remember when we use to go skiing together, or when I pretended to be asleep when really I just wanted you to carry me home from the restaurant? I was always "daddy's girl" and will forever continue to be "daddy's girl".
Some people say that Anorexia is a cry for attention, which isn't all that wrong. Some would say that my Anorexia was a cry for your attention, to regain my spot as "daddy's girl" in your life. The spot I felt I had lost when you left home and moved in with your "new" family. Maybe that isn't all that wrong either.
Losing weight, the pain from hunger and the torment in my mind brought me a distraction from the inner pain I felt from feeling like I was no longer "daddy's girl". I started going to the gym and lifting weights, going for runs and playing tennis because I knew that they were things you were passionate about and took pleasure in, something I admired you for. I thought it would make you proud if I enjoyed the same things as you did. I became obsessed.
I still admire you for those, and many more things, Dad. What I love even more is, that now, we can do those things together, share a passion that you, in one way or another, ignited in me.
For quite an extended period of time you weren't present in my life. Lucky for you I'll say, that way you didn't have to put up with the obsessed, moody and manipulating Belle. When I was around you I worked so hard to put on my "strong" face and act all in control and problemless.
Deep down I thought you'd be proud of my lean and "healthy" looking physique, because in my mind being skinny reflected success and an adult image. I thought that by showing you the restraint and control I had over my life, it would make you think I was growing into a mature woman. Oh the irony in that, because in reality I was physically turning myself back into a 10 year old girl.
I remember when we, just you and I, went on a holiday. I was bad, but not yet at my worst. You saw me in my bikini and blankly said that I looked like a skeleton. I was shattered. I wanted to hear you say that I looked great, that you were proud of me, that I was growing into a fine young woman. That week was such a struggle for me. I didn't want to show you that I had a problem with food, but at the same time I didn't want to lose Anorexia by gaining weight. Frankly, I couldn't wait to get home and back into by own secure routine of exercise, calorie counting and weight control.
We lost touch. I lost weight. I was no longer "daddy's girl" I had become "Anorexia's girl". She gave me the comfort and company I needed. She encouraged me and complimented me. She cared about me... or so I thought.
When you did see me you made concerned comments about my weight and always encouraged me, sternly, to eat more. That enraged me, because it felt like an attack, like you didn't understand me, didn't understand my struggle and I guess a part of me felt like I would simply never be good enough.
You weren't there when I was battling through the mud, patially because I never reached out to you or let you into my world, and partially because you were oblivious as to how sick I really was, until you saw me that day... 3 months later.
From that moment on you were there every step of the way. You took the reign into your hands and made me go to the doctor becuase you believed you were looking at your "dying daughter". Looking back that was a scary reality.
It was the first time you and mum united in peace since you left home. You united for your daughter and for a short while my family was re-united and my world was in harmony... and then I got admitted to hospital.
Dad, you were the silent hero. You never said much, but you did say that you knew I could beat this, that I was strong and determined. I wanted to prove you right and make you proud.
When you visited me in hospital you left me little gifts that I would find hidden somewhere after you had left (although gifts were against treatment policy, did you know that?).
You never questioned me, never got angry at me... you were just there, ready to catch me if I were to fall.
A cry for attention was only another component that fueled Anorexia. It's like a spiders web, many threads interwoven to make her stronger and more resistant. Once caught in that web however, its hard to get out and Anorexia keeps finding new threads to add to the web to entangle you even more.
Thanks dad, for being there to help untangle me...
'Daddy's girl' xx