After lunch, I agree with L she can go to her friends and I will pick her up at snack time. Wisely her friend replies that perhaps she should postpone her visit until she feels better. This is wise, I know L will put on her brave face to go out, suppressing those feelings that need to come out. But L will feel her friends don’t want to see her, that her misery is isolating her. I know this not to be true. I can see how much her friends love her. Yesterday we went shopping with Ls oldest friend from reception year. This is a girl who remains fiercely loyal to L, who has never really found a friend like her and who really looks up to her and thinks the world of her. When we are out shopping, L is in the changing room and her friend and I wait outside. I tell her that L won’t wear leggings because she fears what she looks like. Her friend’s face moves from shock and disbelief to real sadness. She tells me how beautiful she is and we both wonder why she can’t see it.
But today, L doesn’t go out to her other friend’s house. I suggest that we have a Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2 slouchathon. C will light a fire and we will knit. L visibly sinks in relief. Her pyjamas can stay on. Anorexia is exhausting and sometimes it is too much to brave the world outside.
I cook pesto chicken for supper. This is a dish I invented when we were climbing down from the highest mountain in Cork after a triumphant ten mile hike a few years ago. We were dirty and aching; K lay down in the road at one point. As we headed to the car, I imagined this dish in my head and cooked it when we arrived home. L loved it, which makes it a fear food. Perhaps I should have been easier on her. But being easy on L, means being easy on anorexia when it comes to food. Challenging the demon inside her means challenging her. That is hard