One of the things that has helped me enormously is a book written by Janet Treasure – Caring for a Loved one with an Eating Disorder. it uses the Maudsley method to advise carers how to help and understand. I’ll probably write a lot more about this, but I have often been struck by how often it warns the reader not to get angry or react hostilely to the person with the ED, or Edi, as they are called by the authors. I know it is early days, but angry? I can’t imagine why or how I would be cross with L. Worrried, anxious, confused, yes, but angry? Really? Perhaps I might look back one day and realise that they’re right, but I can’t see it.
But I am angry. Not with L. But with so many other things. Here is a selection
1. With every UK/US/Australia Next Top Model programme ever made. Why not Next Top Brain Surgeon? Next Top Marine Biologist? Next Top Author? Why is our world so messed up that we glorify and celebrate human coat hangers, while at the same time poking, prodding, jeering.
2. With every man that ever stops to comment on what a woman is eating. I’ve lost count of the “You”ll get fat” or “On a diet, are you”, delivered in a way that suggests said woman might actually give a toss about what they think. Why do we have to be so judged, all the time?
3. With my ex husband who sees L every day and yet never asks her how she is or spends any quality time with her, unless it’s something he wants to do.
4. With myself for not helping her more, for not listening, for not seeing how sad she was and for not being there, for always being at work and for leaning on her too much.
5. With clothes shops and their ridiculous small sizes – why not stop making them? Why can’t unhealthily thin people be shown that it isn’t normal or feel stigmatised rather than as if they have attained an ideal.
But I’m not angry with L. I wish she was angry with me though. I would swap her inner sadness for some anger in a heartbeat. I want her to fight this, because she alone can do it, even though she’s far from alone