It’s My Responibility

Me: I want to do something irresponsible and crazy, just once.

Husband: Why? You’re always so responsible.

Yeah.  Exactly my point.  I’ve always been the responsible one.  I just want one day off.  I want to do something without thinking about the consequences.  Just one time.

And something about this really struck a chord in therapy yesterday.  The only reason I can tell is because I started planning my binge (and subsequent purge) the minute I left her office.  Well, that and the fact that I’m starting to tear up and get anxious now.

When I was in sixth grade, my class went to science camp.  I liked science (still do), but I was anxious about being away from my family for a week.  I had never been away from all of them for that long.  Neither had a lot of kids in my class.  As we were getting ready to board the bus, I remember hearing a friends mom say, “I’m so glad your daughter is going because she’s always so responsible.”  Then my parents repeated the comment after I got back.  Yeah, well… hmph.

As an even younger child, I knew which parent to go to when I needed something.  I’ve always known that if I got to my dad first and alone, I could usually get what I needed.  Now, I’m not talking about toys, or anything materialistic.  Just other things that I needed–a break, change of scenery, specific attention, etc.  I knew if I got him on my side, we had a fighting chance against my mom.  It was hard for her rationale to go up against the both of us.

  • I got out of a bad middle school situation.
  • I got to switch high schools.
  • I was able to pursue my passion.
  • I moved across the country.
  • My anxiety isn’t hidden.

All because I went to my dad first.  But even then, I carefully chose my words and what exactly I  could reveal to him.  I didn’t want him to worry too much or be too rash.  Or too proud.  But there are things I haven’t told my dad.  I hid things that I thought were too “scary.”  And I don’t think I ever will tell him.  It’s not that I don’t think he wouldn’t believe me, but I have a huge amount of guilt and shame surrounding these issues and they’re hard to talk about it the first place.  When my grandfather (his dad) passed away, he told me I was the only thing to bring happiness into the household.  I don’t want that responsibility.  I don’t want that pressure.

I understand logically that I’m not responsible for others’ feelings, but I can’t help but feel that I am.  Up to a point.  But even that point is a variable of each situation.

While my husband was out of work, he made me financially responsible for our household.  He said he wasn’t going to, but he did.  I didn’t want that responsibility, but I got it.  Go me!

If no one else is going to be responsible enough to do it, then give it to me.  I’ll do it.

Renfrew isn’t the greatest eating disorder treatment program.  It’s not the worst.  It just is the one my insurance would cover.  I have a very intricate relationship with the ‘frew.  I’ve done the evening program and the day program at various times.  Most haven’t ended well.  And I’m still struggling.  My therapist believes this is because ‘frew and I aren’t a good fit and there are better programs out there.

I feel like I constantly hear, from professionals and those with eating disorders, that I can only get out of treatment what I put into it.  I understand that, but what if I’m giving it my all, but it’s not enough?  Then what?  Is it still my fault?  Is it my fault at all?  I definitely feel like it is.

Oh, I didn’t ask for what I needed?  Well, I didn’t ask because I’m not too sure what it is that I need.  And although I may have read so many books on eating disorders, you are the professional and specific program that is supposed to help me figure that out.  But remember that one time when I did speak up and did and said what I needed to?  Then you asked me to leave.  So just as long as I’m asking/giving the “right” things, then I’m doing better in recovery.  Did you ever stop to think that maybe I’ve always said and done the “right” things and now I need to do the opposite?  No?  Why not?  Because you can’t cater specifically to one person?  Hmmm…  Your website says you offer individualized treatment…

I obviously didn’t try hard enough.  I got myself into this mess, so I should be able to get myself out.

I am responsible for my feelings and my actions.

End of story.

And I want to do something irresponsible.

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