The Epilogue

“Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

are brutal holidays in our family.”

Tommy, Cammy’s brother.

This is the story of the Robinson family – and the aftermath suffered in losing their 26 year old daughter to bulimia. Working closely with the family Laia Abril reconstructs Cammy’s life telling her story through flashbacks – memories, testimonies, objects, letters, places and images. The Epilogue gives voice to the suffering of the family, the indirect victims of ‘eating disorders’, the unwilling eyewitnesses of a very painful degeneration. Laia Abril shows us the dilemmas and struggles confronted by many young girls; the problems families face in dealing with guilt and the grieving process; the frustration of close friends and the dark ghosts of this deadliest of illnesses; all blended together in the bittersweet act of remembering a loved one.

“Mother’s day and Father’s day are brutal holidays in our family”, Tommy, Cammy’s younger brother has been throughout depression and anger periods since she past away 8 years ago. Her mother, Jan, can not hide her shame when she declares having very hard time with guilt since she was in “diet all her life” and how that kind of things might had affected Cammy. Wejun, her father points how mourn affects in very different ways since he has not been able to listen music since he lost her little girl.  Cammy had a ‘great support system’ and the resources of treatment to recover; however her story is one of the many which bulimia has a fateful end.

Cammy struggled almost her entire life with an Eating Disorder. Born in an “environment was full of successful and beautiful people, with high expectations; and having ADHD and predisposition to gain weight, make her very vulnerable”. Struggling with a difficult adaption in her girl’s school, she developed a binge disorder arriving to a 250 lbs which the family and doctors fight with the famous and now banned drugs Phen-Phen. After taking her from the pills, and facing the collage period with the natural fears of a young one, plus the fear to being overweight again, Cammy started binging-purging behaviors which end up on having her first cardiac arrest due the low potassium. From that point everything changed in her family and friendships; they spend many years “trying to fix her”.

“People said: ‘You would not have done any different.’

But yes, I would have.”

JAN, Cammy’s mother

Her bulimia was very bad in her early twenties having two other episodes close to death due two seizures, “at some point was like watching somebody commit suicide, but right  in front of you”. However, all her environment really had hope the moment Cammy start dating Adam, “It was a time in her life where she did not have to try to be anybody she was not anymore. “She have promised she had quick vomiting and she was ‘the happiest in her life’ but apparently her family was  also in denial; “when she met Adam, she was acting so much better; but she was definitely too thin and Her bank statement when she died, was a long list of fast food places, so she was still doing it”. Unfortunately, she had been struggle too long with an Eating Disorder that consumes her body in silence, and at the age of 26 she had a seizure which ended in a heart attack which was fatal.

Once again I tried to open the boundaries further the most avoided agents of Eating Disorders; and decided to tackle the death and their collateral victims. This new chapter shows the dilemmas and struggles confronted by many young girls; the problems families face in dealing with guilt and the grieving process; the frustration of close friends and the dark ghosts of this deadliest of illnesses; all blended together in the bittersweet act of remembering a loved one. 

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