The stretch food – Pasta Carbonara

There is a delicious smell in the kitchen. Bacon, frying with garlic. C will add Parmesan and cream and mix it into fresh pasta. We will then call L and K down to eat.

‘Creamy pasta’ is what we call a stretch food. It is one of the foods L cooks beautifully and loves. That is why it is on the ‘fear food’ list. Because she loves it. The twisted, demented parasite that is anorexia tells her these foods are bad and she is bad for eating them, greedy for liking them. But for her, this food is Popeye spinach, the healthiest thing she could have. Carbs, fat and protein. It will heal and nourish her. But she doesn’t yet know this is on the menu.

To cause further complications I am having leftover casserole from yesterday. She will rage about why I am not eating this food and I will tell her that I am trying to maintain my weight, because my BMI is hovering around 25, after losing a stone and a half this year. And no, this has not caused L’s eating disorder. I have lost it through eating huge healthy meals and cutting out wine. But part of me thinks I should abandon this diet. If it would guarantee a cure, I would cheerfully abandon it. But it won’t. If I put on weight it will probably confirm to L that starvation is the only route to weight loss.

Today, depression felt overwhelming. It was a struggle not to cry for most of the day and when L sent me a text asking me how I was I replied saying how sad I felt. She sent me funny, lovely texts to cheer me up, but I wanted to cry even more. Everything comes back to eating. L wants to cheer me up? She can eat, that will do it. She wants to defeat the ED demon. Again she needs to eat. We have a running joke at the moment. Any minor ailment she mentions meets my response of “That’s because you need to eat more lard”. Of course neither of us eat lard, but drinking extra virgin olive oil doesn’t work as well.

Tea is nearly ready. I am about to call her. Wish me luck.

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5 responses to “The stretch food – Pasta Carbonara

  1. I am wishing you all the luck in the world for your tea this evening, really hoping that L is able to eat at least some of this ‘Popeye’ food and even stretch to enjoy some of it too. You are allowed to feel sad but I also hope that there can be more and more happy moments as the days go by.
    Sending you a hug through cyber space because there’s not much more that I can do but to say I’m wishing hard, have my fingers crossed and that I still think that you’re doing amazingly (even if it doesn’t feel like it most of the time) your support is priceless.
    Take care,

    • Hi – she ate some but not all of it. I think she’s resigned to hospital admission too. I am trying to stop seeing it as a failure – but the rational part of me is screaming, “All they will do is feed her, why can’t I do that?!”

      • There is no failure in accepting help from a hospital to join your fight against this, perhaps hospital on your side of the battle will be the turning point in this. It’s possible that the ‘outside perspective’ is necessary to make the change. The different environment, structure and tougher rules as well as hopefully the other professional counselling/psychology support on hand could be what is needed at this point.
        If it does come to that,
        It’s not that you have failed at all, you have done everything in your power to fight this but it’s strong, sometimes even stronger than those fighting it, even with an amazing, incredible mum like you. And I know that’s hard too, but you’ve not failed, L has not failed, it’s just that you need the even bigger army of support behind you to fight this horrible monster of anorexia that doesn’t want to let go. L can beat this, together you are strong, if it comes to hospital perhaps you’ll be even stronger.
        I’m sorry if I have rambled and I’m sorry if I have overstepped, It’s just what came to my mind reading your post and reply,
        Take care

  2. Was also thinking of you this evening during your tea and am so pleased that she managed to eat a bit – remember that hospital is not a failure – it is a step forward in the right direction for L. You have been doing all you can and more. Do keep us updated on her whereabouts. Also sending you a massive hug through cyber space… xxx

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