When my daughter suffered from anorexia, I was startled one evening to realize the existence of two minds. It became very apparent that who was my daughter, was trying, unobtrusively, to let me in on a secret without the other part of her mind realizing she was doing so. Quietly, covertly, she was attempting to teach me how to help her—how to fight the ‘Negative Mind’. So, she whispered; she wrote so small that I could hardly read it; she hid these messages in containers that she knew I would dust; she would never allow a normal-sized plate to be put in front of her, instead, she ate small bits from mine. In this way, the ‘Negative Mind’ could never accuse her of having had a meal. For instance, she could not make even simple choices because she was not allowed to—such as if she would like to go for a walk, to a coffee shop, to a movie, what clothes to wear—it would always have to be my choice. Yes, she is a kind, sensitive person who always wanted to please other people, but this was more intense. She was so small mentally—so fragile in her mind, she needed someone who understood, to guide her, to help her develop to a place of strength. She was not allowed to expose what her mind was telling her. I understand now that she was not even permitted to participate in normal events for fear of recrimination from her internal, mental enemy. It became obvious that she had to inform me, instruct me, without actually saying the words.
In order to be onside, to be a team player with the sufferer of ‘CNC’, I had to be aware of every nuance she or he was trying to deliver to me. An example of this is of a twelve-year old boy who did not have the courage to eat until he called me. Though he was with someone twenty-four hours a day, he needed extra permission from me to eat so that he could not be accused by his mind of deciding this for himself.
This is what he said, “Peggy, will I have to go back into the state psychiatric ward if I do not eat?” My answer was always the same, “Well--so they tell me, honey.” Being with us was, to him, the preferable option. He then said, “Thank you! Thank you, Peggy! Alright then, I will have my lunch.” The relief in his voice was unmistakable.
He was creating the ‘illusion of no choice’ for himself as a means of fooling the ‘Negative Mind’. In this way, he was able to enlist me to help him help himself. This is a very good indication and example of people wanting to be well, but not thinking they deserve it. If what they are going through is appropriately understood, a sufferer is very willing to form a liason with therapy for their betterment. Understand that this is a exceptionally brave move on the part of the host person because it does not go completely unpunished by the ‘Negative Mind.’
Big hugs to everyone--peace and love.