A parent’s journey through anorexia

Sitting here beginning to write this I remember vividly the days of feeling utterly helpless and totally to blame for my child’s monumental fall into mental illness.

My life was good and in many respects a typical happy middle class family. I wanted the best for my children and every day they made me proud to be their mum.

I can honestly say I never saw what was coming in any shape or form and was totally unprepared.

Mental illness in any form is devastating and grows like a cancer destroying everything in its path, the illness I am referring to is anorexia. Within 6 weeks my happy child had gone from a healthy weight to a dangerously low weight and was consumed by a fear of 1lb gain on the scales.

I had taken her to the doctors as I was worried after about a month and had been told she must eat more! I insisted she see a specialist which she did after another month. She was disappearing before my eyes. She was diagnosed with anorexia.

This article is not about this horrible illness and its effect on everything around it, it’s about how I know other parents feel and how alone I felt.

Alone in every way, I was so in the dark as to how to help my child. It is almost a grieving process of denial, anger, guilt and hopelessness.

My child went onto have 10 years of pain and destruction and I was there with her every step of the way. I learnt that I could not control the demon inside her I could only love and support the child I gave birth to and that’s who I concentrated on. I kept faith that she was still in there and would come through in the end.

It wasn’t till life settled that I decided to look deep in myself to explore my part in this journey. I looked me straight in the face and my part in my child’s illness. I began to understand the guilt and blame I felt. I talked it out with someone who didn’t judge or give me advice I found my own healing by looking at me head on warts and all.

Now I can support my child in her life going forward, by being there for her still, but excepting it’s her journey not mine. My fallen angel has wings again, a little ruffled but they will soon be ready to fly.

Contributor

Kim

 

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