Things I Wish I Could Say To My Mother

Things I Wish I Could Say To My Mother

“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.

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16 thoughts on “Things I Wish I Could Say To My Mother

  1. littlevoicetalks says:

    Maybe our journeys are about self-forgiveness which I understand is harder to feel than theorise over. May be you need that unconditional acceptance that comes from a mother. Maybe you need to be cared for for a while so you can take refuge and to rest your weary head. Much love x

    • I think often of being at home with my mum and going on long walks, talking about everything and being looked after by her and sitting under the trees drinking tea. I think I like that idea of refuge. Much love back to you xx

  2. hellokalykitty says:

    Maybe it would be helpful for her to know it is a medical issue, and therefore not her fault either.

  3. teenieyogini says:

    I finally told my mother sometime last year after having the “people are scared to try and feed you” discussion a thousand million times… And she said “duhhhh.” She knew the whole time. Yours probably does too. Feel better. ❤️

  4. I went through that stage in my 20’s and how much money my mom spent on therapy and several extended stays at Renfrew. But my guilt was only about the $$$, I think I heard about it over and over…as I never got better for long. If you love your mom, I think forgiveness is yours…that’s what love is…remember that cliche saying “Love means never having to say you’re Sorry”? Love overcomes so much, especially for a child. Everyone has their issues, how others choose to deal with these issues is up to them, suffering is such a strong word! You are very harsh on yourself. Give yourself the gift of compassion, be mindful, and your relationship will heal. You are loved unconditionally. I do not believe I was loved as such….hold onto that love. Not certain this makes any sense, but I just felt the need to say it.

  5. littlefawn83 says:

    It’s the comments she still gives me nowadays even though I’m not 100% recovered and still acting on my “ways”….it’s the comments she tells me or sends via looks. She spent lots of money on me to get me recovered and she doesn’t know I’ve somewhat slipped back. But those comments that she makes on her weight, he vision on others’ weights…..tear me into guilt. She talked like that before she knew I was eating disordered, if she only knew how those comments make me feel guilty today. I know what you mean. If only I could tell her.

  6. Very powerful. I relate a lot. I hid my eating disorder from my mum for years and when it reappeared after 5 years of recovery it was the elephant in the room (oh the irony, anorexia as an elephant).
    Recently I had a conversation with my mum about my mental health problems and what it was, and is like, to have a mentally ill daughter. I tried to protect her from my suffering but in the end I could no longer hide it. The conversation was difficult, painful at times, but overall I felt I understood those years so much more fully. My memories had been entirely from my perspective. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to admit I am struggling with an eating disorder now. Why? She has already suffered enough.

    • Your last line is what resonated with me. My mother has suffered enough in her life and I feel like it is my duty as a daughter that adores her to protect her from some of the things that I can.

      • My mum once told me I didn’t have to worry about protecting her, as my mum it is her duty to protect me. I suspect most mums feels the same. Obviously it didn’t fully sink in because I am still trying to protect her… The mother daughter relationship can be complicated.

      • I know my mum would feel the same way. I speak least about ED to the people I love so that I don’t hurt them any more than I already have.

  7. I understand this. I have always been a “picky eater”.
    My mom knows a lot of my ED history compared to just about anyone else, but there’s still a lot she doesn’t know.

    Also, my late sister used to try to feed me (physically), beg me, and bribe me to eat. I hated it at the time. But when I miss her so much, I would take that any day if it meant she was still here. 😦

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