Thursday, 26 August 2010


Waif has now had her birthday, although not yet a party as many of her friends are away.  I will have to change the blurb on the side bar about rescuing my fading 13 year old daughter, to something more optimistic about my healthier looking, beautiful 14 year old.

We have been away to the Italian lakes to stay in a beautiful complex with tennis and a pool.  Lots of swimming and reading was done.

Eating on holiday is always tricky.  Waif seemed to be back to her old habits of making excuses:  she didn't like the fishfingers we found in an Italian supermarket even though they were still Bird's Eye, she didn't like their style of bread etc  I had thought it would be easy as pasta is her favourite food and obviously good quality ice cream is a cinch.

She did look thinner on her return last week but she gaily announced to me that she had weighed herself and was still at 44kg (fully clothed), which is 97lbs, or just 1 lb off 7 stone.  7 stone would be a nice place to be even if still  underweight  :-)      I suspect the reason she looks thinner (which, yes, I am working on now we are home) is that she has grown like topsy.  She is now taller than I am in my heels.  I take this as a sign that she is getting good enough nutrition.

Older Daughter has achieved a string of A* grades (9 of them) at GCSE which is fabulous but sets a very high bar for Waif who always seems to feel in competition with her sister.  I need to make sure that she does not overwork.  - she is taking her first GCSE next June (at the age of 14) and is sitting her first english module (Henry V) in October.  Hmmm.... my husband piled on more pressure by announcing that A's today are the equivalent of C's in our day.  Actually, I reckon this generation of teens work much harder than we ever did.

We have also had stress in the way of a family tragedy - a murder (alleged) by and of a reasonably close family member.  I  realise this is quite dramatic news and don't want to go into details but suffice it to say that Waif is back in bed with us.   We are NOT that kind of family but there were obviously things going on about which we knew only the tip of the iceberg.   This will linger on until and after trial in 6 months time and see dark family secrets spread over the newspapers come the Spring.  Perhaps we are not the perfect family I thought we were.

On the way home from Lake Garda, at Stansted Airport, we passed the thinnest girl I have ever seen.  Her thighs were like bare bones  :-(     My heart went out to her and her family and couldn't help thinking that she was not going to live long unless she got some serious help.  It is selfish, but I am thankful that it was not us with her ie Waif that was that thin.  Although some readers have the impression that I am casual about the Maudsley and about recovery, I can assure you that I am not.  If I were allowed only one wish in the whole of my life it would be to make Waif better and I know that the Maudsley is the best place for it, and indeed it seems to be working.   Waif has been slow but steady in recovery and yet is 7kg heavier than this time last year which is the difference between life threateningly ill and "too thin".   In some ways, slow recovery seems to me to be logical as Waif will not have to make dramatic alterations to her diet when she gets to her goal weight.  She will just eliminate the between meals chocolate bars and late night ice cream and be left with a healthy, robust diet.

On a completely separate note, I am due back to work next week but have not even spoken to my employers (blush). I had a vivid dream the other night that I set up a charity helping anorexic girls and was giving talks in schools and had at last found something worthwhile to do.  Waif is keen for me to teach at her school...not sure that would be wise, although it would certainly be convenient.

Pictures later.


  1. I happened upon your blog and wanted to say that as a daughter who has an ED, and whose parents still don't know, it gives me hope to read a blog like this... and to think that maybe I will have the courage to tell them one day... and hope that they will understand.

  2. Nobody Girl: you will probably find that your parents know and worry much more than you realise. Of course they will understand and want to do all they can to help. They probably don't know where to start unfortunately. Have you shared the fact that you are ill with anyone? You might find it a great relief and the first step on the road to recovery. I wish you all the best whatever you decide about telling your parents.

  3. Thanks for the encouraging words, Hope. My boyfriend and some friends know, as well as my therapist. I just haven't let my parents know because I think culturally, they will not understand. Thanks again!

  4. I too have come accross your blog recently, and have spent my free time since then reading it somewhat obsessively. It seems like since the start of your blog that Waif has progressed :)

    Reading your blog has actually filled in a part of a blurred void within me, I would not say I suffered from Anorexia or an ED, I never visited a GP, during my college years 2006+ I guess I starved myself.

    In my head there was a plausable reason for eating less and substituting what I was eating for lower calorie foods and the self imposed rules, after 2 deaths in the family, close together I decided I didn't want to die too(irrational thought), so that was the starting point for me.

    Low calorie everything, small portions, food left on my plate, looking at skinny models, weighing my self daily, not eating until after 1pm(giving myself 5mins to eat before lesson started), calorie counting, obsessively exercising, no eating after 7pm, no puddings, rules, thinning hair...

    Leading me to lose weight, I was never concerned with what I weighed before(although I was not big, normal) and then all of a sudden I was in a game, a private game with myself and one where I needed to keep people out.

    My parents never mentioned anything directly to me, they noticed I know they did, the only comment was something like 'R thinks you have lost weight' I dismissed it, I knew I had, I weighed myself multiple times a day. Friends, students and teachers at college would constantly comment, I brushed it all off, giving reasons for why my bones cracked, and why I was thin, that it was not actually my hip bones sticking out it was just the denim material where the belt goes though.

    Then one day I weighed myself and I was 6stone10 164cm, and I just had enough I wanted to be strong, not the person that was slowly breaking in front of people, so started my silent mission on gaining weight, now back at 8stone. I don't understand what it was. Or am in denial.

    I know there are people worse than what I was I never had to have treatment, I was never at a weight that was dangerously low. I know that it was not an attention thing, I never talked about it with anyone, I am far to private as a person, I wouldn't even tell people if I had an earache, all I know was that I was using my body as a sign of the hurt inside and at the time I was upset inside, with the deaths that had happened in the family, and as that got easier to deal with so did everything else, I think that was the cause of it. Maybe depression, but I think if I had been to the doctor because of it I would have been either diagnosed with some type of eating disorder or depression.

    My family are close, myself and my siblings as well as my parents, but I think the circumstances at the time made it a more difficult situation, I often wonder why they didn't say anthing, but I think it was only a matter of time, I was breaking.

    I hope for all the best for your family your blog is much more positive since the beginning, you also sound much more sure that what you are doing is correct at the start you seemed to not be sure of yourself, but I think you are doing the correct thing for Waif, and congratulations on both of your daughters recent results.