As a young girl I was painfully shy, the eldest of four children, I grew up in a working class family during the 'troubles', (a time of civil unrest in Northern Ireland). I believed that it was safer to remain unnoticed. I hid in my shyness from bullies, anger at home and the threat of attack from outside. I was very softly spoken and had formed the belief that no one wanted to listen to me, I felt unheard. I spent my teenage years into adulthood searching for ways to feel safe, to feel more in control. I became hypervigilant. It was exhausting! I gained more and more weight in a vain attempt to hide and protect myself from attention. Even though I craved it.