Saturday, April 24, 2010

What the Secret Language is All About

I was going to name my first book The Language of Eating Disorders, because it is a separate language, one that is obscure to normal logic. But to those who understand what is going on in the mind and the motivation of the behavior, the illogical logic makes so much sense. Shortly before publication, I received a fax from a sufferer asking me, “How do you know the secret that we are not allowed to tell?” So, I immediately changed the title to The Secret Language of Eating Disorders, which was definitely more apt—more appropriate.

The idea of that book was to translate, to all that could not understand at first contact, what eating disorders are all about—their source and what was necessary, from my perception and experience with my own two children, to reverse ‘Confirmed Negativity Condition’.

The sufferers of CNC—eating disorders and other anxiety manifestations—are not allowed to seek help. The ‘Negative Mind’ forbids them the right to bother people because they are not worthy, because in their minds it is ‘their fault’ that they are ‘crazy’, ‘worthless’, ‘selfish’, ‘needy’, reliant, ugly, fat, useless, etc. When they do, somehow, reach out, they are immediately punished, often unmercifully. Everything they do has to be with some compromise to the ‘Negative Mind’. If he or she does not comply with the order of the ‘internal enemy’, it can (in the mind of the sufferer) even threaten the well-being family members. Because the victims of CNC are so caring about everyone else, the threats, depending on the individual, relate to that individual’s biggest anxieties. In reality, at least from the sufferer’s point of view, they are held emotional hostage by the ‘internal enemy’. In my experience, the only way to relieve them of that responsibility is for the therapist (or other carers), with the patient’s agreement, to become the negotiator and the mediator, to assume responsibility for the interim, until the individual begins to regain his or her strength.

If this mind-state is not recognized by the therapist, I cannot imagine how he or she can experience success.

I hope your day is better than the last one. Always look for and find the positive, even if it is elusive. We are there with you. With hugs and so much love.


Anonymous said...

Being held hostage is fitting indeed. Being bombarded with messages that you are selfish, not worth air, will cause harm to others by asking for help(oft based on past experience where friends or family displayed distress normally) including the ones OFFERING help, is a nightmare.
The only time I can feel positivity is when I give more of myself away. Then as soon as I'm alone the nagging, ever present voice begins again. I've gotten very creative about ways to give even if alone.
I wish people understood that it's rarely comforting for them to know what I feel. To know that actually is distressing. To then agree to care would take significant persuasion. I once had a caregiver say she was going to have to resort to trickery to help me because I was too smart and sensitive for my own good. I immediately felt ashamed that she would have to try so hard. That's how the hamster wheel of this goes for me.
Please tell caregivers they'll have to be kind and gentle and not give up readily. They don't know that now and as a result many of us are just labeled 'difficult' and shoved away like so much garbage, reinforcing what we already feel. It's like 5% wants someone to truly get it, and then 95% is shocked and scared for THEM when that happens. It takes a lot to accept anything, let alone this kind of care, even if it may be the only way out of the nightmare.

Anonymous said...

I also meant to say that it isn't like I don't want to be 'compliant', I genuinely do, it's just that what happens in my head often won't allow me to receive. Sorry for posting twice.

Peggy Claude-Pierre said...

What is important for me to get across to those people who are suffering with CNC, and as a result, being bombarded by the 'Negative Mind', is that you do not increase our suffering when we look after you. We suffer more if we know (and we always do) if you are not being appropriately addressed. What hurts me, and everyone I work with, is the incredible unawareness of this condition in society generally. By becoming well, you become advocates for everyone still suffering. In order to eradicate CNC, we have to teach wellness, and most importantly, prevention. It is difficult for any of you to think that you are worth involving us in your struggle. For us, you are a part of our universe, our common humanity, our breath. In other words, if you hurt--if something happens to you--it happens to us. This is not about blame, but only about our reality. Certainly, this is not your fault.
Love you.