Thursday 20 April 2017

For all the battle-weary parents out there...

We've been having a discussion on the Around The Dinner Table Forum about how some of us parents are getting along in a 'post eating disorder world' i.e. when our child is either recovered or almost recovered. Most of us have been left with a brain that's pretty frazzled to say the least and we've been wondering how this compares to others who have been through trauma whether another serious and possibly life-threatening illness in the family or something equally as traumatic.

I can imagine life is pretty hellish for anyone who's been through any kind of sustained 'over and above the call' trauma. So in no way am I claiming that our situation is any worse, just that it's different.

The difference for us, as parents of young people with eating disorders, is that we've been fighting so many things at once: we've been fighting a child who doesn't appear to want to get well, indeed who may wish to end their lives. We've been fighting to keep a round-the-clock suicide watch to make sure they don't.

We may have been fighting poor treatment - or unfair or difficult to access health insurance. Or simply fighting to get our child referred for treatment in the first place.

We may have been fighting to keep our careers afloat and our mortgages paid while struggling with sleepless nights and almost daily emergency phone calls from school as our child throws a wobbly and goes to pieces.


We may have been fighting our significant others who may not 'get it' or be actively colluding with the eating disorder.

We may have even found ourselves fighting with the police or security personnel as our child (uncharacteristically) does something crazy and violent.

And of course we may well have been fighting what, on the face of it, appears like PURE CRAZY MADNESS as our intelligent, wonderful, much-loved child transforms into someone who appears to have totally lost the plot and becomes almost feral. A mindset that insists that black is white and where logic goes out the window.

And we may have found ourselves physically fighting our child as they get violent with us.

The chances are we've been fighting a ton of other stuff as well, the most important of which will have been to get our child to eat.

And we've probably been fighting most of it round the clock, day after day, month after month and often year after year, sometimes (God forbid!!!) forever.

It's little wonder we end up a tad frayed round the edges (says she in the Understatement of the Year).

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