This started out as a status update in a closed group on Facebook and it was so amazing I had to ask if I could post it. Nancy Chiado Clarkson is a warm, supportive and very giving woman; one of the many I am lucky to know. She also runs a support group and posted this piece on that blog.
Good morning Dear Mommas ~
As I sit here and read these posts -- especially from the new moms -- I want to come and hug each and every one of you. I want to talk with you personally and give you some hope and light in the darkness you are experiencing. In looking back over the years ED invaded our home and took over our lives the memories are painful indeed.
I know we all want our kids to be happy. That is a mother's dream. However, when ED shows up, they become something we can hardly believe. This, however, is what I want you to believe: Your loved ones have been taken hostage by this disease. They are still there, just unable to find their voice because the one in their head is so loud and constantly reminds them how useless and worthless they are. While your loves ones are still under 18, you need to make some tough decisions for them. They are incapable of seeing what is best for them. They cannot trust themselves, so they trust ED. Will they (ED) get angry? You bet.
For so many years, I parented this disease out of guilt. My decisions made me feel better, but it did nothing to help my daughter. I was so afraid of causing anger, that I walked on eggshells and gave ED a comfortable place to live. I needed to grow a spine of titanium! The threats were ugly, mean, hurtful. However, I adopted the mindset that she could be mad at me for the rest of her life. I had to do what needed to be done to see that she would have a successful life.
Recovery around life, not life around recovery. You cannot have one foot in recovery. You need to be all in, all the time. If they are not well, their life will be one painful struggle after another. It takes time -- years sometimes -- and it is exhausting. Self care is mandatory. Mirror for them what you want for them. When they see us crying and out of control ourselves, it only reinforces what the ED is trying to convince them: look at what you are doing to your family. You are worthless. My daughter shared that tidbit with me after her recovery. I never looked at it that way.
I understand each family dynamic is different and sometimes there is nothing we can do. What we can do, however, is take care of ourselves. Sometimes the change we want, needs to start with us.
Above all else, love them. They are hiding behind the mask called ED and it takes time to trust themselves, love themselves and find themselves.
Know I am always available for a phone chat should you ever need anything. All you need to do is ask. I never want any one of you to feel alone through this journey. We need each other and I thank God each day for Debra who has reached out to us all to keep us afloat.
Hugs, kisses and hope to you all. Hang in their Mommas -- you are stronger than ED ever could hope to be. Lean on us, cry with us.