pearls around the neck • 175
the denial of the most basic need truly eradicate suffering, old, present, real or imaginary?
This equation is obsolete. But the anorexic comes out victorious and then, after a few years of
malnutrition, the makeup of the brain is no longer the same!
I overcame the difficulty once again. I had three children.
But the specter of this infallible and cruel friend resurfaced, of course, at first failure of the psyche.
We lived in Singapore. Mother of three small children, a symbol of the nurturing mom, yet skinny,
dissatisfied and famished, I decided to consult a specialist.
Why bother this dear doctor? I had no desire to gain another kilo anyway. The recipes he prescribed in
order to gain weight served as a warning sign: Careful! DO NOT touch!
He explained however, that the families of anorexics are generally composed of frustrated members,
with ambiguous and enigmatic stories. A dark veil denied me access to life’s pleasures; a nauseating
stench and stink would kill my appetite. “How was your relationship with your mother?”
I was referred to a psychoanalyst… A Chinese! Who spoke bad English? To begin psychoanalysis in a
foreign language is stupidity! However, his Chinese focus and anti-Judeo Christian approach intrigued
“Let’s talk about your first memory of your mother, a memory from when you were two or three years
old”. Response: “We are in Nigeria, it’s fantastic, yes, and it is all fantastic”. He looks at me with his
slanting and smiling eyes: “You have a black and white picture in front of you, right?” He caught me off
guard: “Yes…”. “I ask for a memory, a real one”. Nothing, nothing. “I am sorry… But who remembers
their first two or three years of childhood?” “Very well ma’am, your first memory, not a picture, a
memory ma’am”. “I must have been five years old…”. “And before that, were you happy?”. “Oh yes!
But no memory that is not related to a photo album…” “Well then ma’am, I would say that everything
was going wrong. When memories create a void, it is not good news”.
I consulted with Mr. Cheng only once, because no one was going to declare that my first years deserved
to be forgotten, nobody!
Anyway, we moved every two or three years.
I have tried psychoanalysis at every port, in all cities, in all languages, and rooted in all schools
of thought (Gestalt, Lacanism, Freud revised), based on psychotrops, and silly fleeting trends...
Fortunately, my intellectual curiosity has been contented and satisfied -- the only hunger fulfilled!
It is not up to me to write a treaty about this topic.
I remarried and we had two beautiful daughters. Having two boys and three girls for a total of five
children: a hymn to procreation, a prayer to life. I ate, I made love. And yet again…
I have been hospitalized only once and surely for reasons associated with chronic anorexia and its
origins. But I have been lucky and had much love. I have also learned how to give hugs and receive this
love opening….another door.
Still, my entire life has been shaken by times of crisis, phases of anorexia. Each “difficult” season
weakens me, and my body calls out for this mechanism that awakened at age 12. (Later, I discovered
that age 12 was only a mark on a calendar as the true reasons could have been buried in early
childhood.) When I am thinner, I feel immediately, and miraculously, better. Depriving myself gives
me that stamina, iron will. There it is: I am in control of something, even though it may be what I have