My dad wrote a beautiful letter to me expressing his feelings when I went to treatment for anorexia. As a lot of us know, it can be hard to get empathy and support from the people we need it from most.
I am blessed to call Glenn Malool my dad… and I wanted to share his words to encourage other parents, young or old, to encourage you to support your children who are suffering.
And also, if you are reading this and are not getting the support you need… borrow my dad.
He is my hero. And I know he would say these same things to you if he could.
A Letter from a Dad to Support his Daughter:
I think Brooke is in a deeper place than I realize.
I want to share something, and I want you to know that this story is about where I think Brooke is and how she needs our help.
If I were to write a book to help bring light to Brooke’s quest and journey the book would be called “Dear Mommy and Daddy: I Needed You Then, But I Need You More Now”.
Close your eyes and dream back to 1989. There is a wide eyed and wide open 6 year old little blonde hair, blue eye angel. Full of vigor, full of life. Never wanted to take naps or sleep. Always the life of a get-together. Never knew a stranger. Attacked every situation with confidence and a smile. Tons of laughter. Thrived to be near her big sister whenever possible.
Every night one of us was there to tuck her in bed. Every morning she woke up to warm hugs, kisses and a warm breakfast. She would skin her knee, and we were there. Church, we were there. Friends, Birthdays, movies, pets, extended family…we were all there.
What gave her strength? We did. Her sister did, her grandparents did.
Fast forward 25 years……Our little girl is now 32 years old with a husband and two kids of her own.
We have recently learned that our little girl is extremely sick. Our little girl has a severe eating disorder. Our little girl is still a little girl on the inside. However, her 32 year old body is just a shell of the pain inside. She has felt lost, out of control, alone, afraid, and guilty.
She feels tornados outside her door that don’t go away. Her gut is a constant tornado. She wants to please, laugh, feel happy and joy. Yet, she can’t.
She wants somebody to understand that she is drowning; and she can’t see the life jacket or the shore in sight. Her chest has been cut open to spill her guts about this disease that has taken control of her life.
This eating disorder has been winning the game for many, many, many years. She is tired but not too tired to fight.
She has to fight for her family. For those 2 precious gifts from God that she loves so much.
In many ways our little girl is 32 on the outside – but still 6 years old in emotional growth on the inside.
Our little girl needs to be held, needs to cry out loud over and over again. She needs us to feel her needs. She is broken, lost and trying to fight.
Our little girl needs our arms of comfort. She needs us to tuck her in bed a few more times until she can do it on her own. She needs to wake up in the morning to our open arms and warm breakfast we used to make for her.
Our little girl is going to be alright…but right now she needs us as much (if not more) than she did when she was 6 years old.
Our little girl will grow stronger with our arms around her. We can help give her the strength she needs to crawl, walk, and eventually run to the days of laughter, joy, and most of all, peace.
Not sure about this book I would write. But I am sure that I’m right on target for what our little girls needs from us. I will hold her every step of the way through her fight and recovery.
It is going to hurt to hear some of the mistakes we made along the way. But you know what? That’s okay.
This is not a one person dance. She needed us then, but she needs us more now!
Thank you, Dad.