Tuesday, April 07, 2009
There's something that's been bothering me for a while now and I need to write it all down to clear my head. I'd appreciate it if you could tell me your opinion about this. Sometimes it helps to share your problems with others to find clarity and peace of mind - so, here we go.
The problem is my little sister. I lover her very much and she's been my best friend for as long as I remember. For the past few months I've noticed a change in her - a change that is all too familiar to me. I thought this problem was already in the past but apparently it is not.
Both me and my sister have had weight issues all of our lives. Our dad has been extremely demanding and hard on us - he used to weigh us every day to make sure we hadn't gained any weight and he forced us to work out even when we were ill. He himself certainly has some kind of an eating disorder, no doubt about it. But the thing is, he passed it onto us. I was bulimic for 7 years of my life. My sister struggled with both anorexia and bulimia. (Even my cousin, a very close friend of mine, became anorexic when I was a teenager so it felt like there was nowhere to hide from these weight problems). I'm very proud to say that I consider myself recovered now - it's been well over a year now since the last time I binged/purged. I never even dreamed I could be free of that nightmare - but I am, and I feel so amazingly good about that. Even my sister seemed to be doing fine.
Until this winter. She lives at home with my parents so I don't see her that much now but every time I go there I see her getting thinner and thinner and eating less and less. Basically, she eats nothing. It hurts me so much to see this happen to her again. My parents know about this and they've confronted her about it. Of course, she denies having a problem. But it's so obvious - especially for someone who knows all the behaviors and tricks that the disease involves. A month or so ago I had enough and talked to her about this. She got really mad at me and asked me to leave her alone. She said she didn't stop eating because she wants to be thin - she stopped because she wants to die. I told her I couldn't watch her do this to herself and that I loved her and wanted to support her to get over this. She just walked away.
Now, here lies the real problem:
It's only been a year since my recovery and the wounds are still raw. It is extremely triggering for an ex-bulimic to be in a situation like this. It might be difficult to understand but it just brings back a lot of bad memories and the part of my past I want to leave behind (the disease). I told her that, as much as I love her, I can't be around her if she chooses to keep this up. It's too risky. I don't want to risk my health and happiness because of this. I'll support her and love her no matter what but I just can't be around her. The last time I was there I skipped lunch and dinner and every time I ate I felt bad and guilty while she was sitting next to me, pushing her food around the plate, looking at me like a fat pig. She's also made it very clear that she knows she's thinner than me and it just makes me feel miserable.
It's almost Easter now and we had been planning to go home for the holidays (from Thursday till Sunday) but I don't know if I can go. I just talked to my mom on the phone and she said my sister's gotten even worse since the last time I've seen her. I don't know if I'm strong enough to see all that and go through it all over again. Don't get me wrong, I love her very very much and I hope she leaves this madness behind. It's just that... I don't know if I can help her this time. Especially if I get sucked into the disease again. AND I DON'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN ever again.
On the other hand, I feel like I need to protect myself from this. I'm on the right track here: I'm healthy and happy and becoming stronger every day. I don't want to risk that.
But then again, I feel bad for not going if she needs me there.
I don't know what to do What do you think? I'd really appreciate your thoughts about this.