Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Message

Several days ago, a knock at my front door revealed a neighbor who I see at church and school sometimes. But I was surprised to see her on my front steps. She looked so nervous. She jumped into her explanation that she had felt for some time now, that she needed to tell me something, but had put it off multiple times. Still, the impression had been persistent. She said that God wanted me to know that I was a good mother -- that we were good parents. She talked about watching us and our boys and knowing that they were just good kids. She finished by saying that she also thought I was a good mother -- that we were good parents. She said that she would be happy to have any of her girls marry any of my boys -- and that anything we were struggling with would be okay.

Wow. I can't believe her courage. I immediately called my husband. I think her message had even more of an impact on him than it did on me. Those were just the kind of words that we needed to hear. We so often find ourselves wondering what we did wrong, wondering if we messed N up, wondering if the accelerated program was really the right thing for N. Like my husband said, maybe Heavenly Father wanted us to know that we are okay, that we really are good parents, so he sent us a message.

So often recently, as I've shared our struggles with those that need to know, I see a change come into their eyes. I see them wonder what we did wrong. I can see them thinking, "I didn't think they were bad parents." I know this is because of old ways of thinking of anorexia. I've been asked about N's orientation, whether he has been abused, about control issues, and N's selfishness. I know it's just the way people think of these things. I've tried to take those opportunities to change their thinking. I've tried to talk about current research, chemical changes in the brain, puberty, nutrient & metabolic deficiencies, and food as medicine. Sometimes, though, I don't have the time or opportunity to say these things. Then they leave thinking all these terrible things. It's sometimes a heavy burden. But lately, I've also been able to think about my neighbor's words. And it helps.


Lindsay said...

Beautiful. This post made me cry. What sweet (and true!) words to be able to reflect on. Keep being the courageous, loving parents you are. I'm positive it is helping.

Erin said...

I often times have struggles separating people from the "things" they do. But I'm working on at least recognizing that even though parents will inevitably make choices that their children don't agree with and might actually be harmful to them, that 1. They're good people 2. They're doing the best they can do.

Just by reading your blog I know what your neighbor has said to be true. You and your husband didn't do anything wrong and you truly love your son and are trying so very hard to help him. Taking steps back along the way is apart of making progress. And that's just as frustrating for N because although he knows he needs to get better, he still wants to cling to his eating disorder.

I'm just thankful that you noticed his weight loss when you did! My family never saw me eat for three months, drop 4 sizes, and didn't have the courage to say anything. And that hurts more than anything they would have done to stop me back then