“You’re a very picky eater. I think people are scared to try and feed you.
My mother tells me this before I go away for a weekend with friends who will be feeding me. “That’s why I always made you butternut. You loved butternut.”
My poor Momma. I cannot forgive myself for the years of hell I put her through with my eating disorder. It hurts me to think about how much pain I caused her. I remember her sitting next to me as I ate, or tried to eat, variations of butternut. The one time she put cheese on it and I scraped it off. It upset her so much. She couldn’t save me from myself.
I have carried it with me all my life. I have longed to talk to her about my suffering, but I do not know how without making her suffer too. We are too close and yet this yawning chasm of ED stands between us. It seems wrong to have such a vast, all consuming secret from her.
I long to tell her about the years of anorexia, bulimia, hospital visits, outpatient treatment, counseling. I don’t know why. I feel like I want her to know this part of me as an adult that she couldn’t deal with when I was still a child. She was so angry then. I don’t blame her. There were no resources, no books, no help. And I didn’t want her help. I was churlish, ungrateful. I hated her for making me eat. I shut her out of the ED part of my life and now it is my entire life. I don’t know how to reconcile my eating disorder and my mother.
All my life I have carried with me the pain I have caused her. Even when she tells me I am a “picky eater”, I recognize the refusal to acknowledge the extent of my eating disorder. I want to correct her but I don’t. What purpose would it serve 21 years later? Some days I would just like to say “sorry”.
She has suffered enough and I cannot forgive myself for it.