If only they knew.

What do you wish you could share with your parents?

What do they, particularly your mother, not understand about you and your eating disorder?

Your body image issues stem from where?

I need your wisdom girls, so fire away!



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73 Responses to If only they knew.

  1. shen7 says:

    that i’m not doing this to hurt her…that she is actually not in the fore front of my mind at all regarding this.
    also that i hate it as much as she does. i don’t like living like this…or rather not living.

    my body image issues stem from a lot of different places…in some ways i am the text book eating disordered patient.

  2. Jen says:

    Great topic and question…

    I think my eating disorder is a coping mechanism with a variety of issues… the stress and boredom of moving from Hong Kong to Canada for university, the sensation of “feeling fat” when eating or shopping (such as clothes in Canada being proportioned differently such that the length of pants that suits my legs also only happen to be the smallest size, and therefore I feel I “HAVE” to be XS or S) and now the anxiety of not knowing when I’m hungry or full, fear of losing control… etc. … which I wish my parents would understand.

    People keep saying I can afford to eat whatever I want now since I’m underweight, but according to science and even my psyche that’s not the case. After prolonged (semi)starvation the body will likely gain weight back as fat…

    My parents say quite offhandedly that I should just get to 100 pounds and eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full but anyone with eating issues knows this is really challenging.

  3. Sarah says:

    I want to say thank you for doing this, I think there needs to be more things out there like this.

    I wish my parent especially my mom knew or would accept that my 6 year long struggle with anorexia bulimia was not a diet, that this isnt something I am doing as a direct attach against her… it isnt something that I can just stop doing

    My parents have decided that they are just going to ignore my eating disorder, even when medical proffesionals repeatedly tell them I need to go in-patient

    So I guess for me I wish my mom knew/understood that ignoring it doesnt make it go away, that even though I may have said I was fine I really wasnt. Sometimes I need them to take charge when it comes to my health because right now I think purging and starving my self is a good way to deal with life, my thinking is messed up, I cant really think rationally when it come to things related to my ED

    I wish she knew that when she ignores my eating disorder, so do I. It makes me feel like she doesnt care. I would rather have been mad at my mother for trying, because when I got better I would have understood. Then be where I am now, sicker and feeling like I have nothing to lose if I stay on this ED path, becaue if my family actually cared then they would have tried to stop me.

    As to where my body image issues stem from I dont know. A combination of things. My parents are both always unhappy with their bodies and try and fail repeatdly all sorts of diets. Some tramatic things happened in my childhood that made me hate my body and what it could do to people, abusive relationships. Society constantly throwing messages that thin=happiness into my face

    once again thank you for doing this. hopefully the more parents/mothers know about ED’s and body issues the better they will be at handling the situation

  4. eshoe says:

    Both my sister and I could tell you one thing we wish our parents knew:

    Don’t be afraid to confront the ED alongside me. We need your encouragement and support. Turning your head the other way won’t make it disappear.

    And also, it’s not my Mom’s fault. I think some of the reasoning behind the apathy is fear that somehow, she created this monster within me.

    I’m an adult now, it’s not her fault anymore (I could blame her when I was a teen!)

  5. amber*baby says:

    I truly believe my body image stems from growing up in a family where perfection is everything. I wish my parents would openly acknowledge that I have a problem. I spend $1000 a month in therapy to tell someone about something most of the people in my life choose not to see. Sometimes I wonder if they care too much or just don’t care at all. Thank you for always listening to everyone MamaV. Much love and respect!

  6. Araea says:

    I have been reading your blog for a while now, but never had the courage to email or comment, but I think this question is one hundred percent worth throwing myself out there.

    Coming from a very non-traditional family I wish my mom knew that just because I don’t openly express my feelings with words doesn’t mean I am any less fragile than my siblings. The reason I don’t explain myself through words is because most of the time no one is listening or can’t bear to hear the facts.

    My eating issues are a direct result of sexual assault. After you are assaulted why would you want to put something in your mouth? Not to mention, I don’t really feel worthy of being nurtured from food or people because if I was worthy I wouldn’t have been assaulted in the first place.

    This is just a simple wish and my view that hopefully someday my Mom might comprehend. Until then, thank you deeply for all you do. I think you are brilliant!

  7. ~R~ says:

    I wish that my mom knew that she alone is reasponsible for starting the whole thing off. All my life I heard her say “too much ____ makes too much ~R~!” Meanwhile, my younger sister was allowed to eat whatever she wanted, without comment from my mother. When I was a teenager I ended up gaining some weight due to the need to be on steriods for my asthma. When I was 15, my mom stated, while watching the Miss America pageant, that I could easily be Miss America if I lost 50 pounds. That finally did it. One of the worst parts about it at the time was she KNEW I was anorexic- but she always confronted me about it in an angry/jealous tone, there was no concern there. I guess it bothered her because she was obese. Now I am healthy, and she is still just as obsessed with food, but now she goes the other way. She lost a bunch of weight joining weight watchers, and now she is very triggering to be around. Luckily, I live VERY far away, and only get to visit once every other year or so. I worry all the time that one day I am going to do the same to my own daughter. I want her to grow up confident in the body she has, not the body the world thinks she should have.

  8. Kit says:

    Things I wish my mother would understand:
    1. The eating disorder and the problems it causes isn’t something I’m “doing to” her.
    2. Recovery is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it’s not a matter of “just eating”
    3. As a family we need to be able to talk about emotions and how we feel. But instead everyone ignores and dismisses emotional problems because it’s too awkward.
    4. I don’t need advice. I need to be heard.

  9. cmep says:

    I wish i could tell my mum, but im scared she’ll judge me, or feel let down by her only child. maybe thats where my issues came from, the pressure to be the perfect child as im an only one?

    I used to be bullied for being fat in school, i have flashbacks of beig younger n stuffing chocolate in my mouth until i was oo full to move. i always used to have weird patterns with food too, like i had to count to four in my head while i was chewing and have an even number of chews. i have a thing about even numbers……

    i just wish i could tell people how i really feel about myself and them not think im being stupid or wanting attention.


  10. twistsis says:

    I wish my mother knew how much she hurt me and how much it affects me now. My issues with my body are probably not so much text book eating disorder, my parents stuck this in me now its my job to get it out. I wish she knew how much I want a mum, a mum that cares and loves me, a mum that comes to watch you perform or get an award at school etc. I just wish I had a proper family who I can go to when I need someone. I have noone and I wish my mum could see that this is mainly down to her and that forgiveness is not going to come to her by her just saying sorry. It doesnt work that way.

    I wish I could go out with my friends and show that I am not happy instead of smiling along with a convincing smile that I have had for years now, I am scared that I would get ignored or looked at differently by them, the way I see it is with my friends, keep them, love them and they are completely ignorant to whats going on or risk losing them when I probably wouldnt allow them to help me anyway. My ED wouldnt allow it.

    There are too many things that I wish I could tell my parents, my dad included but he is no longer here and mum, well we all know where she is now.


  11. Lia says:

    My Mom is great at everything. This isn’t some hero-worshiping or devoted-daughter hyperbole, she’s simply one of these people to whom everything comes effortlessly.

    She has always been slender, gaining a little with middle age, but when I asked for her secret she would just shake her head and pat my head, telling me that “You’re fine as you are, you don’t have to be me”. I KNOW. I just wish I were you, and I wish you could acknowledge that wish. She has recently lost all the weight she gained at the start of her forties by simply taking up Tai Chi and doing it twice a week in the park, half an hour in the morning. I wish she could tell me, someone who has always had to fight every pound down, how she could do this. I wish she would talk to me, not like someone who is speaking from a superior position (even if she doesn’t treat it as such, it’s just that feeling of never measuring up in anything, though everybody tells me I’m thinner than she is, but I just… I can’t see it), but as someone who understands.

    My family has a history of going into natural to hard sciences, so me doing something completely different was a big disappointment for them even though I got into a top school. Coming home after the first semester and hearing all about how my studies couldn’t be good for me if they had me turning out looking as I did (famous freshman fifteen… only I was in recovery at that time, self-decided, so it was more like freshman thirty)- instant trigger. She just sat there and smiled and said it was all OK as long as I was happy, but I could see the disappointment in here eyes.

    I wish my Mom would understand how it is to feel like you can never reach the level of two genius parents, one into academics (Mom), the other very successful in business and almost never home (Dad). Both of them take good care of themselves and their bodies, but…

    I was a late bloomer, and kept a child-like figure until I turned fourteen when I suddenly started to grow hips and breasts and gain weight in unknown places (at least it seemed like that to me). My godmother set of the first of many anorexic cycles be proclaiming loudly, for the whole neighborhood to hear, how fat I had gotten that I could not fit my kid clothes anymore. Mom just nodded and quietly added that “Yes, she has gained a little, hasn’t she?”. I wish I could tell her how much that innocent comment hurt, how much I could not stand the feeling of my body changing while my mind was struggling to keep up, I was going through my senior year at that time and used to being the kid in class, now I was changing to fit in better bodily, but I just couldn’t adjust as fast as everything was going. I wish I could tell her about the confusion I felt at that time, about what it took out of me, about sleepless nights and late-night kitchen raids that had me feel so bad I wanted to die.

    I wish I could tell her how these cycles of self-destruction work, I wish I could tell her about my anorexia, about it flaring up again and again and my being powerless in the face of such hatred, but I know that will just make me even more inferior in her eyes. It will make me seem even weaker than I already do.

    I wish I knew she would protect me from the rest of my family- my grandparents, my uncles, my aunt and cousins, from their stares, comments and hurtful words. I wish she could just accept my choices whole-heartedly and not look at me with a mixture of pity and… disagreement. I wish she could see that I wouldn’t be happy in a lab like she is, that I like what I’m going to do and that it’s the one thing that’s keeping me from self-destructing. I wish she could see my isolation, and how I apparently am used to it but still feel like such a weird foreign object, how I have to work to catch up, to catch on, to be like the others even though I know I’m physically incapable.

    I wish she could see- and talk about, without judging, without reservation, with acceptance- all this. I wish I could tell her what it did to me, having to grow up so fast. I wish I could tell her that I hate being so much younger than everyone else, that I wish I could have gone through life like everybody else without being moved up a grade again and again and again. I wish I could tell her what’s eating me from inside- but I just can’t know how she’s going to react. I feel like she demands perfection, like nothing I do is good enough for everyone in my family (both my brothers are studying scientific subjects, both of them very successfully and at least my twin brother doesn’t seem to have any trouble with being four years younger than his entire year) even though I KNOW intellectually that she doesn’t. She just can’t IMAGINE anyone being not able to perform at her level.

    Mom, I know you’re one of the most wonderful people on this planet, but sometimes I’d love I could tell you I wish you were just a little more human in my eyes.

  12. vive42 says:

    i wish they knew how much harder they make things with their lowered expectations and constant worries. they made me go to a school in state because they believed i couldn’t make it through school without more problems. i proved them wrong and graduated in 4 years, keeping my struggles from them all along.

    i wish they knew i need to be challenged and encouraged rather than made excuses for. i need to be recognized by them for my talents and acheivments, rather than my illness. i wish they knew i feel like all they see me as is their sad sick mentally ill daughter, not a real person.

    but i’d never want to hurt them by telling them any of that.


  13. Mrs. B. says:

    This has been a really interesting and helpful discussion thread. Thanks ladies for answering. I’m curious about the gals who think that their parents are ignoring their EDs and that it is harmful to them.

    My daughter really does not like to talk about things that are ED related. She has told me, and her therapists have confirmed that she wants just to be a daughter. So we have really changed our relationship. She makes her own appts, handles her meds, etc. Since she no longer lives at home, I am not constantly worried by what she is doing in her bathroom, or what she is eating. That does seem to be helping our relationship. We continue to see one another several times a week and text and call back and forth – but not in an excessive way.

    Have I stepped too far back?

    Leaving her in charge of her recovery is scary, particularly because I know that she is struggling some right now.

    But WE seem to be getting along better.

  14. Jamie says:

    My mom died when I was 11 so I can’t share anything with her. I think thats where my e.d. stems from. Also, my dad never told me when I was younger that I was beautiful or anything like that so to cope with losing my mom and dealing with my stepmom from hell and not being able to communicate with my dad at all growing up has led me to deal with everything in this way. But I’m finally getting away from this hell whole and moving to a more positive atmosphere so hopefully that will help out a lot!

  15. vive42 says:

    mrs b- i think you’re doing right by giving your daughter the space and freedom to make this journey on her own. my parents have mostly done that for me too, but they’ve done it by letting me avoid them and isolate from them, not by interacting with me in a positive way.

    so if your realtionship with your daughter is getting better i think you’re on the right track. one thing i would say is make sure she knows that when and if she does want your help you’ll be there to provide it if you can.


  16. Mrs. B. says:


    Thanks so much. Jes had a tough night the other night and I think she cried most of the night. A fact that surprised even her, because tears were something she never had as a teen. She was feeling very alone. You know, it is so tough to lose your friends because of an eating disorder, and have everyone go off to college successfully and start building new relationships….and you are sick and stuck at home. I know that many of you feel much like this.

    I told her that she can call me at any time, day or night and I would come…or she could come home. She looked at me a little surprised and said she had thought about it, but thought it would cause us too much trouble. I happened to be off yesterday and she came by and we watched both High School Musicals (we are so lame, right?)

    I think she knows now that she can have her space, or she can have mom and dad. And it is always her choice. Tonight I’m going to her place with a computer tech and we’re going to work on her computer network. Then we are going out for salads and watching “What not to wear”. She’s going with me Saturday to her brother’s XC meet. Sunday we’re going to see Batman. It’s just nice to be together. But I know that she’d like to have some young friends. She had a roommate in college who she loved, but during her ED, the relationship went very bad. I’ve encouraged her to write that friend and open her heart. I don’t think that she thinks it would help.

    I hope you’re doing well, Vanessa. I will look to your new post about how your day has gone later today.

    Mrs. B.

  17. "julia" says:

    My issues stem from a lot of different places, predominantly from being bullied for my size as a child and from my parents. I love my parents and I don’t say this to be cruel, but they have had a profoundly negative effect on the way I view my body.
    Mum, from the time I was about six, made comments to me about the fact that I needed to lose weight and on a couple of occassions told me to stop eating whatever it was I was munching on. She also said that I should stop eating salad dressing and the skin on fried chicken because that’s a lot of calories and a lot of fat. Because of that, I haven’t touched dressing or breading since I was seven. I am now seventeen. She also told me that I needed to chew every bite at least thirty times and that I needed to take smaller bites. I was eight, then.
    My mother was morbidly obese during most of my childhood. Unfortunately, I had to be witness to the terrible ways that people treated her because of it. The lesson I learned was that nobody likes fat people. Because of both my mother and the bullying, I have always thought of myself as being hugely, disgustingly fat, and have consequently spent most of my life trying to become thin.
    Now that my mother is thin (she had gastric bypass surgery–“surgically imposed anorexia”, someone has called it), she still thinks of herself as fat and continues to berate herself for eating too much or the wrong things. She’s smaller than I am. I mean, factually speaking. She’s taller than me, and weighs less than I do–which thrills her to no end. How am I ever supposed to think of myself as being okay, when she doesn’t?
    Dad and Mum both periodically tell me to stop eating this or that or to eat less, when they don’t see or hear the purging and don’t notice when it’s the first time I’ve eaten in days. And when I lose weight, it’s treated as an accomplishment, something to be rewarded, while gaining weight is grounds for a reprimand.
    They don’t see the ED-NOS, they don’t understand just how insecure I am about my weight, even though I know I am insecure. And no matter how much I tell my mother that she’s smaller than me and it hurts me to hear her complain about her size, she still doesn’t understand what I’m saying.

  18. kim says:

    i think for me first i would like my mom to know i did not plan for my anorexia. i did not do it to hurt anyone but found it as a way to cope with what i could not cope with or tell for that matter. i wish we could be more open in my family about feelings and emotions and have my parents know that sadness is a feeling not a critique of their parenting. i feel ashamed for not feeling happy and find myself hiding true feelings from them. i think i developed anorexia for a few reasons: i have issues from being adopted and growing up feared i would possibly do something “bad” to be given away again. 2) my dad drank (alot) and i learned early on that it was not okay to talk about that or how we felt about it. 3) being sexually abused from age 6-14 and believing if i told my mom would give me up because my abuser used my insecurities and told me they would because i was bad. 4) i always tried and still do try to live up to everyone elses expectations and dont think i ever learned or was taught how to learn or discover what i wanted. 5) when i was discharged from the hospital the first time i found that we never discussed what occurred there or how i was after and i also found out that no other family members knew where i was. i was gone 30 days and no one knew. my siblings continue to tell me today i am the “perfect”one and the “good” one and one sister actually told me she was happy when i got so sick i had to be hospitalized because she said it was about time i had messed up. dont get me wrong, i love my family more then anything in this world, including my own life, but being in it and not knowing how to work on how our family works makes me think i will never actually live my own life. and yes, i know that will be my choice and my fault but it is all i know and for my entire life it is how i developed as a person and i dont know anything else. the fear of the unknown is greater to me then losing my mom and family no matter how messed up i/we may be. i feel that because they adopted me and didnt give me away even after finding out about the abuse (which we never talk about) i owe them everything. it makes me sad even now, but my biggest fear is still that i will lose their love. one last thing that i would want my mom to know is that i love her so much and that i would never intentionally try to hurt her, embarrass her or let her down. i owe my mom my life.

  19. Amber/vanity900/cult66623 says:

    that i do remember everything shed ever said to me, and she can deny it to everyone but herself. i always question if id have had an eating disorder if she didnt say the things that she said, or wasnt around.

  20. Michelle says:

    It doesn’t matter what I have told Dad, he still wouldn’t listen. I’ve already told him everything. He still thinks that when I don’t eat I am really just not hungry because I’m not active that much during the summer. I told him I was bulimic. He still talks about how the girls he dates are fat or how they need to lose weight. All of them have been skinnier than I. My problems matter very little to him. You know why? Because he is still in this state of conscience where he thinks all of his kids are living the perfect lives. He thinks that because he screwed up, we have made everything better and we are fine. I’m pretty sure as I was crying for 45 minutes in front of him, telling him how I don’t trust anyone anymore, how I don’t even know who I am anymore, how I have never felt more depressed…….he told me (and I quote), “You are fine.. that there is NOTHING wrong with you.”

    It also doesn’t matter what I tell Mom. She will still think that I am the daughter that hates her, though I never have. She still thinks there is no way that we will ever have a relationship because we have had a past of broken relationships. She doesn’t listen or get anything. She will think that I hate her until she decides to change her mind. When that happens, God only knows.


    I have told Dad that I am bulimic and that I have a serious self-esteem issue. I also have told him that I have suicidal thoughts and that I am severely depressed.

    I have told Mom that I don’t hate her and that I want to be a better daughter when she is ready to let me back in her life.

    They both still treat me like I have the perfect life.

    I’m SICK of people telling me that all parents care. My parents just want me to HAVE a good life… if I live it or not. Well, I guess they believe that’s out of their hands. I HATE the life I live. But there is no way I can get out of it until someone is willing to be right next to me. Sure, I am smart enough to get out of my head most of the time.. but with out any support what so ever, I will continue to regress and return to my head.

    I bet that neither of my parents will help my mental stability. Neither of them will care.. neither of them will notice. Dad will continue to tell me that he is the one depressed and how many problems he has and Mom will continue telling me how I screwed up her life and how she will never have it back until I decide.

    Guess what Dad..
    Damn it stop telling me about your problems until I figure out my own.

    Guess what Mom…
    I already decided I wanted to be in your life. Thanks for never wanting to be in mine.

    THAT is what I would tell my parents if EITHER of them had ears and a brain.

  21. Michelle says:

    Sorry.. I got really caught up in that last question..

    My body issues?

    My older brother has always been skinny. No matter how much he eats. He started dating a girl who I used to dance with, she is skinny, too. Not to mention much more beautiful than I.
    He was my saviour for the longest time before I knew Jesus. He was my everything. I thought if I were prettier, he’d like me more. I wish I would have know that my appearance meant nothing to him.

    My mom was skinny as well. She is a postal worker and never eats. So, she is always exercising and never gaining any extra fat.

    It all stemmed from my depression.. growing up with no stability in anything, a broken home, my mother hating me, my father constantly bringing different beautiful women in his life , only God needs to know the rest of the story.

  22. Ella says:

    I think this work you’re trying to do is amazing. Family and friends are such an integral part of any sufferer’s support network.

    I have struggled with anorexia, bulimia, ednos and binge eating over the past (nearly ) 7 years. I’m 19 years old – and I began my “diet” at 12 years old. What complicates my story is that it was caused by abuse in my home, by my mother, who meant well. Eventually I started being bullied at school and this became my coping strategy and years later, when I was 16 I was sexually abused by someone who I should have been able to trust.

    I’ve had 9 counsellors – some of which have been useless and others who have been amazing. I’ve been termed “chronic” and “treatment resistant” by professionals who are meant to be on my side, fighting for me.

    Complicating my story even further is that my mother has an eating disorder as well, although she maintians there is nothing wrong, I learned almost all of my destructive eating disorder behaviors from her.

    I want to tell my mum that just becuase I’ve been in various treatment programs that I don’t still struggle, just becuase I’m at a healthy weight now doesn’t mean that I am ‘well’ or that I have stopped certain behaviors. I want to tell her about how *I* feel, without her judging me for what I’ve done, or telling me that I’m wasting my life and I’m pathetic. I want to tell her about suicide attempts and most of all, I want her to tell me that she loves me just as I am – without telling me that I need to change, lose more weight, etc. When I was severely emaciated with anorexia she was constantly telling me that I was “getting there” and a “bit more weight loss would do it”.

    My parents really don’t get that this disease is a choice – for my dad I think that’s becuase he’s always had to *see* something to believe it, and now that I’m not underweight, he doesn’t believe I’m still sick.

    I want my mum to understand that I’m not doing this to hurt her, or to punish her. I do it because I feel like the most disgusting and worthless piece of crap on this earth. I wish she would face what she is afraid of (her own ED) and get some help. I wish that she could understand that someone’s worth is not based on their dress size, or the number on the scale and I wish she could just see me as the hurting child I am, instead of an attention-seeking brat.

    So – best of luck setting up this website! I think what you’re doing is really good work :)

  23. mamavision says:

    Girls: I just sat here and read through each and every post. My heart is racing. My thoughts are running because I just can not believe how powerful this whole discussion is. You are all so unbelieveably articulate. Then why, why does the healing need to be so overwelhmingly difficult?

    Perhaps I am just hearing it differently now since taking a hiatus, or maybe I am able to hear it all again, like I did two years ago when I started this blog.

    A common theme appears to be that mothers take your ED’s personally. This reaction is so very sad to me. I can not imagine the total alone-ness you felt when confiding in your mom only to have her make the issue about herself. The really hard part for me, is that if I am honest, I can totally see how this happens. My daughter is eight years old, and I already see which girls and mothers are going to have issues.

    You see, moms are just grown up versions of their teen self. Most never deal with their body image issues, many never had support from their own mothers, so they carry it with them as they become mom’s themselves. I remember praying about this, praying that I would never, ever pass on my own issues to my children. This was a huge fear of mine, and luckily I did all the work I needed to do on myself before I became a parent. My husband is to thank for this because his love and acceptance, and reassurance helped a great deal. Although, make no mistake, when it comes down to it you must find the strength to fully heal for yourself, no one else can do it for you.

    Another common theme is seemingly innocent comments that we carry with us forever. Every one of my friends can say the same stories you girls are saying. We all have a story about when we were told not to eat something, or told we looked fat, and we will never, ever, forget it. Mine is my Grandpa said I looked fat on Christmas Eve when I was 15. I can remember exactly where I was sitting, in our family room on the hearth of the fireplace, and I was so totally devastated. I wasn’t fat for christ sake, I was a teenager going through puberty. From that day on, I was so scared when I would see him because I would just wait for him to tell me I was fat again. And being fat was being a loser. Why? Why is being fat equal to being a loser?

    OK- so the REAL issue is- why do we care? why do our lives revolve around this foolishness? why can we not break free and see that we will soon be gone and none of this will matter and we wasted our whole damn life stuck in this mess?

    My vote? Because we wallow in it. We know what triggers us, we know society feeds it to us, but we keep ourselves absorbed in it. We feed the marketing machine, we read the mags at the gym, we compare ourselves to others, and we perpetuate the problem. Until women figure out how to surround themselves with knowledge that fulfills them at a higher level, until they stop running back to check how they measure up, until we stop stepping on the scale- we will continue to wallow.

    So, the final thought for the evening…..
    What is done is done right? Your parents did their good and bad, and its a part of you.

    Don’t let it define you. Tomorrow is a new day, and YOU are in full control to create the new you. No one is tying your hands. No one is saying you can not reinvent yourself, you are free to break away from the past and be the person you want to be. You can choose to be free of the negative past, and only allow in those friends and family members who support the real you. You can shut out the abusers, and the negative energy, and try, try your damnedest to make each day a bit better.

    It all starts with believing in yourself. Do you? Do you believe you can beat this?

    Love, love, love,

    PS I missed you all :)

  24. ibiteback says:

    My mom was always dieting and there was never “normal” food in the house. When she didn’t have childcare she would take me to weight watcher’s meetings were they would give out prizes for losing weight.
    When she got sick, no one was there to cook supper or eat with and I felt fat.
    Now, I wish my mom could see me and not my eating disorder. I am currently not sure if I will be allowed to go to marching band camp, which I worked for so hard in the recent months (getting my weight-up etc.). But she feels that I am not following my meal plan and I got into a fight with my nutritionist. so she is saying no because she thinks I am lying and going behind their backs and that after camp is over, I won’t keep my weight up so they can’t let me get away with anything. and even after my therapist told them that they were over-reacting and to let me go to camp, they still haven’t said yes.
    i wish they understood that I want to get better but it is really hard and I just don’t know how to do it.

  25. Araea says:


    I don’t really know how this blogging works and if we are supposed to respond once you have had a final response, but I read your latest post and had a few thoughts, which I don’t think could hurt. After watching some videos of yours, I thought maybe I am not your target audience and I don’t truly belong here, but I stumbled upon it. Among further thinking, decided that what you are doing is powerful beyond words. I had this immense pride that FINALLY a seemingly caring, intelligent woman has a voice and is giving girls similar to me a voice. Now I am not speaking for everyone on here because I believe every case is different, just like our fingerprints. Partially, I believe you are right we wallow in our behaviors because it is what we know and what we have grown accustom to. However, I know for me personally when I went away to college I tried desperately to recover. My thought was that if I immersed myself in gaining, as much education and knowledge about matters that were not intrinsic to one’s own self that in turn, I would gain passions for what seemed to be real deep matters of life. I would gain passions for politics, literature, arts, and even a little math. All of that worked out for a little while and then I was raped. It is easy to say, “don’t let it define you”, but what if it doesn’t define us? Rather, life has a way of defining us. I was reinventing myself and becoming the person I thought I wanted to be, but then life took control and told me the opposite. I wasn’t at all who I thought I was or could be at all. Really life reinforced to me after the rape, that I wasn’t truly worthy of happiness, nutrition, and love. I use to believe I could rise above my restricted eating and complete obsession with exercise, but the girl who believed in the power of her dreams and had intense willpower to be better, died the day I was raped. The rape let me know that for so many years, I was right and I don’t deserve to eat. Now, I have never blamed my family for my eating issues. However, after reading several posts, I thought a common theme was that so many of us just want to be heard. We just want for someone to not just listen but also, truly hear what we are saying and believe that what we are saying and feeling matters. With that said, thank you for believing in us. You are an inspiration of hope and the possibility for a better future. Please don’t quit this.

    With much respect

  26. aileb says:

    Oh! you could direct the

    parents to this online support



    (I am only allowed to lurk)

    what would I say to the rents-if I could?

    all their comments-in my mind -they get twisted!

    “You haven’t eaten today.” in my mind I want to give her a high-five and say thank-you for making it easy today
    (don’t remind us what we got away with)

    “Is that all you are going to eat.” in my mind I think-she thinks that it’s a lot!
    (don’t comment on portion size)

    “You are losing weight again” in mind I’m estatic that she noticed.
    (don’t make comments about size)

    “I can see your bones!” in my mind, I think whoa!
    (don’t make comments about appearance-a starved mind really can’t grasp the image)

    Don’t turn yourself upside and inside out trying to figure out why I do this or think this way.

    it’s innate

    so can we go back to pretending that your hugs are bone checks and that I am not feeding you lies.

  27. Sarah says:

    Mrs. B.

    I think as long as your daughter is making rational choices when it comes to recovery you are fine.

    When my I say my parents ignore my eating disorder. I mean they forbid me to go to any form of therapy, use medication, go to doctors (even if I just have the flu… because they may tell me my ED has messed my body up and that would make it to real to them… oh and heaven forbid these awful medical doctors tell them for the fourth time that I need to be placed in a hospital), and I am not aloud to talk about it

    talking about my ED means them screaming at me about how I screwed up their lives and if I keep doing it (the talking not the ED) I wont have a place to live or any one to co-sign college loans

    I think what you are doing is great. You are there when she needs you but you are giving her something she can control.

    I really do love my parents. I am just really frustrated after spending another summer with them when they said they would do what ever it took to get me better, and then turned around and refused to do anything…. So I am sorry my post are probably a little bit hostile

  28. twistsis says:

    mamaV I think the reason I care so much about what people think is that its hard for me not to.
    Your parents are the ones who are supposed to be there for you, to love you unconditionally regardless of what you do or say, they shouldnt judge you or hurt you more than real life does.
    I agree that mums are basically grown up teenage versions of themselves and what you said about they have never got over their own issues etc, but when they deliberately go out of their way to make your life hell because of their own self esteem issues is something quite different.

    If my mother had been anorexic when she was my age, then went on to have me and continued to have anorexia, I would no doubt grow up watching what she did etc, its human nature, you look up to your parents when you are really young and aspire to be just like them, they are the people that brought you into the world so you see them if a different light to what others would. Chances are after watching her while I was growing up then I would have become anorexic anyway, seeing as my perfect mother was “happy” and everyone liked her etc. But when my mum deliberately starved me in the hopes that I would some day become the model that she could never be because she became pregnant with me, and when she deliberately went out of her way to make sure I was placed easily in the palms of my rapist fathers hands whenever he wanted me, its hard not to let that bother you.

    I do understand what you are saying and that I shouldn’t care what others think and that I shouldnt let that bother me now but how can I not let that bother me? The two people who are put on this earth to help guide you and look after you, making sure that they get every inch of your being to benefit themselves with complete disregard to what is best for the child consumes you until there is nothing left in your power to change the pattern of thoughts that runs through my head daily, wondering why, what if, or basically, I should never been born.

    All I am trying to say (after my ramble of crap, sorry about that) is that your parents are the two people who should always be there, for one reason or another, they should never leave you or harm you and they should never JUDGE you. Well my parents judged me by their own merits. If they were happy with using me and abusing me and they were able to hide it from the world, then we were all doing what we should be.
    If not, well then, believe it or not, it gets worse.
    They judged by what they got from me, not what I got for me or did for myself.

    I am going to take a comment that aileb just mentioned in the last post made by her regarding her mum turning herself upside down trying to figure out why, I want my mother to turn herself upside down, I want her to know what it felt like to go through what I did, I want her to know how much it hurts to be made pregnant by rapists and then left to die when being thrown down the stairs in an attempt to get rid of the baby.

    I want her to hurt as much as I have, if that makes me a bad person then ok fine im a bad person but I just cant help it, it all bothers me still.


  29. Ella says:

    MV – Then why, why does the healing need to be so overwelhmingly difficult?

    Ella – My take on this is because there are so many dimensions to the development of an ED, and then add in the issues which perpetuate the illness (which are the behaviors, most of the time) and the hurdles to overcome when recovering. If I could snap my fingers a be recovered, I would do it.

    I think we all need to learn that we’re worthy of recovery.

    MV – The really hard part for me, is that if I am honest, I can totally see how this happens. My daughter is eight years old, and I already see which girls and mothers are going to have issues.

    Ella – I work in childcare. Already I can see the kids who are struggling with their self image, and, even in some cases eating. It breaks my heart – but by Australian statistics, 1 in 5 of the little girls in my class will be experimenting with vomiting and fasting by age 12.

    MV – I remember praying about this, praying that I would never, ever pass on my own issues to my children. Why? Why is being fat equal to being a loser?

    Ella – Similar to you, I hope and pray nightly that I will not pass my eating disorder onto my children. I do not know how I would cope – and I think that’s something that I didn’t really manage to bring up in my last post. My parents have coped the best they can with the resources avaliable to them. There just aren’t the support networks for parents with kids like me.

    Why is fat = to being a loser? I think for those of us with EDs, maybe it’s not other people that have that equation over their heads. Just us. It’s just a rule that applies to us. Although I think traditionally that being fat has meat that someone is lazy and a slob – not that this is true.

    MV – OK- so the REAL issue is- why do we care? why do our lives revolve around this foolishness? why can we not break free and see that we will soon be gone and none of this will matter and we wasted our whole damn life stuck in this mess?

    Ella – I think becuase an eating disorder *is* a mental illness and is not a choice. While I believe that we can make the choice to become well, or at least to access the services which can help us get well, it doesn’t mean that the journey will be easy by anyone’s standards. Recovery for me, at least, has been about relearning almost everything about me and the world and how I see it. But please believe me when I tell you that more than anything I want freedom from this disease that has destroyed my entire life.

    MV – It all starts with believing in yourself. Do you? Do you believe you can beat this?

    Ella – I believe that recovery is possible. I’m not sure that recovery is possible *for me*, although I so badly want it to be possible. However, whenever I do well for a while, I always get slapped in the face somehow. I think life is a recovery process – beucase we’re always going to be thrown challenges for which we will have to utilize our coping strategies.


  30. vive42 says:

    mamaV- i think my comment was a little different than some of the others. my issue with my parents is that they didn’t and don’t believe in me. they see the eating disorder, the mental illness, nothing more. that’s what i see in myself too.

    so i guess in answer to your question i don’t believe in myself, so i can’t start from there to change. and i think that might be fairly common. are you saying we should just force ourselves to believe in ourselves somehow magically with no evidence?

    how can i believe in myself if all my life has been failure? how can i believe in myself if my parents don’t belive in me? and if i have to believe in myself in order to recover does that make me doomed never to recover since i don’t believe in myself?


  31. emily says:

    Hi all

    well my ED started wen i was 11 years old when my mum met a man who moved in with us- he was nice at first to me, then when my mum wasent around he would beat me and rape me alot- i tryed telling my mum after a few times of it happeneing but she dident belive me at all so its continued for another 3 years before i finally got help- in this time i belive i had the Ed when i was 11 and a half – i moved out when i was 13 and got placed in a care home for few years- no one wanted to look after me coz i was so messed up- i dident eat and got really ill but stil my mum did not care- all she cared about was her man- i was just a person that she gave birth to and dident care for after i was about 10- i have so much anger for her, but i refuse to talk 2 her ever again- i am now living with my foster mother brooke who i love alot- i still have anorexia but am in and out or recovery- its getting harder everyday but i cnt give up anymore, and i wont i dont want to lose the people that i love, im sick with failing all the time i want to be normal for the first time in my life one day, i really do, in the mean time i need 2 save myself.
    recently i took a OD which was a real eye opener for me in a way, i nearly died in the process- and after i woke up i reliased that i dont want to die- what would be the point in that, that would be selfish. i derserve the pain of living- maybe one day the pain will go away but for now i think its here 2 stay!.

    how r u mama v?
    i have missed ur posts so much- ur our role model, u no what we r going through- maybe one day we could chat?

    hope everyone is okay.

    lots of love
    Emily xxx

  32. eshoe says:

    MamaV, your last question is a painful one to answer. Will I beat this? Honestly, I don’t know.

    I’m surprised every morning that I wake up; I don’t know how or why my heart makes it through the night. I make sure I tell my husband I love him every night in case I don’t wake up. It is terrifying but I still try and fight this demon.

    I know I have a purpose, and it involves much more than anorexia. I just want to beat this, if I can just keep fighting myself.

    I found your blog while you were on hiatus, so I’m glad you are back!

  33. kim says:

    mamv, your comments always make me think and i like that. i think for me the reason i strive for others approval, especially my parents, is because i feel i owe them because they chose to have me in their lives and how does one repay that. i feel i had some big traumas in my life, but had i been adopted by other people i may have faced even greater challenges and abuses. that thought terrifies me and paralyzes me at the same time. when i read what you wrote, i thought too why is this so hard. i cant explain it but it just is. we need to make changes but first we have to challenge the ideas and beliefs that we were made to believe. we are not bad because we have eds or mental illness those are symptoms of something greater. we hopefully can surround ourselves with people that help us challenge those negative thoughts about ourselves and help us believe we are enough, we are important, we are loveable. because you know what, i dont feel that way alot of the time, but i feel it more then i once did. we need to remember, progress not profection and work to never give up.
    ps. i am glad you are back from your hiatus mamav. i for one missed you.

  34. missA says:

    What do you wish you could share with your parents?

    -My mom died several years ago but I wish she had tried to get me help when I was younger.

    What do they, particularly your mother, not understand about you and your eating disorder?

    -My dad has his own issues so I don’t talk to him about it

    Your body image issues stem from where?

    – As far back as I can remember I have had low self-esteem and a bad body image. I can remember being very young, no more than 5 or 6, and asking my mom if I was skinnier than my sisters were at my age. This was around the age that I was abused by two cousins. I became very self conscience after the abuse. I was labeled at a young age as “the smart one”. I think the pressure from that made me strive to be perfect. In middle school I was bullied. I was bullied about basically just existing as a person. I didn’t have the right hair, the right clothes, the right shoes, the right friends. That is something that I have never gotten over. I was given a horrible nickname that still can bring me to tears when I think of it. That’s around the time that my ED started.

    Why do we care? why do our lives revolve around this foolishness? why can we not break free and see that we will soon be gone and none of this will matter and we wasted our whole damn life stuck in this mess?

    – I agree with you that it is because we wallow in it. We spend too much time and energy wallowing in self-pity, self-loathing and self-absorption. I have spent many years trying to get over the hurt others have done to me. They mean nothing to me. They have not part in my life now. What they did to me when I was younger may have made me who I am today, but it does not have to define my life. They are not worth one second of my time thinking about how they hurt me. Problem is, it still hurts. It is not easy to get over that kind of pain.

    What is done is done right? Your parents did their good and bad, and its a part of you.

    – I don’t blame my parents for any of it. I am the one who makes the decisions in my life.

    Do you believe you can beat this?

    – I believe that recovery is possible. No recovery is perfect and we have to be able to accept when we have setbacks and move on. Will I ever be completely free from this? I don’t know, but I will never stop trying.

  35. Mrs. B. says:


    I need an answer to a question.

    Jes is really making progress with her life and relationships. But there are definitely some major red flags. I went to her place last night and discovered that she has bought herself a scale.

    A week ago, I discovered that she had a bottle of laxatives in her purse. A mile form, but laxatives, nonetheless.

    Each time, I noted to her that I had a concern. We went to buy some probiotics to help her maintain better regularity in a healthy way and I asked her to please not use unhealthy harsh medicines to purge.

    I also told her that I was concerned about the scale. She told me that if I wanted to take it, I could. I told her that she knew the path to her health, and I asked her to consider the healthiness of her having a scale in her home. I told her that she was an adult and those were decisions that she should now make for herself. I just wanted her to think about it.

    Many of you have said that you don’t want your parents to ignore your EDs. But as a parent it is REALLY hard to know what to talk about and how to talk about it.

    Suggestions, please for how to talk about these scary ED issues?

    Love you guys,
    Mrs. B.

  36. Chrissy says:

    There is so much I wish my parents knew that I could never write it all out. This inability to communicate with the people who you are supposed to be able to share anything with has led (I believe) to a lot of the reasoning for my eating disorder. I wish they could understand what I go through on a daily basis of this hell.

    First of all, I wish they knew that I have had a full-blown eating disorder for the last 10 years of my life and it has been absolute hell, but especially hellish in these later years of my disorder (started really becoming disorder when I was 8, although I feel like even as early as 6 I was completely messed up). I have faced it alone; alone without a single other soul to guide me. I have grown up without the basic fundamentals of trust, communication, dependency, and openness between myself and my parents. My parents have never had the ability to talk to me about any serious personal things with me other than about themselves (most of their personal issues told to ears to0 young to hear such things). This has seeped into me and I also find it impossible to share even the most basic personal fact about myself with them.

    One of the main causations for my eating disorder would be the implantation of self-hate in me since a very young age. I grew up with my father in a constant state of anger and rage generally directed at myself. A man with severe issues himself, he generally took them out on me wether it was emotional, sexual, or physical abuse. I was too young to comprehend the majority of what occurred on a daily basis, but I could feel the constant rage in myself caused by his actions and my mothers non-action. This rage and anger in such a young child is something that a child has no knowledge of how to vent it, how to understand it, or how to change it. Because I could not take out this anger and rage on other people, I instead turned it inwards to myself. All of the pain I felt that I could not express was ‘fixed’ through torturing myself. A separation of mind and body; a war between the two.

    There are also many other factors to my eating disorder. I feel like it one of the most complicated things I have ever encountered. I am now an addict, a mess, a delusioned being with still no outlet. With no true trust in any other human than myself, I become isolated as my eating disorder continues to isolate me even more.

    There is so much more I wish to explain, comprehend, and put into words, but I doubt any of this will ever be known by my parents. All I know is that it is truly a relief to now be 18 and leaving for college in 4 days. Although I do not trust myself with taking care of myself, at least I will not have the constant stress of my home life. I am finally responsible for my own actions, I am responsible for myself and I have only myself to blame for my faults.

  37. vive42 says:

    mrs b- i’ll be honest with you, i don’t think this is one of those cases where there’s a solution. you’re going to worry. jes may or may not relapse. it’s outside your control.

    pray, let her know you’re there for her, and turn this over to God. our spiritual beliefs may be very different but I think the advice will still hold for your christian beliefs, right?

    you aren’t ignoring it- you’ve let her know you’re concerned. if she’s relapsing or on the verge of relapsing she’s probably feeling annoyed and angry at being questioned. but if she ISN’T relapsing then she is being very hurt by the constant suspicion and questioning of everything she does. she feels she can’t put a foot out of line without you being on her.

    once again, that’s not to say you’re doing anything wrong. it’s just a hard situation for all involved. if jes is doing well in recovery it will work itself out. if she isn’t then you’ll have to deal with that when she comes to you. until then do the best you can, like you already are, and then turn the problem over to a higher power.


  38. Mrs. B. says:


    Thank you. I was working on that advice until I read from so many women here that they wish that their parents would not ignore that they have a problem. It’s a fine balance to be sure.

    Mrs. B.

  39. vive42 says:

    with all respect to my fellow ed sufferers, i think the part about feeling “ignored” is sometimes overstated. depending on the family most often the parents are concerned but don’t know what to do, or they just honestly don’t understand these things and are trying their best.

    if we do everything- EVERYTHING- we can to hide our behavior and avoid being questioned. if we lie over and over about not being hungry or feeling too sick to eat, hide our purging, etc. then it’s really not our parents’ fault that these tactics work. in some cases parents really do ignore- but in most cases parents do the best they can and we have to take responsibility for our own behavior.

    my dad called me a fat bitch all through high school. does that mean that now, 15 years later, it’s his fault that my life is consumed by an eating disorder? saying it’s not his fault is not the same as saying it was okay for him to treat me that way. it’s just recognizing the fact that i have made mistakes and bad choices that played a much bigger role than anything anyone may have done or said to me.


  40. Mrs. B. says:

    Wow. But Vanessa as someone who has only known you in cyberspace. You are so much more significant than your physical presence. I am sorry that you were ever minimized to that extent.

    Mrs. B.

  41. kim says:

    hey mrs. b, i think what you said to jes was totally well handled and appropriate. i think you should not ignore what you see. in treatment they did discourage the use of a scale and also the use of laxatives. both only make you worse when suffering or attempting to recover from an ed. if she didnt want you to know, she would have hidden the scale and the laxatives to be sure they wouldnt be seen. for me those are scary signs and i think you did the right thing. you addressed them, shared your concerns but left the desicision to jes. by doing so, she knows you are there for her if she needs you. she also knows you are trusting her to make good choices or if she struggles to reach out to you or someone else.

  42. Mrs. B. says:

    Thanks for the affirmation. I don’t find myself panicking when I see this stuff as much, because so MANY things are so much better. Life as a whole if improving for Jes, and certainly our family relationships. When I stay calm, we do better. She hates feeling like I don’t approve of her. I told her that I looked at scales like ED’s “Promise Ring”. She thought it was a pretty accurate analogy for her.

    It will be up and down, I know. I’m just thankful for the ups. There seem to be more all the time.

  43. kim says:

    i like how positive you see things mrs. b. you give me hope. i like your analogy too it is far to accurate.

  44. kim says:

    mama v, i just reread what your comment was and i was wondering your thoughts on how you think we can take the steps to rebuild or recreate the “new” us. i think many of us want to but honestly have no idea how to or where to begin. i just wanted to know if you had ideas on this? you have good insight and i am willing to listen and try. kim

  45. Kat says:

    I’m for sure not a girl, but I wanted to respond to this anyhow.

    I wish my mom or my dad had said that I had pretty eyes, pretty hair, pretty skin, a sweet spirit, a pretty smile, cute freckles, a quick wit or good hadnwriting….anything. I wish they had hugged me. I wish they had joked with me and teased with me. I wish they had noticed when I cried. I wish they had liked the person that I am.

    They did not see me. They didn’t seem to like a single thing about me or think I was pretty or special in any form or fashion. Oh yeah, nowadays my mom says she always thought I was pretty. She never said it. Never. Maybe I wasn’t pretty, but at least my mom could have told me I was pretty.

    Parents should say as many wonderful things to and about their child as they can….not just about their special physical features…pretty eyes, pretty eyelashes, pretty smile, anything…but about their personality as well.

    Parents should learn to delight in the people that their kids ARE, not who they wish their kids could or would be.

  46. kim says:

    I wish that my mom would understand that my eating disorder isn’t the real problem. Yes, I acknowledge that its a pretty big problem, but its not the main problem. She truly believes that I’m doing this because I think I’m fat and just want to be thin. Well, thats not the truth. Nobody called me a tub of lard ever, and I never looked at models and thought “Damn, now my life would be hunky dorey if I looked like that!” I want to tell her that I have severe issues with abandonment/trust and what comes along with that. It is hard for me to let people into my life, and when I do, it seems the hurt is intensified and this is where my eating disorder comes into play. It’s a coping mechanism. It’s there for me when everyone leaves me, and I am in control, or so thats what I used to believe. The real problem: I’m not willing to deal with my fears of being alone and not being able to trust. Anorexia is just a symptom of that problem. If that made any sense.

    Whew, glad to get that off my chest.

    Glad to see you back MamaV!

  47. Danyele says:

    I wish my mother knew…

    …that making any comment about my weight is triggering.
    …that taking hydroxycut and leaving the bottle on the kitchen table tempts me.
    …that I don’t ever want to discuss my eating disorder with me.
    …that criticizing everyone’s weight in front of me, whether they be too thin or too fat, makes me wonder what she really thinks about me.
    …commenting on the amount of food I eat (especially in front of other people), whether it be a lot or a little bit, makes me feel awful.
    …that even though she contributed to my eating disorder, my eating disorder isn’t about her.
    …that buying me my binge foods, even when I’ve asked her not to, is harmful, no matter how much she “knows” I like them.
    …that neither she nor my doctor/therapist/nutritionist/etc can “fix” me.
    …that calling me “weird” or “strange” because of my eating habits only makes everything worse.
    …that my life isn’t her business unless I want to make it her business.

  48. twistsis says:

    I want her to know that she should be the one dying from this, not me! I was a child mum, a child, who did nothing wrong except be born into the wrong family and its not my fault that you had a shit husband and a shit life. You shouldn’t have had me, no matter what you say, YOU DID HAVE A CHOICE MUM, YOU COULD HAVE SAID NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. kim says:

    wow there are 2 kims.

  50. sailaway says:

    To my mother,

    I wish that everytime my father beat you up for being fat, you had the strength to leave. I wish that you hadn’t had me as the baby to save the marriage and I wish that you hadn’t had me at all considering your lack of maternal instincs.

    I wish I could share with my dad the pain I feel everytime I starve/purge. Simply so he could realize that I don’t do it for fun or to Hurt him.

  51. mamavision says:

    Danyele: Your words speak volumes.

    As a mom, I read your post and I think – NO SHIT!

    Girls, why aren’t these things obvious? I can only guess its because mothers have not dealt with their own issues, so they unknowingly pass thoughts, and feelings, and behaviors on to their daughters.

    Unknowlingly is stretching it though. Don’t you think?


  52. mamavision says:

    Hi Kim: Here’s my very non-professional advice.

    1) Stop seeking the things that you know make you feel like crap (ie certain magazines, TV shows, etc).

    2) Chuck the scale.

    2) Hunt for your passion. Don’t stop until you find it. You have one, and it ain’t sitting around beating yourself up about not being worthy or good enough.

    3) Hang with those aligned with you. They are out there. Don’t give up. Ignore the girls who are focused on self defeating habits, talk, and thinking.

    4) Stop trying to make people like you. Truth is the world is 50/50- half like you, half don’t. The sooner you stop reaching for an unattainable goal the better.

    5) Listen. Learn to listen to others, accept different points of view, ponder new ways of looking at things. As teens our brains are like sponges that absorb everything in our environment as fact. Find your own facts.

    6) Stuff you head with positive things. Things that bring you even a moment happiness are so important and will stick over time. See prior post showing stuff around my bedroom (ie book on wisdom, quotes I like, self esteem stuff).

    Is that enough or should I keep going? :)


  53. mamavision says:

    Hi Araea! I read your post a few days ago and I have been thinking about you. I am so glad you ventured out of your comfort zone and posted.

    Your story is surely resonating with many girls here. Those who have suffered as you have are likely the best to lend advice.

    First you are aware of the damage that has been done, and you are able to define it well. Now you need to do the work. Keep moving forward, find your support channels, and believe in your ability to heal. Do you believe that? Do you have support?


  54. kim says:

    thanks mamav. i read the things you listed and know they are correct and i actually am doing many of them but i dont feel like im getting there. i just hope i have the wisdom, strength, courage, faith and patience to see this happen. i have been thinking about my passion alot lately and i use to have lots of them: drawing, playing guitar, running and now none of those gives me happiness or pleasure. i think i may have to fake it til i make it. i think i am noticing some difference from my new med although even when nothing bad happens, i still have suicidal thoughts and urges. i have been praying more and reaching out a bit more and i hope i can do this. i wish i saw my passion or could figure out what i were meant to do in this life. i feel incredibly inept because i dont know how to get where i am to be. god grant us the serenity eh. im really trying though. and mama v, i will work on that list. and yes, lol i probably could use more. thank you, love ya, kim

  55. Mrs. B. says:

    You know how I feel about you. And you know I think this may be a time we will just need to take care of our physical needs. There are people here who hate me preaching, but suffice it to say, there are many stories in the Bible where people who God loved sought his face and he was turned away. One way or another, we ALL go through times like that. Where prayer and faith seemed to have left us with nothing. But in reality, if every time we sought him, if he was RIGHT there, it wouldn’t be faith at all, really. Faith is what you show when you just keep on believing. Does that make sense? But through your continued faith, Kim, you send a powerful message to others around you about what it means to really believe.

    Sweet Kim, for me, would you please touch base with that doctor about once a week and tell them that you aren’t noticing much difference? Maybe it will take a little longer, still. But I would like to know for sure.


    Mrs. B.

  56. kim says:

    hi mrs. b, thank you for your caring about me. that means more then you know. i am working on meeting the physical needs. i am sleeping, i am doing okay with my eating. i am praying. i will call my doctor next week with an update and to see if she has any advice or wisdom. you know she will likely tell me she would like me to agree to be hospitalized which i am not wanting to do with no insurance coverage for my “preexisting condition”. besides i think to go in again would kind of make me feel like i have given up. i really am trying, you know this right. i am listening and working on doing what you and others are recommending. last time i talked to the nurse who talked to the doc and called me back she said it could take a full month for me to notice any improvement. i would think i would have notice some by now and maybe there is a bit but i would hope i wouldnt still be having the suicidal thoughts and urges. i have been on them for i think 3 weeks now. lets see what the week can offer. thank you. i am listening, i promise. love you, kim

  57. Emmerz says:

    I want them, and all the people at the treatment places, to know that I’m not doing this for attention. But that will probably never happen. (I was in the hospital in June, and was supposedly discharged because I was “trying to get attention” and because I didn’t really want to get “better”.)

    Also, especially towards my dad, that an eating disorder actually does partly involve having a problem with food. (Going out to dinner (meaning my younger sister, my dad, and I) isn’t the best thing for a bulimic to do after leave the program that s/he was in, where they did have dinner, and then telling me to get a “dessert or something.”)

    Or the comments like, “(insert name of food here) makes a really good laxative.” ”

    But no one discusses it anymore, besides my therapist and I, who I haven’t seen in a few weeks.

  58. gpsmama says:

    I hadn’t developed an eating disorder until about 2 years ago (I’m now in my late 20’s), and I struggle with it everyday now. With being a mother myself I try so hard to keep it from everyone my husband, especially my baby who is 3 yrs. old, I make sure never to let her see me binge or throw up. After reading some of your posts the obvious reality has slapped me in the
    face, it’s almost impossible not to pass this type of thing on without getting well, and I really want to, but I’m too ashamed to tell anyone what’s been going on. I guess you could say I’m, ednos, I guess they call it. I don’t throw up every day or after every meal, but the thought always crosses my mind, if I’m not throwing up, I’m dieting and restricting always, always. I know I have rambled and lost sight of what I’m responding to, but I guess if there is one thing that I would want to share with my parents is that your opinions, the things you say, your praise, all of it means a lot more than you know, (even to a teenager who acts like they don’t give a shit what you think) choose your words wisely.

  59. Araea says:


    As for your first question, I do believe that I can heal. I think I am just scared. Funny thing is I’m not scared of healing, rather I am scared of the journey of who I will become. I think the reason I am always rushing to the destination is because the journey absolutely scares me. Maybe it isn’t that I can’t not enjoy the journey or become better through it, simply I am just utterly terrified of it. What if along the journey somehow life hurts you more, shapes you again, and changes you in ways that aren’t positive? Then you arrive at the destination and you don’t know the person you have become and you don’t particularly care for the person you now are. In truth, you become a lie as to the person you used to be. Waking up needing to change again because you can’t bear the person who you are in that very moment. Setting off on another new journey of even more uncharted waters that have the possibility of failure. Lastly, I don’t have the support I really need because my Mom doesn’t want to shame our family more and I’m not allowed to see a therapist because she doesn’t approve. That is sort of why I decided to post, but I can’t imagine how damaging this posting my life on the internet would be to her! So, I will keep moving forward and hope this journey takes me exactly where I should be. Thank you for getting back to me.


  60. mamavision says:

    Hi Araea: Do you realize all the fears and uncertainies you have are those we all face every single day? No matter how strong we are, and I am pretty darn strong, we face these challenges. This is what life is.

    I guess it comes down to this – what option do you have but to try to move ahead? Staying stuck sucks. So you have to try to just take little steps in the right direction each day. Breathe, and know you are not alone.

    Now, on to your mother. First, who have you shamed anyone? You are a victim. One who needs support. The shame is on her.

    Not being allowed to see a therapist is odd. So you asked for help, and your mother states no? This is your life, and you need to live it. It sounds like you have a great head on your shoulders, most mothers would be very proud to have a daughter who is even willing to try therapy. Can you do this on your own?

    Keep posting, keep talking to the women here, we can help. Talking and writing somehow helps us figure everything out.

    You know, you will get that passion for life back, you will. You’ve got to believe that. It’s going to take work, but you will.


  61. mamavision says:

    Hi Vanessa: You pose the age old question- when all you have is great, bad examples, how the hell are you supposed to believe that you can be different? That you are worthy? That life has something better in store for you?

    You’ve got to start somewhere. You’ve got to find something, deep within yourself, that says no. No, I am here for a reason, and I am not going to waste my time on this beautiful planet letting others keep me down. When you slip and fall, you get back up.

    To have parents, that show such unbelieveable lack of love, compassion, and support just rips my heart out for you. Vanessa, you got a bum deal here- you did not deserve it. You are not a bad person, they are the ones with the problem. You have to drill this into your head, day in and day out. It is there problem- don’t make it yours.

    Both of my parents are unreal. Totally unreal, I’ve never heard a story like theirs. They both grew up on the poor side, with a parent who were unable to love in various ways for various reasons. They both suffered in ways I can’t understand. Yet they both took their “great, bad examples” and said – “No way, no how, am I going to be that.”

    And they are the farthest thing from it. They are the most caring, compassionate, giving parents one could ever ask for. How did they do it with such an upbringing?

    Hmmm…I’ve been amazed by it my entire life. Inner spirit I would guess. Some sort of inner spirit that said no, I am worthy. I am going to create my own destiny. And they went on and worked as hard as hell to build a life for themselves both as individuals, then as parents.

    I tell you this so you know it can be done. You just have to decide where to start.


  62. Lia says:

    I’m struggling with not giving in to not eating again right now. My feelings that I will never be perfect enough to fit into this family have just been reinforced once again…

    I know I sound like I’m whining, especially since so many of you here have it so much harder than me, but… I just never measure up.

    My passions are my fencing, tae kwon do and piano, but I’m not that great at any of them. My brothers fence, too, and both their teams got to the regionals while mine failed in the locals. My parents don’t beat me down over this (I won my fight), but… there’s just never anything like “wonderfully done” or “great effort” coming from them. All I hear is how one of my brothers beat his opponent to nil, the other one actually got to the nationals at a music competition and I… I’m the failure, who doesn’t get perfect grades at uni (there is one that’s below 100%), doesn’t ever advance at competitions and never, ever will be good enough to fit in with the rest of the genii.

    I know I’m weak, I know what to do to get better, but situations like these make me feel so… worthlessly non-existent. My Mom and Dad are wonderful people who share their love equally among us three kids, as much as they can with both of them being busy with their jobs (there. I’m whining again!), but I just never feel like I did anything to deserve it.

    By the way, in answer to the question why fat=loser: Because that’s the opinion I grew up with. Sure, the adults in my environment would always say things like “I’m sure she’s just got a problem with her pituitary gland”, or “He’s probably hit a bad stretch” but fact was that in the place where I grew up fat people were the poor people, the lazy slobs and the immigrants who refused to learn the language and adapt (oh yes, there was a lot of this talk among the upper middle class people where I lived. I didn’t even realize there was anything wrong with it until we moved to another country for the first time). The derision in everyone’s voice when faced with an overweight or less-than-slender person was always clear- kids are small, not stupid, they tend to realize these things. At least I did.

    I learned early on: Fat=stupid, penniless retard.

    I KNOW that’s not true. I really know it intellectually. The rest of me doesn’t catch on too easily, though, and mirrors (or even reflective shop windows) that show my figure even a little bit unfortunately send me into mental convulsions about FLAB. Whether it’s there or not. My body seems to have internalized the principles of my youth.

    (it doesn’t help when your Mom’s over forty years old and still almost effortlessly retains a slender teenager’s figure)

  63. kim says:

    i would want to tell my parents im sorry too for causing so much pain and worry. the thing is when my restricting started i never thought it would get so out of control, so out of my control. i just was looking for something to make me disappear. i wanted to disappear and in many ways i did, so much so that i dont remember who i was or if i even know who i was. my biggest fear is that my family will leave me (give up on me or get rid of me) and my second is that if i dont have anorexia, i wont know who i am or worse yet i may not like who i am. i dont like me now.

  64. Lauren says:

    I wish that father knew…

    that i need him to tell me that he loves me. I need him to show me that he cares. Like really show me. Because i need a Father in my life.

    I wish my mother would love herself. It would be so much easier to love myself and to trust in her love if i knew that she actually loved herself. But i know she hates herself, her body, everything.

    I wish they both could tell me that I look fine the way I am (I am “healthy/fat” now) Not remind me how much weight I put on. Not asking me why i don’t wear my old clothes anymore, not telling me that I shouldn’t eat that desert, I don’t want to end up like mom. That is not helpful. At all.

  65. Rita Arens says:

    Thank you so much for alerting me to this comment stream on BlogHer. What a powerful discussion. I wish I would’ve had this when I was 19.

    I identify so much with what is being said here. To all of you, I want to say that after struggling with anorexia first and then bulimia during “recovery” for about five years, I made it through to the other side. It was a really long road. I finally learned that fat isn’t a feeling – anxiety, fear, loneliness, anger, disappointment – those are feelings. There were some times when I was chubby and happy, and there were years when I was terrifyingly thin and so miserable I could barely get through the day. When I look back now, I’m not sure how I didn’t die.

    The weight came on faster than I wanted it to when I first started regaining, because your body resets your metabolism at such a low level. It’s not a death sentence, though – weight training and balanced, frequent eating can reset your metabolism in as little as six months. Nutritionists and trainers can help with this.

    I read so many of you wishing your parents wouldn’t ignore your eating disorder. My perception was that my parents were ignoring mine, but eventually I decided no one could help me but me. It sounds isolating and sad, but actually it was empowering in an existentialist way. You can do it, even as you’re feeling miserable and weak, you can. You had the strength to control your eating (something many, many people could never do), so you have the strength to change those habits again. The eating is just a side effect of the feelings. Continue to get help and support for the feelings, and the eating will get easier until it becomes just eating again. Just taking in fuel and pooping out the waste products. Just eating. Not a reward, not a punishment, just eating, like just breathing or just sleeping.

    Feelings never really go away, but for me at least, they became feelings again, emotions, and not “fat.” I no longer feel fat. I feel sad. I feel angry. I feel disappointed. I used to hate myself so fervantly, and now I hate situations, I hate scenarios.

    I hope this doesn’t sound condescending or preachy. I always felt adults sounded very preachy when they were talking to me about my eating disorder. I just wanted to say it can get better. It can. And no one has to save you, necessarily — you are stronger than you think you are.

  66. Gabi says:

    I wish i could tell my mum that even though i have been in treatment and that i am in recovery, living with her is my biggest trigger. I want her to know that her 4 suicide attempts have caused me to blame myself for not being the perfect daughter. Not the daughter she wanted. I dont have all these nutrional illnesses she is desperate for me to have and im sorry for that. Sometimes i want to tell her i wish my anorexia and bulimia had killed me. Afterall i only had five months to live accourding to the dr’s, so that i can be so very far away from her. I want to tell her how i was sexually abused by her borther in law, and raped by my uncles foster son. I wantt to tell her how much i love her and that im sorry i wont be the daugher she wants. Because i am me.

  67. ME says:

    That it is NOT her fault. Sure, some of the situations and circumstances in regards to how I grew up contributed, but she was my mother and was trying her best. There was no hand book on how to raise me and I was a sick kid. She did the best she could and I know that now – looking back.

    Nothing, at all, is her fault. It is how I choose to cope and react to the environment around me – at home, school and otherwise.

    That placing blame on her, if I did, was a cop-out on my part. I was allowing her to be my scapegoat which was wrong.

    She was an awesome mom and I only wish I had the opportunity to form a better relationship with her before she died.

    If she looks down on me, I’d like to think that she sees how much I’ve grown and learned from life. That every bit of who I am is due to who I was and she’s a huge part of that. She should be proud. I wouldn’t change any component of my life for anything (except my mom’s death).

  68. kimm says:

    to the other kim. I was totally reading all the posts and made a mental note to NOT post as “kim” and confuse everyone, but I got so heated up in the discussion it completely slipped my mind. I guess to tell us apart I’ll use to M’s in my name!


  69. k8 says:

    For some reason for the life of me i can not answer this question.. I am now about the same age as my mother when my eating disorder began.. (ouch)hmmm I have to keep thinking and figure this out…..

  70. Janemarie says:

    I know I’m late on the uptake but I may as well add my two pence now:
    I wish my mum would see that I was happy as the “chubby teen”, that I was okay with who I was… that it really didn’t matter whether I was 20lbs heavier than she was… that I was ok being me. Right now I wish thatmy mum could know how much her comments hurt me, that when I laugh because I’m the “fat f*cker who dropped out” I’m really laughing so I don’t cry. I wish my mum could see me now, in my own house, with two cats, with a fantastic friend, with scales in every room, with baby food in the cupboard…. with a bottle of vodka hidden with the washing powder…

  71. Janemarie says:

    Oh, and to my dad, F**K YOU. I can be a human being without you, disfunctional, yes. Obsessive, yes. Messed up, yes. BUT I AM ME.

  72. k says:

    Once when I was 17 my mom walked in on me binging on a container of cream cheese frosting. She told me, ‘even if that’s all you eat, you’re still going to get cellulite.’ I am 23 and this statement still goes through my mind everytime I eat.

  73. jo says:

    I wish that my mom was around to notice that i’ve changed that i am not the fat as* i used to be. Thanks to her and her husband telling me i was too fat to do much i just kept gaining the weight.

    I wish i could tell the therapists and the friends and other family members that this is not good loosing a whole person in six months is NOT something you should congratulate me on. Me being able to fit into sizes you can’t does not mean that you should express envy. Do not tell me how great i look and if i lost that last five pounds i could be a model. Don’t tell me this after you put down me being a plus sized model. Definately don’t tell me this when i have lost a ton of weight unhealthily and have excess skin hanging off my arms, tummy, thighs. Don’t tell me i look good, or point out any bones that may be showing. Don’t remark on my body at all. Because even with the doctors telling me that i am unhealthy and that my starve and eat cycle are killing me i still don’t think i’m thin enough. So i definately don’t want to hear how ‘thin’ i’m getting when i know i’m still in the double digit pant sizes.

    And i wish i could tell myself to knock it the heck off- i always swore when i reached my ‘goal’ i would stop and be happy. But i reached it and succeeded it and am still not happy, and still feel fat.
    Fat sucks but death sucks worse…

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