Alright, I keep delaying the post where I talk about what my big dream is, because frankly, I have some fear surrounding that. At least I can own my feelings, right?
But also, I really love what my family has been willing to share regarding their experience during my eating disorder. Sadly it can take seeing the pain you cause people to realize how much they care.
This is what my sister has shared regarding my eating disorder. My twin sister. Identical - twin - sister. I couldn't help for so long to wonder why she didn't suffer like I have from addiction and inability to deal with conflict and trauma like me. But the reality is, it's because we truly are individuals. Growing up as a twin, made it difficult to discover my own identity, but the fact that we didn't both suffer from an eating disorder, goes to show, even if you are genetically identical, raised by the same parents, we all adapt to life differently.
From Leisa -
After high school, I chose to stay living at home and go to a local community college, but you left to live in Orem. I remember a number of occasions you would call or come for a visit and ask for me to move to live in Orem with you. I always declined. But then one day, Mom told me you had an eating disorder. And you were quite sick. I was scared. And the next time I talked with you, and you asked me to move to Orem, I agreed. I think I felt a responsibility to watch over you, and help you. I think I also felt I could be the eyes and ears for mom and dad. I finished up my semester of school, quit my job and dad and I loaded up my car and I moved to orem. You had located a place for us to live and I was going to start a whole new journey.
Those months living together were some of the best times I've ever gotten to share with you. We became best friends. A relationship that we had struggled with in the past, but this time, we were inseparable. The first couple of months, either you had or I believed, that the eating disorder was somewhat under control. You were eating, and seemed to not be losing any more weight. I naively believed that you were out of the woods. Then, suddenly, things took a bad turn. You were restricting food like crazy. I remember you measuring out your little 1/2 cup of Cheerios that you would allow yourself. As I saw things going down hill, I felt helpless. I didn't know what to do. I'd confront you and ask you to please eat something, you always tell me you were fine, and that you would eat more and do better. But you didn't change. And then I'd feel helpless and hurt that i was being lied to. Then, things got even worse and more scary. You started binging and purging on top of also restricting calories. I knew things were bad. So again, I'd confront you, and again, you'd promise to do better. But it didn't take long before I realized that when you 'promised to be better' what you actually promised was to try and be better at hiding it. At this time you also were so emotional. All sorts of emotions all the time, but mostly you just seemed angry. It seemed like you were always angry with someone or something. We were having fights, and disagreements even, which was not something we had done since I'd moved to Orem. And I was just so scared all the time. I think I felt so much responsibility in trying to help you. But I was failing over and over at being any help at all. It was around this time that I met Cameron, and we were getting serious in our dating relationship. I can remember feeling so conflicted. On one hand, I was so happy to have met this great guy, he was everything I ever dreamed of, but on the other hand, you were falling apart pretty quickly. I felt guilty to be happy, when you were so unhappy. I was probably also an emotional wreck, happy one moment, sad and angry and scared the next moment.
I remember one weekend, a friend and I took a quick overnight trip to Idaho to visit her brother. I was an emotional wreck the whole time. I wanted to be back in Orem cause I was worried that no one was watching you. What if something happened to you while I was gone. I cried and cried the whole weekend. When the trip was over, I was grateful to be back, so I could watch you, but I also hated being back, cause I had to watch you destroy yourself.
The weekend that Cam and I got engaged was also the weekend that mom and dad came over to check out the Center and start the process of getting you admitted. I was so grateful to not have to carry the burden of watching over you, and that soon somebody else, more qualified then me, would have that responsibility.
I'll always be grateful that I decided to move to Utah and be with you for those many months before your treatment. It was great and horrible all at the same time. I know it was because of that time we had together that we have such a strong friendship now. I also had my first experience with the life lesson that there's a reason for all the trials we face in life. As I look back, I can recognize a number of reasons why I had to go through that trial, and how it has prepared me for other trials I have or will likely face in my life.
I am so grateful for my sister and the efforts that she made to change the path of my eating disorder. She is and will always be one of my best friends. We no longer live close to each other and I miss her all the time. It is true that twins have a special relationship, it is something that cannot be explained, obviously that is only my perspective as I cannot speak for her, but it was really specialy and emotional to read what it was like for my sister.