chapter 63.

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Scarlett:
"Take a seat," Olivia gestures to the bigger of the two couches, closing the door behind her.

"So," she breathes, sitting on the couch across from me, "Lexie is in the earlier stages of what looks like anorexia."

I had prepared myself to be told something along those, but it still doesn't stop the sinking feeling in my stomach. My heart feels like its coming up my throat as I nod.

"I'm happy that you brought her here, eating disorders are a very serious mental illness and not something you can treat lightly because get out of hand very suddenly with some patients.
As far as her physical health goes, I'd recommend you getting her into the doctor to test for low iron and vitamin d deficiency because obviously her body is not getting the nutrients she needs, and for most patients that's one of the first things to go. They'll also be able to run a full blood count which will give as a more accurate representation of how long this has been going on for."

"Okay, I'll get her in as soon as possible.
How can I help her at home?" I question anxiously.

"Well, there's a lot different approaches that can be taken. As for what works best for Lexie, I think it will have to be trail and error.
I got the impression today that she's not aware of the severity of what she's doing, like most, therefore it might be a little difficult to start getting her back to eating three full meals a day so I'd suggest that maybe you start off with one and see how that goes. If she refuses, which I should tell you to be prepared for, then I'll reassess if we can book for the same time next week?"

"Okay," I nod. "Is there anything else?"
Olivia takes a deep breath and adjusts her position, crossing one leg over the other. "Her weight is a little bit of an issue. It's not terrible, but she is slightly underweight for someone of her age and height though, so I don't want her dropping anymore. Obviously, the only thing that's going to fix that is if she starts eating properly again, but I'd be taking away any scales you have because her weighing herself is only going to feed her eating disorder."

She goes on for a few more minutes as I try to process and take in everything she's explaining.
Once we finish up, she shows me out of her office and I walk out to see my girls giggling. Sometimes I forgot that biologically they aren't related because they are such siblings in the sense that they'll be fighting one moment and laughing the next.

"You ready to go?" I ask. They both agree, Rose getting up and grasping onto my hand. Lexie on the other hand gets an anxious look on her face. "What did she say?"

"We'll talk at home, yeah?"

She nods hesitantly, picking up her belongings before the three of us make our way back down to the car.

__

"I don't have an eating disorder!" Lexie raises her voice at me, very obviously frustrated.

We conveniently arrived home at the same time as my husband, so he offered to start on cooking dinner whilst I spoke to Lex.

Clearly, it's not going too well.

"Sweetheart, I know you think that but it's not true. You need help, even if you can't see that yet."

"I don't want help! I'm fine!"

Lexie has maybe once raised her voice at me before, possibly twice, but I've never seen her be so adamant about something.
I understand it though. Like anyone, she gets defensive when she's in denial.

"There's nothing wrong with me!" She adds, her body language shifting slightly as her defensiveness shrinks and she becomes more vulnerable.

My heart breaks a little bit more when I hear those words come from daughter's mouth, causing my breath to hitch slightly before I take ahold of her hand.

"My sweet girl, I know there's nothing with you. I promise you that. You are the strongest, most beautiful sixteen year old girl in the entire world and nothings changing my mind about that, but you are struggling, whether you want to admit it or not," I speak gently, tucking the hair that's fallen on her face behind her ear.

Her bottom lip starts to quiver before the tears start falling down her cheeks. "I'm sorry," she cries.

"Oh honey, why are you sorry?" I ask, shifting my position so I can hold her in my arms. "I just feel like I cause you so much stress all the time and I'm such a pain in the ass."

"Hey, no, don't say that. That's so far from the truth. I feel like the luckiest Mom in the world to get to call you my daughter, and even if you were a pain in my ass, it wouldn't matter. Nothing is ever going to change how much I love you.
You're going to be okay, my sweet girl. Mama's here for you through it all. We make a good team."

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