Yesterday marked the first day of my daughter's healing from a two year battle with anorexia and bulimia. She is only 12.
Is she really healed? How long will it last? Do I lack faith by being cautious?
I have so many questions about how
I am to view this. How do I proceed from here in every sense?
Mostly I just have to scream right now, internally, and groan externally - I have one hour alone (one of very precious few this last year). ARRRGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At age 10.5 Lovese (Liv) began running at school for their annual cross-country
event. At first we had no clue of a hidden danger as she was just running lots and keen to win. She did. She lost puppy-fat weight and we thought this was normal though I kept an instinctive eye on her.
Then at age 11.5 we learn her best friend (a class
older than her) was struggling with bulima/anorexia/PTSD and depression because of a serious incident of abuse. We had been unaware of this and that Liv was her only confidante.
We began to advise her, and put caution into their interactions,
but Liv kept asking us to pray for her friend and that all was fine. Lovese is highly gifted. She has always been head of every year at school and a high preformer. She loved writing and reading at an adult level where only lack of life experience meant she
could not understand. Her perfectionist nature spiralled her down a path of darkness when her beautiful heart caught hold of a deep black lie, and told her she was not perfect afterall.
Mid last year she grew thinner, moodier more critical and
hateful to her siblings. Her bossy moods and some telltale signs of bulimia wrenched my heart so strongly when even at her denial, I could not deny the facts before me. I knew the signs from experience as per some previous posts.
I could have died from
mental pain. I thought I had done this to her and that I should have protected her so much more.
I knew the enemy and battle ahead. She was beautiful and stunning and admirable, and comfortable and manipulative, and deceitful and red-skulled behind
her fake mask. She killed everyone she could. There was no playing games with her. You either entertained her voice on a slippery slope or you ran weakly up hill from her, covering your ears and screaming at the top of your lungs to block out her voice, while
her soft fingers pulled you down into brief moments of reprieve - where she whispered more lies to your stunned brain, and danced images of tantalizing skinny bodies free from care and fearless of the world. She made me feel soooooo good in those moments.
Places of bliss.
She stroked my ego, and held my sense and logic in her hands and squeezed the life out of them. She said this was what it looked like to be in control. I wouldn't be hurt here. She would protect me. It was her and me against the
As I spewed and binged, then fasted and over-exercized. As guilt and mood swings threw me around my home for my young husband to pick up after. As my young son slept and grew. As I yet prayed for release, and carried great longings for more children,
purpose, direction outside of my head. As I struggled through all this for years, terrified of the moment I finally admitted to my husband I had a problem, then my mother much later, then one friend, as all this was happening, God kept up his continuous chant
of life and fullness, blessing and love, strength and freedom, comfort and joy. He held me through all my arm swinging, depression, fear. He held my hand even as this hand was feeding me wrong and making me be sick.
He became my strength when I felt
I was making my final slip into the clutches of anorexia's pale thin hands. But this is not my story anymore. It is my precious darling child's. My Lovese (old English for Love).
At the end of last year her teacher approached me and we had a heart to
heart. God-ordained, this teacher had her own previous journey with anorexia. Her Godly wisdom spoke to my heart when my motherly instincts said I would not rise from panic and pain. She advised homeschooling, which was agreed on by my daughter's counsellor
So this has been my year. A suprisingly good year despite the incomparable stretching and agony of watching Liv. My next older daughter asked to be homeschooled too so she could support Liv as they were the closest. This daughter,
Riva, like her older sister and brother, has a deep heart for God and I knew she was to be a gift from God this year.
Together we have been with Liv at her worst. I have repeatedly held her as she physically fought with her tormented mind and
environment while Riva sank down to pray. I have had multiple times of distressed giving up, I have become crazily angry at nothing, I have cried a billion tears, prayed a trillion prayers, been lifted on as many angels wings and strengthened with the open
floodgates of God's own Holy Spirit. I have rode on waves of joy and closeness to Jesus like at few other times. Riva tag-teamed with me when I needed time out. I tried hard to get the balance right in giving Riva the praise and time away from us all that
she so needed. My husband has been there, our steady sense and loving arms.
Three weeks ago today, God nudged Riva to find and read a few pages in a journal-like book that belonged to Liv.
We were at a town homeless
meeting with Lovese that night, trying to get her interested in the world around her. When we got home late, Riva was standing in the dark by the fire, crying a soul-deep quiet cry. She couldn't talk. She just held the journal up to me.
at the first few words, and I felt God reach out and steady me. At the same time, Lovese glimpsed the journal and fell face down in utter fear and grief and pain. She began to wail, then keen over what had been exposed.
My husband and I made some
quick decisions...one being that we would not read it until morning. The other that I would sleep with Liv that night, and RIva joined us also.
Liv cried for hours and rocked and writhed in her way when she is in the thick of anguished thoughts. We
are always praying, so eventually after she fell asleep and I still couldn't, I read the words she wrote - just four pages written 10 days prior. I might try to take a picture of the pages and attach (Liv has given permission).
The first sentence was
this: I LOVE LOVE LOVE ANOREXIA!
Why do I think she was healed yesterday? I'll write more tomorrow.