Transition and Teenagers

L’s progress continues to be slow. I yell at her to eat more, she yells back telling me I never give her credit. We carry on like this, but there is a shadow existence looming. She is 16, she has a boyfriend, she is at college. This is new territory for us. We have no rules and no route map. So, I get cross that she is never home but I have no idea how many nights a teenager should be out. I hear about parents searching the streets for their teenagers in case they are buying drugs or drunk. This isn’t our situation.

But on Friday night, L doesn’t come home. K calls her. She is with The Boyfriend. In town. K says she is staying with The Boyfriend. Really?, I say. She hasn’t asked me. I text L. She has tweeted about bursting into tears. About being called a slut. I feel angry and sad on her behalf. No answer. I text again. No answer. I feel alone. But I guess she is with The Boyf. I have to get up the next day. So I text her goodnight. I guess she will be home. Then C comes to bed. I sit up. Still no sign of L, I call her. She answers, sounding sleepy. She is with The Boyf. I tell her I had no idea where she was. But, I texted you, she protests. I am so angry, did she not realise unless I reply that she can’t bank on me having received it. She sounds cross. I feel angry.

The next day I have to leave early for work. I have to visit people on a picket line. But I want to cry all the time. It feels like I have lost L. It feels like she went away and any plea for her to call home or keep in touch in an intrusion. I have spent so long worrying about her food intake, what dessert she has and suddenly all I can feel is the empty space where she should be. I cry while driving to the conference at which I need to speak. I speak about feminism, but all I want to ask is where my daughter is. It turns out that she arrived home with flowers and The Boyf, full of apologies. But I feel stuck. I miss the closeness of an ill L. I worry about the denial of the current L, not willing to discuss anorexia. We have moved on to a new world and I’m not sure where I belong in it.

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5 responses to “Transition and Teenagers

  1. This might sound stupid but I was thinking about blogging a letter that I wrote after your last post to my 18 year old self (I am now 30 and definitely recovering if not there yet), might L read it? Might it help? Let me know… Either way, you are doing something amazing, I so wish I had had this support, best of luck navigating the next stage in the rocky roads of parenthood and recovery xxx

  2. Every time I read one of your posts I feel as though I am in a parallel universe. My D is16 , was diagnosed with AN two years ago this month, has been in residential twice (usually this time of year) and every day is exhausting. I work full time, have 2 other D’s that need more of my focus then they get, a husband who tries to be understanding but runs out of patience….And now my AN D just wants to live her life, go to school, dance, she has a job on weekends and she gets so mad at me for asking about meals and dessert and “can you push yourself just a little bit more?”. She says that’s the only thing I can talk to her about. So when I read your blog I think to myself, this person is going through exactly what I am going through. Her life is my life. It is so comforting for me to know that others have the same up and down life that I have. So thank you so much and I am so inspired by your strength and vigilance.

    • Hi, it’s just exhausting isn’t it. Do you feel the temptation to say, “Just leave me out of this, you want control, here it is”. I often feel angry about the years we are wasting living this life. I’m also glad to know I’m not the only one, so thanks for sharing x

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