A Weekend With Mommy

My mom came home this weekend, which is always a really difficult thing for me to deal with.

I say this not because I don’t love my mom or want her to be home, because in all honesty my mom is my best friend in the entire universe and I want to spend all the time with her I can, but because our relationship is so different now and it hurts me more than I could even explain in a blog post.

You see, we used to do EVERYTHING together, but our most favorite activities in the world were shopping and traveling.  And of course what comes along with those two things is a lot of going out to eat.

She LOVES restaurants.

She LOVES really nice restaurants, with fantastic food, service and atmosphere; where you can pretty much get anything you want, any way you want, but still scare the hell out of me.

Unfortunately, now things have changed.

She doesn’t enjoy eating, or spending time with me, really, and there is always an awkward tension when she does, so the outings of our past have pretty much ceased.

The last two times she was home, particularly at Christmas and just yesterday, I had a bit of a breakdown.  I forget exactly why at the holidays, but yesterday because I agreed to go out to dinner at one of her favorite places in town…

At least that is what got the breakdown started…(remember, it is not always about the food!)

I was petrified because this place she enjoys specializes in brick oven pizza and finer Italian cuisine (um, hello carbs and fats you are my worst enemy!) but I wanted to go to show her she means more to me than FOOD and being sick.

Well by 3:00 PM I was absolutely starving but did not want to eat a snack due to the rapidly approaching dinner plans.

I had already agonized over the menu, planning that I could only get the appetizer tuna Carpaccio and side salad with vinegar, which is insane and not really a meal at all, and I was moody, irritable and very very hungry.

My head was spinning 054868046 miles a minute and it must have shown because she asked what was wrong.

Oh gosh.  It just call came out.

I started crying, telling her I don’t want to feel this way anymore, but that I feel so helpless and don’t know how to change….that I need someone to MAKE me do it or I cant deal with the guilt…

Basically everything I have been telling all of you for the last few weeks in a condensed form, and she just looked at me.

“None of us can make you do it, CJ.  I have tried to tell you what to eat but I am not being the food police.  Why don’t we just split a pizza tonight?”

Really?

I know she doesn’t understand my disorder, nor does she care to learn because all she keeps saying is, “we have tried everything and no one can fix you, you have to do it yourself,” but I need her to try.

That probably sounds ridiculously selfish of me, and sound like a complete baby because I am 24 and probably do need to take more responsibility for myself, but in my opinion a person is never too old to need their family.

My mom has been by far the most influential person in my life.

She was a single mom, it was basically just she and I until I was 5 years old, and everything she has ever done or said has made some impact on who I am.

I want her help.

I don’t know specifically what I need from her, but there seems to be something missing.

It is not her geographic location that is bothering me, because I love that she is happy, we are not THAT far away from each other and her fiance welcomes us anytime we want to visit, but there is something about our new relationship that might be aiding in my unhappiness with myself.

Maybe I am very angry with ME, for “destroying” the bond I cherish?

Maybe that feeds into the negative self talk I have about no one liking me, and how I am such a horrific person.

Like I said, I don’t really know, but there is a piece of the ED puzzle that has to do with my mom and I am determined to figure it out.

For now, I DO know I love her, want her to continue being in my life, and wish we could go back to being “us,” but as I deteriorate physically, the important relationships in my life diminish, as well.

You would think that would be enough motivation for me…

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6 thoughts on “A Weekend With Mommy

  1. I’m so sorry your weekend was not nice. And what a nasty circumstance with the pizza, but I have found that it is easier to freak out at people of which you know they love you anyway… And just remember that they just try to help and that they do not have the irrational voice in their head. I had it today with my boyfriend who said that I had eaten enough, which in my head of course meant too much…
    Take care the coming days!

    • oh my goodness I completely understand what you mean with comments like that! Our minds totally misconstrue innocent remarks to be so negative and it is difficult for those who do not have disordered eating to comprehend all the berating when they are so proud we are actually participating in life.
      you are wonderful! stay strong 🙂

  2. CJ I hate this for you, but I speak from personal experience when I say that it is so so very hard for parents to see their children sick. It doesn’t matter if it’s a stomach virus, or cancer, or an ED, it is just so hard for them to see us suffer. I think sometimes this fear creates anger – but not at us, at the disease, and sometimes it’s just more than they can take and so they distance themselves.

    I actually think you hit the nail on the head in this post when you said “I need someone to MAKE me do it or I cant deal with the guilt.” I was actually wondering over the past week or so why you are in charge of fixing your own meals. I was exhausted just reading your post about your meal plan with all the measuring and I’m not even the one doing it. I can’t even imagine how exhausting it must be for you to do all that for 3 meals + snacks every single day plus hold down a full time job and exercise every day!

    I know your husband must be incredibly busy as a nurse but did you guys ever think about having him fix all your meals? Or at least some of them so that you wouldn’t know the calorie content? I obviously don’t know anything about how treatment works and maybe you have to be in charge of your own meals. I know that eating something you didn’t fix creates a lot of anxiety for you but I think that if you aren’t pushed to experience that anxiety every day it is never going to get easier.

    Obviously I don’t know what is best for you as I have absolutely no training in this at all and I hope that if I am way out of line you can just laugh at my ignorance. But I do know that God can heal and I think it’s wonderful that you are praying. You are His child and you can talk to Him just as you talk to your Mom. You can break down and cry and scream at His feet at He will listen and hear you and comfort you. Sometimes it helps just to read a Psalm as a prayer to Him when you have trouble finding the words yourself. Dealing with a lot of health issues on my own I have often been “forced” to call out to God as there was literally no one else around and He has been there for me every step of the way. I would not be about to graduate medical school without Him. I continue to pray for you every day and I hope that this week brings renewed strength and hope and a plan to fight!

  3. My ED has a lot of pieces to the puzzle just as yours does… I didn’t realize until I was living on my own how much I seemed to have taken my bond with my mom for granted while I was still living at home. When I was away, I realized if she died, my most recent memories wouldn’t be very great because I was sick with my ED and that of course, makes us very selfish and twisted and unhappy people to be around. That realization did two things: first, it made my ED worse because I figured what’s done is done and I can’t go back and have to go on like this, so I may as well suffer and punish myself. Then, I got so sick that I was truly scared and cried out for help and came back home where I’ve been ever since recovering (very well, I might add).

    Perhaps your mom isn’t so much part of your ED puzzle in that your relationship helped fuel your ED, but maybe, like for me, it’s that as you get deeper into your ED you start to see yourself as selfish and undeserving of your mother’s love and attention and it just makes you feel worse? I know that when I was undernourished, my thinking was definitely skewed and typically for the worst! I assumed everyone hated me, didn’t care about me, and that what I was doing to myself was just punishment (for what, I”m not really sure! But that’s what ED does to you).

    Maybe as you’ll get healthier and better, you’ll realize that the puzzle piece your mom is part of is really the one that is going to help put your entire recovery puzzle together. Recover for yourself, your husband, and for your mother who I’m sure only wishes you could get better so you could be happier.

  4. It sounds like you have a very complicated relationship with your mother, like many women do, but that to figure this out you will need to spend time in therapy WITH her, not just talking about her and your relationship. I have no doubt your therapist and mother will be more than willing to arrange a skype/phone conference session and that this will be the best way to start improving and changing your relstionship into what you both want it to be.
    In the meantime you know that restricting in order to then restrict at a meal is not how to take care of yourself in a loving way. Maybe spending some time going over eating out options with your nutritionst is worth while and the next time you go out to eat with her/anyone you will have a nutritionally sound plan already. In the meantime it looks like pizza needs to be added to the list of fear foods to conquer….. Its really just two carb exchanges, one fat, one dairy and half a vegetable. Aka two pcs of toast with butter, a glass of milk, and handful of carrots. You can do that.

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