It is over a year since I started writing this blog. If I read my first post again, I relive the fear and terror I felt at not being able to stop L’s slide into anorexia. It is like a dream where you want to scream a warning message or dial a number for help,but your mouth won’t form the words or your fingers can’t type the number.
A year on, fear is replaced by weariness and an inability to see how life could be different. I have no idea if year after year L will continue to be held hostage by Ed. My naïveté has disappeared and in its place is a worldliness, if the world concerned is that of eating disorders. When I speak to other mothers, we nod in sad recognition.
L’s weight continues to dip and there is no sign of her tiring of anorexia. She religiously eats, preparing her own food for lunch at school. A small cheese spread sandwich and a piece of fruit. A snack of Nutrigrain bar and another piece of fruit. All desserts are still yogurts. If I had time, I would push for more progress but I am tired and away at work most of the time. The other day L was sad that she could only get an A in Biology, not an A*. I told her that this was another thing anorexia stole from her. Because in her brain, I am sure Ed tells her that she can still get the best grades and keep him in her life. Just another lie.
I see her sadness everywhere, in her face, in her Twitter account and in the way she holds on to me when we hug. I know she feels left behind by the progress of her friends lives, their relationships and their social lives, while she is stuck, counting the time till another snack. I wish she was angry, that she had enough rage in her to push her to swim for the shore, rather than bobbing up and down in the middle of Anorexia Lake. I feel distant from her at the moment, as if I have thrown lifelines, called her name from the side of the lake, urging her on. Ed has allowed her to float to the surface but not escape altogether.