The Muffin

We are sitting on the floor of the kitchen, squashed in a corner. L is in a foetal position, sobbing, trying to press herself further into the corner, but there is nowhere else to go. I am sitting next to her, trying to hold her. She is rigid and unyielding. She fled here away from her snack of a blueberry muffin.

K is standing next to her, cutting the muffin into bite sized pieces. A glass of milk is next to the plate. L is begging and pleading. “Something else, please something else, I’ll eat anything, please let me have something else. “. This isn’t a super muffin of doom, but an ordinary blueberry muffin. Her tears are anything but ordinary, they soak her face and her t shirt, which is still damp from her sobbing fit at tea time, where she begged us just to give up on her. K and I refuse to change the snack, we know that it isn’t just the calories, but control. Ed must be in charge and L must not eat a forbidden food. We are ummoveable. Every time she says she can’t, we say she can, and she will. We keep our voices quiet and we take our time. I ask K to bring me my glass of wine. Well, I might as well get comfortable. Eventually the sobbing lowers in volume and we agree to move to the sofa. We half carry her there. K keeps proffering small pieces of muffin for them to be pushed away. The closer it comes, the louder the sobbing, the claims of “I can’t” and the quieter our responses of “you can and you will”.

But the first mouthful happens. It is always like watching a baby bird take it’s faltering few flutters and become airborne. You don’t think it will happen, but it does. Now we can counter “I can’t” with “You are doing this.” The Boyfriend calls and she doesn’t answer. I tell her she needs to fight this for him, for us, for her, for whoever, but she needs to fight. She tells me there is no point, that everything gets taken away, that he will be taken away, because everything goes and there is no point to anything. There is certainly no point in trying to debate these arguments. I tell her this time she will do it because this time, we her family are stronger and we will push her, pull her or drag her to the weight at which recovery will happen. After an hour from the start, the muffin is eaten and the milk, added to replace the left food this evening is drunk. We sit at the table, drained. L looks devastated. But her chemistry folder is there and I ask her some questions for her exams. The Boyfriend calls and she goes to speak to him. We hear her laughing and K and I remark on how happy she is now, that Mr Wonderful calls. But we are so relieved. I go back to the painting of an old cabinet, K picks up The Prince by Macchiavelli which she has decided to read and C plays the guitar and sings. On the table lies a plate with crumbs, like a battleground after the bodies have been cleared. Ed 0 L 1.

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7 responses to “The Muffin

  1. Well done to all of you. To L for “taking her medicine” and to you OMM and to K for the amazing support that the two of you are providing. You really are doing everything that you possibly can in helping L to help herself. Now rest, to gather strength for tomorrow’s struggles xx

  2. The thing that stands out to me most in this post is how amazing a sister K is, and how strong L&K’s relationship must be for an interaction like this to happen. I’m a twin (recovering from AN) too and although I love my sister, I honestly cannot ever imagine her helping me in this way, or me allowing myself to be vulnerable in front of her. You must have done an amazing job to bring your girls up with such an honest and loving relationship.

  3. When you first start recovery, sometimes it is best to just get her to eat. Challenging girl is something that can be done once her mental state improves.

    • Hi, thanks for this. The thing is that she’s been “in recovery” for eighteen mo.nths. What I’ve noticed over that time is her constant changing food choices at the last minute. So part of this phase is to stop that. It’s not just about calories, it’s also about her Ed voice.

      • Oh sorry! I thought she just started! Keep doing what you’re doing. One day things WILL get better. Eventually she will realize that recovery is the key to happiness. Until then you and her have to keep tackling Ed 🙂
        It took me awhile to realize recovery was the only way out of my messed up life, but I did figure it out and I know your daughter will too.

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