National Eating Disorders Association

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Ben - Offering support

Hey Ben, hope this catches your eye.

Because yeah, what a shock it must be, to see how quickly she's pushed you away.
As I may have mentioned though, this type of surprise is really common. I've been working on "partners" boards for about 15 years now, and I've heard this very same story literally hundreds of times. So you can be assured that it's not you who are to blame for this - it seems to be a pattern that happens quite commonly, when EDs really gets it's claws in someone.

And really, for the person with the ED, they can often feel like they've been living a lie with everyone around them, and having to be someone who they aren't. And that the person who you thought you knew was a fake all along, and etc etc. You have to respect the person of course, but at the same time, EDs can really scramble their thinking, and their perceptions of who they believe themselves to be. And almost always in a negative direction too. They are horrible and hateful people, just a burden to those around them, and despite what others may say, are unworthy of care and affection. None of which they really want to get into with those who won't understand, so they are doing you a favor by finally abandoning their "fake self" and breaking up with you.

Or something along those lines. EDs can really do a number on people's sense of themselves, and lots of self-hate and self-condemnation is often the result. The sort of self-hate that it can be almost impossible to talk them out of.

But hey, if they only lost more weight, then they'd finally be a wonderful person again.

This is all hogwash of course. It's quite possible that you, and others around her, understand her true self much better than she does. But EDs aren't called mental illness for nothing. They really can mess with the person's mind in ways that are hard to erase. Even when the person themselves starts to wish they could escape.

So who knows where she's at now. EDs tend to proceed in stages, and you are seeing one of those stages now. Will she start seeing her situation as a negative one sometime soon ? It sounds like for now, she's in the "I just want people to leave me alone" stage. Which can be pretty confusing for the person, to be honest. They feel bad, so there's that, but really the only thing they are sure of is that they need to keep losing weight. After struggling with that for a period of time, she may become more self-reflective, and come to understand that she needs help.

But in the meantime, a person can feel helpless for sure. While she may seem to have cut herself off from you, it's also likely that she still thinks of you.

You'll have to see what happens though, as there is sure to be more to come. So keep writing if it seems to help.