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The Eating Disorder Slayer

By Charlotte

Today is a milestone. Today is my “one year ago my stomach dropped with fear and anxiety; I was completely paralysed, not knowing what to do on our first trip to A&E, where I discovered the true extent of my daughters eating disorder” anniversary (Try getting that on a greeting card!).

For longer than I should have ever allowed that night, my daughter’s eating disorder had me gripped in a head lock of fear, scared into inaction and not knowing my next move. I was–

Scared to act..

Scared to react..

Scared to not act.

A complete state of stasis and non movement.

That was an awful night, and the morning that followed it was even more harrowing. I had set my alarm at 5am to intercept my daughter at Breakfast time. She wept and balled her eyes out because she couldn’t do her morning breakfast fakery.

Onwards from that, I believe The most powerful thing I did was learn who my enemy was…I learned about it inside out:

What is it

What does it do

How does it work

How long will it last

Why does she do this

Where does she purge

Why does she purge

How does she think

What tricks do they use

When can I let my guard down

Everything…I’ve learnt everything I possibly can about this illness ( and sure, I’ve got more to learn)!

Then, after learning, I made choices. Life is full of choices. I made the decision:

My house

My daughter

My rules

What will I accept

What will I not accept

And I stuck to them…

I changed my approach and became “The Eating Disorder Slayer”; and quite honestly, if I make the choice to become an unstoppable eating disorder killing machine, who’s going to stop me?

My daughter?

You?

CAMHS?

No one! That’s who!

Because I’ve made that choice in my head long ago. I live and breathe all things eating disorder, and I’ve made it my goal to annihilate this monster out of our lives.

We are not there yet!! We are not there.

But this is a long process I’ve undertaken

I understand the longevity

Committed myself to go the distance

It is what it is

I’m making the choice to NEVER allow it to hold me in that state of fear ever again

To never hold my little girl in that state of fear. She never ever deserved to feel that scared and alone.

Neither did your beautiful children.

I’ve chosen to protect her from that night 1 year ago…

I monitor

I watch

I enforce

I safeguard

I protect

I love

No one is going to stop me.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Laurel

    Charlotte- I stand beside you in the battle to slay the eating disorder monster. Our armour is getting stronger and we will win. Thank you for your beautiful, powerful words.

  2. Shirley

    Good luck Laurel, it’s a really hard road and your words are inspirational. It’s hard to keep going but we have to. They need so much love. I’m just hoping love is enough.

  3. joslyn biggins

    I hear! I agree! I’ve investigated the Internal Family Systems modality and am trying to approach my daughter’s ED with ferocity and compassion. Take a look at IFS and the therapeutic modality of IFS. It’s been a game-changer for my daughter and I.

  4. Doreen

    Charlotte, I absolutely agree with you. I read your compassionate words. My daughter has been sick going on 24 years now and lost everything that meant anything to her. She only functions today and very little more. She was so so close to receiving her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing after 5 years of working so hard and helping her friends with their struggles only for them to have completely disappear. No phone calls, no texts, no emails, NOTHING. When this started with my daughter at 14, I was clueless and it didn’t matter how much I educated myself, how much I read etc, it only got worse and here we are today. The biggest issue with my d today? She doesn’t want help anymore, they failed her and I am trying so hard EVERY day to pick up the pieces. It’s heartbreaking to see her slowly dying.

  5. Eva Musby

    It’s interesting that Joslyn mentioned Internal Family Systems (IFS), because in that psychological therapy model all ‘parts’ are considered to have taken on a well-meaning (but often misguided) role to protect the person. For instance, not-eating is a (misguided) way of reducing anxiety, or of avoiding being fat-shamed. The therapy avoids demonizing any ‘part’ and there is no attempt to kill it, as this might make the ‘part’ hang on even tighter to the job of protecting the person. The therapy aims to acknowledge how a ‘part’ is well-meaning, and to find a way for the ‘wise self’ to take over the job of protecting the whole person, so that the misguided ‘part’ can let go of doing such a (terribly bad) job.

    Very different: the ‘externalizing’ model that we’re most commonly given in eating disorder treatment, where “ED” is an evil creature to be obliterated.

    The intention of this externalising metaphor is for us parents to blame “ED”, not our child. And for our child to not blame themselves for their illness.

    I’ve noticed that while the metaphor may work for some parents, it can be vigorously rejected by some young people, who then feel even more misunderstood. Indeed, some of our children do indeed relate to a bullying ED in their heads, others relate to an ED ‘part’ that is a friend, and some don’t relate to ‘parts’ at all (“It’s not ED who’s furious, it’s all me!!!”)

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