Thursday 16 August 2012

He got his place at Uni!!!

So Ben's place at university has been confirmed - his first choice, a straight "yes" decision from the Uni. I have been jumping up and down and screeching with delight like a deranged toddler. I think Ben is pleased - the trouble is, his mind is still slightly numbed from the leftovers of the anorexia. It's something he's had a problem with over the past three years: the inability to feel positive emotion in the way most other people would, especially at such an important and excellent result.

It may be because he didn't get the A level grades he was expecting. Actually he got BBB when they were asking AAB (it was AAA originally, but he got a grade A in his EPQ so they brought the offer down to AAB).

But, remember, our psychiatrist, the school and Ben had provided detailed support information about his disrupted studies i.e. the fact that he'd missed well over half his schooling over the past three years.

Not to mention the fact that while he was studying for his GCSEs, AS levels and A levels, he was also battling with a devastating illness. Yet through sheer determination he refused to let his studies suffer.

Unfortunately he couldn't control the anxiety and ED-fuelled insomnia that kicked in for the AS and A level exams which meant he sat each exam with very little sleep.

But they've said "Yes"!

And I am immensely grateful to the school for their support - especially the Head of Sixth Form and the school nurse. I am grateful to the CAMHS psychiatrist for her support in Ben's university application - and the University itself for being flexible and human - and recognising that Ben had what it takes to study a single honours degree at a top "red brick" university, a degree that normally asks for AAA entry.

Most important of all, though, I am proud of Ben.

"You've got into one of the best unis degrees by proving to them that you have what it takes to succeed. You have a glowing future ahead of you - and you're not going to let the ED mess it up in any way, are you? Just tell the ED to f*ck off!"

(Please excuse my language!!)

Soon I'll come back down to earth and we'll start planning everything else that needs to be planned.

And the most important thing of all is to ensure that, no, the remains of the eating disorder DON'T mess it all up for him.

30 miles away from the uni, I will be behind him all the way - keeping a discreet eye on things and quietly gauging when - or if - to intervene and provide support.

Armed with the university contract we discussed the other day, which we'll go through again in a few days' time.

Meanwhile I have a list of people to tell: school, school nurse, family, friends and our CAMHS psychiatraist.

I know my dear friend Sue would be thrilled, too. Hopefully she is looking down on us with one of her huge smiles!


  1. How wonderful Batty. This gives such hope to all those young people and their families currently fighting anorexia. Best wishes to Ben to for a very successful time as he starts university.

  2. I am so pleased for you both. As his Mum you have put your all into supporting Ben and speaking from experience I know that can make a huge difference. It is a huge achievement for any one to get into university, but someone who has struggled as Ben has deserves special commendation for his success. Well done Ben (and Batty)!

  3. This is great news - congratulations!

  4. wonderful news - it's a great university with a really good reputation for history.