Tuesday 1 May 2012

Time for me to back off...

Anon left a comment on yesterday's blog which, curiously, echoes what has been going through my head overnight. Last night, over tea, Ben and I had a massive row. Not because of the food but because I was fed up to the back teeth of him playing the "poor me" victim as far as his social life is concerned.

After a lot of heated 'discussion', shall we say, it hit me that, yes, I do have to back off a bit now. I can't continue to try and make things work for Ben. I can't 'manage' his life any longer. He is 18, not 8. Okay so, in real terms, he may still be 15 or 16 - having been on Planet ED for nearly 3 years - but the time has come when he needs to learn some serious life skills, one of which being the ability to manage his own life and destiny, especially now the eating disorder is well under control.

And he needs to do this himself.

I can't - and, indeed, shouldn't - try to do it for him.

It's not like back in the Bad Old Anorexia Days when I was petrified that if I didn't steer things in a certain direction, he might go completely off the rails and leave home or take his own life.

He is now at the stage where he needs to take responsibility for his own life. Because if he doesn't learn how to do this, he will never learn how to successfully be an independent adult.

So a bit of 'tough love' is required, me thinks.

After our 'heated discussion' I felt exhausted. Today I still feel exhausted and, to be honest, I've had enough of being the person who looks after Ben and tries to ease him back into real life.

Yes, I know I need to keep an eye on the eating disorder, just to make sure it continues to fade away rather than return. But at this late stage in the recovery and despite all these social and school problems, it should be Ben that takes charge of things.

If he fails to do anything about it and just sits there in "poor me" mode, then that's his look-out.

So, a traumatic few days, but the outcome is good. I'm going to back off now and take a back seat. Just as I should do as a mother of an 18 year old man.

Time for a paradigm shift, me thinks...

Thank you all for your fantastic comments on my recent posts - and thank you Anon for putting into words what I was already beginning to think anyway!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Batty - I so hear your exhaustion, frustration and anger. It's like you are trying to rationalize with a irrational mind. I know that feeling well as I had many years battling that with my young adult daughter.

    I can't help but think that your dear S will not be tortured in his life, if he got accurately and fully Weight restored.

    It's not a simple being "almost there" - it truly is getting there fully so that this tortured brain disease will turn into a healed brain.

    The "poor me" is really ED keeping him in this state of having no friends, life, etc

    And quite honestly, he is stuck in an earlier emotional development. Until his brain is fully nourished and can heal properly.

    He simply can't move forward.

    You can't rescue him for all his life stressors but you can get the focus back on the first step of recovery.

    Your S was a strapping rugby player before ED took over his brain. Getting him to a higher weight (where he was meant to be) will most likely help him towards learning how to deal with life again.

    I'm hoping that there is a way for you to help him move forward with full and accurate weight restoration.

    I know it's hard, but I saw firsthand how much my YA D needed that in order for her to feel like she could be out there in life again.