Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Blips" continued

First off, apologies for being absent the last week. My mom left on Monday, my dad on Thursday. Then, the rest of the week was playing catch up. This week, a lot was accomplished. With the beautiful weather, we all took advantage of it and worked hard on my yard. A few posts ago, I mentioned my big crater where the above ground pool was. Originally, I was going to make a very large sand box for the dogs, but I nixed that idea after my dad reminded me it could attract stray cats to eliminate there, and they could bring fleas. Instead, I decided to grow grass there.

I bought some starter trees--a kousa dogwood (hopefully mine will look like this one day), an assorted color crab apple tree, an eastern white pine tree for Baxter, because it has these soft pines which he loved, and soon, I'll get a pink magnolia tree. Can you tell I like color and fragrance?

I also bought some flowers for the front yard--azaleas, some blue, pink, purple, yellow, and white ones (can't remember the names off hand). Before I do any of this planting, I have to get some very large dead trees out of my backyard. That's incredibly expensive! Then, I have been trying to dig up overgrown pampas grass. That's like digging up a freaking tree! So far, I've gotten 2 large ones out with 1 left to go which made the screws come out of my shovel. A pick would be better bet for the deep roots and to save my back and hands. I have a nice long scratch from the stiff as board pampas grass.

So basically, this week, my life and money has been spent at Lowe's and Home Depot. Yeah to tax refunds!


Going back to my last post, thanks for the feedback. Everyone made good points, and it is obvious that we don't view our EDs as blips in life. I do agree that it is likely easier for family to view it this way. Minimizing the situation becomes a protective measure for them. How can you acknowledge the problem if it doesn't currently exist?

Cammy asked a good question in how much I reveal to my parents about the ED. The answer is not much. Once I got through my major crisis (high school/early college years), the issue was dropped and placed only in a past tense. A good example of this was at dinner this past week with my father. He had watched a segment on the Dr. Phil show of a 12-year old girl with anorexia. Her parents didn't know what to do and came to Dr. Phil for help. My father asked me, "how did you get over it, recover?" There was a part of me that knew this would have been the best time to say how I still struggled at times, how recovery was a long process. But I didn't. Instead, I put on my "Tiptoe Academic" hat, telling him about all the genetic studies being done, how Maudsley has helped with these type of adolescent cases, how there were many factors to eating disorders, why the BMI is inaccurate, etc. He nodded with me and seemed to try to understand, though he still holds many of the "myth" beliefs with eating disorders. I give him a lot of credit for this as this was never something he seemed to do when I was really ill. Instead, he just got angry, blamed and made me feel guilty (this projection was disguised as guilt for himself though it appeared to me as it was my fault). This resulted in me giving him the silent treatment for a bit which just didn't bode well for all involved. We've since gotten past this point and have a better relationship than before; however, I don't reveal much about ED thoughts, my own weight, my body image hang-ups, etc.

In a way, I feel like I have no right to complain that he has viewed my ED as a "blip." There's a feeling of "what did I expect?" My walls have always been high on those issues and even in the recovery process, they still are with my parents.

There's also a big expectation factor too, especially as my life has taken off in a more positive way. The ED stuff would feel like some sort of failure, a damper of sorts. As I've told other people who think about telling those they know about their EDs, you always have to ask yourself what you hope to gain from it. I think with my parents, I knew I'd never really get what I wanted/needed. Though intentionally, I never meant to cut them out of my ED life, it just seemed easier that way. Most times, I truly do not mind this all that much, but there are times it make me sad and reminds me how much better of an actress I was than I ever would have thought. But on the other hand too, keeping a distance from it has also allowed me to educate my parents and other people. It gives me a sense of hope that people can change, albeit slowly, but it can happen.


Kristina said...

Ooooh, the topic of my eating disorder is silent, has been silent (even when it was the elephant in the room), will be silent in my family until I am dead and buried, most likely. Unless I really feel like "bringing it up".
There were years when the denial that was buried deep in my family made me feel completely infuriated, but I didn't know how to react to that feeling or to the situation. And maybe I've promoted that denial? I'm not sure, but at this point in my life, I don't want to dwell on it, in terms of my family relationships, the relationship with my husband/partner or with my friends. Maybe it's because I'm in a better place myself, but I don't want to identify myself or for others to identify me using a label. I know that we all use some labels to identify/describe/define ourselves, but I don't want to be bulimic for the rest of my life.

I Hate to Weight said...

no one in my family ever discussed my eating disorder. wow, it's so weird that i really realize that.

i do think that if you don't have an ED, it's really hard to "get" it. i think it's actually easier for people to understand something of my substance abuse.

interesting topic.

Tiptoe said...

Kristina and I Hate to Weight, thanks for your thoughts. I agree with both of you. Sometimes, there is a denial factor there and yes, it is hard for those who have not been there to understand. But those that do and try give such a warm feeling.