So, after my outpouring of self pity, I am now really angry. I feel as if I have had enough. I sat with L last night as she ate, helped her with each mouthful, didn’t insist she ate it all, let her have more vegetables and praised her when she’d finished. All the time I knew what would happen, that she would go throw it all back up, that when she had a shower and that even though she has been told how dangerous it is and that it won’t even make her lose weight, she would still do it. I knew that afterwards when I asked her she will be upset and seem sorry, but she will still do it. Every plea I have made for her to stop and to seek help, will be ignored.
Nothing I do has any effect whatsoever. I know L feels loved, but she is no closer to being better,in fact her eating has become more entrenched, more obsessive and controlled. I read the books, I listen to the doctor and nothing makes any difference or gets any better. The cure is food, but L will not eat and if she does, she vomits it away. There is no sign of hope, nothing which says we are making progress. I am not angry with her, but with the illness, but there is part of me that wants to shake her, to yell at her to fight, to stop this disease ruining her life. The quiet determination she has always had is turned against herself in a seemingly unstoppable drive towards starvation, emaciation, sunken eyes, rotten teeth, jutting bones and alienation from everyone who loves her. And none of us can pull her back.
I am not exhibiting any of this anger to her, although there is a quietly stricter tone to my voice. When I asked the doctor how hospital staff got patients to eat, she told me that they were just determined and didn’t have to go into another room to cry, as I sometimes do. So, perhaps I need less emotion, more resilience. In a moment I will help L eat breakfast. If she doesn’t eat it she will not be allowed to go to school. I will ask the doctors to set a deadline of either time or weight where, if there is no further improvement, L will be admitted to hospital. I’m not good enough, I can’t do this and I thought a week away would give me new energy – instead it feels as if I have seen how futile everything is.