For parents of eating disordered children

“You don’t understand,” I say in the night of the room, husband listening quiet. “You don’t know how impossibly in love I am with him.”

Silence; he fiddles fingers, nods, and “It’s different from being married. You give birth to this life, and then you keep giving birth, each day, as your child grows.” I point to the computer, the easel, “None of this would have meaning if anything were to happen to our son. I would still wake up, but I’d have nothing to write about, nothing to paint…”

Husband looks up with a smile and the fingers still. “So you like being a mother then?” he asks. I swallow. “It’s not even a choice, really. You’re just kind of thrust into this love, and suddenly you can’t live without it, and it becomes who you are.”

I think of days ago, 16-month-old son too calm, too pale, and I made pancakes and grilled cheese and soup and smoothies and nothing, “no, no, no” and he wandered the house with his sippy-cup looking wide at the walls and I couldn’t write my articles, couldn’t do the laundry, couldn’t live for the thought of his stomach empty.

Antibiotics cured him. Unfortunately there are no antibiotics that will cure an eating disorder, but oh, I wish there were, that I could write you the prescription in this virtual place. There is no prescription but there is hope and your heart might be walking around outside your body, all skin and bones, and you might feel as though you can’t focus on anything for the thought of your child choosing to die, but as God prodded me gentle after my conversation with my husband:

“This is all to remind you—He is not yours to keep. He is mine, on loan, to you.”

I was that child. The one on loan, and for four years, from nine to 13, I lived on an empty stomach, and this blog is a place where for you to find strength in my story, in the story of my parents, and in the stories of other parents who congregate here.

Starting Monday, April 4, I will be sharing videos and discussions from FINDINGbalance in the hopes that you, as parents of eating disordered children, might find healing for your own broken souls as well as hope for the days to come.

(Please note: This is also a place for spouses on the ED journey, as well as former ED sufferers now on the recovery journey… I will post later this week on both of those… In the meantime, please share this place with those you feel need it. Thank you.)

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