National Eating Disorders Association

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d33witt
My 13yo girl is hurting

This is my first post. My worst fear has been confirmed when anorexia was recently confirmed in my daughter, also ambitious, clever and an animal lover. The first lesson I've learned is to avoid power struggles, but my God, when you're kid won't eat....

I'm divorced from her father, and she has struggled transitioning into my blended family with my fiancee. I've fought off two custody battles. She and I have a close relationship, but is isolated at home. Her father is making a play at having her come live with him. I don't know how to best help her, and I worry constantly. She has a therapist, who treats her anxiety, and upcoming pediatrician appointment to tell us how low her weight really is. She is painfully thin, in appearance. Though it would break my heart, but if I thought she were to get better at her father's, I wouldn't think twice about sending her for her own benefit. Should a consider a major change such as this, to kick off her road to recovery??

iwanttolive
d33witt

Hi and welcome. I am iwanttolive and have been in recovery for eight months. As a daughter of two loving parents I understand your fears and worries as I watched my parents go through this with me. It is extremely painful when a loved one, especially a daughter, is suffering so much. It is horrible to watch a child self destruct. I do not know about what is best for your daughter. Does she say anything about where she wants to live? Is your ex close or far away?

One thing that parents find helpful is to see a therapist themselves to help them because anorexia affects whole families, as you are well aware of. NEDA has volunteers who can help you find someone in your area.

I feel for you and will say a prayer for you. One thing is that it seems like the anorexia was caught early, which is a good thing because patterns that develop with time are more difficult to undo the longer someone has them. I can tell you care a lot for your daughter, to the point of even thinking of having her live with her father. That is love. Is that the best thing for your daughter? That I do not know. But seek counsel and try not to make a decision rashly or too quickly. Other than that I really don't know what to say except that you need to care for yourself in order to be able to care for your daughter. Just let her know you love her and your love isn't conditioned on what or how much she eats. I am sorry you are going through this. As I said, I watched my parents, and they have told me, how difficult is was on them, and they were together. It has to be even more difficult doing this with the divorce issues as well. Please keep us posted and I will pray for you for wisdom.
iwanttolive

d33witt
Hi. I hope you're doing well.

Hi. I hope you're doing well. Thank you so much for your reply. Her father and I had a productive talk. No matter what happens, we have agreed that our daughter needs to see us together on the same page, a two-parent team cheering her on. Again, your words of encouragement were helpful. Best wishes to you.

iwanttolive
d33witt

Hi. I am glad to see that you are working together to help your daughter. How is she?

I am doing well. Took a long time to get to where I am and without my faith in Jesus and my parents support and love I would not have survived. I am entering into my ninth month of recovery.

I hope your daughter gets the help she needs. Just know that if she gets angry with you or says mean things, it is fear speaking and the eating disorder. Fear can get so intense. Recovery IS possible. iwanttolive

d33witt
new symptom

Hi and Thank you again for your support in the community. Our family is making progress in making a treatment plan, but patience is needed. In the meantime, a new symptom has developed. Binging episodes of junkfood and other things we has eliminated. She talks to me afterwards about her guilt and shame. What does this new symptom mean? It is very upsetting to her. We've talked about preventing purging, which I don't think has begun. Any thoughts?

iwanttolive
d33witt

Hi. I can only imagine how scared and confused you must be. Unfortunately it is not uncommon for someone who has been restricting and starts eating again, that binging occurs. Purging doesn't always follow but it may. The body is so confused it doesn't know when it will get food again. The body is hungry and having restricted sometimes the eating disorder switches. But the same basic premise remains the same. The eating disorder serves a purpose. Much like alcohol or drugs. The underlying issues, why she started to restrict, why she is so concerned about her weight, these issues need to be explored. Is she still in therapy, or seeing a dietician?

I understand to a point because of how my eating disorder affected my parents. Please post again and keep us informed. You may, I don't know if I mentioned it before, seek counseling for yourself, or talk to a trusted friend. Support is so necessary.

Take care, iwanttolive