A Loss

L is home this evening again. She will also be home this Thursday, which means only one night in the unit this week. We are clearly heading to day patient status, especially after 16 weeks as an inpatient. But this weekend she has lost weight, nearly a pound. I haven’t been able to supervise every meal, but I have tried to do so where I can. She still tries so hard to negotiate every meal downwards, she refuses her Advent Calendar because it contains tiny chocolates, she spurns Christmas food and treats.

And it is triggering my own voice of Ed. I feel fat and greedy for eating a mince pie, or snacking on Pringles with a gin and tonic. I feel huge next to L and as if Ed is mocking me for my own lack of self control. I wonder if my eating is becoming disordered to challenge L and the Ed at her side, to brazenly eat food I would never eat, just to spite her. I dare not weigh myself, in case the scales show a huge gain, proving that I am a greedy pig, that L is better than me, more disciplined and I am just the glutton trying to lure her into my uncontrolled world. I know, just from writing this, that it isn’t true, but I have forgotten what normal is. How are we ever to regain normal eating when L controls, counts and curtails every mouthful and my urging her to eat more summons my own ED demon?

And part of me does feel cross, but I think in a rational way. She isn’t challenging herself, she doesn’t choose the food she likes or push her boundaries. It feels as though her weight Mary have changed, but her behaviours are as rigid as ever. I have no idea how to move her to a different level and I vacillate between the feelings of frustration and failure. I think it may be time for me to challenge her more and to be less accommodating.


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