"A change of Perspective"

Essay by TexanGal16College, UndergraduateA+, November 2003

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Growing up I was never close to my younger sister, Nikki. In fact, we despised each other. We constantly bickered and fought about every little thing. It wasn't until my sophomore year of high school when she was hospitalized and when my friend Kira's younger sister was kidnapped, that I realized how important sisters truly are.

Towards the end of the summer, before my sophomore year of high school, my family and I began to notice several changes in my sister, emotionally and physically. She became overly irritable and was obsessive compulsive about working out and cleaning things. The most significant change we noticed in Nikki was the fact that she had almost completely stopped eating. My already tiny, size two, one hundred and five pound sister was beginning to slowly get thinner and thinner.

Talking to her about it was next to impossible. She would get upset and scream and yell, telling us that she didn't have a problem and that we were overreacting.

She refused to see a doctor, and my family was becoming more and more concerned and scared. We didn't know what to do.

Finally, after withering away to almost eighty pounds, my sister agreed to get some help. Because of her extreme conditions, she was hospitalized for eight weeks. Those eight weeks were the hardest weeks of her life. The doctors would give her food, and she would pretend to eat it, but later flush it down the toilet when no one was in the room. Eventually, they caught on to what she was doing and put her on a feeding tube. While this was going on, Nikki became so malnourished that she almost died several times. This was an enormous wakeup call for me. I never would have thought in a million years that...