child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


i managed to fracture my thumb last week. yesterday i finally went to the doctor. i must keep it completely immobile for minimum of a week to give it a chance to heal. apparently my thumb didn't get the memo that life goes on and mom's have things to do like dishes and laundry and blog! ok, so unless i am going to emotionally explode, i'm going to rest from blogging until my thumb feels better. besides it sucks typing with one hand! maybe this is a chance to let my family help me. maybe God knew i needed help and would never ask for it otherwise.


have i said OUCH yet? just checking because it hurts REALLY badly!

be back soon friends, with 2 functional thumbs (i hope)!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

better than I thought

Christmas went better than I could have thought.  I had a really bad stomach virus on Friday and spent the morning throwing up and the rest of the day sleeping.  I know that doesn't sound like it quite goes with Christmas going well.  However, having the crud forced me to rest and forced me to let my family take care of me.  It also forced me to baby my stomach the next day.  Ok so I still couldn't eat a lot but Malt O Meal in the morning and saltines with pumpkin butter to snack on throughout the day. I had to eat something small every few hours or else I started feeling really crappy again.  I even managed a small amount of Christmas Eve dinner at my in-laws house without an overload of guilt.  I just felt too crummy to worry about feeling guilty.  And so, in a matter of speaking, having a stomach virus may have just saved my Christmas.

My Christmas Eve attitude started out great but turned sour.  My kids made up for how wonderfully they had behaved on Friday when I was sick by fighting with each other ALL DAY on Christmas Eve.  They were cranky and at times downright nasty with each other.  They were ugly and defiant toward me at several points.  It was just rough.  I actually had quite the fight with my middle child about putting on his shoes right before we left for church.  By the time we were all in the car, we were going to be late and I was so cranky that I figured we might as well skip church.  It didn't seem right to go to worship when I was just pissed off about life. 

But my dear Hubby, being the wonderful man that he is, knows that Christmas Eve service is my favorite church service of the entire year.  Nothing touches my heart quite like gathering with fellow believers, others who are broken but trust Him anyway, worshiping, and singing Christmas carols by candlelight.  There is something about it that grabs my soul in a way that nothing else ever has.  I hunger for this one service all year long.  Hubby knows that.  He didn't let me back out.  And I'm ever so glad he didn't!

I've been having a really hard time feeling the Christmas spirit this year.  I've just wanted to curl into a ball and sleep through Christmas and wake up in 2012.  Christmas Eve at church, I finally felt the first glimmer of joy for the season.  The church service was enough to carry me through the big gathering of family at my in-laws house.  I smiled like I was supposed to.  I made it through in one piece!  Yay for that!

We got home and my grumps returned.  I was annoyed with Hubby for something dumb like being tired after working back to back graveyard shifts and taking care of a sick wife, or some such nonsense like that.  I don't really remember why I was annoyed with him but I was.  After he went to bed, I stormed around the house wrapping the last of the presents, halfway hoping that my temper tantrum would wake him up.  My house was a disaster, like what you would expect after nearly 2 weeks of sick family and the last of it being the parents.  But it made me even crabbier.  I finally gave in and went to bed.  I was so angry and depressed when I finally went to bed. 

I fell asleep with tears in my eyes praying for Jesus to bring me the hope, joy, peace and love that this season of advent is about.  He did.  I woke up to a clean living room, courtesy of Hubby who woke up early to make sure I woke up to a pleasant atmosphere.  What a guy.  I had felt really like a jerk for being disappointed with one of my gifts from last night.  My in-laws ALWAYS give me a Starbucks gift card and this year they didn't.  I didn't tell anyone, not even Hubby that I was disappointed with the substitution because it just felt rude.  They really were trying to get something they thought I'd enjoy.  Hubby told me that Santa had brought me a stocking stuffer but my real gift is coming next week in the form of a spa day.  I looked in my stocking to see a $25 Starbucks gift card.  I seriously cried.  He was so confused that I cried over a gift card.  It wasn't the gift card that brought tears, it was that God was bringing me hope.

I managed through Christmas breakfast with the in-laws and Christmas dinner with my folks.  I still couldn't eat the fudge or drink punch.  BUT  I did indulge in a couple of my mom's cookies.  She made my all time favorite cookies because "it just isn't Christmas without butterhorns".  I told her that several years ago; she remembered and she made them.  I did feel guilt but it wasn't overwhelming like it would have been 4 days ago.  There was even something almost comforting about those cookies.

On the way home I asked Hubby to drive a little to look at the lights and I realized why the cookie was ok and why I had asked to look at lights and why I love Christmas.  Almost every happy memory I have of my childhood is in some way related to Christmas.  My mom slowed down a little, she was less demanding of my perfection,  she criticized less and life at home was just easier.  Then there were cookies galore that I got to "taste test" for her, making trips to the USO to deliver cookies to the soliders on either Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, dressing up for Christmas Eve service and walking into church on my daddy's arm feeling like a princess, opening presents on Christmas day, reading to my hearts content for 2 whole weeks until school started back up, songs and Christmas movies and Monopoly with my brother.  I haven't tons of fond memories of childhood, but I have very few memories of Christmas that aren't fond.

I made it through Christmas and was even able to find some of the traces of joy that I know Christmas usually holds for me.  I'm not super, but I'm way better than last week. 

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

where does my voice end and hers begin?

 I'm fine.

Lately the line between my voice and the voice of orange has gotten a little hazy.  It is hard sometime to know if I'm full or if orange thinks I've had enough to eat.  I know the voice above is orange simply because I feel like screaming it.  It is said in a poisonous way, filled with the venom of its hatred.  It has become a phrase that I have used multiple times with my dear Hubby, though not ever in the way it sounds in my head.  In my head it is snarky.  In my head it is angry.  In my head the voice screams, "I'm fine, quit asking!" every single time he asks about the amount of food I've taken or if I've had lunch that day.

That's not fine.  Fine has no problem telling him what I ate for lunch, because I did indeed eat lunch.  Fine doesn't resent him for asking.  Fine doesn't feel like tearing his head off for trying to take care of the woman he loves.  Fine would let me have a peanut butter cup without remorse, guilt or tears.  Fine wouldn't know how many calories are in each banana and each glass of milk.  *sigh*   I'm not really fine.

I'm not even sure when the line between our voices started to blur.  I only realized it was happening when I constantly felt like yelling "I'm fine, leave me alone!"  I'm not a yeller.  I usually can't stand the idea of yelling so when the voice in my head starts yelling drill sargeant style, I know it isn't my voice.  So the voice telling me I'm fine, can't be mine.  But the problem is that I'm not sure which voice is mine at the moment.  If orange keeps yelling, I'll know it's her.  By the same token, when she keeps yelling, it gets really hard to hear anything else. 

I'm thankful Hubby had to work an overnight shift today.  He didn't notice that I wore a belt with my jeans.  I tend to not be a fan of belts and he knows that.  They aren't that comfortable and they draw attention to the waist.  But today after the billionth time of pulling my jeans up, I went for the belt.  I has been months since I have needed a belt.  I don't feel like I have lost any weight though.  I don't feel like I am any smaller.  I don't feel like I look any smaller when I look in the mirror.  Hubby hasn't commented and neither had my mom-in-law.  Doesn't that mean I'm in the safe zone still?

Grrrrr.......I'm just confused and tired and well apparently not really all that fine after all.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

just count your blessings instead of.....

My all time favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas.  Yesterday I was tired and grumpy and I decided I was going to sit down and watch White Christmas.  I love the scene when Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby sing

When you're worried 
and you can't sleep,
just count your blessings
instead of sheep
and you'll fall asleep
counting your blessings 

I may have revised the song a little in my head last night.  

When you're worried
and you can't eat
just count your blessings
instead of bites
 and you'll eat your meal
counting your blessings

This mornings breakfast was brought to you by counting my blessings instead of bites.  I know I don't always remember how blessed I am.  In the midst of restricting, in the midst of punishing myself, in the midst of hurting, in the midst of hiding my lies, I am still blessed.  Breakfast this morning was brought to you by the following blessings:
  • the dear friend who months ago told me to count my blessings instead of bites
  • the baby she is carrying
  • snow on the ground that makes me feel slightly more in the Christmas mood
  • the kids being on Christmas break so I don't have to drive in said snow
  • my Hubby who is worried about me and trying to take care of me
  • hot water for my shower this morning
  • the beautiful faces of 3 little boys who call me mamma (even the oldest still calls me mamma, melts my heart!)
I'm not doing great but I did manage breakfast with my family this morning.  That is a start.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I lied again

I lied.  Again.  There is partial truth to my story about going to Jimmy Johns last night.  It's pretty pathetic when you start to lie to yourself too.  See when Hubby suggested either Chipotle or Jimmy Johns for lunch, I really did cringe.  I have longed for a really good sandwich and JJ's has the best bread ever.  But I've been terrified of bread lately.  So on my way to work last week I got Chipotle instead of JJ's simply because I was afraid the bread would make me cry and I didn't want to cry at work.

Yesterday when Hubby asked, I pulled away.  I cringed.  And then I did it.  "Can we do Jimmy John's?  I have wanted it but haven't been able to have it lately."  Why haven't you been able to have it?, he asks.  One word from me.  Bread.  Bread, sweet, warm, beautiful bread.  Is there anything about fresh bread that isn't comforting?  The smell, the feel, the warmth, the taste.  And yet I can't be comforted by it.  Somehow I can only feel terror. 

The really sad part is that the reason I told the story the way I did yesterday is because I couldn't admit that I had actually ASKED for bread.  I hoped by lying to myself that I would be able to lie to orange.  Hoping that she wouldn't make me pay.  I lied, in all of the places, here, where it is supposed to be safe.  Here where I spill my feelings instead of journaling because I'm too lazy to grab a pen and write.  And I am annoyed that I didn't even feel safe being honest with myself.  Orange is a bitch.

lies I tell and other nonsense

so much on my mind.  and yet I find myself inspired to write based on something else I read.

things I miss:
  • a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
  • comfort foods
  • telling the love of my life what is really going on

things I long for:
  • days with no alarm clock (thank God that my boys are nearly on winter break!)
  • no responsibility at all
  • finding joy in things that I know bring me joy but I don't feel right now
  • to be able to eat ONE Christmas cookie this year and to not experience guilt with that cookie

And yet I lie.  I saw some friends I hadn't seen in months.  I said I was doing great.  I'm not.  One asked how food was going, I told her fine.  I ordered food, everyone was watching to see if I would.  I even commented on how I couldn't wait for the food to get there.  But that wasn't true, it was for the benefit of those around me.  It worked, they were thrilled to hear me say that.  One of them continued asking me if I was eating.  I finally became a smart ass and smiled and said, "Well, I figure once every 4 days is pretty good progress."  Another lie, but at least that one was funny, or at least the look on her face was.

I even lie to hubby.  Tell him I'm doing fine.  All the while hiding the fact that I'm far from fine.  He caught me today.  He saw the longing look I gave Jimmy John's last night when we drove past.  He suggested it today since he knew I'd been wanting it.  I told him Chipotle would be better.  He's too observant.  He wanted to know how long it had been since I'd had a sandwich.  And then why.  I cringed and told him in one word.  "Bread."  He took me out for sandwiches.  I was still hungry when I stopped but I told him I was full.  More than half of my sandwich went to waste.  That seems like such a shame.  I passed a sign today that talked about how many people in Colorado struggle with hunger.  And I felt like the supreme jack ass for CHOOSING to struggle with hunger.

I want to hide.  I want to not have to lie.  I'm just so very tired.  I'm even ready for December to be over when Hubby will notice even quicker when I'm not taking care of myself.  Mostly, because I'm just ready to be taken care of and I know he will.  I lie and yet wish for my husband to see through my lie.  I guess maybe not all hope is lost after all, if I wish for someone to not buy my lie.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

round 3

Well, the score is cooties-3, my kids-0.  Yesterday the vomiting hit my oldest and tonight it hit my youngest.  At least it is a short lived bug. 

If you think of me tonight, feel free to offer up a prayer for strength!  Three nights in a row of being up with sick kids could make for a fun/challenging weekend. 

In the lineup for our weekend:
  • girls night out with old friends
  • Karl Mecklenberg autograph session
  • Santa photos
  • Broncos vs. Patriots date with the Mister!  (We were excited to get these tix anyway but with the way Tebow is playing now, um yeah, it's gonna at least be worth watching!)
Hoping to survive the weekend without drowning my sorrows in gallons of coffee :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

my house is a cootie factory :(

My head and throat hurt really badly.  Blah.  I hate not feeling good.  And it is worse because my middle child is not feeling good either.  He is awake, throwing up.  Fast times at cootie high.

I understand the drill sergeant, task master that orange can be.  She's been beating me up pretty badly lately.  I couldn't stand up to her tonight at a Christmas party so she won and I had only coffee.  I was too scared to even eat the fresh strawberries.  Lame.

I had an interesting conversation with my mom today.  And when I say interesting, I really mean disturbing.  I need to process.  I am annoyed with her but even more so a little concerned at her ready acceptance of all things with out cross referencing her sources.  Pretty sure my head would have exploded if I hadn't had to cut the conversation short to go pick up my son from school.

And I got an update on my niece.  She is still at the hospital because she has refused to go home.  She said if she goes home, she will just run away because she will not live with her step mom.  So since she is a minor, they are keeping her, meeting with a social worker and trying to figure out what to do.  You know it is bad when you are halfway hoping that she will become a ward of the state so they will pay for her to go to the home for troubled girls (at least for a few more months until she turns 18). 

I'm very weary tonight. I'm feeling crappy.  I'm awake taking care of a sick kid though I'd love to be in bed myself right now.  I'm worried about my niece. I'm just weary.  I just want to sleep and sleep and sleep. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

tired and isolated

I'm tired.  Seems to be the constant song of my life.  But this time it isn't exhaustion that wipes me out.  This time it is emotional.  I feel like I've been isolating.  I want to be with my friends, but I don't want to go through the emotional (and physical) energy that it takes.  I really love people and I really have good intentions.  But I find myself not returning phone calls.  I've been skittish about setting exact times to get together with people.  What if the time I set up comes and I don't feel like getting together?  Then I'd have to spend my day acting or think of a good excuse to not go.  And quite frankly that sounds like too much energy.  My kids want to have play dates and I've been trying to get one together for 2 months now but never end up emailing the mom back when she suggests a time.

I can get together with one friend.  I know that I don't have to fake it.  I know that if I'm feeling non social, we can just sit and its ok.  My son adores her daughter too so that makes it easier as well.  But aside from seeing her I find myself backing out of going places more often than not right now.  Even talking on the phone seems like a chore.  I have a friend who I try to catch up with on the phone weekly, or at least close to weekly.  I love talking to her but right now I just don't know what to say so it feels kinda weird to talk on the phone.  I'm glad she has a lot going on right now so we can chat about her.  (sorry, Love.  I hope you know I love you and this is all about me and being a dork not about not enjoying your company. You remain among my top favorite people even though I'm freakin insane right now!)

I don't want to expend the energy to go to the store and buy milk.  I'm tired.  I don't feel like leaving my house but I don't really enjoy being in my house either.  I am sitting here blogging rather than making my kids lunches for tomorrow simply because I don't feel like doing it.  I can tell my anti-depressant is helping.  I don't feel hopeless.  But I wish there were a drug that did more than ease depression but actually made it better.  It may be out there but with the many I've tried, I have yet to find it!

I'm trying to see through the eyes of grace and be gentle with myself (Jenn, that is in honor of you while you are on vacation and not commenting regularly to be gentle with myself!) but it is hard.  I just want to survive.  And for someone who adores Christmas more than anything, it sucks to feel like I want to just. make. it. through. Christmas.  Good night tired world, I'll be back soon.  Hopefully with something better to say.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

my niece

It has been a stressful couple of days.  I called my mom-in-law yesterday and learned that one of my nieces is in the psych hospital.  Again.  She called 911, said she felt unstable, like she was going to hurt herself.  The ambulance took her to Children's Hospital where she stayed for several hours before being transferred to the  mental hospital.  This isn't her first merry go round with this.  Her life's timeline could almost be told from trauma to trauma, from suicidal intentions to hospital stays to cutting to running away to hospital stays.

This time feels different to me.  Something about this time feels very disconcerting to me.  Something feels very, very wrong this time. I know some view her as just wanting attention.  I don't.  She is a hurt young lady.  Sure, I guess there is some need to get attention in all of this.  But I get angry that her parents refuse to see her hurt.  Her step mom insists that she is just an angry teenager with no legitimate problems.  Her dad  is clueless and will never see her as anyone more than the girl who annoys his wife.

Hey, I can't say that if I were in her shoes right now that I wouldn't have made the same call.  She's hurt.  She's lonely.  She's unloved and unnoticed at home.  They don't want her.  They say she is just trying to get attention.  And you know what I think about that?  I say, hell, if the girl is attempting suicide to get your attentions, then maybe you should pay attention to her!  Now, I do believe there is more, much, much, more to this.  I believe she wants to die until she starts to and then gets scared.  I believe her intentions are real and based out of a crappy hand that life dealt her.  But then when she thinks about actually dying, she is afraid she will let someone down or hurt someone or that she just gets plain old scared of dying.

And here is where it gets hard for me.  I get it.  I know what it is like to live life measured from one suicide attempt to the next.  I know what it is like to be a teenager drinking myself to sleep at night to escape the pain of being me.  I know what it is like to hurt my body simply because it hurts less than the emotional pain.  I know what it is like to hurt my body just to see if I can still feel anything.   And yet, I want to see her want to get better.  I can't make her better.  She has to decide on her own that this isn't working for her and take the steps to make her life what she wants it to be not what she was dealt.  And it puts me in the hardest position of anyone in the family. 

I know her hurt all too well.  Sure things have been different, we have dealt with different painful experiences but we both have known very deep pain.  I'm the only one who completely validates where she is at emotionally.  I also know that she is almost an adult now.  In a few short months, her parents will kick her out and she will be left to figure it out on her own.  She is pretty much at the point now that life is going to be what she makes of it.  And I find myself angry that no one has prepared her for such a life.  Her parents think only of how quickly they can get her out, it's all they have thought of for years.  They say she is lazy, but they never taught her how to work. They get mad that she has no coping skills but they have neither modeled them nor helped her find to a professional to help her learn them.

My niece is about to enter the world as an adult and she is terrified that she doesn't have what it takes to make it.  So she threatens suicide and gets a warm bed, 3 meals cooked for her and doesn't have to listen to her step mom berating her all the time.  Doesn't sound like too bad of a gig to me.  Hey, I'm a functioning adult and have days that I miss the hospital and having no responsibility in taking care of myself. I think that maybe that is why it bothers me so much more this time around.  I think it is sinking in that she is nearly an adult but doesn't know how to be one.  I think she is terrified that she will not be able to make it in the big girl world and it seems easier to opt out before the time comes to face it.

Of course, I also think there is a little bit of a jab in there at her parents who don't want her.  Of course, I do think there is some "NOW they'll pay attention" in there.  I do think she could kill herself but I don't think she will, at least not yet.  And it breaks my heart to say not yet when referring to my niece.  It breaks my heart to see her depression spiraling out of control only to be told that she is fine and just trying to get me to feel sorry for her.  I see her pain, probably better than all of the family combined, and I can not help her other than to tell her she isn't crazy and that she can make it through this.  I feel really helpless.  And I know she does too.  You can only feel helpless for so long before you either fight back or give in. 

Here's to praying she fights back instead of giving in.  I sure do love that little girl, she has had my heart from the first time I ever met her .  I wish I could make it all better and it breaks my heart that I can't.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Obviously on Monday I blew it big time.  Yesterday was only slightly better.  I spent my morning feeling sorry for myself.  I spent my afternoon feeling guilty.  Food was not high on my priority list.  I was too busy beating myself up for giving in to my addiction.

See this is how orange works.  Doing well.  Doing well.  Then the voices.  You really don't deserve that nice meal that you just had.  Food is for sustenance not for fun.  Your husband shouldn't have spent the money to buy something special for in house date night.  It is frivolous.  How dare you enjoy that food?  You don't deserve to be taken care of.  You don't deserve to eat. The lies keep attacking until finally in a sheer panic, I give in and try to purge.  Maybe purging will shut them up. But it doesn't.

Then the next morning when I cannot swallow without feeling raw scratching in my throat, I realize what I've done.  And the voices start again but this time even more accusatory.  Look at yourself!  Look what you've done.  You know better than this.  What is wrong with you?  You're a worthless piece of sh*t.  You spent your night trying to get rid of food that your body needed.  If you aren't going to try to keep it down then why on earth should you eat it?  You have to pay for last night.  No you can't have breakfast.  How can you trust yourself to not go running to the bathroom to get rid of that breakfast?  No, better to not eat, at least until you can trust yourself again.  See, it's true, you are not capable of recovery.  You will always mess it up.  Just give in to it.  You aren't going to beat me so why not just surrender to me? Just let me destroy your body.  You are stuck.  You are mine.  You will never be free from my grip.  Even when you think you want something else, I will always be here waiting to hold your hand and take you back.

The lies of orange attacked me so viciously that I couldn't hear anything else.  I shivered my way through a miserably cold night at work.  I joked with my customers that it was ok that it was only 54* because shivering burns calories.  Who needs exercise when you work in an icebox?  They laughed.  I ached that I had seriously just said that.  I had hoped for time with a good friend after work but in God's grace and wisdom, she didn't get my message asking if I could come over for a bit. 

I decided as I neared home to turn on the radio.  Once again God used music. The only song I heard before arriving at home was Forgiven by Sanctus Real.

I love the end that says, "When I don't measure up to much in this life, Oh I'm a treasure in the arms of Christ."  See that is the amazing part of grace.  I blew it.  But God gently calls me back.  He reminds me that I don't have to carry the weight of what I've done because He has already carried it. As I thought of this, I remembered a verse that was very dear to my heart during my first go round with recovery.

Micah 7:8 (NIV)

  8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
   Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
   the LORD will be my light.

Though I have fallen, I will rise.  Though I gave into darkness, the Lord will be my light. I blew it but He redeemed it.  I can't say I'm feeling perfectly fine right now.  But I can say that I am allowing God to minister to my pain and my guilt and my self condemnation.  I don't know how to do this but I do know that God knows how to carry me through this.  I know that His grace is sufficient to cover me.  I know that sometimes the lies will win in my heart but I know that His truth is bigger and can break through those lies.  If I know nothing else, I know this

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the morning after

It is late afternoon and my throat still burns when I swallow, though not like it did this morning.  I had forgotten the morning after feelings.  The feelings of a sore and raw throat.  Knowing it burns because of my own actions not because I'm fighting a cold.  And mostly the overwhelming feelings of guilt.  Guilt that I listened to orange again.  Guilt that though I know what is truth, the words in my head are still orange.  Guilt that I know what I need to do but for some reason still act out compulsively at times.  Guilt that today I sat at MOPS and affirmed how important it is for moms to take care of themselves also all the while hearing the orange rant in my head insisting that I don't deserve to be taken care of. 

Will I ever get this?  Will the voices ever shut up?

Monday, December 5, 2011

good news bad news

In case you wanted to know, it doesn't matter how far I stick my finger down my throat, I cannot throw up.  It doesn't work with a toothbrush either.  I have a faulty gag reflex.  I have proved that once again.  Sometimes the panic just gets to be too much and I have to try.  I still can't purge.  I guess that is the good news.

The bad news is that it is still an urge, one that tonight I couldn't make shut up no matter what I did until after my fingers had been jammed repeatedly down my throat.  The bad news is that orange just won't get out of my ear tonight.  The bad news is that in my shower tonight I contemplated scrubbing my skin till it bled like I used to.  I wondered if I could find an area to cut that my husband wouldn't notice tomorrow and ask me what happened.   

I wonder why these feel so strong tonight. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

random pictures

my boys are so blessed to have him for a Daddy

hanging in our kitchen and the kids say should be at Grandma's house too (ouch!)

ways to kill time and make Hubby smile all at the same time :)

lest there be any doubts of my team loyalty, me as a ridiculous hot mess after cheering the Cardinals on to win the World Series!

lurking and growing up

The tears are lurking again.  I can feel a weight behind the happiness.  I had the realization a couple of days ago that I was only 3 years older than my son is now when I tried to commit suicide for the first time.  I felt so grown up, like a very old soul, at the time.  But the reality is that I wasn't.  I was 12.  At 9 I was praying that I wouldn't grow up to be fat like my mom.  At 12 I was swallowing pills and truly it seemed like I had endured far more than a measly 12 years of life.  At 14 I had begun to starve myself.  I felt so old and yet I was really so young.

Thoughts like that scare me about my kids getting older.  My son has a crush on a girl at school.  He doesn't really understand his feelings, just that they are big feelings.  He drew a heart on his leg with their initials drawn in it.  He gets all smiley and goofy at the mention of her name.  He is growing up.  And I am glad he is growing up.  I hope his teenage years are much more like his daddy's than like mine.  I hope that thoughts of suicide never plague him.  I hope his little comments about not needing to lose weight yet, and rarely wanting breakfast before school don't turn to haunt him with a life of ED.  I read stories about the Penn State scandal and I pray he never has to understand abuse.

I want the life for him that I didn't have.  I want him to know safety and security that I pretended in my mind but didn't think existed when I was his age.  I hope when he is a teenager that he doesn't drink until he passes out simply because it hurts to live his life.  I hope he tells his wife of fond memories of when he was a child.  I hope he smiles at his kids and laughs as much as his daddy does. 

I know I can't protect him from all hurt.  We all get hurt.  Hurt is part of life.  I wouldn't want to either, it would be living in a delusion for me and cause even more hurt for him and for me.  But that said, I pray his hurts never carry him down a road of self loathing.  That they never carry him so far that he forgets he is loved.  That they never carry him to needing to cope with the after effects of molestation, eating disorders, or suicidal tendencies.  In short, I pray he never has to live my life.  I hope so much more for him!