Changing Places

by Anne-Sophie

in Reflection

I see her getting smaller and smaller. I see her eyes losing all the hope she ones had. I see her mood deteriored.

She beating herself up over having a C in a stupid test. She’s studying like an obsessed person starting while eating breakfast. She doesn’t take breaks, doesn’t eat properly, doesn’t care.

Where is my sister? I am scared. What can I do? I feel helpless.

I’ve tried, haven’t I? I’ve offered her support. I’ve created relaxation practices for her, tried to give her a perspective on her talents, gifts and future life, but she doesn’t listen. Or can’t she?

The years go by and nothing, not a single thing has changed.

Now she’s lying in bed 24/7 while I am going to school. She frustrates me. That has been going on for too long. Too many years of suffering. I want my sister back, the one who dance with me, who was silly with me, laughed with me and didn’t have that tortured look in her eyes. I wish I could force her out of bed and confront her with reality.

She doesn’t care about me, only looks after herself. I need her too. I need my older sister more than ever now. I wish I could make my brother go away in order to make everything good at least once in our lives. I wish I could show her how beautiful she is on the inside and that her body size does not matter at all.

I wish she would grow more confident and become the girl she used to be.

I visited her in college last week and what I saw shook me to the care. I couldn’t help but exclaim at her skeleton-like frame. I tried to talk her into going to a treatment facility. Taking a few months for herself would be life-saving for her, but she’s still not waking up, keeps telling us everything is just fine.

Will she die? What will happen in the future? Will she ever be there for me the way I am trying to be there for her? I am scared and lonely and disappointed at the same time and yet I need to live my own life, go my own way and that’s what I’ll do.

Her visit here in Cameroon was something I had looked forward to for such a long time. I wanted to show her not only my boyfriend, but also where I’ve been living for the past months. Sure, we had fun, but she looks more emaciated than ever before. I had hoped her marriage would change things, but it seems that it’s only gotten worse. I got so frustrated with her when once again all she ate was a bit of vegetables while I wanted to share a pizza with her. Why does this stupid, disgusting eating disorder ruin everything?

Why doesn’t she finally change?

I’ve seen her for the first time since she went into treatment. She doesn’t really look much different, but I am elated that she has finally seen how sick she has been for 14 years. I wish her eating disorder hadn’t ruined her youth, but at least she’s getting help now.

It’s amazing how far she’s come in only a year. Our brunch last week was so much fun and she ate just like my mom and I. I am so glad that this episode is at least much more resolved than ever before and I know that she will never go back. I can see it in her eyes. I have my sister back and what more can I ask for?

It shows that it’s never too late to fight back and that there is always hope.

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