National Eating Disorders Association

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cath99xo
I feel like i've lost my sister

six months ago my sister was diagnosed with an eating disorder and since then I feel like my family has been turned upside down. I have two sisters, the oldest of which was like my best friend, but since she has been diagnosed she has completely changed. Before she was diagnosed we would do everything together and I could talk to her about anything, but in recent months she treats me like I don't exist. Most of the time I try to have a conversation with her, she screams at me and tells me to leave her alone or will completely ignore what I say. The worst part is, my mums whole life is now consumed with my sister, and it feels like myself and my younger sister no longer matter. My mum has started to miss my little sisters school plays and our parents evening(something she would never have done previously)and has started to spend less and less time with us. I've tried to speak to my mum about it but she says she has to do anything she can right now to help my sister get better and that we all have to try and be thoughtful towards my sister. the thing is, I know I should be trying to understand but I can't help but be so angry at her. her whole life revolves around calories and she has started to call my little sister and me disgusting for eating any food that she considers fattening. And because my mum is so worried about her, all her attention has now transferred to her, leaving me feeling like I am having to be a sister and a mother to my little sister.
My biggest worry is that my little sister is starting to copy her behaviour. I have noticed her using a fitness app and checking the amount of calories she intakes. I'm so worried that my sisters behaviour is rubbing off on her and I'm worried that she soon will develop an eating disorder. I have spoken to my mum about it but she seems to think she is doing it to gain attention.

I just want some advice. how do you repair a fractured relationship with your sibling? and how do you shelter your younger siblings from it and ensure they don't follow suit?

ChooseRecovery
You have a lot to deal with

cath99xo: You must be feeling very shut out by your sister and your mother. It's very difficult to deal with. Clearly, your sister is very ill. She's in the throes of an eating disorder, which is controlling her attitude and behavior. I know it's hard not to take what she says to you personally, but think of it as her eating disorder talking, not your sister. The illness can almost seem like being possessed.

Your mom, of course, also has it very difficult. As a parent, it's nothing less than torture to see your child so ill. It can make rationally thinking difficult. It can lead to desperation. Please remember that your mother loves you as she did before, but she is on "red alert" with your sister and grasping for anything she can do and shedding everything else. I know that doesn't make your situation any easier to deal with.

Have you spoken to your younger sister about her worrisome behavior? If not, maybe you can ask her how she's feeling about what she's doing. Maybe you can ask her if she thinks an eating disorder is trying to get a grip on her.

I wish you the best. Keep writing to the forum and let us know how things are going.

cath99xo
Thank you. I know my sister

Thank you. I know my sister is ill and I can understand my mum wants to look after her and get her better but I just feel like she has forgotten she has two other children.
I have tried to speak to my younger sister about her eating behaviours but she acts like it's nothing, just like my older sister used to which is what is worrying me the most.

iwanttolive
cath99xo

Hi. I am so sorry for what you are going though. It breaks my heart. It is painful to see what an eating disorder can do to the sufferer and the family. I have no magic words but only that you are not alone. Your sister is probably terrified. Very reactive due to the severity of her fear of weight gain. For you feeling abandoned by your mom and you taking on the position of "mothering" your little sister, again, painful. Do you have any friends who can support you with what you are going through? About protecting your little sister from falling into the same trap, talk with her about things outside of what she looks like and more on what she accomplishes. Otherwise she may think she needs thinness to be her barometer of how she feels about herself. It is difficult and painful and scary to think she may fall into the eating disorder trap. What about family counseling? Do you think anyone would be willing?

I don't want to tell you what to do, only giving some suggestions. Please keep us posted on how you all are doing and again you are not alone here as many of us have family dysregulation because of someone having an eating disorder in the family. Post as much as you need. I hope and pray things get easier and your sister will get desperate to want to get help.
For now,
iwanttolive