National Eating Disorders Association

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Mother grieving child lost to ED

I am the mother of a 20 year old young woman, who was at one time vibrant and alive, unafraid of anything! A year ago she made a serious suicide attempt that brought to light the depth of her eating disorder, substance abuse and other mental health issues, depression, anxiety etc. She was hospitalized then we used the only leverage we had (her dance training program funding) to force her into a 30 day residential treatment. She hated it but complied with treatment recommendations because she wanted to dance. She got out of treatment and went into a step down program and continued an intensively outpatient regime for another 6 months. She resisted and hated it the entire time. Long story short, it kept her alive and now fast forward, she has graduated her preprofessional program and has come home while planning for her next adventure. We moved in the middle of all of this and she is isolated here. She just started a job and is saving up money to relocate to a big city where she can pursue her career.

Living with her has been exhausting. My mental health is a mess, I'm crying all the time, feel lonely, lost, powerless and hopeless, am depressed, anxious waiting for the next episode or suicide attempt (she has days where she cant function and just wants it to be over- I talk her off the "ledge"). A very big part of me feels horrible because I just want her to leave, to move out and get on with her miserable life somewhere that I don't have to bare witness in this push/pull dysfunctional relationship. She does not want help. The less she eats, the less I recognize her. This is not the child I raised. I barely even like this person. It is the hardest thing in the world to feel this way about your own child. We almost lost her and here I am wanting her gone, I never imagined I'd feel this desperate.

I don't know how to help and I no longer know how to take care of myself in this situation. My husband is equally struggling but the way he deals with it pushes us away. Our marriage has been impacted as has our relationship with our other adult son. I truly feel like I am grieving for the child (or maybe my ideal of that child) I lost a year ago.

I'm not really sure what I am looking for other than an opportunity to share these words out loud.

Thank you for reading,

Dear bracal, we are very

Dear bracal, we are very sorry to hear that your daughter has been struggling. Since you mentioned that your daughter has been suicidal, we would like to give some crisis resources. This number is really important to have: (800)273-TALK(8255). You can also text "NEDA" to 741741 or visit one of these websites: - online chat -online chat or text 906-356-3337 online chat

You are not alone

Dear bracal, we are in a very similar position. My daughter is 19 and refusing many forms of help, and is right now dealing with the reality that she can't go back to college this fall (because we are using our leverage). It is terrible some of the feelings that run through your mind about your own kid when this disease has them wrapped up. It is also frustrating not being able (or maybe just not wanting) to talk to others about the impact it has on your life because nobody really gets it. "Yes, yes, we know.....she needs to eat more. Great suggestion, thanks."

Here is hoping all of our kids can break free. For now, just know you are not alone and you are absolutely NOT a bad person for having the feelings you have.

Going through the same thing here

My daughter is 19 and we are going through the exact same thing, although we have no leverage. Literally none other than kicking her out which I cannot do. She has no money, no job, no friends, no possessions and refusing to be compliant with her treatment. I am So alone. Like brutus94 friends don’t get it. It’s so stressful. I have PTSD from living in this ED with her. And I dont know what to do. I just Hope that because this post is older, that you have found help and that she is doing better! Hugs to you!

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