A Mom’s Sixth Sense

Well, it’s Sunday. Natasha’s third day out of program. We’ve kind of been taking it easy this weekend. She’s been playing with friends and I’ve relaxing and sorting through the past few weeks.

Natasha has been doing so well! We haven’t had arguments over meals, and the snack times have been observed as well. Today at a special women’s function at church, I was telling everyone who asked how great she was doing. How much she’d grown emotionally and how great the program was for her! When I came home from this function, Natasha proudly told me how she’d eaten her bagel! After all I had left instruction on what she could or couldn’t have and had told more than one person.

I’d like to think God gave mom’s a sixth sense. A sort of radar that alerts them that something isn’t quite right or when one of her kid’s needs her. While cleaning up after dinner, my radar went off. I glance at the bag of bagels and noticed that there were still the same number of bagels. Then all of the other clues came into focus. I won’t divulge those so as to keep my cover! Certain that I was somehow wrong, or rather hoping I was, I went out front to ask the sisters if they’d seen her eat. Then I asked Natasha again. Upon learning that I knew she hadn’t she confessed. And I was speechless.

I went out back on my porch swing and just sat there as the realization hit me. It started as a sick feeling in my stomach and spread to a numbness. It would’ve ended in tears if I was open to such a thing. I just couldn’t believe it. Didn’t know what to do.

I still don’t. As I type this my mind is jumbled with ways to make sure she eats while I’m at work when others aren’t really looking out for her. Struck with how easily this eating disorder will lie to me. I feel quite defeated.

They teach you in treatment that the eating disorder becomes this kind of monster that speaks for the teen. Making them do things they normally wouldn’t. Not that it makes this any easier. And do I as the mom punish the eating disorder for lying? And what does that look like? Reading this you might think it’s no big deal to miss one snack. But it’s about being obedient to the nutrition that is best for your body and taking care of it. It’s too easy to backslide into the same never eating behavior if this is allowed to happen.

I know that God is there. I refuse to give up belief that He is. And I’ll pray for a better tomorrow.

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