National Eating Disorders Association

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lostamanda
Feeling Selfish

My 13yo daughter has been undergoing treatment since Oct last year. This feels like the hardest and longest journey of my life, and i'm not the sufferer.
Through this period I've let go the greatest professional opportunity I've ever had, I've sacrificed more than I ever have and have done freely up til this point. Support at her school is now diminishing as the staff are now saying they cannot offer supervision at meals anymore, which means I have to be there for all her meals at school. I work an hour away from home, and have no support around us, so it's all down to me. It's looking more and more likely that I will have to resign from work. Which in itself will make things super tough financially. And I dont know how I'm going to deal with all that.
But more than that....I just don't know how much more this illness can take away from us. I feel so selfish thinking about what I'm "missing", and dont get me wrong, I'd make every decision the same way, my daughter is always my priority.... But god it's exhausting. It feels like every time there is a fraction of stability around something practical, something else happens to derail everything.
I don't know how to handle everything I feel, and alot of the time I never think about how I feel....I just can't risk falling apart. But the cracks are starting to appear thick and fast. I just feel so overwhelmed. I just don't know how much more I can deal with.
If there was an alternate parent who was responsible and reliable for my daughter....I think I would let go. The fact that I am the only one keeps me here.
Tell me I'm not alone? Tell me I'm not selfish? Tell me it will get easier?

mel2016
Definitely not selfish!

Hi lostamanda,

I am so sorry to hear about your daughter's struggles and the difficult position you are now in! I am concerned about you, especially when you mentioned wanting to "let go"; do you have someone you can speak to for your own well-being? Have you already contacted the NEDA Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 M-Th 9AM-9PM F 9AM-5PM EST for support? If you ever feel you need immediate help or someone to talk to, the Suicide Prevention line is available 24/7 and always there to listen 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Your feelings matter too and it's hard always making someone else the priority!

I do not think you are alone in your feelings though and I definitely do not think you are selfish! I hope you will not need to quit your job! I'm sure you have already looked into this, but would it be feasible for you to hire someone to help watch your daughter at mealtimes (I have no idea what is allowed, I'm just throwing out suggestions)? Are there any other parents that could perhaps donate some of their time to help with this? I hope it does get easier! As your daughter recovers she will require less of your attention, but it does take time.

I wish you the best! Stay strong!
-Mel

lostamanda
Thanks Mel, hadn't thought of

Thanks Mel, hadn't thought of hiring someone to supervise the meals at school. I will most certainly look into that. I dont know if it is an option, but it's a place to start.
I have found it very difficult in terms of after school care for her, nobody wants to take her on. Seems I cant pay anyone enough money...hence the major life/work disruption.
Sometimes I think I need help, I do spend alot of time thinking about ending everything. I guess the only motivation to stay is my daughter. If I go, I can see how she will carry on. It's hard to feel well, or stable when things always feel so unbalanced.
Appreciate you taking the time

mel2016
You are welcome.

Hi lostamanda,
You're welcome! Have you tried calling this number (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) about the feelings you have been having? They can direct you to further resources, but even just talking things through with them might make you feel a little better and put things into perspective. Please keep us updated!! We care about you and wish you the best!

lostamanda
I will see my dr this week. I

I will see my dr this week. I think it may well be time to reach out and ask for help. I just can't continue this way.
Thank you for your encouragement.

heartandmindfully
agreed

Hi lostamanda,
I agree with mel. You are heavily burdened and its taking a toll. As your login says, you are somewhat 'lost' and struggling. Its so normal! This ED is creating havoc in your life. You are at a crossroads and its hard to see what happens next. But your daughter is a priority. I wonder if Mels suggestions may help? Sending prayers and best of luck!

2Joy2love
Hope

I have a 16 year old who has ED. She was hospitalized for 2 months. She has been home for 9 months. It is so hard. You want to do everything you can to protect them to have them healthy. It is very straining on you as the caretaker and on other family members. You are not alone. It has gotten better for me but I have had to put up some boundaries and let myself have a break. To go out with friends to have hobbies to not take her eating disorder personally. To know that I am still a great mom I went to counseling for myself and it helped a lot. I also put 2 of my other kids in counseling because they were affected by their sister's ED. It has helped a lot. It is getting better. I am not so worried about if I mess up and don't do it right that it will make my daughter's eating disorder worst. I hope they can find a solution to help you at school. I am so glad you wrote. It is helpful to know that others are going through some of the same feelings I am. Take care of yourself.