My Parents

I know everyone is concerned about my well being.  Friends, husband, family even acquaintances.  But there is something about the worry I see in my parents eyes that makes the struggle even harder.

I know I need to get better for one person and one person only.  Me.  Everyone else will benefit from my recovery.  But, I know, as a mother what it is like to watch your child be in any sort of pain.  You wish you could take it all away from them and make them better.  Immediately.  You would take the pain in an instant.  No questions asked.

Even though I am 42 years old, a grown woman with a family I am still their little girl.  Their daughter who is struggling with a mental illness.  And of all of the literature I have read a large majority of people who are suffering with an Eating Disorder contribute it to their childhood or horrific experiences in their past.

My life is the opposite.  I grew up in a house filled with laughter, love, honesty, openness, fun, joy, bliss and support.  My parents and my brothers were always there for me.  Even when I would continue to break curfew week after week, after week, after week…..(yep it never ended), they loved me and were there for me.  Always.

But the characteristics I have that are related to an eating disorder are perfection and being a people pleaser.  That is me.  That is who I have been and who I will always be.  I actually don’t want to change who I am because I like that person.  The part of me that has to change is ED.  I need to recognize that I can be as perfect as I can be without being absolutely perfect.  I can be a people pleaser as long as I’m pleasing myself.

I know my parents cry.  I know they are sad.  It makes me sad.  It breaks my heart.

I assure them I am doing what I can to get better.  And I am.

I know I will always have their love and support.

I couldn’t be luckier to have my parents as my best friends.

 

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One thought on “My Parents

  1. I can relate. From the very first day I was diagnosed, my parents were scrutinized, questioned and made out to be at fault by doctors. They have never set unrealistic (or even any really..) expectations on me, and I am fortunate that I grew up in a very friendly/welcoming environment. Sure, my parents probably demonstrated perfectionistic traits and have always been high achievers, but they didn’t insist I followed suit. It bothered me that they were made to be out the “reason” I struggled, or that they were “blamed” if I slipped. I know they also felt like they weren’t doing enough, and that looking back, they’d wished they’d been more adamant when they could (i.e. when I was in adolescent vs. adult care). My parents still ask me if I wish they had insisted I complete treatment programs instead of letting me leave early, or if they wish I had done the Maudsley approach vs. them letting me make my own decisions. It’s tough to see, and I do really want to recover for them and our relationship. I’m tired of having “worry” be the focus of our relationship.

    Rest assured, your parents will worry even if you are living in mental wellness – that’s their job. I’m sure they wish they could “fix” things, but I am also positive that they are glad you are accepting help more and more (By the sounds of it – I don’t know you in person!) and also really focused on going forward/making progress.

    Hang in there.

    Like

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