Eating Disorder Recovery · Uncategorized

Family Relationships

Relationships are hard work and my family is beginning to show the signs of strain. There is a lot going on right now and everyone is kind of struggling here. My Mother is taking on most of the pressure and in truth I don’t know how much longer she will last without having some kind of major meltdown. Already I see her reverting back to the way she once was when I was younger. I should explain…When I was 14 my aunt died suddenly. One minute she was fine and the next she wasn’t here anymore because of a brain haemorrhage. We could never have seen it coming and it broke us. We went from being a family to fracturing into all these separate units that didn’t know how to communicate with each other anymore. My Sister ended up leaving, my brother just distanced himself and My Mother completely lost it. At the time I thought I could manage her mood swings and the anger that she took out on my little brother. I thought if I waited it out long enough then she would be my Mum again but that never happened. Something in our relationship changed. I became someone for her to talk to about things I wasn’t supposed to hear. In the end I became to be the replacement for my aunt…her best friend. But I couldn’t be that person because I was a kid.

Somehow we managed to get through my adolescence in one piece, my sister came home, my brother didn’t really get his shit together but close enough. I thought they were going to be fine and if they weren’t fine then at least they weren’t as broken anymore. They were all standing together again whatever that may have meant. Obviously I took a hit with the mental health stuff but I always saw that as separate. The random tears and anger dried up and life carried on going. I guess I began to saw the current cracks a few months ago. The little fights, the hurt feelings at a misinterpretation of a conversation…it kept building. My Mother went back to what I called her “Childhood ways” and by that I mean she reverted back to being a child. Lashing out, mocking, only ever seeing things from her point of view. I kept my distance from that side. Chose not to engage. Chose not be the person that I had had to be in my teens. Last night I began to think that my passivity might not have been a good thing. I had two phone calls and in both the talks ended with the other person on the brink of tears. My Sister is hurt, worried, scared and pregnant and My Mother is at the end of her tether. I’m not sure how I fix it. They are both so alike and yet in these circumstances it is not a good thing. The banter with the edge has turned in to losing their tempers with each other entirely and continuously my Sister is the one to make the first move to repair those rifts. Last night she told me she couldn’t do it anymore, that she shouldn’t have to and to be fair I agree with her. My Mother is doing the same shit she’s always done but it is only now that my Sister is beginning to see that too. Instead of validating my own feelings, all that it has done has made me desperately sad for both of them. I can exist with little contact, they can’t.

I told my Mum that she needs to get some help, find someone to talk to who can be objective and whose words she won’t use as ammunition at a later date. She said she would think about it, so I hope that she does.

Today didn’t fair much better in terms of the relationships either. We all went to my little brothers martial arts competition today and by the end of it, despite that they had put last night behind them, the same shit happened again. My sister wanted to leave (she was driving) but we had to stay for the entire thing (we didn’t) and by the end of the afternoon it was either get in the car or I’m leaving without you. We drove home mostly in silence. My sister was trying to hold back tears, my Mother was doing the whole silent treatment thing and my brother was complaining about being made to leave before falling asleep. I just sat there, not really knowing what to say, knowing that whatever I did say it was probably going to make things worse. It was painful! I was also completely exhausted by this point. My day had started at 5:30am, food had not exactly been great and as the stress built, my body image began to get worse. I still don’t know why it does that. Every time something negative comes my way, my first thought is that I would feel better if I was smaller. If I wasn’t so fat then it would all be ok. Logically I know that that is complete crap and yet my mind still goes there. Weird, right?

As far as treatment goes and what that is going to look like, I still don’t know. Limbo continues to be pretty much my present right now. I have two fears about that; the first is that I will talk myself out of help completely and remove myself from even the level I’m at now because that’s what happens when I reach a certain point. The second is that it will be left too long and by the time things do start moving, the new semester will have started and I may have to make the choice between treatment and enrolment. I was hoping that it wouldn’t come to that, that at the very least I would be stable enough to juggle both treatment and classes with the use of leave. It might still be a possibility but again, it’s a conversation that I still need to have with my team.

It’s been a long weekend and I am ridiculously glad that it’s over.
I hope yours has been good to you though.

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