Mothers and (bulimic) daughters

August 31, 2009 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Someone told me her mother has threatened to kick her out of the house if she catches her bingeing and vomiting again. Now she is dealing not only with her eating disorder, but also with the heightened fear of being caught — and fear of the devastating anticipated consequences.

My own daughter does not have an eating disorder, but she is the same age as my reader, and in all honesty, I am probably tempted at least once a week to kick her out. This is an extremely challenging time. But I don’t threaten. I just think it to myself, and then go on to find some kind of a solution or way to cope.

Much of our misunderstanding comes from diametrically opposed attitudes about certain things, and much of the time there are assumptions — and we don’t realize how different the other person’s assumptions are.

Since I still have my diaries, it is easy to remember how it was when I was 16. I can better understand what my mother went through. Not only are the years of adolescence a challenge, but combined with an eating disorder they seem insurmountable.

I hope that this girl’s mother finds a better way to cope. Perhaps she could get some counselling herself, to accompany her through this difficult time. Only too well can I understand her anger and helplessness about her daughter’s predicament — and through that her own suffering. Both of them are in pain and stuck in a horrible situation.

Often I have been tempted to tell my daughter to go live with her father. Once I even said it, and the hurt look on her face reprimanded me thoroughly. It would be easy to have her leave. It is harder to change things — yeah, the good old thousand steps! But I trust that someday she will appreciate that I loved her through it all and that I was willing to go through so much trouble to change/improve the situation. Maybe she’ll never appreciate it. It doesn’t matter. I know I would never forgive myself for not trying.

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Inner strength Things have certainly changed

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