Flashback Friday

This piece by Mercy Survivor Lily was originally published on her personal blog, La Petite Maman, and can be viewed here.

Flashback Friday: October – November 2009 at Mercy Ministries (CA home).

I’m missing who I used to be. Or was this really me?

Lily A

Lily B

Lily C

Lily D

Lily E

Lily F

Honestly, I miss being 35 pounds less.

And to be truthful, I feel like no matter how hard I try to lose some weight…even just ten pounds…I can’t seem to stick to “the plan”.

Being a momma saves me, because I am too tired to exercise when my husband finally gets off work (and Lucas has no interest in the gym’s “kids club” or the stroller); there is no way to purge everything I eat because I don’t want to close the door in my son’s face and hear his cries.

(By the way, I can tell you straight up that Mercy Ministries has no clue about proper care for emaciated anorexics).

I gained weight because my husband took me to France during “Christmas break” from Mercy Ministries, which was almost 3 months into my stay.  By December 19, I had gained close to nothing – only about 8 pounds – because staff had no idea about proper nutrition or about helping anorexics/bulimics avoid behaviours.

They had no dietitian or nutritionist the entire time I was there; there was just a nurse, who was INCREDIBLY rude and unempathetic, and who had zero clue how to help me, despite the fact that I flat out told her that I had a history of re-feeding syndrome symptoms, and that starting me off on a full meal plan immediately could cause that.

Anyway, we went to France, and I ate and ate and ate all the amazing foods, because I figured “WHATEVER I GOTTA DO THIS RIGHT?!”

I came back to Mercy Ministries eight pounds heavier after only 2.5 weeks… and the staff immediately made an insensitive comment on my weight/appearance.

Let’s just be real here: I gained that weight by stuffing my face on a daily basis when I got back to Mercy Ministries – and I made that choice to do so because I just wanted to get out of there with my “graduation certificate” and “Mercy ring” so I could tell everyone I was “healed” when I got home.  I wanted OUT.

Whew, sorry, rant.

Extra side-note for people who may think I am just bitter about Mercy Ministries or something:

I graduated from the programme.  I actually let them use my story and photos of my family for promotions.  I blocked out everything they had done, just so I could have a pat on the back and the “good feelings” of “helping” some poor girl “in need of Mercy”.

However, I finally stopped this charade when they photoshopped my family’s photo, including my son’s face, just to make it more appealing for donors.

I finally started revisiting some of the painful memories of my stay there.  Not to say that there weren’t some “fun” times or a couple supportive staff, but this programme is not treatment for women with serious mental illnesses – it is more like a Christian discipleship programme.  And that’s what Mercy Ministries needs to be more honest about.

Written By lilyjaneb