Mommy, I understand now.

by Anne-Sophie

in Blog

The power of dreams.
Last night I had the weirdest and scariest dream in a while. Due to the sleeping medication that I still have to take every evening, I dream very vividly.
However, this dream was different. Very much so.
I dreamt of my mother.
She was younger than she is now, or at least her hair cut was the one she sported when she was in her thirties. For some reason, she had gone on vacation by herself and when she returned after two weeks, she was a mere shadow of her usual self: her cheeks and eyes hollow, her arms like sticks, her thighs nothing but bones and skin. It was horrible to see to her that way. First, I was shocked. I did not know how to react, what to say or even what to think. What had happened in those two weeks? Why was she not relaxed, rejuvenated, happy and energized after having spend fourteen days in the sun? What in the world was going on?

After my initial shock, I started to realize that nobody around me, my sister, my brother – even my cousins, aunt and uncle were there -, seemed to notice what was going on right in front of their eyes. I began to feel numb, I tried to get up, but couldn’t. I tried to talk, but no words left my mouth. I wanted to scream at the top of my longs, but had no energy. I felt imprisoned in my own body.
This numbness held on for hours, maybe days, I don’t know. What I do know though is that in that time, my sister started getting closer and closer to my mom. When I finally snapped out of my state of shock, I had no chance of bringing my mom to her senses. She ignored me. When I talked to her, she did not listen, not even look at me.
In my desperation, I asked my sister to confront her. “She says, she wears completely different cloths than those who struggle with anorexia. So, everything is fine.”I couldn’t believe her ignorance. I wanted to know whether my sister and cousin had looked at her thighs. “Did you really look how terribly skinny they are? Can’t you see what’s going on?” I felt lost, so lost. Terror came over me, “What if she is going to die? What if I cannot help her? And why was she doing this? Wh?.” “To spare you the pain” was my sister’s cryptic reply.  I didn’t understand.

Then, suddenly a completely different feeling arose. A wave of anger came over me: “Why now? Why did she starve herself now that I was so much better? Why is she making it a million times harder for me not to relapse? Why does she hate and hurt me so much? ”
A skyscraper. My mom and I. I am holding her with one hand. I pushed her. Or did I? I am holding on. My arm hurts, I feel sick, but I won’t let her go. I save her. My husband’s iPhone plays the usual classical music, which means it is 6am. Time to wake up.
Incredible. The power of dreams.
Never have I felt so helpless than during those brief minutes, moments, seconds (?) of this dream. For the very first time I understand how unimaginably worried my mom must have been during those 14 years of my having an eating disorder.

Mommy, I am sorry. I cannot even put into words how terribly sorry I am for every single day I put you through such misery. I never wanted to hurt you. I never wanted to make you cry. I wanted to listen to you, but I was scared, so scared. I couldn’t stop. I just had to continue on this journey of ruining my body and therefor myself. I did not know though, how much I destroyed YOU too. With every kilo I lost, I made your heart at least one kilo heavier. I did not realize it, had no space for these kinds of thoughts in my mind. I tried to survive, but almost killed you.
However, I needed to experience your worries, your terror myself. I needed to feel your pain, think your thoughts to fully understand the position I put you in. I wouldn’t have been able to grasp it without this dream.

Mommy, you never said a word. Was I this quiet? Was I this cold? So absent? Your indifference in this dream scared me, terrified me even. Was I like that too?
I know the answers to these questions. Yes, I was. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Mommy, I am all better now. You will never have to worry about me again.
Even though the terror of relapsing is obviously still very real in my subconsciousness, I will not let it happen. Maybe this was a message to be especially aware in the coming days and weeks. I will be. For me, but also for you! So very much for you!
Mommy, I am glad I understand now. So glad.

The power of dreams.
Mind-boggling, isn’t it?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie Traeder November 18, 2011 at 10:13 am

I am speechless, so speechless. I have no words to describe my feelings right now. I am just sitting here with tears of emotion and love in my eyes. Anne, this is the most beautiful thing I have ever read in my whole life. Never before affected me words like this, and never before someone spoke directly to my heart like you did today! You have a big talent of writing, I can see this now! Thank you so much for sharing your unbelievably and touching dream with me! I love you!

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anneso87 November 18, 2011 at 10:18 am

Alright, now I am crying too. This means the world to me, Valerie. It really does. I love you so too!

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Sharon November 18, 2011 at 11:30 am

Wow! So beautiful. I honestly don’t even know what to say. I’m so proud of you Anne! You are truly an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Love you!

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anneso87 November 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

Thank you, Sharon. I could not have done it without all of the support I received over the years. And you have been a constant source of wisdom and help! Thank you & love you!

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Winnie November 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm

What a powerful dream! Thank you for sharing.

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anneso87 November 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I had to write it, it felt like I just needed to make this “feeling” last forever.

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Monseigneur Andreas Chevalier Reinhardt November 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm

DEEPEST RESPECT

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anneso87 November 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Thanks, Babe.

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Courtney Long November 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Wow, this is so powerful. Your dream spoke so clearly such a meaningful message. How beautiful the way your subconscious presented this to you. How beautiful the way you apologized to your mom. And reassured her it’s OK now. Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt message. I struggled with anorexia too for many years. I am so glad we’ve connected on Facebook and look forward to reading more of your blog articles!!

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anneso87 November 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Courtney, thank you so much. I am very happy about having stumbled upon you on Facebook! I love your positive outlook on life and you have made me smile many times in the last days. :)

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April November 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm

What a touching post, Anne.

I sit with tears in my eyes. God gave me a similar changing places dream when my Mom was dying of cancer. It helped me to see how it felt for her that we avoided talking with her about her death.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us.

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anneso87 November 19, 2011 at 7:32 am

April, thank you for your kind words. Wow, what an amazing message God gave you. Big hugs!

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Bettina November 18, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Hi Anne-Sophie,
I totally agree with Valerie. You’ve definitively a huge talent of writing. You should really write books.
I wouldn’t pretend to be able to analyze your dream but In my opinion this dream or should I called it “nightmare” made you even more realize how much your mother and everyone who loves you had suffered watching you destroy yourself without any possibility to help you.
Indeed they were in pain but you suffered as much as they did. Once again we can’t deny that Anorexia is a terrible devilish disease. You didn’t do it on purpose. You weren’t able to hear them.
You aren’t responsible. You haven’t to feel guilty at all. It wasn’t your fault.
I hope your mother will have a dream that will make her understand that you need her even more now. You need your love and help and also some encouraging words . Does she read your blog posts? Does she listen to your podcast and interviews? I hope so.

If not, I hope you’ll tell her. Take her in your arms and tell her how much you understand her pain, how much you love and need her but also how much you need her support .

The phrase I loved the most is this one:

“Mommy, I am all better now. You will never have to worry about me again.”

She has to know ! ! !

Please forgive me if I haven’t found the right words…

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anneso87 November 19, 2011 at 7:35 am

Bettina,
you have found the perfect words, my friend!
I will visit my mom on Monday (we will even have therapy together) and I will tell her again how my perspective has changed. She does listen to my podcast (the German one) and sometimes she reads my blog, I sent her a link to this particular post and hope she will read it. :)

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Bettina November 19, 2011 at 11:41 am

Awe, that’s so wonderful my dear friend.
Life’s pretty precious… Especially where there’s love.

Have a nice weekend full of laugh and love!

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Anne-Sophie November 19, 2011 at 11:42 am

Thank you, Bettina! I wish you a fantastic weekend, too!

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Bettina November 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I’ll thinking of you very deeply on Monday…

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Anne-Sophie November 20, 2011 at 7:16 am

Thanks so much, my friend!

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Becky Henry November 26, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Very powerful Anne-Sophie Reinhardt. Thank you…I know our children with eds don’t intend for us to have this horrible pain and sense of helplessness. I know it is the ed and so I believe does your mom. Thank you, this adds another layer of healing to my very broken and still hurting heart. Thank you for sharing this for all of us who have not YET heard those words, “I’m so sorry mom for what this ed put you through.” Anne-Sophie, I am sorry you had to experience this pain through your dream for no one needs to feel that sense of helplessness and I’m glad that since you did it has given you greater understanding and empathy for what your mom endured. Keep on being strong and healthy, that is the greatest gift. Can I say thank you one more time? :) I am so happy for your mom. And you give hope to those of us waiting for this moment to arrive.
Becky Henry
Hope Network

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Anne-Sophie November 27, 2011 at 9:47 am

Becky, thank you for your comment. I am terribly sorry to hear that you are still hurting so very much and I pray that one day, you will hear the same words from your child.

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elise-touch April 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm

its put on my tears when i read this…Anne..because i am thinking i want to loose weight…i feel hurt…but when i read this…i might be thinking back what im doing now

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Anne-Sophie April 20, 2012 at 7:41 am

Hi Elise, thanks so very much for your comment. I am glad to hear that this sparked something inside you and made you question whether you want to go down the dangerous road of dieting. I really hope you will make the right decision.

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