We spent this afternoon with N's Great Grandma & Grandpa. They've been aware of N's illness and have prayed with the rest of us for his recovery. At the end of our visit, she asked how N was doing. She then told me about a relative's friend that is suffering from anorexia (and later we found out bulimia).
I've had several talks with Grandma about N's recovery, the research that we've found, and the different ways of looking at this illness. But I was surprised to hear her ask about this 18 year-old girl, "Why would she do this?" I was surprised because I thought we had blasted through those old stereotypes long ago. Yet all of a sudden, I realized that all of our conversations hadn't changed those old perceptions. So, once again, I (along with my son and husband) corrected her and said, "it's not about that, it's a brain disorder." I could hear in her tone a belief that this daughter was "doing this" to her parents.
I must confess that I wondered for the first time if all the education that we're trying to spread is even making any difference.