National Eating Disorders Association

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
Were do I go from here?

I honestly don't even know were to begin with my story, and I hope for some insight. I don't mean to sound as if I am making light of anyone's situation, but I believe that I fell for a girl with the worst case scenario in ED's. Maybe I'm wrong. We are no longer exclusive and may never be, however; I still care for her deeply and wish I could help but feel she is hopeless and is going to die. But not before destroying everyone who cares for her. She is anorexic and bulimic, with body dismorphic disorder. She is also narcissistic and a pathological liar. She is an extreme perfectionist; to the point where she will never admit wrong doing, confess or apologize for anything. She also has Substance abuse and sexual disorders. I paid to put her somewhere she could get help but she never did the right thing and had everyone in the recovery house who mattered completely fooled. I knew she was lying to them and me and she kept us separate. When I tried to intervene she made me out to be the problem and turned them against me. She looks so innocent and lays the victim well. She is the most manipulative person I have ever met. I have tried to help and care, I feel used, betrayed, and utterly destroyed by her and I still want to help her somehow. Is this behavior common? Is there hope? Have I just been used up and spit out by someone incapable of caring for anyone beyond what they can give? Please help!

There is help!

Hello. Thank you for your post and spending your time to seek advice.

I am very sorry to hear about your friend and her condition; however I cannot stress enough that it is important to always have your well being to be the priority. I understand that you have emotional connections with her, but she has shown you evidence that her feelings towards you may not be of the same nature. We must remember that she too is a person, and one that makes her own decisions. We cannot influence these decisions or force them on her. Only she will make the choice to honestly seek help.

With that said, there are still resources that can assist you with helping you to allow her to make decisions and without you feeling guilty about whatever results that may occur. I highly recommend you seek the advice of a NEDA Navigator! A Navigator is a trained volunteer who will help coach you in how to both accomplish your needs and those of your friend in the healthiest manner. To learn more about this great free and private resource please check out this link!

I hope this help! Please let me know if you have questions!

I need answers

Thanks Mike but I am aware she needs to want help and have all the resources I need as well. I am on the forum to communicate with people with similar situations. What I asked is "Is this behavior common to ED or is this something far worse"

Please, I need someone to talk to. Do I give up and let her die? Do I try to reach out?

I don't believe that she will truly get help until the few friend she has left do a full blown intervention.

She may be tearing through the last of them now, and they hate me because I am "a problem". I really need to find a way to reach out.

Something more.


Yes, I know what you mean about wondering if it's "something more" than just an ED. My friend was pretty much in the same situation as yours - there was the ED, which was frightening enough, but then there were all these other alarming symptoms as well. The substance problems, lying, the manipulation, stealing, and all sorts of other problems which basically seemed to revolve around issues of impulsivity.

On top of that, she could be a very nice person too, as I'm sure is the case with your friend. It's a terrible combination, and one that can really reach out to our hearts.

In my experience, these additional symptoms are indeed something different than eating disorders. While it's not fair to diagnose people from a distance, and no one here is a doctor, my sense is that the main issue here is likely to be Borderline Personality Disorder. is a website worth taking a look at, as far as getting some good information goes. You may find your eyes opened by what you read there.

And what Mike said about taking care of ourselves really is important to consider. Sure, they are in big trouble, while we seem to be OK, so it can seem selfish to worry about ourselves, when they are the ones who are in such danger. But if you step back, I think you may see how the situation could be dangerous for you as well. Aside from the consuming worry you feel, I mean.

For example, look at how now you've been framed as part of the problem by others who care for her. Heaven knows what sort of stories she may have made up about you, in her impulsive moments. My friend's behaviors got her involved with the police a lot, and while I'm just a regular day-to-day sort of fellow, once I began to realize her propensity for lying her way out of situations, I began to realize there was a good chance the cops could show up at my door one day. I used to work on Something-Fishy, and ran into other fellows who were in the same boat - they weren't being out of line or improperly trying to take charge of things, they were just being concerned friends, yet because of impulsivity on the part of the person they cared about, the reward they received for their caring and concern was that they suddenly found themselves in trouble themselves.

Which should not be your reward either.

So yes, I do think it's something other than "just" an eating disorder.

So what do we do ?

As some wise person once said, in any relationship, pretty much by definition we can only have control of our half. We can do our best with our half, but no matter how hard we try, the other 50% is always going to be out of our hands.

So keep that in mind when you start feeling helpless. Because it really does sound like you're doing your best with your half, just as I, and others like us have tried to do with theirs.

Bob J.

Thanks Bob J.

Your advice is great and I have researched BPD in the past and she definitely exhibits symptoms of both that and NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). She needs help and I starting to feel like there is no helping her. I need to find a way to get her professional help! Anyone know any charitable organizations that may get involved with such a serious case who has no where else to turn?


With my friend, I came to the conclusion that all I could really do was "be there" for her, if she needed support. There was little to nothing I could do to change her behaviors, but at least I could try and keep things healthy when we were together in person. With the emphasis on "try" I mean. The sorts of unsettling things she got up to, in the middle of what, with anyone else, would have been a perfectly normal sort of interaction…I suspect I don't have to tell you about that.

My friend ended up in a bunch of different half-way house sorts of places, which I suspect had to do with interactions she had with the local social service providers. She was in a big town, so they had things like that to help people in her position. She had no real chance of getting a job, because of her impulsiveness, so her situation was pretty bad, and ultimately she passed away.

But she did have a group of therapists who were helping her, that again, I think were part of the local social services department. Funded by the state or the county, I suspect ? They seemed like some pretty caring people, actually.

I don't know what your friend's circumstances are. Is she able to work ? How bad is her day-to-day situation ? Does she have substance abuse issues ?

Situations like this can get down to how much help the person is willing to accept, if you know what I mean ? So her own personal attitude towards her situation is going to have a lot to do with how things proceed.

Keep writing ?

She IS going to die...

If I don't MAKE something happen. Yes she is an addict and alcoholic. I spent over $25,000 on her between hospitals, housing, a car when i thought she was doing good. After I bought the car, we deteriorated. In 6 months she has lost both of her jobs, lost her apartment. Been taken advantage of by another loser. Moved in with a crackhead. Is being evicted again. She has been in the hospital. She slit her wrists, totaled the car and been to jail! Now a friend in Ohio who wont even talk to me because I am the bad guy (and I havn't been the greatest in a lot of ways) is going to bail her out. I found an inpatient charity which provides everything and she says "I'm going to Ohio, my friend is going to help me get on my feet. Let me do it my way! if I fall flat on my face, the I will go" Her friend does not understand the seriousness of the situation and it will end in disaster. She is not ready for help! She WILL die. I am trying to reach out to certain people. The only thing that will work is if we can come to together in intervention. I feel used and betrayed. Everyone thinks Im a stalker who wont let her go. But we speak, she will not let go of me. She knows I love her and I have showed that I am dedicated in spite of all she has done to me. I need to rally whom ever I can. She needs intervention. Without it she will lie, pretend she is ok. She will not show her flaws or vulnerablity to anyone. She has shown me! I know she needs me. I am desperate for help!

She may well die.

OK, I know what you are talking about now. I had a feeling it might be this way. And you are not the only guy who has been pulled into a situation like this. She may be a good person, but as you've seen, she's completely out of control.

I know for myself just how shocked I was at my friend's situation. I'd kind of known that people could be in a bad way, but I'd never really met someone like that until I ran into her. I liked her, but I'll have to admit, I was sucked into the drama of it as well. The BPD thing : It's just crazy enough to keep us coming back for more.

I think you'll need to look at your own self in this. If you are honest with yourself, you may see that there's some of the "rescuer" thing going on. Somehow, through our own good heart and caring loyalty, we'll rescue this person from the crazed mental state they are in, and they'll somehow get back on their feet and be able to lead a normal and self-sustaining life.

And to be honest, I do think we can help. We can be supportive people in their lives…if they will let us. But as I suspect you've seen, or will see in the future, there are some *very real limits* as to what we can reasonably expect to accomplish. That can be a hard conclusion to come to, but later, when this situation has played itself out, I think you'll come to understand what I mean.

So I think you'll just have to let her go off to Ohio. At some point in the game she'll have to sink or swim on her own.

And yes, I think it's quite possible that she will die. It's not just your imagination, when it comes to worries like that. Because my friend did die, and I've talked with other fellows who's friends were in the same position, and despite their greatest efforts, the people they cared about died too. Maybe if they just had an ED, or just had a substance issue things might work out. But when the list of risk factors begins to pile up like that, things really are less and less hopeful.

The conclusion I've come to is this :

We can do everything in our power to help them, but it's still not enough. Others, counselors and such, they can also do everything in their power, and it's not enough either.

And unfortunately "Love is all you need" is also not enough, as much as our good hearts might wish it to be.

Because for some people, their problems are simply too large.

So I think it's OK to back off with your efforts. When you stop and think about it, in the end, probably the most important thing we can really provide is simply our emotional support. But we don't really have any control over whether they will accept that or not either.

In any case, when this is over, I don't think you'll look back on it and berate yourself for not trying hard enough. What I said about doing 100% with the 50% of the relationship that we do have control over - You've more than done that.

She's going to have to be responsible for her half somewhere along the line, and I don't think there's any way around that.

Can you be OK with that, do you think ?

100% with my 50%

I only wish that this was the case. Unfortunately I have always been there financially and with my anger related to feelings of betrayal I have said terrible things and fear I have done damage and will never speak to her again. Which means I don't think I will get another chance to help and have to say goodbye. All I can do now is pray and hope that i can get through to her loved one and leed them in the right direction to help her the right way. The way that unfortunately, I never did. I think I have to say goodbye. Maybe with prayer she will get help and one day see that she was terrible to me as well. If not at least get help and live a productive life. I believe that I am at a place, no matter how hard it is, that that will be reward enough for my efforts. I only hope that she gets better

Helpless :

Helpless :

I hope you can find it within you to forgive yourself for whatever miss-steps you may feel like you took. When it comes to something as paradoxical as EDs, generally we don't have many options other than just playing it by ear. That being said, it's probably not unusual that we should say or do things that, knowing what we know now, might not have been the "correct" thing. I know there are things that if I could somehow take back, I would.

Still, when push comes to shove, I hope you'll be able to look back and understand that you did the best that you could with the understanding you had at the time.

Which is really all we can ask of ourselves, even if there does come a time when we understand things differently.

So yes, I do think you did your best with your 50%, just as I tried to do myself, when it came to my own friend.

It's really what's in our heart I think. And your heart has always sounded lit it's been in the right place to me.

Bob J.