I've hated myself ever since my mum called me fat and ugly

DEAR DEIDRE: I’M bulimic and I hate myself. I feel I have nothing to offer anyone because my mother never showed me love.

I spent hours with my grandparents. I’d go for breakfast and call in after school until it was time to go home.

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Mum would call me fat and ugly. When I was eight, I saw a friend kiss her mother goodnight so when I kissed my mum on the cheek, she and her boyfriend ridiculed me, calling me a lesbian.

I’ve spent my life hiding my body, binge eating and throwing up.

I’ve had one relationship with a man who was kind but then abused me.

I’m single now but I’m overweight and feel hopeless. I’m 28 and 24 stone.

DEIDRE SAYS: I’m so sorry to read about how cruelly you were treated by your mum.

Her behaviour has shattered your self-esteem and taught you self-loathing, so understandably you look for comfort in food and punish yourself with bulimia.

The key for you is to learn to love yourself – and there will be so much to embrace.

My support pack called Raising Self-Esteem will help you build your confidence.

You can find emotional support to tackle your eating issues through BEAT (beateatingdisorders.org.uk, 0808 801 0677).

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