Teenage girl, much too young… unprepared for what’s to come. A baby changes everything.

I’ve been debating writing about this over and over and over for days. But If I can’t write it here–my personal blog–then where can I write it? I’ve tried to never shy back from what’s exactly on my mind. So why start now?

My sister’s pregnant–aka the reason why they’ve moved the date of the wedding up. And here’s the thing: I don’t think that it’s a good, happy thing. Regardless of the multiple reasons why she tried to convince my father and I why we should be happy about it. (My mother, in New Brunswick until Friday–dealing with all the arrangements for my grandmother’s funeral next month–has absolutely no idea what’s waiting for her.)

Now, okay–I know accidents happen. I’ve had my fair share of scares (all thankfully ending with negative pregnancy tests and the purchase of a jumbo pack of condoms.) But the thing is, my sister has always been smart when it comes to safe sex. I always used to joke that she was the queen of the condom. Her and the groom to be have been together for five years–baby free. But it goes deeper than that. When I told my sister that I was disappointed her in and thought she was smarter than this (yes, I’m a bitch. I’m aware) I wasn’t just talking about the fact she was pregnant. It’s because my sister is a hard core bulimic. We’re talking throwing-up-twenty-plus-times-a-day-somebody-call-intervention bulimic.

I could be positive about this–all “maybe this will be good for her, she can finally recover!“–or I can be realistic. The thing is, unlike my family, I’ve always kind of been caught in the middle when it comes to my sister, knowing way more then I wish I knew. And while my parents love to hail from denial when it comes to her eating problems, I look at things truthfully. My sister refuses to get professional help, even refuses to recognize that it as something that will kill her. We’re not talking the kind of girl who throws up the occasional meal when she feels fat. We’re talking someone who throws up every. single. thing. she. eats. And used to hide 2 L bottles of vomit in her bedroom (and this was only months ago, while she still lived at home). That’s why, knowing she’s pregnant, I can only fear for the health of this baby. I was with my sister on Thursday, and it was obvious that she was still throwing up. Now she has the excuse of using “morning sickness”? It terrifies me.

And even if she were to spend the next 7 months not throwing up, what’s going to happen when that baby comes? Mental illness doesn’t just disappear without getting help. It will just be a matter of time before she’s back to her old habits worse then ever. And if she doesn’t kill herself first, the effect of that on a kid? My mother calling herself fat on a daily basis was enough to make me start watching my weight very carefully at a young age (14). Can you imagine if you have to deal with Mom throwing up on a daily basis? What does that do to an unsuspecting mind?

I just don’t know what to do. My father tells me it’s none of my business. Her fiance thinks she’s been recovered for years. And there is a part of me which now wants nothing to do with the next three months, even her wedding and it makes me feel horrible. But she refuses to get help, or acknowledge that she has a real problem, and now it’s not just about her it’s about a baby. A poor, innocent child who didn’t ask to be brought into this world and has no idea the fucked up world it’s coming in to.

(No matter what happens, I will support my sister and her growing family. I love my sister no matter what and regardless of the disappointment I feel right now, I will continue to love and support her. I just needed to get out these feelings before I exploded.)
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5 responses

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and I have to say that this blog post made me cry :(
    I totally understand your stance on the issue, because a baby should not be brought into the world when the mother has not gotten help for something as serious as bulimia. You need to get her to a doctor ASAP, or get her to talk to a psychologist. If she’s denying it, it’s worse in a way; she might not then take notice on the effect it will have on the baby.
    Good luck!

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with the above post. Even though you said you were angry, I think you articulated yourself with an almost chilling clarity.

    The worst thing in this situation is to not doing anything – I’ve had friends with eating problems (lets face it, what female hasn’t come into contact with eating disorders) and doing something, even if it means a chaotic and uncomfortable short term – is always better in the long term, especially if that long term is the health of another human being. How can her fiance not know she is bulimic? Maybe he too is in denial.

    I wish you good luck too, and I hope you can find the courage to stand up for your unborn niece/nephew.

    George

  3. My heart goes out to you. I wish had some words of wisdom, something to bring light to the situation and give a miracle answer, but one doesn’t exist. My only suggestion is, assuming she can carry the baby to term, just be there for the baby as often and best as you can. If you can’t help her, you can help the baby.

  4. oh my gosh that is so scary, you must do what you can to let her doctors and even the authorities know. your whole family MUST have an intervention! she’s not the only sick one, so are your parents and her fiance for enabling this behavior. the baby could die, you must be strong and act!

  5. ouch.

    this is a tough one.

    your sister is obviously drowning in her disease and although you don’t want to be the naggy sister, i think it’s in everyone’s best interest to know the truth about the severity of her illness. keeping your parents in the dark is one thing, but her husband-to-be? how can he NOT know? and as you mentioned: the baby.

    you’re absolutely right in everything you’re feeling. in my opinion anyway.

    i’m not normally one for meddling, but when it comes to an innocent baby’s life… i think it’d be irresponsible NOT to say something.

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