First a mum, always a friend!


The first time that my girl put her hands round  my throat felt really scary and horrifying. How could the gentle person I know do such a thing? She would never and has never hurt me in the past. I always remember that I’m not dealing with my daughter. I’m dealing with an aggressive illness within her. She appears in tiny moments in between food but is  being suffocated behind this illness. An illness that is absolutely raging. Anger and aggression very common in this illness and finding a better outlet for it an absolute must. My duty of care to her and me in keeping us safe is just as important as helping her to eat.  As her weight very slowly increases her mind  will become more rational but it’s anger and aggression will still be there in not wanting her to get better. It hates weight gain. Pushing her back the other week before I stood up even stronger. I will not let it destroy her. Which makes me it’s number one target because I am the enforcer of the food plan but also the safe place to let it loose. It absolutely has to be let loose. Before this illness, any frustration would have been released in exercise. But she isn’t allowed to do that. A bit of yoga is ok and helps a bit but it’s not enough to combat the aggression and power of this illness. No matter how mindful she is in that moment. She tries so hard to control it when really she needs to release it every day in every moment rather  than letting it build up to a hands on a throat moment. It’s work in progress. But very important work which will also take time as I remind her that physical aggression on herself and me isn’t acceptable. Taking time being a must but isn’t always that easy with appointments and fitting in all the meals. I can take it while that work happens but it’s not pleasant. And sometimes it gets to me. I’m only a human and a very gentle one at that. I don’t wish or deserve to be anyone’s punchbag. In fact sometimes I wonder what I ever did to deserve so much difficulty, challenger and life crushing things. I’ve never hurt anyone in my life. Always been a protector of others. Never played games. Never used people. whatever did I do in my last life?!

I was just a very happy dreamy girl who found herself feeling very alone in life as others struggled to deal with their own challenges in life. But I always have tried to help. I don’t desert people in their moments of need. It’s just not my way and never will be. Letting go of the hands of people that hinder not help or that don’t treat me in a way I deserve. But more so, in those who simply didn’t care about me or have used me. But with her it is completely different. Completely unconditional. And I am standing like a giant for her in helping to get her through what this is. She certainly doesn’t deserve it. Always a kind and beautiful and lovely person who has always looked out for and cared about others but has been hurt directly and indirectly by all of the difficulties of that chapter. Trying to protect her through it all. And all by myself in that endeavour during that time. But it was too much. I am only human  and it affected me so much too. The life that happens and the life we make happen having such devastating consequences for both her and me. A few times I have thought about the hospital admission but we get through those moments and then she eats. And I take some heart and encouragement and motivation just in that. Because protecting her is my number one priority. No battle comes without scars and they are building up in me but I’m so much stronger now than I was a year ago. No time to be her “friend”. It’s all mum. Even though I know she misses what we share. As do I. But unfortunately I can’t be everything. What I’m doing is completely exhausting and constant. I have absolutely no life beyond. There is no time. I completely miss her and that time with her too. But again, I take comfort in those little moments when we cuddle or I stroke her hair or we do something nice together just for a moment, and also comfort in the fact that her dad s the provider of cuddles in big safe arms, and little walks and chats after a difficult moment. I don’t know how anyone could do this on their own. We are having to be in this together. I feel her dad’s respect for me in what I’m doing as he bought me tickets for Einaudi In October to say thankyou. In remembering how much I had said that I loved it when I went to see him in Milan on my own. That feels like a million years ago now but reminds me of the happy dreamy girl who sits beyond this warrior. I have both in me and everything in between. I believe now that there  is nothing I couldn’t do if I wished to. It’s only life that prevents that but who knows what might lie ahead of me. And thinking with my daughter that sometimes being a real friend is being there in the absolute shittiest of moments as you fight side by side with them to get to a better place. Never giving up in that. I’m absolutely her friend even if a foe to this illness. And she knows that. I’m a tough cookie despite external appearances and have learnt how to protect myself and her in this. I tried my hardest to protect her in all of this. And I know that I always try my best. Always! 

I have always  tried for others but sometimes I lose. Often trying harder for them than I do for myself. Because for me people I love, matter more. I’ll always be ok. I’m a survivor. And there is no failure in trying. But sometimes I need others to try a little harder too. Never ever asking for what I’m not prepared to give. Some people not having that capacity. And that’s ok even if I have often felt let down. But never let down by her or those really close few that hang in there for us. Their resilience and steadfastness feeling inspiring to me and making me love them even more. I certainly have needed to develop a thick skin in this. All my own sensitivities thrown out right now. My sign in the bathroom says “the bravest thing you can do is just to be yourself”. In fact the bravest thing I’m doing right now is helping  her to to understand who she is . And every weight gain or bone that is more covered makes me feel like we get another step closer to that. I have evolved a lot though that chapter but massively in the past six  weeks. Seeing myself very clearly without others judgements or interpretations of who they think I am, as they place me in a designated box. Sit in your own box. I’m a wild horse. I’m not meant to contained. Definitely feeling everything that I’m really made of. That 11 year old girl would be astounded. 

I’ve always been pretty calm. I’ve learnt to be. It’s why I’m quiet a lot when others kick off. Usually about really trivial stuff. As I sit there thinking “you obviously need something to worry about”. But this is whole new levels of calm and patience. I feel like I should be more angry myself. But I’m not really. Just in little moments. But really I just feel the  sadness of it all. But at some point you will definitely find me or actually not find me standing on top of a mountain in a very remote place, screaming it all out. Because I have no wish to my take anger or frustration out on others. We all make mistakes. I made a huge one six years ago. The consequences of that have been so far reaching that I often wish I could rewind time. But I can’t and I am a product of so many good intentions that were destroyed both by life, circumstance and the selfishness and carelessness of others. But in the end I was the naive girl that allowed it all. I definitely will never make the same mistakes again. Wishing often that the girl sitting on a barrel had just got up and left. But how was she to know in all her open hearted cluelessness. Just being so happy to be there, make new friends and a with a wish to not feel all alone in this life. But to be able to share in it, just as her. Rather than just be all the things that she had to be for everyone else. Was it too much to ask? It appears it was for the girl who didn’t have the privilege of a safety net and lots of similar opportunities beyond. This was her moment. Her adventure. Her “better”. And the result of it all, left her completely crushed. Stolen dreams that will never really be appreciated as much as they would have been by her . Just another little opportunity amongst many. How they must have laughed at the silly dreamy girl in all her naivety. But at least she followed her heart. I followed MY heart. And showed it at every turn in all its childlike magic. And had the realest and truest of feelings. Just in that I will always feel really proud. Life and the actions of others conspiring together to ensure that she ended up right back where she started. Worse off in so many ways but better in the ones that really count. The stuff that sits within. I never look in the mirror with self loathing. Only I know why I made every choice and decision. All of them in protecting my girl or others. Other than one which was based on love. All those decisions in protecting her felt completely “right” even if they weren’t always right for me. But I sure do know how to build beautiful castles in the sky. Even when life is really difficult. I built them for a moment and they felt very real. Well at least to me. 

But now  I just want as peaceful an existence as is possible (right now not very possible at all other than when I’m sleeping) but in the future a totally peaceful existence. Doing all the things that I might love. Looking  after some of my wants and needs whilst still looking out for others. I’m all done with difficulties and challenges and aggravation and games. I was totally ok before it all and I will be again. Still often feeling very alone in this world in not being able to share the very basic version of who I am inside. Perhaps I need to get a dog. I hear they are very trusted and loyal companions that only require love and a little attention. A little like me really. Just have to get through this most biggest of challenges first. Anything beyond is pipe dreams right now. And no idea how  long it’s gonna take. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying if needs be. Because I’m completely committed to her. 

Missing the parties of the weekend in my continued endeavours. I imagined that the happy dreamy girl would have tried to bake a squashed Victoria sponge and shared it with those who didn’t care much for perfection while downing a few Proseccos. Instead I raised a cup of PG tips to the dutiful Queen while giving a nod to the Queen of Hearts Lady Di. Thinking how she also suffered with an eating disorder. A beautiful and kind and gentle woman who also evolved with life and challenges but fundamentally just wanted to love and be loved, look after her boys and help others. Inspired by them both in their very different ways. And reminding myself that you don’t need to be royalty to make a difference. I’ve always been a  stand up girl  and when the time comes I will be that same dreamy happy girl again. I can hear her much more clearly again inside. Just need to get my girl back to hers first. 

You can’t keep a good girl down. See how my little heart is growing again. 


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