Sunday, October 27, 2013

Old friends, new friends

It's been awhile since I've made contact with any of you fine folks who check in on DJ from time to time.  Care to share what's happening in your lives?  

Becoming more whole

It's a lazy Sunday morning for DJ.  Not for Bulldog and not for me; for her highness, it is a day to do as she pleases, until we suggest otherwise, that is.

We are approaching the one year mark of her last hospitalization and the difference between then and now is amazing and I don't want to detract in any way from her success by casting my superstitious fears out in the universe.  That being said, I'm going to give voice to them in the hope that it will stave off any bad jou-jou!

This time last year, DJ decided to cut her hair quite short and it looked fabulous on her. However, it was so unlike her to do that and it made me raise an internal, "I wonder if something's up," eyebrow.  Not much later, it turns out she was not taking her medication as required and was engaging in other activities that were potentially harmful, as well as restricting her food.

Following that hospitalization right after Christmas, we had to lay some new ground work. Bulldog and I had to learn to back off.  Our worry for her and our hovering over her in an effort to catch disaster in its infancy before it became a tsunami were exhausting to us, offensive and hurtful to her, and just plain ground us both down into the dirt.  Plus, and this is a biggy:  it didn't help one iota.  Not even a little.  If we watched her eat in an attempt to catch her not eating, we would question nearly every bite she did, or didn't put in her mouth.  A strange dichotomy because the last thing a person with an eating disorder needs to do is pay attention to what she eats!!!

We had to force ourselves not to look nearly as much.  We had to stop asking her if anything was bothering her.  In short, we had to stop checking her diaper to see if it was wet.  This was for her sanity and for ours.  Imagine what happened:  miracle of miracles, the sky did NOT fall in, our daughter did not suffer more great tragedy and Bulldog and I settled down a bit.

DJ had her fantastic trip to see Apple in England, and returned bearing gifts of all kinds.  Summer waned and as fall approached, she became anxious about school starting again.  Mostly because she's not sure what direction to take with her education and feels like she should have the answers.


She and I sat at a favorite restaurant when she shared this fairly recently. She feels like she's mooching off of Bulldog and me, she's living at home, is currently unemployed and is uncertain what direction to take with school.  I told her that I wished her brothers had waited like she is because they made plenty of mistakes by being in a hurry to get out on their own.  Plus, Bulldog and I like having her home.  We enjoy her company and there's nearly no friction between any of us.  Besides, and perhaps most importantly, she missed out on more than a few years of settling into her skin, figuring out who she is and what she wants. She was so busy being JD during the years that DJ should have been able to learn to spread her wings.  There's no hurry, no rush, to growing up and leaving, I told her.  Give yourself this gift of time-you need it and you deserve it.

OK, so Bulldog and I will continue to provide some structure for her, but we don't have to rush.  We are 10 months out from her last hospitalization, which I hope will be her last hospitalization for many, many years to come.  We know there may be other issues to contend with in her future still.  She will have to come to terms with whether or not to share her past with her future significant other, how to do that, and learning to accept that she will be a wonderful mother despite having to find another route to make that happen.

Right now she's carving her pumpkin and roasting the seeds.  She's just recently decided to omit seafood from her diet, in addition to meat, so I think she's going to take our leftover lentil soup and make some sort of lentil burgers out of it. I have no idea what to expect.  She's enjoying learning to cook, which is a bonus for us since we frequently work late.

It might be me, but I swear her face is becoming more beautiful and softer all the time.  I suppose it's the result of nearly 4 years of estrogen therapy, aside from her natural God-given face.  She still writes music prolifically, and has revisited some of her hobbies that she enjoyed before she came out, which I'm glad to see.  Maybe it means she feels more comfortable melding her history with her present.  I hope so.