My mother graduated college, moved across the USA to live with her parents, and worked a job that had nothing to do with her degree. Soon after, she got pregnant with me, and married my father. She was 24. My mother was a stay-at-home mom for the first six years of my life. My mom watched a few other family friend’s children during this time (and received compensation). For my brother and I, it was just like having friends over all the time.

I took it upon myself to “babysit” the younger children. I begged and begged and begged my parents to have a baby (little did I know that was impossible by that time). I became Red Cross babysitter certified when I was eleven, and started babysitting when I was twelve. I never stopped caring for children younger than myself. In college, I was the nanny for the same two families and practically thought of them as my own. I have always innately loved children and have always known that I will have children one day.

In my imaginary future, though, I do not have any remnants of an eating disorder. I am free of the noise that exists in my head, and I accept myself, entirely. It is frightening to think that I could pass this on to my offspring. I would never forgive myself.

There have been times when I even questioned coaching positions because the noise was so loud, I was afraid I would accidentally say something that would indicate insecurity, while I am supposed to be a role model. Being responsible for youth and knowing that the possibility of passing out while simply warming up with the team exists, is not responsible at all.

I also don’t currently trust myself to not relapse. I have felt like, for the past year, that I am only a moment away from doing just that. I am barely hanging on right now, and it doesn’t feel healthy at all.

Our conversations about starting a family lately have increased, and he always says: I want to start trying when you’re ready. And I think he might be aware of the reason why I might not be ready. We joke that I am going to be a complete mess when I’m pregnant because of body changes. But it’s not really a joke. I think we both know that…but neither of us can have a serious conversation about any of this.

If I want to have kids soon, I need to be in a better place. Which means, I need to let more people in. I need to ask for help more frequently. I need to stop walking into a desolate kitchen, and leaving without having made dinner. I need to ask people to eat dinner with me. I need to eat lunch with people. I need to go to the grocery store and get more food, so I don’t find myself in these lunch-and-dinner predicaments.

Why is it so hard? I play conversations of telling people that could be (sometimes need to be) a great support–my husband, my best friends, my brother–over and over in my head, but I can never follow through. I started a lot of conversations with all of these people at different times with something like, “I lost 10 pounds.” And then I expect them to just understand. I expect them to be able to make the connection that this is not an ok thing for me. But what I hear back is; you look great. Or, why? Which should be the time where I say; because I haven’t been eating. But I can’t. When I say it in my head, it sounds juvenile. It sounds ridiculous. It sounds crazy, and I am terrified they won’t get it. So instead, I say, “I don’t know, I guess I’ve been running a lot.” And then the conversation goes nowhere.

I am not sure if all of this processing means I am aware enough that it’s going to be ok. Because if I will always be, to come extent, like this, then I will never be ready to have children…unless just being aware makes it ok. How will I ever know? I need so much validation that I’m not getting from anywhere because NO ONE IS HERE.

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