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Member 1 post
Posted one year ago
My daughter was diagnosed with anorexia last June, we've been on a roller coaster since then. The first few weeks she was kept at home and the whole idea was to bring back her weight to a normal level which wasn't very easy and with a few set backs but we've managed to get to a safe place. She is 13 now, her eating is ok, she is always counting her calories and never at peace with herself but at least I can say she is eating. The difficult bit is the mental emotional side. It is affecting the whole family, everyday is a battle these days. She gets irritated very quickly, I always need to measure my words because she will always find a way to misunderstand me, i am not sure if that's the teenage years or the illness or both together. I feel so helpless and alone. I don't know what to do or say, I show her love then get upset and cross then cry then feel more helpless, I just don't know what to do and how to make her happy and less miserable. her therapist said it is part of the transition and she is angry with herself because she is eating and will take the anger out but I find myself not knowing how to help her.
Admin 154 posts
Posted 9 months ago
It has been a few months since this post, I am looking over the posts and I was wondering how you and your daughter are getting on?
My heart goes out to you, my daughter is also an anorexia sufferer and I recognise so clearly what you say and what you feel. The first thing that I want to say is that you are doing a good job, because you are there for her, she knows that and although she isn't showing it and probably isn't realising it. it does help her and offer her some security. My daughter began with anorexia much later in her teenage years although she was a complete challenge as a teenager, she did not have anorexia then but I think that this was the seeds of her depression, anxiety etc. that maybe lead to the eating disorder. The teenage years are a really scary time for most. Some teenagers, (not all ),are challenging, it is a time of challenge, change, insecurity and expectation heaped upon their shoulders. No one knows clearly what leads to eating disorders but from my experience it seemed to be a way of coping with the things that terrify you by controlling the things that you do have some control over.
What I am going to say to you now is based on what my daughter has told me over the time that she has been battling the eating disorder, her recovery has been a long and reflective process with ups and downs I am not an authority, it is just my experience. But for my girl her life was full of fear, fear that went deep, she began by controlling her feelings by controlling her food, pretty soon it was controlling her and terrifying her. At times she talked about the anorexic voice that would not leave her alone if she ate.She is a spirited girl and was all of those things that you describe and I did and sometimes still do feel helpless, I would tell her that I love her and she would say that she knows that but it doesn't help. It has cast a dark shadow over the family from which we are still emerging. She was most extreme in the early stages but she does listen now, she does care and she tells me and shows me that she loves me and your daughter will do the same.
It is important to look after yourself, to make sure that you have a way of getting rid of those cross frustrated negative feelings away from her (that is why there is a category for that on this online community),so that you are calmer when you are dealing with her. Try to plan with her what the day is going to be, so that she knows what is going to happen and when. If she is calorie counting then you can do that with her maybe make a meal plan so that again there are no surprises for her but at least you know what she is eating. I did and still do keep any discussion about food well away from mealtimes and then I used to have a distraction of something that she would like doing after the meal time that will distract her from thinking about what she has eaten. Calorie counting was a complete focus for my girl, she even had an app on her phone that somehow kept a record, we soon deleted that, I didn't ever really say no to calorie counting , I just made my displeasure clear and it sort of died out for her,
Also away from mealtimes I would encourage her to talk about anything that is troubling her, this is sometimes easier if you are doing something like going on a walk etc.
Having a child with an eating disorder is scary and all consuming and it feels as if the life that you had has disappeared with the child who also seems to have disappeared, but they are still there its a journey, but it wont always be like this.
Please do use this online community to help you on the journey