When they first placed that newborn baby girl into my arms I instantaneously wanted to shield her from harm. It was fascinating really. I didn't entirely know this little person yet, but I desired that she enjoy every happiness and never suffer or fear and I was willing to do anything to make that happen.
Fast forward 13 years and that fierce love still abides. However, my ability to shield has drastically diminished. My tiny baby girl has peeked over my walls and into the world. A vast lonely place where people are mean and judge and are ruthlessly selfish, while simultaneously being alluring and interesting. In an instant, this world has scorched my sweet little baby girl and scarred her tender mind. Impossible standards and harsh judgments have stolen her innocence and maimed her confidence. It was a slow-motion collision that I stood by helplessly witnessing. Now we live with the pain and fear of that collision and I am dumbfounded on what I could have done to prevent it.
ED has entered our lives. Bringing with him the voice of the world's impossible standard's of beauty and happiness. Promising far more than he can ever deliver and leaving a wake of pain and frustration. Our entire family is forced to endure his wrath.
Weekly visits to a therapist and dietitian and each time I feel ED laughing at us. Re-enforcing his hold with each strike we wage. Two steps forward take us three steps back. We re-evaluate our lives and decide to shrink our world. Never leave her alone, don't go anywhere unless we have to. ED pushes us apart in our own house. Steps away, but enduring the pain alone.
Loving and supporting Kylee means pulling her out of school and privately preparing each meal, to sit and watching her eat every crumb. Then desperately try to convince her that it won't make her fat. It means pushing her in a wheelchair when we run errands to ensure she doesn't burn the few calories she has consumed. Getting blood work every 3-4 days to check if the food that is trying to restore her health isn't actually killing her. Reassuring our 6 year old that the irritation her sister is directing at her isn't really her fault, it's ED attacking us and hurting us, not our sweet Kylee.
The worst of all, is ED's morning terror. Waiting and wishing for Kylee to come out of her room on her own.Watching the clock and pleading in your mind that she just wake up and come out! Most mornings she doesn't. That means we have to take those fearful few steps into her room. Terrified and wondering...has she passed in the night? Has her already slow heart given out while we've slept? It is a daily torment I can barely endure.
My mind is swimming with questions. How did this happen? Why? Who did this to my baby? What did I do? How could I not have seen this coming? Why didn't I do more to protect her? Why are these efforts failing? All aimless and pointless, I understand. Regret is merely one of ED's gifts personally bestowed on me.
HELPLESSNESS is the world ED has brought us to. In his book Oliver Twist Charles Dickens eloquently defined this word:
“The suspense: the fearful, acute suspense: of standing idly by while the life of one we dearly love, is trembling in the balance; the racking thoughts that crowd upon the mind, and make the heart beat violently, and the breath come thick, by the force of the images they conjure up before it; the desperate anxiety to be doing something to relieve the pain, or lessen the danger, which we have no power to alleviate; the sinking of soul and spirit, which the sad remembrance of our helplessness produces; what tortures can equal these; what reflections of endeavours can, in the full tide and fever of the time, allay them!”
That is how I feel. Suspended in mid air to watch, desperate and anxious to see where ED takes us. Fully aware that I am powerless to stop him.