I know you have spent sleepless nights guiltily asking yourself ‘is it my fault’, ‘why didn’t I see it coming’ or ‘what could I have done better?’. I want you to know that it was not your fault. You are not to blame and my childhood is not to blame. After all, my brothers and sisters didn’t get this disease and they had the same upbringing as me.
My eating disorder was a mistake, it wasn’t meant to punish you. This is a secretive disease, it doesn’t want you to see it and that is why you never saw it coming. With what you had, who you were and what you knew at the time – you did the best you could. And what’s more, it is your love and support that helps me to see that I can get better.
Me on my 3rd Birthday
Do you remember when I was a child? Cute right? Isn’t it funny when children grow into little people who have this whole personality of their very own.
Do you remember how energetic I was and how I liked to be the center of attention? Do you remember how sensitive I was to other peoples feelings? How caring I was. Do you remember me obsessing over this or that until I got it. Do you remember me obsessing over what people thought, about winning and getting full marks, about being the best. In my recovery I have learned that so much of what makes me ‘me’ has also made me a prime candidate for an eating disorder.
You never tried to change me, you couldn’t even if you had tried. I don’t think you would want to either. And for that I am grateful.
I did want you to read my mind sometimes. I did want you to ask why I wasn’t eating, to notice my weight loss, to demand I seek help. But if you had done any of this, I would have revolted. I wasn’t ready to find solutions that didn’t involve me reaching my phantom happy weight.
I was angry at you sometimes and I wanted you to be one of those parents from ‘little house on the prairie’ or something. Nothing you did was right sometimes. And when you told me I was too sensitive or too selfish, I felt hurt. The truth sometimes does and sometimes you were too tired to see that I was really crying for help. You are human.
What caused me to be so ill was my mind and keeping secrets. My thoughts changed when I started dieting. My logical self could see that the thoughts weren’t normal and that you would try talk me out of it if I told you. So, I kept this hidden from you on purpose. I knew you loved me and I knew you would have done anything to help.
Now, don’t worry, I am no longer blaming myself either. I finally love the woman that I am, with all my good and bad parts and I know you are proud of me. Your support through it all was my lifeline and your love kept me alive. I am sorry for the pain I caused. Let’s leave the guilt behind us now. It is time for us to live our lives.
Love to all parents on this journey. You are not at fault.