May 4, 2016
This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.
My daughter is a 13-year-old who has been living with Anorexia for the past 18 months. Gretchen is the name she has given her eating disorder and Gretchen is ruining our lives. My once outgoing, energetic, happy child is now sneaky, verbally abusive and sad all of the time. Gretchen tells my daughter that she is her best friend and that she will never leave her and that I am trying to make her fat and don’t care about her.
My advice is to be a stronger presence than the eating disorder.
Gretchen makes my daughter spit out her saliva because it has extra calories. When Gretchen is at her strongest my daughter is forbidden to wear sweaters with pockets or shirts with long sleeves because it is too easy for her to hid food. Napkins at meal times? Are you kidding meâ€¦big no-no. Napkins are the perfect spot to rub peanut butter or any other type of spread into. I cannot remember the last time my child has sat comfortably in a chair. Gretchen has her convinced that she will burn more calories if she sits at the end of the chair with her back straight.
Anorexia should not be kept a secret to be fought alone within the family.
Gretchen is trying to kill my child by disguising herself as something that is a constant in her life that will love her unconditionally. As the parent of a child with an ED, I feel it is my job to help others cope with this horrible disease. My advice is to be a stronger presence than the eating disorder. If you think your child has an ED, please don’t ignore it. Take your child to the doctor for a full physical to rule out any other reasons why they are losing weight. The longer an ED goes without treatment the harder it is to get rid of. My child did nothing to cause this disease and anorexia should not be kept a secret to be fought alone within the family.
Eating disorders are very real and terrifying but with love and support, there can be light at the end of the tunnel.