Katie, our daughter who just married, went through really bad anorexia. It felt like she was behind a glass wall--I could see her but I couldn't get close to her. She left for college on a softball scholarship. The school called in November her freshman year suggesting she might be anorexia. Katie denied it--said she'd had a stomach virus. By July, I knew she wasn't telling us the truth.
You know how you look into somebody's eyes and they're not home? I couldn't find her. Anywhere. Her legs and arms were like a skinny child's. I'd cook her favorite meals and she'd just play with her food like a toddler. She never smiled. Each time she left the driveway in her white Camaro, I wanted to chase her down the road. But what good would it do? She didn't believe me.
She came home for Christmas break her sophomore year. Only her nose and mouth looked like my Katie. She was disappearing--both her body and spirit. Then at 4 am that December morning, God helped me. I couldn't sleep and picked up one of her magazines lying in the den. As I read an article on date rape, I knew. I just knew. I ran to wake her up. She covered her head with a blanket and said, "I'm never talking about it. Forget it. You're wasting your time. There's a lot you don't know."
"No matter what, it wasn't your fault," I whispered. She turned over and faced the wall.
I didn't know which problem to try and deal with first--the date rape or the anorexia. Tears trickled down my face. She never saw them.
The next day she agreed to go the doctor. By herself. After her appointment she wouldn't talk. Two months later, Valentine's Day, it hurt me to see her. I knew she was dying. She zoomed out of the driveway, again, because I mentioned her weight. But she called me a little later. Here's our unforgettable phone conversation.
"What 'cha doing, Mom."
"Stirring spaghetti. I need to pray for you. If you never speak to me again, I don't care. But you're dying. You can't see it, but you are."
"Whatever. I don't have a problem. Get over it."
"Father, Katie is your child. Something bad happened to her. She's slowly dying. In the name of Jesus, take away any lies and self-destruction. Put her back together again. Make her whole, in Your name."
"Thanks," she whispered.
Two hours later, she called me from the mall. Her old voice had returned. "You weren't lying. I look terrible! I couldn't see it before." She didn't find any clothes to fit and headed to McDonald's. For the first time in 16 months she was hungry. She ate without vomiting.
This May, two years after she saw the truth, she married a wonderful guy. She's never gone back down the anorexia path. Buried secrets can destroy us. Talking helped continue her healing. She shared her story with high schools girls at church.
The evil one comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Truth brings healing. My Katie's back--but even better than before!