How to help your Mother to help you to eat.

Dear L

I haven’t written to you here for a while. Not since you were in hospital and even so, I still don’t know if you’ve read them. But this letter is different. This letter is about how frustrated I feel. Because however much I try to help you, I need you to start playing your part. And that isn’t happening.

I don’t know if you’ve read the last post, but I could have added that to help your daughter eat, you need to be in the same place as her. And that’s a problem for us. Tonight I walked through the door at 7.45pm. I was really tired, having had a long tough day. I’d left a quiche for tea, specially made with one half vegetarian. I made it last night after another long hard day. I left instructions for C to serve it with bread and vegetables. But you weren’t there. You were at your boyfriend’s house, for tea again. The boyfriend who doesn’t know about anorexia, even though he’s been brave enough to tell you about his CF, who told you how pleased the doctors were about his bone density, which is at risk, but he reduces this by drinking vast quantities of milk. You know about bone density don’t you? Because each month that goes by in which you remain underweight, your bone density fails to reach the levels it should. You could have shared this with him. But you didn’t. Because it would make things awkward. And so it goes on, with you both making plans to do the D of E Gold award together, while you chop melon for breakfast, while you avoid the meals we plan and while it still takes you an hour of tears to eat one slice of cake.

I know how hard this is for you. But it’s time for cards on the table. This is bloody hard for us too. Trust me when I say I don’t want to live like this any longer than it needs. But while you prevaricate, avoid and endlessly put every barrier in the way of recovery, we are all trapped in this misery. Except you, I suppose, out living a make believe life where you’re just a naturally skinny young woman who likes healthy food enjoying life with her boyfriend. We all sit at home feeling miserable and helpless. C plans meals which end up in the bin because you don’t call. This just isn’t fair. I don’t want to stand in the way of your new life, but trust me when I say Anorexia is standing in your way far more. I am tired of hearing you want to recover and then refusing to eat and avoiding meals at home. I’m older and wiser now and I’m sick of Ed’s bullshit, being spoken through you. I will do anything to help you beat this disease. But I need you to step up too. It’s time to choose, sweetheart. I will not enable you to live in denial any longer.

All my love, always


PS. You just walked in. You told me you told The Boyfriend about anorexia. This is really brave. Well done.


7 responses to “How to help your Mother to help you to eat.

  1. Wow, this is SO powerful and gives me an insight into how my parents might have felt when I was not complying with recovery. How everyone around me must have felt seeing my continue to lose weight despite ‘being in recovery’ I hope for your whole family’s sake your daughter realises how much better life could be if she opened up, working WITH you and her therapists and began accepting that anorexia is calling the shots right now. Stay strong it will get easier on the whole family. But this post reminds me how RELIEVED my parents must be in the progress I’ve made since 2011 – even if I am 28! S xx

  2. Another very brave post. I do so hope that L reads it. She does really need to understand how trying to support a young person with mental health issues impacts on the whole family. And, of course, L needs to be honest to people close to her – like her lovely boyfriend – about her real self, including her problems. While she refuses to do so she isn’t treating him with the respect he shows to her. L is a delightful young woman in her own right, but like the rest of us she isn’t (what she perceives to be) perfect. Please L be honest with yourself and treat yourself with the respect you deserve. You are clearly unhappy and your wonderful Mum just wants you to be both happy and well. She and C try very hard to help you, but you must help yourself. And helping yourself has to be real, not pretending. You deserve so very much more. But nobody else can recover for you. Only you can do it with the love and support of your family. With my very best wishes for a successful fight against ED.

    • It’s much better now. Am so pleased she told her boyfriend. He responded perfectly by saying it would be great if she put weight on and that she’d look much healthier and better. Bless him.

  3. Pingback: How to help your Mother to help you to eat. | One More Mum's Blog | Know What You Eat·

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