Tuesday 21 June 2011

Old blog from May 2009 which shows the storm clouds were gathering...

Accidentally clicking onto my old local newspaper blog I found this entry following our spring half term vacation in Somerset. Read it and realise that, yes, the storm clouds were seriously gathering... and no-one realised!!! (The eating disorder began to manifest itself more clearly a couple of months later...) Just look what I've written near the end re. 'anorexic'! Aaarrrrggghhh!!!

Meltdown at the Marine Lake

In case you missed it, there was a serious emergency going on by the Marine Lake at Half Term. 15 year old Ben wasn't just having a Bad Hair Day; he was having a Total Image Meltdown…

So there was NO WAY he was getting out of the car when we arrived in Weston from home.

His hair was all wrong. Just as tragic, he’d left his rock star sunglasses at home. His (positively concave) abs were 'fat' and the face wash he'd pinched off me had given him spots.

"You look wonderful", I sighed for the umpteenth time as he carefully positioned each expensive 'putty' covered hair into place.

"I beg to differ", he said in a condescending way, pouting his lips in the car mirror and scrutinising his face from each side.

Honestly, it's worse than having a daughter. He spends more time getting ready in the morning than I ever did. And in my day we didn't have hair straighteners, ionic hairdryers and half the goo, wax, putty, gunk and gel you can get these days.

It was so much easier when Ben was little. Back then he was content with a quick short back and sides at the barbers. A quick rub with the towel, a free lollipop and he was as happy as Larry. Or if funds were tight, a swift once-over with his Dad's electric clippers.

Now he's taken a liking to the rather pricey hair salon I use. Even the 'graduate stylist' costs a sharp-intake-of-breath-inducing £26... Add on the tub of hair goo and you don't get much change from £35.

The only consolation is that hubby's hair costs absolutely nothing to maintain. He’s as bald as a coot.

Anyway walking towards the Marine Lake, Ben was taking a critical sideways glance into every window.

He was pinching bits of 'fat' on his stomach and checking if his (skinny) bum looked 'too big'... "Do you think I'm good looking?" he asked doubtfully.

"I think you look wonderful!" I replied brightly, worrying he may be bordering on the anorexic. But then remembering how he enthusiastically cleared his plate the evening before and feeling reassured it was "just a phase".

"I’m going to dye my hair black", he said. "Oh, and I'm planning to become a Buddhist", he added.

"You're WHAT?!"

But he wasn't listening; he was busy texting his mates. "They’ve gone into town shopping", he said, hating being stuck with us in Weston on a Bad Image Day and scowling as hubby takes a photo of him and me on the beach as we walk towards the Pier.

Crucially that day, I remember trying to find some lunch that suited all three of us. Hubby went for fish'n'chips while Ben went for nothing in particular (I can't even remember him eating) while I went for a sandwich in a cafe later on.


  1. Ack, the benefits of hindsight!

    About your last couple of posts: I ditched my entire treatment team when I reached a BMI of 16. I know this is completely contrary to what people are supposed to do, but they a) told me that getting back to a BMI of 20 was "overambitious", b) continually told me that recovery would get harder before it got easier and c) made me feel like I couldn't do it. Conversely, in between appointments I was fired up, motivated and as confident as a very unwell person on her own could possibly be. I didn't give up on medical monitoring, I saw my GP once a month, my mum helped me if I was really anxious about something, and I eventually just about managed to afford a private therapist for £30 a week out of my DLA, who supported me and helped me learn ways to cope with my anxiety. It wasn't ideal - ideal would have been prompt and effective NHS treatment - but I'm in full remission and healthier than I've ever been two years later on.

    I'm not saying you should ditch Ben's team necessarily, I'm just telling you my story. I think it can work without the professionals, but it's a risk and it requires a lot more effort. On the other hand if they are hindering more than helping Ben's recovery at this point, as my team were with me, then maybe it is time to get rid. Good luck coming to some conclusion anyway :)

  2. Thanks, Katie. I think the best solution for the time being is a 'happy medium' whereby we avoid talk of food and weight at the sessions and focus on therapy almost exclusively. Whenever the W topic comes up, I'll try to change the subject! Also, we might see them less frequently (which they have already suggested) :)