Thursday, May 8, 2014

Character Development: Ally II

Today I would like to finish the questions for Ally, and introduce you to yet another character (I know, it seems never ending!),  Molly!

A reminder about Ally...
Ally has been struggling with bulimia and anorexia for almost 4 years. She and her brother, Heman attend the Christian group at Middleking every week. Ally has given her life to God, but still struggles with her self-worth. She loves to sing, but often her eating habits cause her voice to fade or crack. Her brother Heman is trying to help her, as doctors have failed. Ally is generally very friendly and is more likely to judge herself than those around her. Her red hair often causes people to remember her from their first meeting. Ally has kept her eating disorders a secret from those around her. 

What are your hobbies? I love to sing! I also like to arrange the items in my dorm bathroom (my room mates leave the shampoo bottles all over the place). I also go running with my friend Molly. I spend a lot of time in the library 

What is your greatest fear? Not being worthy. If I'm deep in thought, I will most likely be thinking about recent events, and if, because of them, I am still worthy of God and the people around me. Following close behind my fear of not being worthy is my fear of chaos. I can't stand things being out of order. 

Do you think you will ever enter rehab? To be honest, I have thought about it, but I love boarding school, and I don't want to leave. If it ever gets to the point where I need it, I suppose I could. If Heman asked me to, I would. If my parents demanded I did, I would be a lot more reluctant. Don't tell, but I have looked up treatment centre's, and I have one picked out. I think its hard for people who haven't got an eating disorder to understand what it looks like from the bottom of the hole. People looking down into the dark hole I live in can say 'snap out of it' or 'just stop doing it', but its not that simple. Every time I try to stop, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, or see a photo of myself, and before you know it, I'm assuring myself that I just need to lose a few more pounds. It's also something I can control, unlike my family situation. 

Can you try to explain why you developed the eating disorder? What makes you do it? I can't remember how it came about. It wasn't like I woke up one morning and decided to stop eating, or throw up my breakfast. No, I think it came on slowly. 
Sometimes I stopped eating for attention. I would have been 10. Heman had just started at a new boarding school for his intermediate years. It was the first time we had been at different schools. Home life wasn't great, so I starved myself quite a bit at boarding school. They rang home, and I was finally getting the attention I craved. I wan't a thin child, and it was after this I noticed I had lost weight. 
It fascinated me. It was a game at first.When I joined Heman for intermediate, he found out. He told me to put a stop to it. I tried. Instead of starving myself though, I started throwing up. I would feel so guilty after every meal, I would just go to the bathroom and bring it back up. 
That was when my bulimia developed. Heman then moved to Middleking, I was still at intermediate. He wasn't around watching my eating anymore, so I swung between starving myself, then eating out of guilt, because I knew Heman would hate it. However, after I ate I would feel guilty about eating out of guilt, and I would throw up. After I had thrown up, I would feel guilty for throwing up, so I would purge eat, then throw up again. I couldn't end the circle. 
When I started at Middleking, Heman introduced me to the Christian group. After I gave my life to God, things got better. However, I have always been my worst critic, and every time I felt like I had failed something, I would punish myself by either purge eating, or not eating at all. When I didn't eat, I couldn't concentrate in class. When I binge ate, I would throw up. 
By the end of year 9, I was starting to struggle to keep a meal down. It's like my stomach is trained to reject food. Heman kept trying his best, but we agreed to keep it a secret. 
What makes me do it? Well, at first I got attention from it. However, as soon as I realised I was losing weight, I hid it. It became a secret. People commented. They said I looked nice, healthy even. It pleased me, and I craved those comments. You might be surprised to find this out, but bulimic people normally don't lose weight. This makes it much, much harder to pick up. 
I don't like my eating disorder, I hate myself for it. However, I do not have the mental power to pull myself from its clutches. I pray every night to God for him to help me. I want to finish with something Heman often tells me: It doesn't matter how you feel about yourself, God accepts you as you.

I hope you guys enjoyed learning a bit about Ally. Its definitely made me flesh out her background, and add extra, deep meaning to her dialogue.  I know eating disorders are a sensitive topic, so I hope you feel like I have handled it gently and with respect. If you do struggle with an eating disorder, please, please ask for help. If you have come out the other side of an eating disorder, hats off to you!

The next character I would like to develop is Molly. Molly attends Middleking Prep. She has started in year 11, and she is telling the story (along with Alex). Molly meets Ally at the library in the first week, and then they find out both of them are Christians, and Ally takes Molly to the Christian group with her. The two quickly form a friendship, with Heman keeping a close eye on them. Molly loves to write and play the piano. Her most treasured possession is a pink pen with fluff on the top. The pen was the last gift from her mother. When Molly's mum died, her dad decided to send her to Middleking because he couldn't stand having her around the house. She reminded him to much of her mother. Molly's Aunt is the Middleking headmistress. Molly defends her beliefs with a passion if someone challenges her. Molly wants to fit in, but at the same time, realises that her refusal to date, and her dedication to purity sets her apart from the other girls. She often feels like its to big of a bridge to build. She is easily bought to tears and she misses home, her friends and old school.

Leave any questions for Molly in the comments! As usual, I really do appreciate the help :)

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