Tag Archives: brother

“To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” – Clara Ortega

Today, is my brother’s birthday. Chris is turning twenty-two which in some ways does make me feel extremely old. Right now I believe he is on a plane to a conference where he will present a paper he wrote. I am beyond proud of him for this and for many things. He has become a man (weird – he’s a man) who is smart, respectful, compassionent, insightful, funny, sarcastic, thoughtful and many other attributes. And our relationship has come a long way in the six years. 

Flashback to our childhood: We were friends. We played together. We dug holes in the mud. Created entire worlds that our Beannie Babies existed in. Dressed up together, played hot wheels and soared through the neighborhood on our bikes often accompanied by our cousin. We were each other’s playmates, best friends and whole word.

Flashback to high school: You could safely say Chris and I hated each other. Well hate may be too strong a word but we definently weren’t friends. High school was hard for our relationship. We had different friends, different beliefs and little in common except our ability to fight with one another.

Flash back t0 2008: I was in college, Chris a senior in high school. That Christmas was horribly hard for both of us. We were barely speaking. I was in the midst of a horrible relationship, my life was beginning to crumble and Chris was dealing with his own brand of trouble.

Flashback to the fall of 2009: I returned home from college after only two weeks. Emancipated, weak, emotionally exhausted, dying. Chris, unhappy at school. This was when we began to talk. On our long drives that Chris would take me on because this was the only time I could fall asleep and I needed out of the house. He was my caretaker in many ways while my parents navigated insurance for the first time and tried to deal with the fact that their daughter was actively dying.

Flashback to Laureate: Family week – Chris accompanied my parents for Knees to Knees. A powerful exercise in which we were surrounded by the entire group of parents and patients. Each member of my family came up to me held my hands and then we each expressed our regrets, requests and appreciations. What 18 boy is capable and willing to do this? My brother was. He cried openly. He held my hands. He apologized  I apologized. And our relationship was strengthened.  Later, he attended family week again with just my dad and sat through family therapy learning how to support me. Going out of Laureate he was my cheerleader, my support and at times the one who could say the hard things and tell me that I needed more help when I was reluctant to admit it and my parents were reluctant to push.

Flashback to The Center for Change: Chris left his new school to fly to Utah for family week with my dad. This time he participated in molding. I ‘molded’ our family relationship. It required him to again stand up in front of a room full of parents and patients and let me place him where I thought he stood in my relationship to our family. He cried. I cried. And the girls melted. It was talked about for weeks how much of a support Chris was for me and how unusual it was for a brother to be able to be that kind of a support person.

Flashback to the beginnings of my recovery: Chris showed me laughter. Our relationship flourished like never before. We were friends. We were living life together. We talked on the phone. We shared our experiences.

Flash forward to today: Chris no longer takes care of me. We are equals. He moves forward in his life. And will soon be starting a new chapter. I could not be prouder of my brother. He has accepted Ben far more than I could ever, ever ask for. I am excited to travel to his school next weekend and see the life he has built for himself. I am glad that he will be home this summer because something tells me this may be the last time he lives near me for awhile. I no longer worry like I once did that he will fade away and cut off contact with me. I know that he too cherishes our relationship.

I love you brother. Happy Birthday.

1996?

2001ish

2001ish

easter8thgrade

2003ish

2005

2005

2006ish

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2007

chrisandichristmas

Christmas 2008

2009

Two months before Admitting to CFC

At CFC

At CFC

First month home from CFC

Summer 2011

Washington DC (after inpatient trauma stay) 2012

2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012

“To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” – Clara Ortega

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Filed under eating disorder, eating disorders, family, life events, Life Story, New Life, quotes, Recovery, the past

my one year blogiversary

The 21st was my one year blogiversary (aka I’ve had my blog for one year). My first post was called “A Start” and in it I included a vague description of  what I intended my blog to be:

I hope my blog will be filled with encouragement and progress but I am trying not to pass judgement on that fact. I am committing though that this is a recovery blog. I know if I begin to let myself drift into topics of sickness or behaviors I will only end up hurting myself and my recovery. So right now my goal is simply to let this be a place to write my feelings down, share what I have learned and honestly pass the time.

I think that I can say that my blog has been this and perhaps a bit more. I have talked about my recovery but also my struggles (the ones I feel comfortable discussing). I have also talked about the media and how it effects me as a person and the women I know who suffer from eating disorders. My brother also honored me by writting a blog post (my second most viewed post) from his point of view, “It Takes an Ocean not to Break” which encouraged and helped me to continue on in the ensuing posts which turned out to be the most difficult so far in my recovery. His post still makes me cry and extremely greatful and blessed for the support of my brother and other family and friends.

But I have great faith that she will weather this storm, even if it requires the assistance of her family and her friends and takes a while to find the right help. I have faith because my sister is strong. Because, it does take an ocean not to break: an ocean’s worth of persistence. You can’t just drain an ocean in one try, anymore than the horrible, terrifying, times Kate must feel can break her. Kate is a survivor, at the center of a web of relationships of people (her family and friends, my own friends who have never met her but do so much more to help her than I could ever have asked of them) whose great love for her motivate them to take actions at great costs to themselves without hesitation because they love her.

I shared my one year recovery (out of treatment) anniversary with those who read my blog and I wrote my second Letter of Hope (my first was written when I left The Center for Change) with those who follow/read my blog but mostly for myself so I could recognize where I have come from and also how far I have to go.

In the last year I have realized that what I am choosing to call recovery is actually called life. Life is a series of ups and downs (or so says what I have been told) but I never allowed myself to actually experience life so how can I know what life is like? I’ve learned my data on life that I learned for the first twenty years of my life really needs to be updated.

The post with the most traffic on this site has been my post “I Will Not Go Back to that World” written during NEDA week 2012. I intended it to be an informative post on what eating disorder are and what sufferers experience but instead it became an honest post of how my eating disorder still intrigues me and how I never, ever want that pain again.

I want what I had. But then I remind myself that I don’t. I don’t want the despair, I don’t want the hopelessness, I don’t want the weakness, I don’t want my voice to leave, I don’t want relationships torn and fragmented, I don’t want to spend another birthday away, a fourth Christmas in a treatment center, another year and a half isolated from the world. I’m not sure yet what life is going to look like for me now as a person in recovery and someday hopefully recovered but I do know I have to fight. I have to work. I have to come back from that cruel, cruel world in which I once existed.

I’ve blogged a LOT about dogs and shared my decision to receive a service dog through Heeling Allies. I shared the progress my family made as we fundraised and the fact that we miraculously raised all of the money through the support of my hometown, family and friends. And then I had the priveldge to share Ben, my service dog who will arrive July 31st.

I’ve blogged about a lot of other things. Some meaningless to everyone and possibly me (now that several months or a year has gone by) but also some “big” things that still matter a lot to me. I haven’t regretted any of my blogging entries and that is what I wanted most to be able to say. I’ve added other pages (see above) and updated my Gems of Hope page to contain a LOT of quotes. I’ve had a lot of Sunday Song posts and different pictures, quotes and pins of the week. A years worth in fact. 🙂

I don’t know if I’ll be writing a second blogiversary post. I hope so but who knows what a year can bring. But for now I’ll pass this milestone as I have all of the others this year. With friends or with family simply living.

And right now that means  a night of watching crappy t.v. with A. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Filed under eating disorder, eating disorders, family, friends, Identity, Independence, life events, New Life, PTSD, Recovery, survivor, the past, trauma

what’s next? p.s. i’m back.

Before, I begin let me tell you a) this is Kate. I’m back and b) that I am going to have two posts today. I try not to fill up your inbox, google reader or brain with too many posts but I wanted to have my normal Sunday Song post and I also wanted to explain a bit about where my week took me.

As my brother, who wrote a post that made me cry and I think perhaps gave you a glimpse into the wonderful support I receive from him and how big of blessing he is to me, said I was in Missouri receiving help for my trauma. Or at least that was the plan. To make a very long week short my insurance does not cover trauma treatment. While I am lucky to have insurance that covered some of my eating disorder treatment there are still many areas in which my coverage is lacking. One of these areas is that trauma treatment is not covered. One of these days I will have my mother write about the insurance battles she fights regularly on my behalf. By the way if you didn’t know my mother is a lioness when it comes to get the best care for Chris or I.

Anyways, I did spend some time in a facility in the Kansas City area but was transported by ambulance (a requriement since they did not want to release me yet) to Prarie View in Newton on Wednesday night. Now, if you have never ridden in an ambulance for three and a half hours it is a unique experience. Apparently, ambulances aren’t made for comfort however when you are on new medications which make you incredible tired you can sleep through bumps, uncomfortable seat belts and EMTs that have nothing to do but stare at you. Sooo that was an experience to say the least. I did receive some benefit from the week I was away. They started me on a new medication that is making some sort of dent in the depression that has been deliberating for the last month or so (although like I mentioned it does sedate me).

The question for me now is what’s next? My brother has so much faith in me as do the rest of my family and my plan is to now borrow from that faith, strength and support for the next however many months, weeks or days. We are preparing to go to battle with the insurance company to try and gain a single case agreement so I can receive inpatient or residential treament for my trauma. It is going to be a long battle for sure with perhaps no success but my parents are willing to try (if you have hints or tips for dealing with insurance companies I’d love to hear them btw!). The reality is that while I can possibly do the work I need to do outpatient, inpatient treatment would be invaluable at this point and speed up my healing progress. It is not yet imperative that I receive it but it would be helpful in helping me truly move “onward and forward” as my favorite doctor says.

Thank you for all of your support and prayers. Thank you Chris for being a huge motivation for me as I continue on my path to recovery. I have realized I am loved more than I know.

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Filed under depression, family, friends, life events, New Life, PTSD, Recovery, survivor, trauma