Community Magazine

No Memories Here

By Survivingana @survivingana

I was looking for some music to play in the car and was going through my CD’s. I came across my Steve Curtis Chapman Beauty for Ashes one. Great I thought. Love his music – haven’t played in a long time. Then I remembered. I played it on loop for months when Sophie was so sick, during her hospitalisations. It got me through, focused me on God and his blessings, gave me comfort. I put the CD back, I just can’t. The memories and emotions it brings back cause too much pain still. I don’t want to be reminded.

For a similar reason I cannot put in Laura Story’s CD. It played during Mum’s death, funeral and the weeks of mourning just after.

I respond to music, smells and the feel of nature. These 3 things can instantly transport me to another time and place and invoke memories that are deep within – that I thought I had matured beyond and left behind. I have spent years recounting memories to psychologists and counsellors and grown in both depth and perception of myself, my family and my surrounds. But these 3 things can still evoke much. Have helped deepened depression and been the lifting of it.

I watch Sophie negotiate her new life. She is blossoming now school is back. But for her that are memories she won’t face or even acknowledge. Her dad, as you all know, as an issue that is not to be dealt with yet. Even she knows as some stage she will have to deal with it. The other issue she does not acknowledge at all. As far as she is concerned, she had anorexia but don’t you ever mention or tell her she did. She is so in denial it happened. She has buried it deep within – too much to deal with. You cannot remark, even subtly or casually, about anything back then. She denies all knowledge. She tells none of her new friends or those in her new life that she has had an eating disorder. I understand that. You don’t want people’s pity, segregation or labels. You want to start again. But it goes deeper for her. It is not just surface level protection in a new environment but a deep “I wasn’t there”.

One day sounds, smells, old friends – something – will bring it back. Anything repressed will always surface and demand attention. Unfortunately for those with eating disorders it often means a relapse and they can be of big proportions. She has too much buried still and when she is least expecting it will all clamour for attention and closure. I worry but it won’t be my call then. She is responsible for herself and solving it herself.

I envy all of you who can voice your eating disorder, put words to the pain, are able to express what it was like to live it and how you are recovering from it. As a lot of you know you didn’t want it or choose it, and the eating disorder does not define you. But you do realise that the eating disorder has made you what you are now, that it has a definite part of your life that you cannot cut out, but grow and move on from. My daughter figures if she doesn’t give it any airplay then it never happened. She denies that part it played in her life, why it was there, it’s purpose, and ultimately the changing of who she is now and where she heads.

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