National Eating Disorders Association

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iwanttolive
For Mothers and Fathers

Hello. My name is iwanttolive. That is my user name and is very significant because I didn't always want to live. I very much wanted to die. I was very ill. I was just talking with my mother who says she suffers from PTSD from living through my illness. She just told me how she was thankful for when she checked on me that I had a warm body. How terrified she was of my self harm and not knowing if she would get a call from the police. How fearful she was of the nights I would walk the streets fearful of me not making it home. The thing is is that I never realized how sick I was. To this day I don't remember being that sick. I was hospitalized twenty-seven times, ranging from a year to two weeks. Day programs, half-way houses.

I know how your hearts hurt, how you want your child of whatever age to be well. I want to encourage you not to give up on your "daughter". It may be a son. I am now fifty. I am walking in health. I no longer self harm. I do not engage in eating disorder behaviors. But I know the pain and agony and fear you live with as my mother has been honest with me, about how scared she was. And then again just a little while ago, she shared again, giving me a deeper revelation of how much she suffered during my illness. The fear she lived with. Not knowing if she was making the right decisions about how to handle me and what too do with me. She told me just now that she was thankful I was warm. How last night she saw someone walking in the dark and she had a flashback of me walking the streets in the neighborhood late at night, worried I'd be hit by a car or worse. I didn't know the level of fear she lived with. That you may live with. Watching me self destruct while she was not able to help me. I am sure there are some of you who can relate with what my mother went through. On behalf of my mother I apologize to you for the pain I've caused. The sleeplessness nights. The fear. Lost time.

I want to offer encouragement as well. I am walking in recovery. I have been recovered from the anorexia for at least three years, and the self harm and overeating for just under five months. I know it isn't a long time, but I know it is real. I have been going through some very difficult times and serious difficulties in recent months and have not had any urges to use any of my behaviors. I know my faith in Jesus is a big reason for this breakthrough and healing, and the love of my parent's. Without Their help, I wouldn't be alive. I am living my life now. I am happy even though I am going through a storm right now and have a level of depression and severe anxiety, I am also happy, or have joy.

I want to encourage you to share with your daughter how you feel. Share if you are scared by her behavior. How it affects you. Not to shame her or make her feel guilty, but to let her know you love her and are scared. My heart breaks for my Mom and what she went through with me, but we rejoice together now that I am well and am able to help others. To offer Hope and say that even the sickest of individuals can get better. I am living proof of that. Don't be angry with your daughter. But let her know you are there for her. If you are able, let her know she can come to you and share how she is doing and what is going on. It was hard for my Mom to hear what was in my thoughts. My thoughts were sick and scary. No mother should have to hear what my mother heard. But she stayed by my side and didn't give up on me and I am here today to say recovery is possible for anyone.

On behalf of my mother, thank you for all you have done for your child. Adult child. For your love. If the relationship is damaged, do what you have to do to repair it. It the eating disorder has broken trust, caused friction, hatred, do what you can do to heal. Your child most of the time isn't doing this to hurt you but she is lost and hurting and suffering. There may be anger. Hateful words. Dishonesty. This is difficult. I know and understand. I just want to say that after decades of being sick, I am now able to be on the other side and see what I did and how much it hurt my parent's especially my mother. I love my Mom. She is my friend. My hope is that you can see past the behaviors and see your child as a person. Not an eating disorder. Look at her in her eyes and let her know you are there for her. She may reject it at first. Keep at it. No one is hopeless. Don't give up hope.

From my heart,
iwanttolive

scaredmom1322
Thanks for the encouragement.

Thanks for the encouragement. My daughter is 12, a fairly new suferer and I am scared to death. Your testimony gives me hope!! I am proud of you iwanttolive

scaredmom1322
Thanks for the encouragement.

Thanks for the encouragement. My daughter is 12, a fairly new suferer and I am scared to death. Your testimony gives me hope!! I am proud of you iwanttolive

iwanttolive
scaredmom1322

Hello there. I am really sorry to hear about your baby. Well, you know what I mean. It is certainly scary and you really need to get support for yourself as well. I am happy that my post gave you some Hope. My faith in Jesus is my Hope. Without Him, my parent's and myself would have never made it. Your daughter is so young. Is she getting into counseling? That can be really important, even if you went with her initially to make sure the fit is good and then being able to know what is going on inside her that is causing her to turn to the eating disorder. Family support especially at her age is so important. She may respond with anger but know this is the eating disorder talking. The eating disorder wants to keep her and take her down, but your love and support will help keep that from happening. If she rebels or gets angry, try not to take it personally. I know it is difficult and painful. I have seen my own parent's go through this with me. It is very hard. But that is why you also need support. God be with you and thank you for our words of encouragement to me. Take care,

iwanttolive Don't lose Hope.

iwanttolive, Thank you

Your words are encouraging. My 15 year old daughter is 21 days into her stay at a treatment facility. I will never stop believing in her and never stop standing and fighting beside her, even when it's not easy, thats when I will fight the hardest. I love her more than anything on this planet, she is everything to me. You are right, this dads heart is broken into two pieces, but I know its the ED and not necessarily my little girl.
iwanttolive I am very proud of you and hope and pray for continued health for you. Thanks again for your encouraging words.

iwanttolive
for a dad's heart that is broken

Hi. You are an amazing person, a loving dad. Your daughter is lucky to have you. You are already inspiring me so much and you are new to our community but welcome. You are right in saying that when your daughter says things and may yell and say hurtful things to you it is because she is scared. Scared that her only way of coping is being taken away from her. But therapy will teach her better ways to cope so she won't need the eating disorder in the future. That is the goal. And as I have said, I had an eating disorder a long time before I realized it was hurting me and my family and I was not living. It is possible to be free. But it takes a lot of work on your daughter's part and the support of you and her Mom. Your heart will mend in time. I will pray for you and your family. Thank you for sending out a prayer for me. Things may look pretty bleak right now. But that is for now. Though tears may remain for a night, there is joy in the morning. A verse from the Bible. Be encouraged.

iwanttolive

iwanttolive, Thank you

I want to inspire folks! I wish I was a little younger, maybe go back to school and take up a career in the field of helping people defeat their ED's. Who knows, I will retire in a little over 7 years, maybe I will do just that. Thank you iwanttolive.

iwanttolive
[email protected]

You can always be a peer recovery person. Being retired for many is a new beginning. You
Can volunteer some time with NEDA. Not now. When things get a little better and you have some healing behind you. I am going to take some classes to do just this. I am scared but am trusting God to help me. I am doing my best to help those who post here. Take care,

iwanttolive

Also I forgot to add, I will be finishing up a documentary that was started a year ago. I would have finished it sooner except that my former dietician was campaigning for a year and it was postponed. Either this month or next we will finish it. Unfortunately I can't say where it will be shown, but someday soon it will be finished. I am looking forward to this. My parents will also give their point of view on how this is affected their lives.

iwanttolive

I may look at doing just that. With trust in God anything is possible.

I will be looking for a documentary, not sure how I will know it is yours or find it. I hope I can find it though.