I am one of the many unfortunate parents who never had any idea that the motherhood they imagined would be clouded and and terribly disturbed by our children’s trauma and or disease. I’m one of the lucky ones. Addy lives. There are times that I hide this information because it hurts too bad to show my imperfections and relive the dangerous years and there are times that I allow others to see the truth. My daughter survives her disease. This is a two year old repost of a Facebook post on my timeline. I am remembering that I am not in crisis. My children are safe. I pray for those whose children did not make it to adulthood.
I have this creepy unsettled feeling. It has been following me around. It even gets in the car with me when I’m enjoying a ride. I’ve tried napping it away. I tried an US magazine to see how Jennifer Garner is handling Ben Affleck. I tried chocolate and I tried rice pudding. I tried a bath. I was going to clip my fingernails but I never could find any clippers. I sewed pillows- that worked for a day. It is a number of things, I’m sure. One glaring thing holding up a huge orange flag waving around in my brain is that Addy’s Malik died. He died. And it is a tragedy to lose a human, a love, a dear heart, a hurting soul. What makes it worse is that about a month before he died, I cleaned out Addy’s room. She had moved to an apartment and I wanted to clean the room for Dolly and maybe Mim one day. The closet was stuffed. Addy said throw away whatever you want. I did. I threw away a lot of things that reminded me of really difficult moments which could also be referred to as Addy’s teenage years or if you want to refer to when it started- it would be at 12 and 1/2 when she was diagnosed with anorexia. You might know this already but anorexia is not like how it is depicted in Hollywood. It is not just deadly. It is soul crushing, personality annihilating, family wrecking, and dream ending. Addy isn’t those things. Addy walks in sunshine with beauty and love. She uplifts and tells stories and comforts and digs deep. Anorexia is an awful disease and yet good has come from our years with this disease because we have lived and Addy has survived. Malik had a different disease. His disease made him need drugs to cope. I loved Malik but it is a truth that I feared him and Addy loving each other at times because I wanted an easy simple love filled life that left disease behind. I pictured Addy getting stronger in her twenties and her brain disobeying her mean disease and life becoming simpler and smoother. I believed that Addy would always love Malik because he was her first love but that she would have a clean slate and meet someone who didn’t know her when she was dying. Addy didn’t want that. She loved that Malik knew her and loved her while knowing all the hard stuff and experiencing his own disease. He loved her through many hard times and she him. They loved each other through a lot of pain. Pain that no parents want for their children. Pain that I never imagined when I put my blond hair blue eyed baby in a smocked dress with monogrammed bloomers and eyelet socks and buckle t-straps. I never in a million years imagined these struggles. I thought we would worry about which college she should go to. So I’m cleaning out this closet and throwing away wigs from when Addy lost her hair and clothes with bad memories and I saw a box and I knew keepsakes were in there-
Like letters while she was hospitalized and get well cards and love letters and I
threw them away.
Addy had moved in with her boyfriend George and I wanted a beautiful do over. I’m old enough to know this doesn’t exist but I let my brain and heart turn off and I let my tired old self pull wedged boxes and bags and tangled hangers out of that too small closet and I threw it all away. We didn’t know Malik would die. He was in California on the right track staying in recovery and I threw the contents of a closet away. We didn’t know how important those letters would be. I was selfish and
immature and I wanted what doesn’t exist. Addy’s heart will always have a place for Malik. Addy forgave me like she does. With a giving heart and a hard on herself view of the situation. She said she was mad at herself for telling me I could throw anything away. She had wanted to avoid the awful task of cleaning out junk and we didn’t know Malik would die. My heart sinks. That creepy unsettled feeling returns. Malik’s
Mom had saved some special things for Addy and I am incredibly grateful.
Embarrassingly thankful. It is unbelievable what we have all endured-
Our family in these
Years so affected by disease and it is unthinkable how many children we know who have died. I wish I had not thrown away the keepsakes. I wish a lot of
Different. I wish Malik and Joe and Katie were alive. I wish that we could
Put more effort
Combatting suicide and addiction and eating disorders. I’m so sorry that Addy has had this pain.
People overuse the term PTSD and I believe I am using it correctly. I have PTSD from the trauma of years Addy’s life being compromised by her anorexia. Parenting kids with these huge life problems and or diseases is unthinkably tough. This article helped me name some of this pain. I tried to throw away some memories of Malik but it didn’t work. I cannot escape this pain. I will grow past it, but I wont escape it.