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Should I be home for Christmas?

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I'm not sure if I want to go home for Christmas because I'm healing from a few years of disordered eating that my family is not aware of, and I kind of want to protect my healing space. My family is aware that I haven't gotten a period for a few years. It has come back recently. I haven't told them that I've had any eating issues (it wasn't apparent based on how I looked), I haven't told them that I've been recovering, and I haven't told them that I got my period back. I am afraid that if they see me in my changed body, I'll feel compelled to justify my weight gain by telling them that I got my period.

I am thrilled!! with my progress, but it feels a little premature to tell them all of this. My period has been regular, but it hasn't been back long enough for me to feel 100% confident that it will arrive on time every month yet.

Also, my absence of menses, while not volitional at all, was a concrete indicator to my parents that things were not all well with me. With that, they backed off on pressuring me to check off other life milestones (getting married, having children, buying a house). I am afraid that if they find out that my period has returned, they will think, "great, now you're fixed!" I'm just not ready to face that onslaught of demands.... maybe in a year or so, but just not now. If I had it my way, I would probably want to recover fully (getting back to my pre-disordered-eating weight, feeling comfortable in my body again, feeling confident that I'll reliably have a menstrual cycle) on a private island, and only see my family once I feel like I'm pretty much done with that process. I mean, that wouldn't be so different from how I've always done things in my life - due to a number of factors such as my parents not being familiar with the education system in this country, my parents never really saw my process of how had I had to work to get to where I am academically/career-wise-- they only saw the end results.

I was considering the possibility that I was catastrophizing or not giving my family enough credit, but my parents were literally asking me just last week when I was going to buy a house (with what money? I just graduated from my program a year ago and have no idea where I'd want to settle down anyway), and the moment I graduated they said things like, "great, now that you don't have stress anymore, you can do x y z to help the rest of the family out." So I don't think I'm necessarily distorting things in my mind...?

Other factors: there are also a few terminally ill family members this year, and it is a generally glum Christmas for my family to begin with-- my family almost decided to not have a Christmas party this year. My sibling's SO is visiting this year and I don't really like that dynamic, either.

BUT it makes me sad that I won't see my family just because of this. So much of disordered eating recovery is trying to reclaim various aspects of and relationships in my life, and staying home alone at Christmas seems like just the saddest thing ever and the exact opposite of that. I won't have any opportunity to see my family all together until Christmas next year. By then the terminally ill family members will likely have passed away. I am not super close to those family members, but it is something that crossed my mind. I also don't have other family members or friends I could spend the holidays with.

Should I go home for Christmas?

Please don't write outraged things about my parents because I don't think they're necessarily wrong for having concerns that any loving parent would have for their child.


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