The following is an excerpt from Danielle Sherman-Lazar’s book “Living FULL: Winning My Battle With Eating Disorders.”
My mom called my dad in the car on the way home from work with me, when she discovered that I slipped with laxatives for the second time in my Maudley recovery:
I cried all the way home as he expressed his disappointment in me as a person, and even more hurtful, as his daughter. We got home, and as we pulled in, I saw the outline of my mom at the door peering out: her long brown locks, medium-height lanky body, and long skinny arms. How would I get around her without talking to her?
I opened the car door and slithered out like a rattlesnake making its escape, slammed the door shut behind me, and ran past my mom up the back stairs and hid. Yes, you read that correctly, I hid, like a little girl avoiding her spanking. Through the vents, I could hear them talking, but only in murmurs. Then they shouted for me: “Dani! Dani!” I stayed in my hiding spot, paralyzed.
I hid in a closet in my room under hanging clothes, squishing old shoes with my butt and legs, for what seemed like a long time. I whimpered but tried to stay as quiet as possible. It was hot and dark with a little light peeking through the bottom. I saw the backs of dresses from when I was younger. One was dark maroon. The dress I wore to my bat mitzvah. I felt the texture; hard, almost stale. Over my head was the suitcase where I used to hide laxatives: now I was hiding because of them. I’d reached a new low.
“Dani, Dani! Is this a joke? Where are you?” I heard my mom’s faint footsteps far away.
“Did she leave the house?” asked my dad.
I heard the front door open and slam shut.
Tucked quietly away, I let them panic. I let them squirm the way I had been squirming these past couple of months, tiptoeing around them, trying everything to please them, following their every fucking order so I wouldn’t be hospitalized. I resented my dad’s reaction; I resented my mom for busting me the way she did. She could have just waited until we both got home, instead of making me get stuck in a car with someone who saw this as the ultimate betrayal.
“You are going to be in big fucking trouble whenever you come out!” I heard my dad scream. Not exactly motivation for me to move. I closed my eyes and tried to slow my breathing, hoping the walls from the closet would close in and suffocate me, end it all right now, right here . . .
“Dani, please, we are not mad at you,” my mom countered his lunacy. Her panicked voice made me feel a little bad.
About ten minutes later, I opened the closet door from the inside, revealing myself. I picked myself up slowly, feeling weak and defeated as I called out, “I’m here, I’m here.” But my voice was a whisper, not the shout I’d intended. “I’m here. I am coming!” I called again, this time louder.
I walked down the front stairs and found them both in the kitchen.
When I saw their faces, I apologized through broken whimpers and tears. My parents both embraced me. I snuggled into my dad’s chest, hiding my face and tears in the warmth of his body. I cried for my parents. I cried for myself. I cried because I didn’t think I could do this anymore. I just cried.
Danielle Sherman-Lazar is an eating disorder advocate, Vice President of a transportation company, and a mother to two daughters, Vivienne and Diana. She has been published on Scary Mommy, ellenNation, Project Heal, Love What Matters, Cafemom.com
, Beating Eating Disorders, Her View From Home, Motherly, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Recovery Warriors, Humorwriters.org
and many more. She has also contributed and has been featured on Today Parents and the Today Show. Follow her on her blog
Living a Full Life After ED and follow it on Facebook
. She loves to be in touch with her readers and anyone that needs hope or guidance in eating disorder recovery. She writes about recovery from eating disorders and motherhood — a lot of time both together — her two passions in life. Danielle writes, works and lives with her family in the Tri-State area.