Monday 31 October 2016
During the months and years when my son's anorexia was at its worst and he was at his most volatile and violent, I was caring for him alone. My husband was working away. Okay, he was back at weekends which did take some of the strain off me, but for quite a long time he didn't 'get it' which raised a risk of him 'undoing' any good that had been done. Eating disorders have a habit of encouraging triangulation within a family and 'taking sides' with the person most likely to allow the illness to continue its destructive path. And so I found myself taking on the lion's share of the care - and, as a result, the flack that was hurled back at me from the eating disorder. There were all the other issues, too, like fighting to get him treatment and battling to find a common ground with his treatment team so we were all 'on the same page' and not colluding with the eating disorder or undoing any progress that the other may have achieved.
If you're one of my Facebook friends you'll know that I've received a huge response from other parents as a result of yesterday's post about my struggles with PTSD (or Complex PTSD as I like to call it - the brain's response to sustained / prolonged trauma). I am far from unique; other families that have struggled with eating disorders experience this too. Of course everyone's experience is different, just like their experience of eating disorders is different. But I expect there are many common denominators.
Sunday 30 October 2016
I've talked about this on and off for the last couple of years or so - the PTSD-symptoms I've been having following my battle to help my son overcome his eating disorder. For quite a few months everything was relatively OK; I wrote my book, and a second book; I did talks on eating disorders; I appeared in the press, on the radio and TV talking about eating disorders in boys; I attended eating disorder conferences and, of course, I blogged here regularly. Then one day everything changed. I can pinpoint the actual day.
I'm well aware that I haven't been blogging very much over the... well, for quite some time... and it's been difficult to get myself to pick up where I left off (more about that later). On the Ben front, everything is going swimmingly. He is back at uni, now studying for his Masters Degree and sharing a house with the same guys as last year. One of his home-based friends has joined the uni this year, so that's added to his growing list of student friends. He's been voted onto the committee of the university fantasy role-playing society for the third year running and has joined two further nerdy societies at the uni. So life is very busy for Ben and such a massive contrast with the way things used to be when he was battling with anorexia.