You will have probably worked out that L’s weight is going down. From a flat 53 to a 49kg. To a 16.9 BMI. We are at the edge of the Forbidden Forest. L is striding ahead while I clutch at her arm pleading for her to come back.
But surely, I could just make her eat? Couldn’t I? Well the thing is:
These are the reasons:
1, I’m not here. I’m often late home, out at weekends etc. and when I come home, L has gone to the Boyfriend’s
2, I don’t feel that great either. I want to cry most of the time. I am on high dose antipressants. I have hospital tests pending for another health issue. Feeding an unwilling child takes time, energy and resilience.
3. Others triangulate with an ED. Her dad tells me a soup is enough,my partner tells me she ate as much as him, her friend tells me she ate nothing but she seemed so happy
4. I want her to get as angry as I am. I thought that perhaps if she was given space, she might do this. But the longer I leave her, cutting up apple and making porridge,the longer she is trapped.
5. Because when you have an ED child or a child with a mental illness, everything is a lie. You praise their courage and avoid the stories of their terror at a normal life. You want the world to change around you. You ignore the work you may have to do.
I can’t be therefore every meal and so I am there for none. I despair at my inadequacy. But most of all, I fear for her.