12th October 2014
It’s very cold now. New York looks more grey and more dark than ever. I can’t find the sun anywhere. Tomorrow is a Weight in Day. We will be comparing our progress. I’ve not lost anything. Tonight we all behaved ourselves on dinner table, Uncle X was there. We all ate the same thing, Kushrie Lentils with Rice. No one was allowed to leave the table till all the paltes had been cleared. Twins wanted pizza, (yes fat chance, especially with Uncle X there). I wanted to stay in my room, again no chance. My stomach feels heavy. I’m such a loser. Uncle X is downstairs and He’s spending the night on living room sofa. I hate uncle X more than anyone in the world.
13th October 2014
We check our weight. I haven’t lost anything. R has lost weight and so has X Y and Z. They all are happy. They are going shopping. They’ll all be purchasing a $45 top, the one Kendall Jenner wore on cover of T. I’m going home as usual with mum. I don’t have $45 anyway and I doubt I’ll be allowed to hangaround Bloomingdale’s on a weekday.
Next Weight In after 7 days. We set targets. If I want to look like Kendall Jenner, I need to work extra hard at losing weight. In our School, so many girls look like her, same hair and same fashion style. R is the most popular and thinnest girl in our school. She makes sure she stays that way. she never gains weight.
24th october 2014
My mother is unhappy. Who wears ripped jeans in such cold weather anyway? She wants to know. I’m so mad. Everyone in group is wearing cropped jeans except me.
27th October 2014
Kendall is wearing this beautiful coat. I want that, I tell my mother. No, she tells me. You have a coat. I’m slow at losing weight. I’ll never be their size, I think in dismay. R teaches me something new. A new trick in a book to lose weight. I try but it doesn’t work. I end up hurting myself.
29th October 2014
Y takes pity on me. Try these. You’ll definitely be lighter by tomorrow. That evening I made so many trips to bathroom.
1st November 2014
I follow the diet plan R gives me. We take R train to Woodhaven Boulevard. I buy the top I always wanted. I don’t feel hungry any more.
15th November 2014
I’ve lost weight. I crop my jeans and I crop my top, away from my family’s eyes. I feel so much better. I have claw nails and same eye brows as Kendall. Wow you look so boho so cool, R tells me. Yessssssssssss
17th November 2014
My mother is irritating me now. She’s always looking at me, watching me. I want her to leave me alone.
Z’s going to be 15. Her party is coming up. To fit into black leather skirt and crop top, she’s watching her calories and she’s also working out. In fact no one eats anymore. If you eat, your a LOOSER.
I want to lose more weight now. The magic pills are irritating me now. R teaches me something new.
29th November 2014
I’m furious now. I can’t focus at school. I’m tired. There are bags under my eyes. I’m so angry at everyone. I wish I was never born in this family.
We go to doctors and he gives me Vitamin D tablets to take, then my mother takes me to a man with a shiny face. After listening to my mother, he speaks to me. I tell him how annoying twins are, how irritating my cousins are, and how I hate my life. In my family everything turns into an arguement. I want them to LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
He tells me my behavior is having ripples effect on entire family. Your on her side, I tell him crossly.
I slam the door, because they irritate me and they don’t listen to me, I tell him.
I roll my eyes, because they are just so dumb.
I only threw food two times, because she didn’t cook what I wanted her to cook.
I yell at her, because she doesn’t let me live my life. She’s always spying on me.
He tells me temper tantrums only damage us and acting out to get your way is just going to cause me more problems in long-run. I kick the chair. He’s annoying..
You Wish You Had Her Life?
So you wish you had Kendall’s life? Yes, I tell him. He tells me, If I have Kendall’s life, then I would have to give up my parents, my relatives, my twins and my cousins. I tell him I can’t wait to turn 18 and leave home. I wish I was never born in this family. It’s not fair, how I always have to ask for new clothes. R and XYZ go shopping every week. They get allowance. I have to beg for new clothes. My allowance is so small. She hates my style. She’s always critical of my clothing.
If you had Kendall’s life then you would have her problems too, he tells me. You have to deal with your parent’s divorce, gossip and pressure of looking good all the time. You will no longer have your mum’s home cooked meals and no twins to fight with and no relatives in Sunny Cairo.
3rd December 2014
I come home exhausted from school. I really need to speed up my weight loss effort. I try something new. I go to sleep exhausted and my stomach is hurting. Dear God, it hurts so much. I can’t breathe. I can’t move. I wake up. My face is so cold and I see my mum. I see my dad.
4th December 2014
I stay in hospital for many days. My mum stays with me. My father and uncle X visit me with twins and my cousins. R and my friends don’t come. There are so many questions asked by Office of Children and Family Services. Everyone in my house is worried. Now I see how my behavior is having ripple effects on entire family, dad is off work, Uncle X has to take twins to school and my cousins look lost and scared.
8th December 2014
I tell this lady from Office of Children and Family Services somethings and I remain silent on other things. Your family wants you to get better, she tells me kindly. I don’t deserve their love, I think to myself. I was horrible to all of them. I did terrible things behind their backs, I slapped and pinched twins, pulled my cousin’s hair and shouted at my mother.
9th December 2014
I come home so weak so tired. My mum takes care of me. She makes everything bad go away. She tells me, I’ve got an evil eye.
11th December 2014
A nice man comes to visit us. We agree, I need to get better.
6th January 2015
I have CBT-E. We talk about Cairo. We talk about my Friends. I tell the lady how we moved to New York few years back. Our country was in trouble. We miss our friends and family and our house. I miss City Stars, Gezira Club, Al-Azhar Park and Felucca. New York is just cold and very grey.
8th January 2015
Back to School. I am no longer in R’s group.
13th January 2015
I am warm now. My wooly jumpers keep me warm. I am alone but free.
15th January 2015
We visit the nice man.
How do you feel? He asks me. OK! I tell him. My stomach doesn’t hurt and my voice is getting normal and my knees are no longer weak.
How’s family life? We miss Cairo. Mum hugs us everyday. We don’t slam doors anymore and we all eat together.
You were right, Mr Nice Man, My Eating was having a ripples effect on my family.
I slammed doors because I was starving and wanted to eat, but couldn’t, because eating means breaking the rules. Soon twins also started to slam their doors. Them copying my behavior further made me mad and I would slap and pinch them.
Twins also refused to eat. We all disrespected food and insulted mum’s cooking.
My mum was having sleepless nights because I would spend night-time running up and down the stairs and refusing to speak to her. She said I had to show respect to her, and I refused.
My cousins were quiet and withdrawn because I wanted to be my self and they felt I hated them.
I was always asking for money. I forgot my family was in a new country and they didn’t have lots of money to pay for my expensive clothes. Normal people and children don’t shop at Macy’s and Bloomingdales every week.
I told the very nice man. I want to keep my parents forever. I want to keep my twins forever and my cousins forever and I want to keep Cairo forever. I told him, I will eat with my family and I will try to take care of myself.
10th February 2015
It’s not too cold now. I don’t care about Fashion Week anymore, I’m more worried about paper that is due in. We hear a good news from Cairo. My cousins are very happy. We all go out. I feel sunny inside. I go running with Uncle X now. He lets me win on Fridays.
I Fill in my Gratitude Journal
I’m gratfeul for my mum- she loves us, cooks for us and she’s always home.
I’m grateful for my home- it’s filled with people.
I’m grateful for twins- they are incharge of taking the bins out.
I’m grateful for my cousins- they are my best freinds.
I’m grateful for Uncle X- He’s the strongest man in New York
I’m grateful for my Dad- He makes sure we stay warm in winter and we don’t go hungry.
I’m grateful for nice man- he’s kind and makes all of us in New York feel better about ourselves.