It has taken me this long to realize that it wasn't me you were actually challenging, you were challenging Anorexia - The Bitch. In doing so, I can see now, you ignited the fighter within me, the only person who could take Anorexia down.
I hate to tell you this mum, but I say it with the hope that other Mothers might see through the games Anorexia plays, even on them. You were easy to manipulate in the beginning and I even pulled you into my game by asking you to tell me to stop eating when you, yes you, thought I'd eaten enough. By doing that I was ridding myself of any responsibility regarding food, and should I gain weight at least I'd have someone to blame. I took advantage of your willingness to help me out.
Do you remember when I was about 10 years old and we saw a documentary on TV about that girl who had Anorexia, who would walk 10km each day and eat no more than 500 calories, just enough to survive day by day? Remember how I said 'Mum, you won't have to worry about me ever having anything like that... I love my food way too much...'. Well irony bites you in the butt sometimes, and three years later I was that girl and you were her desperate mum.
You noticed things early on; you noticed how obsessed I became with swimming and going to the gym. You noticed how I would quietly make my way to the toilet after every meal, not to purge, but to weigh myself and carefully examine any changes that may have taken place on my body from the food I had just consumed. You confronted me about it, yet I always had an explaination at hand, no matter how far fetched, and you, giving me the benefit of the doubt, decided to believe my words.
I know, or rather Anorexia knew, that if there was one person who would stand in my way, confront me and challenge me it would be you. I had to be well prepared if I wanted to 'outsmart' you on this one. For some reason Anorexia gives you this amazing 'skill' when it comes to manipulating people, and so, eventually I managed to get you off my case.
I attempted to be the 'perfect' daughter, trying to be as unobvious as possible in order to also make Anorexia seem unobvious. I was desguising her. I was hers, she was mine, and no one was to come between us.
That summer, when I got really bad, I was out of your sight. Lucky for Anorexia and me I was surrounded by people who would bend over backwards to make me happy. I took advantage of them too. They didn't question my obsessive training regime. My obsession with food. My gradual change in mood and general being. My rapid weightloss.
I came home. You were shocked. I admitted to having a problem with food. You took me to the doctor. I promised to get better. We ate McDonalds. Nothing changed.
Mum, I remember your desparation, your overwhelming desire to fight the battle for me and just have your girl back. I also remember your 'head in the sand' attitude (the one anorexia favored), because I kept convincing you that I was working on it and that you had nothing to worry about. I told you I was seeing the doctor and gaining weight... Well, they were all lies. Lying to you added to my dispair, but I just couldn't stop.
After hiding the real state of my body for many months, the volcano suddenly errupted. You 'outed' Anorexia. It was that night I was trying on clothes that use to fit me and you got a glimpse of my legs and reacted with panic and disgust. You confronted me about my wasted and bony legs. I told you I'd always had skinny legs. You confronted me about not having had a period for a year. I assured you that it was normal for girls my age. You confronted me about the shower drain being blocked because I was losing so much hair. I told you that hair goes through cycles, and I was in the 'malting' cycle. Again, to ease the situation, I promised to work on myself. Again you believed me.
I just didn't want to let you down mum, be a burden on you. I don't know what it was that I wanted. Maybe I was simply striving for a better version of myself, a perfect version, but instead I created the opposite.
You alone could never have won the battle with me or for me, it needed more.
Ending up in hospital, where they had a free bed to my life saving luck, with a great team of professionals joining force to help me battle, was my saving grace.
Thats when the point came where you had enough of my games and were sick of feeling like I was wasting the time of all these people willing to help me. So you confronted me and set me an ultimatum infront of the whole medical team. You exposed Anorexia yet again. At first I saw it as a challeng to challenge the strength of your ultimatum, but over time it triggered a fight mechanism within me. I felt like a traitor to everyone around me, a traitor to myself.
From that moment I began to fight and you have been there every step of the way. It has been a long fight. It has been a tough fight. Sometimes you felt like strangeling me. Sometimes I felt like strangeling you. You let me cry, talk, laugh and understand. You helped me let 'The Bitch' go. You continue to help me keep myself 'in-check'.
It takes a strong person to overcome Anorexia, but it also takes a strong person/people to take up the battle with you.
Thankyou mum, for never giving up, eventhough it would have been easier to walk away at times.
Thankyou for showing me unconditional love and for loving me just the way I am.
Sorry for hurting you, manipulating you and fighting you. I'm so grateful to have you as my mum.
I loveyou x