Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

the choices Judas made

“The song touches on students and school violence. It was written by Antje Duvekot. She calls it “Judas” and wrote it in response to events like those that occurred at Dunblane, Scotland in 1996 and most recently in Kauhajoki, Finland in 2008.” (description of song under photography montage set to this song for a school project by username teasedboy)

One of my friends introduced me to Antje Duvekot awhile ago and I have fallen in love with her entire oeuvre.  I was listening to “Judas” this morning and the whole “nature vs nurture” idea and family influence.  I admire Duvekot for this song; it’s a side of Judas no one else has considered.  In all my years of reading the Bible in study groups or Sunday School, Judas’ actions are explained away by the desire for gold.  And I’ve always thought, “Really?  He gave up his entire life for this man and was willing to betray him for a bag of coins?” I have always thought, “There has got to be more to this story.”  Things the authors of the Bible couldn’t have known: Judas’s thoughts and feelings and history and motivation.

This song paints a story of Judas’s childhood (set in modern day times) and compares his family and the way kids treat Judas at school to Jesus’s family.  In the song, Judas is the outcast at school, with an abusive family to return to every afternoon. I mean, God didn’t pick just any woman to bear his son.  He picked a faithful woman, who had a “fiance” who believed in God and had enough love for God and Mary that he accepted and married a pregnant (single) woman in a time that that just was not done.  Pretty awesome, loving parents, no?

Nurture vs Nature.  If Judas had been brought up differently, would he still have betrayed Jesus?  We’ll never know, of course.  But this song makes me think of my previous post “It’s Your Choice“.   In the case of eating disorders, there was a time when the parents were blamed for their child’s illness, and the finger was usually pointed at the mother.  Now we know there are usually at least several different issues contributing to the developing of an eating disorder, from family dynamics to school pressures to athletics to trauma to abuse to media influence to other mental illnesses and the list could go on.

I don’t think anyone is born (Nature) with an invisible Eating Disorder stamp on their forehead.  There are a lot of perfectionistic athletes who are also driven students who don’t develop an eating disorder.  And as for the Nurture side: I’ve seen other people with eating disorders with extremely supportive families, with parents who seemingly don’t care; I’ve seen other people with early childhood trauma and some with “perfect” childhoods.  Some are good at school, some could care less about school.  Some are involved in sports, some are not.  There doesn’t seem to be anything out there that is an automatic eating disorder repellant.

But what about recovering from an eating disorder?  We now know that no individual chooses an eating disorder.  Recovery is another story.  Where does nurture and nature come in here?

I want to throw both nurture and nature out of the window when it comes to recovery.  When it all comes down to it, recovery is still a choice.  No one is lucky enough to have “this one will recover no matter what” stamped on his or her forehead.  It’s a hell of a lot of work.  You can have support, but the work you do is the work you do.  The choices you make are the choices you make.  Your past does not make them for you.  Your family does not make them for you, nor does your treatment team or friends or support group.  You make the ultimate choice to work for recovery and you make all the little daily choices that will keep you on track.

So maybe Judas came from a crappy background.  Maybe he had an abusive father.  Maybe he was an outcast.  Maybe his past did suck.  But when presented with the bag of coins, he still had a choice.  He could have walked away.

Maybe you don’t have the perfect insurance company or parents that can send you to treatment anywhere in the world; maybe you do.  Maybe you don’t have access to treatment at all, or maybe you only have access to minimal outpatient care, or maybe you have access to a really good treatment program.  Maybe your parents will drive you to that treatment program; maybe your parents will choose not to be involved at all.  Maybe Maybe Maybe.

Even with all these maybes, the choice still rests in the palm of your hand.  The past is in the past.  The future is out there somewhere.  But now, right now, you have the opportunity to make a choice.  Will I continue with the eating disorder, or am I going to fight it?  A choice that, in the beginning of recovery, must be made every single day, every time mealtime rolls around.  But it’s still a choice.

Don’t let your past determine who you are now.  What you do in this moment is all you.


June 17, 2010 - Posted by | Eating Disorders, recovery | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. great post, thanks.

    Comment by Janie | June 22, 2010 | Reply

  2. the choices Judas made…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

    Trackback by Mental Disorders 101 | June 24, 2010 | Reply

    • thank you! I hope you keep reading

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | June 30, 2010 | Reply

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