Sometimes honesty isn’t the best policy

When I set out on the adventure of being a mum, I promised myself I would never lie to my children. It didn’t last of course. Along came Father Christmas, a whole complicated lying exercise which involved forging letters, eating mince pies while trying to silently arrange presents late at night and a bit drunk. Magic kisses, the pretence that a kiss from me would make any harm better. Games in the car pretending that blowing at the radio made it louder when really I had a button on the steering wheel. But not real lying, not harmful lying.

Until now. I buy bottles of diet lemonade and normal lemonade, pour the diet lemonade down the sink and fill the bottle with the sugary kind. I add extra olive oil to L’s food, extra cheese in an omelette. She doesn’t know, and I hate deceiving her. But it’s a way to get past the anorexic wall, if she believes it’s sugar free or fat free and it isn’t, we can keep her safe, while her mind heals.

One day I’ll tell her. I just hope it’s not when she’s older, with a daughter struggling in the same way. Here we are on holiday, three generations who have all struggled with food. Eating, drinking and being together, three of us looking anxiously at the one who needs us most.

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5 responses to “Sometimes honesty isn’t the best policy

  1. Hi

    I have been following your blog and send so much love to both you and L.

    I understand your reasons for doing this. I have lived with bulimia for two years and am now gettig myself into recovery. I know though that at times, my partner gave me full fat coke, he gave me butter in my pasta sauce when he thought I didn’t know. But I ate it because my desire to get better is stronger now than my desire to lose weight. I knew he was doing it from love.

    This probably seems a million miles off for you with L but it will happen one day. One day, that beautiful smile will be because she really has done somethig and just feels happy.

    My parents don’t know about my ED, all I can say is that L really is so lucky to have you loving and supporting her

    X

  2. ntil now. I buy bottles of diet lemonade and normal lemonade, pour the diet lemonade down the sink and fill the bottle with the sugary kind. I add extra olive oil to L’s food, extra cheese in an omelette. She doesn’t know, and I hate deceiving her. But it’s a way to get past the anorexic wall, if she believes it’s sugar free or fat free and it isn’t, we can keep her safe, while her mind heals

    ^ this is the worst thing you could possibly do. I am a 19year old girl, who has been struggling with anorexia for 2 years, and been in hospital for about a third of that time.
    Every other person I know with this, is so sure that they’re parents are trying to do this, that they never trust them.
    I don’t trust my mum anywhere near anything I eat, simply because of this. I’m always 100% sure she’s done something to it.
    If your daughter finds out you’re doing this, honestly, it would be awful; I can’t even begin to tell you.
    The fact that she’s trusting you near her food is one thing; food is the thing she’s most frightened of now, and she’s trusting you to help her..
    When discussing this in a group once, they therapist said to parents: if they’re eating enough, then you don’t need to sneak anything in; if they aren’t lying to you, then this doesn’t need to happen.
    I can’t tell you how much I would completely flip out if I found my mum doing this to me; sorry if this it a hurtful comment, but I’m just trying to help you out before she finds out.
    She needs to get better mentally and physically if she’s going to stay out of hospital.. and doing this isn’t helping her mentally. I know so many people (including me) who have left hospital, and been readmitted – I lasted outside of hospital for 6 weeks, because I was so bad mentally and just lost the weight so fast.
    Her mind can’t heal if it doesn’t know the truth; please please stop doing this; food is the only way she will get better, doing this won’t help her or your relationship with your daughter

    • The thing is, Izzie, she isn’t eating enough, as your therapist says. And if food is the only way she will get better, what happens if she doesn’t eat it and ends up in hospital. She is in the relatively early stages and I can see she’s really weak through lack of food. I worry that once she becomes an inpatient, she will just see herself as an incurable anorexic and her teenage years will be wasted while she suffers. She is only 14. But I am grateful for your comments and I will think about it, I promise. Good luck to you in your recovery

  3. Honestly she needs to learn it for herself’; learn to trust food again.
    where abouts are you in the UK?

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