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We are family…I got all my sisters with me!

on March 28, 2013

Forgiveness does not excuse anything………You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness……”  William P Young

What a weekend! Twenty odd years in the making, but the day finally arrived. For the best part of my life I had wished for this – hoped and prayed that one day the dysfunctional family that I had inherited could be a little more normal. My sister and I had fought for so long to be accepted into my Dad’s world, but barriers had been firmly in place for so long, I had come to accept that they could never be broken down. The pavement had been laid last November whilst I was in treatment when my sister told me that my Stepmum had agreed to meet up. I couldn’t quite believe it, but apparently both had decided to try and move forward. The second meeting was this weekend just gone – my Dad, Stepmum and half-sister came. It was also the first time Dad had seen me since he came out to California. I was apprehensive – what would they all think of my new shape? I was worried I wouldn’t be able to contain the feelings that arise when I see my Dad and Stepmum. I was also acutely aware that I needed to eat and not engage in my eating disorder. I needed to show that six months in treatment had payed off.

I had a mini breakdown before they arrived. My head played tricks on me and I started to remember the sadness and misery that had gone on over the years. Feelings of anger and resentment boiled to the top and choked me. I went silent, unable to speak. Fortunately I had my sister to open the lid and let the steam out. She helped me to realise that it is time to move forward. I can’t change the past and what has gone on. I can’t change people, places or things – all I can do is be responsible for my behaviour – that is one thing that I am in control of.

Dinner on Saturday night was the main event and I had begun to work myself up into a bit of stew – pardon the pun! My eating disorder was shouting pretty loudly… what shall I eat? How much shall I eat? The usual rubbish it suffocates me with. I have used my anorexia in the past as a way to get attention. Unable to adequately use my words, I indulged in the language of food. It was the only way I knew how to communicate what I was really feeling. Whilst being in treatment I learnt that there was another way. I can now ask for what I need and want without playing around with my food. So dinner came and I was concious not to choose ‘lame’ choices as my therapist in America says. I did good – I ordered the most delicious steak and allowed myself to enjoy it. I didn’t feel the need to manipulate my food infront of my dad – in fact the opposite. I wanted to show him that I could go out to a restaurant, eat and be present. There were a few strained moments, but for the most part it was an enjoyable evening with a few laughs thrown in. My half-sister is a blast – a lot like my real sister in her confidence and ability to cut through the crap. Me on the other hand sits and observes – happy – sometimes too happy to take the back seat. I need to practice taking up more space – speaking up and being assertive doesn’t come easily to me. When my anorexia is present it drowns me out and I retreat into my shell of safety and comfort.

What touched me the most about the weekend was watching my Dad interact with my two nephews. They are besotted with  him and it is clear just how much he loves them. It was also evident just how much he loved seeing all his three daughters together again. It had been ten years since we had all stood together. To document that it really did happen…here we all are freezing our n*** off on the beachfront!
Sussex March 004

So I started a new program this week – and it’s much more up my street. For starters it is solely for people with eating disorders, so of course they speak my language. I really struggled with the last one. I don’t have a problem with drugs or alcohol, and am not a fan of the 12 step program that the last placed followed. Despite the never ending grey skies, I have been feeling more positive and hopeful this past week. I still miss my Californian home desperately, I miss the blue skies and the constant reminders from the team of what I stand to loose if I choose to indulge in my behaviours. I try to read the book from the founder of the clinic to keep me connected and grounded. It’s my new step-dad’s birthday today (Mum and Roger got married a few weeks back). I sent a card and gave him a call to wish him a happy day. As we said goodbye – he said “love you”. I  was really touched. I feel very lucky to not only have a Dad who I love a lot, but to be fortunate enough to have had two wonderful step-fathers. My amazing mum is a lucky lady to have found Michael, and now Roger.

I went to church on Sunday – I don’t go very often, but I had a want to go this week and listen to the message. The words that resonated the most were the last ones that were said…”God bless you and those you love… and those you ought to love.” It’s hard to feel love for those that have hurt or wronged us in the past, but it is exactly those people who we ought to rise above, and dig deep. If we don’t, and choose to stay in our place of hurt and anger, it is only ourselves that we end up destroying.

With regards to the past twenty years, I am sure that it is not easy for all parties involved and I am grateful that my Step-mum is seemingly trying to move on. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive and forget what has gone before. I am sure that if I could I would feel more at ease within myself, but twenty years of hurt and angst is a lot to erase. They are two words that are a easier said than done. For now though I am willing to accept the past – not to ignore it, but to walk forwards and embrace this new chapter which may just shine a little more brightly on all of us.

“If there is righteousness (goodness/kindness) in the heart, there will be beauty in the character

If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home

If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.

If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

So…………..if we all try to be good/kind, we might just achieve peace in our world.”

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2 responses to “We are family…I got all my sisters with me!

  1. lizorford says:

    What a wonderful blog update sis – well done – am so very proud of you for being ‘present’. That Saturday night meal was the most ‘normal and relaxed’ meal I’ve had with you in a very long time and it was fabulous.

    xxxx

  2. Muriel says:

    Well done Laura. At last you are being true to yourself. It obviously took a great deal of courage but you showed the world that you can lead a “normal” life. At last you can now put the past behind you and move on in a positive way. I have so enjoyed following your blogs Laura. Thank you for the insight into what is an awful illness. Take care. Love muriel x

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