I was astounded, in my ignorance, that my children became ill with anorexia because they defied what was then explained about that patient population. Only retrospectively, did I realize that they had had previous symptoms: OCD related, anxiety manifestations. They had always been the best children—the most polite—the most fun—the most obliging—the most intelligent—the most caring—the best company—the most sensitive to other people’s needs. Over the years, since they have become well, these attributes have been confirmed in other sufferers of ‘CNC’.
It appears that, in their attempts to provide comfort to anyone in pain—to mediate, to console, to take responsibility, to parent those around them, basically, to ‘make everything better for EVERYONE’, they, sadly, left themselves out of the equation. It became apparent to me that always putting themselves last, in other words, always putting anyone and everyone else first, played nasty retribution in their own minds. The fact of actually diminishing themselves mentally over time, left the mind washed of their emotional, and ultimately, their physical, importance. At their inadvertent suggestion, strengthened and confirmed by the unawareness of people in the sufferer’s circumstance, the ‘Emotional Mind’ took them at their word, and declared them (in not so gentle terms) “worthless” etc.
Perhaps, and hopefully, the following quotes, taken from letters to me, will serve to enlighten you, as readers, with the ultimate purpose of creating more understanding.
After twenty years of fighting against the ‘Negative Mind’: “I am so tired of taking care of everyone.”
“It’s alright, Daddy. Don’t worry, I can fix everything—just go rest.”
“I watched myself from outside of my body, trying SO hard keep anyone from discovering the truth about how horrible I was. I blamed myself. I should have done something, I should have figured out a way to make everything okay... but I couldn't.”
“I had a meeting yesterday with my psychologist. I can't stand up for myself, and let him know how I really feel. I can't do anything else but smile and say “ok”. I feel so much lonelier now than I did before the meeting.”
“I’m really interested in what you do because I have been fighting the ‘Negative Mind’ and anorexia for 10 years. It is really hell, but I hope to learn something good from all the suffering because I want to help young people avoid getting to this place—but I don’t know how.”
“I first became anorexic when I was twelve and had it until I was 19, but at that time, my father died whom I was very close to. So, I gained weight because people were worried about me. However, I was unable to tolerate the weight gain and bulimia then set in.”
“I feel so much worse that I've been "faking" recovery to please everyone.”
And another, similarly, said:
“I don’t deserve to even exist. I just want to disappear forever. I feel like one huge mistake I've been "faking" recovery to please everyone…but I’m dying inside.”
Thank you for listening. Thank you for caring. Love you.