National Eating Disorders Association

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Kenkel6
Feeling Guilty

My 15 year old daughter suffering from ED and I feel guilty. After having my 4 kids I gained a lot of weight and was very unhappy. I worked really hard to lose that weight and live a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that i learned to love (so much so that I became a fitness coach and personal trainer). My kids (15, 8, 8, 5) watch me everyday workout and watch me eat. I never once made them change what they ate (they still eat like kids (except 15 year old)). But they watch and see and mimic. That's how my daughter fell into this disorder. First she asked to start working out then to change the way she eats. At first I thought this is fantastic. She's learning. Then as things started to spiral down and she feel into this ED I wanted to crumble. And I thought since she watched me workout and eat "right" then I will show her that having treats is ok. So I started to have treats, the problem is that in the mean time I fell into my old habits. I decided that I can't be unhappy and started eating differently again and taking away those fun foods for me. My daughter sees a therapist and dietitian. And it seems to be that I am causing more harm. So how can I possibly work in my profession and live the life that I need to live in order to maintain myself where I need to be, for me, when my daughter is suffering watching me. I can't. This is a hard balance for me. Because let's be real in my profession in order to get work I can't be overweight. I won't get hired. I feel as though I have to chose either my daughter or myself. And I'll chose my daughter but it's killing me. This ED sucks!!! This ED just sucks!!! I hate everything about it, I hate what it has done to my daughter and I hate what it is doing to our family. Because I also worry about the 3 little kids and they worry about the 15 year old. THIS JUST SUCKS!!!! I try so hard to not let me emotions show in front of the kids especially the 15 year old with ED. The feeling that none understands sucks!

_admin_moderator
Hi Kenkel6

Hi Kenkel6

We just wanted you to know a tiny portion of your post was edited to fit with the guidelines. I encourage you to carry on posting and sharing.

aiclarke14
Hi Kenkel6,

Hi Kenkel6,

Thank you for coming to NEDA forums, I am so happy you have found a place to share your concerns and worries. It is so hard to go through what you are going through but you are doing an incredible job. You just have to remember your daughter is struggling with an illness, it is not your fault. ED's are so powerful and there is no one cause for them. You have to take care of yourself as well as your daughter. Here is the link for the parent toolkit http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/parent-toolkit, hopefully reading through this you will be able to find ideas and support. I encourage you to continue posting here and finding ways to manage. You are incredible!

Stay strong and keep us updated.

2Joy2love
Hi Kenkel6

I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. You are right in that it effects everyone in the family. It effected each of our kids differently. I felt so guilty for spending so much time with my daughter with ED, that I was not giving my other 5 children the time and care that they needed. I tried very hard to set aside 10 minutes a day for each child. Some of my kids went into counseling to know how to handle the increased stress in the house. I also went into counseling. This helped a lot. We tried to spend more time together as a family each day and it helped each family member, not just my daughter with ED.
I cannot give you advise on what to do about your job. It might be something to ask her dietician and councilor, when your daughter is not in the room. I can share with you my experience.
When my daughter was released from a center for ED, I was so scared. I was determined to do everything right. I had my phone on a timer and every 2 hours it would go off. That meant time for a snack or meal. I had all the kids sit down and eat and I would eat even if I was not hungry. I would have everyone eat the same things and portions as my daughter. I followed all the guidelines and I made sure everything was done right. This was my daughters life. I felt that I could help fix it, make it easier for her, keep her alive. That I could love her enough that this ED would go away. There were people who voiced concern about how I was and how this was affecting me.
Then school started and she a significant amount of weight in one week. Her dietician and councilor immediately voiced concern, but they did not put the responsibility on me. They asked her what she needed to do. It hit me that even if I did everything right, I could not heal her. I did not have to be perfect. I then started eating portions that were what I needed as a 45 year old woman and not a 15 year old girl. I started doing what was best for my health. Around this time we discovered that 2 of my kids have hypoglycemia, they have to eat different. This at first really bugged my daughter and even made her angry that we were not all eating exactly like she was, but I explained to her that each of us needed to eat what was healthy for them. I still enjoy treats and fried foods with my daughter. Yet I also eat what my body needs to be healthy. Which means I may not eat every snack or portion size of food that my daughter eats.
I hope you can find what will work for you, your daughter and your other kids. I found that when I took care of my physical, emotional and mental health that all my family benefited. Good luck.

mel2016
Good luck!

Hi Kenkel6,
I'm sorry to hear about your struggle! Hopefully you can find a balance where you are eating in a healthy, balanced way, enough to maintain your own healthy weight while helping your daughter do the same. Perhaps you can meet with a dietician as well to ensure that you are both eating well, maybe as a way to show that this is something you are doing together? Or are the amounts or types of foods you two need to eat quite different?

Good luck!
-Mel

lovinglulu
Kenkel6

i am learning that it is essential to your health and even your daughters that you do take care of yourself as a separate issues from your daughters' ED. you are a grown adult with an entirely different metabolism and needs than your daughter. you should be able to eat the way you want and exercise -- as long as you know it is healthy for you -- and not blame yourself for what your daughter is dealing with. it is not your fault. you cannot "give" someone ED, maybe you can explain to her that you and she have totally different needs in terms of diet and exercise. this is a tough one but you are not the cause of her ED, continue taking care of yourself and getting help for her. it really does suck. (i have a 20 year old anorexic i am struggling mightily to figure out how to help!)

aiclarke14
Hi Kenkel6!

Hi Kenkel6!

I am so glad you came back to NEDA forums to update us on your journey. I am so glad you have managed to find a balance and to realize that it is no ones fault when it comes to ED. I hope these words are an inspiration to others. Keep us updated, you're amazing!