After six months, the lies told by an eating disorder still shock me. The problem is, those lies come from the lips of my beloved daughter. I believe L and I are so close, and then I find she has lied. Simply, blatantly, without hesitation. Sometimes there is faltering, when I ask what she had for lunch or a snack and she has to make something up. But when it involves a Yes or No answer, it comes straight out. There are times when it doesn’t ring true, when she answers too easily and I say, Let’s try that again, but this time you tell me the truth. And then she tells me. Each time, I hold her hands and tell her there is nothing she can tell me that will upset me, except a lie. Because when she lies to me, she is letting the voice of Ed take over and she isn’t challenging, she isn’t battling in the way she needs to for recovery.
This morning I come into the kitchen to find her eating her breakfast of cereal. There is an empty glass in front of her. I ask if this is her juice. She nods, but I know this is a lie. She wouldn’t finish her juice that quickly. I tips the glass and see a drop of liquid left and ask if it was really juice. She says yes. I taste it and it is water. She sinks. There is no shame or sorrow, just the knowledge that she now has to drink juice.
How many other lies has she told me? Hundreds, I expect. Small ones about snacks and no doubt huge ones about laxatives. Until she can overcome the lying voice of Ed, she can’t recover. And no matter how many times I ask her, she still can’t tell me the truth.