I have a friend who is a Beach Body coach. Hubby has been wanting to do P90X so I had asked her if we buy it off of her website if she would get a commission. (See? I'm cool like that. Help out a friend while I buy what we are going to buy anyway.) Long story short, she sent me an email saying she had an opening in her 90 day boot camp that she is doing and asked if I wanted it. Then later that day she sent an email saying given my history that maybe right now is not the time to engage in this type of exercise. I am grateful for someone being honest and getting in my face about it. Orange, however, is PISSED OFF that people around me who love me are keeping me accountable.
On Christmas Eve, my niece (yes, the same one I blogged about recently) confessed what I have suspected for some time now. She is bulimic. While in the mental hospital, she was caught purging and her parents were told. Her dad's response is oh so helpful, "Well just don't throw up." Ugh! If only it were that easy! If it were that easy, it wouldn't be called a disorder.
I took her out last week for coffee and then a trip to the mall. She ate, an average amount or slightly above average (I'm not sure now that I say that what an average 17 yr old girl portion would be) in a very quick manner. When we got to the mall she asked if we could stop by the restroom. I didn't think much of it, after all, we had been together for over an hour and had just had coffee. I stood at the sinks with the coffees. When she reappeared she was pale and shaky (more so than she usually is) and her eyes were watering. It didn't take an expert to realize she had just purged. I didn't say anything. I didn't know what to say. I just ached for her and wished I could make it better and make this stupid disease go away.
She knows I have dealt with eating disorder but she doesn't know in what way or that I still battle my eating disorder. As far as my husbands family is concerned, I have dealt with an eating disorder but I'm sure no one has ever really thought it was serious. Maybe my mom in law because she was too observant when I was relapsing but she does think that it is behind me now that I am weight restored.
Now take all of that information and intro tonight's conversation with Niece:
Will you go running with me?Running like errands or running like exercising?
Exercising.No. I won't. I don't run. I'm not a runner, nor do I wish to become one.
Well, will you at least exercise with me?Maybe, what are you thinking?
I don't care. I have gained 7 lbs this week and I have to lose it. Please exercise with me! Would you go on walks with me?I don't know. Maybe. I'll have to figure out what to do with the kids (my easy out when I don't know what to say to her) but I'll get back to you on that.
I seriously want to cry. Here I am doing what is right and taking care of me even though it is rather annoying right now and not engaging in the kind of exercise that I am desiring. I know my motives are not to get fit but to burn calories. I know my intentions wouldn't be pure. And then Niece goes and asks me to exercise with her, to fuel her own disease. I can't. It would hurt us both. It would further the disordered voices in both of our heads. And it makes me want to cry.
I'm not at a place that I want to share the current stage of my journey with her. I don't mind telling her that I've struggled with an eating disorder. I don't feel safe enough with her to tell her I'm still struggling. Besides, she has an emotionally overloaded plate. She needs to know there is some kind of stability in this world and right now, we are the only stability she has ever known. She has so little hope, so little joy. She doesn't need the weight of my journey resting on her right now. Right now, I think it would be more triggering than helpful.
I don't know what to say though. My demons are different than hers. I have tried to purge but as I have mentioned, I can't. And for me purging is a last resort. It is what I reach for when nothing else will make the voices shut up. I would be lying if I said that I understood what she is going through. I understand the viciousness of ed. I understand the berating voice that insists you will never be good enough. I understand the force that pushes her, but I don't understand the method in which she indulges that force. And I feel lost. She wants me to give her answers but I don't have them.
Her parents don't believe she is sick. Though I cannot imagine why! The girl shakes like a leaf and the shaking has gotten significantly worse in the past 6 months. She has circles under her eyes. She just shaved her head. At EVERY meal she runs to the bathroom before she is even finished eating and then again when she is done. She comes back to the table pale and shaking uncontrollably. But she is not sick, no she is just playing the victim. I want to shake them. I want them to wake up and see the little girl who is killing herself to get them to say they are proud of her. I want them to see the devastation that she is causing to her body through this eating disorder and burning and cutting. But I want them to do more than see it. I want them to do something about it and they never will.
I am even more angry about my eating disorder tonight. I see what Niece's bulimia is robbing her of and I'm tired of being robbed myself. I'm tired of the abuse that orange puts me through. I'm tired of living my life for a tyrant of a mistress instead of for myself. And I'm tired of seeing those I love get robbed of being able to fully live as well.