5/18/07 – Sharing My Crisis – Part 3
Following are excerpts from my journal from the March/April timeframe as I continue to share my personal crisis.
Chris and I decided we couldn’t keep this a secret from family. As hard as it was to tell our parents and our siblings, each call became easier. Each time I explained it felt like a weight was being taken off our shoulders. Everyone’s response of deep concern, their love and support shifted the focus from “shame” to acceptance. And for me, this gives me strength which fuels the need to take responsibility and quite frankly, that’s where both Chris and I have to be… to take all the necessary steps to know we are doing our best to take care of someone we love so deeply.
I wanted to be the one to share this with Courtney (Al’s 16-year-old cousin). I called her to ask if I could stop by and talk with her. The two of us sat out on her driveway as I explained everything. I could see the disbelief in her eyes. And then the tears came. Courty is known for being the family’s logical, strong, and sensible child. She is the one who is clear not to cave into peer pressure or to go against her inner compass. So all the more I know this was VERY hard for her to hear, let alone understand. Even though I was trying to convince her that putting Al into a residential facility was the right thing, there was no pretending… we both felt such a deep sadness too hard to describe with words. We held one another tight, tears flowing.
The past few days have become a bit easier (less emotional) as I’ve become more logical and assured that we have made the best decisions. My ultimate fear (losing her) is being replaced with confidence that the Center For Discovery is staffed with the most experienced and skilled professionals to treat eating disorders. Everyone I’ve spoke with shows such professionalism and sincere concern.
The Universe continually reminds me that we are all on our OWN journeys. I’m realizing that for the past days I’ve had this sense of being strong, positive, optimistic and I want this to be a life-learning event for all of us. BUT… I am continually reminded that Allison is on her OWN unique path and no amount of my own strength and desire for growth is going to change her experience or outcome. Just as the disorder developed uniquely for her as a result of how she has received and perceived “life”, so will her recovery process. I keep saying I understand the concept of “surrender”, but I think the hard part about it is really hitting me now.
Day 1 – Chris and I drove Allison up to the Center (CFD) at noon. We had small chit chat on the drive up. She seemed okay. I tried to sound calm, but inside, I felt a whirlwind of intense emotions.
It was a long afternoon for the intake process. Al went with one therapist on her own; Chris and I stayed with another. It was so thorough and it actually felt good to dump everything to someone so understanding, so nonjudgmental.
After about 3-1/2 hours, it was time to say goodbye. I could feel the pressure inside building for me, and I was blinking a lot to keep the tears from coming. Allison really seemed fine. She was already interacting with the other girls in the house and that was reassuring for me. Then we turned to one another as she gave Chris and me big hugs. I couldn’t say anything… I just held her tight, let go and then we walked out the door in silence.
5/22/07 – Susan
This one sentence says it all: “The Universe continually reminds me that we are all on our OWN journeys.” Boy, that’s powerful and a good reminder to us all. It is our own journey and as such, is our own responsibility. Not the responsibility of others. Owning and knowing.
5/23/07 – Cassandra Rae
Each time I read another update on your journey as a parent my heart just overflows with love and adoration for you and your family. Your words are amazingly beautiful and I admire your stength in sharing so openly. You bring so much hope and love into this world. Thank you.
With love ~
5/24/07 – Carol
Susan, I want to thank you for your acknowledgement for the comment made about how the Universe continually reminds us about our own journeys. Being a parent to two teenagers provides me the daily reminder of this practice. I can only hope my intentions and actions will prove to both Allison and Ryan how much I do respect their own personal journeys. How amazing it is for me to see each of them as such unique individuals, following their very different paths. And by believing it is our OWN responsibility to own and know our own life, I am confident that each of them will successfully figure out what it will take to own and know themselves.
5/24/07 – Carol
Cassandra, much gratitude to you and your supportive comments. I know you understand the challenge all of this has been for our family and it means so much to me that you would express your total support for us. — Carol