The Impact of Disordered Eating on Our Families and Friends

January 20, 2011

Marzipanlings, today I would like to share with you an amazing letter that I received, written by a mother to her daughter’s eating disorder. So often we become so consumed with discussing how disordered eating affects the individual, that we forget the impact that our struggles have on our loved ones and family members. I wanted to write a post about this, but this letter is so very powerful that I would like it to stand on its own – thank you for reading.

Dear ED,

I’ve been meaning to write to you for awhile.  There’s a lot I have to say. I remember the day my daughter told me you came to visit her.  It was nine years ago and I was on the phone with her walking to my car after work.  I’ll never forget that call. It changed her life and mine, and her Dad’s and her brother and grandparents.  I mistakenly thought at the time that you would visit for just a short while.  I had no idea what you’re capable of.

You took over.  You took her mind, her personality; you made her sick and sad.  You took her self-esteem and the worst thing of all was that you made her forget who she was.  You made he Dad and I cry all the time, feel sick, lose sleep, worry constantly, feel sadness we didn’t know existed and you made her brother long for his big sister that had been his friend.

I decided nine years ago that I wanted to know all about you so I read, and I read, and read some more.  And the more I read the more I learned about you the more I hated you.  I don’t know you in the same way she does but I know a lot and I despise you.

Here’s what else I know.  I know that she is stronger than you.  She left you for two years and she’s getting ready to leave you again.  She had a few years of being without you and so she saw what that was like.  She did it before so I know she is capable of doing it again.

I know a lot of other things you don’t know.  I know what even she has forgotten.  I know that girl in a way that you can’t because I’m her mother.  I knew her when she was a little girl who you never met.

I'm Brave Kent County Girls on the Run April 06, 20104

image by stevendepolo

So here’s what I know that you don’t.  She is smart and very capable, articulate and a great writer.  She is loyal and a good friend and will someday make a husband one lucky guy.  She has a great laugh and a wonderful sense of humor.  I know that she has more empathy than anyone I know.  And maybe that’s from knowing you ED.  She really understands what it’s like for someone to struggle.  She has a true gift for working with children with autism.  She is cherished by her father and adored by her brother.  She is still the dearest sweetest brown-eyed girl in the world to her grandmother.  What she means to me is difficult to even put into words.  She is my special daughter and my dear friend.

So you see ED, she’s too important to all of us to let you have her.  She’s going to fight and in the end she’s going to win again. And this time you’re going to melt into a little mason jar with a strong lid on it and then you’re going up in the cold attic where I hope you’re shivering all the time the way you mad her.  You will be put into a steel box with a lock on it and you’re going to live up there freezing forever because we are all done with you. We won’t forget you.  You’re too unforgettable but we don’t want you in our lives anymore.

Sincerely,

Her Mom

I would love to hear your comments about this letter, however, I beg of you to keep them thoughtful and kind, as this reader has shared so much of herself in allowing me to repost this personal letter so publicly.

  • Share on FacebookPin on Pinterest
Weekly encouragement + subscriber-only content