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Member 11 posts
Posted one year ago
I get what you are saying and have felt the same , the only way i have been able to communicate with my daughter is too seperate the illness traits away from her , so rather than saying , what have you eaten ? or have you eaten . I would say , were you able to ignore the eating disorder talk and eat today , so there is me , her and then the disorder , removing her from it and putting the disorder out on it;s own limb makes a big difference . I don't know it sounds silly but it helps then she doesn't feel you are putting her down or she is letting you down and then you can both work together to move the illness thoughts away and she see's you on her side and thinks of herself with out the voice . Sorry this probably does not make sense but does anthing to do with anorexia make sense half the time !!! But this works for us but all like things with the nauture of the beast only sometimes !
Admin 179 posts
Thanks that does make sense, Ill think about how I can do that with my daughter, I suppose I feel that the waters are so muddied now that I am not sure what I am doing other than feeling overwhelmed, but this is a good way for me to think about approaching it, thank you. I
I have found that its hard to be effective in my response to my daughter, mostly because I feel so close to her and her emotions are so layered and I love her and I want her to recover. In the past I have tried unsuccessfully to not allow any negotiation re mealtimes but that didn't work, she needed to be in control. At the moment she has a low weight and she controls her food and tells me that she is adding more each week. I cannot see any noticeable change in her physique and her mood remains low. It seems impossible to talk to her about what she is eating to say what I rehearse in my head, this is because I worry that she might take what I say to be negative to herself about herself, she says that she doesn't deserve any better. I do feel quite impotent because in a way I feel as if I am gagged she is a lovely young lady and she does not want to be where she is. I know that each person is different, each relationship is different and each eating disorder is different but have you found a way of communicating positively?
I am feeling that the negative body image and mannerisms of my daughter are starting to infiltrate my own thoughts ?
Is this normal ? I also feel embarassed to eat in front of her feeling that she is thinking i am fat and eating too much ?
Does anyone else feel this way ....???
Member 1 post
Hi, I know exactly how you feel . My daughter has always been quite thin and small build since a baby and I have always been yo-yoing up and down with my weight, never really overweight, but a bit overweight and not able to maintain the weight when I do go on a diet. So a terrible role-model for my daughter ! But this has been made more complicated that she went vegetarian then vegan and we can't get her to change at all . I have found I now feel almost awkward eating meat/ preparing meat in front of her . I have found since she was diagnosed anorexic that at first, I just stopped eating much from sheer anxiety and panic, just as I also lost sleep massively and I lost half a stone quickly in a few weeks. Now that I have started to come to terms with her illness, to accept it is a very slow process to recovery , not just a few months, and have made some pockets of time for myself when necessary to stay sane, I have gone back to normal , sleep better and eat better. I do find though, that sometimes I comfort eat to get me through tough days but feel I can't eat something fattening in front of her or I'm being a bad role model again . She is obsessed with healthy eating ( more orthorexia to start with which then branched into anorexia ) , and doesn't trust me to give her a good diet. I have a meal plan for her and I take great care with lengthy planning to give her the right nutrients and calories each day and find things that she will accept and eat so that I don't make it any harder for her than it has to be. So I've made homemade soups as she won't trust shop-bought food on the whole, or made meals from scratch very simply . It's exhausting but I've sort of gotten used to it and I know that if I gave her cakes or biscuits , there would be a direct refusal to eat at all. At least this way, she is eating . She's 17 and trying not to let her negotiate her way at meal times in what she eats is very hard , despite all the textbooks saying there should be no negotiation.
Sorry , I have rambled a bit , but I think that as mums it is very hard as prime carers and we shouldn't beat ourselves up for thinking we haven't done things perfectly . We are doing the best we can and we are their best shot at recovering with the help of a loving family . Yes, i am desperate for her CBT therapy to begin soon and hopefully that will start to help her solve the mental issues, the fears of foods etc... but I know I have to just be there for her - to be the person she can talk to about those fears, and support , and listen . I can't work miracles , which I thought I could to begin with , but my role is nevertheless vital for her . She didn't go into hospital as she wasn't quite ill enough or I suspect... there were no beds available anywhere near , and our psychiatrist believes firmly in the Maudsley Family method .
I am looking over the posts and I wondered how you and your daughter are doing now?
Your reply was brilliant and far from a ramble . It was such a relief to hear someone else feeling the same out there . It can be so isolating dealing with the illness and not knowing if you are on the right path ! Thank you again and yes the Maudsley is good I found Eva Mumsby's book helped me turn a corner that i hadn't been down and we made lots of progress when i read it . She was in our position as a mum and a carer and her tips give you strengh to carry on down the right road .