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"Blips" Continued

Posted May 02 2010 8:03am

Originally posted April 18, 2010

Going back to my last  post, thanks for the feedback. Everyone made good points, and it is obvious that we don't view our EDs as blips in life. I do agree that it is likely easier for family to view it this way. Minimizing the situation becomes a protective measure for them. How can you acknowledge the problem if it doesn't currently exist? 

Cammy  asked a good question in how much I reveal to my parents about the ED. The answer is not much. Once I got through my major crisis (high school/early college years), the issue was dropped and placed only in a past tense. A good example of this was at dinner this past week with my father. He had watched a segment on the  Dr. Phil  show of a 12-year old girl with anorexia. Her parents didn't know what to do and came to  Dr. Phil  for help. My father asked me, "how did you get over it, recover?" There was a part of me that knew this would have been the best time to say how I still struggled at times, how recovery was a long process. But I didn't. Instead, I put on my "Tiptoe Academic" hat, telling him about all the genetic studies being done, how Maudsley has helped with these type of adolescent cases, how there were many factors to eating disorders, why the BMI is inaccurate, etc. He nodded with me and seemed to try to understand, though he still holds many of the "myth" beliefs with eating disorders. I give him a lot of credit for this as this was never something he seemed to do when I was really ill. Instead, he just got angry, blamed and made me feel guilty (this projection was disguised as guilt for himself though it appeared to me as it was my fault). This resulted in me giving him the silent treatment for a bit which just didn't bode well for all involved. We've since gotten past this point and have a better relationship than before; however, I don't reveal much about ED thoughts, my own weight, my body image hang-ups, etc.

In a way, I feel like I have no right to complain that he has viewed my ED as a "blip." There's a feeling of "what did I expect?" My walls have always been high on those issues and even in the recovery process, they still are with my parents.

There's also a big expectation factor too, especially as my life has taken off in a more positive way. The ED stuff would feel like some sort of failure, a damper of sorts. As I've told other people who think about telling those they know about their EDs, you always have to ask yourself what you hope to gain from it. I think with my parents, I knew I'd never really get what I wanted/needed. Though intentionally, I never meant to cut them out of my ED life, it just seemed easier that way. Most times, I truly do not mind this all that much, but there are times it make me sad and reminds me how much better of an actress I was than I ever would have thought. But on the other hand too, keeping a distance from it has also allowed me to educate my parents and other people. It gives me a sense of hope that people can change, albeit slowly, but it can happen.

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