I don’t know how or when my daughter will find out that for nine years I struggled with an eating disorder, but at some point it will happen. When it does I’d like to find the right words. The words that will let her know that she is perfectly beautiful as she is. Words that encourage her to be strong when pushed and swayed by the opinion of others. Words that are honest about the dark struggle of addiction. Words that let her know that she doesn’t have to walk the same path.
Perhaps it’s every mother’s dilemma: how can I raise a confident and strong young woman who doesn’t make the same mistakes I did. Is that possible? Or is it even the right desire?
I want to protect my daughter from making the same mistakes I did. I want to keep her safe, yes in the literal sense from physical harm, more accurately I want to protect her from emotional difficulty. I want to keep her safe from struggle. However, safe doesn’t jive with strong or confident or resilient. One doesn’t become these things by playing it safe, in fact strength is built from resistance…strength is a result of struggle.