Today was Leavers' Day - when the Upper Sixth Form leave school to start exams - and Ben managed everything OK, I am delighted to say. Photographs, buffet lunch, headmaster's speech and so on... he stayed the course.
Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
This is what one mother said when her (recovered 20-something) daughter asked what the "biggest piece of advice she would give another parent" going through what she and her daughter had been through together. "Get help before they turn 18."
Saturday, 26 May 2012
It had been hard work to get him there. Several invitations from peers and members of staff, in fact I know the staff really, really wanted him to be there. And he made it as far as the dinner venue itself, in the school hall. I dropped him off and went to the supermarket on the way home. Then he called me. He couldn't handle it and needed to leave quickly...
Thursday, 24 May 2012
I hate that part of funerals. You know, when they carry the coffin or casket into church and place it at the front. Knowing that my dear friend was in that coffin made it doubly hard, as did standing at the front of the church mid-way through the service, with her right beside me, as I talked about the difference she had made to our lives.
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Today is my friend S's day, the day when we 'say goodbye' to her earthly body, the body that let her down in the end and imprisoned her, so I imagine that wherever she is, she's pretty darn glad to be rid of it. It's a sunny day, and listening to the Beach Boys 'Surfing USA' on the radio, I wish I could believe that she is surfing somewhere, on some amazing blue ocean, her long hair streaming out behind her. (She always longed to grow her original long blonde hair back...)
Saturday, 19 May 2012
When an eating disorder like anorexia is dominating your life and thoughts 24/7, it's really hard to focus on anything else, let alone 'small talk' or trivia. Yet so often, as a desperate parent of a child with an eating disorder, you're forced to suppress this about-to-erupt volcano of emotions to talk about the weather, who won the X Factor or some other similarly mind-numbing tat.
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Along with the anorexia recovery contract, walking and talking is one of the most important things Ben and I have done over the past couple of years. Back in the days of 'high anorexia' we'd do umpteen walks in the local countryside and parks, especially when he was off school semi-permanently. We'd walk and talk once, twice or three times a week, through spring, summer, autumn and winter. Initially, and for a heck of a long time... almost a year... I might as well have been talking in Chinese...
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
What with work, my dad's illness and death, my mum, school and Ben's eating disorder, I didn't get to see my friend as much as I would have liked to. Also, because of her cancer we couldn't always go out and do things that 'normal' friends would do. So most of the time we just sat in her living room, talking. And, in the days when she could still walk a mile or so, she'd come round here with her sweet little Shih Tzu dog, Benji.
Monday, 14 May 2012
One Sunday back in March 2010 as Ben was busy falling off a cliff into the worst of his anorexia and I was crying out for help and support, I went along to the local baptist church for the first time. I was desperate for support, any support, anything really...
Sunday, 13 May 2012
It's not been a good week inside Batty's head. Thankfully Ben's eating disorder has only been a very small part of it. But all week long I've been anxious and on edge, unable to concentrate, unable to write my blog properly, unable to sleep and - today - unable to get out of bed.
Friday, 11 May 2012
Said my sister-in-law a year ago when we spent a couple of days with her for Granddad Matty's funeral. With so many people arriving left, right and centre, the easiest thing to do was for everyone to have fish'n'chips, the prospect of which, of course, sent the eating disorder into turmoil...
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
The interview wasn't live so I've no idea how much of the footage Sky News will use until I see it (on Saturday, I think). So how did it go? Well, as with the Lorraine Kelly show, it's a bit of a blur to me.
"Did you put just one tablespoon of oil into the bolognaise sauce? Because it's normal minced beef, not lean mince?"
Anyone who knows my style of writing knows I can ramble on. But, as a copywriter, I am also a dab hand at editing things down to the bare essentials so it fits within the allotted space on the website, brochure or whatever. So, in a bid to cram up on what needs to be at the front of my mind this afternoon, I've taken our Lorraine Kelly interview and other notes and come up with this:
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
I hate being on the telly but if it's going to raise awareness of teenage boys and eating disorders, then so be it - only I'm not sure whether or not this latest interview will be happening. Like all these things, it's always 11th hour and rushed which I find hard to deal with because I like to prepare for things properly, especially with a topic as serious as anorexia in boys. I thought the Lorraine Kelly show appearance was 11th hour but this could be even more 11th hour. I managed to get my voice heard on Lorraine Kelly, but can I do it again?
Following another anxiety-fuelled sleepless night, Ben decided not to go into school again today which resulted in H rushing up to his room and both of them screaming at each other. Then H comes back downstairs with the old familiar "I'm sick of all this. Just let him get on with it. If he wants to effing kill himself then let him effing kill himself. It's like being on drugs; he'll never recover. He's stuck with it, for life." And so on...
Monday, 7 May 2012
Ben refuses to see a therapist to tidy up all those loose ends. So although I had a long and fruitful chat with JH, the private therapist we used for a while in 2009, Ben refuses to play ball. However a dear friend of mine has suggested someone else who may be even more relevant and who Ben might just say yes to.
Thursday, 3 May 2012
Tuesday, 1 May 2012
My dear friends on the ATDT forum (for parents of young people with eating disorders) pointed out this sad link to a report about a beautiful 19 year old girl who lost her fight with anorexia. To me, the bit that stands out the most is where her mother says: "...Beth was not a child so I could not force her to get help." As I say on the ATDT forum: "I live in dread of my 18 year old son relapsing and me being unable to do anything about it because of the law."
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.