Eating Disorders: Anorexia Has Stolen My Child

A sign that the eating disorder has joined you for dinner is the arguments that occur whenever food is being served or even discussed. Your daughter will sound resentful, defensive and will argue at the drop of a hat.

Listen, your child has always been a good kid right? She usually didn’t push limits to this extent and rarely caused trouble. There may have been times as with every child, when there was a disagreement.

Most likely though she still saw the wisdom of your ways; or even if she didn’t she still complied. This change, this “new” kid and her disagreeable attitude toward food is a major part of what makes it so difficult for you to handle her strong emotions. It is so unlike her to behave in these ways.

I had a coaching call today with a family, and re-learned something I already knew. Never before, had I heard this particular truth expressed so clearly and concisely.

You are not the only one going through this tremendous change. Your child is going through it as well, and it is incredibly difficult on her! She is completely unaccustomed to being the one who stirs things up. She hates this about herself but she feels like she can’t control it.

The formative years are hard enough as it is, and now everything has changed. Even the identity she had for so long as the “good girl” is gone. She feels utterly lost and has no idea what to do.

It is like a nightmare. She sees herself and she sees another girl who is very much her, and at the same time very different. This other girl is angry and hopeless, and can’t find her way back. She is lost and frightened; much more than you know.

Your child sees how hard you are trying to help her. She can see and feel your frustration growing. The truth is she feels helpless, extremely guilty and she has absolutely no idea what to do.

Your daughter wants nothing more than to listen to you, to be and “feel” normal, but she can’t. The only voice she can now hear is the voice of the ED. It overpowers her voice and your voice. It overpowers everything and everyone.

The most important thing to remember when ED shows up uninvited; the voice you hear talking is anorexia and not your child. Keep in mind, however, to never give up listening for her voice. Her voice is waiting to come out and you will hear it more as she gets better.

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