I have heard of bulimia nervosa, the eating disorder. But at that time, I didn’t know how it could negatively affect a person’s physical and mental health until I saw one suffering from it. My poor daughter is suffering from bulimia nervosa, and as a mother, I thought that I had failed her. I should have seen this coming, and I should have been more focused on her. What kind of a mother am I if I could not see how my children were doing? At first, I blamed it on myself, and I felt very guilty.
The mental health counselor said to me that I had to forgive myself and that I had to let it go. She further said that most of the time, bulimics remain undiagnosed because they could hide their disorder so well from the people they love. They were that discreet. It was such a blessing in disguise, though, that my youngest son went into her sister’s room and told me that it smelled like rotten fish in there. It was horrible when I first saw it, and my daughter was passed out. Her hands, her knuckles had scabs. I didn’t see it since she would wear long sleeves. I called 911, and even though it was pandemic time, they came and assisted us.
She had to stay in the hospital for a day, and an eating disorder specialist was recommended for her. I also told her older sibling to clean her room and throw out all traces of her problem. I also said to take out all food that was inside the room or else she would binge eat again, and then, the cycle begins.
It was a difficult time, not just because she has a mental health disorder (bulimia nervosa is a mental health issue), but it was pandemic time. COVID-19 was plaguing the world. People were quarantined, and they refused to go out. Thousands were dying each day, and here we were. I had to bring my daughter to the riskiest place because it was her only salvation.
She didn’t want to talk to me, and I gave her space. I also had to watch what she was eating and make sure that she wasn’t throwing it up. The mental health specialist that we communicated with had a schedule to see her. She was not taking clients in her office because she was home-based. She said she didn’t want to risk inviting people in her home with asymptomatic COVID-19. Her only option was to take a select few patients (she called my daughter a patient, and it had a sting in my heart) and do at-home consultations. It was so expensive, but our insurance took care of half. I had to out of pocket the rest.
I didn’t mind owing anyone just so to see my daughter get back on track. She has to recover, and she must get the best treatment available, the best that I can afford for her. I mean, nobody wants to be in this position, but I am, and I have to face it. I have to be strong for myself, my daughter, who is sick, and my other children. It is the only way to survive this chaos. I know it will be over soon. It will be over soon.
It has been two months since I discovered my daughter with her bulimia nervosa issue. The mental health specialist is seeing her once a week, and they also have twice a week online therapy sessions. She has stopped the binge-purge cycle, thank God, but it is not yet over. She has yet to learn how to manage her triggers and while doing so, I was there for her, beside her and all the time.
She will get better, I know it because I will make sure that she does. That is my role as her mother.