The Echidna crossed the road. My husband stopped the car and I ran back. ‘Hurry,’ he called and I began to run. but the Echidna ran faster. He’d begun to hide.
Writing about my adolescence and my descent into anorexia, I’ve re-discovered what I’ve come to know. To truly overcome any affliction, the body, emotions and mind need to integrate the experience into the fabric of ones being. Integration usually involves a lot of avoidance.
I’m a master of avoidance.
I’m running, the fleeing feeling with me. Always. Childhood traumas and wounds rattle around inside me. I can name them. Does that help? The 70s, anorexia and perfectionism keep me engaged. Or Disengaged? Keep me busy anyway running full pelt through life. Roles; the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect daughter … Mama dies. An empathetic person, I collected people; people in need of love. A kid towing a long toy train.
It tips over, carriages splattering.
Acupuncture studies open the door to the energy world. Hate physics but love energy, love the search, love the question. The question becomes a quest: why doesn’t everyone get 100% better? No longer disengaged, engaged externally trying to find me. Clairvoyants and healers share my intellect alongside RCT and scientific journals. looking outside, ignoring inside.
I’m running towards answers now. Towards or from? Which?
My children traverse adolescence, a war zone of helplessness and ungracious transfer of control. Dad dies. New role: adult orphan mixed with the sleep deprivation of menopause. I’m running now not sure where to. I bury myself in meditation, healing, teachers … I understand way more but peace is as illusive as it’s always been. Red flags, health alerts by two. I begin to write.
I feel I’m getting somewhere at last. Suppressed becomes expressed. I’m tiring though. I’ve run all my life. And I’m discovering that I can’t out run the internal discontent. It’s mine to own. Mine to look at. Initially, I struggled to write about anorexia because it is a mental health diagnosis and part of me didn’t want to own it. I’d grown up not diagnosed not treated and I grew up in an era where mental health was tarred with shame.
Now I discover that nothing is as it appears. The external manifestations of my life can only be resolved by looking at the roots of the tree. There are some rotten fruits there: low self-esteem, self rejection and self-loathing. Today I finally had the courage to type these words and own them. I encourage you to do the same. It is not nearly as tiring as running away.
Please reach out if you find it overwhelming looking at the roots of your tree.