." I thought it was a nut. He was beginning to exasperate me. Regardless of the many expenses that had my mother due to her illness, months earlier, the selfish old man had bought a very expensive living room and had required my mother to pay half of the total. She had agreed, in addition to cooperate in the payment of the painting and waterproofing of his home and paying a new gate that faced towards the patio. His ambition was really excessive. My daily visits to the old mans house were a nightmare. Besides being carrying my intense pain, frustration and disappointment, I had to deal with the voracity of this sick individual. When I realized, something was missing and asked him, he answered that he had no idea what I was talking about. I called my sister to beg her to accompany me to pick up all that remained, because the old man had my nerves on edge, and described to her, his sick way of spying me. She thought I was exaggerating, but when she accompanied me on one or two occasions, she noticed the same as me: many things were missing By a twist of fate, when my mother was still alive, I had borrowed her car, because mine was broken. Had it not been for that incident, the old man had never allowed me to get the car out of his garage. -You should be glad, that I let you get out of this house your mother s car- he yelled, when the patience was over and we were fighting loudly- I also have the right to inherit. -Inherit at your age? - I questioned him, mockingly- to inherit what? One morning I woke up thinking about the jewels my mom had asked to take care, and that I had forgotten. I thought she was telling me in dreams: the jewels Blondie, the jewels. Because it was still early and I kne w that the old man would be asleep, I

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went in my pajamas and drove like lightning up there. Like I still kept the keys of the entrance, I opened the gate and the front door and went on tiptoe to the bedroom of the old man. As I imagined, he was snoring. Also, I had to also take care of the crafty maid Juana, his spy and best ally. Slowly and in front of their noses I opened the hiding place in her room and ... there they were the precious jewels of my mother! I kept them very carefully, one by one in my handbag; I placed all things in their place and went out very rapidly from there. I also rescued paintings, kitchenware, small furniture and some other adornments. He stooped me to take the speakers and stereo of my mother and he borrowed me some pictures of her, taken with her own camera and also exposed and printed with her money. Embedded in the wall, it was a huge pine wood bookshelf, which had much of the leather pasted book collections of my father. When I told him that I would send a moving service to take out my fathers bookshelf, he answered: Over my dead body. At that moment, I imagined myself beating him with a bat on his head until leaving him unconscious and bleeding, while I took out my mother s belongings. Or hiring someone to do it for me, oh, I hated him with all my being! Instead, he allowed me to take out a small bookcase belonging to my dad; the ignorant old man didnt give a dime for it. Later, a carpenter told me that this furniture was made from solid red oak and it was thousands of times better-quality than the huge and expensive pine bookcase for which both had fought. What it was most valuable to me, were several oil paintings, made by my mother that were hung on the walls of his house. I was recovering what I could, but some paintings were of gigantic size. I asked my brothers to help me with that. The old man kept one of the most beautiful. In my worst despair, I got up to the point of asking to his son, whom by the way claimed to be my best friend, to help me to take out all t he stuff from his fathers house. I was very disappointed, when, after hearing him for years complaining about his father, saying the worst atrocities of him, and having spent entire nights awake, stuck to the phone listening and comforting him, because his father rejected him for being gay, now he was defending his father, he answered me, that those belongings were not his concern, because they were his father owned. Finally, I phoned his best ally: Juana, the maid, to see if she could help me. As my mother had been very generous to her through all those years, teaching her to cook and collaborating with money, so she could buy her own ground at Pachuca, Hidalgo, I

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wrongly thought that she would support me. But she hung up the phone. I was already desperate not knowing to whom else ask for help. The only thing I wished was that someone beat the superb old mans face, who believed to deserve everything, while I was present. I swore make his life miserable while he was alive. There was another priceless treasure that my sister and I would give anything to get it back: the recipes of all the dishes my mother cooked, written in an old notebook with his handwriting, and smeared with butter and salsa. We both look in every corner of the house, but never appeared. As always, the misogynist liar said he did not remember seeing that cookbook and we walked out from there very sad. Months later, Rosa the girl who iron the clothes, met my sister and told her that the old man had "taken" some fine clothes from my mom and that had hidden them in the trunk of his car, among these, there were some long evening dresses very beautiful. Not knowing what to do with some new nightgowns, pajamas and slippers he had brought from the hospital, he had given them to the first person who saw, passing in front of his house. He gave my mother dresses to Leticia, his new girlfriend. Finally, he mentioned that she had hurt a lot, seeing the old man breaking apart, with their own hands, a recipe book handwritten by my mother, arguing that "it was no good and it was pure filth". The recipe book, ended up in trash. That the old geezer would had planned everything so viciously and on that way left me perplexed and showed me that this human being vestige was sicker of hatred than I couldve imagined. From day to night, the old man decided that it was enough and he wouldnt allowed me to take anything more of his home, not even a needle, he changed the door knobs of the two entrances and forbade me the access. It was still missing several things to recuperate, including more books collections of my father bound in leather, Lladr figures that my mother had collected during their travels to Europe, all the tableware trimmings and Christmas stuff, cut glass goblets, etc. My sister, one of my sisters- inlaw and I, agreed to make one last trip together to gather the rest of the stuff. Once the three were there, the old geezer became visibly nervous when he realized I was no longer alone and that he should split into three to meddle at his will. He called Juana her ally, and between the two, they audited us. It was incredible to see the attitude of arrogance of the once sympathetic maid of the house. The very ungrateful, felt like the owner of everything in the house and we had to consult her before any decision.

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Inside the huge pine bookshelf, I saw one of the book collections of my father and without asking him I started to put them in boxes. -No, no, no! - The old man came up screaming, those books are mine! Put them back to where they were. -Youre totally wrong- I reacted furiously. You have ever had in your life books more fine that your cheap encyclopedia and your pocketbooks that talks of sex, you naughty old man! These books are from my father and Im going to take them. - Well no! - He shouted me angrily, as he walked to remove from the box the few books I had reached to put. My sister and my sister-in-law were amazed with his mouth open; they could not believe what his eyes were seeing! It was when they understood that I had in no way had exaggerated and believed in everything I had been saying to them for more than a month ago. But as we were three, soon he ran to the kitchen to supervise my sister and I took the opportunity to empty quickly, the entire collection of books and put her back to the box, for then run out to the truck and leave it there. Then my sister and I split and the plan worked. The poor veteran was walking euphoric not knowing to which of us follow. I took another box and began to save the Lladr figures of my mother. -No!,- he screamed again- return that to where it was! -No! - I answered defensively- these figures are from my mother. - Then you wont leave here with them, lunged heading angrily towards me. - Well, if you want them so, get them out of the box by yourself - I challenged him leaving the box on the carpet. -Nothing more comes out of this house! - He exclaimed. Disbelievingly, my sister, my sister-in-law and I witnessed the climax of his pitiful performance that day. Desperate and unable to bend down to the floor for lack of elasticity and thanks to his tummy, grabbed the box as he could and began to pull violently, one by one, the Lladr dolls wrapped in newspaper. Such was his agitation, that wanting to quickly place them back on the shelf, he began to break them, and he got to the point to completely break the head of a beautiful clown. When he finished, the situation was about to explode. I seized the moment and lunged him and started to tell him that I was embarrassed to see how he was begging, I told him that he was a miserable man and had not even been able to support my mother and me, that he was a scoundrel maintained and my mom had had to pay all costs of the groceries each week, while he was bragging to be very polite and wealthy; But my

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mother had invited him to travel thanks to his stinginess because he was running out of money. Besides, I reminded him that half his luxurious new room was property of my mother and I would take the furniture that belonged to me. Then he became furious and as good and macho coward he was, denied everything, saying that I was ungrateful because he had treated me and supported me as his own daughter. I had no choice to laugh mockingly before such lies. - I just want to ask for one thing that for me is invaluable, - said my sister-in-law when we were about to leave. My mother-in-law and I sewed together and decorate a Christmas tablecloth and I would like to keep it as a remembrance. - I already said that nothing else comes out from here, is that clear? - He claimed reminding me a little and tantrum boy. You already took what belonged to you and that's enough- he concluded stood and kicking us out from his house and pointing to the door with his index finger. In that instant, my sister-in-law went to the guest bathroom, where she found the Christmas tablecloth and put it in the trunk of the car. When she came back, we were finishing the fight. We stood and the old man accompanied us almost to the street to make sure that we wouldnt take a stone from his garden and he shut the door in our face. I had written him a hurtful letter, telling him the ordinary and cheap he was, and the irreparable damage he had caused to my family and also the sick he was. We went out from there to never return. Just two months after the death of my mother, I was walking through a mall when I came across with a terrifying vision: the misogynist holding hands of his new acquisition, a lady in her fifties, with arrogance unmatched. Then, an uncontrollable fury took over me and I remembered the wise words of prediction of my mother: "If this man was after me just three months after her first wife died, with whom he was married for thirty years, what expect to me? He will bring a new woman, two months after I've gone. ". At the beginning the dirty old man looked me like flirting, until he recognized me and his face changed, then he ran in another direction. I caught him easily by striding and yell him, Are you still alive? Wretched rat! I walked a few steps to put me in front of them. When I turned to see them very close to me, he was motionless looking at me with his next girlfriend, both pretending to be very offended. I challenged him with my gaze to see if he could dare to tell me something. We stayed like that for a while, my eyes sparkled with rage and made me want to let go a smash hit in the face. The two

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turned around and walked away from there like mice scurrying through the crowd. Immediately, I phoned his son to ask him what was happening. He defended the woman saying that she was a lady and "the new wife of his father." - Treacherous, motherfucker! - I thought to myself as I beat the phone to no longer listening him. Years later I would find him in a mall and he didnt cease to refer to this same lady as the "secretary" or "the cat".

I could not believe that a person of such low human quality and so vile as he, having more than seven decades of life without money and greed to die, had so lucky to have found at this point of his life, to a third wife, twenty years younger than he. I also was angry to think that thanks to the intervention of my mother, the monster was not alone, because, he had recovered his son as a result of the perseverance of my mother in inviting him and phoned him and now he constantly went on vacation to the home oh his spinster sister at Cuernavaca, the same one he had fought for ten years. This woman would take care of him for the rest of his days. From that moment, I do anything than bothering them via phone calls, letters and threats, I quit smoking and I devoted myself to eat as desperate up to gain ten kilos in one month. Provoking me the vomit was not useful anymore, because the exorbitant amounts of food that I ate, couldnt leave all my body at the time when I vomited. For years, my resentment was growing like a balloon, inflated inside my chest. This human trash deserved to be in hell and I would let him feel in this life. I was thirsting for revenge and wanted to see the old man humiliated and made pieces. I got sick of bitterness. I made the new woman boiling in courage by calling her on the phone on several times, warning her that she was the old mans 'third victim' and that for sure, she would ended ill from cancer, dying, and the old man stealing her belongings. The misogynist accused me with my elder brother and he called my attention, but I didnt care a damn. I followed his track, I was aware of everything he did and bother him for years without realizing that to the only person who I was hurting, was me. The Bulimia, resentment and depression were controlling my life. In all areas of my life I was wrong; excellent job offers went and come and I was totally irresponsible. I was not interested in anything else than being locked up in my house watching cartoons or sleeping; I stopped laughing loudly, my eyes clouded, I

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stopped to believe in people, but the saddest thing was that I stopped to dream. The puppets jumping joyfully around my head disappeared completely. Years later, the old man would died decadent, sick and without a cent. Somehow the life had taken some of the evil he had done. But I had lost something precious, which I would never recover. -It will be very easy to start working with you-, my therapist B assured me in one of my first appointments-. Usually we force patients to fell the two extremes, the tolerance and the anger, to recognize them and come to a midpoint. It is very clear that you have already lived both endsto the extreme!

Original text extracted from my journal, during my internment. Thursday, 29 May 2002.

I am sad, as I thought; the letter of mourning to my mother was long, passionate and very sad. In the afternoon, while writing it, Ive cried a lot. I dont know what to think, when I think about her. Last week in the reflexion of the morning I had a one second flash back and I remembered much of her but I kept worried because I felt the same feeling of profound depression and infinite sadness like when she died, and I felt like dying. One second, a profound prick in my heart and I returned to normality. I dont know what happened. Ive been removing deep feelings in my first step and in this mourning letter. Im stumbling and Im a little tired. Im convinced to want to leave clean from here, to take everything out, to return to Mexico completely renewed. My husband and my baby deserved it. I dont really know if the baby can perceive and feel everything I feel, if so, he is going to be very strong and brave. I know Im not caring very much about him, I feel bad for that, but I want to heal my soul before his birth and I have just few months to achieve it.

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My last days in the clinic.


All the patients had been aware of the innumerable preparations to celebrate the anniversary of the clinic. Dora, Barbara, Karina, Marina and I, had agree to go to the event well dressed, combed and fixed. It would be present, patients from all over the world who had been interned in the clinic years before, among them, a nineteen years old kid, who had his full body tattooed and with piercings in his nose, ears and tongue, he named himself pepper It also would be present the owners of the institution, would attend individual and companies which had collaborated with scholarships and donations and could not miss the media. My perseverance pulled my arm and led me to the owner of the clinic, to talk him about the situation what had happened to me, in the first two weeks of my stay and ask him if he could consider to refund me the extra cost of the round trip tickets, that I had to pay as a result of the virus. He visibly played along with me, but was not interested at all. I thought this would be a unique opportunity to take a picture of all the patients of Eating Disorders behavior (TCA's) together and asked permission to do it. Each of us signed a letter where we gave our permission to take us the photograph and they promised to send it to us over the Internet once we had finished our treatments and we were out of there. In no way they sent us the photograph. The mass media over there present, respecting the confidentiality code, did nt were not allowed to take pictures of the patients. Not caring about this, I was posing in front of every camera that crossed on my way, putting my best smile and exposing my pregnant belly, up to the point of making enrage all the photographers. We all were laughing as crazies. They set up a tarp with microphones for the people who had to speak in public. First, one of the owners of the clinic addressed a few words to everyone there. Then talked all former patients, who had more time sober of any addiction. Then, talked the newest patients and, finally, a representative of which were currently interned. Of course, I stood up and spoke in representation of the women, and Germn spoke in representation of the men.

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We received a lot of applause and then we went to a show that had been organized where you could enjoy the mechanical rides like Ferris wheel, carts and many others, plus stands mounted with skill games in order that all guests could hang out and participate . The winners were given as prizes promotional articles with the logo of the institution, such as t-shirts, water bottles, mugs, mouse pads and slippers. This clinic did not miss an opportunity to advertise itself at any cost! I was wondering if any of the winners would dare to wear, walking down the street, a shirt with the logo of a world renowned rehabilitation clinic, engraved front and back, or if anyone would dare drinking coffee in a public place with a figure painted over the cup which in other words, said: "I am a former drug addict, former neurotic, former alcoholic or a former anorexic". There were also stands with fast-food, soft drinks and sweets. That night we felt especially with bodyguards, the three dietitians were running from side to side giving us tickets for our food portions and taking care that we will not make any excess or we omitted something. I was fed up and bad-tempered. - Why can they not make an exception for one day! - I was saying to the others loudly. Always following us as lapdogs, now I was really bored of those gals! In wouldnt forget in my life that that night had given to me a hot dog and a single sausage without bread for dinner, the same sausage that Dora took without asking and ate it all in on bite, leaving me hungry for the rest of the evening. I was so irritated that I left the line when we were driven to the dining room for dinner, and I moved on the other hand, despite the shouting and scolding that Marcia, the nutritionist, was throwing me. As I was feeling an incessant feeling to rebel, I better turned by the corridor and went back to the food stands to eat the first sweet that crossed my way. Besides, I took a bag of chips from another stand. I was tired of control! It was enough! Who these broads believed they were, that wanted to inspecting us and spy us, even in the bathroom? Once I controlled my tantrum and after eating the whole bag of chips in just two minutes, I head to my room to paint my lips. I was facing the mirror watching me, when I heard a suspicious giggling next to me, I looked towards the bed to see who was there and I found Karine holding hand with Pepper pleading me with her gaze to lend them my room, the problem was that I had to stay in there, in case a technician could discover them and to justify and clarify that they were with me and save them from be expelled of the clinic. I made them a

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signal, I went into the bathroom and they went straight towards Marinas bed. I was glad they didnt chose mine. Without thinking it twice, they started to make out and kissed like champions! I was nervous because Karine started to push and to make exotic noises that resounded in the whole room. I imagined being accused as an accomplice and preferred to run out from the room in silence. Once back at the fair, I crossed with Marina. -Im going to the room-, I urgently need the toilet. - No! I shouted- and she got scared. I went close to where she was. I didnt know how she would react, but I told her the truth-, Karine and Pepper are in the room kissing each other and making out and I had to come out from the room to not interfere. Marina opened her eyes widely. I thought she would be upset. -Butadded with mischievous look-, they can be caught! -Well its up to them, dont you think? - I just wish had not been in my bed - exclaimed about to burst out laughing, 'Yuck! Let me go to the bathroom in the hallway and we sat down to talk a little to give them a chance. And she ran out of there. - Days before leaving the clinic, I was informed that I had to choose my godmother or godfather, a patient with whom I had maintained strong ties during my internment and could serve me as a guide once out of the clinic. I chose, without hesitation, to my fellow of my therapy group, an alcoholic in his third relapse, who had shown much interest in me and whom had cared about me throughout my stay. His name was Jos Carlos. Then, came the day of my departure. They were the last days of June 2003. We meet every Saturday night in the area reserved for reflection and we were placed in several chairs in front of other patients. That day would not only take place the farewell to me, but we were, in total, ten lucky patients that ended our internment, and we would go out ahead in the next few days. Farewells were held on Tuesdays and Saturdays, depending on the next departure of each. Being Saturday, we were quite relaxed and happy. The dynamic was that every one of the patients, who would remained interned, headed a few words to the ones who were leaving. At the end we also had to talk. They gave us, our certificate saying that we had fulfilled our rehabilitation program at one hundred percent and we were granted the coveted silver coin it was given to those who

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had fought to the end. On one side, was printed the logo of the institution and on the other, the Serenity Prayer. It was a moment full of joy, applauses and cheers. Fanny, my nutritionist, came in with some flowers for me and gave me some very touching words. All other addressed to me words of encouragement and congratulations, but the ones who touched most my heart, were my colleagues and friends of EDB with whom I lived for forty-five days. My colleagues of battle, always faithful, always by my side.

When they talk at the end, I got goose bumps and my eyes filled with water. They spoke in a broken voice, thanking my advices, my laughter and companionship, but above all, thanking my example. Dora was mourning while speaking, hence followed Karine and Marina and ended up in floods of tears. We all hugged and promised to call us when we were back and promised to gather. Marina did not live in Mexico, so she gave us her phone to contact her from time to time.

When we come out of there, we went to light a fire in the light of the moon, which meant that everything we had worked out during our internment, burned completely and you stayed with nothing, as newborn, clean and ready for a new life: a rebirth.

This was a ritual that fascinated me. We stood in a circle around the huge bonfire outside the enclosure and we pointed out with both arms to the four cardinal points. Next, the patients who were already leaving. Passed to the center approaching the fire and were burning all the notes and tasks performed during his stay at the clinic. When they returned to their places, each patient directed by turns to the patient next to him, extending his hand, palm up, and saying: Receive my help. I need your help, do you help me? And the other patient answered: I help you!

And so it was, one by one, until we were all holding hands. In the end, we raised hands clasped together and we repeated, aloud, the Serenity Prayer. Thereafter, we had half an hour to hang out in the rest area.

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I took care of to put music for dancing and we all started singing and jumping. That was the area where the pool was and where occasionally it had been prepared some Barbecues and lunches on Saturday or Sunday.

That's when I came up with a brilliant idea to make my farewell unforgettable. I went to Dora and Karine and told them in secret that something strange was lying on the bottom of the pool. They came to the edge curiously, bending forward. I stood behind them, and with all my strength, I pushed them to the water. All other patients turned to look funny and began to laugh. Dora got out of the pool soaking wet and started to chase me to push me to the pool. I ran but a patient grabbed me by my arms and pulled me towards Dora. Between the two dragged me and threw me into the pool.

Suddenly, everyone started to throw themselves or throwing others, dressed to and, within minutes, the pool was full of people laughing and playing with water. Minutes later, a technician in charge came and began to asked us to get out of the pool. No one listened to him. First, he spoke to us with a friendly voice and in a good manner he again said us that it was forbidden to be in the pool and we had to get out of the water right away, not getting any response, he began to rise his voice threatening that we would be reported if not obeyed him. We didnt obey him. Then he ran for reinforcements to come and help him, but we were all crazed with euphoria and we felt free for the first time, free to do whatever we want, without orders and free of routines at last!

We all continued throwing dives and chasing the scurrying patients to get them wet. A strongman, who was throwing all women by carrying them, threw himself with such force that the little finger of his right foot broke and started screaming in pain. We did not know if he was playing or he was serious, so we did not take it into account until after he left the water and showed us his purple finger.

When reinforcements arrived, we all jumped out of the water. A patient approached to them joking, acting as if he was about to push them the pool. They were angry with his whistle whistling away and desperately waving his hands to rush us to get out of there. I figured we were a group of crazy people into a madhouse whom had lost control and making fun of the doctors, and who later would, punished us with

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electro shocks and putting us into a straitjacket, to finish locking us by separate into a room with white walls.

We went out from the pool, trembling with our clothes soaked, laughing and splashing all the water we had driven out of the pool. That had been our night, and whatever were the reprisals against us, no one could take away from us, that moment of joy we had enjoyed. Everyone headed to our respective rooms with the uncertainty of what would happen to us the next day.

As usual, we were awake up at five forty five in the morning. After praying and walking, we prepared for breakfast. Once preyed aloud the Serenity Prayer, we headed to our tables watching straight to our eyes with the uncertainty reflected in our faces. -We are going to be expelled from here- said Marina- Such scandal, was not for less! -No way! - Dora interrupted-, some of us here, are nearing finishing our stay period, to the patients of the farewell, just days to finish- added, pointing me-, imagine being kicked out from here, just one day remaining to end the treatment.

-No! - I shouted shocked-, another forty five days here! -Oh, no, I would not be interned in this madhouse again, not even for free- Karine said. Its scary! Well, - I added lowering my voice- but you had your conquests, you cant complain. -We all laughed and Karine blushed of embarrassment. She punched me in the leg, so I wouldnt say anything. -Dont worry we all already knew it- Rita added very coldly-. But, you know what; we all are a little bit crazy, I have thought about it.

-I know people crazier who walk very happy by the street and making atrocities with their lifes and with others life- she said sharply. - So, lets see Marina-, Rita continued. People like us who prefers to die and hurting ourselves before getting fat, are we wrong or not? As therapists say, the insane

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judgment controls us. I feel sorry to say this. I would prefer to be a drug addict or alcoholic to this... - Woe! Shut up, you do not know what you are saying, I interrupted annoyed. I prefer to be bulimic or anorexic than drug addict or alcoholic. Rita looked at me shocked. She brought his face close to mine. - Are you sure? - She asked me, but I did not answer her because I thought she was going to tell me nonsense. Think carefully about this, she continued. Drug addicts and alcoholics have to make an extra effort to obtain alcohol or drugs, since they have to go looking for them in a particular store and be of legal age to purchase it. Our drug is sold in all the stores. Alcohol is still the drug most social but the food is achieved everywhere. Just watch on every corner in any trade, the neighbor's house, in your own home! You can not have alcohol or drugs in your home to avoid temptation, but food, how?, you need to have food to live! I was impressed by analyzing the words of Rita. In my life Id thought I had one bit of consciousness about our disease. I had not even come to think in taken seriously. All we keep thoughtful and in silence.

- You have the drug at your own home, it is true! - Karine exclaimed. Food, especially sugars and refined flour: cakes, candies, cookies, junk food, fast food, bread, ice cream, chocolates ... ugh, I could continue listing during all the morning.

- Mmmm ..., especially chocolates ... - I added closing my eyes and savoring a giant melted chocolate in my mind. -Please stop, because I have cravings- said Dora holding her belly and bending towards the table like watching all the food over the table. She stuck out her tongue and started to lick the air. We all laughed uproariously. I do not only have chocolates cravings, I want to eat everything you just said! The patients from the table next to us were saying joking that we should invite them to our table because it was always the funniest. - It does not matter, exclaimed happily. I'd rather have my addiction and I'm not ashamed to say it, because someday I will stop being bulimic.

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- Good, my friend! well said! We will be ex bulimics- Dora shouted raising his arm in triumph. -I wish so-,Marina added with a sad gaze.

I felt a shudder to see the eyes of Marina and remembered that she had already been hospitalized twice into the emergency hall of the hospital, about to suffer a heart attack due to malnutrition. I thought about her husband and three children, who didnt failed to visit her every Sunday. The smallest was about eight years and was always close to her, whether it was holding her hand, hugging or sitting on her lap. I could not imagine the pain that this disease was causing at their home.

Now that I am a mother, I am conscious that the pillars of a family are both, mom and dad, while we remain firm and sure everything is built up, is going to have a good foundation. However, if we are insecure and weak, all construction grows shaky and in danger of falling at any time. Although each member of a household plays its role, always someone is needed to provide balance and safety to the others, to maintain family harmony. In most cases, fathers play this role.

In the case of Marina, I noticed a clear imbalance. Watching her three sons - two of them teenagers - coming and going to see her with expressionless faces, and her husband making a huge effort to pay a ninety-day internment for the second time, made me think that maybe Marina did not believe in herself . She had not conceived the idea of leaving healthy and in the first nor in the second time, would there be a third? What was urgent was to her, was to return home to care for their children and was very worried about it, since she mentioned it again and again. So, in addition to the stress caused by the many activities and tasks to be performed into the rehabilitation center, Marina like many other inmates, were carrying day and night with the worry of not being able to care for their children. I knew that when she was applied with psychological tests to intern her for the second time and they handed the result, she came out of the psychiatrist's office, groaned and started to tremble and covering her face with her hands. She walked quickly to her room without even watching the hallways that she knew it by memory, and once there, she began to mourn endlessly. That was told me by another patient who was waiting his turn sitting outside the office and watched everything. He ran after her

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to her bedroom to receive, in exchange, a door slammed in his face. However, she stood outside the room a few minutes thinking about what to do until ultimately decided to leave her alone and left very distraught. Marina added that she seemed to be in another dimension and her eyes cast an indescribable terror, "as about to go crazy." Later I found out that the result had concluded that she would need to be hospitalized at least another ninety days. It was Sunday, the day less busy and the day on which we received our visits. I had already been visited by my husband and my three brothers so as no one else was aware of my case, I did not expect anyone else. My seven nieces had sent me, within each visit, beautiful drawings and little notes wishing me a happy stay in "Minneapolis". Besides, I would be free in two days and the nightmare would end.

I had pending a colossal amount of homework that my therapist had asked me to do, but I would put it much more content to my final work. She doubted I couldve enough time to describe my life in a few pages, but I was willing to do my best try, so I went straight to my room to write without pause and skipping breaks, describing all kinds of experiences since could remember: triumphs, disappointments, mistakes, successes, wonderful experiences and some very painful, all I wanted to capture on paper leaving any feelings emerge in my thirty-two years of life.

I worked hard for hours and night fell. My right hand was aching me terribly. At times, I forced myself to stop and let my hand rest, giving a massage in the wrist and fingers, but I could not waste a second, so I kept writing until the hand was numb with grief and again apply my healing technique. Several times I tried to continue with the left one, but I found out that I had no talent to be ambidextrous. At t10: 00 p.m. Marina, who was my new roommate after the depressive woman had left the room, told me that I looked exhausted and asked me to rest, but I did not listen her. I do not remember at what time I went to bed, but it was late and my hand was shattered. Of course, I had not finished yet.

That morning would be my turn to present one of the most important tasks in treatment, a kind of "summary life" of the events that I considered the most impressive and had marked somehow. I decided that everything in my life was important, so I continued working until 5:00 a.m. but the pain in my hand would not let me do much,

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so I only managed to summarize the experiences missing by listing them me with key words to remember the facts. I barely finished, when they got to wake me up. I made all my activities very tired and yawning.

After breakfast, arrived my flamboyant therapist C and stood at the door of the dining room looking for me with her eyes. Once she found me, she smiled making me a sign indicating that it was time to start the session. I felt my stomach pouring by nerves. I had in my hand a bunch of sheets with words and scribbles written on it and my mask. My companions led me words of encouragement and, at that moment, all my tiredness disappeared and I started to feel invaded by pure adrenaline through all over my body. I stood up like a spring and went to her quickly.

I had to read and reflect all this alone in the middle of the prayer center along with my therapist. Each event had its special symbolism. After throwing everything out, That I had to say, with tears, screams and words, patient and therapist left the place with all the sheets on hand and carrying the plaster mask that I had made and painted by myself, having my face as a mold. In one corner we burned everything.

- Look, the bitch resists- my therapist said while the two watched the spectacle. I burst out laughing and she hugged me. I I'm so proud of you, 'she said giving me a squeeze. I didnt find the right words to thank her all their dedication and affection she had given me during my stay in that place for. I had great a respect, admiration and affection for her. Like my mother, she was a woman with guts and strong willed, hardworking, cheerful and explosive: direct in saying things. I felt that this lady had understood me since the first moment we met; she had also suffered from many abuses in her childhood, just like me.

I was holding her in silence, wondering how she could do to disengage emotionally from her patients, with whom she lived entire months day and night. Besides, I knew she lived in her own flesh my pain and my joy when I narrated her my experiences, I felt how she was intruding into my body and soul, how can it heal after both physical and emotional stress? Because not only I was her patient, but each

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therapist had a group of eight or more people by to direct and, as we mentioned between us, she got filled with each of your group. Although I'm sure that their dealings with me was deeper and tender. I know.

This hug we gave us meant to me all my gratitude and affection. Then we wait until everything was charred, we turned off with sticks an occasional spark of ashes still burning and both walked hand in hand towards the workshops. Hence, everyone took their way. We said goodbye to meet later in group therapy.

During the therapy session she had planned to surprise me along with everyone else. When I walked into the living room, it was completely empty. I sat down to wait excited, because I already smelled my therapist C was up to something. Suddenly, one by one, began to enter my colleagues exclaiming some virtue.

-Wisdom! - said the first one. -Patient! - said the second one. -Honesty! - said the third one.

And so on, continued saying one by one until everyone entered. Once there, each one of them headed me encouraging words and filled the chalkboard with beautiful phrases written on it. My therapist talked to me from the bottom of her heart and made my cry, telling that I should be the living example of all the virtues with whom my fellows had welcomed me. She showed me a plasticine doll that carried a baby in her arms, the same doll that I had molded, and had given to her as a gift. -You will always be on my mind-, she added showing me the doll while placed it sitting in a corner over her desk.

Then she put music with fast pace and we all stood to dance. Then changed track and started to hear a quieter lyrics which talked about "flying". She turned off the lights and lit a candle. She asked everyone to sit down on the floor and hugging and on that way would finish the session of that morning.

At night, we had dinner served with beef broth and vegetables. I was talking excited about what I would do coming to my house and all were giving me ideas on

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how to receive my husband. Marina was the only one who was quiet and thoughtful. At the time that they put in front their portion of food, her face was transfigured. We keep talking. We were going to start praying when it was heard a resounding No!

We all turn towards the terrifying scream and saw Marina, who was shaking uncontrollably from head to toe, very pale, pushing the plate with her fingers out of her sight. Two of us grabbed her from her hands and tried to calm her. The nutritionist had run to his side and spoke quietly to calm down. She continued with the white face in terror, like she was seeing a ghost.

- I do not want! - Screamed upset, I do not want to eat! I do not want this -! Said while was throwing the plate.

The nutritionist placed the plate again in place and she started screaming and to mourn. All got scared to observe the fear that she had to the food. Through all the time, Marina had been obedient, cautious and organized. It was the first time we saw her losing control. She flatly refused to eat. The nutritionist threatened to use a nasogastric tube and Marina paled even more. She brought her the soup with meat and vegetables and sat beside her to watch her eat. She took the spoon with a trembling hand and began to take small amounts. She was the last to finish, but had achieved it.

Once in the room, when she was calm down, I told her that she still had many days to overcome that fear of food but she would have to work hard to achieve it. I told her how lucky she was by having her husband and children and even gave her tips on how to paint and combing. - Thanks for all your will and support, Elena. Im going to miss you-, she said with her sincere look. I got up from the bed and we gave us a big hug. We said goodbye because she had to start the day at five forty-five I am, and I a little bit later. - Take everything out-I advised her. Do not get stuck in fear, however much work it costs you to throw things out, say them. That terror that you have to the food is tremendous. You need to overcome it.

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We wish ourselves good night and the two fell exhausted. The next day, I got up to take a shower at seven thirty in the morning and later I caught up with my companions at breakfast. Marina had another face. I still had time to do some exercises with my therapist to remove resentment. They made a delicious meal that evening. I ate alone, very early, since I already had to leave to the airport. I entered the room, followed until the end by the nutritionist. I brushed my teeth and picked up my belongings. When I took my carry-on bag, a piece of paper had flown to the floor. I picked it up and realized it was a note. I identified immediately Marinas lettering. I read it hiding it from the nutritionist. The note said, Yes I was sexually abused when child. Thanks for your advice last night. Please do not tell anyone. Today I will discuss it to my group therapy. Kisses, Marina. I will never forget that great day: Tuesday, July 1, 2003, the day I walked out triumphant by the corridor in which forty-five days before I had entered, fearful and eager to sneak out of there. I had completed my work and I was closing a cycle. A day earlier, I had asked Dora and Karine to leave their activities to say goodbye to me but I did not find anyone. I waited them a few minutes but they hadnt come, no noise could be heard in the hallways. With my head down I observed Sideways for the last time, the activity rooms where so much negative energy had left my body and soul, I grabbed my bag and I had not taken two steps when I started to hear applauses coming from one of the rooms. Excited, I went back to meet Dora, Karine and all my other colleagues with whom I had shared my life, they were coming out of their hiding to catch me, it was an amazing moment! Everyone came to me and they began to hugging me wishing me the best in this new life and also for my son. Marina was not there. I began to mourn and hugged Karine and Dora thanking them for the surprise that they had prepared. The technician told me to hurry up, because the taxi to the airport was waiting for me outside the clinic. - Get into their classrooms - the technician screamed but everyone ignored him. Again, I loaded my suitcase and said goodbye to all by hand. All the way down the hall I kept hearing whistles and applauses. I turned to see them, one last time and left the enclosure crying of joy. Once inside the taxi I kept listening to the applauses from afar. Words written by my therapist C, during my internment.

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Elena: A warrior of light always has a second chance in life. Like all the other men and women, she was not born knowing how to manage her sword and made many mistakes before discovering his personal legend. No warrior can sit around the campfire and tell others, "I always acted correctly." Who says this, is lying and has not yet learned to know herself. The true warrior of light has committed injustices in the past. But in the course of the journey, she perceives that people with whom she acted unjustly always cross again in her way. It's her chance to right the wrong that caused them and she always uses his sword without hesitation.

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Back home...
I got into the taxi which would take me to the airport and I remembered the words that Alexia had told me in one of the calls she made me on a Sunday: Close your eyes and make the most of that moment of freedom when you leave the clinic. It's an amazing feeling that never will repeat. Although I was accompanied by another patient who would not stop talking nonsense, I tried to ignore him and did exactly what Alexia had been advise me. I took a deep breath and I felt out of prison, out of regulations, out of the scolding, out of the surveillance, free again to make my life from that moment!, This breath of time was mine and only mine! A flurry of excitement filled my spine giving me chills throughout the body. I was happy, I had done it! I felt proud and dignified and the rest of the way I did nothing but look at the landscape out the window, and to make believe to my seat companion that I was listening to him. We finally arrived and my former partner and I said goodbye. I sighed thinking that I would have all the return flight to be alone with my thoughts and feelings. I checked in and went to the waiting room. While I was waiting, I noticed in the distance a giant chocolates in the duty free shop ... so long that I had not tasted one! The poison was within my reach. I did not think half a minute. I stood up and I bought two huge bars of chocolate. By eating the first piece I felt a delirium of pleasure. I finished half of one bar, gave me remorse, I thought my therapy and kept the rest. Suddenly, what was my surprise when arrived to the waiting room the person least expected! He was Frank, who was coming to greet me smiling. -What are you doing here? I asked him puzzled. -You see, we have the same flight back, can you believe it? - He said smiling. -Did you know it? I asked him. -Sure, you didnt? They told me. -But ... you do not live in Mexico City, why are you going there? - I asked him, still surprised. -I'll go to fix some stuff, baby-. Dont freak out, I do not bite. I could not believe. Destiny would test me again and would make me one last play. Frank used that

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moment to show me some photos in which he was in a club in town with another former patient and a very exotic girls, blondes and redheads,. I was sorry to see a bottle of alcohol on the table where he had sat the night before.

Although our seats were not together, he followed me down the aisle and sat beside me. I forgot to delve into my thoughts along the journey back. I was sitting in the window, Frank in the middle seat and a woman of about thirty-five years, came to stand on the other side. What happened during the flight is worth to be considered a comedy.

Frank said to the other woman, while flirting with her, that I was his wife and was about to give birth to his firstborn, so he was referring to me saying my love. He invented that I was annoyed with him and that I didnt talk him. I decided to follow the little game and started to put face sullen. Each time that one of the flight attendants passed down the aisle, he whistled them and turned around to see them blatantly to their asses. He then continued flirting with the other woman who, at first, was very shocked and also talked to me, because she was very puzzled that my "husband" was so blatant. Later, she realized that I did not budge me and after Frank told her that we had a very open relationship, she was carried away by winding the gigolo and began a revolution because the flight attendants really believed that I was his spouse and began to treat him grudgingly for disrespect me on that way. I turned toward the window to laugh in silence of the comedy.

The compliments that Frank was telling to the woman supposedly in a low voice went up in tone and were becoming more daring, but she seemed to be fascinated. Occasionally she crouched quietly leaned forward to look at my face. I had to cover it so she would not see me laughing about all the foolish things he was saying.

-We are going to named him, Frank Johnathan Cristobal 'he said to the passengerfor his two grandfathers and the handsome man that he is fortunate to have as a parent. You know! I hit the target at my first try - Right darling?- he asked me-I have an aim of a magician. Moreover, the size of the artifact is extra large; you will know it-added softly toward heading to the woman while touching his genitals over his pants and clutched them very proud.

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- If you want we can go to the bathroom right now and I'll give you a big surprise to not wait until the night-, he added. I couldnt stop laughing in secret. Honestly, the return was worth it with this character by my side. In the end, to my surprise, she gave him her phone and he turned to me smiling mischievously and winked at me. Success! Frank would have a date for the same night. The woman still had the nerve to say goodbye to me wishing me luck in my childbirth. Frank and I went together to pick our bags while he was boasting of his conquest and saying nonsense like, that women liked the heartthrobs, chatty and uninhibited men like him, because they reflect experience in bed.

He said goodbye to me and bowed to me before I went to collect the bags. -Beware with AIDS-! I shouted him, smiling. - No problem! - He answered turning to me while walking, and to finish with a flourish, he pulled out a condom from his pants and showed it to me and shaking it from where he was. I laughed again. That was the last time I saw him. I picked up my bags and went running to seek, among all the people waiting in the arrivals hall, the familiar face I longed to see for so long and there was in the front row! I threw the bags, ran to him and we gave us a big hug, I had so many things to tell him! My husband was very happy to see me and quickly caressed my belly, which was already huge; He took my hand and headed to his car. -I got you something, its a gift-, I said.

- Ahhh, very good, and what is it -? He answered me enthusiastically. Without opening my hand, I put in his hand my silver medal recognition for having completed my full treatment. He opened his hand and looked intrigued. Both sides read and understood what that meant. He looked into my eyes and gave me a big hug of congratulations. -I am very proud of you, congratulations, babe! - Thanks for this great gift-My husband added squeezing the currency.

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On the way home we were talking of everything. He told me that the second floor of the periferico freeway had just been opened and he wanted to show it to me. We talked about his work, my farewell flight back with Frank. My husband informed me that he had arranged some meetings with my brothers, prior to my return to discuss how it should be my arrival, changes in attitude of everyone, care and support should I received from the family. He had previously consulted with my therapist and had read some texts on the subject.

Finally we arrived at our apartment I was excited to be back at home with my husband and Yoko, my loudmouth parrot. We climbed the stairs and opened the door, surprise! My family had organized a welcome dinner. They were my three brothers, my brother in law my two sisters in law and my seven nieces. Everything was decorated with balloons and a banner saying "Welcome". They had prepared sushi and oriental rice for dinner. I took my food diary and my rations counted, so I just eat my portion, and I started to enjoy my victory night.

Among the first things I did, was going to the bookstore to find recent literature on bulimia and binge eaters. I bought several books and I gave them one to each of my brothers and my husband.

At the beginning, it was not easy to adapt me again to normal life. It came to my mind a movie called "The Shawshank Redemption" starred by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, which is about the lives of some ex-convicts once they are free and the difficulties they had on trying to adjust to the everyday world. Some prefer to return to their routine because they can not find what to do outside of the bars without someone controlling them. Maybe I felt a little like that because I had no one telling me what to eat or following me to the bathroom to assure I wouldnt throw up.

That morning my husband left for work very early in the morning and I was alone. We had moved newly married south of the city, to San Jernimo suburb, just the other side from where I had lived through all my life. There was anyone known around. I took my small notebook with autographs and I started reading all the affectionate words of farewell had dedicated to me my teammates. I really missed them.

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Everything seemed strange; I will no longer had to rush at five forty-five in the morning, at ten oclock at night, I missed my therapist C. Immediately, I called my therapist B, who had been assigned to me to continue with my treatment, the same therapist who had helped me very much to get into the hospital. She gave me an appointment for two days later and I felt relieved. Among the many activities that I should continue to carry out, were: to contact my godparent to take care of me me and meet with him; attend to individual and group counseling, attend to continuing care in the rehab clinic, in a Mexico City branch, once or twice a week; go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings nearest my house every day, find a group of Neurotics Anonymous and attend meetings twice a week, find a group of Overeaters Anonymous and integrate once a week, contact a nutritionist recommended by the clinic to give me a follow-up appointment and go once a week and make up my menus and write down everything I ate throughout the day. So I was busy during all mornings, afternoons and evening so, I did not have time to think about eating.

My therapist B had been in contact with my husband preparing him for my arrival and even he had taken therapy in her office, while I was interned. Since my first session back from the clinic, I felt a great relief, because I felt cared and beloved.

My therapist B, was a specialist in couple relationships and eating disorders, and was renowned in her field by colleagues and patients. At the very beginning I wanted to compare her with my therapist C, in fact, unconsciously, I called her by her name once in a while. This confusion disappeared after a few weeks of treatment, it was clear that this lady had her very definite and unmistakable personality. Although they had no much in common, I noticed that the two therapists had the same deep desire to help me getting ahead and both had some special sympathy and affection for me. I think it might be because of how much I needed a mother at that time, being pregnant for the first time and trying to relieve my illness, and clamoring for their protection and love. I missed her so much and was such a strong feeling that projected towards them and they, being psychologists and mothers, perceived it and acted trying to fill that huge void.

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However, the deep hole left when a mother dies, is never filled, nor with a years of life nor with all the positive energy of the universe. It is a sunset that you never see again. Once I had secured my individual therapy, the next step I took was to look for the group with which I identified the most: Overeaters Anonymous. The closest location to my home was the same in which I had had the fight months ago and I didnt feel like going there in any way, so I looked elsewhere. Actually there were not many options and the group which I found was very far from my home.

However I managed to attend such meetings that were closer to my work than my home when I was going to work weekly, to record the voice messages of an automated telephone system of a movie theaters,. The distances and traffic in the city of Mexico are quite significant, so I spent all day fulfilling my many appointments, therapies, reading literature for former patients, attending meetings, meeting new companions with eating disorders graduated from the same institution as I and others, informing, seeking and participating in what I considered could be helpful to me. Despite the size of my belly, I did not stop for a moment, because I wanted to be mentally healthy when my first child would born. On the other hand, Jos Carlos the temporary godfather I had chosen during my internment, proved to be a total failure outside the clinic. After talking and search him for more than ten times, we arranged to see us and go to eat at a restaurant. He arrived half an hour late and without money, he was in a hurry, so, he asked me to pay the bill and told me that he later would deposit me his part and walked away. He never called me again or answered any of my calls. He was a complete irresponsible.

Years later, I met him in a stationer's shop and he pretended he did not know me. I figured he did not want to remember that he had been hospitalized three times in clinical recovery, that I had witnessed his atrocities in group therapy and that he owed me the payment of a meal. I greeted him and remembered who I was, and he astonished simply gave me his business card saying, "I'm going to live to Cancun. Call me if you want. "As soon as he turned around, I broke the card and threw it in the trash.

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I occasionally attended AA meetings but definitely I declined to reconfirm that had nothing to identify me with alcoholics and drug addicts, they were completely different symptoms and experiences to mine. I even found they didnt understand something when I stood to talk on the stand describing my binging and purging. After thinking a few days, I decided to suggest in continuing care clinic to open a group of former patients who were suffering eating disorders and so I met two women, former patients of the same clinic. The first was bulimic, drug addict and alcoholic and the second one was anorexic. It was the first time I heard someone talk about the famous "relapse, however, it was not until it happened to me I realized this fully. The three together made our best effort to ensure assistance and seriousness on the boards, but it was impossible. Many times we were only two patients and, on several occasions, I was waiting alone for someone to arrive. Lacked commitment from patients. It was then when I searched for a fixed group of Neurotics Anonymous. I never found it as such, so I joined AA again while waiting a group to be formed and finished by giving me up.

My therapist B recommended me with a nutritionist specialized in eating disorders. She herself had suffered from anorexia as a teenager. I was going once a week for a long time. First, I went pregnant, later carrying my baby on his baby chair and months later, I attended with a new baby in my womb. It was not until the end of my second pregnancy when, after my other son was born, and I only had time to devote full time to two babies, one a year a month and another newborn. She did her best to follow up on my diet but definitely I ate what I craved.

The strict control under which I had been subjected during my internment and my eating disorder, caused me to go out and eat desperately once outside the clinic, and in contrast to the kilo and a half of weight gained in forty-five days inside the clinic, the following week after leaving the clinic, I already had gained two more kilos.

I gained eighteen kilos of weight in total during my first pregnancy, plus ten kilos more over when I was pregnant, making a total of twenty kilos of overweight, it was somewhat alarming! In the final months of my pregnancy, I got severe pain in the joints of my hands and in the sciatic nerve. I also suffered from terrible cramps.

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At four months of my first birth and still with thirteen kilos over, I got pregnant again. This time I gained fourteen kilos during the nine months. At four months of my second birth and even with ten kilos over, I got pregnant for the third time and gained fourteen kilos again.

I was pregnant practically three full years and weighing about fifteen kilos over my normal weight after each birth.

This information is easily memorized by us the persons who suffer from eating disorders. We live counting calories, carbohydrates, weigh us down to two or three times a day, knowing the kilos we gain or loose, reviewing, night after night, everything we ate throughout the day and we always desiring to be slimmer.

I told my therapist B that several patients and doctors had told me that rehabilitation was very different under the influence of antidepressants, because neutralized the desire of compulsiveness. I remembered some former internment teammates saying that once you took them, life will change completely.

Due to my pregnancy I had never followed a treatment with antidepressants either inside or outside the rehab clinic. My husband and I decided that immediately after giving birth to my first child, I would begin to have an antidepressant treatment and my therapist agreed. She recommended me a psychiatrist which whom I would go a few months later.

I kept going to my meetings with my therapist B twice a week during one year. She was of Jewish religion, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, so they had a strict father and angry against the world. He had also experienced many ups and downs in his life, but she had learned to forgive from the heart. She taught me to be humble, to accept people as it is and not as I expected it to be, and also to forgive. She always left me homework to deliver the next appointment and helped me financially with the cost of the therapies, only charging me a minimal amount.

Definitely she changed my negative opinion that I had of most people of her same religion; with whom I had talked before, and I told her so.

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I was feeling great and my husband could notice it. He asked me to speak separately with each of the members of my family and explain to them in detail, now that I had the answers, what It was happening to mean what do I expected of them, he suggested to take advantage of time now that I had just returned from the clinic, to heal the issues and bitterness of the past that I had with others. So I did it. First I spoke with my brothers and then with my sisters and brother in law. Their reactions were the most extreme and unexpected, some tender and other sharp and defensive.Then, I would try to solve our differences, with a humble attitude and reconciliation, with each one of the people with whom I had had a fight, a discussion, an argument, which bore a grudge, whether they were friends, family, neighbors, etc.. This took me longer, but I achieved it almost entirely. I say "almost" because there were one or two people who, definitely, asked me to not call them again because they did not want to hear from me anymore. One of them was Lilia, my unforgettable childhood friend.

When I gave birth to my first baby, my therapist B came to visit me and attended to the Baptism of my child and giving him a beautiful golden brooch which had hanging symbols of Catholicism. Thereafter, she permitted me to take therapies, carrying, changing and feeding my little baby. Moreover, she lifted him in her arms and treated him with all the love in the world.

I could call her in the day, in the morning and at night if I had a crisis or relapse, and she was always available to me. She even gave me her home phone. She gave me special treatment and made me feel very happy, she took care of me, so I could do the minimal effort when taking my therapy and repeatedly she gave therapy to me and my husband together to resolve some issue as a couple. I loved her very much because she was a great person with a huge heart, which I had the joy of finding on my way.

One month after my first son was born I was very worried about my weight and felt too fat. My hormones were at its limit and I was always in a bad mood and very explosive. I looked me in the mirror and I could not believe how my body was deformed by the pregnancy and overweight.

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This feeling is normal for any woman who just gave a birth to a child and hence the famous baby blue. The difference for us is that bulimics or anorexics everything is exaggerated because overweight is exactly the weak point in which its based all our self-esteem. The thinking is, if Im fat I'm less intelligent, I'm not successful, I'm less attractive, I'm awkward, I feel bad eating in front of others because they will make fun of me. This tendency to dramatize dimensionally negative aspects of any situation is also very characteristic in people with these diseases using it many times to pose as martyrs of the circumstances. What is the consequence of having in mind twenty hours a day these negative thoughts? Relapse. So I immediately relapsed.

I returned to induce me the vomit to lose weight no matter that I was breastfeeding my baby. With my face in the toilet and poking my throat with my finger, I thought at the clinic of internment, in all my effort wasted, in the month and a half I spent isolated of society, about my son sleeping in his Moses in the bathroom ... everything was going down the drain, but I had no control over my desperate way of eating. After vomiting, I sat on the floor helpless mourn. The disease came afloat again, controlling me completely, how I hated it!

I had to confess this to my therapist B, who told me that it was better to cut the milk to my one month old baby and started my treatment with antidepressants. My husband also suggested it and I refused to do so. I kept trying to "control myself without control", I returned to the endless cycle of weighing myself in the mornings and get depressed seeing my overweight, give me a binge by disappointment, to induce me the vomit to prevent weight gain, then went back to eating carbs and return back to throw up. Tired, with a sharp pain in the esophagus, with my red eyes about to explode and nostrils covered by vomit, I brushed my teeth and went to sleep.

The next day, Mrs. Scale, my implacable judge, would decide how it would affect my mood the next twenty-four hours. If my weight reflected a lower weight than the previous day, although they were a hundred grams less, there was a spark of hope that inspired me, though, if otherwise, my weight was the same or higher, I started with my circle of self-destruction to finish hurt from inside again and lying on my bed.

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In addition to this was the daily, because I had to feed my baby every three hours as any newborn needs it, getting up three or four times in the morning. Although my husband helped me a lot, the sleepiness was terrible. At four months old my firstborn, I accepted that the disease was stronger than me and I decided to visit a psychiatrist. As we all expected it, he prescribed me antidepressants and forbidden me to return to breastfeed my son. When I left the doctors office, I got in the car and began to mourn and weep. I called the gynecologist who prescribed me some pills that would cut my milk production, no later than into two weeks and instructed me to bandage my bust to accelerate the process. After buying everything in the pharmacy, I grabbed my first pill; I sighed and swallowed it with a sip of water. When I got home I took my son in my arms and prepared a bottle of warm milk. When I wanted to put it in his mouth, the baby immediately pushed it with his tongue and began to search my chest, very nervously and crying. I tried again but the same thing happened. Then I collapsed.

I remember that during my internment I often heard about "touching a bottom of pain" as a result of the addictions and diseases. Many patients told depressing anecdotes about having touched bottom when got an car accident while drunks and killing their friend on the passenger seat, or have been unconscious three days in a hotel room due to cocaine over doses or having beaten their children under the influence of drugs until leave them hospitalized and other stories really outrageous.

Despite the fact that I had tried to think of which had been my bottom pain with bulimia affecting me, I had never found any examples to represent this because the only one affected was to me and at long term. I had never had to stay in the hospital for esophageal tear, I never had a hernia operation, I had never suffered from a traumatic experience that directly affected another human being. It was thus at the time my son started to whine looking for my chest to feed him, suddenly I touched my bottom pain and I could fully understand what this meant.

I had barely two weeks taking antidepressants when I found out I was pregnant again. The time had not been enough to notice an improvement in my temper, because

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the components of the drug had not been effective yet at one hundred percent in my body. I had to cut the treatment immediately.

- You and your husband should have waited longer to get pregnant again - my therapist B told me very worried. - It was not even planned. In life I would thought I was going to be pregnant so soon and even less breastfeeding- I replied. The relationship between my therapist and I was becoming closer and more direct. We discussed all kinds of issues with all the ease and sincerity of the world and the relationship became more personal, because I already considered her much more than just a psychologist and I began to having a very special affection for her. Even I recommended her to Alexia and Dora, who were also their patients. My husband, my five months old baby, the baby I carried in my belly and I, moved from house and it resulted that the board of Overeaters Anonymous, which previously was at the other side of town, was now relatively near my new home. I joined the group two days a week. The group consisted almost entirely of wealthy ladies in their forties and fifties, very well turned out, who arrived in luxury cars driven by a driver who waited for them outside. It also joined the group one or two men and younger people.

The Thursday afternoons sessions were imparted by a doctor specialized in the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, focused on compulsive, bulimic and anorexic eaters. This meeting was always crowded, up to the point to see people standing outside the room listening with the door open. She was a redhead, tall, thin woman, who had reached to weigh three hundred kilos. Anyone who would listen to her talking, even the most skeptical, were immediately convinced of every word she said.

This group based its recovery through radically abandon sugars and refined flours, i.e., if you wanted to belong to the group, the first condition was to stop using, for the rest of your life, any kind of sugar and refined flour of any kind. To sweeten the food you could use sugar substitutes such as Canderel, and you could only eat bread and wholegrain cereals.

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They were so extremists that they were guided by menus already prepared by members of the same group. Each and every one of those who attended there, were completely convinced to perform this practice. I got very curious to hear to awesome people sharing their personal experiences. Individuals who, after suffering morbid obesity for years, now were completely thin, normal and happy, anorexics in recovery, bulimics rehabilitated. Here no one went up to the podium, all talked sitting since their places. I noticed something there that did not quite convince me.

The first day I got here I felt invisible because I entered just as they were talking to the meeting attendees, one by one, and no one turned to see me nor welcomed me to the group. Again my bad luck in these groups, I thought to myself. In the end, a lady asked me my name and asked me not missing the next meeting. That was it.

I continued to attend, but I noticed that just thinking that never in my life I wouldnt be able to eat flours or released sugars me caused me compulsion and out of there, I went to buy brownies and coffee with whipped cream on top, to gulped them in just five minutes . I ended up full of food and coming to my house, going into the bathroom and vomiting. My baby was watching me with my face inside the toilet and he kept very serious.

When I told this to my nutritionist, she got furious.

- Hey - she said, unable to hide her annoyance, you're already beyond that fanatical people who follow these extremes, you were already interned, you were taught and you learned how to balance the meal, you have a solid foundation and sufficient information about your illness. Stay away from that people right now, how can it be that you are saying that, while pregnant, you should substitute sugar with phenylalanine, causing damage to your body and the fetus? Bring me any of those ignorant so I can practice them a blood test and, for sure, they will be filled with salts because whole grain bread has many more salt than white, and has more grain. So if they do not want to eat them, it is noticed that they have no idea what they say.

She paused and took a deep breath. He looked into my eyes with a straight face and continued.

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- I am going to ask you, that while you're into that crap and attending these meetings with those people blinded from reality, you should refrain from coming to consult with me.

I left there shocked and upset by the radical treatment I had received, but I listened to her and stopped attending meetings with these people.

It happened that, after having heard countless comments about the controversial film The Passion of the Christ directed by Mel Gibson and starring Jim Caviezel, my husband and I were among the first in line see it as soon it was released in Mexico. Despite the fact that several people had recommended me to see only cartoons while pregnant, I ignored their advices.

When I was watching the movie I began to wallow in pain as the cruel scenes began, when Jesus was imprisoned and begin to be mistreated. In the crucifixion scene, I mourned as Mary Magdalene, It started to ache my heart, chest, head and stomach. The actor made an extraordinary role and his look is sublime. In fact, not having been nominated the following year and did not win any Oscar award, I have never seen or believe in the Oscars. There has not been a film that has touched me so deeply as this. And not only to me, I heard that this film had already made miracles in humans around the world and I felt that there was as clear as day message, same as I soon deciphered.

But it was not only that, I did not stop to mourn in a week. When bathed my litle angel in the morning and washed his little back with soap, I could not avoid imagining the scene Lashes Jesus on the back, with the torn flesh, and putting myself in the place of Mary watching her son suffer like that manner. I mourned and moved me to such a degree that movie that I thought it was due to something special. I had found the message and encapsulated it in five simple words: example of love and humility, The same virtues that I needed it to show to others.

With full confidence, I told all my feelings to my therapist B, who listened very carefully at first but later she suddenly decided to change her attitude.

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- Come on Elena, do not tell me this movie will already healed completely and you are no longer bulimic - she threw me this question sarcastically. You are now a miracle in person, or what? - Hey-I corrected amazed, you should go to see it. It is very hard but worth all the period adaptation, the action... - Do you know that Mel Gibsons dad is an anti-Semitic declared? - She interrupted me raising her voice. - What -? I asked, not understanding her comment. - What? - She continued imitating my voice keenly that's it! This guy tries to make us look bad to the world with that movie saying that the Jews killed Christ, dont you realize?

- Bu ... but I'm talking about something else, the message that leaves to the world and how much it touched me...

- Well, I will never going to see it- and concluded the talking and looked straight to my eyes, challenging me for a moment.

I was astonished. I had never seen her like that. If I could not take it out on my own psychologist and tell her all this, to whom could tell it then? I felt that the patienttherapist relationship had gone much further, it was completely distorting, we were mixing personal perceptions and we were not focused on the purpose of the treatment. The incident ended and I left her clinic, confused and sad.

In one of the latest appointments that I attended with her, the issue of Nazi concentration camps during World War II came up and she told me that Catholics had no idea of the suffer that Jews had suffered there.

- Yes, I do not even want to imagine what shall have been-I replied. But I think it is time to leave the past behind. Already had pass more than half a century and they are still dealing with this issue, producing films, and documentaries, how long? Other races

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and religions have also suffered horrors and massacres. You must leave their role as victims. - It is for humanity to always remember it- She replied brilliantly. Ask your Pope this, what is it called? Pius II or what is it called?

- Which Pope - I answered thinking she was referring to medieval times.

- This this Pope you now have, with his head-hanging she said while turning her head and sticking out her tongue mockingly. The old man who is suffering from Alzheimer, nothing more pitiful.

I felt like a whip on the face when she just made mockery of the representative of Catholicism on earth.

- Ah - I said, not quite believing she did not know the name of the Pope and recovering from the punch- I said; John Paul II! - That! - She added in a tone of despise-Ask your John Paul II, or whatever his name is, if horrors were not lived in concentration camps during the Second War. He was in one. - John Paul, into a Nazi concentration camp -? I asked surprised, ignoring that fact. - Yes, just as you hear, she added. They say your Pope helped to save a few humans, said sarcastically. Let's see, why they did not kill him? - Why would they kill him? - I said, visibly upset and how good he helped others, no!? - That its said -. And so it would continue the tone of my therapy that day. Confused, I mentioned it to a former patient of hers and he said that it was a lack of professionalism and respect for me, because I was not paying to discus religious topics, personal opinions or living confrontations, but to try the subject of my bulimia. The last time I went to a consultation with her, was with my husband acting as mediator between her and me. The two exposed our discomfort and, in the end, we hugged each other, but I knew this would be the last time I would go to a consultation

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with her. I wrote a letter in my diary pulling out everything I thought about what had happened between us and I decided to give her a copy as a farewell, but never thought it would be a goodbye forever.

Although the letter was not at all subtle, it was clear that I was the one who was wrong and needed her professional help. In addition, this document could have worked as a tool, because a therapist can separate personal feelings from your work or at least I thought so. After look for her so many times to tell from the hospital that my second child was born, but I received no response, I realized that I would no longer see her again. Another cycle had closed.

I struggled to find a new psychologist as having had my last two therapists so intense and energetic personalities as women. I was recommended to a woman who, besides being younger than them was sweet and had a friendly and harmonious voice. Unintentionally, I went to the opposite extreme but just worked for me. I would call her my therapist D.

After my second child was born I had no choice but to wait until he turned two months old and continue going to the my appointments carrying him on a baby chair along with the one of one year and three months, who was beginning to walk and throw everything that was around him. Each time I arrived to the reception, was quite an spectacle, with tears, screaming, diaper changes and preparing milk. Being already in the clinic, I spent half the time of my consultation carrying on one hand, to my two months baby when he cried and on the other hand, taking the ornaments out of the table to avoid that my tiny one year and three months baby break it. Invariably, I had to fly off to the bathroom to change his diaper to one of the two again, or clean and change his clothes to the baby of two months that had already vomited on the couch, or should prepare another bottle for the baby of one year with three months, because he wanted more milk, it was craziness!

Despite everything, my therapist D was patient enough to wait for me and even to help me; she was also mother of a five year old girl. The short time we had to work worth as gold, so we squeezed it till the end. At two and a half months my second child was born, and I resumed my antidepressants and again I cut the milk. It hurt me to the

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core to think that being the breast milk the healthiest and nutritious that Mother Nature could give to a newborn and being I a good producer of such liquid I had to resort to such extremes to be mentally healthy with two babies breed. What troubled me the most, was to cut out that beautiful experience of intimacy and love which is created between mother and son while breastfeeding. I cried again, I wiped my tears, I took my first antidepressant and I continued working on my recovery. There was no time to lose.

As usual, I had stuck in my head the craze to lose weight and I decided to do something drastic. I heard one of my brothers friends saying that she had lost over ten kilos by taking pills containing a substance that inhibited appetite. When she mentioned the medicine called Raductil, I memorized it in a heartbeat.

The next week I went to a convenience store pharmacy and asked for the drug. Before bought it, I took the time to read the book that was over the cabinet and where I could read what the active substance of the tablet was and its contraindications. The active substance was sibutramine and at the end of the description I could clearly distinguished a legend in capital letters: Do not take this medicine under psychiatric treatment with antidepressants. I read it several times, as if repeating the word out, I could erase it. Forbidden ... forbidden

- Give them to me! I take them! - I exclaimed, heading to the person in charge of the pharmacy. - Yes, of course, replied- while looking very attentive and charged me. It is five hundred and fifty-five pesos - said, while passing the bar code by the machine.

- Five hundred and fifty-five pesos? - I asked him alarmed. And how many pills contain?. - Fifteen-he answered me by reading the information in the box. It is a treatment for two weeks; he added hoping that I decided to pay him.

I had no money to be spending over a thousand pesos a month in pills appetite suppressant. A year earlier I had just returned from internment and had paid a symbolic amount to the clinic, but not of my pocket or my husbands, I was paying weekly consultations with nutritionist and direct therapist. Added to this, I had no

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medical insurance, so, each consultation, examination, ultrasound with the Gynecologist throughout my two pregnancies and two births in particular hospital, I had covered it with our money. The costs of the items and baby clothes were exorbitant ... it was impossible! Then, it came to my mind a brilliant idea. By using my tricks I asked the one in charge of pharmacy to give me medicine to pay for it in the cash desk. She agreed, but not before placing it inside a hard plastic case that was sealed inside wearing a sensor. I hid the box under the seat of my baby and I went to the cashier to pay whatever thing, crossing my fingers to not ringing the damn sensor. Leaving there, to my surprise, no sound was heard. Hiding my excitement, I continued walking calmly to the car. Once there I put down my son while I introduced my hand under his seat. I took the box with the medicine and I quickly threw it under the seat, my plan had worked to perfection!

Being already in my home, I wondered how I could open the plastic box. I searched among the tools and found a hammer. I broke the box with a hammer making a deafening uproar and ready! The appetite suppressant was at my disposal. As soon as I started taking the pills, my hunger almost disappeared completely, I lost weight quickly and things were going great. After two weeks the pills had been finished, so I went to the same pharmacy and did exactly the same thing as the last time. Again my technique had worked. I do not remember how many pharmacy boxes I broke with the hammer, may be three or four in number, because I took the medicine out without paying for a month and a half. Sometimes I was so blatant; that I even had a pack of my antidepressant and appetite suppressant in the same box. At six weeks I had lost about six kilos of weight.

One morning, just after taking my appetite suppressant and my antidepressant at the same time on an empty stomach, I felt my blood pressure down for a beat and my face turned yellow. Soon, I got into the shower but I could not finish my bath, I clung to the walls, I was falling to the floor. I crawled into bed, wrapped in my towel, and I dialed the phone of my husband telling him that I felt very bad. He said he was leaving immediately for me. Suddenly, my head began to turn at fast speed. I leaned on the pillow to stop the vertigo but it became even more intense. My head was exploding and I was terrified. I called my two older brothers, the doctor and my sister, the chemical pharmacologist,

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and tried to check with them the content of what I was taking, but I could not even grab the medicine box, as my hands began to twist toward me as if I were beginning to have arthritis. As I could, I called my husband again to hurry up. My fingers were aching terribly. Suddenly, a stream of vomit came out of my mouth and dizziness started again, my breathing quickened at maximum and I started having tachycardia. I feared for my two young and defenseless children, who were by my side without understanding what was going on. My husband and my sister arrived and he picked me up to the car, but not before leaving the two babies in charge to my sister. We entered the hospital emergency room and soon they took my vital signs. A neurologist began to ask me what I was taking, when I told her, she opened her eyes widely and asked me to give her, the two boxes of medicines which I was dangerously mixing. Minutes later, he returned to tell me that what I was doing was an atrocity because I had mixed two very strong substances to the brain. I immediately stopped the medication and I was under observation; dizziness came and went. To make sure that everything was in order, he performed a magnetic resonance imaging of my brain. He explained me that my hands had twisted due to hyperventilation, i.e., had begun to breathe too fast causing my body to react that way. The result of the scan was that my brain was in perfect condition and the cause of the vertigo was my irresponsibility. What we paid at the hospital surpassed by far, the cost of three or four boxes of appetite suppressants that I had stolen from the pharmacy, my insane judgment was making its old tricks on me!

Back at home, my husband scolded me severely, reminding me that I had two little lives in my care. The next day I went to visit a psychiatrist.

- What you did is an atrocity- The doctor said very concerned holding the two drugs -. Mixing fluoxetine with sibutramine is a severe blow to the brain connections. I think you did well and hopefully you wont have other long-term sequels.

- In the magnetic resonance imaging came out that everything was in order, I explained him.

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- Yes, but I said long term, not at this time. For now, I have to say that although you stop taking the two drugs, dizziness will give you again in intervals. No matter if you ever takes again sibutramine, the damage you caused yourself will take long time to heal, if it heals. - How - I asked him alarmed. What do you mean is that I will get this dizziness forever? - Hopefully not, he answered, although, it is very probable.

Fifteen days after stopping both drugs I got pregnant again for the third time. While pregnant, dizziness reappeared repeatedly and about over a month. At first they were very intense, but were decreasing with each passing day so at almost the end of the month, it only manifested in small dizziness and nausea, that eventually ceased. By that time, late 2004, the unique companions internment I had seen since my return to Mexico had been Alexia, promptly at the airport, Dora and Karine had faded with the wind. Although right after my return from the clinic I had talked by phone once or twice with them, we could never rejoin us. As my therapist B had recommended Dora the same dietitian than me, we sometimes crossed us in our appointments and we were going for lunch or to have a coffee.

Although all my former colleagues had been aware of my multiple births and pregnancies, none had even visited me, some because they didnt live in Mexico City and others by the long distances between our houses.

Dora was having a great time lately. Finally, in her twenties, she had decided to pursue a professional career and had gone to live in Quertaro. The last time we saw each other, I introduced her, my two children. Although she had not lost weight, I noticed her very happy with her new college friends and she told me that she had taken average ninety-five in her first semester. I congratulated her and told her to continue as well. We stayed in touch just calling by phone to say hello. I invited her to the Baptism of my second child in April, 2005. She promised to go, but she not appeared.

Months later and pregnant for the third time, I started thinking about her frequently. I called her to see when we could see each other. Her sister answered the phone.

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- Is it Dora? - I asked her, not recognizing my friends voice. - Whos calling? - She asked me. -Elena, a friend from the rehab clinic- I told her. - Elena-, she said-. I know who you are, I'm her sister. Dora has been interned in the hospital for two months and she is very serious. - How? - I asked with surprise, what happened?

- Look, it's a long story she continued, trying to find the words to start talking. -. In May, she underwent surgery for place her gastric band because she was desperate with their weight. She did all the necessary studies and they said it was a good candidate for this operation. They also assured her that she would lose forty kilos or more in eight months. As you can imagine, she was fascinated, so the underwent surgery. She was operated by the best gastroenterologist in Quertaro, and we all trusted in the huge success of the surgery. At first, everything seemed going well, until she began to have a tremendous pain in the stomach, up to the point that they had to intervened her again. I was listening all this, shocked, because I could not imagine why she had not told me about the surgery when we talked on the phone. - When they opened her again- continued his sister - all got scared to discover that the food had cast her out of the stomach by a fissure and was all dirty inside. Soon, they cleaned it, sutured the fissure and everything seemed in calm, when she began to have fever and was diagnosed a large esophageal infection. Thereafter everything has been wrong. We had to move her to Mexico by ambulance and she is now hospitalized in the Military Hospital. In Quertaro they recommended us the Military Hospital because they said there are the best doctors in the country. - May I go to see her? - I asked.

- Yes, but as she is in intensive cares, there are schedules and you have to wait your turn. - It doesnt matter I added-. I'm coming.

I went right away toward the hospital. I came into intensive care and then I came across Dora's mother and an aunt.

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- How's Dora, lady - I asked her mom. - Right now you're going to see her, she said. Give encouragement, please. She needs it. While waiting my five minutes turn to see Dora, her aunt took the opportunity to tell me that Dora could not speak because they already had to remove much of their esophagus that was infected; they had had to cut the stomach to half because after many cracks, no longer served the tissue. Every day they had to open it to discover a new condition and no longer sewed back, but she was wearing a permanent mesh into the abdomen to keep it open. She also explained me that she had a small heart failure.

I can not believe what I was hearing. My friend Dora, the sympathetic chubby, my partner of mischief and laughter was dying in a hospital. From what I understand, things could not be worse. Their aunt had gone to mourn with me and asked me to tell her not to lose hope of getting ahead. That's exactly what I did. I went on my robe and headed towards Doras bed. As soon as she saw me, she smiled. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and asked her how she was feeling. She, with signs, asked me to pass her a blackboard where she was writing the answers because she could not utter a word. With trembling hand, she wrote that she felt a little better than when she had reached the hospital. Minutes later, she realized that I was pregnant again. She touched my belly with her hand, as she did at the clinic, and wrote with barely intelligible letters "Congratulations." I was speaking as a loudmouth saying words of encouragement and how much her friends loved her. I said I needed to see her better every day and offered her a welcome party at my house when she left the hospital. Suddenly he felt tired and closed her eyes. I tiptoed out of there. I said goodbye to her family and I left.

Having visited the same hospital where my mother had died years before caused me a terrible nostalgia. I had not been back since then. On my way at home, I felt invaded for an uncontrollable urge to eat sugar. I stopped at a Vips restaurant, I ordered the gooey cake that was on the menu and a coffee. I phoned my husband and I relieved with him. - My partner in pain-I tearfully told him, is dying! And, do you know what, because of the damn disease! She could never heal. Binging, led her to surgery and the

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operation is taking her to the grave. her aunt says that although out alive is going to be very injured, connected to devices everywhere and not being able to speak again, what is worse, live on that conditions or die -? I questioned my husband while I was devouring the cake with my hands.

My husband tried to cheer me up; I drank my coffee of a sip and walked out of there.

The next time I went to visit Dora; she seemed to be a little better, because she could speak in a very low tone. Then I asked her about her career and told her. She needed to return to college. She was more awake and even laughed. I told some funny things that had happened to me being pregnant for the third time and with two more little babies, and she smiled at me tenderly. She had been four months lying in a hospital bed. I said she looked much better, that I was preparing everything for her welcome party and asked her to give me the list of guests because I would be calling in advance. She brightened, but she told me to wait for her to come out from hospital because all these data was in Quertaro. I said goodbye to her and walked out of more animated than before from intensive care. I let it know to her mom and aunt, and left the hospital. Once a week I phoned his mother or her sister to ask how Dora was doing. "More or less," they usually responded. The next time I called them, they said they were going to sedate that were not so hectic and there was no point to go to see her, because she would not even realize. I kept in touch with them.

One morning I woke up thinking a lot about her and I wondered how she was doing. I phoned to several family numbers, but no one answered me. I thought tender to visit the next day. I turned on my phone and saw I had a message. It was a message from her sister. Elena, I called you, to let you know that Dora is now resting in peace. We will be at funerary Gayosso in ...

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I attended the funeral of whom two years before, was my constant companion in battle. I will never forget the image of his father heartbroken crying as he hugged her daughter's coffin. After fighting for her life for six months in a hospital, Dora had died at twenty.

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Little dolls all around my head


By those dates in which I had been scheduled to give birth to my third child by Caesarean section, was right in those last days of vertigo and I was really scared going into surgery in such condition. All that happened was that I was a little dizzier than normal at the time of surgery. Since that day I have never felt again vertigo. I had to cut my milk again when my daughter was one month old, I resumed my antidepressants treatment. This time it would be the definitive. The effects of the pills worked and I started feeling very well, my nerves and irritability relented and I started having flashes of the person I was. I enjoyed more of my children and the simple and daily things. Just for those dates I met again with Lili, a young lady who I had met a year earlier and had called very much my attention by the tranquility that she emanated. It was a quiet woman with a harmonious tone of voice and I wanted to make her my friend. We would meet us at a cafe. Once there, we talked about us and it turned out that we had a lot in common. Immediately, I had the confidence to confess her about my bulimia and my internment, and the lack of control in my way of eating since my had mother died. - Your mom is with you - she said in his soft voice. Hatred and devastating experiences that have affected your life, have forged this strong character and defensive that characterizes you, but remember that there is also the beauty, love and the eternal. Your mom is in another facet but she is still with you. You must not lose faith. I thought it was the same as many people had said me.

- Yes, I replied crying. Everybody comforts me like that. - But I do assure you- she insisted.

She told me that she was pursuing regressions therapies to other lives through hypnosis, with people who had problems, and invited me to experience it. - Lili- I said frankly, I am not convinced of the existence of other lives. That does not fit my mind. It complicates me too much thinking that some day I could have been a bug, as Tibetan Buddhism states. - I dont care if you dont t Believe- She answered very confident. You come and you will see.

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The next day I was sitting across from her in a chair. She asked me to lie down and asked me to breathe deeply and to relax me.

Like I had the idea that hypnosis was what you see on TV shows, where people completely lost awareness of the present and travels to another stage of their life I was skeptical. I imagined waking up from my trip with a snap of fingers to count down three, two, one ... But that never happened. When I told her my idea about hypnosis, she laughed out loud. - No - She said smiling. Its not like that. You are going to be completely aware of what is happening around you, it is only that I will lowered your level of consciousness, through the breath, to go back in your life, then, you will start to have memories, okay?

- Well, okay-, I replied still incredulous. She tried to relax me again but I was very tense. She told me to go back at the age of seven. The first thing that came to my mind right away was the morbid face of Cuauhtemoc. - What are you watching? - She asked me. - The guy who sexually harassed me for years-, I said, trying to erase him from my imagination. - Look at him-She said, realizing about my intention. Dont try to evade him. - I do not want to see him - I said trying to do what she was asking me. - Forgive him-. He is a sick being. Let him go. - No, I can not! I'm not ready for this! - I do not want to forgive him yet. Lili told me that we would try again later. I stood up and we started talking about my mom and how much she had suffered in his last months of life and how unfair it had seemed to me, and of how the bulimia did not leave me in peace, or I did not want to leave it. He emphasized that my role of "victim, abused and sick of bulimia was the most comfortable and selfish, since I was the little poor girl that everyone should pay attention and had no intention to heal. I kept tormenting with memories of my mother.

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While I was talking of these things, suddenly, I began to feel lot of heat on the back. I turned around occasionally to see what was behind me, but there was only a white wall. The heat was rising. Surprised, I asked if there was a heater behind that wall, but she responded negatively. So, my hair stood on end completely when this energy came over me from behind and started caressing. Lili realized this; she smiled and told me with sparkling eyes: - Do you remember that I told you that your mother was with you? Well here she is, in this precious moment, right behind you. I jumped, interrupted my breathing and every pore of my body was electrified. I panicked. I turned again to see what was behind me but I couldnt distinguish what I expected to see: a silhouette or a light. -Is her spirit here? - I asked her, tensing my muscles. - Yes, she said, looking around my body. Is in the shape of energy and it is beautiful. - Can you see her face? - I kept asking her, not daring to turn back again. - No, I do not see her face, I see her energy and I can see her revitalized aura of light that are projecting to you. It is a very pure and youthful energy. Your mom is perfectly fine; she could not be better, dont worry. The heart was exploding me in my chest. She paused looking the other way and stood very watchful. - Look, she explained me; your father is also here. - What? - I exclaimed again, tense as a stone. - Yes, he is with your mother, he is leaning to her left side. But ... something very strange happens. He is behind her, not beside her. At that moment, I broke into tears. I believed Lili because I had already had this kind of experiences and it did not seem me at all unreasonable. In addition, I was feeling it with all my being, there was no way to doubt it. Lili had no idea that my mother had married again and I hadnt told her anything. To me remembering that was like re-poison my blood of hatred and resentment, and avoiding comment. However, in the next session I told her that my mother had married again, years after the death of my father. She explained to me that this was the reason my father appeared behind her, not beside her.

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- Do not cry, she asked me, taking my hand-. This is natural and any human being can experience it, it is just that not everyone has the ability to feel it so quickly. You're lucky and you're well protected. I can clearly see that your Guardian Angel has not been separated even a second of your side since the first day I met you. I have mine and I talk to him. - It is male or female? - I answered her with my eyes wide open. - It is neither man nor woman. It is energy. Sometimes, he appears before me as Angel and he explains to me that he does that, so I can associate it with the image that we humans have of them. - Does he appear to you? Do you not fear -? I asked, still feeling that energy caressing my back. - Yes, since I was a little girl I can see it and hear it. I'm used to. I was always able to see the aura of people and, as no one had told me that wasnt normal, I thought we all did. Until one day, talking to my sister she confessed to me, amazed that she had met a man who could saw the aura and I told him that I did too. At first, she didnt believe me until I had to prove it. It was when I found out I had a special gift, and now I use it to help people that need to heal something, like you.

I was completely stunned. For some reason life had allowed me to meet this being different from others, with whom I felt at peace.

- Nothing is by chance; she began to tell me how reading my thoughts. Everything has a reason for being and for some reason is that you are here now. Your mother had to go through that at the time of her death. There are lessons that you learn in this life and they serve you to move to the next.

- But how can you say that - I asked. If my mother is here with me, how can she have been reborn into another being and, at the same time being here in this room? - Because that is her essence- and has no limits. -We better leave it like that- -I added- I dont even want to think, she had reincarnate in someone else. Im not really convinced of that.

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-All right-, She replied grinning. What you consider that convinces you; take it, even reincarnation does exist-she paused-. I tell you I'm nobody to want to convince you, but God exists and is in you. He loves you and this is a sign of his presence. I feel it every time, in any detail. I just know he exists and he is always with me.

At that moment it came to my mind my childhood in the school of nuns and remembered how good I felt when I firmly believed in God. I lived in peace and sure that I was never alone. Really, I missed to feel well again.

The heat in my back began to lose intensity. She told me that my parents were saying goodbye to me at the time but they would always be with me and my dad was a being more evolved because he had died before.

I said goodbye to Lili and hereinafter I made appointment with her every week. I came out of there as if I had been given an ultra recharged full of energy, joy and positivity stack. Since long ago that I was not feeling so well. At night, I called Lili to tell her how good I felt, and she told me she had a message for me.

- Your mom came to see me, she explained me. As soon you went out from here, she presented here to tell me she was so proud that you were practicing regression sessions and wanted you to know she loves you. She mentioned that she had been so worried about you all these years after her death, because you looked very sad and did not want to leave you alone. She said you were the one who had suffered the most from your brothers and that would not let her go in peace. Now that she is looking you a little better, she will be leaving you gradually, but its essence would always be with you. She also told me you should believe in yourself.

- How was she? - Could you hear her voice -? I asked her enthusiastically. It is a light, the same light you felt this morning. She gives me these messages through my angel; he is who speaks to me.

I did not know what to think or whether believe her or not, but what I did know was that I felt extremely well and that whatever it was, I would return with her.

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Lili was so simple that she blushed when she had to charge my fees. From that day I never again induce me the vomiting. Seven years now.

In the next session we tried again to return to my past and, if possible, we would try to reach other lives. I lay down and relaxed. I remembered scenes from my childhood but my curiosity made me ask her to take me further back. She relaxed me even more.

Suddenly I saw myself running in a giant meadow full of yellow grass unpruned. In the background, I saw a small wooden house. I watched myself as a beautiful girl with golden curly hair; she was wearing a blue sky dress with apron, slippers and a hat. I entered the house and I could see in the kitchen that, at the time, was my mother. She was a thin, dark-haired woman with a sweet look. She was wearing a long dress of the era and was silent and selfless. No physically looked at all to my mother of this life, but I knew it was her. On one side, there was a rough wooden table. It was shredded and battered. Sitting in a chair at the table was a sturdy, grizzled man with very pale blue eyes and mustache. He was drinking beer in a rough and metal jar. Although his appearance also was quite different from my dad, I also knew in that instant he was my father. I felt a slight sense of aberration at him and I knew he was an ogre and that he was unfaithful to my mother in that life. I sat in front of him at the table and he looked at me very seriously.

Suddenly, I started to hear children laughing and I started laughing myself. I realized that in my left side was siting a little boy playing with me. And I knew he was my brother. We both laughed at the table playing pranks and our Father scolded us every five minutes.

- Look at him into his eyes- said Lili. Turn to see his face, who is it?

I raised my look and I kept staring into his eyes. He had very blue eyes and was smiling at me and showing me his crooked teeth. Suddenly, I recognized him! It was Alfredo my nephew with another appearance! I started to sob myself, lying there. I could not believe It! Lili asked me to progress further in that life.

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I watched myself as a young girl of about sixteen years old sitting at that table. My father had died. I do not know how, but I knew it. Standing in front of me, I recognized my brother made a grown man, looking at me leaning against the wall. His eyes were deep and I knew immediately that we were in love. Incest. He went to war and he said he would return soon. I was overcome with panic. The image was erased from my mind. I felt that he would die in that war and I knew I wouldnt see him again.

This was my first regression. It was amazing what I had seen there, but the creepier was the undeniable similarity in the history of that time with my current s life. She explained that it was recurring patterns and these were the ones I had to break to evolve. Since that day I had many more sessions and many impressive regressions, none with such obvious similarities as the first one. But my attention was diverted to ask if my mother had been present, if she had said any message, if my father had also been present. - You are coming here to try to solve your current problems through hypnosis, she explained. What I can see there is something else, it's a plus that you experienced. Stop focusing on that and focus on finding a solution to your current problems having found out where they come: from your past lives.

Still incredulous, sometimes I explained to Lili that I was a very creative person and I could easily imagine everything.

- Imagine and begin to mourn? - She questioned me. Imagine and knowing that your dad in a past life was unfaithful to your mother? Having recognized the look in your nephew was your imagination? You were predisposed to find it?

I never found an answer to these questions. I definitely was not expecting to find my nephew and I hadnt been thinking about lately. To date, I have no explanation. It happened also that from this experience I began to feel a louse or caress on my crown. At first I thought it was a fly would land on my head and tried to scare it with my hands, but the feeling remained. I deduced that Lili had managed to open a channel between my earthly being and the divine, and this was my Guardian Angel visiting me to remind

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me it was there. To date, I've gotten used to it and when I am very relaxed and in harmony, I still feel the caress in my head.

I know for sure that my soul was healed bit by bit from its wounds. I kept going for about a year with Lili. When I arrived stressed, she noticed it and let me know it and when my stomach hurt, she told me that my energy was very low in the abdominal part, when I was confused and felt guilty, she told me she saw a dark cloud over my head and a tangle of thoughts that would not leave me alone. She did all this without needing to mention something. To the point that one morning that I was mad at her, looked at me for a moment and asked me to tell her once and for all everything I had against her.

I resumed meditation at home and I started reading a lot about Tibetan Buddhism. Slowly and without realizing it, Lillis fervent faith in God started to convince me that he existed. With just hearing her, talking wonders about God, and so sure, That I couldnt avoid to believe her.

When I finally reconciled with God, the magic in my life came back instantly, I came out laughing, to feel energy around me, to be positive, to erase the bitterness of the past, to appreciate the three lives I had in my hands and to my husband who had lived patiently all this transformation. But most importantly, I dreamed again: the dolls jumping around my head had returned. I recommended Lili to several people.

Lili still gives regression therapies to their patients and has even begun to offer courses for some years now.

In April 2008, I attended a silent Buddhist retreat named Green Tara, and there I met Sergio, who is now my friend. I was struck by his intelligence and willingness to help me during the course of such retreat, because ignored many situations, formalities and rituals of the event. It was a retreat for advanced students of Tibet House Mexico, and it was of silence.

I was barely in intermediate level, but I was allowed to attend because the teacher who taught the course was an extraordinary woman of advanced age. Her mere presence filled you with peace and no one knew if given a chance to come visit Mexico again.

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I returned from the retreat of four days with a complete cobweb in my head because I was the only Catholic who was there. To be fully convinced of this philosophy of life, first you must have given up your previous beliefs, and I categorically refused to do so.

After the retreat, I and Sergio continued frequenting. At first I could tell he was very intrigued with my personality, It called very much his attention that I were so direct when talking and that I was always defending myself against any injustice, that I argue with people all the time and tell them what I thought about them without inhibitions. One day he decided to recommend me something. Do you know what its the enneagram? - Asked me while we were having breakfast. - Enneagram? - I asked vaguely remembering that once, years ago, my therapist B had mentioned something about a course he had just taken about the different types of personality, known as the Enneagram. -Yes-. Its a studio. - Mmm ... I think I do remember something about that. Someone mentioned it to me some time ago, why? - Because I bring you information about it. The study of the kind of personality of every individual and there are nine types. This is based on the character, the experiences, the life history of each individual and other factors needed to define it although there are characteristics you inherit from your parents. Some humans who tend to a certain type of personality, but also have another side, you know-? They can be mixed. Intrigued to such an explanation I could not decipher what he wanted with telling me that. - So what? - I asked very intrigued. - Then, this may help you to understand why you are like you are and improve the negative characteristics of your person. For example, I know exactly what kind of personality are my wife and I and the reason for all this. Do you want that I read you each personality type? Sergio took out a sheaf of photocopies he was carrying in a folder. At the top of each sheet you could read the title and the authors of the book where he had extracted

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the photocopies: The Wisdom of the Enneagram. By Riso Don Richard and Ross Hudson. He began to read me, slowly, each personality type and its characteristics from the number one, citing examples of people who we both knew or from famous personalities to make me all as clear as possible. To me this seemed very interesting, so I kept paying attention to a single second. Finally reached personality number eight and here he made a pause. - This is you-, as clear as water. When I read it I knew the number eight described you perfectly. You are clearly defined; you have no mixture of any other personality type. You're exactly like my brother. There I go.

Type Eight: The challenger, the powerful and dominant. People Eights are self-confident, strong and able to prevail. Protective, resourceful and determined, are also proud and dominant; think they should be in control of their environment and often become challenging and intimidating; they typically have problems with intimacy with others. At their best, Eights type; use their strength to improve other people's lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous and sometimes historically great.

As he finished reading the description, he turned to see me immediately to see the expression on my face I was quiet because I had trouble digesting so many adjectives with such a strong meaning. "So thats how people see me?" - I thought to myself, "dominant, hard to intimate with others, challenging ..." - Wow, how strong -! I exclaimed after a moment.

Sergio fascinated with my reaction continued.

- And there's more-, listen to this! Messages that affects you the most, are: Type Eight: "It is not okay to be vulnerable and trust someone." Basic fears are: Type Eight: Fear of being harmed or controlled by others. The basic desires and distortions are: Type Eight: I want to protect (degenerates into constant struggle).

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What you need to hear more is: Type Eight: "You will not be betrayed." You identify more with the feeling of tension from it resist or challenge others and the environment. You refuse to acknowledge your vulnerability and need of care and attention to give the image of being strong, stunning, outspoken, witty, action-oriented, tenacious, strong and independent. Manipulate others by dominating them and demanding to make your will. Many Eights think they had to be "adults" at an early age. Eight adults often say that in his childhood suffered strong sense of having been rejected or betrayed. They were usually fearless, tenacious, and they got into situations leading to punishment. Rather than turning away from people who were punished them, they defended their feeling of rejection. They are remarkably resilient, able to receive enough physical punishment without complaint. However, fear terribly emotional wounds and are willing to use their physical strength to protect their feelings and keep others at a safe emotional distance. But beneath the facade of hardness no vulnerability, although well covered by an emotional armor... All this I was hearing coming out from the mouth of Sergio, made me analyze my perfectionist to the extreme and explosive behavior. I realized that I loved to challenge people and could not stand the arrogance because, basically, I was arrogant myself and was my shield before the world.

Many things I had seen in my therapies made sense at that time. I understood my fears and found that, at bottom, hiding a person of extreme sensitivity to pretend to be someone who wanted to avoid being betrayed again. - It is not to for free Im like that, Sergio-. Many life experiences have pushed me on the defensive against the world...

He put his index finger to his lips asking for silence.

- Here is this material. Use it to understand you and to improve as a person and not go feeling sorry for yourself. if you used all that energy you waste in negative

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memories and resentments being positive and balanced, you would be magnanimous and heroic as it says here. I conclude today, that Tibetan Buddhism helped me to strengthen my Catholic faith. Although there in his philosophy of life wonderful things to be applied every day to be better human beings to achieve enlightenment, the revolution that was in his head faded and decided to go for my roots. I can not deny the existence of God as I understand it. To reinforce this, later appeared in my life, in the most casual way, a very special person who has given us great lessons for my husband and me. A Catholic priest who has given us their unconditional support, valuable feedback and help in countless situations. When the whirlwind has been almost uncontrollable, he has come to calm down his anger with humility and faith.

I am convinced that God has placed in my path to the right people at the right time. Can I say now that I was bulimic? Yeah, what I'm neurotic and completely healed in body and soul? Of course not. Nobody is. I do not think there's a psychologist in the world that can claim that there is a perfect and stable human being who does not suffer from any emotional imbalance. Maybe with another higher level of consciousness, but not me.

As I said in the prologue this is an every day and constant struggle, is hard to beat the enemy and one forgets to use the tools you have learned over the years and with so much effort. Temptations are one foot away testing our impulses.

Of Cuauhtemoc not know much nor do I want to know,. All I've heard say, is that he is a doctor and lives in Monterrey.

Financially I can say that, after years of consultation, therapies and antidepressants, my husband and I have not even half a penny saved and yes some dues to pay. We have gone ahead together, alone, without help from anyone, but all the money in the world can afford relief and gratitude I feel today for having take the decision to interned me even just in time and now be able to see my three healthy, beautiful and intelligent children.

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Today, I am living a very different stage in my life that I lived nine years ago since I came back from my internment in the rehab clinic. Today my children are no longer babies and theyve become children, and later (hopefully many years from now) will be teenagers. My way of dealing with each of the situations that life will present me, depends on my self control and a positive view of things. One day, when I was at the top of my hate to the world, I asked my husband: Why are you still by my side, I cant understand it, I am a bitter, hateful, spiteful and sick with bulimia.

He, with his green eyes, clear, profound and calm, replied: - Because I am waiting the return of that the woman full of life, happy and chatty that I met.

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A reunion with myself


Finally I dared to climb the cool stairs leading to my rooftop. I looked at them passing one after the other under my feet, as many times had seen them while experiencing the most intense and confusing emotions. I relived those feelings and I came to my memory the painful distressing images that ashamed me and that turn me into someone indecent, dirty, bad and sinful. I could not stop to relate this accordion cement to the most traumatic experiences that I experienced throughout my childhood. Maybe that memory would never be erased from my mind, but maybe I could eventually remember it one day without feeling the sting of suffering and shame in my spirit. I was determined to do it and no one would steal my will this time.

Armed with courage, I got to the last stretch of eight steps and I looked up, half open, the dark door leading to the roof. I stood there, looking at that entry as the air that seeped into the cube of the stairs was caressing my face as encouraging me and inviting me to climb this last stretch, the hardest.

I closed my eyes, breathed deeply and I felt a shock through my body. I left feeling it in full force, until it vanished. My brain immediately associated that image with the sexual abuses and instinctively my hands started to sweat, my legs trembled and once again, I experienced the visceral pain.

At that moment, a flood of memories began to fall like hail over my head and gave me nausea, an irrepressible desire to return the stomach, an indescribable disgust. I watched, again and again, my innocence taken away, my fragile and childlike little body used and twisted in horrible positions, my sexuality disjointed since age five, violence and suffering, I felt again my will manipulated, with fear and threatened ... stalked .

I lowered my head unable to hold back any longer and began to vomit copiously over the floor. It seemed that my mouth and nose were a hose with water gushing uncontrollably. I messed the wall and a stretch of stairs and the vomit began to slip toward the floor below. I could not stop. I pressed my stomach to stop it, but the repugnance those images had caused me stirred up the bowels. I didnt know if some

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neighbor could hear me because the noise I was making could not be ignored. However I realized that, just like in the past, no one would help me and that I wouldve to act alone. The characteristic sour smell of undigested food started to invade the air and I was starting to get dizzy. Weak and esophagus about to burst, I sat on the last stretch of the first steps that I was missing to climb and looked shocked that pool of vomit appearing before my eyes. "How is it that I could eat so much?", I thought. I took a deep breath and forces. I felt much lighter in body and spirit. Even when I could clearly remember those painful images I found out I was no longer affected, ie, I could see them from another perspective and heal.

I immediately stood up and decidedly began to ascend, one by one, the once terrifying stairs to the roof. As I stepped in, something attracted me to rotate the view to the right and there was that unforgettable uninhabited room, cold and wet service. Like a ghost, the deranged face Cuauhtmoc came to my mind and clearly heard the voice of Lili whispering to me: Forgive him. He is a sick being. Let him go.

To my surprise, the door was ajar and I approached to watch. I opened it slowly and very dark in there. The musty smell hit my nostrils and old mattresses piled and were still in the same place. I followed the scene with his eyes, I saw the walls which, after so many years, they were identical. Even the metal door was painted the same color. When I went to close it, I felt my heart out of my chest while hearing a noise behind.

I stuck my head out slowly and looked down; my eyes could not believe what they were witnessing!

- I found you! - I shouted euphoric.

Sitting just behind the door was a little girl of approximately five or six years old. She had very long blond hair, between straight and curly hairstyle with a half ponytail adorned with a red bow, her skin was very white and wore a red dress with a clear apron in front, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! She was wearing a pair of white

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tights and black leather shoes with buckle. His olive-eyes were large and expressive and she was looking at me startled.

- Hello! - Said in her sweet little voice-why took you so long? You no longer want to play hide and seek with me? You had told me. I've been waiting for you over thirty years, is so much - she added, raising her hands towards the sky.

I recognized her immediately and I got down to see her more closely. I grabbed her hands of porcelain among mine's and I began to cry.

- What is wrong? if you already find me, why are you sad -? Asked me sweetly. -

Because I abandoned you and tried to erase you from my mind all this time. Because I was afraid to look at your face and tiny eyes full of fear...

- But if I am no longer scared interrupted me happy-. You're here with me. You've been sad, sick and alone for a while, but that's over, see?

- Yes princess. From now on I'm going to understand you, I'll give you my love and I will protect you.

- But why did not you come before?

- Because ... It was not the right moment. I had to get ready to see you again without fear.

-Is that you had not found my hiding place which is great! Tell me the truth! It was this! - No baby, I always knew I would find you here, but until today I had the courage to come for you. Do you forgive me? - Yes, I forgive you. And you have forgiven me? -I think so- Now can you look at me without being in pain? - She asked with a sad face, and in that moment I held her with all my strength.

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- Yeah I can now see you with your entire splendor and feel happy and proud of you. - Well-she stood up from a jump and took my hand -. Okay, lets get out of here.

The little girl pushed the door to leave her hiding place and pulled my hand furiously, taking me out of that place. I watched her black and gnawed tiny fingernails of so much playing with earth; I closed my eyes and kissed her remembering. I turned to see the door. It had been left behind.

We both went down the stairs running and playing, then I heard clearly the laughter and voices of two girls.

Once outside the building I remembered that neither she nor I had seen the pool of vomit that I had left minutes ago, on the stairs. We were so happy together that we had passed it unnoticed. I stopped abruptly with her holding my hand, and took a glance to the building looking out searching for any trace of it.

The girl, realizing, pulled me to her so that I could bend down to listen. She approached my ear. - Are you hungry - she whispered in my ear, scared. - No. - I replied. - Great! - said happy and jumped up.

We walked out from there, running and jumping radiant, with the wind near our faces and the sun shining like never before.

Finally, we were free.

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Appendix Bulimia
Bulimia is an illness characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating or binge, accompanied by a feeling of loss of control. Then the person uses various methods such as vomiting or laxative abuse to prevent weight gain. Anorexia its a disorder of eating behavior which is a weight loss caused by the patient themselves and leads to a state of starvation. Anorexia is characterized by fear of gaining weight and a distorted and delusional perception of the own body that makes the patient look fat even if their weight is lower than recommended. Thus begins a gradual decrease in weight by fasting and reduced food intake. According to psychologist Laura Elliot, director of clinical psychotherapy "Eating Disorders Mexico", 0.5% of young women suffer from anorexia nervosa, between 1.5 to 2.5% bulimia, while between 50 and 70% of overweight people are compulsive eaters. About 5 to 15% of young women have any symptoms pointing to an eating disorder. Indicates that the onset of these disorders occurs around the age of sixteen, but the range is between 11 and 25, although it can not rule out these problems after this age. "It occurs most often in women, although men are not free of suffering," she adds. An estimated one million people in Spain suffer from this type of disease, representing 2% of the national population. However, according to the coordinator of the IAJ, this percentage is higher because many cases are not recognized. Over 85% of people with anorexia nervosa or bulimia are women, while the percentages for men are between 15% and 17%, data which are experiencing an increment. http://www.consumer.es/web/es/salud/2005/08/03/144236.php At present, the main eating disorders occur in young women between 12 and 18 years according to various studies, about one percent of people worldwide suffer from anorexia and 1 to 3 percent bulimia, percentages which are increasing. According to global data, from ten patients with anorexia or bulimia, nine are women between 15 and 26 years. http://www.cronica.com.mx/nota.php?id_nota=97938

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Anorexia
In Western developed countries quite agree with epidemiological reported by the APA (1994) (12) data. Over 90% of cases are women and in men are more common among homosexuals. A ratio of 1 male indicated by 20 women. It has a prevalence (annual percentage of cases) of 0.5 to 1% in the general population, and an annual incidence of one new case per 1,000 women 13-18 years of age (13). Mexican population studies, conducted in the city of Mexico, estimated a prevalence of 0.5 (14, 15 and 16). It usually begins in adolescence, between 13 and 18 years old. It's rare to appear for the first time in women over 30 years. In only 5% begins after age 20. It appears more in upper and middle classes. It is more common in professional art and interpretation (singers, actresses, gymnasts, and dancers), being a risk factor for physical activities that consume a lot of metabolic energy. It is rare in African and Asian countries , except Japan . Toro and Villardel (1987 ) (17 ) indicate that is primarily associated with Western culture and overvaluation of thinness . The restrictive type is the most chronic. In the compulsive type no more family history of mood disorders, impulse control and substance abuse . Furthermore, this subtype of borderline personality disorder and antisocial and high suicide rate of 10% appear more frequently. Regarding the course notes Chinchilla ( 1994) ( 18) a chronic course appears in a third , another third course with intermittent partial or complete remissions and relapses and in third one in another episode, almost always with some residual chronic symptom is attenuated with age. So, it is a chronic disease.

Types of treatment and solutions Bulimia


According of its severity can resort to ambulatory treatment or hospitalization. In the first place it is to avoid vomiting, normalize metabolic functioning of the patient, a balanced diet and imposes new eating habits. Along with this treatment, channeled to the physical, psychological treatment is developed in order to restructure rational ideas and correct the misperception that the patient has of his own body. Treatment also involves collaboration of the family, because sometimes the factor that triggers the disease is in their midst. Healing from Bulimia is reached in 40 percent of cases,

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although an intermittent disease tends to become chronic. The mortality in this disease exceeds that of anorexia due to complications from vomiting and the use of purgatives.

Anorexia
The overall objectives of the treatment are correction of malnutrition and the psychic disorders of the patient. At first are attempts to achieve a quick weight gain and recovery of eating habits, since they may involve an increased risk of death. But a full recovery of the body weight is not synonymous with healing. Anorexia is a psychiatric illness and should be treated like that. Treatment should be based on three aspects:

Early detection of disease: understanding the symptoms by primary care physicians and protocols that define the criteria that the physician should observe.

Coordination between health departments involved, psychiatry, endocrinology and pediatrics. Ambulatory monitoring once the patient has been discharged, with regular visits. Hospitalizations are usually prolonged, which is a disconnection from environment that can damage normal adolescent development. So are advisable, whenever possible, outpatient treatments. Admission to a medical center is required when: Malnutrition is very serious and exists of alterations in vital signs When family relationships are unsustainable and it is best to isolate the patient When psychic disorders are aggravated. Ambulatory treatment is effective when: With early detection No episodes of bulimia or vomiting and there is a family commitment to cooperation. In this way treatment with feedback begins, which can sometimes cause digestive discomfort begins because the body is not used to eating. Eventually the biological status resets and menstruation is back. Then psychological treatment begins, trying to restructure rational ideas, eliminate the misperception of the body, improve self-esteem, and develop social and communication skills between the patient and his family. The family must participate actively in treatment because sometimes the triggering factor of the disease is in their midst, and also inevitably prolongs recovery at home.

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Rehabilitation Centers for Eating Disorders in Mexico.


1. Clnica Vida: www.integravida.com Km. 4 carretera. Santa Brbara Huimilpa. Municipio Corregidora, Qro. Phone: (442) 299-6037/ 341-3084 2. Sin Bulimia (only for women): www.sinbulimia.com Ave. Alfonso Reyes #143 Nte. Col. Regina. C.P. 64290, Monterrey, Nuevo Len. Phone: (81)8343 0747 3. Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitacin ( Rehabilitation National Institute) :
www.cnr.gob.mx

Calzada Mxico Xochimilco #289, Colonia Arenal de Guadalupe, Delegacin Tlalpan, C.P. 14389 4. Clnica Nuevo Ser: Circuito Tres Mercedes #2000 Lomas de San Antonio, Del. San Antonio De Los Buenos, Tijuana, B. C., Mxico, C.P. 22616
www.drogasno.com.mx

Phone: (661) 100 3237 5. Comunidades Teraputicas de Mxico, A.C.: Popotla # 6. Tizapn, San Angel Mxico, D.F. 01090 Phine /Fax: 5683.4319 www.comutem.com 6. Ocenica: Porfirio Daz #102- PH1 Col. Noc hebuena.
www.oceanica.com.mx

Phone: 5615 3333 7. Avalon, Centro de Tratamiento para la mujer ( Treatment center for the woman): www.avalonparalamujer.com Phone: 0144-2234-0762 y 04-91

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8. Centro de Habilitacin y Rehabilitacin del Valle de Teotihuacn (CERVATE; A.C.). Av. Tuxpan s/n San Martn de las Pirmides Phones: 04455-2719-5192/ 04455-1501-1145 www.terapiaequina.com.mx 9. Ellen West. www.ellenwest.org Carretera Mxico-Toluca #3847 Km. 20.5 05000, Cuajimalpa, D.F. Telfonos: 5812-0877/ 5812-0870

Rehabilitation Centers for Eating Disorders in the U.S. and the rest of the world.
1. Medical Institute Shinkrut. Auda Krennedy 6690 of 402 Vitacura, Santiago de Chile.
www.institutoschilkrut.cl/tratamiento_para_la/bulimia.htm

2. The Paradise (El Paraso): www.elgranparaiso.com.ar/contacto.htm Avenida Monroe 3786 - Planta Baja D. (1430) Capital Federal. Phones: (011) 4544-0503 / (011) 155 889-6164 3. Remuda Ranch: www.remudaranch.com/general/contact One East Apache Street. Wickenburg, AZ 85390 Toll Free: 1-800-445-1900 928-684-3913 4. Casa Palmera: 14750 El Camino Real. Del Mar, California 92014
Phone: (888) 481-4481

www.casapalmera.com/resources/resources.php 5. Milestones eating disorders program: www.milestonesprogram.org/contactus.html High Point 5960 Southwest 106th Avenue. Cooper City, Florida 33328 Phone: (800) 347-2364

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Sites of Interest
Complete online directory in the area of health. www.medica.com.mx Psicocentro.com is the Spanish-language portal oriented world of psychology and mental health. We have discussion forums, chat rooms, news on psychology, search engine, and informative technical articles, etc.. www.psiccentro.com Co-Dependents Anonymous. www.coda.org The Equine Asisted Growth and Learning Association. www.eagala.org National Eating Disorders Association. www.nationaleatingdisorders.org Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition. www.seenweb.org SAN ROQUE. Equine and Alternative Therapies. www.snroque.com

Latest Titles of books that deal with this topic in Mexico, USA and the rest of the world.

1. Bulimia Gmez Martnez, Mara De Los ngeles Publisher: Sntesis Topic: Ciencia y Tecnologa 2. Anorexia Mary Xess Frojn Parga Publisher / Distributor: Editorial Biblioteca Nueva Topic Psychology Edition Year: 2006 3. Anatomy of Anorexia Steven Levenkron

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Publisher / Distributor: Kairos Topic Psychology 4. Anorexia and bulimia Tannenhaus, Nora Publisher / Distributor: Plaza & Janes Topic Psychology Edition Year: N / A 5. Anorexia and Bulimia Rosina Crispo Publisher / Distributor: Gedisa Topic Psychology Edition Year: N / A 6. Bulimia and Anorexia Aris Yosifides Publisher / Distributor: Editorial Bruges Year Issue: May 2006 7. Figures of the Anorexia. Rocha - Castan Publisher / Distributor: Etm Topic General Medicine 8. Food Fight: A Guide to Eating Disorders for Pre-Teens and Their Parents by Janet Bode 9. Body Blues: Weight and Depression by Laura Wheeldreyer 10. Teen Health Library of Eating Disorder Prevention 11. Starving to Win: Athletes and Eating Disorders 12. Eileen O'Brien (Teen Health Library of Eating Disorder Prevention 13. Eating disorders. Practical guide to care a loved one Janet Treasure, Grinne Smith, Anna Crane. Edition Year: 2011. 14. Anorexia and bulimia. A map to cover a territory deranged Rosina Crispo, Eduardo Figueroa, Diana Guelar.

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Edition Year: 2011. 15. Bulimia By Barbara French Edition Year: 1994.

Sources of Information

1. Medline Plus. Medical Encyclopedia.


www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish/ency/article/000341.htm

2. APA Help Center.


www.centrodeapoyoapa.org/articulos/articulo.php?id=50

3. Dmedicina. www.dmedicina.com/salud/psiquiatricas/anorexia.html
4. www.aupec.univalle.edu.co/piab/prevalencia.html

Epilogue
When misfortune comes never comes alone but in pairs.
1. Vigorexia: The vigorexia, is not recognized as a disease by the international medical community, but it is a disorder or emotional disorder where physical characteristics are perceived in a distorted way, like what happens when you have anorexia, but reversed. A person who is always seen with lack of tone and muscle, which leads her to physical exercise obsessively and compulsively weights every day continuously, you have vigorexia, in most cases your body is disproportionate, acquiring a little muscle commensurate with its size and physique

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2. Pop musical group consisting of three Mexican women, which was in vogue in the eighties and nineties.

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